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July 21 Digest

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 21, 2016

Court ruling could boost cost of California water project

The California Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling Thursday that could add millions of dollars to the cost of the governor's $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. At issue is whether California officials must pay landowners to access thousands of acres of private property to conduct preliminary environmental and geological tests for the project. By Sudhin Thanawala — The Associated Press

Big law firms play cameos in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ forfeiture case

Several major law firms handled funds stolen in a billion-dollar global money laundering scheme, according to federal prosecutors—money that was used to finance the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street” and pay for real estate, art, a $35 million private jet, and other luxuries. In a civil asset forfeiture case filed in Los Angeles federal district court, prosecutors alleged that more than $3.5 billion was illegally diverted from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, an investment and development company owned by the Malaysian government. By Zoe Tillman — The National Law Journal (sub. req.)

California Supreme Court takes rare move in reviewing Upland medical marijuana battle

Was Upland correct in deciding to delay a citizen-backed initiative until the general election because officials believed it was a tax? Or should the city have held a special election right away to let the residents decide whether to overturn the city’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries with a measure that also proposed a $75,000 fee per dispensary? By Liset Márquez — Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

City asks Supreme Court to review stadium measure

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith sent a letter Wednesday to the California Supreme Court seeking its help in settling the question of whether a two-thirds majority is needed to pass two November ballot initiatives related to a Chargers stadium and downtown convention center annex. He had previously made known his plans to do so and on Wednesday made good on his pledge to get the court to weigh in sooner than later. By Lori Weisberg — San Diego Union-Tribune

California lawyer delivers Sikh prayer at GOP convention

When Harmeet Dhillon first ran for vice chairwoman of the California GOP, rivals whispered that the Indian-born Sikh would slaughter a goat at the lectern. On Tuesday night, Dhillon opened the second night of the Republican National Convention by singing the invocation in Punjabi and then translating it into English. By Seema Mehta — Los Angeles Times

New warning rule for users of generic drugs left in limbo

Five years after the Supreme Court blocked most personal-injury lawsuits against makers of generic drugs, a rule designed to strengthen patient protections have stalled, leaving what consumer groups warn is a safety gap for millions of users. After several delays, the Food and Drug Administration said last year it would to issue a new rule by the end of this month to require generic drug makers to update their warning labels in response to newly revealed risks. By David G. Savage — Los Angeles Times

Lawyer ads pay homage to ‘Better Call Saul’

The show “Better Call Saul” is the story an underdog’s doomed pursuit of an honest career as a lawyer as he gradually succumbs to personal demons and feelings of betrayal by the legal establishment. Lawyers watching AMC’s “Breaking Bad” spin-off, which wrapped up its second season this spring, could look at Saul Goodman’s descent through an ironic lens — viewing his outlaw adventures as a colorful and cautionary tale. By Jacob Gershman — The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.)

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