Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Top Lawyers of the Decade

The DJ's special insert today is Top Lawyers of the Decade, on the Chief is on the list, of course(!), in Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye: The solid core who has held together California's judicial branch, which begins: "Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye’s first decade as Chief Justice of California was plagued by chronic budget shortfalls, a record number of wildfires, and a pandemic. Five of the court’s seven justices retired. These events were bookended by a pair of historic financial crises."

  • “There is some tradition with chief justices, dating back to prior chiefs and continuing with her, to take the tough ones and perhaps some of the controversial ones for herself,” Groban said. “Knowing her now as I’ve come to know her, it’s no surprise. She’s not afraid of making difficult decisions.”
  • Many now remember her appointment as one of the defining acts of Schwarzenegger’s governorship, and one that changed the trajectory of California’s court system. Reached recently, Schwarzenegger said he hopes to see her on the U.S. Supreme Court someday. “I think she’s terrific,” Schwarzenegger said. “She’s known as someone who is in the center, someone who does not care about politics as much as serving the people. I’ve been proud of her,” he added.
  • Cantil-Sakauye’s fierce independence was demonstrated early in the Trump administration when she quietly left the Republican party and registered as an independent, and then when she publicly spoke out against immigration enforcement officials’ practice of arresting undocumented immigrants in state courthouses.
Speaking of the Chief, PJ Rubin quotes her keynote address from a few years ago in a concurring opinion here today, of interest for those in the access to justice space (i.e., all of us!).

And in the case note category of dismissals from nonappealable orders, here's one where the court of appeal has to knock down a bunch of arguments from an appellant desperately trying to pursue an appeal from a nonappealable order.