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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.

Oct 29 Judicial Council accelerates availability of reserve funding for courts
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A two-year-old state budget requirement that forced courts to spend almost all of their savings by this summer continues to pose a challenge to the judiciary, and the Judicial Council responded Tuesday by speeding up a process in which the judicial branch hands out reserve money set aside for courts each year.
Related: News Release
Oct 29 Judicial Profile: Kathleen A. Kelly
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As errant pro athletes drew a national media glare recently over domestic violence accusations, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Kathleen A. Kelly kept calm.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Oct 28 Retailers do not have to keep a defibrillator on-site, court says
San Francisco Chronicle
Retail stores in California have no duty to keep defibrillators on hand in case a customer suffers heart failure, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, accepting the legal analysis of the state Supreme Court.
Related: Daily Journal, Met News, The RecorderCentral Valley Business Times
Oct 28 Opinion: Are Our Courts for Sale?
New York Times
"We are seeing money records broken all over the country,” said Bert Brandenburg, the executive director of Justice at Stake, which tracks money in judicial elections.
Oct 28 Litigants protest 'broken' family court system at Judicial Council meeting
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Dozens of angry litigants took over the public comment period at Monday's California Judicial Council meeting to protest what they say is a broken family court system.
Oct 28 Judicial Profile: Margaret L. Oldendorf
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As a new bench officer in the Chatsworth courthouse, Judge Margaret Oldendorf received four words of advice from then-Presiding Judge William McLaughlin: "Just don't say it."
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Oct 27 Judicial Profile: Rodney G. Stone
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The presiding judge in Napa County was having his patience tested as lawyers hurled accusations at each other in a child support case.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County
Oct 26 Superior Court Services Consolidating
UT San Diego
If you’re planning on filing certain appeals and small claims actions in the county’s Superior Court branches, you’re going to soon have to head downtown.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County
Oct 26 Criminal justice changes stir debate over safety
Associated Press
As Gov. Jerry Brown seeks re-election next month, Republicans say decisions he made to reduce prison overcrowding are endangering the public by putting more criminals on the streets.
Related: Criminal Justice Realignment, Reason
Oct 24 Judicial branch heavyweights make case for additional court funding
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Years of too little funding for state and federal courts have hurt citizens, according to a panel of judicial branch heavyweights including California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, who urged defense attorneys to lobby lawmakers and the public for court funding.
Oct 24 Darrell Steinberg will join Greenberg Traurig law firm
Sacramento Bee
A week after stepping down as leader of the California Senate, Sen. Darrell Steinberg announced plans Thursday to join the Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm in Sacramento.
Related: The Recorder, Los Angeles Times, Daily Journal
Oct 24 Judicial Profile: Laura Hymowitz
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) One afternoon this past spring, Commissioner Laura Hymowitz had to interrupt the violin serenade on her mental health courtroom patio. It was time to decide whether the man giving the enrapturing performance - a Juilliard-trained virtuoso - was mentally fit to provide for his basic needs.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Oct 23 NAPABA honors Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye
Asian American Press
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has named Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court as the recipient of the 2014 NAPABA Women’s Leadership Award.
Related: Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Oct 23 S.F. court clerks union accused of breaking law with 1-day strike
San Francisco Chronicle
A state labor board says the union representing San Francisco Superior Court clerks must answer charges that it violated state law in last week’s one-day strike that disrupted court operations.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Oct 23 Supreme Court Disbars Former Del Norte DA
The Recorder
The state Supreme Court has formally disbarred Jon Alexander, the former Del Norte County district attorney.
Related: Daily Journal
Oct 23 Experienced Trial Lawyer Becomes State Bar Leader During Challenging Times
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
Interview with Craig Holden, President of the State Bar of California and a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP, where he chairs the firm’s National Commercial Litigation Practice.
Oct 23 Editorial: Judicial elections are no place for money from interest groups
The Washington Post
America’s unusual practice of electing judges has long undermined the integrity of the justice system.
Oct 23 Judicial Profile: David E. Gregory
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The commissioner, who said he has been accused of living life too much in the moment, is a man who talks a mile a minute, gesticulates with his hands to make his points, and is animated when telling his story.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Oct 22 Court shuns opponents of big Treasure Island development
San Francisco Chronicle
A $1.5 billion residential and commercial development on San Francisco’s Treasure Island moved closer to construction Wednesday when the state Supreme Court turned aside an appeal of the city’s environmental review of the project.
Related: California Supreme Court
Oct 22 Opinion: Light not yet green for bullet train
San Mateo Daily Journal
The California Supreme Court declined last week to hear a case concerning the financing of California’s planned high-speed rail system.
Oct 22 San Diego court scales back services in face of budget cuts
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In reaction to budget cuts, the San Diego County Superior Court is closing the small claims business office at the Kearny Mesa Courthouse on Dec. 22.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis, Superior Court of San Diego County
Oct 22 Central Valley, Inland Empire seek more help for immigration cases
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Getting courtroom help for unaccompanied immigrant children facing deportation has been a thorny problem for legal service providers. The snags mushroom when nonprofits seek to aid kids who end up in the vast expanse of rural California, where the need is growing and lawyers are scarce.
Oct 22 Judicial Profile: C. Edward Simpson Jr.
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) C. Edward Simpson Jr. tries to motivate jurors to have a positive attitude about their civic duty.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles
Oct 21 Election ads in judicial races can tilt rulings, study finds
MSN News
The flood of political ads in state judicial elections appears to have swept away many criminal appeals, according to a critical new study.
Related: National Law Journal
Oct 21 Meeting to discuss Placerville courthouse
Lake Tahoe News
There will be a meeting Nov. 6 at 6pm regarding the draft environmental impact report for the proposed Placerville courthouse.
Related: El Dorado County, New Placerville Courthouse
Oct 21 Modesto’s courthouse land deal still awaiting state approval
Modesto Bee
More than six months have passed since the Modesto City Council voted to buy an entire block downtown for the new county courthouse. That land deal, however, has yet to go through, and a deadline looms.
Related: Stanislaus County, New Modesto Courthouse
Oct 21 Judicial Profile: Rupa S. Goswami
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) During an otherwise typical proceeding last fall, newly-appointed Superior Court Judge Rupa Goswami gaveled an abrupt recess. The former federal prosecutor wasn't stumped by some particular of California evidence; a more basic need required the break: Goswami had morning sickness.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles
Oct 20 California Supreme Court clarifies law on sex assault
San Francisco Chronicle
Sexually assaulting someone who is both drunk and unconscious is two crimes, not one, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Related: California Supreme Court
Oct 20 Court Approves Budget, Is Set to Reopen 11 Courtrooms
Met News
The Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee has approved a budget for the current fiscal year that will allow it to reopen 11 courtrooms, Presiding Judge David S. Wesley has informed the court’s staff and judges.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Oct 20 Judicial Profile: Ethan P. Schulman
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Before his appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013, Schulman worked almost exclusively on civil matters for 30 years, many times on appellate cases. Only once during that time did he work on a criminal case. Now he handles felony preliminary hearings and arraignments.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Oct 19 Trial date set for dispute over canceled sale of state-owned buildings
Los Angeles Times
After almost four years, a legal spat over a busted deal to buy billions of dollars' worth of state government office buildings could finally be going to trial.
Oct 17 Damaged Historic Courthouse shrink-wrapped for the winter
Napa Valley Register
Construction workers on Friday sealed the front façade of the Historic Courthouse with a resin-based film to protect the earthquake-damaged building during the rainy season.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County
Oct 17 High speed rail opponents gird for further battle after Supreme Court ruling
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Those who oppose the construction of high speed rail in California say the state Supreme Court's refusal Wednesday to review a lower court decision could undermine the accountability of the initiative process because it allows the state to flout project planning requirements approved by voters.
Related: California Supreme Court, UT San Diego
Oct 17 Judicial Profile: Patricia Guerrero
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) An undergraduate at UC Berkeley, Guerrero earned her degree in legal studies, an interdisciplinary liberal arts program covering a variety of subjects, including philosophy of law, criminal justice, law and economics. In 1997, she graduated from Stanford Law School, with the goal of becoming a litigator.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County
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