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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.

Sep 1 Budgets still lean for Inland counties
Press Enterprise
Budgets for Inland superior courts increased from the previous fiscal year by about $6 million for each system, allowing for small improvements – but services and most courtrooms shuttered by recession-era budget cuts will remain closed.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Sep 2 Court of Appeal Justice Walter Croskey Dies at 81
Met News
Court of Appeal Justice H. Walter Croskey, who served on this district’s Div. Three for more than 26 years, died Friday at the age of 81.
Related: Associate Justice Walter Croskey, Daily Journal, At the Lectern
Sep 2 Judicial Profile: Gene M. Gomes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice Gene M. Gomes made no bones that he was unhappy the state Supreme Court all but told him to change his opinion in a high profile case involving domestic violence and guns.
Related: Associate Justice Gene M. Gomes
Sep 1 Sede Vacante at the California Supreme Court
California Lawyer Magazine
Latin for "vacant seat," sede vacante is most often used to describe the period when no pope is presiding in Rome. But it might also describe the anticipation of waiting for smoke signals from Governor Jerry Brown's office when a vacancy occurs on the California Supreme Court.
Related: California Supreme Court
Aug 31 Former Yolo court official tops 2013 judicial pay list
Sacramento Bee
Yolo Superior Court’s former executive officer was paid $275,221 in 2013, more than any of California’s other 20,500 Superior Court employees, according to new data from the State Controller’s Office.
Aug 30 California Governor Appeals Court Ruling Overturning Protections for Teachers
New York Times
Wading into an intense national battle that has pitted teacher unions against a movement to weaken tenure protections, Gov. Jerry Brown has appealed a California judge’s sweeping ruling that threw out teacher job protection laws on the ground that they deprived students of their constitutional rights.
Related: Associated Press, San Mateo Daily Journal
Aug 29 S.C. Tosses Suit Against Chain Over Harassment Claim
Met News
A former employee of a Domino’s Pizza franchise cannot sue the chain for sexual harassment and retaliation, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
Related: San Francisco Chronicle, Daily JournalThe Recorder, Central Valley Business Times, ForbesBloomberg BNA
Aug 29 Three state appeals court justices confirmed
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Commission on Judicial Appointments confirmed three candidates to the courts of appeal in Los Angeles and Sacramento on Thursday in a hearing at the state Supreme Court.
Related: News Release
Aug 28 California Judicial Council Approves New IT Governance and Strategic Plan
The California Judicial Council approved a new IT governance and strategic plan during its Aug. 21-22 public meeting in San Francisco.
Related: News Release
Aug 28 Stanford law professor Cuellar confirmed to California Supreme Court
San Jose Mercury News
Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar on Thursday breezed through to confirmation to the California Supreme Court, adding a Latino and another academic to a court undergoing a dramatic transformation.
Related: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Daily Journal, The Recorder, San Francisco Chronicle, Met News, Law360, KGO 810, Patch - Los Altos (Bay City News)
Aug 28 Get me rewrite! State appellate justices' amended opinions can be revealing
Daily Journal
(subscription required) Justices sometimes falter when drafting opinions, penning ill-conceived footnotes, hyperbolic diatribes and incorrect facts. Sometimes, though, they take another shot at it, rewriting themselves and editing blunders out of the permanent record.
Aug 28 Truancy package, apprenticeship, epinephrine bills OK’d
Cabinet Report
In the fast and furious final days of the Legislative session, a package of bills is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this week that, if signed as expected, will initiate a systemic effort to increase student attendance by reducing chronic absences, providing for follow-up on truancy hearings and requiring statewide attendance data collection.
Aug 28 Judicial Profile: Arthur A. Garcia
Daily Journal
(subscription required) Many years ago, Judge Arthur Garcia rode his father's trash truck to court to be sworn in.
Related: Santa Barbara County Superior Court
Aug 27 Dreyfuss asks, What about civics classes?
U-T San Diego
Actor Richard Dreyfuss, an Encinitas resident, was honored on the California Senate floor for his work promoting civics education in public schools.
Aug 27 New courthouse 'prominent addition' to city's skyline
San Diego Daily Transcript
(subscription required) The parcel of land once home to King Stahlman Bail Bonds will eventually hold the San Diego County Superior Courthouse.
Aug 27 CJEO Warns Judges on Accepting Gifts of "Nominal" Value
Met News
Acceptance of small gifts by judges as a matter of “ordinary social hospitality” may violate ethics rules, depending on the situation, the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions warned yesterday.
Related: News Release, The Washington Post
Aug 27 No gift is too small to be prohibited, judicial ethics panel decides
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judges may not accept even trivial gifts from litigants or potential litigants, according to a new judicial ethics opinion, and they should probably not accept most gifts from lawyers.
Aug 27 Judicial Profile: Michael M. Johnson
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Attorneys say LA Judge Michael M. Johnson is unflappable in the midst of high-stakes chaos.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Aug 26 S.C. Upholds Death Sentences in Drug-Related Valley Murders
Met News
The state Supreme Court yesterday unanimously upheld the death sentences imposed on three members of a Pacoima-based drug gang, convicted in the murders of four people at a Lake View Terrace “rock house” in 1988.
Aug 26 California gun-buy restriction blocked by judge
San Francisco Chronicle
In another setback for California's tough gun-control laws, a federal judge ruled Monday that the state can't require gun buyers to wait 10 days to pick up their newly purchased weapon if they already own a gun or have a license to possess a handgun.
Related: Associated Press, Orange County Register, Forbes
Aug 26 Quake closes Napa court 'indefinitely,' but cases resume
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Napa County judges, lawyers and legal staff are juggling temporary office locations with near-normal caseloads as they cope with the aftermath of Sunday's earthquake.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County
Aug 26 Judicial Profile: Michael K. Kellogg
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Los Angeles judge Michael Kellogg's career - from the NFL to the courtroom - defies convention.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Aug 25 Judicial Council approves new technology plan
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) More than two years after the politically disastrous collapse of the state judicial branch's main technology update project, the Judicial Council Friday formally approved a new technology plan to bring courts into the 21st century.
Aug 25 Supreme Court shows growing interest in CEQA
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Cases focusing on the state's landmark environmental law are piling up at the California Supreme Court, causing excitement among environmental attorneys and raising questions over what is behind the spike.
Aug 25 San Diego court for split sentence offenders having success
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) It was another Thursday morning in San Diego's Mandatory Supervision Court, which launched early last year to handle the county's influx of so-called "split sentence" offenders under realignment, the state's 2011 prison reform effort.
Related: Superior Court of San Diego County, Criminal Justice Realignment
Aug 25 Judicial Profile: Donna D. Geck
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Donna Geck considers herself an 'accidental lawyer,' having begun her career as a TV news anchor.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
Aug 24 Aftermath of Napa Earthquake: Injuries, damages and power outages
A corner of the historic Napa County Courthouse sits exposed following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif.
Related: Superior Court of Napa County,  Los Angeles Times, Slate
Aug 24 Opinion: You have the right to remain silent — not!
The Reporter
Few people who know me will confuse me with a liberal, but apparently the demarcation line is moving. Because when I look at the California Supreme Court's recently ruling about a person's Miranda right "to remain silent," I have to side with the lefties.
Aug 24 Foster kids losing court advocates
Press Enterprise
Nearly 100 neglected, abused and abandoned children in Riverside County are days away from being left without volunteers to advocate for them in the court system.
Aug 22 Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Throat-Slashing Killer
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of three murders in a case in which it took five months to seat a jury, 56 days of testimony before the jury got to deliberate, and seven days of deliberation to reach a partial verdict.
Related: California Supreme Court, News10
Aug 22 The trouble with electing judges
The Economist
Of all the ways in which America is exceptional, its practice of electing judges is one of the least obvious and most striking. The spectacle of someone who has the power to hand out death sentences making stump speeches, seeking endorsements and raising funds has long seemed odd to outsiders.
Aug 22 State to appeal ruling on constitutionality of death penalty
San Francisco Chronicle
California will appeal a federal judge's ruling that declared the state's death penalty unconstitutional, Attorney General Kamala Harris said Thursday, arguing that the ruling would actually reduce the rights of capital defendants in order to speed up executions.
Related: Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, KPCC, OC Weekly, Associated Press
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