Appellate Court to Hold Hearings at Law School

California Supreme Court justices listen to oral arguments in King Hall in 2012.
California Supreme Court justices listen to oral arguments in King Hall in 2012. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

UC Davis law students will see a real-world example of their studies next week as two state appellate court hearings are held in King Hall, overseen by a panel of judges that includes two alumni.

Kathleen Butz

The 3rd District Court of Appeal panel will hear arguments in two cases beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in King Hall’s Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom. The event is open to the public; attendees should plan extra time to go through a security screening.

The three-judge panel assembled for the hearing includes Associate Justices Kathleen Butz ’72, J.D. ’81, Louis Mauro, J.D. ’87, and William Murray. They’ll hear arguments in a dispute between a restaurant and a customer who was injured, and a disagreement between a district attorney and police over how to investigate a fatal shooting by an officer.

Louis Mauro

In the first case, Edgar Ward Jones v. Whiskey Creek Restaurants Inc., a man sued a Mammoth Lakes restaurant and bar, saying it should have taken steps to prevent vandals from removing a snow grate on a deck. Jones fell through the opening and was injured as he left the business in 2011; a lower court ruled in favor of the restaurant, which has since closed, and Jones is appealing.

The second case is the People of the State of California v. the Superior Court of El Dorado County and the South Lake Tahoe Police Officers Association, et al., centering on a 2015 law that bans California grand juries from investigating fatal police shootings.

William Murray

The El Dorado County district attorney argues the law is unconstitutional, and that he should be allowed to use a grand jury to decide whether to bring charges against South Lake Tahoe police for shooting and killing 22-year-old Kris Jackson as he fled a motel in 2015. Attorneys for the city of South Lake Tahoe, its police chief and unions disagree, saying the district attorney should bring charges against the officer if he thinks the shooting was unjustified.

After arguments are presented in both cases, the justices will discuss their career paths with students and conduct a question-and-answer session. The justices are not permitted to answer questions about the cases.

No electronic devices, backpacks, knives or self-defense weapons will be allowed into the hearings. More information on the security screenings is available on the School of Law’s website.

King Hall hosted the 3rd District Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of California in 2012; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held arguments there in 2011.

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