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 its Wednesday conference, the high court granted review for two cases dealing with Senate Bill 1393 that had different outcomes at the appellate level. The bill, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last September and enacted Jan. 1, empowers trial judges to strike prior serious felony convictions that require a five-year enhancement.
Converse and Nike will argue separate cases before a federal appeals court over whether workers should be paid for time spent in post-shift security checks of their bags, even if it means just seconds or minutes.
This year, a landmark case challenging the constitutionality of money bail is expected to come before the California Supreme Court. This is the culmination of an effort to reform the state’s troubled money bail system, pitting justice-reform advocates against the for-profit bail industry.
Tucked into the $215 billion budget that California legislators approved Thursday is a $2.8 million gift to the judiciary, one that court leaders did not ask for. The money will pay for roughly 5 acres of vacant land in Placerville, the site, someday, of a new six-courtroom courthouse in the government seat of El Dorado County.
(Subscription required) Her days as a research attorney are long gone, but Judge Valerie Chrissakis still keeps an eye out for updates and policy changes that could impact cases, and she makes sure lawyers are apprised, passing on her findings frequently in writing.
(Subscription required) The head of the Commission on Judicial Performance on Wednesday urged state lawmakers to pay for more court reporters while cautiously approaching any constitutional amendments to overhaul the oversight system, part of a response to an audit he said already is prompting major changes.
Re-fingerprinting is being undertaken because the California bar was required by a 1989 law to ensure the retention of submitted fingerprints from lawyer applicants so it could receive notifications of subsequent attorney arrests and convictions. But the agency did not follow the law for two-plus decades, so it has worked in recent years to achieve compliance.
The state commission that investigates misconduct by California's judges needs to overhaul its troubled practices or it risks undermining the public's trust in the court system, lawmakers said Wednesday at a hearing on a scathing recent audit of the agency.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned criminal convictions for five Sacramento defendants who had been caught with marijuana in their prison cells. The 20-page ruling says, “Consumption, not possession, is the act voters determined should remain criminalized if the user is in prison.”
The rivals are poised to campaign for an alternative to AB5, which passed the Assembly 51-11 last month and soon will go to the Senate. AB5 codifies and clarifies a California Supreme Court decision called Dynamex that toughens standards for companies to claim workers are not employees.
Dresser said the agency is working on the purchase of a new case management system that would allow investigators to better track allegations while also permitting the public to file complaints online.
But a 2016 California Supreme Court ruling subjects tribal lending operations to greater state regulatory scrutiny. The tribe opposes AB 539 unless it is amended to include sweeping exemption language that seems targeted, in part, at the court decision.
Now Herrera strives to inspire the next generation through widespread community involvement that includes speaking at high schools and middle schools, volunteering for the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s high school mock trial competition and hosting courtroom tours.
June 10, 2019 | California Supreme Court Historical Society
When Joshua Paul Groban took the oath of office as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court on January 3, 2019, he was in one sense a familiar face to attorneys and judges throughout the state. As a senior advisor to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Justice Groban screened and interviewed more than a thousand candidates for judicial office.
In its most recent Court Statistics Report, the Judicial Council of California examined the 170,531 felony cases that made it into California’s Superior Courts between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. A whopping 98% of the total cases never make it to trial.
(Subscription required) A seemingly unexpected question at the state Supreme Court’s oral argument morning session Wednesday has altered the course of an employment law appeal that was set to further clarify what sort of labor claims can bypass arbitration via California’s Private Attorneys General Act.
(Subscription required) There are reasons Commissioner Carlton G. Davis believes it’s important for young people to see him out in the community. One of those is Vance W. Raye. Davis was just 13 when he saw Raye, then a Sacramento County Superior Court judge, speak at an event about the importance of staying in school.
Collaborative justice courts, also known as problem-solving courts, are intended to reduce addiction, crime and recidivism while saving taxpayer dollars. More than 120 people have completed one of the rehabilitative programs since 2018, according to the press release.
A group based at the University of San Diego School of Law wants the State Bar of California to examine whether attorneys who help clients craft employment agreements with “unambiguously illegal or unenforceable” language are violating ethics rules.
Lack of funding, Highberger says, “inevitably limits our ability to do robust preventative maintenance.” He underscores that deterioration of courthouses stems from inadequate appropriations to the courts and attests to the Judicial Council’s continuing efforts to “work with the Department of Finance and the Legislature” to secure adequate funding. Meanwhile at courthouses, pipes burst, elevators stall, occupants swelter one day and shiver on another, and brown water spurts from facets.
(Subscription required) Wanting to serve her neighborhood more directly, she applied for a judgeship in San Luis Obispo County and was appointed in 2012. In addition to hearing family law matters, once a month she sits on the county’s appellate panel.
(Subscription required) A lively and perhaps divided bench challenged three attorneys Wednesday on how law enforcement agencies and prosecutors can fulfill their constitutional mandate to share favorable evidence with criminal defendants while preserving the privacy rights of officers, from whose personnel files such evidence is sometimes culled.
The court, in the next week, plans to send its requests to the Judicial Council, and those requests are for a seven-courtroom replacement courthouse to be built somewhere on the Peninsula – looking at you, Seaside – and for a two-courtroom courthouse in Greenfield. The seven-courtroom plan might be less than ideal, but it ups the possibility the Judicial Council will approve both.
The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case that weighs whether the L.A. County Sheriff can share with the District Attorney a list of the names of deputies who may have credibility issues if they testify in court.