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Supreme Court Vacancy Stirs Concerns

Gov. Jerry Brown has been called a "judicial trailblazer" because of his groundbreaking appointments, including the nation's first openly gay and lesbian judges.

And either Judge Jim Humes or Judge Therese Stewart, both of California's First District Court of Appeal, could become the first gay or lesbian justice on the California Supreme Court. There is a vacancy, and potential candidates are waiting.

But it has been almost 10 months since the opportunity presented itself, and the governor seems to be lost in the woods. At least, California is getting restless.

California Sues Major For-Profit College

Behind every lawsuit, there is a true story.

It may not be apparent in the complaint, but it drives the litigation. In People of the State of California v. Ashford University, the real story starts with the second defendant named in the caption: Bridgeport Education, Inc.

Bridgeport owns the private university, which rocketed to $120 million in profits annually in ten years. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra says the defendants defrauded students.

Court Slaps Back Cosby and His Lawyer

Former model Janice Dickinson won a significant round in her legal fight with Bill Cosby, and it was a long time coming.

Fifteen years ago, Dickson told her publishers that Cosby had drugged and raped her but they feared civil liability. Her memoir was published with a sanitized version -- and then this happened: dozens more women made accusations of sexual assault against the former comedian.

After Dickinson went public in 2014, Cosby's lawyer attacked her in the media, so she sued for defamation. Now a California appeals court has slapped Cosby and his lawyer.

Lead Paint Case Still Pending Decades Later

California home builders stopped using lead paint a half century ago, but a state appeals court said they still have to clean up the mess.

Lead poisoning is a health problem for residents of old houses and apartments, and litigation over the issue has been plodding through the courts for nearly two decades. Four years ago, a trial judge ordered the paint manufacturers to pay $1.15 billion to abate the problem.

In People v. Conagra Grocery Products Company, the Sixth District Court of Appeals said the trial court must recalculate the cost of abatement. But the case is far from over.

'Keystone Cops' Mistakenly Arrest Their Own Trainee

The Keystone Cops were fictional, incompetent policemen. Some San Francisco police may not be fans, but they did a fair re-enactment.

While patrolling the Golden Gate Park, four police officers arrested one of their own. They thought Bret Cornell, an off-duty police trainee, was running away from them.

As it turned out, he was just jogging.

Yelp Ordered to Turn Over Documents That May Reveal Anonymous User's Identity

'Anonymous' doesn't mean what it used to mean in the media.

Back in the day, a news reporter might go to the grave with a source's true identity. Today, with everybody publishing something online, it's not so easy to hide.

Yelp, the online review site, tried to keep one reviewer's identity a secret. But a California appeals court said the company must disclose documents that may reveal the person's identity in Montagna v. Yelp, Inc.

Splitting the Babies: Who Are Daddies of Diverse Twins?

King Solomon is rolling over in his grave right now.

A woman gave birth to twins from different races. Read that sentence again, then imagine King Solomon with his head between his hands.

It was a migraine-inducing puzzle: one of the babies was African-American and the other was Chinese. But this is not Ripley's Believe It Or Not; this is FindLaw.

Oldies Copyright Case On Tap in State Supreme Court

Before 1972, they were so 'Happy Together.'

We're talking about copyright holders Flo and Eddie of The Turtles fame. Their biggest hit came in 1967, but they aren't so happy about it these days.

That's because courts have been ruling that pre-1972 recordings are not protected by copyright laws. New York and Florida have turned them down, and California could be next.

Earthjustice Wins Fight to Block Bee-Killing Pesticides in California

Bees face a no-win situation when attacked: if they sting back, they die.

Fortunately for California's bee population, EarthJustice lawyers fought for them and won a life-saving battle. A state appeals court has reversed a decision that would have unleashed deadly pesticides on the honeybee.

"This is a win for public health, the environment -- and in particular honeybees," said Paul Towers of the Pesticide Action Networks, plaintiffs in the case.

Service Animals Must Be Trained, California Court Rules

Joey Miller and his dog Roxy got kicked out of court, but it started at a fish market.

Joey, a man who had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, walked into two seafood stores with his dog. The market employees stopped them for health and safety reasons.

Joey's stepfather was not about to have it, however, and they sued for disability discrimination. The courts turned them down again, but that's the short story.