Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Farmers Ins. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - July 23, 2013)

My initial reaction to the question "Does the depublication of a case by the California Supreme Court constitute a 'change in law?'" was "No.  It just keeps the law as it was, and expresses no opinion on the merits."

But after I read this opinion, I realized that my first instinct was indeed erroneous.  It does change the law.  It eliminates legal authority that controls a trial court.

For this reason, when a trial court relies exclusively on Case X, and then X gets depublished, a party can move for reconsideration outside of the normal 10-day window under CCP 1008.  Perhaps even more importantly, in a truly unusual case -- like here -- it would be an abuse of discretion to deny the motion for reconsideration in light of the depublication.

Definitely worth knowing.