Archive for the ‘ Legal ’ Category

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79

Antonin Scalia

Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday, Feb. 13. Scalia was appointed to the high court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

By Robert Barnes
February 13, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing, whose elegant and acidic opinions inspired a movement of legal thinkers and ignited liberal critics, died Feb. 13 on a ranch near Marfa, Tex. He was 79.

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Lee Baca

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca outside court in Los Angeles after pleading guilty Wednesday to lying to federal investigators. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Joel Rubin and Cindy Chang
February 12, 2016

The sheriff’s lie came 25 minutes into the interview.

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Anne Marie Schubert

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert in January 2015. She is a plaintiff in a new lawsuit challenging a ballot measure proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. (Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 12, 2016 11:38 AM

  • Lawsuit by DA’s association said Jan. 25 amendments not germane to Dec. 22 filing
  • Suit asks a judge to order that the Brown-backed proposal start over
  • Attorney general’s office scheduled to issue title and summary for amended measure this month

California prosecutors have asked a judge to block a newly amended ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would make it easier for nonviolent prisoners to get parole.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: DAs fight governor’s measure

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 11, 2016 – 4:31 PM

  • Brown wants to overhaul criminal sentencing
  • Prosecutors say it will undermine crime-fighting
  • Other law enforcement groups still uncommitted

Wily politician that he is, Jerry Brown tried to dampen potential opposition to an overhaul of criminal sentencing laws he’ll place on the November ballot.

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Los Angeles Times: Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca pleads guilty in jail scandal

Lee Baca

Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, center, leaves the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles after pleading guilty Wednesday to lying to federal investigators. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Joel Rubin, Cindy Chang and Harriet Ryan
February 10, 2016

Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to federal investigators, a stunning reversal for the longtime law enforcement leader who for years insisted he played no role in the misconduct that tarnished his agency.

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city-of-riverside-seal

Vote hinges on whether deal can be reached with county D.A.

Published: Feb. 9, 2016
Updated:  Feb. 10, 2016 – 7:12 a.m.

Riverside council members decided late Tuesday to place a measure on the June ballot that would give the city attorney the power to prosecute misdemeanor crimes.

To read article by Alicia Robinson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Lawmakers seek to loosen encryption on smartphones

Cell Phone Encryption - NSA

By Melody Gutierrez
February 8, 2016
Updated: February 9, 2016 – 7:27am

SACRAMENTO — A fight over encryption-protected smartphone data is heating up in California and New York where lawmakers and law enforcement groups are pushing bills to enable investigators to unscramble data to obtain critical evidence in human trafficking, terrorism and child pornography cases.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Riverside ‘prosecutor of year’ had San Diego DUI

Riverside County District Attorney

By Morgan Cook | Feb. 5, 2016 – 6:18 p.m.

The newly minted 2015 Prosecutor of the Year in Riverside County was honored even though he had a recent drunk driving conviction in San Diego County and an altercation with San Diego police that made the news in 2006.

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Reuters: Bankrupt San Bernardino, California, reaches deal on pension obligation debt

Reuters

Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016 – 8:10pm EST
SAN FRANCISCO | By Jim Christie

The bankrupt city of San Bernardino, California, said in a court filing on Wednesday it had reached a tentative agreement with the creditor holding its pension obligation bonds on how the debt would be treated in the city’s plan to exit bankruptcy but did not provide details.

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Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo “engaged in a regular practice of reckless origination and underwriting” of Federal Housing Administration loans, prosecutors alleged. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

James Rufus Koren
February 3, 2016

Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $1.2 billion to settle claims that it duped the federal government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages in the years leading up to the housing crash, the San Francisco banking giant said Wednesday.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff

Joel Rubin
February 2, 2016

A federal jury found two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies guilty Tuesday of falsifying records about the beating of a jail inmate but deadlocked on whether the deputies used excessive force.

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The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union resolve $40 million in claims

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 02/01/16 – 9:26 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> An agreement between the city and its firefighter union that ends more than $40 million worth of disputes is now final, with approval from both sides.

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The Sentinel: Ramos’s Quashing Of Grand Jury Probes Seen As Obstruction Of Justice

San Bernardino County Grand Jury

By Mark Gutglueck
Saturday, January 30, 2016

County civil grand jurors who have taken up investigations deemed highly problematic for top elected officials, senior county staff members and department heads and the county itself have been forced to drop those lines of inquiry and threatened with prosecution if they persist in exploring those issues, the Sentinel is informed.

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City of Industry

City of Industry City Council closes their council meeting after a closed session on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The state controller’s audit concludes “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” over the past decade in the City of Industry. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
and Rebecca Kimitch, LA Daily News
Posted: 01/28/16 – 10:19 AM PST |

The state’s top fiscal officer has audited the city of Industry and concluded “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” in the city over the past decade.

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Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at Stanford University on Tuesday. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

John Myers
January 27, 2016

Almost four decades after he signed a law mandating strict sentences for the most serious crimes, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday moved to ease its effect, proposing inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses be given a chance at early release.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: PUC mess: Did Brown play role?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 26, 2016 5:09 PM

  • PUC president made secret deal on nuke plant shutdown
  • San Diego attorney hunts for connection to governor
  • Judge’s ruling could force Brown to make disclosures

Jerry Brown distances himself from embarrassing situations in the state government he ostensibly commands, never adopting Harry Truman’s “the buck stops here” attitude.

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The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union reach tentative ‘global settlement’

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/25/16 – 9:10 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city and one of its most consistent legal adversaries, the fire union, have a tentative agreement that ends all of their legal disputes, after the City Council approved it during a closed session meeting Monday, according to City Attorney Gary Saenz.

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Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Jan. 25, 2016 | Updated – 5:05 p.m.

  • Ruling: Utilities commission won’t get last word on withholding San Onofre emails

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Monday rejected the California Public Utilities Commission’s request to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at forcing regulators to release dozens of emails to and from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

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The Press-Enterprise: SAN BERNARDINO: Bankruptcy plan hurts those injured by city

San Bernardino Seal

Those who have filed claims against the city would receive 1 percent of what they’re owed under the insolvency proposal

Published: Jan. 22, 2016
Updated:   Jan. 23, 2016 – 9:06 p.m.

The city of San Bernardino hopes that a provision of its bankruptcy-exit plan will erase more than $49 million from the books by allowing it to pay only 1 percent – $500,000 – to its unsecured creditors.

To read story by Brian Rokos in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Los Angeles Times: More claims filed against San Bernardino County in terror attack

SBCO

Paloma Esquivel and Brittny Mejia
January 22, 2016

The family of Sierra Clayborn, who was killed in the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terror attack, filed three claims against San Bernardino County this week, alleging it failed to prevent her death. The claims seek $204 million in damages.

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California Supreme Court

Thursday, January 21, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

There is new local news coverage of the long-running San Bernardino County Colonies case.

To read the coverage, click the following links:

The Sun / Daily Bulletin: Key conspiracy charge still out in San Bernardino County’s Colonies case
The Press-Enterprise: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Supreme Court rejects Colonies appeal

Victorville

KND also suggests ‘bond underwriter’ label is wrong

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted: Jan. 20, 2016 at 2:54 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2016 at 5:28 PM

VICTORVILLE — The investment banking firm entangled in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s crosshairs for an allegedly fraudulent municipal bond offering at the city’s airport says it can’t fund a defense and it was never actually the bond underwriter.

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Appellate Courts

The conviction of former L.A. Councilman Richard Alarcon on charges that he lied about living in the district that he was elected to represent has been overturned.

Soumya Karlamangla and David Zahniser
January 20, 2016

A panel of justices Wednesday threw out the perjury and voter fraud convictions of former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife, ruling that the trial judge had issued improper jury instructions.

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City of Los Angeles Seal

Emily Alpert Reyes and Matt Lait
January 19, 2015

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to pay more than $24 million to settle lawsuits from two men who alleged that investigations by dishonest LAPD detectives led to their wrongful murder convictions and caused them to spend decades behind bars.

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USA TODAY: Supreme Court will rule on President Obama’s immigration plan

U.S. Supreme Court

Richard Wolf
USA TODAY
January 19, 2016 – 9:57 a.m. EST

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will give President Obama a final shot at implementing his plan to shield more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

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Justice scales key

Saturday, January 16, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

There has been updated news coverage of recent developments in a high-profile San Bernardino County criminal courts case.

To read the articles, click the following links:

The Sun / Daily Bulletin: San Bernardino judge denies defense motion to dismiss Colonies indictment
The Press-Enterprise: COLONIES: Judge refuses to toss out charges in corruption case

Los Angeles Times: L.A. County’s legal costs soared 24% in 2015

Los Angeles County - Men's Central Jail

The front of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail is shown. Lawsuits involving the Sheriff’s Department, which runs the county jails, contributed to a dramatic increase in the county’s legal costs in 2015. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Abby Sewell
January 15, 2016

Los Angeles County’s spending on lawsuit-related attorney fees, settlements and judgments rose 24% last year — an increase driven largely by litigation against the Sheriff’s Department.

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West Valley Detention Center

West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 01/13/16 – 7:53 PM PST |

Attorneys on both sides of federal lawsuits alleging years of inmate abuse by deputies at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga are battling over whether the litigation should remain suspended while a criminal investigation is underway.

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Surrounded by staff, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, center, listens as The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: boardsnitchreport.0113 - 1/12/16 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report during their regular meeting at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. Picture made at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana, California, on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

Surrounded by staff, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, center, listens as The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. Joshua Sudock ?Staff Photographer)

By Meghann M. Cuniff / Staff Writer
Updated Jan. 13, 2016 8:34 a.m.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday told the district attorney and sheriff to estimate how much it will cost to implement an outside legal committee’s reform recommendations in the wake of the county’s jailhouse informant controversy.

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Los Angeles Daily Journal

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 08:45 a.m.

The Los Angeles Daily Journal has penned another article on an ongoing long-running high-profile San Bernardino County criminal prosecution.

Daily Journal is California’s largest legal news provider.

To read the story, published Monday, click the following link:

Daily Journal: Judge considers motion to dismiss in long-running public corruption case

Politico: SCOTUS signals support for anti-union plaintiffs

Theodore Olsen, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.

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Politico

By Brian Mahoney and Josh Gerstein
Published: 01/11/16 – 11:54 AM EST
Updated: 01/11/16 – 02:26 PM EST

The Supreme Court appeared ready Monday to bar public-sector unions from collecting “fair-share” fees from non-members, a move that could deal a political blow to Democrats by reducing union membership drastically and draining union coffers.

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Anthony Kennedy

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, seated next to McClatchy High School teacher Ellen Wong in 2013, appears to be the swing vote in a case involving public employee unions forcing nonmembers to pay dues. (Renée C. Byer – Sacramento Bee file)

 

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 11, 2016 3:57 PM

  • Lawsuit being argued challenges mandatory union dues
  • Justices’ comments indicate unions will lose
  • A loss could affect the clout unions have enjoyed

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InlandPolitics: New coverage on high-profile legal case

Scales of Justice

January 9, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

A extensive hearing on the high-profile Colonies case was held in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Friday.

To read local news coverage on the proceedings, click the following links:

The Sun / Daily Bulletin: Judge in Colonies case to weigh trial or dismissing case
The Press-Enterprise: CORRUPTION CASE: Prosecution denies withholding evidence
IE Business Daily: Allegations of Prosecution Misconduct Made in Colonies Criminal Case

U.S. Supreme Court

By Michael Doyle
mdoyle@mcclatchydc.com
January 8, 2016 – 2:40 PM

  • Some educators oppose paying fees to California Teachers Association
  • Conservatives see a chance to overturn prior Supreme Court ruling
  • Unions fear that a loss will undermine their viability

Washington, D.C. —

The Supreme Court on Monday will hear oral argument in a case called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. It’s one of the most hotly contested disputes of the court’s 2015-16 term, with serious stakes for law, politics and business.

It raises lots of questions; here are some of them.

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TSA

Starting Jan. 22, 2018, travelers with licenses issued by states that have yet to comply with the new ID standards won’t be allowed to board a domestic flight in the U.S. unless they have an alternative form of identification. Above, TSA personnel at the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington. (JEWEL SAMAD / AFP/Getty Images)

Hugo Martin
January 8, 2016

More than a decade after Congress called for tougher standards for state identification cards and driver’s licenses, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced deadlines for states to comply with the new regulations.

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Mike Hestrin

Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin (Kurt Miller/Staff)

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Cassie MacDuff

By Cassie MacDuff
Published: Jan. 5, 2016
Updated: Jan. 6, 2016 – 8:48 a.m.

A very disturbing statistic emerged late last year: The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and one judge approved more wiretaps in 2012, 2013 and 2014 than any other county in California.

Not just a little more – a lot more.

To read column by Cassie MacDuff in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/05/16 – 5:46 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Unlike every other retiree in this and other bankrupt California cities, 23 retired San Bernardino police officers would lose part of their pension in the city’s bankruptcy plan — and they’re going public with their opposition to those cuts.

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Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Jan. 5, 2016 – 5:38 p.m.

The judge who has overseen the matter of the San Onofre nuclear plant failure for the California Public Utilities Commission has stepped down amid the ongoing criminal investigation at the agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tony Rackauckas

Orange County Dist. Atty Tony Rackauckas created a special committee in July amid mounting criticism about the use of jailhouse informants by his office. (Los Angeles Times)

Matt Hamilton and James Queally
December 4, 2015

A “failure of leadership” at the Orange County district attorney’s office led to repeated problems with the handling of jailhouse informants and helped erode confidence in criminal cases that rely on their testimony, according to a report made public Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Laws - 2016

By John Wildermuth
Thursday, December 31, 2015 – Updated at 7:40 pm

More renewable power, equal pay for women, and restrictions on police searches of cell phones, computers and electronic data highlight a list of new California laws for the new year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politico: More than 1,200 Clinton emails now deemed classified

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has stressed that she did not send any classified information. | Getty

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Politico

By Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein
Published: 12/31/15 – 11:46 AM EST
Updated: 12/31/15 – 06:54 PM EST

  • The agency also falls short of its court-ordered goal of releasing 43,000 pages of the former secretary of state’s emails by the end of the year.

More than 1,200 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time at the State Department have now been deemed classified, after the agency publicly released its eighth batch of the messages late Thursday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unnamed_CCI_EPS

Dec. 31, 2015 – Updated 8:59 a.m.

About this story: This report was written by Edward Humes, the author of 13 nonfiction books and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Orange County Register coverage of the military. The story is based on extensive reporting by the Register’s staff, including Tony Saavedra, David Ferrell, Kelly Puente, Tom Berg and Ian Wheeler, previously published stories and legal documents obtained by the newspaper since the arrest of Scott Dekraai after the worst mass shooting in Orange County history. Illustrations were drawn by Jeff Goertzen.

Read more at the Register’s ‘Inside the Snitch Tank’ site

Prologue

On his last day of freedom, Scott Dekraai spoke on the phone with his ex-wife. Let’s meet for coffee, he suggested.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Criminal probe focuses on San Onofre response

CPUC

Warrant examines utilities commission, Edison meetings and UCLA grant funds

By Jeff McDonald and Ricky Young |
Dec. 29, 2015 – 5:00 p.m.

A state criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission centers around former President Michael Peevey’s persistent intervention into the process to assign costs for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant, newly released court documents show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg Politics

By Edward Pettersson
December 29, 2015 — 1:34 PM PST
Updated on December 29, 2015 — 4:30 PM PST

California can ask a nonprofit group started by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch for the names and addresses of its donors, but the state can’t publicly disclose that information.

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InlandPolitics: High profile criminal case covered in legal journal

Los Angeles Daily Journal

Monday, December 28, 2015 – 01:00 p.m.

Recent developments in a high profile San Bernardino County legal case have caught the attention of Southern California legal publication Los Angeles Daily Journal.

To read the article, click the following link:

Daily Journal: Attorneys argue over key motion in corruption case – 122115

Scales of Justice

Monday, December 28, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

Here’s the latest local news coverage of an ongoing high-profile San Bernardino County legal case.

The Press-Enterprise: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Trial postponed in Colonies corruption case
Daily Press: Colonies trial date is pushed back
The Sun: Health issues delay trial in Colonies corruption case by eight months

Amazingly, the later story was authored by someone not actually present in the courtroom.

During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli trial, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wields a police baton, demonstrating how he believes Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas. ////ADDITIONAL INFO: kelly.thomas.120213 - Day: Monday - Date: 12/2/13 - Time: 10:17:38 AM - Original file name DSC_0409.NEF PHOTO BY, BRUCE CHAMBERS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - SANTA ANA - A history-making trial starts Monday for two ex-Fullerton police officers accused in the beating death of a mentally ill, homeless man. At stake will be the freedom of former officers Manuel Ramos, 39, and Jay Cicinelli, 42, who are charged with fatally beating Kelly Thomas, 37, a schizophrenic transient, during an encounter captured by a surveillance camera at the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5, 2011. Thomas died five later when he was removed from life support, Ramos, 39, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter – the first time in Orange County history that a uniformed police officer has been charged with murder for an on-duty incident. Cicinelli, 41, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery under color of authority. The trial before Superior Court Judge William Froeberg could take about six weeks.The prosecution is led by Tony Rackauckas, Orange County's district attorney since 1999, the first time in more than a dozen years that he's personally handled a trial in the courtroom. John Barnett, perhaps the county's best-known defense attorney, is representing Ramos. Michael Schwartz, who specializes in defending police officers, is representing Cicinelli.

During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wielded a police baton to demonstrate how he believed Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas in 2011. (Bruce Chambers / File)

By David Ferrell and Tony Saavedra
December 27, 2015 – Updated 12:33 p.m.

Tough, street-smart Tony Rackauckas, who left gang-marred East Los Angeles to jump from the sky as a U.S. Army paratrooper, has spent the better part of his legal career in one battle or another.

Read the rest of this entry »

LASO Badge

Joel Rubin
December 26, 2015

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department already was engulfed in a jail brutality scandal when a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office examined the beating of Gabriel Carrillo.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Bulletin: San Bernardino County presiding judge gets new appointment

Marsha Slough

Marsha G. Slough (Courtesy photo)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/23/15 – 1:00 PM PST |

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday the appointment of San Bernardino County Presiding Judge Marsha G. Slough to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Riverside. She will be the first openly gay justice in the history of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, if confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. District Court

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/22/15 – 1:14 PM PST |

Two more lawsuits totaling 21 plaintiffs alleging systematic abuse at the hands of San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga have been filed in federal court in Riverside.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 12/22/15 – 7:39 PM PST |

An appeals court once again ruled against the San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters and in favor of the city Tuesday, affirming U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury’s conclusion that nothing in the city charter or state law prevents the city from outsourcing its Fire Department.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: POLITICS: Debt battle pits Inland cities against each other

lawsuit

A lawsuit by Eastvale over relief bill could have ramifications for three other area cities.

Published: Dec. 18, 2015
Updated:   Dec. 20, 2015 – 5:57 p.m.

Jurupa Valley City Manager Gary Thompson is certain Riverside County will prevail in the legal challenge filed by Eastvale concerning a plan to erase millions of dollars in debt owed by Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar — but not Eastvale.

To read article by Sandra Stokley in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Supreme Court of the United States

David G. Savage
December 14, 2015

California consumers who are angry about being hit with unexpected fees can be forced to air their complaints individually before an arbitrator rather than in a class-action lawsuit, under a decision handed down Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Visa

By Matt Apuzzo, Michale S. Schmidt and Julia Preston
December 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. None uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.

Read the rest of this entry »

LA County Seal

Mark Saladino, Los Angeles County’s former chief attorney, claims the Board of Supervisors coerced his resignation by forcing him to issue a false press release and sign an agreement “under duress” when he stepped down from the job in June. Saladino, who moved to the position of assistant treasurer and tax collector, filed a claim for damages with the county this week.

By Mike Reicher, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/11/15 – 1:52 PM PST |

Los Angeles County’s former chief attorney claims the Board of Supervisors coerced his resignation by forcing him to issue a false press release and sign an agreement “under duress” when he stepped down from the job in June.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Brown is no stranger to CPUC involvement

San Bruno

In this Sept. 9, 2010 file photo, a massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif., after a lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in flames, killing eight people. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | 7 a.m. Dec. 7, 2015 | Updated, noon

  • Governor doesn’t stop at making commission appointments

A new batch of emails released by the City of San Bruno last week show Gov. Jerry Brown supervising his appointees on the California Public Utilities Commission closely.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Jose Mercury News: U.S. Supreme Court to hear key voting rights case

U.S. Supreme Court

By Howard Mintz
hmintz@mercurynews.com
Posted: 12/05/2015 – 12:13:57 PM PST
Updated: 12/05/2015 – 07:04:48 PM PST

With the potential for a seismic shift in the political landscape of California and other states hanging in the balance, the U.S. Supreme Court this week takes on a case that will test the framework of the “one person, one vote” principle that has defined political boundaries for generations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 6, 2015

  • For a half century, legislative and congressional districts have been equal in population
  • Plaintiffs before Supreme Court say districts should be created by number of potential voters
  • If successful, lawsuit could aid conservatives by forcing districts to be redrawn

When an independent commission redrew California’s legislative and congressional districts four years ago, equalizing their populations was a bedrock goal.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: MURRIETA: No criminal charges against ex-Mayor Harry Ramos

Harry Ramos

District attorney’s office’s decision does not affect a civil lawsuit filed by a Ramona woman who says Ramos sexually harassed her. (Frank Bellino – File Photo)

Published: Dec. 1, 2015
Updated: Dec. 2, 2015 7:01 a.m.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has declined to pursue criminal charges against Murrieta Councilman Harry Ramos for his actions during a Murrieta Chamber of Commerce event in January.

To read article by Aaron Claverie in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

LASO Badge

Joel Rubin
November 30, 2015

Two former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to federal prison Monday for their roles in the beating of a handcuffed jail visitor and a scheme to cover up the assault.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Settlement talks requested in sheriff civil rights lawsuit

Court Filings

Friday, November 27, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

A civil rights lawsuit filed by four African-American women, arising from an alleged altercation at an Adelanto, California Del Taco Restaurant appears headed to settlement discussions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 26, 2015

  • Financial, managerial problems plague system
  • Rebel judges battle with judicial leaders
  • Ability of courts to function threatened

There’s nothing more fundamental to a well-functioning society than an efficient, fair court system to resolve civil disputes and criminal cases.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Berardino County: New developments in high-profile corruption case

California Supreme Court

Thursday, November 26, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

There’s new coverage of recent developments in a long-running high-profile San Bernardino County legal case.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bar Exam

Jason Song
December 25, 2015

For the second year in a row, the percentage of people who successfully took the summer California bar exam fell to a historic low, with less than 47% passing, according to state statistics. Last year, only 48.6% of those who took the exam made the grade, the first time the passage rate dipped below half in nearly a decade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Settlement

By Lou Ponsi / Staff Writer
Nov. 23, 2015 – Updated 12:11 p.m.

A $4.9 million settlement has been reached in the Kelly Thomas wrongful-death civil suit against Fullerton and current and former police officers, attorneys announced Monday just hours before the civil case was to begin.

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Orange County Sheriff

By Kelly Puente and Tony Saavedra / Staff Writers
Nov. 19, 2015
Updated Nov. 20, 2015 – 12:36 p.m.

After four sheriff’s deputies refused to testify in court on grounds of self-incrimination, an Orange County judge on Wednesday granted a new trial for a gang member convicted of murder.

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Orange County District Attorney

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Nov. 19, 2015
Updated Nov. 22, 2015 – 3:56 a.m.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday blasted a letter by more than three dozen former prosecutors and legal heavy-hitters calling for a federal investigation into the use of jailhouse informants as ill-timed and ill informed.

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Voice of OC: Legal Heavyweights Call for Federal Probe of Orange County DA

Orange County District Attorney

By Rex Dalton
November 18, 2015 at 2:00 PM

A coalition of national legal authorities is calling for a federal investigation of the Orange County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department for alleged systemic violations of defendants’ rights involving jail informants.

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World Logistics Center

They file 48,000 signatures for ballot measures to fight challenges to the proposed World Logistics Center warehouse complex.

Published: Nov. 16, 2015 – Updated: 10:23 p.m.

Supporters of the World Logistics Center turned in about 48,000 signatures Monday for three ballot initiatives aimed at thwarting legal challenges to a 40.6 million-square-foot warehouse complex that would transform the city’s eastern side.

To read article by Imran Ghori in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Eastvale

Published: Nov. 16, 2015 – 8:18 p.m.

  • Eastvale voted to sue Riverside County on a 5-0 vote Monday night, Nov. 16.

The Eastvale City Council announced Monday night, Nov. 16, that it intends to file a lawsuit against Riverside County involving a bill that provided for debt relief for Riverside County’s newest cities.

To read article by Sandra Stokley in The Press Enterprise, click here.

Kamala Harris

California Attorney General Kamala Harris this month submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court encouraging it to “allow public universities to consider race as one factor among many in admissions decisions.” (Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press)

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 16, 2015

  • 1996 measure outlawed affirmative action for college, government actions
  • Issue now before U.S. Supreme Court as it considers Texas case
  • State attorney general urges court to uphold affirmative action, despite her state’s stance

Proposition 209, passed by California voters in 1996, bars race, ethnicity or gender preferences in hiring, college admissions and other governmental actions.

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Scales of Justice

Monday, November 16, 2015 – 08:00 a.m.

Three highly-publicized long-running San Bernardino County criminal prosecutions will see 2016, and likely beyond for that matter.

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Los Angeles Times: A frenzied start for state’s traffic ticket amnesty program

Traffic Ticket Amnesty

Fredrick Jefferson at the home in Corona where he is staying. Jefferson 46, is among millions of Californians who lost their driver’s licenses because of unpaid traffic fines. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Lee Romney
November 14, 2015

Heavy equipment mechanic Fredrick Jefferson said it was when a supervisor fired him that he learned his driver’s license had been revoked because of unpaid traffic fines.

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The Sun: Former Victorville councilwoman sues employer, alleges retaliation

Angela Valles

Angela Valles

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 11/12/15, 10:22 AM PST |

Outspoken former Victorville Councilwoman Angela Valles is suing her employer, the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, alleging her colleagues have retaliated against her and demoted her because of her continued efforts to expose government corruption.

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lawsuit

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 11/12/15 – 12:34 PM PST |

The parents of a developmentally disabled Ontario man, beaten to death by his cell mate at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against San Bernardino County and the captain of the jail.

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Daily Press: Former Baca staff member picking up the pieces

scales-of-justice

Samuel Clauder sues county after being cleared of child porn charge.

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at 5:25 PM
Updated Nov 12, 2015 at 6:11 PM

SAN BERNARDINO — A former Congressional staffer exonerated of possessing child pornography will speak to reporters Friday outside sheriff’s headquarters here as he recovers property seized by authorities from his home during the criminal investigation.

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U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

By Brian Melley
Associated Press
November 12, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s death penalty survived a legal challenge Thursday when a federal appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that had found it was unconstitutional because of excessive delays.

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Calpensions: San Jose, Atlanta pensions: a tale of two rulings

Pensions

By Ed Mendel
October 10, 2015

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have more in common than their last names. Both have the same broad pension story. But last week, Atlanta had a very different ending.

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Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

David G. Savage, Brian Bennett and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
October 9, 2015

A federal appeals court dealt a severe and possibly fatal blow Monday to President Obama’s executive actions to allow up to 5 million immigrants living illegally in the United States to stay and obtain work permits.

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Blue Shield
Blue Shield of California sued a former employee who has criticized the nonprofit insurer. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times)

Chad Terhune
October 9, 2015

Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California sued its former public policy director and accused him of disclosing confidential company information.

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InlandPolitics: Local coverage on high-profile San Bernardino County legal case

Scales of Justice

Saturday, November 7, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

Here’s the latest local newspaper coverage of a high-profile San Bernardino County court case of public concern.

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Daily Press: Former Ramos aide accepts plea deal

MIchael Lipsitz

Lipsitz pleads guilty to bringing alcohol or drugs into a prison

By Matthew Cabe, Staff Writer
Posted Nov. 5, 2015 at 7:43 PM

VICTORVILLE — A former aide to San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos accused of trying to smuggle drugs into a jail pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony charge as part of a plea deal, court records show.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday told federal judges that California needs to change how it sets prison sentences. (Paige St. John / Los Angeles Times)

Paige St. John
November 4, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown used a forum for federal judges Wednesday to make the case in strong terms that California’s crime laws have gone too far and inmate behavior should play a greater role in determining the length of a prison stay.

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Kamala Harris

State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris at a press conference in February. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
November 3, 2015

A state ethics agency has told California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris that it may launch an inquiry into an allegation that she received gifts from a company owned by a San Francisco interior designer that exceed legal limits.

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The New York Times: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice

Contract Arbitration

Alan Carlson, a restaurant owner and chef, was involved in a 2003 class-action suit against American Express. A decade later, a Supreme Court ruling enabled American Express to prevent merchants from bringing class actions. (Credit: Jason Henry for The New York Times)

By Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff
October 31, 2015

On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express, beneath an explainer on interest rates and late fees, past the details about annual membership, is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.”
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