Scotia Hicks has been appointed as interim director of the James Patterson McBaine Honors Competition. The McBaine competition is Berkeley Law’s premier advanced-level moot court competition. The competition format is modeled after United States Supreme Court practice, and cases chosen for the competition involve issues of great public importance. This year’s case is Garco Construction v. Secretary of the Army. The case asks the Court to consider whether it was proper for a military base to make a unilateral and significant change to its policy concerning access to the base, to the detriment of a construction company contracted to build housing units on site. Judges for the final round of this year’s McBaine competition will be Judge David Tatel, United States Circuit Court Judge for the D.C. Circuit; Judge Michelle Friedland, United States Circuit Court Judge for the Ninth Circuit; and Justice Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court.
Scotia Hicks joined the faculty of Berkeley Law as a lecturer, where she taught Appellate Advocacy this fall. The class requires students to evaluate a real case pending before the California Supreme Court, and brief and argue the case as though they represent the actual litigants. This year’s case was Mathews v. Becerra, Case No. S240156. The case presents the issue of whether California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act violates therapy patients’ Constitutional right to privacy by requiring therapists to make a report when a patient discloses he has viewed child pornography.
Allison Ehlert is counsel to the plaintiff in Stewart v. San Luis Ambulance, Inc., Case No. S246255, which raises significant questions of law concerning what constitutes lawful meal and rest breaks for EMTs and paramedics who work 24-hour shifts. The case also raises questions that could affect all California non-exempt employees whose employers fail to pay them the “premium wages” they are owed for unlawful meal and rest breaks. The opening briefing in the case may be reviewed by clicking here, and the reply briefing can be reviewed by clicking here
Allison Ehlert and Scotia Hicks authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance and numerous public health researchers and organizations in the case of Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Blair, Case No. 18-96. The question before the Court is whether the Twenty-first Amendment, which ended Prohibition, authorizes a Tennessee regulation that requires retailers who wish to sell alcohol to have first lived in the state for a specified period of time. The amicus brief focused on the proven benefits of state regulations, like Tennessee’s, in curbing alcohol misuse, which remains a leading cause of death and disease in the United States. The Court heard argument in January 2019, and a decision is expected by June. The brief can be read by clicking here.