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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.

Aug 3 State Bar announces new chief operating officer
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Alameda County Superior Court's chief executive officer, Leah T. Wilson, will become the State Bar's new chief operating officer, the bar announced late Friday.
Aug 1 Need for translators grows in Ventura County courts
Ventura County Star
(Subscription required) While plans are underway to meet the growing need of language translation in courtrooms in Ventura County and across the state, officials say finding funding and qualified interpreters remain challenges as they push to meet compliance deadlines in the next five years.
Related: Superior Court of Ventura County
Aug 3 Judicial Profile: Christopher K. Lui
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) With his appointment to the bench, Judge Christopher K. Lui has now seen criminal law from every possible side.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Jul 31 Joe Dunn expected to enter congressional race for Loretta Sanchez's seat
Orange County Register
Former state Sen. Joe Dunn, D-Santa Ana, may be the next to join the race to replace Rep. Loretta Sanchez, the Orange Democrat now running for U.S. Senate.
Jul 31 Fruit grower Dan Gerawan's decades-long fight with the UFW
Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court now is being asked to review a lower court's rejection of the so-called mandatory mediation and conciliation provision of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in his first term 40 years ago.
Jul 31 Governor makes push to speed up court disputes over groundwater
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As the crisis of groundwater depletion grows in the fourth year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has released a proposal aimed at preventing the state's unprecedented effort to control groundwater extraction from getting bogged down in court.
Jul 30 New School Study Shows Black Kids Get Cops, White Kids Get Docs
The Daily Beast
A new study says black students are more likely to get criminalized discipline, while white students receive medical intervention.
Jul 30 Golden States’ legal efforts just flushed down the drain
Ventura County Star
Golden State Water Company’s efforts to hold on to its Ojai service area came to an abrupt halt Wednesday with the California Supreme Court’s rejection of the utility’s latest appeal.
Jul 30 Supreme Court asks for input on court rule proposal
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state's highest court announced Wednesday it is seeking public comment on a possible amendment to the California Rules of Court that would no longer automatically depublish a Court of Appeal opinion once the Supreme Court granted review of the case.
Related: News Release, The Recorder, At The Lectern
Jul 30 Peer Court gives kids a lesson in the law
Orange County Register
This was a session of Peer Court, a juvenile diversion program that brings an up-close look at the legal system to high schools all over Orange County.
Related: Peer/Youth Courts
Jul 30 Leading architect of state’s complex litigation courts set to retire
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) One the state's most prominent jurists will retire in three weeks. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer, known for his role in building the court's complex litigation unit into a nationally respected department, will leave the bench Aug. 21.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Jul 30 Judicial Profile: Elizabeth M. Hill
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A photograph of Sandra Day O'Connor hanging in San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hill's chambers is a reminder of the desire she had from a young age to one day don the black robe.
Related: Superior Court of San Mateo County
Jul 29 Video: New Madera courthouse prepares to open its doors
ABC30 Fresno
The new courthouse in Madera is getting ready to open its doors. The building is designed to improve safety and put the latest technology in the courtroom.
Related: New Madera County Courthouse
Jul 29 State court recognizes Solano County judge with highest award
The Reporter
A Solano County Superior Court judge has been selected to receive the Distinguished Service award from the Judicial Council of California for his work with the council’s statewide court facilities program
Related: News Release
Jul 29 State high court taking up license-plate scanning case
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide when the public can see records of high-tech police monitoring programs like the scanners that officers use to record millions of license plate numbers.
Related: California Supreme Court, The Recorder
Jul 29 State high court on the spot again
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court denied the request for certification of the question, writing that a decision was "unlikely to be determinative in the federal proceedings," adding that there is "controlling precedent on the question of timeliness. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.548(a)(1).)"
Related: California Supreme Court
Jul 29 Judicial Profile: Cynthia Ming-mei Lee
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The court's first female Asian-American presiding judge led the court during its most trying time, working to rebuild morale while facing fiscal challenges that resulted in the loss of 200 court employees and 11 of 12 commissioners.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco
Jul 28 S.C. Snuffs Rule Barring Extrinsic Evidence Where Will Is Clear
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday abrogated the court-made rule that extrinsic evidence may not be admitted to reform a will that is unambiguous.
Related: Supreme Court Opinion, San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, At the LecternDaily Journal
Jul 28 Courthouses statewide face maintenance woes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A fire that shut down two-thirds of the Pasadena Courthouse on Monday is just the latest emergency in a string of floods, elevator entrapments and plumbing disasters plaguing trial courts statewide, according to a draft report released this month by the trial court facility modification advisory committee.
Jul 28 Fire closes parts of Pasadena Courthouse; some cases transferred
Los Angeles Times
A fire at the Pasadena Courthouse sparked by oil-soaked rags forced officials to close parts of the courthouse through Tuesday and send some cases to Boyle Heights and downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Daily Journal
Jul 28 Judge Ann Jones Is Under Consideration for Court of Appeal
Met News
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones is in contention for appointment to this district’s Court of Appeal, the MetNews learned yesterday.
Jul 27 Santa Clara County court CEO gets top honor
San Jose Mercury News
Santa Clara County's top court official has been recognized by the state Judicial Council for distinguished service, the first time in 21 years that an administrator from the county has been honored by the policymaking arm of the California courts.
Related: Mr. David H. Yamasaki
Jul 27 Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders, Over Protests by Mormon Church
The New York Times
The Boy Scouts of America on Monday ended its ban on openly gay adult leaders.
Related: Associated Press, National Law Journal
Jul 27 Publishing appellate decisions
Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento region’s state appeals court declared three decades ago that when a corporation hires lobbyists to pass a bill, it loses its claim of privacy in a libel action.
Jul 27 Former Court Exec Spams Judges
The Recorder
Curtis Child, a former executive with the Administrative Office of the Courts, has miffed some judges around the state after sending a widespread email touting the virtues of his new employer, CourtCall LLC.
Jul 27 Prop. 47 also reduces some juvenile offenses, state court rules
Los Angeles Times
Alejandro was 15 when he tried to steal three bottles of vodka and a bag of potato chips from his neighborhood pharmacy.
Related: Daily Journal
Jul 27 In close vote, longtime State Bar activist elected as the organization's president
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Promising to improve efficiency and transparency, David J. Pasternak, a receivership lawyer and longtime bar activist, was elected Friday to be the next president of the State Bar.
Related: The Recorder, Met News
Jul 26 In California, a death sentence with no date in sight
It's been close to a decade since California executed a death row inmate, thanks in large part to significant state and federal legal challenges to its constitutionality as well as the years it takes to resolve each case.
Jul 25 Why doesn't the Supreme Court have cameras?
All nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have acknowledged at some point in their careers the value of televising court proceedings.
Jul 24 Commission Confirms Four Brown Nominees for Court of Appeal
Met News
The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday grew by four justices, as the Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed the governor’s picks to fill vacancies on the court.
Related: News Release, Daily Journal, The Recorder, Bay Area Reporter
Jul 24 Inside Oakland’s Youth Court, Where Kids Call the Shots
Wright was 17 at the time, a high school senior from West Oakland with a spotless record. She’d just sent out her college applications, and was in the final stretch toward graduation.
Related: California Peer/Youth Courts
Jul 23 High Court Leaves Ruling on Tiered Water Rates in Place
Met News
A Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling that struck down a city’s tiered water rates as a violation of the state constitutional right to vote on taxes remains statewide precedent after the state high court yesterday rejected a request to depublish the opinion.
Related: Daily Journal, Orange County Register, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee
Jul 23 Video: Bill Cosby request in sex assault lawsuit denied by California Supreme Court
Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court denied a request to review a lawsuit against Bill Cosby, paving the way for the comedian to be deposed in a civil suit filed by a woman who claims he molested her in the 1970s.
Related: Reuters, CBS News, NBC News, The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, The Recorder
Jul 23 Opinion: Community property and the legend of 'separated' spouses
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) On Monday, in In re Marriage of Davis, 2015 DJDAR 8320, the California Supreme Court clarified once and for all whether a couple may be "living separate and apart" for purposes of Family Code Section 771(a) while they still live together in the same home. That statute provides that "[t]he earnings and accumulations of a spouse ... while living separate and apart from the other spouse, are the separate property of the spouse."
Jul 23 Judicial Profile: Brian M. McNamara
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Lava lamps, a stereo with records, and an animatronic parrot that once frightened an attorney by declaring, "I love you." These are some of the items in the chambers of Judge Brian M. McNamara. It's clear he is a bit different, from his Scottish accent to his mathematical system for qualifying jurors 24 at a time to complimenting lawyers from the bench when they've handled a case well.
Related: Superior Court of Kern County
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