Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

California newspaper must produce reporter’s notes in connection with murder case, appellate court rules

A California Court of Appeal found Tuesday that a local newspaper should not have been held in contempt for refusing to produce a reporter’s notes, but ultimately ruled against the Bakersfield Californian’s attempts to keep the notes out of court proceedings.

Courthouse News Service

City opposes testimony of pursuit suspect in Trader Joe's shooting trial

The city of Los Angeles wants to prevent the testimony of a pursuit suspect whose actions allegedly led to the mistaken 2018 fatal shooting of an assistant manager inside the Trader Joe's store in Silver Lake, saying he is expected to refuse to answer defense questions during trial of the family's civil suit. 

City News Service

Woman at center of Gascón juvenile sentencing controversy takes plea deal in Kern County killing

Hannah Tubbs - whose prosecution on sexual assault charges in 2021 marked one of the biggest controversies of L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s first term - pleaded no contest Tuesday in the killing of a homeless man in Kern County, prosecutors said. Tubbs, 27, entered the plea to charges of voluntary manslaughter, robbery and witness intimidation in the 2019 killing of Michael Clark near Lake Isabella, according to Kern County Dist. Atty. Cynthia Zimmer.

Los Angeles Times

Consent to search invalid where enticed by false promise

The Third District Court of Appeal yesterday granted a writ of mandate directing the trial court to suppress the fruits of a search of an automobile, holding that consent of the driver was unlawfully acquired by an officer having agreed that in exchange for permission, he would not have the car towed - an action which he believed he had the authority to take, but didn’t.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

South Bay authorities are a state leader in disarming troubled people. But the laws backing them are facing serious challenges.

Santa Clara County now files the second-most proactive gun-violence restraining orders in the state each year: Local authorities intervene on average more than once per day in cases involving people known to be armed and actively threatening themselves and others. Prosecutors say the county has steadily increased its output of such orders since the onset of a corresponding red flag law in 2016, going from seven filings that year to 405 in 2022.

Bay Area News Group

Judge OKs effort to retry ex-UCLA campus gynecologist

A judge Friday granted the prosecution’s request to retry former UCLA campus gynecologist James Mason Heaps on nine remaining sex-related charges on which jurors deadlocked last year involving former patients. Superior Court Judge Michael D. Carter denied a defense motion to dismiss the deadlocked counts against Heaps. 


Supreme Court to decide if gun bans for domestic abusers are constitutional

The Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could invalidate the federal law barring guns for anyone who is the subject of a domestic violence court order. If the federal law falls, so would similar laws in most states, and other important gun laws. The case is the next chapter in the high court's new Second Amendment doctrine.



BMW driver charged with 2 counts of murder after crash that killed off-duty LAPD officer, passenger

A 20-year-old man was charged with two counts of murder on Wednesday, Nov. 8, after Los Angeles police accused him of being drunk while driving a luxury car that plowed into another vehicle in Northridge over the weekend, killing an off-duty officer and his passenger. Brian David Olivarez was arrested after he was treated in a hospital following the early morning crash on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Roscoe Boulevard and Lindley Avenue, booking records showed.

Los Angeles Daily News

Driver charged in Whittier wrong-way crash that killed LASD recruit, injured 24 others

Charges have been filed against a wrong-way driver who plowed his SUV into a group of Los Angeles County sheriff's recruits in Whittier last year, a crash that killed one recruit. Nicholas Gutierrez, 23, was re-arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury, prosecutors said Thursday.


In twist, gang member testifies he alone carried out mass shooting at Halloween party

A criminal trial in one of the worst mass shootings in the city’s history took a turn Tuesday when a 22-year-old gang member took the stand and said that he acted alone in killing three people at a Halloween party four years ago. Ryan Sim, who was 18 at the time of the crime, testified that he shot up the Halloween-themed birthday party that killed three people and wounded nine others on the night of Oct. 29, 2019.

Long Beach Post

After backlash, DA Gascón charges Long Beach sex-assault suspect with felony

After facing a backlash for declining to file charges against a suspect who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Long Beach, DA George Gascón says his office has now taken on the case. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Friday it has charged suspect Miguel Avila with felony assault with the intent to commit a forcible sex crime and misdemeanor sexual battery.


20-year-old man charged with attempted murder in Beverly Hills stabbing

A 20-year-old man was arrested and faces an attempted murder charge following a stabbing during broad daylight in Beverly Hills, officials said. On Monday, Nov. 6, officers with the Beverly Hills Police Department were called to the 100 block of South Roxbury Drive, off Wilshire Boulevard, following reports of a possible physical altercation just before 2:40 p.m. 


Man charged in murders of father and daughter gunned down in Compton in 2001

A man has been formally charged in a decades-old cold case murder of a man and his daughter who were killed in a drive-by shooting in Compton. Jahon Terez Smith, 47, was charged with the deaths of Stephen Murphy and his 3-year-old daughter Kali Murphy, who were gunned down outside of a home on the 13100 block of Willowbrook Avenue on Aug. 8, 2001.


California man charged in threats against Biden, Obama and others seeks new trial delay

Last week, a California man charged with driving across the country with an AR-15 and body armor while threatening to kill President Joe Biden and others won a slight delay in his case. Now, Kuachua Brillion Xiong, a former Merced grocery clerk, wants his scheduled Dec. 4 trial delayed for up to 90 days while potential plea deal talks continue with federal prosecutors.

Sacramento Bee

Federal grand jury indicts 2 for allegedly supplying fentanyl and other narcotics sold through darknet to customers in all 50 states

A federal grand jury has indicted two men who allegedly supplied fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine for a drug trafficking organization that used the darknet and encrypted messaging applications to sell narcotics to thousands of customers in all 50 states across the country, the Justice Department announced today.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release


Government immunity from false credit reporting hits thin ice at Supreme Court 

The Supreme Court seemed unsure on Monday that the government should be able to skirt a lawsuit after incorrect reporting left a Pennsylvanian man with damaged credit. Reginald Kirtz sued the government for reporting delinquency on his loans even though he paid off their balance. Kirtz took a credit hit for the error and claimed the government’s mistake violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Courthouse News Service

New eviction protections in Los Angeles challenged by apartment owners

A Los Angeles court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a challenge filed by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles over a pair of ordinances passed by the Los Angeles City Council in February. One of those laws raised the amount of rent money on which a tenant has to be behind before they can be evicted for non-payment of rent.

Courthouse News Service

California residents, policymakers struggle with beach access as housing costs rise

Life can be loud, filled with the sounds of music and yelling, but living feet away from iconic Venice Beach and its famous boardwalk is worth it for Terry McGhee. McGhee grew up in South Los Angeles. As a kid, he rode his bicycle to Venice Beach whenever he could. The two places aren’t far from each other, but to McGhee they seemed like different worlds, the beach a reprieve from the violence and neglect that characterized his own neighborhood.

Courthouse News Service

Where in the world is Nury Martinez? (Arizona, actually)

After getting caught on tape spewing racist hate speech, there really was only one move left to make for former Democratic City Councilwoman Nury Martinez - find a home in Arizona and reputedly become a Republican. Not that long ago, Martinez, 50, was a rising star in local politics, the first Latina to become Council president.

Los Angeles Magazine

Call for DA Gascon recusal

Imagine you are a District Attorney and you are listening to a purportedly illegally obtained audio tape on which a fellow elected official says “F**k that guy - He’s with the Blacks.” Then imagine you are a District Attorney who is up for re-election and desperately need the support of the local Federation of Labor. Then imagine you are a District Attorney that is presented with the case to prosecute the folks who allegedly made the tape and that those folks work/ed for the Federation of Labor.  

California Globe

Los Angeles City/County

4 current or former Los Angeles sheriff's officials die in apparent suicides in 2 days

Four current or former Los Angeles County sheriff’s employees were found dead Monday and Tuesday in deaths that are being investigated as suicides, law enforcement sources said. The deaths are unrelated to one another, law enforcement sources said. A captain was found dead at his home in Saugus on Monday morning; hours later, a retired deputy was found dead in the Antelope Valley.

NBC News

Who is Nika Soon-Shiong? LA Times owner's daughter called out after Israel 'Apartheid' comment

The daughter of the LA Times' owner is being slammed for having a Palestinian flag on her X profile after saying that calling Israel an 'Apartheid state' is not 'journalistic malpractice’. Posting on her X account, Nika Soon-Shiong wrote, "It's not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state.” “This is well-established in international law. It's the legal term for unlawful killing, torture, forcible transfer, and denial of basic rights.”


Litigation targets Cynthia McClain-Hill, President of DWP board

Four current and former employees of the Department of Water and Power have filed a complaint in Superior Court against the Department that essentially targets Cynthia McClain-Hill, the President of the politically appointed Board of Water and Power Commissioners. There are five causes of action: 1) whistleblower retaliation; 2) harassment and hostile work environment; 3) discrimination; 4) retaliation; and 5) failure to take corrective action.  

CityWatch LA

Sexual harassment suit against Garcetti aid settled for $1.8 million

A Los Angeles Police Department officer who accused the former chief political advisor of ex-Mayor Eric Garcetti of sexual harassment has agreed to settle his lawsuit with the city, court filings show. Sources close to the matter tell Los Angeles exclusively that the amount of the expected payout awaiting final approval from the city is $1.8 million.

Los Angeles Magazine

Settlement with LAist correspondent would be among largest for media rights violations during George Floyd protests

LAist correspondent Josie Huang has reached a $700,000 settlement with L.A. County after she was thrown to the ground, pinned, handcuffed and arrested by sheriff’s deputies while documenting a 2020 arrest during a protest in Lynwood. If approved by the County Board of Supervisors at their next meeting on Tuesday, the settlement would be one of the largest in the nation to an individual reporter whose rights were violated while covering the 2020 protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.



Internal documents reveal the story behind California’s unemployment crash

By the first COVID summer, no one knew who was who. In Nigeria, an oil company IT engineer was allegedly filing for unemployment in California and 16 other states with a slew of fake Gmail accounts. At a desert state prison in Imperial County, an inmate used personal data bought on the dark web to funnel unemployment money to his wife for a $71,000 Audi and a down payment on a house. 


Jewish man dies after confrontation with pro-Palestinian protesters in Thousand Oaks

A 69-year-old Jewish man died a day after he was injured in an altercation at a pro-Palestinian rally in Thousand Oaks, authorities say. Paul Kessler died as a result of injuries he sustained at the event Sunday, Ventura County Sheriff's Office investigators say. There were two competing rallies near Westlake and Thousand Oaks boulevards in favor of the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the current conflict, according to the sheriff's office.


NY County public defender caught removing posters of kidnapped Israeli children, faces backlash

New York County Public Defender Victoria Ruiz has been caught removing posters of Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. The videos in which she can be seen destroying the posters have gone viral on X, formerly Twitter. Netizens are fuming over her actions and calling her out to resign immediately. In the viral clip, Ruiz can be seen walking away from the person recording the video as they repeatedly asked her, “Why are you taking down pictures of innocent children?”

Hindustan Times

US law firms urge law schools to take tougher stance on student antisemitism

Two dozen US law firms have written to the top law schools across the country calling on them to do more to crack down on student antisemitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. In a letter to a group of law school deans, the firms, including Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Kirkland & Ellis, said they were “alarmed at reports of antisemitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses” and asked the schools to explain how they were addressing the situation, according to a copy of the letter shared with the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Intruder waltzes into heavily-guarded NYPD headquarters

Not even NYPD headquarters is safe from crime. A man from Portugal snuck under a garage gate at heavily-guarded One Police Plaza last week – making his way upstairs to the supposedly secure, second-floor Joint Operations Center and then onto the roof, The Post has learned. Jose Luis Soares, 65, crept into the building by making it past several security checkpoints staffed by uniformed, armed police officers on Oct. 28, court documents show. 

New York Post

Thefts targeting first responders have become 'cost of doing business' in Seattle

A Seattle Fire Department crew was inside the Ballard Fred Meyer when a security guard rushed to warn them about people rummaging through their fire truck in the parking lot. The firefighters noted the guard was "shaking" as he told them he had just been chased by a group of men after yelling at them in an attempt to interrupt the theft. By the time the crew got back to their ladder truck, the thieves had made off with a generator, two chainsaws and two circular saws.


Months after ordering investigation, Alameda DA Pamela Price quietly brings prosecutors back to work

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price recently ordered three veteran prosecutors to return from administrative leave for the first time since a tumultuous staff shakeup that dominated the opening weeks of her tenure. The move last month marked the latest twist in a series of sweeping staff changes throughout the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office that accompanied Price’s election in November - among them being dozens of departures, firings and job reassignments of longtime staff members.

Bay Area News Group


Restaurant burglaries in Los Angeles have increased, but for thieves there are few consequences

It was a familiar scene at the popular La Boheme restaurant in West Hollywood last month, when a gang of masked thieves broke open the door at 2:20 a.m., smashed their way into the office, and carted off the safe with $20,000 inside. "Our employees are afraid to come to work," general manager Lucian Tudor said. His West Hollywood restaurant has been hit by criminals 10 times in the last two years.


State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo arrested on suspicion of DUI

State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was arrested in Los Angeles early Friday on suspicion of drunken driving, authorities said. Carrillo, who is a candidate for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council, was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Friday in the 6200 block of Monterey Road. She was arrested after officers responded to a crash in the Northeast Los Angeles area, according to the LAPD. Details about the crash were not immediately available.


Stolen items returned to Colorado football players after Rose Bowl locker room heist

Some of the belongings stolen from the University of Colorado football team during their game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl last week were being returned to players, police told NBC News. The Pasadena Police Department confirmed Friday they recovered several items and more had been identified. Police said they served search warrants and described the thieves as juveniles.


Authorities seek woman reportedly accused of stealing actress Lily Collins’ wedding ring

Authorities are looking for a woman who allegedly stole jewelry and credit cards from lockers at a West Hollywood hotel spa and yoga studio, including the wedding ring of actress Lily Collins, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and media reports. Suspect Andreea Catalina Rosca, 34, travels the country committing similar crimes, the sheriff’s department said in a bulletin posted on social media.

Los Angeles Times

Crime trends and wage theft in California

In California, violent and property crime rates are currently up compared to recent years. According to the annual Crime In California Report, violent crime statewide is up 6.1% since 2021, with property crime increasing by 6.2%. California has ramped up efforts to disrupt retail theft rings over the years, including California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Theft Task Force. Established in 2019, the group has recovered more than $30.7 million in stolen merchandise, and arrested nearly 1,300 individuals statewide. 

Spectrum News1

Tarzana man arrested after human torso found in plastic bag in Encino, police say

A Tarzana man has been arrested in connection with a woman's dismembered torso that was found near a dumpster in Encino. LAPD officers took Samuel Haskell into custody Wednesday. He is being held on $2 million bail. Police say Haskell's wife, Mei Haskell, and her parents are missing. Officers located the couple's three children in school on Wednesday and took them safely into custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services.



Former New York lawyer sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison for accepting $2.2 million kickback in LADWP corrupt litigation scheme

A disbarred New York City lawyer, who simultaneously represented the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and a ratepayer suing the City of Los Angeles in the wake of an LADWP billing debacle, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for accepting a kickback of nearly $2.2 million for causing another lawyer to purportedly represent his ratepayer client in a collusive lawsuit against the city, which enabled the city to settle the case on favorable terms.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release

Man sentenced in California's first fentanyl-homicide case gets called a 'piece of ****' by victim's dad

A man who was convicted in California's first fentanyl-related homicide case was sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars. This comes as Vicente David Romero, 34, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the fentanyl-poisoning death of Kelsey King. King's death may have happened back in June 2020, but the pain appeared to have not subsided one bit for the victim's father, who spoke in court Friday.


Captain of Santa Barbara-based dive boat that burned and sank, resulting in 34 deaths, found guilty of felony federal offense

The captain of the P/V Conception - a Santa Barbara-based dive boat that caught fire and sank near Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day in 2019, resulting in the deaths of 33 passengers and one crew member - was found guilty by a jury late this afternoon of a federal felony offense.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release

Homeless Issue

Hollywood residents frustrated over homeless encampment (Video)

The worsened homeless encampment conditions has raised concerns among pedestrians and residents along Sunset Boulevard. Karma Dickerson reports for the NBC4 News on Nov. 7, 2023.


LA City Council moves forward on hotel housing ordinance

The Los Angeles City Council advanced a hotel initiative that will require developers to replace any housing lost to hotel construction in a 14-0 vote Tuesday. The ordinance replaces a ballot measure that would have required hotels to make vacant rooms available to unhoused people. Instead, it will require the city to consider how new hotel developments will affect housing, childcare, public transit and small businesses in the area.


West Coast cities losing patience with homeless encampments

At the end of September, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat wrote about how “West Coast cities start to confront the limits of the liberal dream,” the liberal dream being able to “compassionately” deal with homelessness and growing encampments without arrests. Both extremes on the debate around encampments get it wrong; illegal drugs like fentanyl really are making the problem worse, but harm reduction is a critical part of solving the encampment problem, not mass arrests.


Articles of Interest

Judge in Trump fraud trial expands gag order to Trump’s attorneys

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial has expanded a gag order in the trial to extend to Trump’s attorneys after continued lengthy discussions about the judge’s communications with his law clerk during court this week. In a written order Friday, Judge Arthur Engoron prohibited Trump’s attorneys from making any further comments about confidential communications between the judge and his staff inside or outside of the courtroom.


Judge preliminarily finds ex-Trump attorney John Eastman culpable in California bar disciplinary case

A California judge preliminary found John Eastman, an ex-attorney of former President Donald Trump, culpable of ethics violations in a state bar disciplinary case brought against him for his efforts to help Trump cling to power after the 2020 election, according to the group that filed a complaint against him.


Zuckerberg, Meta execs ignored warnings about harmful content on social media platforms, whistleblower tells Congress

As legislators look to bring the hammer down on Big Tech, an industry whistleblower told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that social media titan Meta has refused to heed warnings that its services promulgate harmful content to minor.

Courthouse News Service


New California program allows inmates to earn master’s degrees

Decades ago as a little boy growing up in Santa Rosa, Calif., Luke Scott made a pledge to his mom that he would graduate from college one day. Despite being sentenced to life in prison for murder without the possibility of parole in 1988, Scott kept his promise. Scott, 60, earned his first of eight associate's degrees from Coastline Community College in 2010 while at Salinas Valley State Prison. 


For more ADDA news and information, visit