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Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 13, 2017

Pitzer College, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Indian Harbor Insurance Company, Defendant-Appellee.

         D.C. No. 2:13-cv-05863-GW-E

          Michael J. Murtaugh, Lawrence J. DiPinto, and Thomas N. Fay, Murtaugh Meyer Nelson & Treglia LLP, Irvine, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

          Max H. Stern and Jessica E. La Londe, Duane Morris LLP, San Francisco, California; Katherine Nichols, Duane Morris LLP, Los Angeles, California; for Defendant-Appellee.

          Before: Harry Pregerson, Richard A. Paez, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, Circuit Judges.

         ORDER CERTIFYING QUESTIONS TO THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT

         SUMMARY [*]

         Certification to California Supreme Court The panel certified the following questions of state law to the California Supreme Court:

         1. Is California's common law notice-prejudice rule a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis? May common law rules other than unconscionability not enshrined in statute, regulation, or the constitution, be fundamental public policies for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis?

         2. If the notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis, can a consent provision in a first-party claim insurance policy be interpreted as a notice provision such that the notice-prejudice rule applies?

         ORDER

         We certify the questions set forth in Part II of this order to the California Supreme Court. The answers to these questions are dispositive of the case, without clear California precedent, and important to protections for California insureds. See Cal. R. Ct. 8.548. We therefore respectfully request that the California Supreme Court exercise its discretion to decide the certified questions presented below. Absent certification, we will "predict as best we can what the California Supreme Court would do in these circumstances." Pacheco v. United States, 220 F.3d 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000).

         I. Administrative Information We provide the following information in accordance with California Rule of Court 8.548(b)(1).

         The caption of this case is:

No. 14-56017
PITZER COLLEGE, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
INDIAN HARBOR INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant and ...

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