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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.

Nov 20 Courts may be in for another uphill battle for increased funding, report shows
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California courts may be in for another tough fight for increased funding in the upcoming state budget negotiations, based on projections of a new Legislative Analyst's Office report.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Nov 19 Investigation Found Dunn Misled Bar Trustees, Breached Fiduciary Duties
The Recorder
Joe Dunn misled the State Bar Board of Trustees on a number of issues, including the potential sale of the Bar's San Francisco office, and failed to meet his fiduciary responsibilities as the organization's executive director, according to a report weighed by trustees before they voted to fire him.
Related: Daily Journal
Nov 19 California Supreme Court to consider appeal on Plavix plaintiffs
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to take up an appeal by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on whether 575 non-California residents can join a lawsuit in San Francisco claiming they were harmed by the company’s anticlotting drug Plavix.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 19 State high court OKs Parkmerced development plan
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Wednesday to a 20-year development plan at Parkmerced that will add 5,700 rental housing units, along with retail and office construction.
Nov 19 Riverside County Superior Court gets first female Korean American judge
The Korea Times
Susanne Cho became the first Korean American female judge appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court last week.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Nov 19 Courts, lawyers optimistic about new state Senate leader
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Courts and plaintiffs' lawyers lost a key ally with the terming out of former state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. But the lawyer-legislator's replacement, Los Angeles lawmaker Kevin DeLeon, may yet prove a sympathetic ear for tort attorneys, and is drawing a reservedly optimistic appraisal from backers of increased court funding.
Nov 19 Judicial Profile: Jeremias F. DeMelo Jr.
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) DeMelo credits a modest upbringing with helping him empathize with parties of tenuous means, something that aided the commissioner's private practice in Hanford during his pre-judiciary years.
Related: Superior Court of Kings County
Nov 18 California owed over $10 billion in unpaid court fines
News 10
California is owed tens of millions of dollars in unpaid court fines. But collecting those fines is a complicated process.
Nov 18 Dunn Is No Whistleblower, Lawsuit Is ‘Baseless’—State Bar Board
Met News
Ousted Executive Director Joe Dunn never claimed to be a whistleblower prior to last Thursday, when he sued the State Bar and alleged that he was terminated for exposing misconduct in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar trustees said.
Related: Daily Journal
Nov 18 Prop. 47 could leave counties scrambling for drug treatment funds
San Francisco Chronicle
The passage of Proposition 47 could leave San Francisco and other counties scrambling to make up the state money they used to receive for successfully treating rather than imprisoning low-level drug and property crime offenders, law enforcement officials say.
Nov 18 State Supreme Court to grapple with environmental review for smaller projects
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When multimillionaire tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Mitchell Kapor tried to build a nearly 10,000-square-foot house in the Berkeley hills, he set off a legal fight now before the state Supreme Court over the reach of California's bedrock environmental law.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 18 State Bar, ex-leader trade charges
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The mudslinging between the State Bar and Joseph L. Dunn, the executive director that the Board of Trustees terminated, continued unabated over the weekend and into Monday.
Nov 18 Opinion: How will Proposition 47 affect our local law enforcement?
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) What's going to happen now that almost two-thirds of California voters passed Proposition 47, which requires misdemeanor instead of felony sentencing for certain drug and property offenses?
Nov 18 Veteran San Francisco complex litigation judge to retire
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Munter - whose retirement will become official Dec. 31 - plans to be part of the state Assigned Judges Program, which places retired judges in temporary positions throughout California.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco
Nov 17 Video: South Bay, East County traffic courts may close and move to Kearny Mesa
10 News
Taking care of a traffic ticket is going to be a lot more painful next year.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County
Nov 17 Fired bar leader's suit is baseless and his whistleblower claims are 'bewildering,' Calif. bar says
ABA Journal
The State Bar of California is firing back after its former executive director claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired for exposing “egregious improprieties."
Related: The Recorder, Daily Journal, The Recorder
Nov 17 Judicial committee may recommend training changes in conservatorship matters
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A judicial committee may recommend the state revamp judge and attorney training in the wake of a disability rights group's allegations of problems with how California courts award parents and guardians control over developmentally disabled people.
Related: Probate and Mental Health Advisor Committee
Nov 16 Gov. Jerry Brown lets state Supreme Court vacancy linger
San Francisco Chronicle
The California Supreme Court, which is supposed to have seven justices, has had only six for more than seven months, an interval that may be unprecedented and is at least the longest in a half century. The reason is inaction by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 16 Lake County Time Capsule: The old Lake County Courthouse
Lake County News
The building that formerly served as Lake County's courthouse sits at 255 N Main St. in Lakeport, just across the street from the building that today serves that function.
Nov 15 Yolo County Court, jail adjusting to Prop. 47
Daily Democrat
The recent passage of Proposition 47, which reduces certain felony charges to misdemeanors, has left more questions than answers for Yolo County court officials and law enforcement.
Nov 14 Fired State Bar Director Fights Back in Whistleblower Suit
The Recorder
Hours after his termination was announced, fired California State Bar executive director Joe Dunn filed suit Thursday afternoon, alleging that he was canned after alerting the bar to “serious ethical breaches” among top leaders.
Related: Daily Journal, Sacramento BeeLos Angeles Times, MyNewsLA.com, OCWeekly
Nov 14 Swamped with dependency cases, law center may refuse young clients
Los Angeles Times
In the crowded halls of Los Angeles County children's court, attorney Rosa Figueroa searches through family after family before finding her new client and kneeling so she can meet him at eye level.
Nov 14 Chief counsel, deputy chief counsel of Assembly Judiciary Committee to step down
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Courts and tort lawyers may be among the biggest losers in a decision by two top legislative staffers to step down.
Nov 14 Judicial Profile: Randy Rhodes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When asked about his judicial style, Superior Court Judge Randy Rhodes describes a simple approach: He just wants everyone in the courtroom to have as much fun as he is having on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Nov 13 (Ohio) Chief justice: time to rethink judicial elections
Associated Press
The number of uncontested judicial races in Ohio is reason to once again consider appointing rather than electing judges, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court argues.
Nov 13 Downtown Modesto courthouse land deal set for final approval Friday
The Modesto Bee
The next step in the state’s plan to build a new courthouse in downtown Modesto is expected to be approved Friday.
Related: New Modesto Courthouse
Nov 13 Monterey County to implement DWI court
The Californian
Monterey County Superior Court was one of three nationwide tapped to implement a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) court, according to Nona Media, court spokeswoman.
Nov 13 State Supreme Court Will Not Revive Order That LAUSD Disclose Teacher Scores by Name
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday left standing a ruling by this district’s Court of Appeal that allows the Los Angeles Unified School District to redact teachers’ names before making public a statistical measurement of job performance.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 13 Court upholds confidentiality of S.F. Sunshine Ordinance records
San Francisco Chronicle
Communications between the San Francisco city attorney’s office and the city’s Ethics Commission on rules for handling complaints under the Sunshine Ordinance, the city’s public-records law, will remain confidential.
Nov 13 Governor Names Six to Be Los Angeles Superior Court Judges
Met News
Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday named 15 people to the state trial and appellate courts, including six to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Related: Daily Journal
Nov 13 Judicial Profile: Frank Roesch
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Alameda County Judge Frank Roesch decides tough cases but is most satisfied when settling them.
Related: Superior Court of Alameda County
Nov 12 Keker's Streeter, SFSC's Miller Tapped for First District
The Recorder
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday nominated Keker & Van Nest partner Jon Streeter and San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller to the First District Court of Appeal.
Related: Daily Journal, Lake County News, Imperial Valley News, Central Valley Business Times, Napa Valley Patch, CBS
Nov 12 Solano courts officials announce limited operation dates
The Reporter
Solano County court officials have announced plans to impose "limited operation days" during the next couple of months.
Related: Superior Court of Solano County
Nov 12 A Claim of Innocence Is No Longer a Roadblock to Parole
New York Times
After 28 years in prison, Freddie Cox emerged from the Fishkill Correctional Facility, not quite a free man, but free enough.
Nov 12 Judicial Profile: Paul A. Turner
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Most mornings find 2nd District Court of Appeal Justice Paul Turner at the bucolic S&W Country Diner in downtown Culver City. Perched serenely over a newspaper, legal filings and a hearty breakfast, Turner begins his day.
Related: Presiding Justice Paul A. Turner
Nov 11 Toughen court-ordered debt collection says report
Central Valley Business Times
Court-ordered debt collected from those convicted of traffic violations or criminal offenses is chugging along in California but an independent study says it could be improved.
Related: Daily Journal, Orange County Register
Nov 11 Even a vexatious litigant can appeal a loss, appellate court rules
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Vexatious litigants can pursue an appeal without court permission so long as they are the defendants in the case, a court of appeal ruled Monday.
Nov 11 Judicial Profile: Michael S. Williams
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Michael Williams didn't start a legal career until middle age, but now he's on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County
Nov 10 Prop 47: Courts scramble to keep up with downgrade of drug crimes
KPCC
Courts, prosecutors and defense attorneys are scrambling to implement the new sentencing laws that came with the passage of Proposition 47 last week, which downgraded penalties for non-violent property and drug crimes to misdemeanors.
Related: Associated Press, Bay Area News Group, New Yorker, Press Democrat
Nov 10 Lawyer discipline guidelines may get overhaul
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Guidelines for disciplining lawyers may get a slight overhaul, its first in nearly 30 years, as State Bar leaders voted Friday to gather public input on proposed revisions.
Nov 10 Pro-death penalty group seeks to expedite state regulations for death penalty
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A Sacramento-based legal nonprofit that vocally supports the death penalty has asked a court to step in and force the state corrections department to expedite regulations for executions, which have been on hold since 2006.
Nov 10 Legislature Inadvertently Creates Additional Court Holiday
Met News
There will be a new court holiday next year—Native American Day—unless legislation is passed to change that.
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