Litigation

Cal. Litig. 2023, Volume 36, Issue 2

WHY I DID IT THE WAY I DID IT

GOING PUBLIC ON THE THIRD DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

Written by Jon B. Eisenberg*

In 2021, I complained to the California Commission on Judicial Performance about egregious decisional delays by four justices of the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District in Sacramento — Administrative Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye and Associate Justices William J. Murray, Cole Blease, and Harry E. Hull. Cumulatively, during 2018-2021, those four justices allowed hundreds of appeals to languish undecided for periods between two and eight years after the completion of briefing, with many instances where criminal sentences were reversed or reduced after they had been fully served.

In 2022, the CJP took disciplinary action against Justice Raye, forcing him to retire and publicly admonishing him. The CJP never dealt with Justice Blease, instead simply closing his case after he passed away. As of this writing, the CJP has advised me that it has not yet reached a decision about Justice Murray, who voluntarily retired, or Justice Hull, who continues to sit on the Third District bench.

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