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Appeals Courts Shoots Down Microstamping Gun Control Law

A California appeals court just affirmed a substantial roadblock to the 2007 "microstamp" bullets law. The law was touted as the first of its kind to help law enforcement fight gun crimes with microstamp technology linking bullet casings to guns. However, the Fifth District Court of Appeal said the law wrongly required a technology that gun manufacturers could not produce.

"It is unreasonable to require an individual to attempt what is impossible to accomplish," the justices said in reversing and remanding the case.

The State Bar of California is currently considering a radical change to the state's Rules of Professional Conduct: a bar on lawyer-client sex.

Under the current rules, lawyers are allowed to sleep with their clients, so long as they do not coerce them into the sack or condition representation on sexual relations. (Lawyers must end representation if their lusty lawyer-client relationship interferes with competent representation as well.) The new rules, if adopted, would put an end to California's permissiveness, prohibiting virtually all attorney-client lovemaking.

The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal involving an order forcing Yelp to remove a negative review against an attorney. The case arose after a San Francisco lawyer won a defamation lawsuit against a client over her review on Yelp, the online business directory and review site. That victory came with an injunction ordering Yelp to take down the offending post. In June, the injunction was upheld by a California appeals court.

But Yelp wasn't a party to the suit and had no opportunity to defend against the injunction. It now argues that it shouldn't be held to the court's order -- an argument that the California Supreme Court will soon entertain.

A recent decision out of California's First Appellate District could open the door for benefit reductions for public sector pensions, Bloomberg reports. In that case, the court upheld a 2013 law changing pension benefits calculated in an effort to prevent "pension spiking," or gaming the system in order to retire with an inflated pension.

But, Bloomberg's Romy Varghese notes, the court's decision could open the door for other rollbacks, so long as the pension remains "reasonable" for workers.

Want to become rich while working in the California state government? Don't run for governor, don't become director of the department of health, don't put yourself in charge of the state's water resources control board. Get a job with the California State Bar Association.

That's right. The state bar's top executives get paid much more than similar employees elsewhere in state government -- including the 13 Cal Bar employees who make more than the governor.

A tall is a small, a grande is a medium, a venti is a large -- a trente is too much coffee and a short isn't worth the bother. These are Starbucks truths that we all know. But when you're ordering an iced two-pump no fat caramel latte, just how much ice is too much ice for your tall, grande, or venti? This we may never know, now that a federal judge has tossed a proposed class action accusing Starbucks of putting too much ice in their drinks.

Plaintiffs had accused the coffee company of robbing them of their promised amounts of java by over-icing, resulting in drinks that "contain significantly less product than advertised." But U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson killed their coffee class action dreams, tossing the suit and saying that not even a child would be deceived by Starbucks' ice usage.

CA Supreme Court Kills Auto-Depublication of Appellate Opinions

California's Supreme Court recently announced an amendment to the California Rules of Court. Beginning July 1, 2016, published Court of Appeal decisions will no longer automatically "depublish" when the California Supreme Court grants review.

The main impetus behind the move was to respect the opinions and wishes of jurists and lawyers throughout the state who generally felt that the opinions still had use beyond modification by the state high court. But the change is a trial run; the state will revisit the issue again after three years.

As California's physician-assisted suicide law went into effect last Thursday, the American Academy of Medical Ethics, Life Legal Defense Foundation, and several physicians went to work to try to stop it. The law, the End of Life Option Act, allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to competent, terminally ill adults with less than six months to live.

But the group of conservative physicians and medical professionals argues that the law strips patients of legal protections and is seeking to have the law overturned. Do they have any chance of success?

Governor Jerry Brown's plan to reduce the state's prison population will almost certainly make it onto the ballot in November, after surviving a Supreme Court challenge on Monday. The ballot imitative had originally been put forward with a major focus on reforming the juvenile justice system. Amendments by the governor's supporters shifted that focus to the entire prison population.

The California District Attorneys Association sued, arguing that the changes were too extensive to allow the imitative to go forward without new public comment. In a six to one decision, the California Supreme Court rejected that argument on Monday.

San Francisco's Law on Sugary Drinks Defeats Injunction Attempts

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District in California refused to grant an injunction to halt the law recently approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that would force very prominent warnings on ads of sugary drinks. It means that there's effectively nothing to stop the law from taking effect as scheduled next July.