A Tranquil High Court? And other legal cases & trends this week ending June 16, 2023

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
June 16, 2023

Here are some legal trends and trivia from this week:

  • 🏛U.S. Supreme Court: Liberal justices' 'dissent rate' lowest since Roberts joined in 2005. (Wash. Examiner)
  • 👩But women are underrepresented at oral argument at the Supreme Court: just 20 women—19% of the 103 total advocates— argued before the justices. (Ben Shatz)
  • ⏳Cal. Supreme Court is taking longer to decide its cases. (David Ettinger)
  • 👍But the Cal. Supreme Court ranks high in diversity, says the Brennan Center for Justice. (David Ettinger)
  • 🤔Cal. Supreme Court bars treble damages against a public entity for child sex abuse coverup because government can’t be liable for punitive damages. Los Angeles Unified School District v. Superior Court (Doe), 2023 S.O.S. 1809. (MetNews) The holding overrules three of the Court’s prior cases. (David Ettinger)
  • 💲But trial court was justified in imposing evidentiary sanctions on a school district for negligently erasing a videotape of a sexual assault on a student. Victor Valley Union High School District v. Superior Court (Doe), 2023 S.O.S. 1731. (MetNews)
  • 🎵Check your break room jukebox: The Ninth Circuit, reversing a trial court's dismissal, holds that it might well constitute sexual harassment for a business to play "sexually derogatory" or "misogynistic" music in the workplace. Sharp v. S&S Activewear (9th Cir. - June 7, 2023). (SoCalAppNews)
  • 📕Who likes legalese? No one—not even lawyers. So researchers drilled down to the cause: the “copy-and-paste hypothesis”: lawyers imitate what previous lawyers have done because the legalese can be incorporated routinely into contracts drafted for clients. (Ben Shatz)
  • 😶Look out, UC Berkeley: The “Berkeley Library” naming has been canceled by Ireland’s premier university, Trinity College. A NY Times piece on the change noted that the library’s namesake “owned slaves in colonial Rhode Island and wrote pamphlets supportive of slavery.” (SoCalAppNews) Unless you are prepared to yield everything, yield nothing.

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at www.CALPodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys at www.tvalaw.com/articles. Contact Tim at tkowal@tvalaw.com or (714) 641-1232.

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