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.
Beginning before Stonewall and continuing in the 50 years since, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have regularly turned to the courts for protection against mistreatment or to overturn laws that targeted them. From H.I.V.-based discrimination to the fight for marriage equality to President Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from the military, courts across the country have played a key role in the story of L.G.B.T.Q. rights in America.
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.
(Subscription required) Both first-timers and repeaters saw slight improvements in passage rates over last February, but performance remains historically low at 40.6% and 28.4%, respectively. The majority of February test-takers are repeaters.
The MTV Movie and TV Awards were held recently in Los Angeles, California. One of the surprising winners: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The 86-year-old judge was named the best real-life hero by supporters voting online.
(Subscription required) Newsom first proposed the new positions in his May budget revision. Last week, the slots were amended into a pair of nearly identical budget trailer bills for the courts, AB 95 and SB 95. The bills also include almost $67 million over the next two years to fund the judges and their staffs.
(Subscription required) To date, Justice Corrigan has voted in 487 civil cases and 732 criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile, disciplinary and mental health cases. She has written majority opinions in 71 civil cases -- 14.58% of the total number of cases she has participated in. Her busiest years were 2007 and 2017, when she wrote nine majority opinions apiece.
As the San Joaquin Superior Court recovers from a budget deficit, it will restore the clerk’s office business and phone hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except for court holidays beginning next month. “We are grateful for Gov. (Gavin) Newsom’s support to the judicial branch and Chief Justice (Tani) Cantil-Sakauye’s Leadership. As San Joaquin Superior Court recovers from a severe deficit, we are pleased to move forward, expanding needed services to the public,” said Presiding Judge Linda L. Lofthus in a Monday press release.
(Subscription required) “People are complicated and no one is defined by one particular experience or one particular incident,” Honigsberg said. “I try to see each defendant or litigant or victim or victim’s family as more than just the sole reason they’re standing in front of me.”
A state appeals court says a Bay Area physician under investigation by the Medical Board of California must turn over medical records of three youngsters he has exempted from vaccinations, an issue now being heatedly debated in Sacramento.
The law changed the concept of felony murder to include only those who directly kill a person, actively participate in the killing or are involved in the killing of an on-duty peace officer. Inmates across the state have already been freed based on the retroactive nature of the law, which no longer defines murder as a death occurring during the commission of another felony.
The law, SB 1437, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September. It aims to allow certain prisoners to get murder convictions vacated if they were lesser figures in homicides, not the “actual” killers. Then they can apply for resentencing.
There’s also $36.5 million in ongoing money to support 25 new judges and their staffs statewide. A California Judicial Council survey from last November found San Bernardino County leading the state in the need for more judges – 38 more than what’s now assigned – with Riverside County ranked second with 36 more judges needed.
(Subscription required) Rather than fighting against digital reporting, shorthand reporters and voice writers need to recognize that a professional digital reporter is as much a part of the reporting industry as they are and that they can work side by side with a professional digital reporter as comfortably as anyone else.
(Subscription required) “I try to engage them a little bit so that they feel more comfortable, and [it] gives them a little buy-in also,” Schechter explained. “Sometimes it takes a few times for somebody to get the hang of a program, or they may fail, we end up sentencing them and they come back again. It can take a few times before things really start to click.”
In 2014, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye launched the Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative. The goal is to leverage the convening power of the courts to bring together people across a range of fields—from judges and mental health professionals to probation officers and teachers—and tackle the issues that have a profound impact on our state.
A Contra Costa County judge is facing significant discipline after a panel of special masters found he committed serious misconduct three times and sustained three other accusations against him. Superior court Judge John Laettner, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, was found to have made inappropriate comments to women in the course of his job, and had an improper conversation with a prosecutor during a bail hearing.
The organization represents the interests of judges, justices and commissioners in the state and is governed by a 25-member executive board. Its mission is to promote judicial excellence and achieve fair and impartial justice. “It’s an honor to be able to continue to serve the law and to represent the judges of the State of California,“ Rosenberg said.
Two million American children are suspended or expelled from school each year. Now, some schools are taking a new, more restorative justice approach to discipline. They're training kids to hold peer courts. Correspondent Robin Hamilton sees how it's working in one school in Washington, D.C.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.