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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.

Jan 28 California judges fourth highest paid in country, with a big caveat
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California judges are the fourth highest paid in the nation - until you adjust for cost of living, a survey found. Then the Golden State's judiciary ranks 21st.
Jan 28 Editorial: Innovative tribal court
Mountain Democrat
Sometimes the wheels of justice all point in the same direction. That happened earlier this month when all the county's judges were sworn in by Miwok Tribal Chairman Nick Fonseca to preside over cases involving tribal members.
Jan 28 Judicial Profile: Anthony B. Drewry
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Anthony B. Drewry's optimism serves as a foil for the often acrimonious disputes he presides over.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Jan 27 Rail case heading to state Supreme Court
Willits News
After two decisions at trial and appellate-level courts, the Supreme Court of California will review a court case between the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) and two environmental groups.
Jan 27 California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu discusses the work of judges
Vanderbilt Law School
California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu engaged in a candid discussion about the work of judging at Vanderbilt Law School January 22.
Related: Associate Justice Goodwin Liu
Jan 27 Mormon Church's shift on gay rights follows series of defeats in California
Los Angeles Times
The pledge Tuesday by the Mormon Church to oppose housing and job discrimination against gays follows years of piercing church losses in California over gay rights, including one last week.
Jan 22 Where do judges get their robes? A factory in Chatsworth, usually
This month, 27 new judges have been sworn into state courts all across California. The newly elected jurists raised their right hand, were given assignments to courtrooms, and — for the first time — donned their robes. But where do the robes come from? Turns out, my dad had the answer.
Jan 23 VIDEO: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye Interview
KQED Newsroom
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye speaks to Scott Shafer about the state of the court and its impact.
Related: KQED California Report
Jan 27 State Bar trustees defend decision to hire psychologist after director's firing
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar of California is not the only government agency that turns to a psychologist when the going gets rough.
Jan 26 Editorial: In lethal injection case, high court has a chance to take a bold step
Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court should recognize capital punishment for what it is: vengeance, not justice.
Jan 24 State high court's vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew
Los Angeles Times
When the California Supreme Court voted last week to prohibit state judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination, Julia Kelety was not surprised.
Related: Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times, Bay Area Reporter, Daily Journal, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, YubaNet, Bloomberg View, Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Jan 26 State Bar leaders get a shrink to help them discuss leadership problems
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar's Board of Trustees sounded battle-worn at their annual planning retreat on Friday, as a psychologist led members into discussions about how to boost morale and set new goals two months after they fired the agency's executive director.
Jan 26 State high court calls for review of anti-paparazzi statute
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Whether chasing Justin Bieber in a car at high speeds can land a photographer in jail for up to six months is now a question for the state appellate court.
Jan 26 Judicial Profile: Shelley Kaufman
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) For some prolific, big-firm litigators in the prime of their careers, a shift to public service may not top their agendas. For Superior Court Judge Shelley Kaufman, who was appointed to the bench just over one year ago after 16 years at the firm of Geragos & Geragos APC, it's a perfectly natural - perhaps even destined - transition.
Related: Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County
Jan 24 Traffic Fines: Cost of a ticket soars as more fees get tacked on
The Press Enterprise
California traffic penalties continue to soar – some say out of control – though base fines, for the most part, haven’t changed in two decades.
Jan 24 Downtown Modesto courthouse land deal details revealed
Modesto Bee
The deal to buy up one block of downtown Modesto for a new courthouse ended up with the city’s taxpayers subsidizing California’s court system and two private landowners receiving significantly more than their land was worth, just-released property records show.
Related: New Modesto Courthouse
Jan 24 OPINION: A powerful history lesson about civic responsibility
Sacramento Bee
California’s education policymakers are in the process of overhauling civic education. It is part of a larger transformation of public school curriculum and funding and administrative reforms intended to make students smarter by making schools more effective at teaching them.
Jan 23 Judiciary approves new court interpreter plan
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) State judiciary leaders Thursday approved a detailed multiyear plan to provide more access to interpreters for non-English speakers.
Related: News Release, Language Access Plan
Jan 23 Court advocates for foster kids to return
Press Enterprise
San Diego County nonprofit organization has agreed to take on the task of providing abused and neglected children in Riverside County with volunteers to advocate for them in court and beyond.
Related: The Desert Independent
Jan 23 Judicial Profile: Lesley D. Holland
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Lesley Holland is known for his amiability, but wants attorneys to be as organized as he is.
Related: Superior Court of San Joaquin County
Jan 22 Second Black woman confirmed to state supreme court
Our Weekly
Leondra R. Kruger, Gov. Jerry Brown Jr.’s nominee for associate justice of the California Supreme Court, was sworn into office Jan. 5 after being confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments which consisted of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal Joan Dempsey Klein.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jan 21 Bureaucrats take on bureaucracy
Sacramento Bee
Think of hacking through a jungle with a butter knife and you’ll begin to appreciate the sheer fortitude five women exhibited over three long months last year as they picked their way through California’s tangled job classification system.
Jan 22 Judicial Profile: Robert D. Foiles
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Robert D. Foiles became presiding judge for the 2013-2014 term after being selected by his colleagues to navigate the court through its most challenging period in recent history.
Related: Superior Court of San Mateo County
Jan 21 Brown appointees to Supreme Court renew hopes in death penalty cases
Los Angeles Times
On the day justices Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Leondra R. Kruger were sworn in this month, the California Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling leaving in place a death sentence for a man with a long criminal record.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jan 21 Mosk on Mosk and civil rights in California
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice Stanley Mosk, over a half-century ago was a trailblazer in the struggle in all three areas - housing, sports and Dr. King's marches.
Jan 21 Judicial Profile: Gus Gomez
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) It had been his dream since childhood for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gus Gomez to set foot in Brazil's Maracana Stadium, the hallowed soccer mecca in Rio de Janeiro that's housed some of the sports' most legendary performers and performances.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Jan 20 U.S. Supreme Court Leaves PAGA Exemption Intact
The Recorder
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday decided not to upend a 2014 California decision clearing a path to keep some mass employment claims out of arbitration.
Related: Daily Journal, Bloomberg BNA
Jan 20 High Court Depublishes Ruling on Sex Assault Defense
Met News
The California Supreme Court has left standing a ruling of this district’s Court of Appeal that an insurer had no duty to defend a massage therapist, in a suit by a client who claimed to have been sexually assaulted during a massage, but ordered depublication of the opinion.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jan 20 Governor's plan for traffic fine amnesty draws mixed response from courts
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Eyeing the roughly $2 billion owed to the state in traffic fines, Gov. Jerry Brown in his budget proposal suggested cutting in half any outstanding debts incurred before 2013 for 18 months. His goal: to raise at least $12 million and bolster revenues for two lagging police and corrections officer training funds.
Jan 20 Judicial Profile: Timothy W. Salter
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Stanislaus County Judge Timothy W. Salter presides over a civil calendar now, but he is still remembered for the 132-year sentence he gave a criminal defendant who was 14 when he went on a shooting spree that left a man dead.
Related: Superior Court of Stanislaus County
Jan 20 Audio: Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Related: Daily Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Signal, CPI, CBS News, Center for American Progress
Jan 19 Opinion: Expenses by 'profligate' Judicial Council were justified
Los Angeles Times
Much of the spending by the Judicial Council's administrative arm, including the salaries, cars and temporary employees the auditor criticizes, is incurred to provide services to the trial courts and perform necessary functions that the trial courts cannot afford.
Jan 17 City officials get first glimpse inside new courthouse
Daily Democrat
With the roof on but scaffolding still up at Yolo County's new Courthouse, local officials donned hardhats and orange-colored vests to see how work was progressing on Friday.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse
Jan 17 Veterans care court coming to San Joaquin County
Lodi News-Sentinel
The San Joaquin County Superior Court is adding a Veterans Treatment Court to its services on Feb. 2.
Related: News Release
Jan 16 Opinion: Waste and mismanagement by judicial administration
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Last week a mighty ray of sunlight beamed down on an appalling example of government inefficiency and wasteful spending of precious taxpayer dollars. This sunlight came in the form of a state audit, which my office requested, of the Administrative Office of Courts (AOC), a department of California’s judiciary branch.
Jan 15 California Judges Clear Major Hurdle in Salary Lawsuit
The Recorder
(Subscription required) A Los Angeles judge on Thursday certified a class of more than 3,000 active and retired California state judges who allege they were illegally deprived of salary increases in the years following the 2008 recession.
Related: Daily Journal
Jan 15 Lawmakers poised to take action after audit blasted court spending habits
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) State courts face more scrutiny from legislators after an audit accused the judicial branch of mismanagement and poor spending practices.
Jan 15 S.C. Won’t Review Ruling Brown Not Subject to CEQA
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday unanimously left standing a Third District Court of Appeal ruling that the governor is not an “agency” within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jan 15 California Supreme Court denies convicted killer’s appeal in 2009 murder of woman in San Pedro alley
Bay City News
The California Supreme Court refused today to review the case against one of three men convicted of the January 2009 murder of a San Pedro woman who was found shot to death inside her car.
Jan 15 Judicial Profile: Mary E. Wiss
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Mary E. Wiss expressed some surprise late last year when she was asked to take over a complex courtroom in San Francisco County, one of the highest profile positions in its superior court.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Jan 14 Conservative stalwart reflects on his tenure
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice Marvin Baxter has been a leading conservative on the California Supreme Court for 24 years but on the heels of his retirement he said he has no regrets he turned his seat over to Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint someone potentially far more liberal as his replacement.
Related: Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter
Jan 13 Brown's budget proposes more funds for trial courts
The Daily Transcript
(Subscription required) Trial courts would be the main beneficiaries of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $181 million spending increase for the state’s cash-strapped judicial branch.
Jan 13 Editorial: California Supreme Court may be bolder legacy project than Jerry Brown’s bullet train
Los Angeles Daily News
Gov. Jerry Brown most likely will be remembered for big-ticket projects like the bullet train, but his less headline-grabbing judicial appointments may reach further.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jan 13 Opinion: Countdown 2015 for the California State Bar
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Even in the best of times, the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California faces a yeoman's task in complying with statutorily mandated annual reporting to the state Supreme Court, the governor, and the state Legislature. 2015 will not be the best of times.
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