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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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A Supreme Court pass gives affordable housing advocates a win

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Advocates of low-cost housing scored a legal victory Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court left intact a ruling by California’s highest court allowing cities and counties to require builders to include a percentage of affordable units in each new development.

The building industry had argued that those requirements amount to a government confiscation of property and should be allowed only if a particular development would cause a shortage of affordable housing. The state Supreme Court rejected those arguments unanimously in June, and the nation’s high court denied review Monday.

The case involved a San Jose ordinance, passed in 2010 but not yet in effect, that requires developers of 20 or more units to make at least 15 percent of those units affordable to low- or moderate-income buyers and renters. Similar laws are in effect in more than 170 California communities, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond and unincorporated areas of Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties.

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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California ponders whether prostitutes are criminals or victims

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By the time she was 19, Ashley Dickerson’s body had already made money for several men.

She ran away from home at 13 and was soon having sex for money. From time to time, she considered trying something else. But the men controlling Dickerson felt like family, she said, and she wasn’t sure what else to do.

“You sort of lose track and think you make choices on your own, not realizing the abuse you went through,” said Dickerson, who is now 31. “The problem with having no options, no job skills and a criminal record is you have nothing to do.”

Read the whole story at SacBee

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Tehama Court Given $272,000 for Sabotage

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

At its meeting Friday, California's Judicial Council voted to give Tehama County Superior Court $272,000 in emergency funding to handle the aftermath of a technology meltdown and approved the next step in Sacramento's bid for a new courthouse.

The Tehama court suffered a huge setback this past July when former IT Director Mark Montalvo, who had been fired on June 26, 2015 over suspicious month-long phone and computer outages, logged into the court administrator account and deleted two hard drives containing the court's phone and computer infrastructure over Independence Day weekend.

The court's phones, e-mail, website, case management system, and saved files were down from July 3 to July 16. Tehama Presiding Judge Todd Bottke told the council the sabotage cost the court nearly half a million dollars.

Read the whole story at Courthouse News Service

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Deadline approaching March 18, nominate an Unsung Hero today

Posted By Paula Collis, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Each 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, March 18, 2016.

The 2016 Unsung Heroes Awards will be presented at the Annual Reception on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., at the Fallon House Gardens, 175 W. St. John Street, San Jose, CA. There is no charge to attend this reception. 

Last year’s reception was a huge success, as over 50 judges and attorneys came together to honor Katie Zoglin, Senior Deputy, City Attorney and Sallie Kim, Partner, GCA Law Partners, LLP. 

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

SUBMIT A NOMINATION →

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Feinstein wants tougher action against Apple over San Bernardino iPhone

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is calling on Congress to take a tougher stand against Apple for its refusal to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, saying a proposal for a commission to study the issue doesn’t go far enough.

“I have been reeling back in surprise because I didn’t think a company would set itself above the law, particularly a California-based company like Apple,” Feinstein said in an interview with McClatchy.

The comments, which put Feinstein at odds with one of her state’s largest companies, come as Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, and Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday announced a proposal for a commission on digital security.

Read the whole story at SacBee

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Brown’s Judicial Appointments Reflect Shift Away From Harsh Sentencing Policies

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 25, 2016

California’s criminal justice system has undergone a host of dramatic changes since Gov. Jerry Brown was elected to his third term in 2010 — many of them engineered or supported by Brown, in large part to ease crowding in the state’s prison system.

Most recently, he proposed a ballot measure that aims to let thousands of nonviolent offenders qualify earlier for parole if they participate in rehabilitation programs while behind bars. Previously, he pushed realignment, which shifted thousands of offenders from state prisons to local jails.

Read the whole story at KQED

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Judge blocks Gov. Brown's parole ballot measure

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot measure to speed up the parole of some California prisoners was blocked from signature gathering on Wednesday afternoon, after a Sacramento judge ruled that the public should have been given additional time to review it.

The ruling, which a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said will be appealed, threatens to either derail the governor's high-profile attempt at major reform or force his political team to spend millions of dollars on a last-minute dash to collect voter signatures.

Read the whole story at LA Times

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GOP-Led Senate Judiciary Panel Won’t Hold Supreme Court Hearings on Obama Nominee

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Senate Republicans have decided not to hold Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings on President Barack Obama’s choice for Supreme Court, a break with decades long tradition that Republicans say is appropriate when Americans are in the process of choosing a new president.

Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal

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Judge considers blocking California governor's prison plan

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A judge is set to consider Wednesday whether to block Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed ballot initiative to reduce California's prison population.

State prosecutors want Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang to prevent Attorney General Kamala Harris from issuing the title and summary for a proposal that they say bypassed the normal filing process.

That would force Brown and his supporters to file a new initiative instead of amending an existing proposal. It would delay when supporters can begin collecting the signatures necessary to put the measure before voters in November.

Read the whole story at Merced Sun-Star

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Senate GOP: No hearings for Supreme Court nominee

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Emerging from a meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office Tuesday, top Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee said there will be no confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court nominee.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said that's the "consensus" view among Republicans on the committee and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, said the same.

    "We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president," Cornyn said Tuesday as he left the meeting of top Republicans discussing how to handle the White House's promised nominee. 

    Read the whole story at CNN Politics

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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
    Hon. Edward J. Davila2017 Diversity of the Year
    Steven B. Haley2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year

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