So Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) moves a bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. After extensions were granted, the Petitioner and the Real Parties in Interest will both file their consolidated answers to amicus briefs on October 8, 2009. But that's no small task; by my quick count, there are 22 amicus briefs filed in Brinker (view the docket). That's twenty-two, give or take, in case you thought I double-clutched on the keyboard. I'd say good cause exists for an extension to file consolidated answers. Now, without having seen the amicus briefs, what do think the odds are that most of those amicus briefs (1) do nothing but repeat arguments that were in the 100+ page briefs by the parties, and/or (2) repeat other amicus briefs? My bet is that about 90% of the amicus briefing from both sides could be run through a shredder with no loss of any argument.
Turning back to the timetable for resolution, imagine that you are a research attorney at the Supreme Court. Imagine you have cases to review aside from Brinker. Imagine you receive a couple of briefs in the 125-page range and around 22 amicus briefs. Imagine they fall on you and crush your spine. How long do you think it would take you to work up a draft opinion with a Justice? Factor in the holidays, and I now think that my estimate of oral argument in March 2010 is a very optimistic. I'm officially adjusting The Complex Litigator's Brinker Opinion Release Date from June 2010 to August 2010. I should work up a graphic for this, like "Stormwatch Winter 2009" or "Firestorm!" It will need shading and some sort of 3-D effect.
And we have a logo. Look for this striking image as a clue to breaking news about Brinker. I know I promised something with a strange 3-D effect, but the American flag motif captures the spirit of this epic struggle.