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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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Eight Years, No Job, SoCal Law School Grad Says

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 22, 2016

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The woman who filed a landmark lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson School of Law because she's never been able to land a job in the legal field got teary-eyed Wednesday, recalling her upbringing and struggles to pay for school.
Anna Alaburda was called to the witness stand by her attorney Brian Procel to recount her path to law school and the subsequent struggles she claims she's experienced in finding full-time employment utilizing her law degree.
The law school graduate is originally from Northern California but grew up in Connecticut.
Alaburda fought back tears as she told the jury about being raised by a single mother who was a secretary and having to work full-time while attending New York University in order to afford college. She testified she had to take a couple of semesters off because she couldn't afford the costs of going to school and needed to work to save up money.
Alaburda said she graduated from NYU in 2002 and landed a job that fall at the LA County Hospital working for the University of Southern California. Three years into her job at USC, Alaburda said she did a "cost-benefit" analysis while weighing graduate school options in fields including journalism and art history before eventually settling on applying to law school.

Read the whole story at Courthouse News Service

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Chief judge of the District’s federal court retires as lawsuit accuses him of sexual assault

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 21, 2016

The chief judge of the District’s federal court retired Wednesday, citing unspecified health issues that he said prevented him from continuing to serve on the bench.

Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts’s early retirement came on the same day that a Utah woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting her decades ago when she was a 16-year-old eyewitness in a high-profile murder case that Roberts was prosecuting.

Roberts, 63, declined to comment on his retirement or the lawsuit, but his attorneys called the allegations “categorically false” and said Roberts intends to “vigorously challenge” the allegations in court. His lawyers said the judge, who was unmarried at the time, had an intimate, consensual relationship with the woman that did not take place until after the end of the trial in which she testified. 

Read the whole story at The Washington Post

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California attorney general counts deadly arrests

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 21, 2016

New data portal is part of A.G.’s criminal justice transparency initiative

In California, Latinos were the most likely to be killed by law enforcement at the time of arrest in 2014, according to a new data portal from the California Department of Justice.

The data portal, titled OpenJustice v1.1, went live February 17, and is part of Attorney General Kamala Harris’ criminal justice transparency initiative, according to a release from her office. The OpenJustice portal publishes new and previously available information at a city, county and state level in a dashboard format with multiple pull-down options for tailoring the data. Topics include crime, arrest and clearance rates; law enforcement deaths and injuries; and deaths in custody.

Regarding the latter category, 82 people died as a result of homicide by law enforcement in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available at a statewide level. Nearly half (49 percent) were Hispanic. Another 28 percent were white, while 18 percent were black. Approximately 5 percent were Asian or Pacific Islander.

Read the whole story at News Review

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Indio highlights Riverside County judge shortage

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 21, 2016

In light of a judge shortage dubbed a "judicial crisis" in Riverside County, Indio City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to join three desert cities in strongly urging Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators to take action.

Riverside County has one of the highest caseloads per judge in the state, second only to San Bernardino County, a substandard ratio that has led to significant delays in court proceedings in superior courts such as those in Indio's Larson Justice Center, according to the state Judicial Council.

In 2014, 423,340 filings were made in Riverside County Superior Court including 18,195 felonies and 41,731 misdemeanors — an increase of 18 percent since 1993, according to court data.

 

Read the whole story at The Desert Sun

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What California Law Says Is Legal When It Comes To Defending Oneself During A Burglary

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 21, 2016

Three cases in which homeowners have shot suspected intruders in the past two days have raised the question: Under California law, what rights do homeowners have when it comes to defending oneself?

“Residential burglary is viewed as an inherently dangerous crime because so much could go so wrong so quickly,” said CBS2/KCAL9 Legal Analyst Steve Meister.

Meister says the law tends to fall on the side of the homeowner, even if the suspect is outside of the home. 

Read the whole story at CBS Los Angeles

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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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more Calendar

8/7/2018
Barristers' Annual Judges Luncheon

8/14/2018
Knowing When To Accept A Case and When It's Time To Say Goodbye.

8/23/2018
Disability and ERISA Issue Spotting for Labor Law Attorneys

Recent Recognitions
Susana Inda2018 Barrister of the Year
Hon. Julie A. Emede2017 Outstanding Jurist of the Year

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