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California judicial news

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The Judicial Update

News about courts and judges in California


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Legislation reviewed by the Judicial Council
The Judicial Council of California has reviewed legislation suggested by the 2009 Senate and Assembly, and offer this summery of approved bills: Status of 2009 legislation considered by the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee.

New Judge Spent More Than $360,000 to Win Seat, Records Show

(9/22/2008) Financial intakes and expenditures for Los Angeles County judge races.

How to judge the judges

(5/29/2008) Point-counterpoint opinion in the LA Times notes the difficulty of running for judicial offices is that the posts are countywide, and it is difficult to connect with voters. Los Angeles County municipal courts to have consolidated with the larger Superior Court. Now in L.A. County, voters have a difficult time acquainting themselves with the would-be jurists.

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

(5/15/2008) Los Angeles Times coverage of the 4-3 supreme court ruling that declared the state's constitution protects "a fundamental 'right to marry' that extends equally to same-sex couples." The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George.

Do county payments to judges amount to bribes?

(4/22/2008) Two California "activists" lobbied Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate what they deem courtroom corruption by Los Angeles County Superior Court judges who receive "unwarranted" payments from Los Angeles County (i.e. the state). Even though legislation that requires judges to file financial disclosure forms already exists, the two argue that inquring minds have to unnecessarily probe the Secretary of State and County Registrar’s Office for said documentation.

Web site boasts quick lawsuits

(4/15/2008) Monterey, CA-- Sueeasy.com, an online portal that "allows users to browse pending court actions online and join other consumers' cases" starts to make headwaves.

California Supreme Court rejects living wage appeal

(4/11/2008) Los Angeles County hoteliers were dealt a major setback when the state high court declined to hear hotel management appeals to a lower court ruling, which held the city's living wage ordinance is lawful. The Hotel Association for Los Angeles may yet appeal the case on different grounds.

Judge quits after another admonishment

(4/9/2008) James M. Brooks, a former Orange County Superior Court judge resigned from his seat after repeated public admonishment from the state's Commission on Judicial Performance. Brooks's final offense materialized during a 2005 employee-discrimination case, in which he over-ruled objections using hand-lettered signs and egged on an attorney who had taunted a plaintiff with the "Twilight Zone" theme. The Commission ruled that Brooks had failed to maintain order and decorum in his court.[1]

Carson minister targets Latino judges to make way for Filipinos

(March 28, 2008) A Los Angeles County pastor initiated a write-in campaign designed to unseat Latino judges, and get Filipino ones elected in their place. The pastor said he targeted Latino judges since their names are "almost the same" as Filipino ones.

Six more judges must face the ballot

(3/24/2008) One hundred thirty-eight unchallenged Los Angeles Superior Court judges were automatically re-elected in 2008; 16 judicial races were contested. See also: "Carson minister targets Latino judges to make way for Filipinos".

"Followed Rates" and Leading State Cases, 1940-2005

A study conducted by UC Davis confirms earlier data that showed the California Supreme Court is the most "followed" state supreme court. According to the study, "many of the California decisions have undergone a gestation period before garnering multiple follows by out-of-state cases. This phenomenon is most pronounced in the pre-1970 decisions." Some of the most followed cases include:

(See report for more cases, especially of civil and criminal natures.)



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