The resignation of Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar from the California Supreme Court becomes effective on Sunday, October 31. Today, we’re beginning a four-part review of Justice Cuéllar’s tenure.
Justice Cuéllar took his seat on the Court on January 5, 2015, replacing retired Justice Marvin Baxter. Since that time, he has participated in 513 cases (assuming no decisions are issued on Thursday October 28.) Two hundred twenty of the cases were civil and the remaining 293 were criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile justice or mental health cases.
The Court’s civil docket reached its high point in 2017, when Justice Cuéllar participated in 42 civil cases. Since that time, the civil caseload has declined almost without interruption: 33 cases in 2018, 34 in 2019, 29 in 2020 and only 19 in 2021.
The criminal docket has been more predictable. The high point of Justice Cuéllar’s tenure was 2016, when he participated in 52 criminal cases. The docket rose to nearly that level in 2018, when he sat on 50 criminal cases. Since that time, the cases have been down: 41 cases in 2019, 42 in 2020 and only 30 in 2021.