Last week, we began our look at the California Supreme Court’s experience since 1994 in appeals which originated in certified questions from the Ninth Circuit. This week, we continue our analysis, looking at how often the defense wins such cases, how closely divided the cases tend to be, and how long they take.
First, let’s gather up last week’s data, which we presented year-by-year, on the subject matter areas of the certified question appeals. The court has heard six tort law cases, six each in constitutional and insurance law, five employment law cases, four civil procedure cases, three cases in government and administrative law, two in commercial law, and one each about consumer law, public pensions, election law, arbitration law, environmental law and wills & estates.
Not surprisingly, since the California Supreme Court tends to be at least moderately liberal in most civil law issues, the defense side has not fared especially well in the certified question cases. The defense won the consumer law and wills and estates cases. The defense lost the public pensions, election law, arbitration law and environmental law cases. The defense has won two-thirds of the insurance law cases, half the commercial law cases and forty percent of the employment cases. Finally, the defense side has won a third of the constitutional law and tort law cases.
Join us back here tomorrow as we conclude our two-week analysis of the Court’s civil certified question appeals.