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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.

Legislature to seek reforms of State Bar

April 20, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) An amended version of the State Bar's annual dues bill for 2017 conveys the state Legislature's intent to pursue reforms of the embattled agency and includes criticism of the bar's new leadership for pledging future dues revenue as part of loan agreements.

Editorial: Thumbs up: Taking homeless to court makes sense

April 19, 2016 | Press Democrat
Studies have found that roughly one in three homeless individuals in Sonoma County ended up on the streets because of a job loss. For many it was triggered by more simple things, such as an argument with a family member or even a traffic ticket.

Report says Prop. 47 has eased overcrowding early release issues

April 18, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A report from the Public Policy Institute of California found Prop. 47 has reduced the practice of "capacity releases" forced by overcrowding, allowing counties to keep more serious offenders behind bars, though some sheriff's departments weren't prepared to endorse all of the nonprofit think tank's findings.

Veterans’ Courts measure advanced

April 15, 2016 | Porterville Recorder
“All too often, our service men and women return from military service with serious disorders and substance abuse problems that sadly result in run-ins with the law,” said Mathis, the bill’s author and a Purple Heart recipient who served two combat tours in the Iraq War.

In a win for unions, appeals court reverses ruling that threw out teacher tenure in California

April 15, 2016 | Los Angeles Times
In a major victory for unions, a California appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that threw out tenure and other job protections for the state's public school teachers.

Editorial: New Vergara ruling makes clear it's Legislature's job to fix laws protecting bad teachers

April 14, 2016 | Los Angeles Times
Not every weakness in California’s public schools is tantamount to an assault on the state Constitution. After a problematic lower-court ruling struck down various job protections for California teachers, an appeals court rendered a more sensible conclusion Thursday: the state’s current seniority and tenure laws aren’t optimal, but they fall short of being unconstitutional.

Opinion: Veterans, disabled lacking on California bench

April 14, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown's office released data on judicial appointments in 2015. The release warrants further inquiry not only into the governor's office, but also the State Bar of California and the California Supreme Court as to why the lack of disabled and veteran judicial appointees continues to be a problem in California.

Viewpoint: Why the State Bar Should Split

April 14, 2016 | The Recorder
The phrase "unified bar" has a positive ring. Who is not for joining together for the good of all? Likewise, "segregated bar" has a negative connotation. So why should the California State Bar end its "unified" structure, combining its public regulatory functions and its trade association activities, and move to a "segregated structure?"

Judicial Profile: Colleen Toy White

April 14, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Ventura County Superior Court Judge Colleen Toy White goes by many names to the attorneys who have worked with her over the past 23 years: "living legend," "national treasure," and even "the baby whisperer."

Proposal could increase number of Inland judges

April 13, 2016 | Press Enterprise
A state judicial panel has proposed redistributing vacant judgeships from counties where there are too many to counties where there are too few, including Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where a lack of judges has caused hundreds of cases to be dismissed.

Opinion: Why the rush to dissolve the bar?

April 13, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Last week a trustee of the State Bar of California proposed that the state Legislature dissolve the bar. In its place, a new state agency would assume the admission and discipline functions. All other bar functions (volunteer sections, publishing, education, public benefit activity) would end, unless some non-governmental actors voluntarily assumed them.

In Humboldt County, Hoopa Valley Tribal Court Leads Effort to Keep Kids in School

April 12, 2016 | The Chronicle of Social Change
Through the Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts initiative (KKIS), Blake and a team from the school district, social services and probation are working to get more students across that graduation stage, beginning with reducing the number of them who are referred to his courtroom for truancy or behavioral issues.
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