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Just in time for this weekend's Gay Pride celebrations and right on the cusp of the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, California's got some good, gay news: a ballot initiative to execute gays and lesbians can be snuffed out without going through the regular ballot process. It's the little victories that count.

The ridiculous Sodomite Suppression Act was the work of Orange Count attorney Matthew McLaughlin and would have required capital punishment for same-sex sexual activity -- carried out by any member of the public. Besides being offensively stupid, the ballot measure is patently unconstitutional and state attorney general Kamala Harris refused to even process the proposal -- i.e., allow it to be put out for petitions in order to qualify for the ballot.

While certainly not as exciting as the prospect of six Californias, or as debatable as the value of the death penalty, there are still many legal issues in California that are making headlines.

In this week's update, we take a look at a new celebrity lawsuit, how California is dealing with the water shortage, and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.

Taking a Vacation: The Myth of the Tenderloin Notice

A few weeks ago, when we were brainstorming topic ideas, someone mentioned the idea of writing a post on what to do if you are planning a vacation -- Memorial Day weekend and summertime are approaching, after all. One of our editors mentioned Tenderloin notices as a "must do" before leaving.

We Googled.

Lies. All lies. It turns out that there is no support for the oft-used "Notice of Availability" in the text of Tenderloin Housing Clinic v. Sparks, and according to an appeals court in Carl v. Superior Court, the urban legend notices were "simply made up."

Undocumented Immigrant Sergio Garcia Finally Admitted to Cal. Bar

Welcome to the club, Mr. Garcia.

A long-winding case finally came to its expected conclusion when the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who, as a 17-month-old, was brought into the country, and has been waiting for a visa since 1995. Garcia passed the California bar exam, but there was a question over whether a person, not legally allowed to be in the United States, could be licensed to practice law by one of the states, especially since a federal statute seemed to prohibit licensing such individuals.

However, after California passed a law allowing the admission of qualified applicants to the bar, regardless of immigration status, the California Supreme Court followed through with a unanimous opinion in Garcia's favor.

Bail Bond Company Saves $500k Despite Randy Quaid Fleeing to Canada

They're called the "Hollywood Whackers." They are the group of people responsible for murdering Heath Ledger, framing Mel Gibson and Robert Blake, and who stole all of Randy and Evi Quaid's money. Now, the couple is hoping to stay in Canada, where they hope they'll be safe from the murderous conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the company that posted a $500,000 bond for Randy Quaid, and an equal sum for his wife, will get at least some of that money back, despite the couple's unknown whereabouts.

Lawyer Can't be Forced to Take Down Website Describing Past Cases

Prior restraint of free speech. It's a dangerous game, and an important one too. Though this trial ended years ago, the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, heard the case anyway, as this issue is likely to creep up again.

Can a trial judge order a lawyer to take pages down off of her website in order to preserve an impartial jury?

Appellate Case Puts an Important Spin on Arbitration, Retainers

With all of the pro-business and anti-consumer arbitration decisions lately (we're looking at you, SCOTUS), it's a bit refreshing to see a decision, albeit a California-only appellate court decision, go the other way, and fall on the side of the consumer. Even if the decision does seem to contradict, somewhat, the language of the contract. Lawyers should especially pay attention, as this case dealt with a retainer agreement.

The three plaintiffs here are elderly residents of a Section 8 (low income) apartment complex. They retained an attorney to deal with issues of mold. Their counsel later allegedly coerced them into taking a lesser settlement by attempting to have a guardian ad litem appointed to manage their affairs.

Judicial Council Meets the Internet! Mandatory E-Filing Coming Soon?

Every part of my tech-geek soul loves this.

According to a press release from our dear Judicial Council, mandatory e-filing may be in our near future for civil cases. Normally, the word "mandatory" makes us shiver, but this change could be one of the rare instances in which "California courts" and "efficient" actually belong in a sentence together.

Forget about the environmental impact of millions of fewer printed pages for a second, because who really cares about the environment? (Kidding. Seriously, having every case handled electronically would be huge for Mother Nature.) Imagine the convenience of not having to fill out one of those stupid Proof of Service forms ever again.

Cal Supreme Court Embraces Spirit of Section 998, Cloudy Non-Rule

We in the law like cases to settle. We like settlements so much that if a party makes a reasonable offer to settle, and the other side declines, and doesn’t land a more favorable verdict at trial, we’ll make them pick up part of the tab, specifically for expert witness testimony. You might know this as Section 998, though old-timers might recall that it was previously known as Section 997.

Where that procedural code remains silent, however, is how the court should treat multiple offers. If the plaintiff makes one reasonable offer, then makes another reasonable offer, which offer counts when the verdict rolls in?

An End to the Cartel? Board Contemplating New Class of Legal Pros

The legal profession has too many lawyers and too few jobs. California has too many lawyers, and too few jobs.

So how does the California State Bar Board of Trustees plan to combat this problem? By creating a new class of professionals who could give legal advice, reports the California Bar Journal.

Except, wait. That compounds the problem, doesn't it?