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Bernard E. Witkin, an internationally recognized authority on California law, the world's bestselling author of nonfiction legal books, a philanthropist and an influential advisory member of the California Judicial Council for more than three decades, has died. He was 91. Witkin died Saturday at his Berkeley home of a heart attack. "California's legal system and the people of California have suffered a great and irreplaceable loss," said California Chief Justice Malcolm M.
More than 8,000 patterns of china sold worldwide now meet strict standards for exposure to lead because of a tough California law, according to one environmental group. The number of lead-safe patterns to choose from has increased dramatically.
Under California law, even if the state athletic commission suspected a boxer had AIDS, there is nothing it could do to prevent him from fighting in the state, according to Richard DeCuir, the commission's executive director. But Paul Banke's public acknowledgment two years after his last bout that he has AIDS is certain to rekindle the debate.
December 15, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The Supreme Court erred grievously this year when it permitted Maryland police to collect DNA samples from people who had been arrested and charged with serious crimes - samples that could then be used to match that person's genetic profile with evidence from unrelated unsolved crimes. As Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out in a scathing dissent, the 5-4 decision upholding Maryland's law undermined the 4th Amendment's ban on "searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime.
January 24, 2014 | By Phil Willon
Gun makers' objections to a California law that requires firearms to imprint a unique "microstamp" on bullet casings are "baloney" and "posturing," said Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, who introduced the legislation while serving in the state Assembly. Feuer's comments come as gun maker Smith & Wesson announced Thursday that it would stop selling newly designed semiautomatic pistols in California because it will not comply with the law, implemented in May 2013. The law requires some firearms to imprint a unique "microstamp" to help identify bullet casings.
December 18, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A crackdown on jaywalking has stirred up a fierce debate over when you can and cannot cross the street in Los Angeles. A Downtown News story last week reported that Los Angeles police officers have been ticketing jaywalkers in the city's historic core and the financial district. Penalties range from a hefty $190 to an even heftier $250. "We're heavily enforcing pedestrian violations because they're impeding traffic and causing too many accidents and deaths," Lt. Lydia Leos told the newspaper.
April 29, 2012 | By Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian
Question: I want to be elected to serve on my homeowners association's board but my board won't let me nominate myself. They dominate election advertising, edit and control candidate statements and qualifications, limit access to the common areas during campaigning, and control the election in such a way that it favors incumbent directors. What's the law, and what can I do about this? Answer: California law is clear, and association compliance is mandatory, not voluntary.
July 23, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court refused for the second time to stop gays from marrying Tuesday, rejecting a bid by a San Diego County official who contends Proposition 8 remains state law. In a closed session, the state high court turned down a request by San Diego County Clerk Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr. for a temporary hold or "stay" on same-sex marriages. The court rejected a similar request last week by the sponsors of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.
April 10, 2012 | By John Burton
In 2004, California enacted a law I wrote that gave the foie gras industry until July 2012 to find an alternative to force-feeding ducks. That deadline is fast approaching. Foie gras, French for "fatty liver," is produced from the diseased and grossly enlarged liver of a duck or goose that has been force-fed grain. Multiple times each day for several weeks before slaughter, a pipe is shoved down the birds' throats and they're pumped full of mash, causing their livers to swell to more than 10 times normal size.
January 31, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A California law that prohibits therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of children and adolescents survived another legal challenge this week. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that an earlier decision by a three-judge panel upholding the law wouldn't be reconsidered by a larger group of 11 judges. That was the correct decision. But a judge who believes the law should be reconsidered on free-speech grounds raised an important question in his dissenting opinion.
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