March 31, 2009

How Will the California Supreme Court React to the Williams III Cert. Dismissal?

As we noted below, the U.S. Supreme Court today dismissed certiorari in Philip Morris v. Williams (Williams III). Among the many questions raised by the dismissal is what will happen in Buell-Wilson v. Ford, currently pending before the California Supreme Court.

The Cal. Supremes granted review in Buell-Wilson last summer, but deferred briefing pending the disposition of Williams III. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed Williams III without a decision , the Cal. Supreme Court will either have to order briefing in Buell-Wilson and address the issue that was unaddressed in Williams III, or dismiss review in that case as well. As my co-blogger Jeremy Rosen pointed out, two of the three issues raised in the Buell-Wilson petition for review are not dependent on the outcome of Williams III, so even if the court decides not to address the Williams III issue, it may decide to resolve these issues.