NewsLinks

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.

Big Law Partner Joins Lobbying Blitz Against Pro-Employee 'Dynamex' Bill

July 01, 2019 | The Recorder
David Reis, speaking to reporters on a call organized by opponents of a bill to codify parts of the California Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Dynamex, said the state’s hours-based work statutes don’t mesh with the flexibility that Lyft and Uber say their drivers want.

The 9th Circuit just blew up mandatory arbitration in consumer cases

July 01, 2019 | Reuters
The three appeals called upon the 9th Circuit to review the California Supreme Court’s 2017 ruling in McGill v. Citibank. In McGill, the state justices held that as a matter of California public policy, corporations cannot require consumers to waive their right to seek a public injunction.

The Troubling Business of Bounty Hunting

July 01, 2019 | GQ
In order to get a closer look inside the world of "bail enforcement agents," writer Jeff Winkler got licensed and spent months working as a BEA. What he found was a mess for pretty much everyone caught up in a broken system.
Recidivism Dropped Following California Realignment: Study

Recidivism Dropped Following California Realignment: Study

July 01, 2019 | The Crime Report
Rearrest and reconviction rates declined in the four years following the enactment of major justice reforms in California aimed at shifting lower-level offenders from state prisons to county jails, according to a new study.

What’s in the Supreme Court pipeline this summer?

June 30, 2019 | At the Lectern
As usual, there won’t be any Supreme Court oral arguments this summer. The next calendar will be during the first week of September. But that doesn’t mean the court has nothing to do until then.

Chief Justice Releases Statement on Judicial Branch Budget for 2019-20

June 28, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
This year’s budget is good news for residents who rely on California’s judicial system. Both Governor Newsom’s initial budget proposal in January and the Legislature’s follow through in its budget process demonstrate a joint commitment to providing equal access to justice. This budget reflects years of advocacy for more trial court judges in the fastest growing parts of our state and will help courts continue initiatives that help break down barriers for all Californians seeking justice.

5 Things to Know about the Judicial Branch Budget

June 28, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first state budget on Thursday, which includes nearly $470 million in new judicial branch funding to continue the courts’ steady recovery after years of deep cuts. Among the highlights: The budget funds 25 trial court judges in the areas of the state with the most need; backs new technologies including holding court proceedings by video in non-criminal cases; and finances pilot projects that aim to improve how California decides whether to hold someone in jail pending trial.

New arbitration battle looms between state, US high courts

June 28, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California has repeatedly held its courthouse doors open to plaintiffs in cases in which defendants argue arbitration agreements prescribe a private forum. Almost as often, the nation's high court has interceded to offer its now repeated and full-throated endorsement of the FAA.

Judicial Profile: Sonoma County Judge Barbara Phelan

June 28, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Phelan said when she was at the court of appeal, she truly felt like a public servant and had a growing desire to have more direct contact with the parties she was reading about in briefs. These days, she gets more than enough of that, hearing some 70 to 80 misdemeanor cases on any given day. To remain steady, she often remembers the advice Pollak gave her when she left: “Don’t let them rush you.”
California's Chief Justice on Challenging Norms

California's Chief Justice on Challenging Norms

June 27, 2019 | National Law Journal
You can look at some of the things that I’ve said and done and think, well, is she pro-prosecution? Is she pro-labor? What is she for? But all issues to me are things to give thought to. There isn’t any one right approach to all of them. So I thought it’s best and more freeing to have no preference but to look at things fresh and new.

State Supreme Court Upholds Hayward Man's Death Sentence For Rape, Murder Of A Neighbor

June 27, 2019 | Bay City News
The state high court rejected Molano's appeal argument that prosecutors should not have been allowed to use three statements he made to law enforcement officers at San Quentin, in a patrol car en route to a sheriff's substation and at the substation in 2003. The court said Molano knowingly gave up his right to have a lawyer present during the statements.

Newsom releases the name of everyone on committees that will recommend judges

June 27, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Publicly releasing the list allows Newsom to signal his interest in further diversifying the state's judiciary at a time when he has relatively few potential judicial appointments to make. According to the latest judicial vacancy report from the Judicial Council, there are just 20 superior court judgeships and one appellate justice slot vacant.
Shasta County Courthouse Project Remains on Track

Shasta County Courthouse Project Remains on Track

June 27, 2019 | Correctional News
The new courthouse will be located directly across Court Street from the current courthouse. The City of Redding and Shasta County worked with the Judicial Council on acquisition of an approximately two-acre site—bounded by Butte, Oregon, Yuba and Courts streets in downtown Redding. In June 2011, the Shasta Board of Supervisors approved the $2.5 million sales, which also involved an equity exchange for the court’s space in the current courthouse.

State Supreme Court upholds Calif. law barring 14-, 15-year-olds from being tried as adults

June 26, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
That ruling is now binding on trial courts statewide but may not end the controversy. Judges in Santa Cruz, Kern and Riverside counties declared the new law invalid earlier this year, and appellate courts in those cases could disagree with the San Francisco ruling, returning the issue to the state’s high court to resolve. An appeals court in Sacramento upheld the law in a separate case last week.

Audio: Uber and Lyft Enlist Drivers to Make the Case for Keeping Them As Contractors

June 26, 2019 | KQED
Uber and Lyft are campaigning hard in Sacramento to keep their California drivers classified as independent contractors, rather than as employees. And they're putting drivers at the center of the campaign: focusing on how the change might impact them and enlisting them to help make the case directly to lawmakers.

Lawmakers passed zero bail reforms. Now what?

June 26, 2019 | Nevada Current
A bill passed in 2018 eliminates cash bail in California — implementation is on hold until 2020 — but some early backers pulled support along the way because they feared too many people would still be left sitting in jail.

Appeal justice denies new charges, claiming unfair influence

June 26, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice Jeffrey W. Johnson denied new sexual misconduct allegations issued last week, saying he did not recall the incidents and believed the accusers may have been influenced by others seeking to discredit him.

Why Guy: Why do we serve jury duty? And why can't I just skip my summons?

June 26, 2019 | ABC10
If you have a valid excuse, tell them. If you just ignore your summons, a judge can fine you $250 for the first offense, $750 for a second and $1,500 for a third or more offenses. "These consequences are rare," Corren said, "as courts prefer to work with individuals on ensuring that they appear for jury service by finding agreeable dates for them to appear or by excusing them from service when their specific circumstances warrant."

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Robert Chu

June 26, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “I wanted to make sure that everybody who’s coming into court, no matter what their background is, I want to make sure that they know what’s going on, that they’re comfortable, and they see that our process is fair,” Chu said. “That was my philosophy as a public defender, and as a judge it’s the same.”

Judiciary's Jones Day Team Denies Retired Judges' Age-Bias Claims

June 25, 2019 | The Recorder
At issue is a long-standing judiciary program that assigns retired judges to courts with temporary vacancies due to vacations, judicial training, illnesses and other reasons. Judiciary officials last spring instituted new rules for the program. Retired judges are now restricted to 120 days of assigned work a year and a retroactive, lifetime cap of 1,320 total days in the program.
New Option For Paying Traffic Fines In Alameda County: PayNearMe

New Option For Paying Traffic Fines In Alameda County: PayNearMe

June 25, 2019 | Dublin Patch
Under the agreement between the court and the firm, people will be able to make cash payments at PayNearMe stations located at stores like CVS without incurring a transaction fee. People will still be able to pay fines online with debit or credit cards, or by sending checks.

California trails in regulating short-term lenders. This bill could finally rein them in.

June 25, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
Advocates say the new dynamics helped push some lenders to come to the table and negotiate on the terms of the proposal this year. Rumblings over a potential ballot measure — a strategy that has been successful in other states — and a recent California Supreme Court opinion that courts may declare high rates “unconscionable” and unenforceable also aided discussions.
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