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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.

Nov 26 Editorial: A bold, young pick for state’s high court
Sacramento Bee
With his nomination of rising legal star Leondra R. Kruger to the California Supreme Court on Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown has made his boldest move yet to infuse the court with new blood and high-powered diversity.
Nov 26 Judicial Council seeks to intervene in courthouse tax dispute
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A dispute over the new Long Beach courthouse's tax status will bring the Judicial Council to a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday in a case whose outcome could affect the structure of future public-private partnerships.
Related: Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, Long Beach
Nov 26 Former State Bar president threatens to sue over leaked report
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) An attorney for former State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez on Tuesday sent a letter to the State Bar's Board of Trustees demanding an investigation into who leaked a copy of an internal investigative report to the media.
Nov 26 Judicial Profile: Deborah S. Brazil
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) After 16 years behind the prosecutor's table, Superior Court Judge Deborah Brazil assumed her judicial role last December. More than the distinct duties it requires, Brazil also recognizes the effects of the simple change in physical courtroom positioning.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Nov 25 Brown nominee to state high court is fast-rising legal star
San Francisco Chronicle
Gov. Jerry Brown reached outside California legal circles Monday for his latest nominee to the state Supreme Court, choosing a fast-rising attorney in President Obama’s Justice Department who would become the court’s youngest justice in nearly a century.
Related: Daily Journal, Wall Street Journal, Capital Public Radio, KQED, Imperial Valley News, Pasadena Star-News, The Sun News
Nov 25 State's bar passage rate plummets, tracking national trend
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The pass rate on the July bar exam tumbled in California, matching unexpected drops in many other states around the country.
Related: The Recorder
Nov 25 Judicial Profile: Clifford V. Cretan
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Approaching a decade into his tenure on the Superior Court bench here, Clifford V. Cretan is now enjoying the challenges and learning experiences that come with overseeing a completely unfamiliar assignment.
Related: Superior Court of San Mateo County
Nov 24 Governor names top Obama administration lawyer to California Supreme Court
San Jose Mercury News
Defying convention again in his picks for the California Supreme Court, Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to name a top Obama administration lawyer to a vacancy that has been lingering since early this year.
Related: Sacramento Bee, The Recorder, Reuters, Daily Journal, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times
Nov 24 Opinion: Appointments minimize threat to judicial independence
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) If Gov. Jerry Brown learned one lesson well from his lifetime career in state politics, it is how vulnerable his judicial appointees can become in retention elections.
Nov 24 State Bar fires its general counsel
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The controversy that led the State Bar to fire Executive Director Joseph L. Dunn has claimed another victim - bar General Counsel Thomas A. Miller.
Related: The Recorder
Nov 23 Women still have a long way to go in judiciary
San Francisco Chronicle
If women make up 50 percent of the population, “then there should be 50 percent representation on the bench and in the (legal) profession,” Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the second woman to head the state Supreme Court and preside over the nation’s largest judicial system, said at a panel discussion in San Francisco last week.
Related: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Nov 23 Judicial elections getting more political with new campaign spending
Los Angeles Times
Influx of money driven by outside groups and unlimited donations is making judicial campaigns more political.
Nov 22 Families become official for 200 L.A. County children on Adoption Day
Los Angeles Times
Judge Michael Nash has hosted “Adoption Saturdays” about four times a year since 1998.
Related: Court Adoption and Permanency Month
Nov 21 Bar Cuts Ties with Political Consultant Allied with Dunn
The Recorder
Lost in the morass of litigation and allegations that enveloped the State Bar over the last week was the news that not only was executive director Joe Dunn sent packing, so was his political ally Richie Ross.
Nov 21 A Push for Legal Aid in Civil Cases Finds Its Advocates
New York Times
German and Lorenza Artiga were threatened with eviction from their Los Angeles home after taking in their granddaughter Carolyn after her mother died.
Nov 21 S.C. Upholds Conviction in Killing of Gang Members
Met News
A defendant was properly convicted of murdering two members of his own gang, even though he did not personally kill them or desire to see them dead, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal
Nov 21 Veterans tell stories of life after service at County of San Mateo 2014 Veterans Summit
San Jose Mercury News
Some veterans in our county reported legal and criminal justice challengers; San Mateo County Veterans Treatment Court is one of only 11 veterans courts in California.
Nov 21 Judicial Profile: Antonio A. Reyes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Tulare County Superior Court Judge Antonio Reyes remembers vividly the jarring moment that led him toward a legal career.
Related: Superior Court of Tulare County
Nov 20 Legislative Analyst’s Office Suggests Giving Courts Incentive to Push for Collection of Unpaid Fines, Fees
Met News
The state Legislative Analyst’s Office has called for a restructuring of procedures for collecting unpaid fines, fees, and other “court ordered debts,” noting that about $10.2 billion is owed statewide.
Nov 20 Video: $490 Red Light Ticket Is "Excessive": Driver
NBC 7 San Diego
A Carlsbad woman is seeing red after receiving a traffic fine that she calls excessive.
Nov 20 Courts may be in for another uphill battle for increased funding, report shows
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California courts may be in for another tough fight for increased funding in the upcoming state budget negotiations, based on projections of a new Legislative Analyst's Office report.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Nov 19 Investigation Found Dunn Misled Bar Trustees, Breached Fiduciary Duties
The Recorder
Joe Dunn misled the State Bar Board of Trustees on a number of issues, including the potential sale of the Bar's San Francisco office, and failed to meet his fiduciary responsibilities as the organization's executive director, according to a report weighed by trustees before they voted to fire him.
Related: Daily Journal
Nov 19 California Supreme Court to consider appeal on Plavix plaintiffs
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to take up an appeal by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on whether 575 non-California residents can join a lawsuit in San Francisco claiming they were harmed by the company’s anticlotting drug Plavix.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 19 State high court OKs Parkmerced development plan
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Wednesday to a 20-year development plan at Parkmerced that will add 5,700 rental housing units, along with retail and office construction.
Nov 19 Riverside County Superior Court gets first female Korean American judge
The Korea Times
Susanne Cho became the first Korean American female judge appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court last week.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Nov 19 Courts, lawyers optimistic about new state Senate leader
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Courts and plaintiffs' lawyers lost a key ally with the terming out of former state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. But the lawyer-legislator's replacement, Los Angeles lawmaker Kevin DeLeon, may yet prove a sympathetic ear for tort attorneys, and is drawing a reservedly optimistic appraisal from backers of increased court funding.
Nov 19 Judicial Profile: Jeremias F. DeMelo Jr.
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) DeMelo credits a modest upbringing with helping him empathize with parties of tenuous means, something that aided the commissioner's private practice in Hanford during his pre-judiciary years.
Related: Superior Court of Kings County
Nov 18 California owed over $10 billion in unpaid court fines
News 10
California is owed tens of millions of dollars in unpaid court fines. But collecting those fines is a complicated process.
Nov 18 Dunn Is No Whistleblower, Lawsuit Is ‘Baseless’—State Bar Board
Met News
Ousted Executive Director Joe Dunn never claimed to be a whistleblower prior to last Thursday, when he sued the State Bar and alleged that he was terminated for exposing misconduct in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar trustees said.
Related: Daily Journal
Nov 18 Prop. 47 could leave counties scrambling for drug treatment funds
San Francisco Chronicle
The passage of Proposition 47 could leave San Francisco and other counties scrambling to make up the state money they used to receive for successfully treating rather than imprisoning low-level drug and property crime offenders, law enforcement officials say.
Nov 18 State Supreme Court to grapple with environmental review for smaller projects
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When multimillionaire tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Mitchell Kapor tried to build a nearly 10,000-square-foot house in the Berkeley hills, he set off a legal fight now before the state Supreme Court over the reach of California's bedrock environmental law.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 18 State Bar, ex-leader trade charges
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The mudslinging between the State Bar and Joseph L. Dunn, the executive director that the Board of Trustees terminated, continued unabated over the weekend and into Monday.
Nov 18 Opinion: How will Proposition 47 affect our local law enforcement?
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) What's going to happen now that almost two-thirds of California voters passed Proposition 47, which requires misdemeanor instead of felony sentencing for certain drug and property offenses?
Nov 18 Veteran San Francisco complex litigation judge to retire
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Munter - whose retirement will become official Dec. 31 - plans to be part of the state Assigned Judges Program, which places retired judges in temporary positions throughout California.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco
Nov 17 Video: South Bay, East County traffic courts may close and move to Kearny Mesa
10 News
Taking care of a traffic ticket is going to be a lot more painful next year.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County
Nov 17 Fired bar leader's suit is baseless and his whistleblower claims are 'bewildering,' Calif. bar says
ABA Journal
The State Bar of California is firing back after its former executive director claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired for exposing “egregious improprieties."
Related: The Recorder, Daily Journal, The Recorder
Nov 17 Judicial committee may recommend training changes in conservatorship matters
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A judicial committee may recommend the state revamp judge and attorney training in the wake of a disability rights group's allegations of problems with how California courts award parents and guardians control over developmentally disabled people.
Related: Probate and Mental Health Advisor Committee
Nov 16 Gov. Jerry Brown lets state Supreme Court vacancy linger
San Francisco Chronicle
The California Supreme Court, which is supposed to have seven justices, has had only six for more than seven months, an interval that may be unprecedented and is at least the longest in a half century. The reason is inaction by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Related: California Supreme Court
Nov 16 Lake County Time Capsule: The old Lake County Courthouse
Lake County News
The building that formerly served as Lake County's courthouse sits at 255 N Main St. in Lakeport, just across the street from the building that today serves that function.
Nov 15 Yolo County Court, jail adjusting to Prop. 47
Daily Democrat
The recent passage of Proposition 47, which reduces certain felony charges to misdemeanors, has left more questions than answers for Yolo County court officials and law enforcement.
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