Rico v. Mitsubishi: The Inadvertent Disclosure of California’s Flawed Work Product Doctrine

Rules governing attorney conduct in cases of inadvertent disclosure of privileged or protected materials must strike an appropriate balance between two competing bedrocks of American jurisprudence: an attorney’s ethical duty to represent her client zealously, and the evidentiary shield from discovery afforded privileged or protected documents. The California Supreme Court’s holding in Rico v. Mitsubishi […]

Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association: Local Voters, State Propositions, and the Fate of Property Assessments

Since 1978, fiscal limitations imposed by the California Constitution have curbed the ability of local governments to raise revenue. Recently, the California Supreme Court made one of the most important of these limitations even more restrictive. In Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association, Inc. v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, the court held that a property […]

In re Lawrence: Preserving the Possibility of Parole for California Prisoners

The California Supreme Court recently took a key step toward protecting the due process rights of prisoners. The court required the governor or Board of Parole Hearings (the “Board”) to present “some evidence” indicating that an inmate is currently dangerous to withstand judicial review of a decision denying parole. This outcome affects approximately twenty-three thousand […]

North Coast Women’s Care: California’s Still-Undefined Standard for Protecting Religious Freedom

Ever since reproductive technology became widely available to treat fertility problems, some physicians have tried to limit access to this technology for various reasons, including the age, marital status, and sexual orientation of patients. In a landmark ruling, the California Supreme Court recently held that clinic physicians may not deny lesbians access to fertility treatment […]

The Marriage Cases – Reversing the Burden of Inertia in a Pluralist Constitutional Democracy

The California Supreme Court has replaced the New York Court of Appeals, the federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court as the court at the cutting edge of many issues in American public law. The process of displacement probably began long ago, perhaps as early as 1948, when the […]

Judicial Opinions as Public Rhetoric

By any measure, the California Supreme Court’s decision in In re Marriage Cases is the most significant in the last year and in recent memory. Chief Justice George’s opinion thoroughly and forcefully explains why gay and lesbian individuals have the right to marry under the California Constitution. This conclusion is founded on basic principles of […]