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Welcome to the first in a series about this year's California ballot propositions. Hopefully we can help sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to claims about what these propositions do and don't do.

Rudely interrupting my "Law & Order" marathons are commercials for Proposition 46, which I'm told was written by "trial lawyers" seeking more money. Those grubby trial lawyers! They're apparently behind all bad things, according to the Chamber of Commerce. But if there's one thing that law school -- and those "Encyclopedia Brown" novels -- taught me, it's to examine the evidence. And never trust Bugs Meany.

Alzheimer's is a pretty terrible, debilitating disease. Those afflicted are often not in control of their actions. Recognizing this, California already has a rule that Alzheimer's patients in institutional facilities like nursing homes aren't responsible for injuries they inflict on caregivers.

What about in-home caregivers? They had no special protection until Monday, when the California Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that, yes, the rule also applies to them under the doctrine of assumption of risk.

But really, this case presents a legislative, not a judicial, problem.

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.

Lots of California law updates this week with the 2014 State of the Judiciary, a retiring judge, and a review of laws, pending, passed, and interpreted. Let's jump in:

2014 State of the Judiciary

On March 17, 2014 Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye gave her 2014 State of the Judiciary Address before California judges, legislators and attorneys. The foundation of her statements rested on "fairness and collaboration" -- values that both the judiciary and legislature embody. She went on to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and discussed issues important to her including collaborative courts, self-help centers at the trial courts, JusticeCorps and juvenile justice. To read her remarks in full (or watch a video), click here for the 2014 State of the Judiciary Address.

With so many legal issues brewing in the state of California, it's hard to settle on just one. Between the ongoing drought and water shortage in California, new civil rights lawsuits and federal challenges to state laws, there's a lot to talk about. So let's get to it and see what all the headlines are about.

Voting Rights of Ex-Felons

On Tuesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Alameda County seeking declaratory injunctive relief on behalf of ex-felons that fall under new categories of low-level felons under realignment, according to KQED.

One thing I love about California? It's never boring. Last week we went over some new, and proposed, laws and today, we look at two recent cases initiated in California courts, as well as another proposed law.

One case alleges violation of state labor laws, while the other one is a novel approach to dealing with those pesky mugshot websites -- misappropriation of likeness for commercial gain. Finally, the proposed law would limit the use of antibiotics on livestock.

Things are heating up in California -- well, almost. Even after the flames are long gone, the Environmental Protection Agency is still fanning the fires that are the controversy surrounding Chevron's refinery blaze. And, on the eve of a new law taking effect, religious groups have joined together to challenge the law on -- of all things -- privacy grounds.

Chevron and the EPA

If you're in California then you probably remember the refinery fire that resulted in 15,000 people seeking medical treatment, according to Reuters. The latest in the fire's aftermath is a letter from Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA's Western Regional Administrator, in which he declares that the company failed to limit the risk of environmental catastrophe by "repeatedly fail[ing] to follow its own practices, plans, and recommendations."

The specter of Black Friday has come and gone, fortunately with no deaths this year (at least related to shopping). But the controversy at California checkout counters is far from over. Proposed legislation and pending litigation could change the face of toys, and shopping in general.

California's egg law is still causing consternation in Washington, but while politicians are fighting over the farm bill, California has moved on to vaccines, booze tasting and fracking. As we get closer to January deadlines for new laws to take effect, here's a roundup of how these law are progressing.

The facts of this case are tragic. The victim, a 90-year-old stroke survivor, told her daughter that she needed to be removed from her nursing home, Monterey Pines Skilled Nursing Facility (now known as Cypress Ridge Care Center after a transfer of ownership). Despite her limited ability to communicate, she told her daughter that her catheter had been removed, the nurse call button had been disabled, and her clothing had been taken off by someone the night before.

She remembers her assailant stating, "This is why I love my job."

The victim had bruising on her inner thighs and pelvic region and complained of increased pain in the area. It was later discovered that she contracted genital herpes. Her sole sexual partner, her husband of nearly 70 years, tested negative.