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.
The justices issued an order Monday recusing themselves from a lawsuit over tens of millions of dollars in back pay and benefits to the state’s judges. The justices have previously all recused themselves only twice in the past 30 years.
The California Supreme Court is set next month to hear an automatic appeal filed on behalf of one of three men on death row for the December 1998 rape and beating death of a mother of three attacked while walking to a store in Long Beach.
An attorney for Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to recommend whether former state Sen. Rod Wright should be pardoned for his felony convictions in 2014 on charges of voter fraud and perjury for lying about living in his district.
On Oct. 30, Superior Court Judge Gary T. Friedman retires after a 35-year career on the bench marked by a strong moral sense, unflagging commitment to fairness and a soothing courtroom demeanor in which he combined an apparent sincere concern for all parties with a gentle humor that more often than not poked fun at himself.
Dynamex replaced these nine factors with a one-size-fits-all regime that threatens to reclassify independent contractors into traditional employees. Reclassification imposes a battery of onerous rules and regulations onto workers, potentially forcing them out of their professions altogether.
(Subscription required) The group will consider new rules of court and policies to increase awareness of impermissible conduct, set reporting requirements, consider additional resources to address complaints, and consider changes to workplace training, according to a news release Thursday from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
(Subscription required) Making good on his promise to diversify the California judiciary, Brown appointed 15 women, nine Latinos, and several people from legal specialties that have not traditionally been well represented on the bench. Just nine of the new judges were non-Hispanic white men.
(Subscription required) Attorneys representing former Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky say that counsel for Michele Dauber, leader of a recall campaign, does not deserve fees for defending against legal challenges to the initiative to oust the judge.
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Thursday created a new work group to study and make recommendations for how the judicial branch can prevent and address harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate workplace conduct.
"Institutions and industries across our country, including our judicial branch, have rightfully been focusing on issues of harassment and discrimination in the workplace," she said in a statement Thursday.
“I am incredibly honored to be the first Asian-American serving on the bench and perhaps the first person of the Sikh faith to serve on the bench,” Sandhu said. “Diversity on the bench ensures all members of the community are served.”
Thursday's ruling makes Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. According to the ACLU, this state supreme court is the third to do so citing concerns about racial disparities, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Rosen contends that SB 1391 unlawfully subverts Proposition 57 — which transferred the power to charge juveniles as adults from prosecutors to judges — by removing judges from the equation when it comes to 14- and 15-year-olds.
(Subscription required) The most significant changes may prove to be the ones associated with campaigns. Judges are now barred from soliciting judicial campaign funds from court staff, retired judges, or anyone else for whom a request for donations might appear “coercive.”
(Subscription required) Amici briefs filed with the state Supreme Court Wednesday show widespread desire for the justices to weigh in on the contentious bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in August that eliminates money bail.
“There are still important procedures and crime definitions that must be developed by the state’s Judicial Council and California counties,” said Sheriff Bill Brown, “so to some extent the devil will be in the details.”
Financial bail lets wealthy people who may pose a risk buy their freedom, the brief says, while people of modest means are stuck in jail regardless of their risk levels. This violates their constitutional rights, the brief argues.
(Subscription required) As the dust settles on the State Bar’s January reorganization and recovery from several years of scandal, the chair of the State Bar’s Board of Trustees said this is the perfect time to refocus on the bar’s commitment to public protection.
(Subscription required) Now overseeing his own dependency calendar at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Courthouse, Bianco likes to expedite things when he can. For example, for a home study, required when a family is trying to be approved for foster care or adoption, the judge knows certain tasks take only a week.
The City Council voted 8 to 1 this week in a session closed to the public to file the federal appeal, which could overturn a state Supreme Court decision in August ruling that the pension cuts were not legally placed on the ballot in 2012.
Local officials say that while the so-called “2,000-foot rule” is still technically on the books, it’s been unenforceable since 2015, when the state Supreme Court found that the residency requirements as applied evenly to all of California’s convicted sex offenders was unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court of California on Wednesday unanimously adopted a slate of amendments to the California Code of Judicial Ethics, including additions that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression, offer guidance on the use of social media, and allow judges to accept certain nominal gifts.
(Subscription required) “I’m here in a criminal assignment, but I’ve never practiced criminal law before,” the judge said. He added the assignment has taken enormous effort, and he has immersed himself in criminal law and procedure.
A look back at the highlights of the California Supreme Court's 2017-2018 court year, including live webcasts of oral arguments, dealing with a vacant seat on the court, and revisions to the attorney conduct code.