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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.

Sonoma County courts to reopen Monday

October 18, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As smoke lingers in the Santa Rosa air due to the ongoing Northern California fires, the Sonoma County courts will remain closed for the rest of the week with plans to reopen Monday.

Opinion: Passing the Bar

October 18, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The current discussion about whether to lower the passing score on the California bar examination to match that of other states raises questions about how much bearing the exam has on determining who will be a good lawyer and what is the future of the legal profession in California.

Costs of money bail to justice

October 17, 2017 | Harvard Law Review Blog
With roughly 90% of all court cases litigated in state court justice systems, judicial branch leadership in every state is taking the need for rethinking and reform seriously.

Sonoma County courts remain closed due to safety concerns

October 17, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Even though thousands of residents are returning to their homes after the wildfires, Sonoma County courts will remain closed until at least Wednesday due to mandatory evacuation. “We need to make certain that the health and safety of the public and court staff is protected before allowing court business to continue,” said Acting Presiding Judge Gary Nadler in a statement.

Youth Incarceration Policy in the United States, Explained

October 17, 2017 | Teen Vogue
Across the country, leaders from both political parties are finding common ground and the political will to prioritize rehabilitation, redemption, and second chances for young people. Twenty states have now banned the practice of sending children to prison for life without the possibility for parole.

Governor vetoes bill to regulate out-of-state transcribing services

October 17, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Court Reporters Board of California failed in its bid to regulate out-of-state deposition transcribing services. Gov. Jerry Brown wrote that he vetoed a board-backed bill Sunday because of litigation brought by in-state court reporters themselves.

Bar committee rejects blue-ribbon panel proposal to study exam

October 16, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Committee of Bar Examiners on Friday rejected a proposal to ask the state Supreme Court to establish a blue ribbon commission that would evaluate the content, format and design of the bar exam.

Mendocino County courthouses isolated due to spreading wildfire

October 13, 2017 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “It’s getting worse because, although the fires were very large, the fires were contained within [Sonoma County],” Turner said. “Now that the fires are crossing counties and major roadways, I don’t know how people will get to court. It’s a big problem.”

Boy hurt by fallen tree can sue San Mateo County

October 12, 2017 | San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for a 12-year-old boy, who was nearly killed when a 72-foot tree fell on his tent at a San Mateo County park, to sue the county for road-building and construction activities that allegedly helped to cause the collapse.

Courts Sidestep the Law, and South Carolina’s Poor Go to Jail

October 12, 2017 | New York Times
Larry Marsh has a history of mental illness and drug addiction. Homeless, he has no place to go. The police in this city have arrested or cited him more than 270 times for trespassing. In December, they got him four times in one day.

George Nicholson to Retire From Third District Court of Appeal

October 12, 2017 | Met News
George Nicholson—who was an outspoken critic of then-Chief Justice Rose Bird while executive director of the California District Attorneys Association from 1976-79 and was the Republican Party’s unsuccessful candidate for attorney general in 1982—yesterday announced his retirement as a justice of the Third District Court of Appeal, effective Jan. 2.

U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell Dies

October 12, 2017 | Met News
Los Angeles Superior Court Daniel J. Buckley—on whose court O’Connell served from 2005 until her appointment to the federal court in 2013—said in an email to colleagues: “For years Bev has been the most beloved judicial officer in our county—actually, in our state—no matter the jurisdiction, level or assignment. When you were in the room with Bev, she made you feel special".
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