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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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Lower Court Judges Could be Caught up in Supreme Court Fight

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 17, 2016

More than 30 judicial nominees could end up as collateral damage in the election-year fight over President Barack Obama's effort to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court and Senate Republicans' steadfast opposition.

Twenty-eight of Obama's nominees to district court and five to the appeals court remain in limbo, although Republicans have indicated they would be open to voting on some. The Senate confirmed five judicial nominees to the federal bench in January and early February, but Republican leaders haven't set any votes since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died Feb. 13 and the GOP said no hearings and no votes on the Supreme Court choice would be permitted.

Read the whole story at Associated Press

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Obama Chooses Merrick Garland for Supreme Court

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 17, 2016

 President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick B. Garland to be the nation’s 113th Supreme Courtjustice, choosing a centrist appellate judge who could reshape the court for a generation and become the face of a bitter election-year confirmation struggle.

In selecting Judge Garland, 63, a well-known figure in Washington legal circles who has drawn praise from members of both parties, Mr. Obama dared Republican senators to ignore public pressure and make good on their promise to block consideration of any nominee until after the next president is chosen.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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Court rejects lawsuit by kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 17, 2016

The federal government cannot be held responsible for kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard's 1991 abduction and subsequent 18 years in captivity, an appeals court said Tuesday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Dugard's lawsuit alleging federal parole officials should have revoked her abductor's parole well before he kidnapped her, but failed to do their jobs

Read the whole story at SacBee

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A.B.A. to Enforce Stricter Timeline for Law Graduates to Pass the Bar Exam

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The American Bar Association’s accrediting body put law schools on notice Monday that it intended to tighten a rule that sets a deadline for graduates to pass state bar exams — a near-universal requirement for becoming a practicing lawyer.

The new measure would clarify the existing deadline that 75 percent of students pass within two years. Bar passage rates have been falling noticeably across the country.

At issue for the schools is their accreditation by the association. The theory behind the rule, which is one factor in accreditation, is that schools should be accepting students who are likely to have the qualifications to become practicing lawyers. Proponents of the change say that schools exploit students when they accept those who — based on admissions tests and other measurements — have a small chance of succeeding.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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It’s official: Harvard Law School will scrap its slavery-tied seal

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Following months of student protests, Harvard Law School will retire its controversial seal.In response to a formal recommendation by a school-established committee, the Harvard Corporation—one of the university’s two governing bodies—agreed Monday to replace the seal, which is modeled after the crest of a slave-owning family that helped found the law school.

Read the whole story at Boston.com

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Allies Say Obama’s Court Pick Is Near, and Will Be Hard for Republicans to Ignore

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

President Obama is close to a decision on a Supreme Court nominee based purely on qualifications and experience, White House officials insisted on Monday, but the president’s allies said that political considerations — including whether a nominee had an easily defensible record or appeal to Republicans — were clearly part of Mr. Obama’s calculus.

Speculation now centers on three potential nominees, all federal circuit court judges: Sri Srinivasan, 49, who was confirmed in 2013 with a 97-to-0 vote; Merrick B. Garland, 63, a moderate who has been a finalist in Mr. Obama’s previous Supreme Court searches; and Paul J. Watford, 48, a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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LA Superior Taking Over Historic Downtown Digs

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

 LOS ANGELES (CN) - State court judges will move to the downtown LA courthouse on Spring Street after the Federal Court moves out of the 76-year-old building later this year, the Los Angeles Superior Court said Monday.
In a statement, the LA County court said federal, state and local government officials had agreed to preserve the Spring Street location, which is listed as an historic building.
"This move allows the court to consolidate operations in a downtown location that will better serve litigants, attorneys and other court users. It also allows our court to help preserve this beautiful symbol of the judicial branch of government," Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl said in a statement.

Read the whole story at Courthouse News Service

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Judge OKs release of details in arrests of 3 SF officials

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A federal judge cleared the way Monday for San Francisco prosecutors to release information they have withheld about charges against three local officials accused of accepting bribes from undercover agents that were allegedly intended for Mayor Ed Lee.

District Attorney George Gascón’s office said, however, that it would seek to keep the evidence out of public view.

The officials — former San Francisco school board President Keith Jackson, former Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer and former commission staff member Zula Jones — are accused of taking and trying to conceal $20,000 in purported campaign contributions to Lee. The mayor has not been charged.

 Read the whole story at SF Gate

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SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING: Kamala Harris talks to top cops about Apple vs. the FBI

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

California Attorney General Kamala Harris told a gathering of California police chiefs, “let’s step back for a moment,” in considering public safety and privacy issues in the current Apple-FBI encryption case playing out in federal court.

Speaking Monday, March 14 at the California Police Chiefs Association annual symposium in Ontario, Harris warned against making a bright-line choice on the issue.

“I suggest we cannot afford to accept a false choice on this – the false choice being, ‘You’re either in favor of Apple or you’re in favor of the FBI. You’re either in favor of just getting rid of encryption, or locking everything down so law enforcement can’t have access.’”

Read the whole story at Press Enterprise

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Man Takes Fight Over Nudity Ban to 9th Circ.

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

PASADENA, Calif. (CN) - Wearing a leather gladiator kilt, black thong, harness and not much else, Will Walters attracted the attention of photographer at a gay pride after-party in 2011.
If the festival organizers had taken issue with Walters' skimpy outfit, they had not said anything when they welcomed him into the beer garden. These events, after all, are not known for displays of modesty.
So, when San Diego Police Lt. David Nieslit approached Walters as he was having his photograph taken and told him his outfit was "borderline," it came as a surprise.
Walters told the officer that he had worn the costume at a gay pride event the year before without any problems.
He would have been forgiven for thinking that was the end of it.

Read the whole story at Courthouse News Service

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more Calendar

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Recent Recognitions
Steven B. Haley2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year
Hon. Julie A. Emede2017 Outstanding Jurist of the Year

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