The budget challenge faced by the California court system has been publicized for years. For over 10 years, individualized case management conferences have been considered the best way for the court to oversee civil litigation. However, as a result of the courts’ very limited resources, effective February 26, 2013, the Judicial Council has amended California Rules of Court, Rules 3.712 and 3.720, to allow individual courts to exempt certain categories of general civil cases from the current mandatory case management rules. The new rules apply to all cases filed before January 1, 2016. Pursuant to the recent rule change, the Los Angeles County Superior Court recently exempted personal injury actions and limited civil cases from the mandatory case management conferences. Instead, the court will set trial dates and make other case management orders, by issuing individual orders in individual cases. It remains to be seen how other Superior Courts will respond to the recent rule change. Stay tuned for further updates.
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) intends to censor, silence, or intimidate individuals by saddling them with a lawsuit until they are silenced. Most California litigators have at least heard of the statute, but many litigators do not know how the statute applies in federal court. In an article published in the San Francisco Daily Journal on April 30, 2012, Marc Lewis examines the application of the anti-SLAPP statute in federal court.