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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.

Feb 9 State judges' commission debates changes as union officials dissent
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) State court employees and court reporters repeatedly voiced concerns to a special judicial commission Monday that they stand to lose if the judicial branch follows through with a possible long-term operational overhaul.
Related: Commission on the Future of California’s Court System
Feb 9 Judicial Profile: Geoffrey M. Howard
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As he rose to the top of the ranks at a national law firm and built a name for himself in the world of high stakes intellectual property litigation, Geoffrey M. Howard always knew there would be what he calls "a chapter two" in his career.
Related: Superior Court of San Bernardino County
Feb 8 Hacked court may get funds
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A one-time supplemental payment of $272,000 could be provided to Tehama County Superior Court later this month when the Judicial Council holds its next meeting.
Related: Superior Court of Tehama County
Feb 8 Diverse judges share paths to bench, advise young lawyers
ABA News
A group of judges provided an up-close look at one way the leadership of the nation’s courts is changing: It is becoming more diverse — albeit a somewhat deliberate pace.
Feb 8 High court could deal blow to mandatory bars
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Some state bar officials nationwide fear that if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that public employees don't have to pay dues to unions who bargain on their behalf, it could leave in doubt the future of mandatory bars, including California's.
Feb 8 Judicial Profile: Erin Alexander
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Superior Court Judge Erin Alexander likes the "social worker" aspects of the law, using the justice system to find ways to turn around defendants' lives while protecting the community.
Related: Superior Court of San Bernardino County
Feb 5 State high court to decide parole revocation deadlines
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court accepted Wednesday a case that asks whether trial judges must adhere to strict deadlines when holding parole revocation hearings for criminal offenders.
Feb 4 Death penalty upheld for man convicted of killing 4 people
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Stockton man’s death sentence for murdering four people in 1997 with a gun he had stolen from the van of an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy.
Related: California Supreme Court Opinion, Met News, San Jose Mercury News
Feb 4 Chief Justice tells State Bar going through crises can make it stronger
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye became chief justice of California in 2011, she remembers facing a decimated budget, difficulties with a computer system project and "an angry mob."
Related: Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Feb 4 Judicial Profile: Alison Matsumoto Estrada
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Following 18 years as a deputy district attorney before her election to the bench, Superior Court Judge Alison Matsumoto Estrada is happy not advocating anymore.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Feb 3 Judicial panel approves downtown courthouse plan
Sacramento Bee
A state judicial committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended plans presented for a new 53-courtroom courthouse in downtown Sacramento in a crucial step toward replacing Sacramento Superior Court’s aging Ninth Street building.
Related: Court Facilities Advisory Committee
Feb 3 California revenue dips, possible sign of ‘revenue deterioration’ to come
Sacramento Bee
It’s been a heady ride for California finances in recent years, with budget revenue outpacing estimates by billions of dollars, buoyed along by the state’s healthy economic growth in 2015.
Feb 3 Former NY chief judge advises bar on legal services effort
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The former leader of New York's judiciary applauded State Bar officials' efforts to seek increased legal services funding in California, but said their messaging will determine whether they are successful.
Feb 3 Judicial Profile: Gustavo Lavayen
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Santa Barbara County Judge Lavayen inherited a criminal calendar after a career of civil litigation.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
Feb 2 Felony defendants must come to court or forfeit bail
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In a unanimous decision, the high court interpreted the state penal code and clarified that, absent a written waiver or a "sufficient excuse" determined by a trial court judge, felony defendants must always appear in court. People v. Safety National Casualty Corp., S218712.
Related: California Supreme Court Opinion, California Case Law Blog
Feb 2 Shifting alliances tally up to more unpredictable CA Supreme Court
California Bar Journal
After decades of domination by conservatives, the newly reconstituted state Supreme Court is now approaching political parity.
Related: California Supreme Court
Feb 2 2016 budget plan comes with rise in court funds
California Bar Journal
Gov. Jerry Brown continued the state’s cautious reinvestment in California’s court system, offering an additional $146.3 million for the judicial branch in 2016-17.
Feb 2 Judicial Profile: Kevin Haskins
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Kevin Haskins still remembers being yelled at by the court when he was a young prosecutor, and having another judge sarcastically mock his argument in front of a client when he was a defense attorney.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Feb 1 Troubled veterans get new chances in treatment court
Modesto Bee
Monday, Stanislaus County authorities took a more enlightened approach toward dealing with veterans accused of crimes. The first session of Veterans Treatment Court commenced in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
Related: Superior Court of Stanislaus County
Feb 1 White House expected to nominate high-profile Silicon Valley-based Judge Lucy Koh to federal appeals court
San Jose Mercury News
San Jose-based U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who in recent years has become the most influential judge in Silicon Valley, is expected to soon be nominated to the nation's largest federal appeals court, according to lawyers and judges familiar with the White House vetting process.
Related: Daily Journal, The Recorder
Feb 1 Justice Jeffrey King Retires From C.A.
Met News
Justice Jeffrey King was set to retire from Fourth District Court of Appeal yesterday and will become a private judge, the Judicial Council said Friday in a release.
Related: News Release, Daily Journal
Jan 29 Discussions set for long awaited new Sacramento courthouse
Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Superior Court leaders have long been eager to build a new railyard courthouse to replace a facility they call outdated, overcrowded and unsafe.
Related: New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse, Sacramento Bee
Jan 29 State high court to test rule that civil litigants pay for court reporters
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court will scrutinize San Diego County Superior Court's policy of requiring litigants in civil lawsuits to pay for their own court reporters, after the justices agreed to review a medical malpractice case.
Jan 29 Brown's parole plan would likely reduce prosecutors' plea-bargain leverage, experts say
Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to give more inmates a chance for early release would probably reduce prosecutors' leverage in negotiating plea bargains, legal experts said Thursday.
Jan 29 Brown Names Prosecutor to San Diego Superior Court
Met News
Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday named San Diego Deputy District Attorney Kelly Chong Mok to the San Diego Superior Court.
Releated: Daily Journal
Jan 29 State Bar seeks end to case over admission records
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar is planning to seek dismissal of a long-running case that has sought to make public demographic information about bar applicants.
Jan 29 Judicial Profile: Jeffrey Ferguson
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In the seven months between his election and swearing-in, Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson went out of his way to question as many attorneys as he could, asking them for suggestions on what conflicts to expect, what needed to be changed, how he could accommodate them in a smooth-running courtroom.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Jan 28 State Bar admits ignoring dozens of complaints of people practicing law without a license
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The bar cannot prosecute non-attorneys in State Bar Court, but can petition superior courts to shut down offices engaged in the unauthorized practice of law or refer such matters to law enforcement.
Jan 28 Judicial Profile: Christopher J. Frisco
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) LA Judge Christopher Frisco, a former prosecutor, enjoys picking apart cases in search of the facts.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
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