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 proceedings before a panel of judges appointed by the California Supreme Court began at a state bar court in downtown Los Angeles, with opening arguments and testimony from women who reported lewd comments or conduct by Johnson and court janitors who said they saw him apparently inebriated at night.
The projects aim to increase the safe and efficient release of arrestees before trial; and use the least restrictive monitoring practices possible while protecting public safety and ensuring court appearances.
The idea behind the elimination of cash bail, one of the state Legislature’s signature criminal justice reforms this year, was to correct the financial inequity in the criminal justice system, in which criminal suspects who could afford bail get released while those who can’t afford even small amounts languish in jail awaiting the disposition of their cases.
The court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, concluded decisively that the benefits of consumer class actions outweigh the potential complications of identifying who’s in the class.
More than 600 people scheduled to take the California bar exam sought refunds following the disclosure that some law school deans were tipped to subject areas to be included in the notoriously difficult test.
Presiding Judge Jonathan Karesh looked to two vacancies on the Superior Court’s bench as the primary reason for the backup of trial scheduling in recent months, which he noted has been exacerbated by long-term leaves of absence taken by two judges who have recently returned to work.
"Exercising its oversight responsibilities over matters relating to bar admissions, the court will ensure that there is a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disclosure, and that appropriate steps are taken to protect the integrity of the bar examination and identify and address any consequences."
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said Friday it would begin work on transferring $331 million back into a special fund designed to help California homeowners hit hard by the recession-era mortgage crisis, money that the courts have ruled was wrongly used to help balance the state budget.
(Subscription required) While McKaig returned to her roots, she left behind her career in white-collar criminal defense and stepped into criminal law after she was appointed to the Ventura County Superior Court last year.
California must use money it obtained from banks through a lawsuit over unfair mortgage practices to help homeowners after the state’s highest court rejected arguments from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration that it could use the money for other purposes.
The State Bar of California is poised to secure legislative approval for a substantial hike in the annual fee lawyers must pay the agency, but it will be paired with plans for greater oversight of the bar in the years ahead.
Last year, the California Supreme Court ruled in a lawsuit regarding the status of independent contractors involving a single company, called Dynamex. The Court’s decision changed the definition of an independent contractor across the state by instigating three restrictive factors to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.
The State Supreme Court could possibly weigh in on whether prosecutors should keep pursuing death penalty cases while the governor’s moratorium is in effect. Regardless of Governor Newsom’s moratorium on the death penalty, prosecutors from across the state continue to seek new capital punishment cases.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey, responding to a nationwide backlash over insensitive comments made by several judges in sexual assault cases, announced new mandatory training on Wednesday for judges across the entire system.
California lawmakers are weighing what is considered a pro-worker bill that, if passed into law, would set a national precedent that fundamentally redefines the relationship between worker and boss by forcing corporations to pay up.
Non-monetary release programs need to be studied further. This is the first step in understanding whether the cash bail system, the risk assessment system, or some hybrid system is appropriate to ensure public safety while making sure defendants show up to their court hearings.
Uber and Lyft are not among those close, gray area cases. Their status as employers is really quite clear. And though that designation would reduce their profits, it wouldn’t be a threat to their existence.
(Subscription required) Attorney General Xavier Becerra continued his pushback on SB 1421, the state's peace officer transparency law, arguing this week the law only applies to an officer's overseeing agency.
(Subscription required) San Francisco prosecutor Andrew M. Ganz was suspended by the State Bar this week for 90 days, after negligently suppressing evidence in his first murder case in 2013. In June, the state Supreme Court ordered Ganz suspended for a year, but stayed the punishment in lieu of two years of probation.
"For the first time in our state's history the governor has made the list of advisory committee members public and I applaud the announcement," Becton said. "This brings additional transparency and information not only to judicial applicants but for the public."