California Supreme Court Watch

Berroteran v. Superior Court, S259522.

#20-36 Berroteran v. Superior Court, S259522. (B296639; 41 Cal.App.5th 518; Los Angeles County Superior Court; BC542525.)  Petition for review after the Court of Appeal granted a petition for peremptory writ of mandate. This case presents the following issue: Does a party against whom former deposition testimony in a different case is sought to be admitted at trial under Evidence Code section 1291, subdivision (a)(2), have a similar interest and motive at both hearings to cross-examine a friendly witness?

Petition for review granted: 02/11/2020

Opinion filed: Judgment reversed: 3/07/2022

See the California Court of Appeal Opinion.

See the Petition for Review.

See the Answer to Petition for Review.

See the Oral Argument.

See the California Supreme Court Opinion.  (Berroteran v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (2022) 12 Cal.5th 867.)

“We will conclude that the appellate court’s analysis is incompatible with (1) the established principle that the party proposing to introduce evidence under section 1291(a)(2)’s former testimony exception to the hearsay rule bears the burden of establishing the requirements for admission, and (2) the Legislature’s official comment, reflecting its understanding when it enacted the provision at issue as part of the Evidence Code in 1965. Accordingly, we will reverse the judgment, and provide guidance for future resolution of similar issues.”

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye authored the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Corrigan, Liu, Kruger, Groban, Jenkins, and Manella concurred.