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.

Bill to give judges early retirement and deferred benefits vetoed again

October 15, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed state judges to retire early, at age 60, and defer their retirement benefits. This is the second consecutive year a bill to permit judges to retire before age 65 was rejected after passing the Legislature.

California extends new protections to immigrants under laws signed by Newsom

October 14, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
Amid an escalating feud with the Trump administration and its aggressive plans to deport immigrants, California also adopted a new law forbidding immigration agents from making civil arrests inside state courthouses. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye last year said the arrests were “disruptive, shortsighted, and counterproductive ... It is damaging to community safety and disrespects the state court system.”

Time rounding ruling might go before state high court

October 15, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) An appeals court ruling against a class of workers claiming a Hollywood hotel impropriety calculated the premium payments of their meal and rest breaks might end up going before the California Supreme Court but not because of the company's policies to round time from their hours worked, experts said Monday.

Uber hit with new employee classification action

October 14, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) AB 5 reaffirms a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling that implements standards for classifying workers as contractors. Desai and De Castro's lawsuit said UberEATS doesn't pass the test for delivery jobs being outside the usual course of company business.

Prisoners’ advocacy group alleges LA county misappropriating court fees

October 15, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Los Angeles County is charging probationers more money in fines and fees than they are legally required to pay, while also coercing probationers into waiving their right to an “ability to pay” trial, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of current and former prisoners.

Three California Justices Make Liberal Group's SCOTUS Shortlist

October 15, 2019 | The Recorder
The progressive group Demand Justice on Tuesday pitched 32 lawyers, judges, academics and litigators as would-be U.S. Supreme Court nominees under a Democratic president. The list includes three California Supreme Court justices: Leondra Kruger; Goodwin Liu and Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.

Judicial Council Announces 2019 Distinguished Service Awards

October 10, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
Presiding Judge Denniss Justice Perluss and Judge Hilary Chittick are this year’s recipients of the council’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the state court system’s governing body.

Governor asks Supreme Court permission for three more pardons

October 10, 2019 | At the Lectern
The latest requests — all for pardons — are for Brenda Ibanez, Gabriel Garcia, and Shannon Thomas-Bland. The Governor’s cover letters to the court for the three do not disclose the nature of their multiple felonies. On two prior occasions, he did specify what the prior felonies were.
Courthouse project is on schedule

Courthouse project is on schedule

October 11, 2019 | Siskiyou Daily News
Siskiyou County Superior Court’s new courthouse construction project is well underway, with a little over a year to go, according to court executive officer Reneé McCanna Crane. The project’s estimated completion date is December of 2020.

New Dynamex retroactivity ruling could affect high court

October 11, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The appellate court reversed and remanded the case back to Los Angeles County Superior Court after ruling the employee-presumptive, three-prong “ABC” test in Dynamex is “retroactively applicable to pending litigation on wage and hour claims.”

Governor Newsom Signs Bill Hiking State Bar Licensing Fees

October 11, 2019 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
“I am signing Senate Bill 176, which would authorize the State Bar of California to collect increased annual membership fees for 2020 and makes various changes regarding the State Bar. It also states the intent of the Legislature that the State Bar be included as part of the annual budget process for the State of California beginning with fiscal year 2021-22.

Firm tells state high court it’s in bounds of new legal ethics rule

October 10, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The filing was in response to the state high court’s questioning over the representation of convicted murderer James Fayed, who was prosecuted by then-Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson in 2011. Jackson has since joined Fayed’s defense firm, Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. The firm is now handling the appeal, calling into question a new legal ethics rule.

California Lawyers to Pay $544 for Year's License

October 10, 2019 | Bloomberg Law
The 2020 base licensing fees for active California attorneys will increase triple digits, from $123 to $438 under Senate Bill 176 that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law Oct. 9. A license in California will cost $544 after adding a variety of fees.

State Bar has studied nonlawyer practitioners for 30 years

October 10, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The panel suggested in 2015 the bar study the design of a limited license pilot program that would allow nonlawyers to practice law in one agreed-upon subject matter area. The trial program should be constructed in close consultation with the state Supreme Court, the task force said.

Commentary: Setting the record straight on State Bar task force proposals

October 10, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar received nearly 3,000 comments on the task force's options. The task force is considering all of them as it prepares its final report. Public input is important to solving California's significant justice gap. The challenges are great, and all of us need to work together in good faith to solve them.

Supreme Court OK’s clemency for two more

October 09, 2019 | At the Lectern
At Governor Gavin Newsom’s request, the Supreme Court today recommended a sentence commutation for Esdvin Flores and a pardon for Curtis Reynolds. The state constitution required the Governor to get the Supreme Court’s permission because Flores and Reynolds were both convicted of multiple felonies.

Ca. Supreme Court Won't Review Case of Man Convicted in Deadly Crash

October 09, 2019 | mynewsLA
The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review a case involving a man with five prior DUI convictions who was found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges for a drunken crash on Angeles Forest Highway that killed a Los Angeles County employee.

New Law Gives Felons 'Fresh Start' With Jury Eligibility

October 09, 2019 | The Recorder
The “Right to a Jury of Your Peers” law applies to felons who have finished their prison or jail time and are no longer under post-release supervision, including parole and probation. Convicted sex offenders required to register with authorities will remain ineligible for jury pools.
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