NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Should psychotherapists be required to report patients who look at child porn?

December 08, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court will soon decide whether to revive a challenge to the law brought by therapists who treat people for sexual compulsions. Instead of helping children, the therapists argue, the new reporting requirement will discourage people from seeking help for porn addictions and other sexual proclivities.

Mental Health Court roundup outlines successes, future goals

December 07, 2019 | Davis Enterprise
The Yolo County Mental Health Court team has published its outcome measures for fiscal year 2018-19, showing significant reductions in arrests, jail bed days and hospital bed days of Mental Health Court participants.

State Bar plans to prepare extra questions for exam

December 09, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar is working to prevent another premature leak of bar exam test topics but is also taking measures to give the agency more options for how to respond if a similar snafu occurs. Amy Nunez, the bar’s director of admissions, told the panel in 2020 the bar plans “to create additional exam questions to have a reserve bank on hand if this ever were to become necessary.”

Judicial Profile: Santa Clara County Judge Edward Lee

December 09, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Lee is a man of many other hobbies and a former police officer from Southern California who’s wrapping up his 27th year as a judge in Santa Clara County. He oversees a felony arraignments and settlements calendar, and the jurist speaks modestly about how much his bench experience factors into trying to get parties on the same page.

Operation Mobile Justice

December 06, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
To prepare for potential emergencies, the court collaborated with Cal State Fullerton to practice using the campus’s emergency operations center as a makeshift courtroom.

Judicial Profile: Riverside County Judge Eric Keen

December 06, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When asked what finding justice in any individual case meant, Keen said it could mean enrolling a person with a drug addiction into a treatment program rather than sending them to state prison. He also spoke about recent changes to the law he said gave him more discretion when it comes to adding or declining to add enhancements.

Jan. 21: Commission to Consider Appointment to First Appellate District

December 05, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
If confirmed, Judge Teri L. Jackson would be the court's first African-American female justice. She was the first African-American woman ever appointed to the San Francisco County Superior Court when she was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2002.

Do multiple damages apply to burned trees?

December 05, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The question in Scholes v. Lambirth Trucking Co. lies in the interpretation of Civil Code 3346, which states victims can seek triple damages for "wrongful injuries to timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another" or double if the trespass was "casual or involuntary."

Opinion: Gunfight at the Supreme Court

December 05, 2019 | New York Times
In the faraway land of not-too-long ago, it was judicial conservatives who invoked the virtues of judicial modesty and relied on doctrines like mootness and standing to keep cases out of court. Now, seemingly, it’s come down to this: whatever it takes.

Judicial Profile: Santa Clara County Judge Socrates Manoukian

December 05, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I hated it when I would put my heart and soul into the papers and passionately argue and the judge just says, ‘Motion denied. Next case,’” he explained. “I was like, ‘What happened?’ I hated that as a lawyer, and I hate doing that as a judge. So I try to get the point across that I understand what they’re talking about, and if I don’t, educate me.”

San Diegans who entered death row in the last 16 years

December 04, 2019 | San Diego Reader
While 37 other prisoners who were convicted and sentenced to death in San Diego remain on what is officially known as the “Condemned Unit” at San Quentin State Prison, neither they nor the 695 other Californians who have been condemned to die at the state’s hands are likely to do so.

Federal courts says California OK in forcing shifts to district elections

December 04, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
A federal appeals court rejected a conservative organization’s challenge Wednesday to the California Voting Rights Act, a law that seeks to further minority representation by requiring a substantial number of local governments and public agencies to switch from at-large to district elections.

Column: Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar by the numbers

December 04, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice Cuéllar has written opinions in 11 areas of criminal law. Most were in death penalty cases: 17 decisions, including 11 majority opinions. Justice Cuéllar has written seven decisions on sentencing law (six of them majorities), seven on constitutional law (five majorities), three on criminal procedure (two majorities), three on violent crimes (two majorities) and two decisions involving property crimes (both majorities). Finally, he has written one opinion each -- all majorities -- relating to habeas corpus, juvenile justice, political crimes and sexual offenses.

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Craig Barnes

December 04, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Barnes suggested his early experience in court helped shape his life for the better. “I am a product of a judicial system that helped me as I was growing up, and I saw just how beneficial it can be when good people who are committed to the rule of law and that really apply themselves and take it seriously are engaged,” he said. “The benefit that I got from the system allowed me to have a measure of stability that allowed me to be successful.”

The California Supreme Court to Decide Dynamex Retroactivity

December 03, 2019 | The National Law Review
The California Supreme Court announced that it would decide whether its April 30, 2018 landmark Dynamex decision is retroactive. The Supreme Court’s determination will have a significant impact on companies utilizing independent contractors in California.

Opinion: Court Decisions and Partisanship

December 03, 2019 | Fox&Hounds
As concern over courts being influenced by the country’s partisan divide fester, the California Supreme Court set an example of stepping around politics when it unanimously decided to quash California’s recent law to prohibit presidential candidates from appearing on statewide ballots without first producing their tax returns.

Opinion: Why juvenile court jurisdiction should be expanded to age 25

December 03, 2019 | The Mercury News
All of these considerations lead to the conclusion that for the few youths who are not ready to live on their own, they should remain under juvenile court jurisdiction beyond 21, even to age 25. Many of these will drop out of juvenile court jurisdiction in one or two years, but a very few will need support until 25.

Judicial Profile: Stanislaus County Judge Sandip Sandhu

December 02, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) He intends to continue his approach of creating an environment that isn’t frightening, especially for defendants making their first appearance in court. “I want to be a little more conversational with the individuals,” Sandhu said. “I want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.”

Federal-state split over cameras in courtrooms

December 01, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
California’s Supreme Court has been televising its hearings for years, hoping to make the sometimes-obscure legal process more accessible to the public. The U.S. Supreme Court, on the other hand, forbids all cameras — still or live — on the grounds that they might encourage grandstanding by the participants and “sound bite” coverage by TV networks.
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