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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.

May 22 New state high court justices split, allowing death penalty to stand
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) For the second time, Gov. Jerry Brown's appointees to the state Supreme Court failed to present a united front as Justice Leondra R. Kruger voted with a 4-3 majority not to rehear a death appeal.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 22 Supreme Court rejects lawsuit over Sacramento Kings arena
The Sacramento Bee
The California Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit this week challenging the Sacramento Kings arena project on environmental grounds.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 22 Backers of Orange County judge's recall do not have history on their side
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judicial recall campaigns are not uncommon in California, but a successful one hasn't been seen in the state since the 1930s.
May 22 Justice Kitching to Retire From Court of Appeal
Met News
Justice Patti S. Kitching will retire from Div. Three of this district’s Court of Appeal, the MetNews has learned.
Related: Associate Justice Patti S. Kitching
May 22 Video: Why Do Pro Bono? Hon. Laurie Zelon, California Courts of Appeal
Justice Laurie Zelon discusses why attorneys should do pro bono work and how it benefits both attorneys and their clients.
Related: Justice Laurie Zelon
May 20 State chief justice says unpaid traffic fines should get day in court
Los Angeles Times
Weighing in on a troubled system, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has called for an emergency rule to prevent courts from requiring drivers to pay traffic tickets before they can go to court to contest them.
Related: News Release, LAist
May 21 S.C to Rule on Whether Hospital Workers May Waive Meal Breaks
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday agreed to rule on the validity of a state regulation allowing health care workers to waive one of the two meal breaks that they are entitled to when working more than eight hours at a time.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 21 Odds favor O.C. judge in recall effort
Orange County Register
After sentencing a convicted child molester to a 10-year prison sentence – much less than the state’s 25-year minimum for such a crime – Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly is facing an avalanche of criticism and a burgeoning recall effort.
May 21 Judicial Profile: Daniel S. Murphy
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Daniel Murphy has presided over cases of wealth, warring families, and life or death.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
May 20 Feds probing alleged voting rights violations involving disabled Californians
Los Angeles Times
Federal authorities are investigating allegations that California and its courts are unlawfully denying voting rights to some intellectually disabled residents, according to documents released Wednesday.
Related: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times
May 20 Traffic trials should be reformed, chief says
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye urged the Judicial Counsel to set a statewide standard to bar courts from demanding up front payment from people contesting a traffic fine.
May 20 State Supreme Court taking closer look at judges' handling of defendants' rights
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) On Monday, the state Supreme Court voided Cross' five year sentence because of the judge's failure to advise the man of his trial rights.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 19 Restoration work to repair windows of historic courthouse in Auburn
Sacramento Bee
Scaffolding will be installed in June outside Placer County’s historic courthouse in Auburn as part of a project to restore and repair the building’s aging windows.
Related: Superior Court of Placer County
May 19 CA Chief Justice Agrees: Traffic Courts Can’t Charge Fees in Advance of Trial
The actions being taken by the Chief Justice are welcome, and long overdue. It’s an important step forward in the ongoing effort by the ACLU and others to ensure that all Californians can get their day in court.
Related: News Release
May 19 Beverly Hills Bar Association Event Honors CA Supreme Court Justices in Beverly Hills
Eye Spy
The Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA), in conjunction with the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation, hosts the 61st Annual Supreme Court Luncheon honoring the justices of the California Supreme Court.
May 19 Video: CBS2 Investigation Finds 124 California Courthouses Likely To Partially Collapse In An Earthquake
CBS Los Angeles
There is an untold story that jurors like Linda Young are unaware of as they enter the courthouse to perform their civic duties.
May 19 Editorial: Orange County Judge M. Marc Kelly: Recall effort is an injustice
Los Angeles Times
The recall campaign against Judge M. Marc Kelly damages judicial independence.
May 18 State Supreme Court strikes down Sacramento man’s sentencing
Sacramento Bee
The California Supreme Court on Monday struck down the five-year prison sentence of a man who beat the mother of his children because a Sacramento judge failed to advise the defendant that his admission of a prior conviction could result in a more severe penalty.
Related: California Supreme Court, Associated Press
May 18 Los Banos courthouse to break ground in June
Los Banos Enterprise
The groundbreaking for Los Banos’ new courthouse will be June 19, Merced County Superior Court CEO Linda Romero-Soles said.
Related: New Los Banos Courthouse
May 18 Juveniles accused of crimes are presumed competent to stand trial
Associated Press
California's Supreme Court says juveniles accused of crimes are, just like adults, presumed competent to stand trial and have to prove otherwise if they claim incompetence.
May 17 California reforms to cut use of foster care psych meds will cost millions
San Jose Mercury News
California will have to invest millions of dollars to better protect its 63,000 foster children from the excessive use of powerful psychiatric medications in a state where prescribing physicians, caregivers and the courts have long supported the drugging of as many as one in four foster teens.
May 17 Developing PTSD from Jury Duty
The Atlantic
Jurors in the United States are often exposed to horror—and, like those empaneled in the Tsarnaev case, would benefit from access to post-trial counseling and services.
May 16 Your Values are Your Compass, California Chief Justice Tells 2015 SCU Law Graduates
Santa Clara University
Use your values as your compass and safeguard the well-being of others, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye of the Supreme Court of California urged the 223 graduating students from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Related: Civic Learning Initiative
May 15 An open mind paves path for Supreme Court Justice Cuellar
Imperial Valley Press
(Subscription required) As someone who worked for both the Clinton and Obama administrations on areas such as border security, public health, immigration and education, California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar has been able to amass a wealth of knowledge.
Related: Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
May 15 Bar's new discipline standards offer guidance on punishing lawyer misconduct
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The brand-new version of the State Bar's discipline standards deserves more attention than earlier ones, experts say.
May 15 Profile: Lynn Duryee
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Lynn Duryee is in the third act of her legal career. After 13 years as a civil litigation attorney and 21 years on the bench in Marin County Superior Court, Duryee left her judicial career behind a little over a year ago.
May 14 Amnesty for traffic fines, court fees in Brown's budget
Capitol Weekly
Gov. Jerry Brown, who got nailed for parking in a yellow zone, is pushing an amnesty program for millions of California drivers caught in what he called a “hellhole of desperation” from spiraling legal fines and fees.
May 14 California courts get slight boost in governor's budget
San Jose Mercury News
Gov. Jerry Brown's latest budget is pretty much the same as his January spending rollout for the California courts, which judicial leaders do not seem to mind given that it includes at least some additional money for struggling local trial courts.
Related: News Release, Sacramento Bee, Met News, San Mateo Daily Journal, KQEDDaily Journal
May 14 S.C. Leaves Ruling on Ex-Vernon Official’s Pension Standing
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday left standing a Court of Appeal ruling that allows the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to cut the pension of the man who was once the highest-paid municipal official in the state by 80 percent.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 14 Merced judge to resign from Superior Court
The Merced Sun-Star
Marc A. Garcia, who made history in 2007 becoming the youngest person and the first Latino ever appointed to the Merced County Superior Court bench, has resigned his position amid allegations of ethical violations.
May 13 Past comes to life in 1979 courthouse time capsule
Napa Valley Register
Construction workers dealing with quake damage discovered the time capsule, prompting Tuesday afternoon’s ceremony outside the Historic Courthouse where the contents were displays and old-timers reflected on time gone by.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County
May 13 Advocates say escalating traffic tickets snare Sonoma County’s low-income drivers
The Press Democrat
Those who don’t pay face license suspensions and additional penalties that many say fall hardest on the poor.
May 13 State high court to see if university's expansion plan squares with environmental law
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The fight, headed to the state Supreme Court for oral argument May 26, centers on expansion plans for San Diego State University, but it raises a larger question of how far cash-strapped state agencies must go to pay the costs of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act - or CEQA. City of San Diego v. Trustees of the California State University, S199557.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 13 "Vexatious Litigants" Waste Time, Resources and Taxpayer Dollars: Legal Experts
San Diego Superior Court is the second largest court in California and one of the hardest hit in terms of budget cuts.
May 13 At long last, Laura’s Law is being implemented
Davis Enterprise
Laura’s Law permits courts in California to order treatment for some mentally ill people.
May 13 Opinion: New state high court not looking good for employers
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) More bad news for California employers: The newly constituted state Supreme Court has given an unmistakable signal that it has moved to the legal left and is a pro-employee court.
May 13 Opinion: Law clerks at the state high court: then and now
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) We each were fortunate to serve a one-year stint in 1964 as clerks for justices of the California Supreme Court. That court was among the great state courts.
May 13 Judicial Profile: Michele McKay McCoy
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In her eighth year on the court, McKay McCoy is still enthusiastic about how she can improve on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Clara County
May 12 Opinion: Traffic fines fund the courts, prey on poor
Sacramento Bee
Whether it’s a broken taillight or late car registration, we all know the deal: pay up. Monetary penalties are embedded in our system of justice.
May 12 Many in California’s largest counties ignore jury duty
San Francisco Chronicle
About one-fifth of Californians in the state’s most populous counties fail to respond to a summons for jury service, a no-show figure that affects the composition and quality of juries, according to a study released Tuesday.
May 12 OC judge, subject of recall campaign, responds
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, the subject of an unusual recall campaign after he sentenced a convicted child molester to less than the mandatory minimum number of years, spoke out for the first time Monday in a formal statement to the county registrar.
Related: Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times
May 12 Opinion: Drug courts are not the answer: Guest commentary
Los Angeles Daily News
This week, the Los Angeles County Annual Drug Court Conference will applaud the successes of its drug courts, which aim to divert nonviolent drug offenders from incarceration into treatment and claim to save taxpayers money and turn people’s lives around.
May 11 Candidates for State Bar leadership announced
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The next president of the State Bar will be either Heather Linn Rosing of San Diego or David J. Pasternak of Los Angeles.
May 11 Letter to the Editor: More work ahead to diversify bench, but much progress made
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Brown administration recognizes that much more work lies ahead to diversify the bench, but the progress that has been made to date cannot and should not be diminished.
May 11 Judicial Profile: Michele Levine
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Michele Levine, presiding over criminal trials here, enjoys delving into the detail of complicated cases, especially the interaction with talented lawyers.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
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