Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

California high court says new probation limits apply retroactively to some plea deals

A California reform measure that capped probation to two years for many nonviolent offenders applies retroactively to plea agreements that hadn't been finalized when the law took effect in 2021, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. Where such deals included longer probation terms than are allowed under the new law, the state should reduce those terms accordingly while leaving the rest of the deals intact, the state's high court ruled.

Los Angeles Times

California Supreme Court: Police aren't immune from certain misconduct lawsuits

Police in California are not immune from civil lawsuits for misconduct that happens while they investigate crimes, the state Supreme Court ruled this week, overruling a precedent made by lower courts that had helped protect law enforcement from litigation for decades. The justices on Thursday unanimously rejected an argument by Riverside County that its sheriff's deputies couldn't be sued for leaving a man's naked body lying in plain sight for eight hours while officers investigated his killing.

CBS News Bay Area

Judge rules Bubba Harkins’ defamation lawsuit against Angels and MLB can proceed

A last-ditch effort by the Angels and Major League Baseball to get former visiting clubhouse manager Brian Harkins’ defamation complaint dismissed was rejected by an Orange County Superior Court judge on Friday, clearing the way for the case to go to jury trial on July 31. “We’re getting out of the dugout and going up to bat - finally, after three years,” said Daniel L. Rasmussen, the attorney who filed the suit on Harkins’ behalf in 2020. “We will be grateful to get the opportunity to present our case to a jury.”

Los Angeles Times

State bar probe into Los Angeles lawyers delays final sentencing in scandal over sham lawsuit

A massive California State Bar investigation into powerful attorneys in Los Angeles prompted a judge on Tuesday to delay the final sentencing in a bribery scandal involving a collusive lawsuit, secret deals, sham lawyering and fake adversaries hatched within the City Attorney’s Office. Disbarred New York lawyer Paul Oliva Paradis won’t be sentenced until Sept. 26 because of his continued cooperation in a probe that state bar counsel told a federal judge on Tuesday is the largest they’ve seen.

Legal Affairs and Trials with Meghann Cuniff

Ninth Circuit tosses out previous ruling denying qualified immunity in fatal police shooting case

The qualified immunity defense battle recently continued as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear the case involving Los Angeles police officer Edward Agdeppa and his use of deadly force stemming from a 2018 fatal police shooting. Agdeppa faces a federal civil rights action filed by the decedent’s mother, who argues that Agdeppa’s use of deadly force was objectively unreasonable and violated the decedent’s clearly established Fourth Amendment rights.


Challenge to city’s inoculation mandate improperly axed

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield erred in torpedoing an action by a group of firefighters challenging a City of Los Angeles ordinance requiring that all city employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 because he decided matters based on judicial notice that were triable issues of fact, the Court of Appeal for this district has declared in a 2-1 decision.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Supreme Court guts affirmative action in college admissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a major blow to affirmative action in higher education, striking down race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. In a ruling divided along ideological lines, the high court’s six-justice conservative majority found that the universities discriminated against white and Asian American applicants by using race-conscious policies that benefited applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.


Supreme Court rejects controversial Trump-backed election law theory

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the North Carolina Supreme Court did not violate the elections clause of the US Constitution when it invalidated the state’s 2022 congressional map, rejecting a broad version of a controversial legal Independent State Legislature theory pushed by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 6-3 opinion.



Opinion: Contra Costa DA Becton capitulated with bogus racial-bias court ruling

Thanks to the Contra Costa district attorney’s puzzling refusal to adequately defend her office against bogus allegations of racially discriminatory charging practices, the county’s most dangerous gang-banging murderers will avoid the punishment they deserve. Diana Becton’s anemic response to both the charge of bias and a subsequent court ruling sustaining it will leave informed observers with the nagging suspicion that she’s happy with the result.

Mercury News

Caretaker charged with killing 2 women at Diamond Bar care home

A live-in caretaker suspected of killing two women in a Diamond Bar care home is set to be arraigned Wednesday on two counts of murder. Jianchun Li, 40, was charged Tuesday, according to the District Attorney's Office. He remains jailed in lieu of $4 million bail, according to sheriff's inmate records. Neither a cause of death nor an alleged motive have been revealed, although sheriff's investigators said when the bodies were discovered that "foul play is suspected."

City News Service

Federal lawsuit against Los Angeles County alleges ADA violations and discrimination against voters with disabilities

Following a lengthy investigation that determined the County of Los Angeles discriminated against persons with disabilities at vote centers during recent elections, the United States Attorney’s Office today filed a lawsuit alleging the county has failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The investigation into the county’s voting program found that the county, acting through its registrar-recorder, excluded qualified individuals with mobility disabilities and those with vision disabilities from participating in the county’s voting programs.

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release


Union asks judge to block LA County deputy gang tattoo inspections (Video)

The union representing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies is asking a judge to block an effort to inspect deputy tattoos in an effort to weed out gangs in the department. Eric Leonard reports June 29, 2023.


LA Times likely to prevail in libel case filed by celebrity attorney

A superior court judge said at a hearing Thursday she would likely throw out a libel lawsuit filed by celebrity attorney Mark Geragos against the Los Angeles Times. The lawsuit in question concerns a series of stories the Times published about settlement money from two class-action lawsuits against insurance companies New York Life and AXA, a French company, over unpaid life insurance claims to the family members of victims killed in the Armenian genocide.

Courthouse News Service

New law targeting organized retail theft just kicked in. Will it make an impact in S.F.?

A federal law aimed at deterring organized retail theft went into effect Tuesday, but stakeholders and experts are skeptical the measure will make a substantial impact in San Francisco, where burglaries have plagued businesses and ignited national attention. The law addresses the issue in a roundabout way; requiring online marketplaces to collect and disclose information about third-party sellers who make more than 200 sales amounting to $5,000 or more in a year.

San Francisco Chronicle

'Snitch' rule adopted by California bar amid ethics scandals

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday adopted a lawyer professional misconduct reporting rule that brings it in line with every other state. Lawyers in California starting on Aug. 1 will be required to report fraud, misappropriation of funds and other criminal acts or conduct that raise "a substantial question" about another lawyer's "honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer."


Judge hears LA politician Ridley-Thomas’ bid for acquittal, new trial

A judge heard arguments Monday in former City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas’ bid to have his convictions on federal bribery and conspiracy charges vacated, but no ruling was forthcoming. Attorneys for Ridley-Thomas argued that prosecutorial misconduct, misstatements of the law and other issues during the longtime Los Angeles politician’s trial ultimately deprived him of his right to a fair trial.

Spectrum News1

Shelly Miscavige and the missing Scientologists: How the LAPD made Scientology's problem go away

On Thursday, August 8, 2013, just after 5 pm, two Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives traveled down California Highway 210 toward a coffee shop. They were headed to rendezvous with a woman whose friend, a famous actress, had reported her missing after not hearing from her for over seven years. The woman also hadn't been seen or heard from by people she had known for decades.

Yashar’s Newsletter

Prioritizing your safety: My pledge to support law enforcement and protect our neighborhoods

The “decarceration” and “defund police” movements have made our neighborhoods less safe, eroded the morale of our law enforcement agencies, and hurt small businesses that power our economy. These dangerous ideologies prioritize criminals over community - and even the real victims of crime. And they aren’t done yet. Three of the worst manifestations of these ideologies are AB 109 and Propositions 47 and 57 - and they have a direct impact on our safety that the Board of Supervisors must address.

California Globe

Chile to share migrants' criminal records with US after burglaries

Chile has agreed to share criminal records of citizens entering the United States with the country's Department of Homeland Security, its foreign ministry said on Friday, a week after U.S. lawmakers accused migrants of raiding homes and businesses. "We have given assurances to DHS that criminal records will be shared in order to prevent criminal tourism," the ministry said, saying the talks held between officials of the two countries this week had ended "satisfactorily."


Judge sides with Chicago Cubs in lawsuit over wheelchair access at Wrigley Field

A federal judge in the Windy City decided Wednesday that Wrigley Field is not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, concluding a five-and-a-half-year-old case against the Chicago Cubs. The minor wheelchair-bound Cubs fan David Felimon Cerda first brought the suit in December 2017, via his father and attorney David Alberto Cerda. 

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles City/County

Jury awards $450,000 to Los Angeles County fire captain in retaliation suit

A Los Angeles County fire captain who maintained he was subjected to retaliation after he criticized a supervisor for allegedly giving preferential treatment to a female recruit, in violation of the county’s policy of equity, has been awarded $450,000. On Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found in favor of Capt. Michael Cash, who alleged that management wrongfully removed him from his position of training captain as punishment for speaking out against the allegedly discriminatory actions of Battalion Chief Patrick Errett.

City News Service

Doubts emerge about charges against LA City Councilmember as suspension vote put off

Members of the Los Angeles City Council expressed doubts Friday about suspending a colleague facing criminal charges as they put off a decision on the matter. Curren Price, who represents a district in South Los Angeles, has been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney with embezzlement of public funds and perjury. He would be the third council member suspended pending the outcome of criminal charges in recent years.


Court settlement aims to improve LA County jail conditions (Video)

Limiting the amount of force deputies are allowed to use against inmates inside county jails. That’s the issue before a judge today who may now order stricter rules for the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on June 26, 2023.


Body cameras explored for LA County jail deputies to combat inmate abuse

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials are exploring the use of body cameras in the jails in response to complaints of excessive force on inmates. Attorney Robert Dugdale, representing the Sheriff’s Department, told U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson on Monday, June 26, that the cameras could help the department comply with a 2014 settlement of a federal lawsuit, but it might take six months to get deputies outfitted with them.

Orange County Register

Viral arrest sparks outrage and questions about community policing at Nickerson Gardens

Just before 11 p.m. on a recent Friday, ChaSharee Hunter saw several Los Angeles Police Department squad cars rolling into Nickerson Gardens. She watched as officers jumped from their cruisers and began chasing a teenage boy around a courtyard where Hunter and her friends were hanging out. But her mild amusement at seeing the youngster outrun the authorities turned to anger when police detained a bystander who they claimed "bumped" into an officer, Hunter said.

Los Angeles Times


A matter of trust

Trust is arguably the most important aspect of a business’s success. Most of us have experienced times when our trust in a company has been broken. We feel wronged or cheated, making it unlikely we’ll ever do business with that company again. Such is the outcome when online consumers receive a counterfeit product instead of the genuine article. Trust is broken, and the seller’s reputation is forever tarnished in the consumer’s mind.

DC Velocity

CalPERS participants' personal information exposed in data breach

The country's largest public pension fund says the personal information of about 769,000 retired California employees and other beneficiaries - including Social Security numbers - was among data stolen by Russian cybercriminals in the breach of a popular file-transfer application. It blamed the breach on a third-party vendor that verifies deaths. 

CBS News Sacramento

UCLA data allegedly stolen in large cyber breach (Video)

UCLA confirmed this week that it is among dozens of institutions and companies that had data stolen in a cyber attack. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on June 28, 2023.



LAX police officer arrested after allegedly touching woman, brandishing gun at Long Beach bar

A 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles World Airport Police Division could soon face charges that he harassed a woman inside a Long Beach restaurant, brandished a gun, and then negligently fired the weapon a few blocks away. Long Beach police allege 47-year-old Robert Mosquera was at the Jade Restaurant bar early Sunday morning where he harassed a woman and then brandished a gun at her.

Long Beach Post

Popular L.A. restaurant staff demands change amid rising crime

The La Boheme restaurant staff is demanding immediate change amid rising crime in the West Hollywood area. On April 25, a group of criminals wielding guns was caught on camera robbing three people in the alleyway of La Boheme on Santa Monica Boulevard and Orlando Avenue. Since then, the restaurant has reportedly been vandalized five times. 


Two men rob Brink's truck guard at gunpoint outside Reseda Taco Bell

A Brink's armored truck guard was robbed on Tuesday outside a Taco Bell in Reseda by two men, one of whom was armed with an assault rifle, police said. The crime was reported at about 11:45 a.m. in the 6700 block of Reseda Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Both men wore white “painter's” jumpsuits and masks, and one of them was armed with an “AR-15-style” rifle, police said. No injuries were reported.

City News Service

'This takes the pie!' Drug lab found in L.A. 'pizza' shop

What appeared to be a pizza shop in North Hollywood was really cooking up illegal THC concentrates, authorities said. The illicit “super lab” was located in the 7300 block of Radford Avenue next to a pet hospital, according to a tweet from LAPD Commanding Officer Lillian L. Carranza. Photos posted to social media by LAPD show what looks to be a functioning commercial kitchen, but instead of pizza, there were batches of THC honey oil in the boxes and on the cooling racks. 


Los Angeles Metro bus driver stabbed in back, suspect arrested

For the second time in less than a month, a Metro bus driver was stabbed in Los Angeles. The June 22 incident occurred on the 1700 block of Main Street in Venice, with the driver stabbed in the back while checking the exterior of the bus. LAPD identified the suspect as 60-year-old Mark Charbonneaux and made an arrest on-scene for assault with a deadly weapon.

LA Weekly

San Francisco Bay Area grocery store takes drastic measures to deter rampant shoplifting

A grocery store in the San Francisco Bay Area has installed metal emergency gates at its entrance in an attempt to deter rampant shoplifting. A Safeway in Vallejo also shuttered one of its entrances, according to KPIX reporter Betty Yu, who tweeted an image of the safeguard, which sounds an alarm if a shoplifter attempts to leave. The supermarket chain location, which is owned by Albertsons Companies, joins other locations in the San Francisco area that have taken similar measures in recent years amid the city's rise in thefts.

Fox Business


A retired LAPD officer fatally shot her ex-boyfriend because she believed he killed a cop

Julia Peat waited for her boyfriend to finish cleaning the pool. Then she fired her 9-millimeter Beretta pistol over and over as he stepped through a sliding back door of her western Arizona home last week. Several hollow-point rounds tore through his body. Mark Corbett fell, but he didn’t die. So, Peat, a retired Los Angeles police officer, finished him off with a final shot to the head as she stood over his bleeding body, according to a police report detailing the killing.

Los Angeles Times

E-cigs are still flooding the US, addicting teens with higher nicotine doses

When the FDA first asserted the authority to regulate e-cigarettes in 2016, many people assumed the agency would quickly get rid of vapes with flavors like cotton candy, gummy bears, and Froot Loops that appeal to kids. Instead, the FDA allowed all e-cigarettes already on the market to stay while their manufacturers applied for the OK to market them. Seven years later, vaping has ballooned into an $8.2 billion industry, and manufacturers are flooding the market with thousands of products - most sold illegally and without FDA permission - that can be far more addictive.


Summer just began, but it's already a long one in Chicago

With the first weekend of summer upon us, we turn our thoughts to leisure activities. Perhaps you’re keeping an eye on baseball’s developing pennant races, hoping your team can hang onto its lead or claw its way up the standings. In Cincinnati, the Reds are on a hot streak, winning their last ten games and overtaking the Brewers, who are 4-6 in their last ten games. The Pirates have gone from first to fourth place in the division after losing ten in a row and 13 of their last 15.

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

State employee who saved California millions loses compensation case against CalHR

New state appellate court documents unveiled over the weekend found that a former California Department of Transportation Employee, whose suggestions have saved the state millions of dollars, lost a court case earlier this month against the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) over proper compensation due to his claim coming after the statute of limitations. The case dates back to the mid 2010’s.

California Globe

Ex-NBC and CNN exec Michael Bass accused of 1996 sexual assault by former intern

In a lawsuit filed Friday in New York, former NBC and CNN executive Michael Bass was accused of sexually assaulting his former intern in an incident alleged to have happened in 1996 when Bass was at NBC. The accuser, Aarthi Rajaraman, who filed the lawsuit, says the attack occurred when she was 20 years old and working as an intern for NBC Sports during the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic games.

The Wrap

Homeless Issue

Homeowner frustrated over years of problems with parked RVs and waste on LA street

A homeowner in the Florence Firestone District next to Huntington Park is expressing frustration over parked RVs, trash and feces filling the street near his rental home. Ernesto Quintero has owned the home, near 65th and Wilmington for nearly 15 years. He said the problems started before the pandemic, but since COVID they’ve gotten even worse. “And not only that, these RVs have internal plumbing so what they are doing is dumping all their feces and all their urine on the street and I have to clean it up,” Quintero said.


Video shows homeless camp takeover of two-mile stretch of Hollywood steps from Universal Studios

A two-mile road in Los Angeles - next to Hollywood studios where shows like “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “Gilmore Girls” were filmed - has been overrun by homeless people living in “unsafe, unsanitary” RVs and trailers. Exclusive video taken by The Post shows trash piling up outside the makeshift camp which is also strewn with feces and bottles full of urine, just minutes from the Universal Studios theme park, visited by up to 40,000 tourists daily.

New York Post

Sylmar homeowner accused of illegally housing people in 20 RVs, dumping waste onto streets

On a residential street in the San Fernando Valley, people living in dozens of homes have found themselves asking the same question lately: What is that smell? It comes from a single plot of land off of Hubbard Street in Sylmar that has one house and roughly 20 homes. Recreational vehicles take up the lot and are occupied by renters, which affects people well beyond its fences. Video obtained by Eyewitness News showed what neighbors say is human waste spilling into the streets and into the yards.


Homeless encampment cleanup delayed after LAPD calls officer email ”highly inappropriate”

A cleanup of a homeless encampment in West Hills planned for Thursday was postponed resulting from an email from a Los Angeles Police Department senior lead officer the department called “highly inappropriate.” The statement from LAPD released Wednesday is in response to an email sent by Senior Lead Officer Brittney Gutierrez on June 14 regarding Thursday’s scheduled cleanup and sanitation, and being shared by Film The Police LA website on social media.

City News Service


2 men sentenced for burglarizing LA Mayor Karen Bass' home in 2022

Two men who broke into the home of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and stole two revolvers were each handed state prison terms Tuesday. Patricio Munoz, 43, was sentenced to two years in prison, and Juan Espinoza, 25, was sentenced to 32 months behind bars. The pair were each originally charged last year with a felony count of first-degree residential burglary and two counts of grand theft of a firearm. The burglary took place in September 2022 at Bass' Baldwin Vista home when she was a congresswoman and mayoral candidate.

City News Service

Convicted killer of Cloverdale ice cream man to be released

A convicted killer from Santa Rosa is expected to be released on parole, drawing criticism from the victim’s friends and family and Sonoma County’s district attorney. Fidencio Chavez Jr, 60, was granted parole on Jan. 25 after being denied four times since his 1992 murder conviction, according to records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who can deny parole, has decided not to intervene, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday as part of its announcement of Chavez’s parole.

The Press Democrat

Two ex-Torrance Police officers plead not guilty in vandalized car case

Two former Torrance police officers pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges stemming from a swastika that was found spray-painted inside an impounded vehicle nearly 3 1/2 years ago. Christopher Tomsic, 31, and Cody Weldin, 30, are charged with one felony count each of vandalism with over $400 in damage and conspiracy to commit vandalism, according to the District Attorney’s Office. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for the pair on Aug. 17 at the downtown Criminal Courts Building.

City News Service

California doctor convicted of illegally prescribing opioids, including to one person who overdosed

A California physician who wrote more than 8,200 prescriptions in a one-year span has been convicted on 12 counts of distributing opioid pills without a legitimate medical purpose, including to one person who died of an overdose, federal prosecutors said. A federal jury found Donald Siao, 58, guilty after a weeklong trial, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Articles of Interest

Is Tom Girardi faking it? Prosecutors suggest ex-legal king pin may be feigning mental state

Federal prosecutors preparing for Tom Girardi’s competency hearing say “malingering” could be an issue in the case, the first indication that they may argue the disbarred power lawyer is exaggerating or feigning a deteriorated mental state. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles mentioned the possible fakery in a new motion to exclude proposed expert testimony from a criminal defense lawyer who met with Girardi and believes he can’t assist in his defense.

Legal Affairs and Trials with Meghann Cuniff

Is California using an old labor board to get around a fast food industry referendum?

Folded into California’s $310 billion budget agreement is a relatively small line item: $3 million to resurrect an obscure old state commission that once regulated industries from factories to farms to laundries - and even had the power to set the minimum wage. The budget deal between the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom would reconvene the Industrial Welfare Commission, dormant since 2004, to issue new rules on wages and working conditions for specific industries. 


Petition for antitrust complaint against State Bar and chairman filed and decided without complainant’s knowledge

San Diego entrepreneur Justin S. Beck filed an antitrust case with four volumes of evidentiary exhibits against the California State Bar and its Chairman Ruben Duran on September 21, 2022. The petition for the California Supreme Court to intervene with The State Bar of California’s conduct on behalf of the public was “stricken as premature” on September 27, 2022 - affixed with a rubber stamp signature of former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Davis Vanguard

ESPN offers Sage Steele $501,000 to settle her free speech lawsuit - but the host WON'T accept

SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele does not appear inclined to settle her lawsuit with ESPN following the network's settlement offer. Steele, 50, sued ESPN and its parent company Walt Disney Co. in April 2022 over allegations the network violated her free-speech rights in the aftermath of her comments about its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Walt Disney Co. offered the presenter $501,000 and to cover 'reasonable' attorney fees last week to settle the lawsuit, according to Front Office Sports.

Daily Mail


California prisons struggle to process inmates' gender-affirming surgery

Prisons across California are struggling to process an increasing number of requests by inmates to undergo gender-affirming care. CalMatters, a nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California politics and policy, reported on Monday that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is seeing double the amount of prisoners requesting gender-affirming surgeries since last year. In its report, CalMatters added that the estimated increase in gender-affirming surgery requests is based on new budget documents.


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