August 21, 2020
The California Supreme Court Round-Up previews upcoming cases and summarizes select opinions issued by the Court. This edition includes opinions handed down from December 2019 through August 2020, organized by subject. Each entry contains a description of the case, as well as a substantive analysis of the Court’s decision.
Updates From the Court
Justice Ming Chin will be retiring at the end of August 2020, after 24 years of service on the Court. At the June oral argument, his colleagues presented a virtual tribute, and Justice Chin remarked that the current pandemic could provide an opportunity to improve the judicial system. “The future of law and the future of the courts will be virtual and remote,” Justice Chin said. Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to announce Justice Chin’s successor before the end of the year.
No update would be complete without recognizing the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the decisive actions of the Chief Justice, Supreme Court, and Judicial Council to preserve the health and safety of the courts, judges and staff, and litigants. Since March 2020, the Chief Justice has issued numerous orders announcing emergency measures and implementing emergency Rules of Court approved by the Judicial Council, which suspended court operations and jury trials, tolled civil and criminal case deadlines, and suspended almost all unlawful detainer actions statewide through September 1. The Chief Justice also approved dozens of superior court and Court of Appeal emergency orders, which permitted those courts to implement their own emergency measures and rules. The Court will continue its recent practice of hearing oral argument virtually through at least the end of 2020, and if it does resume in-person hearings in 2021 they will take place only in San Francisco. Finally, the Supreme Court ordered the postponement of the July 2020 Bar examination to October 2020, and ordered the State Bar to make every effort to administer the examination online.
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