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.

Prop 57: Cops say court ruling opens door to early release of violent felons

Prop 57: Cops say court ruling opens door to early release of violent felons

February 01, 2019 | The Mercury News
The 2nd District Court of Appeal this week ruled that Gregory Gadlin, now serving 35-years-to-life after his 2007 assault with a deadly weapon conviction in Los Angeles under the state’s Three Strikes and You’re Out law, can’t be barred from consideration for early release under Prop 57.

Family Ties at the Supreme Court

January 31, 2019 | New York Times
Ginni Thomas should not be completely free to embrace her causes and live her life, there’s something troublesome about the unbounded nature of her public advocacy, at least for those of us who still care about the Supreme Court.

Opinion: One Lawyer, One Day, 194 Felony Cases

January 31, 2019 | New York Times
“The workload can be overwhelming even under the best circumstances, and most offices never experience the best circumstances,” said Mr. Talaska, 30, who agreed to talk only because he was no longer working as a public defender. “Most offices don't have paralegals, law clerks, or full-time investigators.” Lawyers are expected to do it all.

As legal aid grants increase, bar may restructure grant-making body

January 31, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Following push-back from legal services providers, the bar’s Board of Trustees agreed Jan. 25 that the commission should continue to exist but declined to fill its seven vacancies or ensure its size stays the same, issues that will be reconsidered in March.

Supreme Court waiting until after the Super Bowl to file football-related opinion, and two others

January 30, 2019 | At the Lectern
Some might say the court’s timing on one of the cases is off. Not in the sense of blowing the 90-day rule, but only because the PR might have been better if the opinion — in Rand Resources, LLC v. City of Carson, which is related to the hoped-for development of an NFL stadium — had filed during Super Bowl week instead of after the game. Others would say that not wanting to draw attention to the game is understandable.

San Diego DA says dozens ask to be resentenced under new murder accomplice law

January 30, 2019 | AM 760
The law, which makes it harder for prosecutors to charge accomplices in homicides with murder, passed the Legislature last year and took effect Jan. 1. It’s also retroactive and could mean the resentencing of as many as 800 inmates in the state, according to Re:store Justice , which backed the legislation.

Opinion: Dealing with Dynamex

January 30, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Many companies rely on independent contractors for a significant portion of their workforce. No question Dynamex dealt a knock-out blow to both small businesses and large companies who had relied on long established California case law in classifying workers as independent contractors.

Judicial Profile: Orange County Judge Kate Knill

January 30, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In the 22 years between her first law job and her superior court appointment, Knill amassed a wealth of experience as a civil sole practitioner, judge pro tem, research attorney and senior appellate attorney, working first in Orange County Superior Court then in the 4th District Court of Appeal, where Justice David A. Thompson described her as a “superstar.”

Bill would force state court judges to write candidate statements

January 29, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A bill proposed last week would require judges to file candidate statements for the Secretary of State's online voter guide. The up-to-250-word statements would apply to all superior court candidates as well as Supreme Court and appellate justices standing in retention elections.

ABA house rejects raising bar passage standard

January 29, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The American Bar Association’s policymaking body overwhelmingly declined Monday to tighten bar passage requirements for law schools, but the change will likely proceed anyway.

California prisons' use of solitary confinement violates court settlement

January 28, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
California prison officials have systematically violated the rights of inmates spelled out in an agreement more than three years ago to limit the use of solitary confinement by crafting dubious procedures to classify prisoners as rule-breakers who must remain in isolation cells, a federal magistrate has ruled.

Bar defers building overhaul to cut costs

January 28, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar will drop $5.4 million in capital improvement expenses in an effort to reduce its projected deficit for 2019, the Board of Trustees decided Friday. As a result, this year’s operating deficit is reduced from $15.8 million to $10.4 million.

Column: 2 ballot measures will test Californians' attitudes on crime

January 27, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
A new generation of liberal legislators and an old governor — Brown — have been dismantling the tough penal policies of the earlier era, arguing that they disproportionately targeted the poor and the nonwhite and failed to rehabilitate offenders.

Opinion: Improve SB 10, don't eliminate it

January 27, 2019 | Sacramento Bee
The key problem is that SB 10 has no criteria for how risk will be determined. As revised, SB 10 leaves this to each locality and ultimately it gives judges total discretion during the arraignment hearing to decide whether to release an individual and on what conditions.
Yolo Superior Court welcomes new judges

Yolo Superior Court welcomes new judges

January 26, 2019 | Daily Democrat
“We have been looking forward to filling these vacancies for a long time,” explained Judge David Rosenberg, who emceed the event. He commented on the “wonderful turnout,” which included hundreds of attorneys, court staff and members of the public.

New bill would require justices to prepare candidate statements

January 25, 2019 | At the Lectern
A bill introduced yesterday would mandate that Supreme Court justices on the ballot for confirmation or retention prepare a short “statement” for inclusion in the state voter information guide. Court of Appeal justices and superior court candidates would also be required to prepare election statements under the legislation, Assembly Bill 265.

Prosecutors designating personnel for mental illness diversions

January 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Mental Health Diversion law, which went into effect in July, allowed diversion for any suspect with mental illnesses — with the exception of anti-social personality disorders and pedophilia — even those who committed serious or violent felonies.
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