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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld the right of cities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. “While some counties and cities might consider themselves well suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders, even if carefully sited, well managed, and closely monitored, would present unacceptable...
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as head of California's political ethics agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Jodi Remke, presiding judge of the State Bar Court of California, is Brown's choice for chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Her appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel moved to the Federal Elections Commission. Good-government activists including Robert Stern, a former general counsel for the California agency and a coauthor of the state Political Reform Act, said they knew nothing about Remke.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2009 | Rong-Gong Lin II and Maura Dolan
What is being decided by the California Supreme Court? The state's top court will rule on whether to uphold or strike down Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The justices will also decide whether the state will continue to recognize the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages carried out in 2008. How did we get to this point?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- With ethics scandals rocking the Capitol, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as the new head of California's ethics watchdog agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Joann M. “Jodi” Remke, who is presiding judge of the State Bar Court, is Brown's choice to serve as chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. The appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel was appointed to the Federal Election Commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO --  The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to revive Proposition 8, ending the last remaining legal challenge to same-sex marriage in the state. Meeting in closed session, the state high court rejected arguments  by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8's sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law. A federal judge in San Francisco declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010, and state officials refused to appeal. ProtectMarriage did appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that initiative sponsors have no right to defend their measures in federal court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court once again refused to stop gays from marrying, rejecting a bid Tuesday by a San Diego County clerk. 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. Dronenburg asked the court Friday to stop the marriages while it considers whether a 2010 federal injunction required him and other county clerks to  issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Gotta admit, I was rooting for Stephen Glass in his quest to be admitted to the California bar. I had trouble grasping how a disgraced "wunderkind" journalist who made up or falsely embellished some 40 magazine stories in the late-1990s could not be considered rehabilitated after abjectly apologizing, undergoing 12 years of psychotherapy, attending law school, working as a law clerk, providing free legal aid to homeless clients and generally reinventing...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2009 | Maura Dolan
The California Supreme Court sided with grandparents and others who want to adopt children over their parents' objections in a pair of rulings that legal experts said would make it easier for guardians to prevail in adoption cases.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2009 | Maura Dolan
Accused drunk drivers now have more ammunition for challenging Breathalyzer findings as a result of a unanimous ruling Thursday by the California Supreme Court. The ruling is expected to make drunk-driving cases more complicated and possibly more difficult to prosecute, lawyers said. Courts in two other states, Arizona and Vermont, have reached similar conclusions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye told the Legislature on Monday that the closure of budget-strapped courts has deprived more than 2 million residents of accessible justice and left the state on the verge of a "civil rights crisis. " "A one-way, three-hour trip to a courthouse can't be fair in anyone's book," Cantil-Sakauye said in her annual address to state lawmakers. California court budgets in the last several years have been cut by about $1 billion, and Cantil-Sakauye has been pleading with legislators to restore more funding next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
In 1970, Joseph Sax wrote a law review article that laid the foundation for a court case that would become famous in the annals of California water. More than a decade after publication of Sax's seminal essay on the public trust doctrine, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state had a duty to take into account the public trust in allocating water resources - an opinion that ultimately forced Los Angeles to reduce diversions from the Mono Lake basin in the Eastern Sierra.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court appeared inclined during a hearing Tuesday to favor a ruling that the public has the right to know the names of police officers involved in shootings. During oral arguments, most members of the state high court seemed skeptical of contentions by police agencies that officer names must be kept secret because disclosure could jeopardize officer safety and involve protected police personnel matters. Chief Justice Tani Cantil - Sakauye , whose husband is a retired police lieutenant, suggested that the California Public Records Act contains a presumption in favor of disclosure and does not provide for blanket exemptions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court appeared to be headed toward a ruling Tuesday in favor of requiring police agencies to make public the names of officers involved in shootings. During a hearing, members of the state high court suggested that the California Public Records Act favors disclosure and questioned how police could justify secrecy when officers shoot people on the job. The court is considering a case in which the city of Long Beach and the Long Beach Police Officers Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | Robin Abcarian
Good news for Wazers: On Thursday, a California appellate court ruled that looking at a smartphone map while driving is not against the law. A three-judge panel of California's 5th District Court of Appeal threw out the distracted driving ticket Steven Spriggs got two years ago for looking at his cellphone map while stuck in highway traffic in Fresno. The court unanimously concluded that the state Legislature meant only to prohibit “talking and listening” - and not any other cellphone activity - when it passed a distracted driver law in 2006.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By David G. Savage
A Los Angeles man who appealed his robbery conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- arguing that police had no right to search his apartment in his absence, even though another resident gave consent -- lost his case Tuesday. The 6-3 ruling gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even when there is no emergency. The case began in 2009 when Los Angeles police responded to reports of a street robbery near Venice Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Party hosts who ask guests to pay a cover charge to defray costs may be held legally responsible if an underage drinker becomes intoxicated and hurts himself or others, the California Supreme Court decided Monday. In a unanimous ruling, the state high court said a cover charge amounts to a sale of alcohol, and state law creates liability for those who sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors. The decision is most likely to affect student parties, where underage drinking and cover charges are common.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Party hosts who ask guests to pay a cover charge to defray costs may be held legally responsible if an underage drinker becomes intoxicated and hurts himself or others, the California Supreme Court decided Monday. In a unanimous ruling, the high court said a cover charge amounts to a sale of alcohol, and state law creates liability for those who sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors. The decision, which overturned two lower court rulings, is most likely to affect student parties, where underage drinking and cover charges are common.
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