Los Angeles District Attorney
Senior LA prosecutors say they were demoted by DA Gascón after publicly criticizing him: 'Instilling fear’
Embattled Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón transferred top prosecutors who say they were demoted for publicly criticizing his soft-on-crime policies - including John McKinney, who won a murder conviction against the man who killed rapper Nipsey Hussle in July, Fox News Digital has learned. McKinney and John Lewin, both deputy district attorneys in the Major Crimes Division, and Jason Lustig, assistant head deputy attorney overseeing the Long Beach courthouse, learned Thursday that they would be shunted to low-level positions in two weeks; however, their salaries will not change.
Los Angeles wrong-way hit-and-run driver who plowed into mom and baby in stolen car wants early release
The California juvenile convicted of mowing down a mother walking her 8-month-old in a stroller in Los Angeles last year will appear in court Thursday morning to ask for early release, Fox News Digital has learned. The hearing, on the docket for 9 a.m., was scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Shea Sanna, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles who had called for stiffer sentencing for the suspect to begin with. The young mother, who has asked only to be identified as Rachel, said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s office did not reach out to her in advance regarding the hearing.
Courts & Rulings
State Attorney General wants new ruling on SLO County prosecutors
The Court of Appeal should rehear a dispute over the disqualification of the entire San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office in a case against seven Black Lives Matter defendants because of factual errors and omissions in the record from the trial court, according to the rehearing requests from both the California Attorney General’s Office and SLO County. “The Court of Appeal was guided by a deficient trial court record as described in both petitions,” wrote Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth in an email.
Judge says he may dismiss Baldwin Park as defendant in deadly pursuit
A judge has indicated he is poised to dismiss the city of Baldwin Park as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by relatives of a Covina couple killed during a police pursuit, in which the family members allege the negligent actions of three police agencies and the driver they were trying to pull over led to the 2019 deaths in West Covina. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Crowley issued a tentative ruling Monday granting the city of Baldwin Park’s motion to be dropped from the case, which also names as defendants the city of West Covina, the state and Salvador Gomez, the alleged driver of the car that was being chased.
Resentencing, not statutorily authorized, may be sought
Div. One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal declared yesterday that a statute authorizing an inmate who was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for crimes committed as a minor must be extended, based on the Equal Protection Clause, to persons who received the functional equivalent of such a sentence. San Diego Superior Court Judge John M. Thompson denied a resentencing petition filed by Frank Eli Heard, who is equivalent serving a sentence of 23 years plus 80 years to life for two murders he committed at age 15 during a drive-by shooting and voluntary manslaughter committed at age 16.
Federal judge addresses 'barbaric' L.A. County jail conditions
A federal judge on Friday signed a temporary restraining order addressing Los Angeles County jail conditions that a civil rights group called “barbaric.” The order signed by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson bars the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department from holding a person in the overcrowded jail system’s inmate reception center for more than 24 hours. Deputies at the center’s clinic will be barred from handcuffing, chaining or tethering a person to a chair “or any other object” for more than four hours and from keeping more people in holding cells than allowed by state regulations “without first exhausting every other means.”
Supreme Court keeps owners protected when hikers, bikers are injured on their land
A young man invites a female friend to go dirt bike riding with him and they end up in a head-on collision. The resulting lawsuit by the young woman’s family and a ruling by a state appellate court has raised questions about the seeming immunity of property owners when their land is used for recreation. A state law dating to 1963 allows hikers, bikers and other recreational users on private land that otherwise might not be available.
Federal appeals court restricts social media companies’ right to moderate content
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has ruled that Texas law HB20, which seeks to stop platforms from removing posts if the removal can be viewed as discriminating against a “viewpoint,” does not violate the First Amendment rights of social media platforms that argue it is unconstitutional and that they have a right not to host speech they deem to be objectionable, Axios reports. The Texas law bars platforms from acting to “block, ban, remove, de-platform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression.”
Seventh Circuit sides with religious rights over gender expression rights in prison strip-search case
A Wisconsin state prison violated one of its inmates' religious rights, a Seventh Circuit appellate panel decided Friday evening, when it subjected him to a strip-search conducted in part by a transgender prison guard. The decision stems from a 2017 lawsuit brought by Wisconsin state inmate Rufus West against the administration of the Green Bay Correctional Institution, where he was incarcerated at the time. In July 2016, the prison required West, a Muslim man also known as Muslim Mansa Lutalo Iyapo, to submit to a routine strip-search following a visit from an outside friend.
Foreign video-hosting website can’t escape long arm of the law
Focusing on the first prong of the minimum contacts test (whether the foreign defendant purposefully directed its activities at the United States) the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court holding that it lacked specific personal jurisdiction over the operators of a Japanese-language video-hosting website and remanded the case for further analysis under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(2), the federal long-arm statute. Will Co. v. Lee, Case No. 21-35617 (9th Cir. Aug. 31, 2022) (Wardlaw, Gould, Bennett, JJ.)
L.A. Sheriff stripped of control of Kuehl investigation by attorney general
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta on Tuesday took control from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department of a controversial criminal investigation into county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and others, saying that sidelining the department was in the "public interest.” Bonta's unusual decision to strip the Sheriff's Department of its own investigation comes amid mounting questions about the department's handling of the probe and allegations from Kuehl and others that Sheriff Alex Villanueva is using it to attack political enemies.
Inspector General Huntsman under investigation by A.G.
Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Huntsman is under investigation by the Office of California Attorney General in connection with possibly having committed a crime in causing County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to having been tipped off that sheriff’s deputies would raid her home the next morning pursuant to a search warrant. At 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced in a press release that his office is taking over an investigation launched by Sheriff Alex Villanueva into possible theft of public funds and bribery in connection with the awarding of a no-bid contract to Peace Over Violence, a non-profit corporation headed by Patricia Giggans.
In FBI agent’s trial, prosecutors want confession of “lawyer” hidden from jury
Federal prosecutors say jurors in the upcoming trial of the FBI agent accused of moonlighting for the L.A. Armenian Mafia - while plotting to use top-secret intelligence on a treasure hunt for a stash of the late Muammar Gaddafi’s cash - should be barred from hearing about the shocking 11th-hour confession from the government’s star witness, which delayed the trial one week.
Man charged for arson fire that destroyed historic South LA church
A 23-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in connection with an arson fire that destroyed a historic church in South Los Angeles and left three firefighters injured. Carlos Francisco Diaz is charged with two counts of arson of a structure and one count of arson of a property, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The charges stem from the Sept. 11 fire that destroyed Victory Baptist Church, along with a fire set Sept. 4 on the same property.
DDG charged with gun possession, reckless driving
“Moonwalking in Calabasas” rapper DDG is now facing 2 counts of firearm possession and one for reckless driving … both related to his June 2022 arrest while joyriding his Lambo. According to new court docs obtained by TMZ Hip Hop … DDG was hit with one count of carrying a loaded weapon, one count of carrying a concealed weapon, and one count of reckless driving - all misdemeanors. If he’s convicted, each of the firearm charges could get him a year in jail, and reckless driving has a max penalty of 90 days.
Man accused of sexually assaulting girl at Stater Bros. market in Whittier
A man is accused of sexually assaulting a girl at a Stater Bros. supermarket in Whittier over the weekend. The man, identified by police as 38-year-old Steven Magdaleno, has been arrested, but investigators believe there could be more victims. The assault that led to Magdaleno's arrest took place at the Stater Bros. on the corner of Millberry and Mills Avenue, in the unincorporated area of Whittier. Deputies shared a photo of the man accused in the case, to help encourage the other victims they believe are out there to come forward and share their experiences.
Did a cop's racist remark need to be disclosed? For a prisoner, the answer took years
Richard Lathan wasn’t sure how to react when he got a letter in July informing him that the Los Angeles police detective who helped put him in prison for murder had made a racist remark about Black people. A glimmer of optimism that the revelation could win him a new trial collided with the profound anger he felt about the more than three decades he has spent in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Lathan had always suspected the detective, Brian McCartin, targeted him simply because he was Black and a gang member.
Dave Chappelle attack suspect allegedly stabbed roommate with knife taken onstage
Onlookers were shocked when comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled during a Los Angeles performance in May. The attacker, identified by authorities as Isaiah Lee, carried a replica handgun with a hidden blade inside. On Friday, a former roommate testified that Lee had used the knife before - to stab him in the abdomen. Dijon Washington said at a hearing for the stabbing that Lee grew increasingly erratic in the months before the comic was tackled, according to Rolling Stone.
Martin Estrada sworn in as United States attorney, becoming chief federal law enforcement officer in nation’s most populous district
Martin Estrada was sworn in today as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Estrada, 45, was sworn in by Chief United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in a private ceremony this morning. Estrada now oversees the largest United States Attorney’s Office outside of Washington, D.C. The office, which currently employs approximately 270 attorneys, serves approximately 20 million residents in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
Tensions rise between the LA Times and its billionaire owner
This past May, a young reporter for the Los Angeles Times working a weekend shift filed a 190-word story about people suspected of stealing expensive watches before fleeing in a black Rolls-Royce. The item by Jeong Park enraged activists. They were upset not by the crime, but by how the Times framed the incident in West Hollywood. Online, advocates pushing to slash police budgets derided it as a “press release” for law enforcement.
Biden orders investigation into why FBI was not involved in LASD raid re LA Metro and FAA nominee Philip Washington
According to sources inside the White House, shortly after the LA County Sheriff’s Department served warrants at LA Metro headquarters Wednesday morning, members of the Secret Service delivered copies of the warrant to President Biden. The reason for the high-profile hand-off? The warrants included former LA Metro CEO and FAA nominee Philip Washington. Washington-based sources tell The Current Report, President Biden, after reviewing the documents, immediately ordered an investigation into why the FBI was not involved in the raids.
Workers can’t be fired for off-the-clock cannabis use under new law signed by Newsom
California workers who use marijuana off the clock will no longer be penalized, per one bill among a package of cannabis-related legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Sunday. The promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach for “far too many Californians,” Newsom said in a Sunday statement. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry,” Newsom said.
Los Angeles County/City
City of Malibu continues opposition to County action to move juvenile prisoners to Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu
The City of Malibu continued its strong opposition to the action by the County of Los Angeles to move high-risk juvenile prisoners, many of whom were convicted of serious and violent crimes, including murder, to the Santa Monica Mountains just north of Malibu, filing an official letter of protest with the County on July 13. “Safety is our number one priority and moving high-risk juvenile prisoners to Camp Kilpatrick raises too many serious safety concerns, for the surrounding residential communities, including Malibu, as well for as the inmates and the facility staff,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti.
I-Team reveals how greedy hosts in LA are listing rent-stabilized apartments on Airbnb
Affordable housing is hard to come by in LA and the NBC4 I-Team has discovered why some rent stabilized apartments are disappearing from the market. The I-Team found that some people are leasing affordable apartments meant for long term tenants, and then offering them to tourists on AirBnb, making a sizable profit. “There’s only a fixed number of rent stabilized units in the city of LA. So when you rent a unit like that out as a short term vacation rental, it takes a rent stabilized unit off the market,” says Tori Funk of Better Neighbors LA, an advocacy group whose members includes tenants, affordable housing activists, and hotel workers.
LACo reaches further settlement in Kobe Bryant crash scene photos litigation
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously Tuesday to pay an additional $4.95 million to the family of Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton, who died in the helicopter crash that also killed Laker legend Kobe Bryant, over gruesome crash scene cell phone photos snapped by first responders. The settlement, approved during a closed-session meeting of the board, is on top of the $15 million in damages awarded to the Chester family by a federal court jury on Aug. 24. Bryant's widow, Vanessa, was also awarded $15 million in damages.
Whistleblower suit targets LA County, Villanueva, Sheriff's ally
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee sued Los Angeles County Monday, alleging she suffered a backlash for speaking out against alleged misconduct by an ally of Sheriff Alex Villanueva, causing the plaintiff to be wrongfully relieved of duty. Cynthia Maluto's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges whistleblower retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Villanueva and Capt. Yvonne O'Brien also are defendants in the suit, which seeks at least $5 million in damages.
Crime/Public Safety
Brink’s heist mystery: Questions arise about a timeline that ‘doesn’t make any sense’
It has been more than two months since the multimillion-dollar heist of jewelry from a Brink’s big rig at a Grapevine truck stop, yet key facts about the high-profile crime remain in dispute. There’s debate about the value of the pilfered goods, for example, with estimates ranging from less than $10 million to more than $100 million. And questions are swirling around the timeline laid out in a Brink’s legal filing and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department documents, which suggest an almost impossibly swift journey for the tractor-trailer.
LAPD seeks stiffer laws to combat street racing and takeovers
The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking new laws that would allow stiffer penalties to help it crack down on illegal street racing, Chief Michel Moore told the city’s Police Commission this week. Police say 705 street takeovers have been prevented or disrupted by the LAPD’s Street Racing Task Force so far this year, a 44% increase from the same period last year. Police have issued 674 citations and impounded 457 vehicles during street-racing events, which are increases of 63% and 27%, respectively, from last year.
Fentanyl-related deaths increase by more than 1700% over 5 years in LA County
The recent death of a high school student in Hollywood is being described as a wake-up call by police, parents, and leaders at local school districts. 15 year old Melanie Ramos recently died in a bathroom at Bernstein high school in Hollywood after taking what she believed was the prescription pain killer, Percocet. The pill was a counterfeit. Lab reports show it contained fentanyl. The Centers For Disease Control says fentanyl is fifty times more powerful than morphine.
Police raid home in Simi Valley, recover 3D printed machine guns, meth
A Simi Valley man has been arrested for allegedly manufacturing and distributing machine guns and gun parts made with 3D printers inside his home. On Sept. 9, authorities served a search warrant at the home of Andrew Duran, 35, in the 1500 Block of Rory Lane. Inside, detectives located “multiple 3D printed firearms, firearm components which were intended to turn semi-automatic handguns into fully automatic machine guns and an amount of methamphetamine which was possessed for the purposes of sales,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Friday.
San Francisco police get real-time access to private cameras
Supervisors in San Francisco voted Tuesday for a trial run allowing police to monitor in real time private surveillance cameras in certain circumstances, despite strong objections from civil liberties groups alarmed by the potential impact to privacy. San Francisco, like many places across the country, is struggling to balance public safety with constitutional protections. The ability to monitor in real time was requested by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and supported by merchants and residents who say police officers need more tools to combat drug dealing and retail theft that they say have marred the city's quality of life.
Catalytic converter theft leaves some stuck for months with car they can't drive
Catalytic converter theft isn’t slowing down. In fact, the I-Team has learned it’s getting much worse, leaving some car owners stuck with a car they can’t drive for months. And, lawmakers are scrambling to try and fix the problem. Bennett Kolasinsky has a story that’s all too familiar these days. “A few weeks ago I was driving my kid to school, went to start it up, and instead of the usual Prius golf cart noise, it sounded like a motorcycle taking off down the street,” said Kolasinsky.
Four suspects arrested in Downtown LA shooting
A gang-related shooting in downtown Los Angeles Monday left one person hospitalized and four suspects in custody following a police chase, authorities said. The shooting occurred at about 2:45 a.m. near Olympic Boulevard and Broadway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The wounded person, described only as a male, was taken to a hospital in stable condition, the LAPD reported. "Officers were on patrol when they observed a shooting in progress," police said in a statement. "Officers went in pursuit of the suspect vehicle."
5 arrested in connection with 2021 Long Beach murder
After more than a year of investigative work, the Long Beach Police Department has made several arrests for the murder of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating in Long Beach Harbor in the spring of 2021. Chris Cordova’s body was found on the morning of April 26, 2021 floating in the water near the 1100 block of Pier F of the Long Beach Harbor. The South Gate resident’s body showed signs of decomposition, but investigators were able to deduce that he suffered a serious injury to his upper torso.
Legal pot spawned a wave of corruption, threats and secret financial deals for politicians
In the San Gabriel Valley, a city councilman demanded bribes from businesses seeking cannabis licenses, according to a source cooperating with the FBI. In another small L.A. County city, a cannabis industry group offered $15,000 to council candidates who would pledge to support changes to city regulations that weed businesses wanted - an exchange one legal expert said "flirted at the edges" of the law.
California restrains State Bar from expanding nonlawyer practice
A new California law limits the ability of the State Bar to increase the scope of practice for paralegals or explore corporate ownership of law firms. The agency now has a Jan. 15 deadline to report to the legislature how much the bar has spent since 2018 to study expanding creating a regulatory sandbox or licensing of nonattorneys as paraprofessionals. Under the law (A.B. 2958) signed late Sunday by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), any spending on the regulatory sandbox will require lawmakers’ approval.
Experts say California child privacy law could bring mixed results
A new California law requiring web platforms to implement safety settings to protect kids' data has some who study tech communications concerned about potential unintended consequences. Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, thinks Assembly Bill 2273 could create unexpected issues in part because companies may struggle to take steps to “deter” children from their websites. She said it could also unintentionally keep children struggling with sexual identity from informational websites.
California is nation’s first state to create anti-gun-violence office
California will set up an office dedicated to reducing gun violence by keeping firearms away from “dangerous individuals” and promoting research and data collection, state Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) said Wednesday. Bonta, who called the number of gun violence deaths in the United States an epidemic, said the Office of Gun Violence Prevention will “examine a broad range of factors” and seek an evidence-based and data-driven approach. Bonta’s wife, State Assembly member Mia Bonta (D), sponsored a bill in February that called for the office’s creation.
Yes, New York’s bail reform has increased crime
On Wednesday, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) quietly dropped a bombshell. For months, the state has avoided releasing much-needed data on individuals who were arraigned in New York before lawmakers passed bail reform. But newly available data confirm what critics have long argued: bail reform was followed by a significant increase in criminal reoffending. It’s worth explaining the new data in detail.
Inside the team pioneering California’s red flag law
There were four more requests for gun violence restraining orders on Jeff Brooker’s desk when he arrived at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office that July morning. Officers had responded to a minor car crash at a mall where the driver, who carried a replica firearm, was rambling delusionally and threatening to kill the “one-percenters” and a public official. Another man, during an argument outside a family member’s home, had pulled a gun out of his waistband and pointed it at someone’s head as several others looked on.
Man sentenced for killing two SoCal women in 1980s
A man portrayed by the prosecution as a sexually motivated serial killer was sentenced Monday to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for killing two Southern California women in the 1980s. Horace Van Vaultz Jr., 67, was convicted last month of two counts of first-degree murder for the July 16, 1981, strangulation of Selena Keough - a 21-year-old mother who was killed in San Bernardino County and dumped under bushes in Montclair - and the June 9, 1986, asphyxiation of Mary Duggan, a 22-year-old Reseda resident whose body was found in the trunk of her car in an empty parking lot in Burbank.
Pair accused of burglarizing Karen Bass’ home plead not guilty
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 for the two men charged with breaking into the home of mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass in the Baldwin Vista section of Los Angeles and stealing two guns. Patricio Munoz, 42, and Juan Espinoza, 24, pleaded not guilty Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to one felony count of first-degree residential burglary and two counts of grand theft of a firearm.
Smoke shop employee pleads guilty in man's killing
A Koreatown smoke shop employee pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder for stabbing a man whom he accused of shoplifting from the business. Vardan Tokmajyan, now 28, is facing a 15-year-to-life state prison term, with sentencing set Oct. 28 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. A special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a kidnapping that could have carried a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole is expected to be dismissed as a result of the plea agreement.
Inglewood man convicted of killing woman and her dog then setting fire to her apartment
An Inglewood man has been convicted of stabbing and killing his ex and setting her Pomona apartment on fire in 2019. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that Chaumon Wayan Tyner, 53, of Inglewood was convicted of one count of first-degree murder, one count of cruelty to an animal and one count of arson of an inhabited structure. On March 16, 2019, Tyner stabbed Ronnie Sue Wall with a pair of scissors, then ransacked her residence before setting it on fire and fleeing in her stolen car.
California woman gets 18 months for kidnapping hoax in 2016
A Northern California mother of two was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for faking her own kidnapping so she could go back to a former boyfriend, which led to a three-week, multi-state search before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day in 2016. Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring to staging the abduction and lying to the FBI about it. As part of a plea bargain, she is required to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.
Video appears to show corrections officer beating inmate
An Alabama corrections officer has been placed on leave following a video that appears to show him beating a distressed inmate who had climbed to the edge of a roof. The video, circulating on social media, shows what appears to be a distressed inmate on the edge of a roof at a building at Elmore Correctional Facility, while a group of prison staff look at him from the ground. An officer walks across the roof and drags the inmate back from the edge. The officer then appears to punch the inmate several times once he is away from the edge.
Ninth Circuit urged to overturn surveillance orders at seven California prisons
Attorneys for California’s correctional department urged a Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday to overturn a court order for stricter regulations at prisons accused of abusing disabled inmates, arguing a class action did not present enough evidence of abuse. The state wants the panel to find that a federal judge erred issuing an order across seven prisons without enough evidence from inmates who say they face ongoing discrimination and abuse at the hands of prison staff - a case that goes back to 1994.
Articles of Interest
Takeaways from the first hearing with the Mar-a-Lago search special master
A court hearing in Brooklyn on Tuesday gave the public its first glimpse of how Judge Raymond Dearie, a senior judge who's been tapped to serve as a special master in the Mar-a-Lago search dispute, will approach the job of reviewing materials seized from former President Donald Trump's Florida home. Dearie, a seasoned and widely respected jurist, showed skepticism of Trump's arguments about how the review should proceed, while stressing a desire to move quickly.
Elections Code section on ballot designations does apply in Orange, San Diego Counties
Legislation went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, reforming ballot designation requirements for judicial elections. “Election Code section 13107, as recently amended in 2017, does actually apply within the Counties of San Diego and Orange, as they are part of the State of California,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph M. Hammock advises. Well, um, yes; statewide legislation would apply to all counties unless expressly exempted. Why in the world would Hammock see the need to point out that changes to §13107 apply to those two specific counties?
Former Michael Jackson attorney Brian Oxman disbarred
Brian Oxman, a former attorney for Michael Jackson and a favorite talking head on news programs, has been disbarred. Last week, the California Supreme Court denied Oxman's appeal of a state bar ruling recommending that the high-profile lawyer be stripped of his right to practice law, according to public filings. The State Bar of California said Oxman had used his client's trust account to evade creditors, commingled his personal funds in that account, and failed to cooperate with disciplinary investigations.
Sidebar: Rap lyrics, criminal prosecutions and the First Amendment
It's a First Amendment fight for the modern ages: the right to free speech versus the pursuit of justice, and the stakes are often someone's freedom. In courtrooms across the country, prosecutors are going after rappers using the artists' lyrics against them. While not a recent development in the law, the issue has entered the spotlight with the arrests of rappers Young Thug and Gunna in Georgia on charges of violating the state's RICO Act.
California has plaintiff lawyers earning $280K in fees for $15,000 settlement
A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court has cleared the way for lawyers to earn $280,000 for negotiating a $15,000 settlement. It's happening in Raquel Betancourt's lawsuit against her former employer OS Restaurant Services, which she claimed failed to provide meal and rest breaks. The Second Appellate District originally ruled her lawyers under state law couldn't recover fees as the "prevailing party" for bringing such claims - they'd only be able to if the case involved wage-and-hour claims.
iPhone and Android annoyances: How to fix the 5 most annoying things for good
When it comes to consumer tech, there’s a huge list of things that can drive us all bananas. Take your slow Wi-Fi. You can’t stream, you can’t join a video meeting, and it always happens at the worst time. Tap or click for clever ways to speed up your home’s connection. What about wading through thousands of photos, looking for the one you want? Tap or click for a quick shortcut, along with four more smart tech fixes - like a hidden way to know a scammer is calling without picking up your phone.
C.A. revives suits over non-chocolate white baking chips
Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal yesterday ordered reinstatement of an action under three consumer protection statutes against Target, and a second one against Walmart, brought by a man who bought a package of white candy chips at each of the corporation’s stores thinking they contained white chocolate, and found they didn’t. Plaintiff David Salazar brought a putative class action against Target on June 28, 2019, based on his purchase Pantry-brand “White Baking Morsels,” and three days later, instituted a like action against Walmart over his disappointment with its “Great Value White Baking Chips.”
New California pension law protects employer - not retirees - after county’s mistake
A group of Glenn County retirees will have to repay a portion of their pensions due to a mistake made by their former employer after the CalPERS Board of Administration declined to intervene on Wednesday. Eighteen retirees had sought to keep their pensions whole, citing a new state law aimed at protecting retirees from surprise reductions caused by their employers. Instead the law will protect the Northern California county from having to repay a portion of the overpayments.
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