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April 2014 Archives

Donald Sterling, Free Speech, and Other Things People Don't Get

Kick the lout out, they said. They got their wish.

No one is going to mourn Donald Sterling's departure from the NBA. The truth is, it was a long time coming -- his racism was an open secret for years, like the time he refused to rent apartments to black people, or the time be brought women to the Clippers' players' showers and told them to admire the "beautiful black bodies."

Yeah, they certainly won't mourn him. But they are mourning his loss of "free speech."

Santa Clara Sheriff's Deputies Caught On Tape Planting Evidence

What do you think when a defendant claims that the cops planted evidence, that he or she was framed.

Bull crap, right? We know, like Shawshank, everyone's innocent. And seriously, why would cops risk their careers and livelihood to put some low-level junkie in jail on an "under the influence" charge. Except they did, according to Allison Ross in her civil suit. And they were caught on tape.

The worst part is, even with the transcripts from the tape, her story still seems incredible.

As the effects of global warming are felt every day as we weather this drought, California legislators continue to debate how to deal with the impending effects of climate change.

And as cap-and-trade is debated, California's Department of Health is setting new standards by "adopting the nation's first-ever drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Orca Welfare and Safety Act was just effectively put in hibernation, a/k/a, interim hearings where it won't be the subject of hearings, or put to a vote until 2015.

In 2013, the film "Blackfish" came out exposing the nature of animal captivity and the effects on Orcas. As a result, earlier this week Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 2140 -- the Orca Welfare and Safety Act -- that would prohibit orca shows, and the import, export, and breeding and holding of orcas in captivity for "performance or entertainment purposes," reports the Independent Voter Network.

Every lawyer at some point or another is going to have a client that can't pay. If it hasn't happened to you yet, then consider yourself lucky.

It may happen that they come to you and there is just no way they can afford a private attorney. Or, they may have engaged you, and then discovered that they can't make the bill. Either way, we have resources you can turn to and a few ideas that might help.

California Supreme Court Facing an Ideological Shakeup?

California. This state, often derisively referred to as the "People's Republic of California," has a reputation as a wee-bit left-leaning. It might come as a surprise to some, then, that the state's high court is actually almost exclusively made up of Republican appointees, and is seen by many as a moderate to conservative court.

That might be changing soon, however, with Gov. Jerry Brown expected to nab a second term in the fall. Not only does he have a vacancy to fill from Justice Joyce Kennard's retirement last week, but there are a few other spots that could be opening up during the governor's second term.

Almost four years after an explosion in San Bruno, California, devastated a community, destroying homes and taking lives, the U.S. Government filed a criminal indictment against Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("PG&E") on April 1.

The Criminal Indictment

The indictment lists 12 counts of violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, for knowingly and willfully violating minimum safety standards including not maintaining the proper records, failing to identify threats, and failing to fix parts of the pipeline. According to the indictment, PG&E was missing pipeline records, and existing records had errors and omissions. The company received notice about the record deficiencies from employees, agencies, and third-party consultants and auditors.

The indictment further alleges that although PG&E knew about areas of threatened pipe, the utility failed to label the pipes as high risk.