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.

California Fight For Trump Tax Returns Goes to State High Court

November 05, 2019 | Bloomberg Tax
Attorneys for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) will argue before the state Supreme Court’s seven judges Nov. 6 that the Legislature has the authority to require presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years of tax returns to be eligible to appear on the state primary ballot.

Governor asks Supreme Court to approve three more clemency requests

November 04, 2019 | At the Lectern
Governor Gavin Newsom today requested clemency recommendations from the Supreme Court for Kristopher Blehm, Jose Ledesma, Fanon Figgers. The state constitution requires the court’s permission because each of the three was convicted of multiple felonies.
Judge Brings Heart to New Gig Presiding Over Sacramento Court

Judge Brings Heart to New Gig Presiding Over Sacramento Court

November 04, 2019 | Courthouse News Service
More than 15 years later, Hom is preparing to take on his next challenge as presiding judge of the Sacramento County Superior Court, where he hopes to bolster and highlight the court’s family and juvenile delinquency departments. On Jan. 1, he will become the court’s first Asian-American presiding judge, according to records dating back to 1961.

LA voided millions of old tickets and warrants. Here's why it won't help homeless people

November 04, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
When Los Angeles officials decided to toss out millions of citations and warrants in early October, they hailed it as a boon for homeless people. The purge, they said, would “unclog” the court system and stop the cycle of debt and arrests that has made it harder for the poorest Angelenos to land jobs and housing.

Judicial Profile: Merced County Commissioner David Foster

November 04, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I always have the discretion to reduce fines based on ability to pay, so I make sure I get information from folks — honest information,” Foster said. “Sometimes, folks here are a little reluctant to talk about what their situation is, and that’s one of the reasons I’ll hear them at the end of the calendar, so they’re not talking about their financial situation in front of a room full of strangers.”

Online access to court records remains elusive in Kern

November 02, 2019 | Bakersfield Californian
The council promotes maximum remote access to public records, he said, but it also recognizes that each local court system faces its own technological challenges. "It's just a matter of having the courts implement (remote access) when they can," Oyung said.

Groups ask California governor to deter parolee deportations

November 01, 2019 | Associated Press
Immigrant rights groups called Friday for Gov. Gavin Newsom to end policies they say ease the transfer of prison inmates to federal authorities despite California’s efforts to provide a sanctuary to those who are in the country illegally.

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Helen Zukin

November 01, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I’ve seen her on the bench, and she plays such a remarkable role both as a judicial officer and a caring person. She refers to the father as ‘dad’ and the mother as ‘mom,’ and she’ll be almost like a super-parent to them,” Kiesel said. “She’s really in control of the courtroom.”

Law deans meet with state Supreme Court on bar exam

October 31, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Law school deans met Wednesday with four California Supreme Court justices to discuss a wide variety of topics related to the bar exam, a potentially unprecedented session both sides praised afterward as productive.

A titanic battle over work looms

October 31, 2019 | CALmatters
The gig companies contend that the Dynamex ruling and AB 5 undercut the desires of their drivers for flexibility. They offered to create a hybrid model under which drivers would still set their own hours but with income guarantees, fringe benefits and other aspects of payroll employment.

Opinion: What is a kill zone?

October 31, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Supreme Court identified the argument's flaw in People v. Bland, 28 Cal. 4th 313 (2002), which approved the kill zone theory. The court reasoned that even when a lethal attack has only one primary target, it does not follow that the assailant did not specifically intend to kill anyone else.

State’s judicial chiefs plead with Congress to fill vacancies

October 31, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Facing a “crisis of unprecedented magnitude,” Chief Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the Central District and Chief Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the Eastern District individually wrote desperate letters to Congress members this month, urging them to fill judicial vacancies.

Opinion: 'No Cash Bail'—Do It Right or Not at All

October 30, 2019 | Bloomberg Law
The cash bail system is a target of criminal justice reformers, who argue that bail favors the rich and hurts the poor. Eliminating bail shows up on the wish lists of several 2020 presidential hopefuls.

Merced court settles clerk’s sex harassment claim

October 29, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Merced County Superior Court has settled a sexual harassment claim with a clerk for $160,000 without any admissions of guilt, according to court documents.

LA Judge Weintraub won’t seek re-election

October 29, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Weintraub said in an email she would be “exploring opportunities in both the public and private sectors” and had not determined the exact date she would step down from the bench.

Not All Law Schools Created Equal: Appellate Court Finds ABA-Accreditation 'Meaningful' Measure of Quality

October 29, 2019 | The Recorder
“Although graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is not a guaranty of an attorney’s skill level, intelligence, or professional qualifications, the record shows it is a reliable indicator or predictor of those characteristics,” wrote Acting Presiding Justice Richard Aronson in an unpublished opinion joined by Associate Justices David Thompson and Richard Fybel.
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