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.
(Subscription required) In the underlying case, employees at a medical center challenged the legality of a wage order provision that permitted health care workers to waive their second mandatory meal break if they chose.
The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Goodwin Liu means an Orange County hospital will not have to pay penalties and unpaid wages for employees who, under the wage order, waived a second meal period for shifts lasting more than 12 hours.
The California Supreme Court has decided to let stand an appeals court ruling that prevents Moreno Valley developer Iddo Benzeevi from avoiding environmental scrutiny of the sprawling campus of warehouses he wants to build on the city’s east side.
Aimed at students serious about working in law, politics or policy, Elefano’s course enables them to learn the art of legal writing by studying current cases going before the California Supreme Court and then by researching cases to recommend to Southwestern Law School’s Amicus Project. The latter enables law students to gain practical experience by preparing amicus — or “friend of the court” — briefs on a pro bono basis.
As many jurisdictions nationwide begin to re-examine bail practices and, in some cases, implement sweeping reforms, Lew is keeping a close eye on trends and advocating for action locally. Far too many defendants face steep dollar figures they could never possibly meet, he said.
(Subscription required) Both justices had considerable success at finding common ground with their colleagues. Although Justice Liu wrote more often early in his tenure than Justice Moreno did late in his, the data suggests that both justices were relatively similar in their philosophies, and that the gulf between them and the Republican-appointed justices was not all that great.
“Judges get frustrated with the people trying to get out of jury duty,” the ex-judge said. “You have to remember they are not in a position to challenge the explanations they are given, and when a whole bunch of people are trying to get out of it, it makes their job more difficult.
(Subscription required) Nareau has been a district attorney, a defense attorney, a civil attorney, a restaurant owner, a law instructor and women’s basketball coach at Lassen Community College. “He’s kind of a Renaissance man, a jack of all trades,” said Susanville attorney Dan A. Howe.
In a matter of months, California may get an answer on fixing its unsustainable public pension system. The state Supreme Court is due to rule on a politically loaded case that could open the door to peeling back retirement benefits in the name of fiscal need.
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said Wednesday night at a meeting of the Italian American Lawyers Association in Los Angeles that it is anticipated that by the time Brown leaves office on Jan. 7, all superior court vacancies will be filled. Brown has already filled all previously unoccupied seats on the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal.
(Subscription required) Not every case the Riverside County Superior Court judge now handles is a capital matter. Yet Magno, whose friends all call him O.G. in a reference to his grandfather’s name, said he likes to panel the entire jury pool at once, so everyone has a chance to talk.
Appointees include the first Korean-American judge in Alameda County Superior Court, the first Sikh judge ever named to the Sacramento County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area.
The latest appointments appear to leave less than 20 open trial court positions around the state. According to the most recent available data from the Judicial Council of California, there were 32 vacant superior court judgeships as of Nov. 30.
(Subscription required) Building off the momentum of Alameda and San Francisco counties eliminating court administrative fees for people convicted of crimes, a California coalition of legal advocates intends to propose statewide legislation to end the practice.
(Subscription required) In “A Simple Act of Gratitude,” the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge told his autobiographical account of a man whose life was headed in the wrong direction but was able to turn it all around through learning to say “thank you” every day.
The significance of the rejections is magnified by their rarity. The court had not previously responded negatively to any Governor Brown clemency recommendation request, so far granting 65 requests during Brown’s second two terms.
(Subscription required) A state Senate bill that would ban civil arrests, including immigration arrests, in California courthouses has been revived after a similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.
Besides considering whether the cut score should be changed, the Indiana bar exam commission is looking at whether the state should adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. Additionally, the group has been tasked with making recommendations about the grading scale for the written portion of the exam and the number of subjects tested on the exam’s essay portion.
(Subscription required) While people young, male and non-white are still far more likely to be arrested, many of these disparities have narrowed in recent years. Arrest rates are also far higher in rural areas than in the state’s big cities.
(Subscription required) Before her appointment to the Los Angeles County Superior Court last year, she worked as a minors counsel at the Children’s Law Center for six years. She was also directing attorney for the Children’s Rights Project in the six years leading up to her appointment.
Confronting a public pension system with rising deficits, the California Supreme Court seemed inclined Wednesday to approve some legislative reductions in future retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers, but not the far-reaching cuts backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The court’s decision has rattled companies and forced state and federal courts to grapple with unresolved questions. Meanwhile, plaintiffs attorneys find themselves with more leverage to argue against workforce structures that label workers as independent contractors and not employees.
Removing commercial bail from the picture means that these costs are borne directly by taxpayers rather than bail agents, who cost the state nothing. The cost of one court clerk, with all their benefits both before and after retirement, is enormous compared to the cost of bondsmen.