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News for, and by, our local legal community, curated and created by the Santa Clara County Bar. The opinions expressed in this blog are the authors' own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, its members, its employees, or its governing board.

 

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Strategy on Garland: Act as Though He’ll Get Senate Hearing

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals here, has been sequestered in a kind of alternate reality in a small conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, cramming for questions from senators as if hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court will happen this year.

The preparations — described by top aides as businesslike — are part of a deliberate White House strategy to ignore the fact that Republicans have refused to even consider his nomination. Mr. Obama’s aides and Judge Garland’s allies have concluded that acting as if the Supreme Court nomination is going ahead is the best way to maximize pressure on their adversaries.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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Fresno attorney Anthony Capozzi elected chair of California judicial commission

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

Fresno attorney Anthony P. Capozzi has been elected chairperson of the Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency that is responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and disciplining judges.

Capozzi, who operates his own law firm, was elected March 23. Justice Ignazio J. Ruvolo, an appellate judge in San Francisco, was elected vice chairperson.

The commission, based in San Francisco, is composed of three judges, two lawyers, and six public members. It has jurisdiction over all of California’s Superior Court judges, and the state’s appellate and Supreme Court justices.

Read the whole story at Fresno Bee

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California AG Sues Morgan Stanley Over Complex Investments

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed a lawsuit against investment bank Morgan Stanley for misrepresentations of complex investments.

The investments included residential mortgage-backed securities, in which large pools of home loans were packaged together and sold to investors.

Harris says the misrepresentations contributed to the global financial crisis and to major losses by investors including California's public pension funds, which are responsible for the retirement security of state peace officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees.

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Supreme Court rejects voting-district challenge that would have weakened Los Angeles' clout

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

A conservative effort to shift political power away from fast-growing communities of immigrants fizzled Monday when the Supreme Courtunanimously upheld the current widely used method of counting all persons when drawing up election districts.

The justices ruled that creating voting districts “on the basis of the total population” is constitutional and need not change.

“History, our decisions and settled practice in all 50 states and countless local jurisdictions point in the same direction,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Read the whole story at LA Times

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Judge Brian C. Walsh to be Honored at 20th Annual Ethics Symposium

Posted By Paula Collis, Monday, April 4, 2016

Editor's Note: The SCCBA Professionalism Committee nominates Judges Walsh for the award.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2016 — The State Bar of California announced today that it will honor two legal luminaries at its 20th annual statewide ethics symposium on April 9 in San Francisco. 

Sacramento attorney Karen M. Goodman and Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Brian C. Walsh will each receive the 2016 Harry B. Sondheim California Professional Responsibility Award. The award was created in 2010 to honor long-term outstanding contributions to the advancement of professional responsibility standards in California. The winners were chosen by the Board of Trustees

“It’s a privilege to be giving this award to two deserving individuals whose efforts have made a lasting impact on bettering the profession and protecting the public,” State Bar President David Pasternak said. 

Goodman, 56, was chairwoman of the State Bar’s Discipline Standards Task Force in 2014, which revised the guidelines that are used to determine the appropriate sanction for attorney discipline cases and ensure consistency in how cases are dealt with. Before that, she was chairwoman of the Board of Trustees committee that oversees the discipline system. Among many other volunteer roles, she has served as a member of the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners and Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.

Walsh, 68, was a pioneer for promoting civility and professionalism. As president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association in 1992, he developed a code of professionalism for the county. The code, still in use today, was used as a model for the State Bar of California’s Civility Toolbox adopted in 2007. Walsh has been appointed by the chief justice of California to serve on a number of statewide committees, including the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics. He also mentors new judges.

The awards will be given at the symposium, which features five hours of Continuing Legal Education credit in legal ethics. For more information, or to register for the symposium, visit the symposium’s web page.

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Multistate Bar Exam average score falls to 33-year low

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

The mean scaled score on the February administration of the Multistate Bar Examination fell to 135, down 1.2 points from the previous year and the lowest average score on a February administration of the test since 1983.

The number of test-takers was up 4 percent from last year, from 22,396 in 2015 to 23,324 this year, according to Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which developed and scores the test.

 

Read the whole story at ABA Journal

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Outraged by Kansas Justices’ Rulings, Republicans Seek to Reshape Court

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

Washington is locked in partisan warfare over control of the Supreme Court. But it is hardly the only place. Look at the states, where political attacks on judicial decisions are common and well-financed attack ads are starting to jar the once-sleepy elections for State Supreme Court seats.

Nowhere is the battle more fiery than here in Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback and other conservative Republicans have expressed outrage over State Supreme Court decisions that overturned death penalty verdictsblocked anti-abortion laws and hampered Mr. Brownback’s efforts to slash taxes and spending, and they are seeking to reshape a body they call unaccountable to the right-tilting public.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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Immigrant advocate charged with failing to help clients

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

An immigrant rights advocate known for helping two children get highly-publicized meetings with Pope Francis has been charged with practicing law without a license and failing to help clients who paid her thousands of dollars to secure residency status for them.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said Thursday 65-year-old Gloria Saucedo was charged with three counts of violating the Immigration Consultants Act and two counts of practicing law without a license.

She did not return a call for comment.

Read the whole story at The Fresno Bee

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California Lawsuit Accuses Middle-Aged Surfers of Being a Violent Criminal Gang

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

A federal class-action lawsuit against a group of wealthy middle-aged surfers in the Los Angeles area seeks to have the group labeled a gang and accuses the city and police department of Palos Verdes Estates of turning a blind eye to the group's violent, criminal behavior.

Police Officer Cory Spencer, who works in nearby El Segundo and is a surfer himself, and surfer and filmmaker Diana Milena Reed brought the suit on behalf of those who have allegedly been unlawfully excluded from enjoying the waves at Lunada Bay for years.

The suit alleges that a group of surfers known as the Lunada Bay Boys acts as a gang with its own turf within the city, engaging in offenses that include assault, battery, vandalism, intimidation, and harassment. It also suggests the men use a stone and wood fort they built on the beach to sell and use illegal drugs and as a base of their general criminal activities.

Read the whole story at Vice

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Judge says ‘no’ to seeking legalized prostitution in California

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 4, 2016

Americans may have a constitutional right to engage in consensual, intimate relationships, but that doesn’t mean they have a right to buy or sell sex, a Bay Area federal judge ruled Thursday in upholding California’s 144-year-old ban on prostitution.

In a lawsuit filed a year ago, the plaintiffs — three former prostitutes, a would-be client, and the Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education & Research Project, a San Francisco organization that “seeks to empower the erotic community and advance sexual privacy rights” — invoked the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling that overturned state laws against gay sexual activity. 

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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more Calendar

4/26/2018
Diversity Happy Hour

5/2/2018
Fourth Annual Law Day Mixer

5/3/2018
How the DA Office's Real Estate Fraud Unit Prosecutes and Can Clear Title on Forged Instrument Cases

Recent Recognitions
Hon. Julie A. Emede2017 Outstanding Jurist of the Year
Hon. Edward J. Davila2017 Diversity of the Year

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