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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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Outgoing U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag fought corruption, cannabis

Posted By Sara Brylowski, Friday, August 14, 2015

Outgoing U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag is probably best known for the corruption case that brought down state Sen. Leland Yee and for the failed perjury prosecution of former Giants star Barry Bonds. She’s been most publicly visible in another role — as the scourge of Northern California’s medical marijuana suppliers and has no regrets about shutting down their pot dispensaries.

Read the whole story at SF Chronicle (subscription required)

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California right-to-die debate heads to court

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 14, 2015

With efforts to legalize doctor-assisted suicide stalled in the California Legislature, the contentious issue of providing end of life treatment to the terminally ill is now headed back to the courts.

A San Francisco judge on Friday is expected to hear one of the leading legal challenges to California laws forbidding physicians from providing medical treatment that helps the dying end their lives.

Specifically, lawyers for several terminally ill patients and doctors who care for the terminally ill are moving to block enforcement of California laws that date back 140 years barring physician-assisted suicide. A San Diego judge last month rejected similar arguments, but right-to-die advocates say the San Francisco case tees up the central legal issues to resolve the question across California.

Read the whole story at San Jose Mercury News

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Magna Carta at 800: London Diaries

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 13, 2015

In 1957, 9,000 American lawyers contributed to building a monument to Magna Carta at Runnymede, England, where Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215. The American Bar Association (ABA) has returned in 1971, 1985 and 2000 to rededicate and  "spiff up" this memorial.  This year, the ABA organized a group of 750 to participate  in London Sessions of CLE, join in the 800th-anniversary celebration of Magna Carta, and rededicate the ABA memorial.  My wife, Nancy, and I were happy to join in this celebration and to share some of our experiences in the form of a diary with some photos. What we now call Magna Carta began as the Articles of the Barons, a kind of peace treaty between King John of England and a group of disgruntled English barons in 1215.  The barons had taken the Tower of London and controlled the city of London.  King John was holed up at Windsor Castle. The two sides met at Runnymede, in mid-June 1215.  Magna Carta was written in Latin and most of it dealt with issues of the day.  However, it established the principle that no one is above the law, not even the king, and clauses 39 and 40 contained the seeds of due process of law.  "No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him except by the lawful judgement of his peers and/or by the law of the land.  To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice."  Those concepts developed over the centuries and Magna Carta is now considered a bedrock symbol of the rule of law

TUESDAY, JUNE 9 - ARRIVE IN LONDON, GET TO HOTEL

We landed at Heathrow Airport in mid-afternoon and took the London Underground (the tube) to our hotel in the Bloomsbury area. Eschewing the posh (and pricey!) headquarters hotels on Park Lane, we stayed at The Harlingford, a contemporary, compact, family owned hotel on a Georgian crescent across the street from Cartwright Gardens and near the University of London.  The gardens were named for John Cartwright, an attorney and the first English writer to openly support American independence.  read more... 

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Dunn Enters Race for Congress, Resigns From Voice of OC Board

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Former state Sen. Joseph Dunn filed papers this week to enter the race for the 46th Congressional District seat that Loretta Sanchez is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate.

Dunn, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy on Monday, also resigned from the Voice of OC Board of Directors effective immediately.

Dunn was Voice of OC's founding board member and served as board president from 2009 to 2011.

"Joe Dunn showed incredible vision as our founding board member and has served our organization well," said Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana Jr. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Read the whole story at Voice of OC

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Ellen Pao Appealing Order to Pay Kleiner Perkins Trial Costs

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers junior partner Ellen Pao said in a court filing she’ll appeal an order to pay $276,000 of the venture capital firm’s trial expenses after losing her sex-discrimination case against it.

Kleiner was awarded less than a third of the $972,814 it sought to cover its trial costs. Pao argued she should pay nothing because it would send the wrong message to employees trying to fight bias at the workplace.

The firm stands by its earlier offer to forgo the costs award if Pao agrees not to appeal the trial verdict, Kleiner spokeswoman Christina Lee said Tuesday in an e-mail.

Pao is appealing a ruling by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn concluding that she can afford to pay the $276,000 because she got carried interest from Kleiner funds and was serving as interim chief executive officer of Reddit Inc. Pao resigned that post last month under pressure from Reddit’s board after she faced a backlash from users of its news-aggregation website for banning some message groups and firing a popular executive.

Read the whole story at Bloomberg Business

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Gov. Brown OKs nation's first ban on grand juries in police shootings

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday making California the first state in the nation to ban the use of grand juries to decide whether police officers should face criminal charges when they kill people in the line of duty.

The ban, which will go into effect next year, comes after grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, made controversial decisions in secret hearings last year not to bring charges against officers who killed unarmed black men, sparking protests across the country. Calls for transparency also have come amid national concerns about disparate treatment of blacks and other racial minorities when encounters with cops turned deadly in Baltimore, Cincinnati and South Carolina.

"What the governor's decision says is, he gets it -- the people don't want secrecy when it comes to officer-involved shootings," said retired judge and former San Jose independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell, the first African-American appointed as a judge in Northern California and a key supporter of the bill. "We're not trying to get more officers indicted. We're saying, 'Whatever you decide, do it in the open."

Read the whole story at Inside Bay Area News

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Court puts limits on cell-phone tracking

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The GOP debate Thursday set viewership records for an obvious reason: One never knows what Donald Trump, the loose-lipped real-estate mogul might say. But many analysts believe the most significant exchange was when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sparred over warrantless searches by the National Security Agency.

Christie argued for giving officials the “tools” to collect data. Paul shot back: “You get a warrant.” The issue centers on the Fourth Amendment, which offers the public protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The matter goes far deeper than presidential politics, as such cases wind their way through the courts.

Neither candidate mentioned a relevant federal ruling late last month in the U.S. District Court covering Northern California. Officials sought the right to track suspects’ Cell Site Location Information, or CSLI, for 60 days without gaining a warrant. Such location information lets law enforcement track the whereabouts of our cell phones in relation to cell towers.

Read the whole story at San Diego Union Tribune

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Early Bird Renewals are Underway!

Posted By Paula Collis, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

 

  

Renew before September 14 and save! 

RENEW ONLINE  | RENEW MANUALLY


 

From relevant and accessible CLE to the Center for Ethics & Professionalism, the Santa Clara County Bar Association serves as the backbone of the local legal community.

Our members influence the local community through their outreach, educational opportunities, lawyer referral service, and also through the evaluation of judicial candidates. 

RENEW TODAY 

Together, we can offer even more to our membership to enrich and support your professional endeavors.


Supporting your professional interests since 1917.

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State bar urged to require unaccredited law schools to disclose graduation, dropout rates

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 10, 2015

Legislators and legal experts are urging California bar officials to require the state's unaccredited law schools to be more transparent to give prospective students a better idea of their chances of becoming an attorney.

The proposed changes, which include the disclosure of such information as dropout rates and alumni employment, would mirror similar changes made by nationally accredited law schools such as UCLA and USC.

The proposals come after a Times investigation last month showed that nearly 9 out of 10 students at those schools dropped out before their final year of study. About 1 in 5 unaccredited law school students who finish these programs pass the bar each year, according to state statistics.

Currently, the state's 22 unaccredited law schools are not required to disclose the number of graduates who get jobs in the legal field. The schools report the number of dropouts in annual reports to the state bar that are available only upon request and not readily available to the public.

"I think [disclosing data] is something that could be easily done that would be of great benefit to consumers," said state Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego), who said he would introduce legislation requiring the disclosures in the next legislative session. "You should know what you're getting into."

Read the whole story at LA Times

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S.F. judge has tough questions for both sides in frozen embryos case

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 6, 2015

A judge who will decide the fate of a divorced couple’s five frozen embryos objected Tuesday when a lawyer described the matter as a dispute over property.

“It’s a hard issue,” San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo said during closing arguments. “Describing it as property doesn’t really capture what this is.” 

The embryos, she added, “could result in the birth of a child.”

Stephen Findley, 45, and his former wife, Dr. Mimi Lee, 46, an anesthesiologist, divorced in April. She wants to use the embryos they created to have a child. He wants them destroyed. They both signed a consent agreement in 2010 directing a fertility clinic to discard the embryos in the event of a divorce.

Both sides received skeptical questions from the judge as she listened to closing arguments after a one-week trial. The case is expected to be submitted late this month after final briefs are filed. The judge will then have 90 days to issue a ruling.

Lee wept as the arguments came to an end and Massullo expressed concern about forcing Findley to become a parent.

Read the whole story at LA Times

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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
Steven B. Haley2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year
Susana Inda2018 Barrister of the Year

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