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.

Black attorneys in California disciplined at higher rates, study finds

November 12, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) During the study period, black male attorneys were disbarred or resigned with disciplinary charges pending at a 3.9% rate while the rate for white males was 1%. In addition, black men were placed on disciplinary probation at a 3.2% rate compared to a 0.9% rate for their white male counterparts.

ACLU joins push for lower bar exam passing standard

November 12, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye wrote in a response last month the court shares the groups’ concerns about the impact of declining bar exam success rates on the diversity of the profession but is awaiting the completion of further studies before taking any action on the cut score.

Commentary: Legislating by whim

November 11, 2019 | CALmatters
One of the Legislature’s evident dislikes is President Donald Trump, so it passed a bill last year declaring that to appear on California’s presidential primary ballot, a candidate had to release his or her income tax returns.

No evidence 449,000 noncitizens were registered to vote in California

November 11, 2019 | Politifact
"449,000 Californians turned down jury duty because they were not citizens… but they WERE registered voters," reads the text of the Oct. 2 post. "Let that sink in." This post, which has been shared more than 57,000 times, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

Judicial Profile: Alameda County Judge Jason Chin

November 11, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “He’s the perfect balance between patience and decisiveness,” Nieto said. “He doesn’t jump to a conclusion, he’s very willing and able to hear both sides and he really gets into the merits of arguments, and then ultimately, he’s not afraid to make a decision.”

Court gives second chance to veterans who have trouble fitting into society

November 10, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
Veterans Justice Court meets every Wednesday afternoon in a special courtroom on Polk Street in San Francisco. It hears the cases of military veterans granted a second chance from the regular court system. Many defendants are homeless veterans battling addiction. For some, Begert and the staff of his courtroom seem as close to being a family as it gets for them.
College Staff Celebrates Hard-Won Victory at CA Supreme Court

College Staff Celebrates Hard-Won Victory at CA Supreme Court

November 08, 2019 | Public News Service
Workers challenged a district decision to change their work schedules without having them vote on it as outlined in their contract. The Public Employment Relations Board ruled against the district – and this week, the State Supreme Court let that decision stand.

Council to Consider Priority List for New Courthouse Construction

November 07, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
Before the Legislature will fund any more new courthouse construction projects, the council must reassess its priority list. With help from local courts, a working group of the council’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee and council staff reviewed hundreds of court facilities throughout the state.

2019 Educators Day At The Court: Court and Community Working Together

November 07, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
“Educators Day is intended to bring together experts to provide information and resources for educators to assist them in handling complicated issues they must address on the front lines, long before those issues may wind their way into the court system,” commented Hon. Julia Alloggiamento, Chair of the Court’s Community Outreach and Planning Committee.

Judicial Profile: Alameda County Judge Barbara Dickinson

November 07, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As Dickinson put it, the pendulum has swung toward treatment and mental health programs. For seven months, she helmed one of Alameda County’s collaborative courts, which has calendars for veterans and the homeless with the goal of providing them with the resources to get clean, get into housing and prevent further arrests.

California high court seems leery of law requiring tax returns in presidential primary

November 06, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
California Supreme Court justices signaled Wednesday that Democratic lawmakers probably violated the state Constitution — specifically, a 1972 amendment opening presidential primary elections to all “recognized” candidates — when they required President Trump and his competitors to release their tax returns in order to appear on next year’s primary ballot.

Opinion: Ballot battle looms over Assembly Bill 5

November 06, 2019 | Orange County Register
AB5 is the most nefarious law to come out of the recent legislative session. It codifies the California Supreme Court’s 2018 Dynamex decision, which imposed a strict “ABC Test” on California employers. For a company to use contractors as workers, their workers must a) be free from the company’s control; b) perform tasks that are outside of its main business; and c) operate a truly independent business.

California justices skeptical of requiring Trump tax returns

November 06, 2019 | Associated Press
California Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical Wednesday of a state law requiring President Donald Trump to disclose his tax returns if he wants to be a candidate in the state’s primary election next year.

California Justices Find Cracks in Presidential Tax Returns Law

November 06, 2019 | Bloomberg Tax
If the state’s high court strikes down the ballot-access requirement for violating the California Constitution, no other court could review its interpretation of the state law involved. Although California officials are appealing their loss in related cases in federal court that put the law on hold, the outcome of those cases might not matter.

Opinion: Trump Tax Return Case Hinges on John Roberts

November 06, 2019 | Bloomberg
Fighting to keep his tax returns secret, President Donald Trump will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to grant him “temporary absolute immunity” from any criminal investigation while he’s in office. The case sets up yet another test for the court’s new swing voter, Chief Justice John Roberts, who is devoted to the principle of judicial restraint.

Judicial Profile: Plumas County Judge Douglas Prouty

November 06, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I’m going to be reviewing the pleadings before a hearing or trial, so I want to know above and beyond what the attorneys are going to let me know and not just necessarily go over what’s in the pleading,” Prouty said. “I like to give tentative rulings and give attorneys an idea about what I consider the important issues that we’re going to be dealing with.”

November Is National Adoption Month In Sacramento

November 05, 2019 | Sacramento Patch
In California, there are more than 62,000 youth living in foster care and more than 34,000 waiting for a permanent family. In Sacramento County alone, there are 1,690 children and youth in out-of-home care with about 350 of them needing a loving and affirming forever family.
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