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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.

Dec 22 The California Supreme Court gets a new justice
San Francisco Chronicle
A state commission unanimously confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown’s nomination of Leondra Kruger to the California Supreme Court in a chorus of acclaim Monday, making the former U.S. Justice Department attorney the court’s youngest justice in nearly a century.
Related: California Supreme Court, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press, Sacramento Bee, KPCC, KFBK
Dec 22 Proposal to bar judges from the Boy Scouts is in limbo
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A proposal by a state Supreme Court ethics committee to bar judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts because of its discriminatory policies towards gays has stalled 10 months after it was floated.
Dec 19 State Bar Nixes Move, Sale, and Any Self-Study
The Recorder
Fear not, State Bar employees. You won't be relocating to the sticks of Sacramento anytime soon.
Related: Daily Journal
Dec 22 Judge, former defense attorney remembered by colleagues
Chico Enterprise-Record
Butte County Superior Court Judge Denny R. Forland died Saturday at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento from complications related to pneumonia. He was 60 years old.
Related: Superior Court of Butte County
Dec 19 Supreme Court to Decide Extent of Rescission Remedy For Backdating of Auto Sales Finance Contracts
Met News
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether rescission is always available as a remedy for the backdating of automobile sales finance contracts.
Related: California Supreme Court
Dec 19 Editorial: Repeal of mandatory life sentences for minors should be retroactive
Los Angeles Times
A ruling that calls mandatory life sentences for minors unconstitutional should be made retroactive.
Dec 19 After Supreme Court ruling, prosecutors change tune in Ventura murder case
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A week after the state's highest court ruled a trial judge should have considered evidence for disqualifying a prosecutor in a high-profile Ventura County murder case, the district attorney's office ended its push for the death penalty Thursday and accepted a plea bargain for life without the possibility of parole.
Dec 19 Judicial Profile: Tracie L. Brown
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Tracie L. Brown was on maternity leave from her job at the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco when Gov. Jerry Brown's office asked her to come to Sacramento for an interview to serve on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Dec 18 California Supreme Court nominee wins high praise from key panel
San Francisco Chronicle
A State Bar panel gave Leondra Kruger, Gov. Jerry Brown’s nominee to the state Supreme Court, its highest rating Thursday, saying the U.S. Justice Department attorney was “exceptionally well qualified” and would bring “a unique and valuable perspective” to the court despite her lack of judicial experience.
Related: The Recorder, Daily Journal
Dec 18 Death sentences in state drop to 14 this year, and only one in N. Cal.
San Francisco Chronicle
The nationwide decline in death sentences this year is strikingly reflected in California, whose counties have handed down 14 death sentences in 2014 compared with 25 in 2013, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center.
Related: Daily Journal, Associated Press
Dec 18 Do High School Students Know the Constitution Bars Justin Bieber from Being President?
Huffington Post
Is it a bit scary that only one in three Americans can name a single Supreme Court justice, but two-thirds can effortlessly name a judge on the TV show American Idol?
Dec 18 Formal ground-breaking at site of new courthouse
Daily News
A ceremony was held Wednesday to mark the formal ground-breaking for the new Tehama County Courthouse.
Related: New Red Bluff Courthouse, Action News Now
Dec 18 County’s Judge Shortage Critical
Mountain News
For the second time in less than two years, a state judicial report paints a gloomy picture of the availability of justice in San Bernardino County, showing the local court system with the greatest shortage of judges of any of California’s 58 counties.
Dec 18 Judicial Profile: Robert A. Knox
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In 1976, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a Robert A. Knox to the Orange County bench. In 2013, he did it again.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Dec 17 Vinod Khosla challenges judge’s order to open Martins Beach gate
San Francisco Chronicle
A billionaire Peninsula property owner filed a motion to throw out a judge’s order that he open the gate to Martins Beach, upping the ante in a long-running fracas over public access to the sandy cove.
Dec 17 Why States Are Changing Course on Juvenile Crime
Frontline
In the last six or seven years, states have begun to consider new approaches to juvenile offenders, backed by research showing that incarceration actually increases the chances a young person will commit another crime.
Dec 17 Chief Justice Names Chin to Seat on Judicial Council
Met News
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said yesterday she has appointed Supreme Court Justice Ming W. Chin to replace Justice Marvin Baxter on the Judicial Council.
Related: Associate Justice Ming W. Chin, News Release
Dec 17 Counties look to sell shuttered courthouses - but there's a hitch
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Many courts have responded to yawning budgets by temporarily shuttering facilities, with officials hoping to reopen them in better economic times. Now, several counties - San Bernardino, Mendocino, Plumas, and Tulare, to name a few - want to sell those buildings instead.
Dec 16 Groundbreaking on new courthouse set
Corning Observer
A groundbreaking ceremony will celebrate the start of construction on the new Tehama County Courthouse at 2:30 p.m. today at 1760 Walnut St. in Red Bluff.
Related: New Red Bluff Courthouse
Dec 17 Orange County Superior to pool court reporters
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Starting in February, all 24 civil courtrooms in Orange County - including the civil complex courtrooms - will shift from one-to-one assignment of court reporters to an as-needed system where court reporters are assigned to a courtroom for trials and evidentiary hearings only, the Superior Court announced Tuesday.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Dec 17 Judicial Profile: Connie R. Quinones
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As a longtime defense lawyer, Connie R. Quinones handled countless cases with agonizing and horrifying fact patterns, including one that merited a death penalty sentence.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Dec 16 Doctor Gets No Offset Against MICRA-Capped Award—S.C.
Met News
A jury’s award of $1.3 million in noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice action, cut by the court to $250,000 to conform to the cap under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (“MICRA”), cannot be further pared to reflect the amount of a pre-trial settlement with other defendants attributable to noneconomic losses, the state high court held yesterday.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal
Dec 16 California Chief Justice addresses court funding at Sacramento County Bar Association meeting
Sacramento Business Journal
The California judicial branch has wrestled with a $1.5 billion budget whack since 2011.
Related: Chief Justice Tani-Cantil Sakauye, InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Dec 16 In unusual move, governor speaks out in defense of state high court nominee
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday came to the defense of his latest candidate to the state Supreme Court, 38-year-old Leondra Kruger, a lawyer for the Obama administration whose nomination is facing unexpected criticism because of her youth and lack of work experience in California.
Related: The Recorder, Sacramento Bee, Wall Street Journal
Dec 16 Bar asks state auditor to investigate issues related to executive director's firing
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Moving to thwart criticism, the State Bar has asked the state auditor to investigate issues made public following the firing of Executive Director Joseph L. Dunn.
Dec 15 Federal ruling a win for California's bullet train
Associated Press
A federal agency that has jurisdiction over California's bullet train has ruled that it has the authority to pre-empt state environmental law, creating uncertainty for numerous groups fighting the project in court.
Related: Fresno Bee
Dec 15 Opinion: California is overdue in adopting rule on exculpatory evidence
Los Angeles Times
Why California needs to adopt a rule on disclosing evidence that could prove a defendant's innocence.
Dec 15 Brown Names 11 to Superior Court Judgeships
Met News
Gov. Jerry Brown Friday named 11 new judges to superior courts throughout the state.
Related: Daily Journal, The Recorder, San Jose Mercury News
Dec 15 Judicial Council approves court fees extension
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Despite complaints from judges and lawyers that years of state funding reductions has resulted in courts creating a "pay-to-play" justice system, the state Judicial Council approved an extension of court fees Friday.
Related: News Release
Dec 15 Judicial Profile: Carl H. Moor
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Known for his amiability, Carl H. Moor values the 'completely human' aspects of being a judge.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Dec 14 Calls grow to eliminate grand juries’ secrecy in police killings
San Francisco Chronicle
As thousands of protesters nationwide ask how a pair of grand juries could decline to indict police officers in the deaths of two unarmed men, retired Judge LaDoris Cordell has another question: Why do we allow secret hearings that — at the very least — appear unfair?
Dec 14 Opinion: Puzzled over Jerry Brown’s East Coast nominee for Supreme Court
San Francisco Chronicle
Leondra Kruger, Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest nominee to the California Supreme Court, is young, African American and, from the looks of her resume, extremely talented.
Dec 13 Prop. 47 may keep addicts from using drug court's treatment program
Los Angeles Times
A lawyer calls the impact on drug courts the 'largest unintended consequence' of Prop. 47.
Related: Associated Press, Peninsula Press
Dec 12 County's lack of judges top in state
Victorville Daily Press
The San Bernardino County court system currently maintains 86 judges, but the county’s caseloads justify it having 143, according to the 2014 Judicial Workload Assessment presented this week in San Francisco to the state Judicial Council.
Dec 12 Rain not expected to delay concrete pour for downtown courthouse
San Diego Source
Potentially $1 million worth of material is scheduled to be installed Saturday at the construction site of the new downtown San Diego courthouse, as crews plan to pour around 6,800 yards of foundation concrete in a single day.
Related: New San Diego Courthouse, 10 News
Dec 12 Vacancies, changed priorities lead to fewer state Supreme Court opinions
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court is issuing a lot fewer decisions than a decade ago, with the decline driven by a drop in civil opinions, a series of retirements, and a cultural shift that places less emphasis on issuing a high number of rulings.
Related: California Supreme Court
Dec 12 Video: Court clerks in Santa Barbara County picket for wage increase
KSBY
Court clerks at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Santa Maria walked off the job Thursday.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Independent
Dec 12 Attorneys at Bet Tzedek net ruling to help unaccompanied immigrant minors
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Unaccompanied undocumented children must be treated the same as any other child seeking legal guardianship through the probate courts, according to a 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling.
Dec 12 San Francisco Superior Court, SEIU reach agreement on labor negotiations
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) San Francisco County Superior Court and the local Service Employees International Union chapter that represents some 200 court employees have reached a labor agreement in which the workers will get the choice to take or "cash out" five additional floating holidays next year.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Dec 11 Lawmaker Seeks Second Bar Audit
The Recorder
A Central Coast lawmaker announced late Thursday that he will seek a financial and operational audit of the State Bar "in light of recent allegations made against" the bar by ousted executive director Joe Dunn.
Dec 11 Trial by Cash
The Atlantic
Judicial elections have gotten ugly. That's bad news for defendants.
Dec 11 State Supreme Court orders hearing in Packer murder case
Ventura County Star
The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that a hearing be held on whether a Ventura County prosecutor should be removed from the Joshua Packer case because his children once spent time with the man accused of killing a Faria Beach couple.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal, Met News, KEYT
Dec 11 The Cost of Juvenile Incarceration
Pacific Standard
States pay tens of thousands of dollars every year to keep each juvenile offender behind bars. A new report calculates that long-term costs of incarceration could add up to $21 billion annually.
Dec 11 Judicial Profile: James L. Crandall
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) James L. Crandall describes himself as a white, law-and-order Republican and former reserve deputy sheriff who spent some 40 years as a civil litigator.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Dec 10 Three Appellate Court Nominees Confirmed
The Recorder
Gov. Jerry Brown's three nominees to California's courts of appeal cruised to confirmation in brief hearings Wednesday afternoon.
Related: Daily Journal, Met News
Dec 10 State's high court takes up sea wall fight
UT San Diego
The state’s highest court agreed Wednesday to hear a legal battle over an Encinitas sea wall in a case that could affect the future of the controversial structures along California’s coast.
Related: Daily Journal, Fox5 San Diego, Times of San Diego, The Coast News, City News Service, Los Angeles Times
Dec 10 Chief justice offers more reserved assessment of judiciary's funding fight prospects
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In light of California's recent conservative financial forecast, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Tuesday reined in her assessment of the judiciary's funding fight prospects.
Related: Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Judicial Branch Budget Crisis, The Sacramento Bee
Dec 10 State Bar executive placed on leave
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar has removed another top executive in the wake of firing former executive director Joseph L. Dunn.
Dec 10 Judicial Profile: Armen Tamzarian
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Armen Tamzarian views his place on the bench through the lens of his family's arduous history.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Dec 9 New Santa Barbara County report shows prison realignment law has positive impact
KSBY
In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill AB 109 to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons. On Tuesday, after presenting a report to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, probation officials said prison realignment is working, and it's cutting down on the likelihood of repeat offenders.
Dec 9 S.C. Orders New Hearing on Jury Misconduct in Murder Trial
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday ordered reconsideration of a motion for new trial in a case where jurors admittedly discussed among themselves the fact that the defendants chose not to testify and how that should affect the verdict.
Related: California Supreme Court
Dec 9 Under Prop 47, thousands of inmates ask O.C. courts for their freedom
Orange County Register
They waited patiently within the caged-off courtroom holding area, watching as a steady stream of their fellow inmates got months or even years of their sentences washed away with a quick ruling.
Related: Proposition 47
Dec 9 Judicial Profile: Michael G. Bowman
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) During a recent trial, Judge Michael Bowman drove home his focus on punctuality to a defendant who failed to come back in time after a 10-minute break in the testimony.
Related: Superior Court of Sacramento County
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