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.

Law Clerk Diversity: 'It's Complicated'

Law Clerk Diversity: 'It's Complicated'

September 26, 2019 | National Law Journal
California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, a former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has joined Jeremy Fogel, a former U.S. district judge and Federal Judicial Center director, and the American Bar Foundation, to delve into the question and come up with positive solutions for judges, law students, professors and other players in the law clerk hiring process.

Wednesday conference shows Supreme Court is not done with anti-SLAPP cases, and it revives a whistleblower’s writ petition

September 26, 2019 | At the Lectern
If not for the anti-SLAPP statute, Proposition 47, and death penalty appeals, would the Supreme Court have anything to do? That’s definitely hyperbole, but, then again, the court’s Wednesday conference didn’t dispel the perception, at least as to anti-SLAPP cases, and despite hopes the Chief Justice voiced almost three years ago. The court also involved itself in two whistleblower matters; no, definitely not that one.

State Supreme Court weighs in on Shasta Dam case

September 26, 2019 | Redding Record Searchlight
The California Supreme Court has rejected a Fresno-based water district's attempt to move forward with a study on raising the height of Shasta Dam.

Opinion: When ICE agents make arrests at the courthouse, they interfere with justice.

September 26, 2019 | Monterey County Weekly
The presence of ICE agents in California courtrooms has been a big deal policy-wise, starting at the top: State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has asked ICE to refrain from making arrests at courthouses because “the judicial system relies on the trust and confidence of people… to come into court,” she said.

Calif. Supreme Court says protests at private Vallejo amusement park are legal

September 25, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed animal-rights activists to hold protests in the parking lot and walkways outside Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, leaving intact a lower-court ruling that said the privately owned areas are a “public forum for expressive activity.”

Judicial Council revises workload formula

September 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Under the council's new formula, a majority of judges would go to less than a handful of counties based on the number of case filings in each superior court, the types and complexity of those cases, and the amount of time a judicial officer has to work on cases per year.

Hotline among steps taken to handle complaints against state’s justices

September 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Judicial Council has started instituting new protocols for the reporting and handling of misbehavior complaints, specifically against justices, after an investigation began into claims of sexual harassment by Justice Jeffrey Johnson of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Opinion: How to hold misbehaving judges accountable

September 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Luckily, both the California Judicial Council and the Judicial Conference have been proactively conducting reviews of their workplace conduct policies and have been looking to strengthen victim protections. These reform efforts are to be lauded, but the retirement loophole must also be closed.

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Michelle Kim

September 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I couldn’t have imagined a better judge for a first jury trial. She was very clear about what motions in limine should look like, when jury instructions would be due, everything,” Barnett said. “She wasn’t treating us that way because she knew we were new and needed handholding but because she wanted to make it clear what was expected of us.”

Judicial Council Identifies Neediest Courts for New Judges

September 24, 2019 | The Recorder
The council, meeting in Sacramento, approved an update to its judicial needs assessment, a document that crunches workload and filing data tied to each of the 58 superior courts to determine which ones most need new bench officers.

Monterey County officials fear ICE arrest may deter undocumented victims and witnesses

September 24, 2019 | The Salinas Californian
"This is happening. It's not the first — there's been several incidents in court," said Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, who represents most of Salinas and reported Friday's arrest as well as published video of it on social media. "... When ICE targets the courts, it undermines the justice system and public safety."

Council Approves New Formula for Ranking Judicial Need

September 24, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
The formula relies on three main factors to determine judicial need: the number of case filings in each superior court, the types and complexity of those cases, and the amount of time a judicial officer has to work on cases per year.

As promised, Ninth Circuit sends Dynamex retroactivity question to the Supreme Court

September 24, 2019 | At the Lectern
The court might expressly direct the parties to address in their briefs the effect on retroactivity of Assembly Bill 5, legislation Governor Gavin Newsom signed last week that by its terms is intended to “codify the decision of the California Supreme Court in Dynamex and [to] clarify the decision’s application in state law.”

California Lawyers Slam Bar Proposals for Fee-Sharing, Non-Attorney Ownership

September 23, 2019 | The Recorder
Hundreds of responses received over the last two months about various California bar proposals that could alter fee-sharing and open a door to non-attorney ownership of firms reveal a common thread: Most of those who shared their thoughts don’t support a wholesale reshaping of how legal clients are served in the Golden State.

Will He Be the First Mexican-American on the U.S. Supreme Court?

September 22, 2019 | OZY
A look at Cuéllar’s exquisitely constructed résumé reveals the lines one typically associates with the U.S. Supreme Court short list: elite degrees (a Harvard, Yale, Stanford trifecta), high-level judicial experience and relative youth (at 47, he’s five years younger than Neil Gorsuch, the youngest justice).
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