The big legal issues du jour get thrashed out at the concurrent State Bar and California Judges Association conventions each year. But what will be the issues of the next jour?
A potential big one that surfaced a couple of times at the conferences in Monterey this weekend were the disappearing court reporters phenomenon and the monkey wrench it could throw into appeals.
California's Rules of Court require that a transcript of proceedings be filed with writ petitions, noted Susan Horst, a senior writ attorney at the First District Court of Appeal, during a Saturday program on writ practice. It's unclear how the appellate courts will treat the rule when proceedings weren't transcribed, she said. In the meantime, she encouraged counsel to bring a reporter to court whenever appellate review could be in the offing.
A similar concern was aired at a CJA program on making record for the appellate courts. When former Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno emphasized the importance of putting settlements on the record, a judge in the audience asked what he would do if there's no reporter on hand to create the record.
He and Moreno, who is now of counsel at Irell & Manella, agreed that the parties would probably need to type up an agreement and sign it.