On December 20, 2012, we issued an alert regarding the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, where the California Court of Appeal held that design professionals owe a duty of care to condo homeowners for professional negligence.
On February 27, 2013, a unanimous Supreme Court voted to grant the petition for review. Appellate review by the California Supreme Court is a matter of discretion, and the review is granted generally “when necessary to secure uniformity of decision or to settle an important question of law.” Rules of Court, Rule 8.500. As we stated in our December Alert, there is a split among the circuits regarding the extent a duty of care will be imposed upon professionals. The immediate impact of the Supreme Court’s action is to render the Court of Appeal opinion void. Under California rules, the Court of Appeal opinion may not be cited as authority.