The California Supreme Court has released its agenda for hearings December 7, which will include oral argument for three cases that CJAC has weighed in on.
One of the cases is Berroteran v. Superior Court (Ford Motor). CJAC submitted an amicus brief in the case last November, which concerns the admissibility of hearsay deposition testimony at trial. Specifically, there is an express conflict between two published court of appeal opinions concerning the proper interpretation of Evidence Code section 1291. The issue: Must trial courts applying section 1291 assume that counsel in a past deposition had the same motive and interest to cross-examine a friendly witness about every issue that may be relevant to similar future litigation so the past deposition can be admitted as trial testimony for that witness should those future lawsuits materialize?
Another case set for argument is Marisol Lopez v. Glenn Ledesma, M.D., for which CJAC submitted an amicus brief in March. The issue: Does MICRA’s $250,000 ceiling on recoverable non-economic damages in a medical malpractice action apply to professional negligence claims against physician assistants when they are only nominally supervised by a doctor?
Finally, oral argument will take place in Sheen v. Wells Fargo Bank. In this case, the plaintiff sued after losing his La Crescenta home to foreclosure in 2014. The issue here is whether a loan servicer owes a borrower a duty of care in processing or negotiating a mortgage modification. CJAC’s amicus brief, filed last year, argued that if the Court imposes a tort duty upon lenders to consider mortgage modification for borrowers in default on their junior loan payments (in addition to current statutory requirements and financial motivations), courts will be deluged with lawsuits requiring the micromanaging of foreclosures, which will result in increased costs and delays.