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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.

Mar 5 Government DNA collection under microscope in California
The Sacramento Bee
As scientists have mapped the personalized blueprints contained in each strand of DNA, the government has been collecting and storing reams of genetic material to combat disease and capture criminals. In seeking to shape when public agencies can take genetic information and how they can use it, lawmakers face a tension between individual privacy and public health and safety.
Mar 5 Judicial Profile: Ralph W. Dau
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) "That's not the way I remember it," Superior Court Judge Ralph W. Dau told an attorney who had just summarized some testimony. After leafing through pages of notes, the judge began reading out the witness' statements, word for word, just like a court reporter.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Mar 4 Community tours historic Dobrowsky house in Redding
Redding Searchlight
(Subscription required) Lee Salter and Shannon Phillips of the McConnell Foundation were among several community members who checked out the Dobrowsky house Tuesday to see if the historic 1920s-era Craftsman in downtown Redding can be saved.
Related:  New Redding Courthouse
Mar 4 Judicial Profile: Ronald Bauer
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Bauer doesn't issue tentative rulings. But early in a case, he gives lawyers more than a clue to the way he is leaning. He's known for tipping his hand and for good reason.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Mar 3 California Supreme Court Takes Up 'Pay for Delay' Settlements
The Recorder
The California Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could give the pharmaceutical industry more guidance on the legality of so-called "pay-for-delay" agreements.
Related: California Supreme Court
Mar 3 Judicial Profile: Alessandro (Alex) Anibal Ricciardulli
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) From teaching law school and Sunday school to writing law books and preparing continuing legal education tests, almost everything in the life of Judge Alessandro (Alex) Anibal Ricciardulli involves teaching and learning.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Mar 2 State justices void blanket ban on where sex offenders can live
Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that blanket statewide restrictions on where sex offenders may live violate the constitutional rights of parolees in San Diego County — and potentially those in other counties.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal, Met News, San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, Press Enterprise, UT San Diego, KCRA, Times of San Diego,, San Francisco Appeal, WGNO, Bay Area News Group
Mar 2 Mansions generally don't need environmental review
Los Angeles Times
Just because a planned home is huge doesn’t mean that it should receive additional environmental review, the California Supreme Court decided Monday.
Related: Daily Journal, The Recorder, Bay Area News Group, San Francisco Chronicle,  Daily Californian
Mar 2 Contra Costa judge honored by California Women Lawyers
Bay Area News Group
Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Clare Maier has been honored with the 2015 Rose Bird Memorial Award by the California Women Lawyers association.
Mar 2 Opinion: Environment on the justices' minds
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) This is a time of remarkable transition for a heretofore-stable institution: the California Supreme Court. The two newest justices joined the court just weeks ago, a third has served on the court for only 3½ years, and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye celebrated just her fourth anniversary at leader of the Supreme Court and the California judiciary.
Related: California Supreme Court
Mar 2 Judicial Profile: W. Michael Hayes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge W. Michael Hayes tells his students at Chapman Law School that the hard part for a judge is "two good lawyers who both make sense." But that's also among his favorite moments in presiding over trials in Orange County Superior Court.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Mar 2 Opinion: Prosecutorial misconduct is sad, but not an epidemic
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Eighty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court articulated this solemn responsibility that is borne by every prosecutor every day in every decision and action they take as law enforcement officials.
Mar 1 High court to decide whether legislators must draw district lines
San Francisco Chronicle
The U.S. Supreme Court is about to dissect an obscure constitutional provision that could prohibit independent commissions from drawing district lines for congressional elections and reassign the task to partisan state legislatures — not just in Arizona, where the case originated, but in California as well.
Related: Associated Press, NPR
Mar 1 Editorial: Consider the grand jury
Ukiah Daily Journal
If you are someone who thinks it’s important to watchdog local government and you are an open minded person with no particular axe to grind, and you have some time you can give to a worthy effort, then being on the local grand jury is for you.
Feb 27 More money needed for Ukiah courthouse site prep
Ukiah Daily Journal
The Ukiah City Council Wednesday will consider a request to pay more money to the consultants doing pre-emptive engineering work on the potential site for the new Mendocino County courthouse.
Related: New Ukiah Courthouse
Feb 27 Technology changes the game with juror misconduct
Bay Area News Group
It's an admonishment jurors have received since Perry Mason was a pup: "Do not discuss, research or form an opinion about this case."
Feb 27 Brown continues trailblazing judicial appointments
San Francisco Chronicle
A report from Brown’s office Friday said 35 of his 76 judicial appointees in 2014, or 46 percent, were racial or ethnic minorities.
Related: Lake County News, Imperial Valley News
Feb 27 S.C. Revives Claim That CHP Is Liable in Catastrophic Accident
Met News
The California Highway Patrol is potentially liable for the negligence of tow truck drivers whose companies have contracted to assist disabled motorists under a program supervised by the CHP.
Related: Daily Journal, At the Lectern, Orange County Breeze
Feb 27 Political Ties Between Judge and Prosecutor Not Automatically Disqualifying in Death Case
Met News
The state Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence in the killing of a Lake County woman, rejecting the defense argument that the defendant should get a new trial because the judge and the prosecutor had close personal, political, and professional ties.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal
Feb 27 Dan Potter Named Clerk of Sixth District Court of Appeal
Met News
Dan Potter, longtime assistant clerk/administrator of the Second District Court of Appeal, is leaving that post next week to become clerk/administrator of the Sixth District Court of Appeal, the 34-year-court employee told the MetNews yesterday.
Related: Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District
Feb 27 Judicial Profile: Dorothy C. Kim
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Having spent 12 years as an assistant U.S. attorney working in the federal system and prosecuting mostly high-profile and complex cases that would unfold over a period of months and years, the transition to the fast-paced state court system has necessitated a new perspective on case management.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Feb 26 L.A. County plans court to help child prostitutes
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County authorities are planning a specialized court to handle the growing number of young people in foster care who street predators have lured or bullied into prostitution.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Feb 26 Courthouse concrete pour finished
San Diego Source
(Subscription required) Rudolph and Sletten recently completed concrete pours totaling more than 16,300-cubic yards for the mat foundation at the new San Diego Central Courthouse.
Related: San Diego Central Courthouse
Feb 25 Video: Last chance to save historic Dobrowsky house
A historic house in downtown Redding that sits on the site of the planned new courthouse is set to face the wrecking ball, unless a last ditch effort to preserve the nearly 100-year-old building comes through.
Related: New Redding Courthouse
Feb 26 Brown Reappoints Two to CJP
Met News
Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday reappointed former U.S. Marshal for the Central District of California Adam Torres and Northern California attorney Nanci Nishimura to the Commission on Judicial Performance.
Feb 26 Judicial Profile: Richard J. Guiliani
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) He's been a Democrat, a Republican and lately a Democrat again. He's been a prison guard and a public defender. The former Marine is all business in his tiny utilitarian courtroom, while his colorful chambers sport a bearskin rug, San Francisco Giants memorabilia, a print of Picasso's Guernica and a pair of tall, neon-pink plastic flamingoes.
Related: Superior Court of San Joaquin County
Feb 25 Rule opening up judicial branch committee meetings draws criticism
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Two months shy of its first anniversary, the rule opening up judicial leadership meetings to the public is drawing criticism.
Feb 24 Editorial: On redistricting, justices should let voters' will trump self-serving political bosses
Los Angeles Times
For decades, California's legislative and congressional districts were carved up and redrawn every 10 years by the leaders of the Assembly, the state Senate and whatever other political operatives they allowed into their locked and (in image, at least) smoke-filled room.
Related: Daily Journal, Sacramento Bee
Feb 25 Judicial Profile: Victor E. Chavez
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) On a seemingly normal February afternoon, Superior Court Judge Victor E. Chavez was winding down day three of a jury trial regarding alleged fraud in hotel investments. Five hotels made a ton of money but the sixth was a financial disaster, triggering accusations of foul play.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Feb 24 Audio: Why Finding A Jury For Death Penalty Cases Is Complicated
Jury selection continues in the trials of the Boston marathon bombing and the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. The prosecutors in both are seeking the death penalty. The process could take months.
Feb 24 Judicial Profile: Jesse Rodriguez
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When he speaks of his family's arrival in the United States as refugees from Cuba, Judge Jesse Rodriguez can't hide the emotion or the gratitude. "My father was the first to deplane," Rodriguez said, pausing to control tears. "And he kissed the ground."
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Feb 23 Butte County courthouse to open in one month
The North Butte County Courthouse will open its doors in one month. The county says that the courthouse will not be holding any criminal cases upon opening.
Related: New Chico Courthouse
Feb 23 Merced court receives funding to fight recidivism
Merced Sun-Star
A grant of more than $500,000 has been awarded to the Merced County Superior Court to help reduce the number of repeat offenders coming through the criminal justice system by helping some receive mental health treatment.
Related: Superior Court of Merced County
Feb 23 State Settles Suit Over Aborted Sale of Court Buildings
The Recorder
California will pay $24 million to settle litigation brought by investors who say the state reneged on a 2010 deal to sell 11 properties for $2.3 billion.
Related: Daily Journal
Feb 23 City investigates shared lease options to reopen regional courthouse
Plumas County News
At its Feb. 12 meeting, the Portola City Council authorized staff to research the feasibility of a possible shared lease agreement with the California Judicial Council to reopen the Plumas-Sierra Regional Courthouse at 600 Gulling St.
Related: Plumas/Sierra Courthouse
Feb 23 New California law Prop 47 could threaten drug rehab program
Orange County Register
The fear of some regarding Proposition 47, which reclassifies most drug crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies, is simple: Without the threat of a felony, which brings a possible prison sentence and closes the door to many jobs, fewer people will embrace treatment and instead will accept a misdemeanor conviction and continue using.
Related: Sacramento Bee, Monterey County Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles TimesMother Jones
Feb 23 LAO wants courts to provide more data about spending
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Courts receiving new funding should also be held accountable for how they spend the additional dollars, the Legislative Analyst's Office urged Friday in a review of Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed judiciary budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Feb 23 Letter: Courts must unite to fight for funding
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The article "Courts losing money under new funding method cry foul" (Feb. 12) starkly illustrates how, as California's trial courts begin to reduce the historic disparities in funding, the money budgeted is far from enough.
Feb 23 A 2014 NCSC Public Opinion Survey
National Center for State Courts
Public trust in the state courts has ticked upward in the last two years, reports a recent public opinion survey conducted for NCSC by GBA Strategies.
Feb 23 Judicial Profile: George J. Abdallah Jr.
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Ronald Freitas said he was feeling pretty sharp for citing a published precedent that was only one week old in San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge George Abdallah's courtroom. It was a death penalty case, and new precedents were coming down frequently.
Related: Superior Court of Joaquin County
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