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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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California Judges Fight Mass Layoff

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
SACRAMENTO (CN) - The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board will illegally lay off 50 administrative law judges on Sept. 1, unless a superior court judge stops them, the judges claim in court.

California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment sued the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and its Chairman Robert Dresser on Monday, in Superior Court.


The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) voted on April 28 to lay off 50 full-time administrative law judges, effective Sept. 1, the judges say in the lawsuit.


Read more via Courthouse News

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Brown appoints legal affairs aide to CA appeals court

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 29, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown has named a senior aide to become an associate justice on the Sacramento-based Third District Court of Appeal.

Brown announced the appointment of Jonathan Renner on Friday.

The 44-year-old Democrat from Sacramento has been Brown's legal affairs secretary since 2011.

He was senior assistant attorney general at the California Department of Justice from 2009 to 2010, when Brown was the state's attorney general. Renner previously held other high-ranking positions within the attorney general's office.

The appointment requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. It includes the current attorney general, Kamala Harris, and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

If confirmed, Renner will begin his term Jan. 5. He would fill the vacancy created when Cantil-Sakauye moved to the California Supreme Court.

The post pays $211,260.

Read more: http://www.kcra.com/politics/brown-appoints-legal-affairs-aide-to-ca-appeals-court/27155076#ixzz38sIcQdzc

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Costa Mesa lawyer faces prison for defrauding immigrants, real estate fraud

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 25, 2014

A Costa Mesa lawyer faces federal prison time after pleading guilty to defrauding immigrants about to be deported and separately to helping a former client perpetrate a real estate fraud. According to court pleadings, Gino Paul Pietro began in 2010 to assist a client with a scheme to purchase two gas stations by defrauding lenders. The client, Donald Keith Goff, had engaged in a similar deal a few years earlier. 

Read more via Daily Journal (subscription required)

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California Recommends Against Disbarment of Ex-Prosecutor

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 25, 2014

Disgraced former federal prosecutor G. Paul Howes skirted disbarment this week in California after the state’s bar recommended suspending him from practicing law for at least three years.

Howes, who prosecuted drug-related murder and gang cases for the U.S. attorney’s office in the District of Columbia during the 1980s, was disbarred there for giving out $42,000 in improper federal vouchers. In 1995, he moved to California, where he worked for what was then Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San Diego.

California’s bar launched its own probe of Howes following his disbarment in Washington. On Monday, a state bar court concluded that Howes didn’t deserve so harsh a punishment in California.

“Although this court finds no basis for recommending that respondent be disbarred in this state as a result of his misconduct two decades ago in the District of Columbia, the court does conclude that significant discipline is nonetheless required to make clear to all the impropriety of that conduct and to protect the public’s faith in the criminal justice system, both here and throughout the country,” State Bar Court Judge Donald Miles wrote.



Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202664484536/California-Recommends-Against-Disbarment-of-ExProsecutor#ixzz38VPK2Gei

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California attorney general asks lawyers to help immigrant children

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 25, 2014

(Reuters) - California's attorney general has personally asked several major law firms to provide pro bono services to unaccompanied immigrant children flooding the U.S. border with Mexico, a signal that California views the growing crisis as a humanitarian issue.

The move comes amid escalating political tension in the United States over how to deal with the thousands of children fleeing violence in their Central American homelands.

"We've convened a group of law firms to make sure these children, some of them as young as 8 years old, have access to due process," California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Thursday.

Read more via Reuters

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Deadline Approaching. Nominate an Unsung Hero

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 24, 2014

SCCBA Unsung Heroes AwardEach year the Diversity Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association presents the Unsung Heroes Awards.

The Diversity Committee invites interested individuals to submit nominations for individuals or organizations deserving this recognition. If you know of an individual or organization who should be considered for such an honor, please review the criteria and submit an online nomination on or before Friday, August 15, 2014.

The 2014 Unsung Heroes Awards will be presented at the Annual Reception on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 5:30 p.m., at the Fallon House Gardens, 175 W. St. John Street, San Jose, CA. Last year’s reception was a huge success, as over 50 judges and attorneys came together to honor Christopher J. Arriola and Jennifer M. Protas.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Irene Cortez, at (408) 975-2114 or email irenec@sccba.com.

SUBMIT A NOMINATION HERE

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Lawyers in the Community: Food Bank Service Event

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 24, 2014

Please join the SCCBA Executive Committee for a food sorting event at Second Harvest Food Bank on August 13 at 6pm. This is part of our initiative “Lawyers in the Community as well as the Courtroom.”   Participate in an evening providing service to our community as well as an opportunity to get to know the SCCBA leadership and fellow attorneys better.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014 • 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM


Second Harvest Food Bank, Cypress Center

4001 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95134


Space is limited to the first 15 members who register to participate. Please reserve space here, or by calling Angelina Loyola at 408.975.2110. The deadline to register is August 6, 2014.


Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is the trusted leader dedicated to ending local hunger. If you’re able to join us, please consider bringing donations of non-perishable food items. One can or one case does make a difference!


See you at the Food Bank.


Register to Attend

Tags:  ExCom  Lawyers in the Community 

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Appeals Judge Says Guillotine 'Probably Best' for Executions

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A federal appeals judge issued a blistering dissent in a death-row case on Monday, declaring that an execution system that relies on drugs is doomed and the guillotine would be better.

"Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote.

Read more via NBC News

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Jerry Brown names law school professor to California Supreme Court

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday nominated a Mexico-born Stanford Law School professor to the California Supreme Court, moving to replace one of the high court’s most conservative, retiring members with a Democrat.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who will replace retiring Justice Marvin Baxter, is Brown’s second selection to the court of his third term, both appointees coming from the halls of academia. Brown appointed Goodwin Liu, then a UC Berkeley law professor, in 2011.

Read more via Capitol Alert

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Panel Supports Early Release for 46K Drug Felons

Posted By SCCBA, Friday, July 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of federal inmates serving time for drug crimes may be eligible for early release under a cost-cutting proposal adopted Friday that would dramatically reduce the nation's prison population over time.

 

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which earlier this year voted to substantially lower recommended sentences for drug-dealing felons, voted unanimously to retroactively apply that change to prisoners now behind bars.

 

Click to read more via NY Times

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