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News Posted on October 4, 2012

UC Davis School of Law Hosts California Supreme Court Oral Arguments

California Supreme Court at King Hall

The Supreme Court of California held a special session in UC Davis School of Law's Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom on October 3.  With Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye '84 presiding, the Justices heard oral arguments in three cases and participated in a question-and-answer session with King Hall students and students from local high schools. The Court sessions drew coverage from media including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, The Recorder, and the Davis Enterprise. In addition, UC Davis NewsWatch produced a video on the session that is available on Youtube.

Photo album: California Supreme Court at King Hall 

UC Davis NewsWatch video

"It is indeed a privilege to have the highest Court of this great state, its staff, counsel, and special guests here today for this historic event," said Dean Kevin R. Johnson in his welcoming remarks. "We are proud of our relationship with the Court, which includes having a former Justice on the California Supreme Court, Professor Cruz Reynoso, on our faculty, an alumna who is Chief Justice, and a new California Supreme Court Clinic, which just opened and now offers our students a chance to brief cases before the Court."

Dean Johnson thanked Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye for her role in bringing the special session to King Hall.  "A loyal alum, the Chief Justice is always extremely generous with her time and knowledge and visits King Hall regularly," he said. "She spoke at commencement 2011 and has come for many years to speak to the first-year class."

"I am particularly pleased to be here at the UC Davis School of Law," said the Chief Justice. "I graduated from this school in 1984, and have nothing but fond memories of my professors and fellow students, as well as deep appreciation for the school for helping launch my career in the law.  The school was noted for its innovative approach to legal education, and that hasn't changed. This fall the school began operating the California Supreme Court Clinic, which gives students the invaluable opportunity to work on actual cases pending before our court."

The Court heard oral arguments in Ralphs Grocery Co. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8, Nalwa v. Cedar Fair, L.P., and Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern California et al. (Information about these cases can be found at

King Hall students, faculty, and staff packed the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom and two classrooms where the proceedings were shown on live video via the California Channel, and many more watched on video screens around King Hall. 

Also observing were 60 students from Davis Senior High School, Pioneer High School in Woodland, and West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter School. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye praised Shama Mesiwala '98, an appellate attorney in the Third District Court of Appeal, for volunteering her time to help prepare the high school students for the event.   "Like me, Shama is a proud graduate of UC Davis School of Law and represents the public service ethos that pervades this school," she said.

The California Supreme Court sessions came just one week after the Law School hosted the California Third District Court of Appeal in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom.  The state-of-the-art facility, completed in recent years, also has enabled the Law School to host sessions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the 2010 California Attorney General candidates' debate, and other high-profile events.

Los Angeles Times

San Francisco Chronicle

Sacramento Bee

The Recorder

Davis Enterprise