M.C. Sungaila in Daily Journal: Supreme Court Asks for Input on Court Rule Proposal


The state's highest court announced Wednesday it is seeking public comment on a possible amendment to the California Rules of Court that would no longer automatically depublish a Court of Appeal opinion once the Supreme Court granted review of the case.

The proposed change offers two possible rule modifications. The first would allow Court of Appeal opinions to remain published and citable when granted Supreme Court review, and require the opinions to be prominently labeled in print and online with a notice that the case is being reviewed by the high court.

The alternative would be to have appellate opinions be temporarily nonbinding on lower courts while undergoing Supreme Court review. Attorneys could cite the case for persuasiveness, but not for precedential value.

The move would bring the state in line with the rest of the country, where appellate decisions remain binding precedent until a higher court rules otherwise. Comments on the proposed change will be accepted through Sept. 25.

"This proposal is a vast, significant change," said Mary-Christine Sungaila, an appellate partner at Haynes and Boone LLP in Costa Mesa. "The Supreme Court has the power to order that something remain published after granting review now, but the fact is they very rarely use it."

Excerpted from the Daily Journal. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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