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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 26 Galt’s Lake Canyon Elementary School wins state award for civic learning success
Lodi News-Sentinel
For these activities and more, the Galt campus has been recognized as one of just nine campuses in California to receive this year’s Civic Learning Distinction Award.
Related: Chief Justice's Civic Learning Initiative
Mar 26 California loosens Jessica's Law rules on where sex offenders can live
Los Angeles Times
California officials announced Thursday that the state would stop enforcing a key provision of a voter-approved law that prohibits all registered sex offenders from living near schools.
Related: San Francisco Chronicle, Capital Public Radio, Associated Press, Reuters, KCRA, KEYT, Bloomberg, Bay Area News Group
Mar 27 Judicial Profile: Bernard J. Schwartz
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As a criminal defense attorney, Bernard J. Schwartz saw many judges in action, good and bad, all over Southern California, and he's determined to make his courtroom in the Riverside County Hall of Justice the kind of place where he would have liked to try cases.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Mar 26 Justice to retire after more than 30 years on the bench
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) After a legal career spanning more than a half-century, Justice Norvell "Fred" Woods of the 2nd District Court of Appeal, Division 7, will retire March 31, his 80th birthday.
Related: Associate Justice Fred Woods
Mar 25 Fresno court transitioning to new case system
The Business Journal
Fresno Superior Court will transition to a new electronic case management system between March 30 and April 13.
Related: New Case Management System
Mar 25 Editorial: New Chico courthouse brings life to a concept
Chico Enterprise-Record
The impressive new North Butte County Courthouse opened with great fanfare on Thursday.
Related: New Chico Courthouse
Mar 25 Judicial Profile: Dan T. Oki
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) More than just a veteran bench officer, Dan T. Oki is an advocate for a better-funded, more functional state court system.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Mar 24 New courthouse eyes 2020 opening
Redding Searchlight
(Subscription required) Shasta County may face a tight schedule to open its courthouse by May 2020.
Related: New Redding Courthouse
Mar 24 Audio: How Prop. 47 Could Tank Drug Courts
On a typical day in Judge Matt Anderson’s Newport Beach courtroom, the room is packed — but mostly with visitors. Drug courts attract academics, treatment professionals and journalists curious about its effectiveness.
Mar 24 Judicial Profile: Lillian K. Sing
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As she empaneled a jury at the start of an assault and robbery trial, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Lillian K. Sing asked one woman what she would do if called on to vote right then.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Mar 23 Video: Foundation interested in saving Dobrowsky House
A historic house in Redding could be saved from the wrecking ball.
Related: New Redding Courthouse
Mar 23 Chief Justice Calls California Courts ‘Innovative’ in Annual Address
California's court system is in stronger financial shape after years of budget cuts, but it needs the Legislature's help — and more funding — to adopt innovative and efficient practices, the state's top judge said Monday.
Related: Chief Justice Speeches, Daily Journal, The Recorder, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, Capital Public Radio
Mar 23 Attorneys, courts mull revising expedited jury trial program
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Judicial Council hopes that a bill to renew the program, AB 555 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, "will be a vehicle for consensus legislation to improve" the use of expedited trials, said Dan Pone, a staffer managing talks over ways to modify the program.
Mar 23 Judicial Profile: Charles Koosed
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) "It was kismet." That's how Charles Koosed describes the circumstances that led to his legal career and appointment to the Riverside County Superior Court. It also had to do with lawyers in a small, desert town being kind to a young attorney making his first appearance.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Mar 22 A few historical observations about the Yolo County Courthouse
Daily Democrat
There’s been a lot of social media discussion of late about the new Yolo County Courthouse, which generally falls into the following: The present Courthouse is beautiful and should be preserved; the present Courthouse is perfectly fine and should continue to be used; the $161 million being spent on the new Courthouse should be used for public schools.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse
Mar 21 Yolo supervisors to look at ways to reuse old courthouse
Daily Democrat
As construction wraps up on the new Yolo County Courthouse, questions remain regarding what will happen to the historic building once staff settle into their new home.
Mar 20 S.C. to Decide if Threats Charge May Be Based on Hand Gestures
Met News
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether nonverbal communication, such as threatening hand gestures, may form the basis of a criminal threats charge.
Related: California Supreme Court
Mar 20 Judges return with bill to limit peremptory challenges
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The California Judges Association plans to try again to seek limits on the number of times attorneys can dismiss jurors without stating a specific cause. The organization is pushing to reduce peremptory challenges in misdemeanor cases from 10 to six each for prosecutors and defense counsel.
Mar 20 Judicial Profile: Peter J. Busch
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Peter J. Busch is a fan of formality. "I think there's a function to formality. We don't wear wigs, but we wear gowns and we sit on a raised dais," Busch said. "It's to impress on participants that this is serious."
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Mar 19 New $65 million courthouse dedicated in Chico
Chico Enterprise-Record
The Chief Justice of California’s courts visited Chico on Thursday for the dedication of the state’s first courthouse built using court user fees.
Related: New Chico Courthouse, Action News Now,  Action News Now
Mar 19 Bar Exam, the Standard to Become a Lawyer, Comes Under Fire
New York Times
For decades, law school graduates have endured a stressful rite of passage, spending the first 10 weeks after classes end taking cram courses in the arcane details of the law before sitting down for the grueling, days-long bar exam.
Mar 19 California high court agrees to reconsider 1993 murder case
Los Angeles Times
A San Bernardino man convicted of murder in part because of discredited forensic evidence will have his case reviewed again by the California Supreme Court.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal, Associated Press
Mar 19 Woodland’s Main Street construction delayed again, now to start Monday
Daily Democrat
Construction on Main Street and other roads surrounding the new Yolo County Courthouse has been delayed once again.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse, KCRA
Mar 19 Opinion: We are responsible to teach youth about democracy
Contra Costa Times
There is a movement in the state of California to spotlight this urgent need. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and state Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson convened a K-12 Civic Learning Task Force, which recommended that local counties take up the call to prepare this current generation of students for democracy.
Related: Chief Justice's Civic Learning Initiative
Mar 19 Judicial Profile: Cynthia A. Sevely
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The judge sets herself a goal to walk 10,000 steps every day and uses a Fitbit to track her progress. The goal can be difficult to reach on busy days overseeing the family violence calendar, so Sevely will either do 15-minute sets on the stairs near her courtroom or complete her steps at home.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Clara County
Mar 18 Yolo District Attorney: Prop. 47 creating ‘revolving door’ for crime
Daily Democrat
“We’ve released 182 inmates since Nov. 5, 2014, the day after Prop. 47 passed,” according to Sheriff’s Capt. Larry Cecchettini. “We have a capacity of 455 between Monroe and Leinberger Centers and we have been at capacity for a long time.”
Mar 18 California's Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to Deliver 2015 Commencement Address at Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye of the Supreme Court of California will deliver the commencement address to Santa Clara University School of Law’s Class of 2015.
Related: Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Mar 18 Fresno leaders launch effort to teach students civic responsibility
Fresno Bee
The California Civic Learning project is a statewide effort intended to emphasize classroom instruction in government, law and economics along with community service.
Related: Civic Learning Award
Mar 18 Judicial Profile: Gary Moorhead
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In 35 years as a personal injury lawyer, Judge Gary Moorhead dealt with a lot of mayhem and catastrophe. But it hasn't dimmed the laid-back attitude that he brings to his Orange County courtroom.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Mar 17 Schools have key role to play in youth voting
In the shadows of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the appallingly low turnout of youth voters in last November’s elections should raise an alarm about the future of our democracy.
Mar 17 State chief justice to attend Thursday’s dedication of new Chico courthouse
Chico Enterprise Record
The public is invited to attend the dedication of the new North Butte County Courthouse during a ceremony Thursday morning.
Related: New Chico Courthouse, News Release
Mar 17 State high court to ponder whether entire county bench must be recused
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court is considering whether to disqualify the entire Monterey County Superior Court from involvement in accusations that one judge there, while a prosecutor, hid defense-friendly evidence at an attempted murder trial.
Related: California Supreme Court
Mar 17 Judicial Profile: Fred W. Slaughter
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) "I'm an eternal optimist," Slaughter said in the chambers of his courtroom in the Lamoreaux Justice Center where he presides over a juvenile delinquency calendar. "For me, the glass isn't just half full, it's overflowing."
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Mar 16 Audio: California Judges Must Cut Ties With The Boy Scouts
California has banned state court judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts. The move extends an earlier ban on judges belonging to groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but had an exemption for youth groups. Judges have one year to sever their ties with the Boy Scouts.
Related: The Christian Post
Mar 16 Chinese immigrant, denied law license in 1890, gets one posthumously
Los Angeles Times
A Chinese immigrant denied a California law license in 1890 because of his race will receive one posthumously, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday.
Related: California Supreme Court, San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press, KQED, NPR, Central Valley Business Times, Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Met News, At the Lectern, Sacramento Bee, Reuters, UC Davis News, San Francisco Appeal 
Mar 16 Lawmakers urge State Bar to improve its image
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The State Bar's Board of Trustees got a warning from lawmakers at its meeting late last week - raise your profile and improve your image.
Mar 14 Main Street closed starting Thursday as Yolo courthouse construction in final months
Daily Democrat
As construction crews put the finishing touches on the new Yolo County Courthouse, their focus will soon shift from inside the building to the streets surrounding it.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse
Mar 14 Plan to close El Cajon and Chula Vista traffic courts postponed
UT San Diego
San Diego court officials are delaying a decision to close the traffic courts in El Cajon and Chula Vista this year, saying they need more time to analyze costs and get revised budget numbers from the state.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County
Mar 14 In California, fees can add up for public access to court records
Fresno Bee
While information and documents from Superior Courts across the state are available as public records, that doesn’t mean they’re going to come cheap.
Mar 13 Should your DNA be collected, entered into state database when arrested, but not convicted? California Supreme Court to weigh privacy rights
Orange County Register
DNA from those taken to local lockup once again is being run through a statewide database, as the California Supreme Court prepares to decide whether the mandatory collection of such genetic fingerprints should be limited to those actually convicted of a crime.
Related: California Supreme Court
Mar 13 Civics Essay Contest Offered For High School Students
Imperial Beach News
A civic contest organized by the federal courts offers high school students in the greater San Diego area, including Imperial County, a chance to win cash prizes and meet with some of the nation’s preeminent jurists and legal practitioners.
Mar 13 Judicial Profile: Claudia Silbar
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Following her career as a prosecutor of murderers and rapists, Claudia Silbar was very unhappy when, six months after being appointed to the Orange County Superior Court, she was assigned to family law. Now, 13 years later, she loves it and has turned down an offer to go elsewhere.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
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