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Foie Gras Ban Back in Effect After SCOTUS Denies Review

If you are a fan of foie gras, you aren't going to like this decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The High Court rejected a challenge to California's ban on the delicacy. The state law went into effect in 2012, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit upheld it.

If you are a fan of humane treatment of animals, the decision should be good news. That's because foie gras is made from the livers of duck and geese that have been force-fed.

Governor Brown Appoints 13 Judges Before Departing

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed 13 more judges, including some firsts, as he prepared to leave office.

The appointees include the first Korean-American judge in Alameda County and the first Sikh judge in Sacramento County. Add to that, Brown named the first Filipino-American judge to serve on the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

With the latest appointments, the outgoing governor has chosen more than two dozen Superior Court judges since June. It's not rocket science, but that means Brown picked an average of one new judge every week during his final months.

There was a time when the California Judicial Council thought it was a good idea to unify the entire California court system's computers and make sure every court was operating on the same platform.

And apparently, the plan that got put in place some years ago has failed. Fortunately, the council's technology committee seems to have recognized where it should be focusing and has announced a new technology and strategic development plan. The plan should not only increase public access, but also technological cooperation among the courts.

LA Weekly Investor Lawsuit Continues

LA Weekly, long-known for its progressive coverage of Los Angeles culture, is having its own culture shock.

It's toxic litigation, the type that can tear apart any business. One investor is suing the others, alleging they are using the weekly newspaper to line their pockets.

A judge has denied a motion to end the case, but the litigation could spell the end for the publication. Some say the old LA Weekly is already dead.

Judge Cuts Monsanto Award From $289M to $78.5M

A San Francisco judge popped the balloon on a $250 million punitive damages award against Monsanto, but affirmed a jury verdict that found the company's weedkiller caused cancer in a former groundskeeper.

According to evidence at trial, the plaintiff contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma by repeatedly spraying high concentrations of Roundup. Judge Suzanne Bolanos upheld a $39.2 million compensatory damages award, and reduced punitive damages to $39.2 million.

The judge could still order a new trial if DeWayne "Lee" Johnson refuses the reduced award in Johnson v. Monsanto Company. As for his lawyer, he popped the corks too early.

Plaintiffs Sue Scooter-Makers for Abetting Assault

Facial lacerations, broken teeth, and fractured fingers.

It wasn't a fight; it was a scooter. But the injuries have turned into a legal battle against the scooter-makers.

In a proposed class-action filed in Los Angeles, plaintiffs say the manufacturers are responsible for their injuries. They say electric scooter riders assaulted them.

The California Supreme Court has had quite the year. The annual "Year in Review" is in, and the data is, as usual, fascinating.

The court received nearly 7,000 filings from September 2017 through August 2018, and processed close to the same number of dispositions during that time. Notably, 85 opinions were issued, 39 in civil cases, while the remaining were split evenly between criminal and death row cases.

Other big highlights from the last year involve: the success of the live streaming oral arguments, which received over 25,000 listeners; And (how can we forget about) the sweeping changes that were made to the code of attorney conduct.

Catholic Bishops Sued for Sex Abuse in California

Another lawsuit has been filed against Catholic bishops for sex abuse, but this one is of epic proportions.

Thomas Emens, who says a priest molested him for years, wants every bishop in California to answer the complaint. The plaintiff says they have covered up sex abuse in the church for too long.

The problem has plagued Catholics for decades. Even the Pope says something has to change, or another Exodus is coming.

How Much Can Hospitals in CA Charge Patients Without Insurance?

An unpublished case about a $7,812 medical bill could change the way hospitals charge patients without insurance in California.

It depends on two main questions: Will a decision stand that allows self-pay patients to challenge their bills? And will the California Supreme Court certify the decision for publication?

In Solorio v. Fresno Community Hospital and Medical Center, the answers could change everything. It's not just about the $7,812 bill; it's about how much hospitals can charge.

Former Content Moderator Sues Facebook for Psychological Trauma From Images

Selena Scola scrolled through Facebook like millions of other people, except it was her job -- and it made her sick.

She worked as a content moderator, looking for objectionable content to flag for removal. What she saw -- "videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder" -- caused her psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a new lawsuit filed in California, Scola alleges the social media giant is to blame for negligently failing to maintain a safe workplace. She's not the only one; it's a class action.