December 17, 2012 |
If there are constants in the world of the Los Angeles Dependency Court, they are haste and confusion. Reports swirl through the building, hauled around on carts stacked high with papers. Lawyers scramble for translators, rifle through documents, dash in and out of courtrooms. Much of that is the result of a staggering workload for the lawyers who represent children caught up in this system because their parents have been accused of abusing or neglecting them. In 2008, the California Judicial Council recommended that lawyers for children in Dependency Court optimally should handle 77 clients at a time and certainly not more than 141. If those lawyers are assisted by a part-time investigator, the council concluded that they could handle a maximum of 188 clients.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2012 |
Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield, a skillful trial lawyer who spent four decades with the Los Angeles County public defender's office, including 17 years as its chief, died Saturday in Van Nuys. He was 90. He had heart and kidney ailments, said granddaughter Christina Behle, a deputy public defender. Littlefield, who joined the office in 1957 and became public defender in 1976, "was a good lawyer, ethical, smart but always a gentleman," Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Thursday. "Unlike some out there who think … being rude or obnoxious is part of being an adversary, he was never that way. He was just an exquisite gentleman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2011 |
The pile of unread magazines and novels on her bedside table is Judge Betty Fletcher's only regret in letting retirement elude her. Fletcher, who turns 88 this month and relies on a walker to navigate airports and courthouse corridors, retired a dozen years ago yet still works full time, on what is known as senior status, for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She travels throughout the court's nine-state region for hearings and spends seven days a week poring over foot-high stacks of written filings.
November 25, 2010 |
Los Angeles County social workers are serious about fixing the child welfare system. We believe strong leadership is essential and that all stakeholders must be involved in the solution. That includes the Board of Supervisors, department leadership, the county chief executive's office and front-line social workers through our union, SEIU 721. Now that is starting to happen. As The Times noted in a Nov. 12 article, SEIU 721 "was one of the first entities to raise the alarm about the backlog" in a March letter to leaders in the Department of Children and Family Services to the Board of Supervisors.
September 14, 2010 |
Even as the Obama administration seeks to create a more humane system of detention for illegal immigrants, most continue to be held in rural jails without ready access to legal representation, a human rights group says in a report to be released today. In a survey of immigration detention facilities nationwide, the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center found that more than half did not offer detainees information about their rights, and 78% prohibited private phone calls with lawyers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2009 |
Floyd Meshad, Vietnam vet, was in a Ralphs supermarket in Westchester when his cellphone rang at 9 o'clock one evening not long ago. It was Meshad's suicide hotline, and a soldier was being patched through. Meshad, a psychiatric social worker, walked outside the store so he could concentrate while trying to talk the soldier out of killing himself. He gets lots of calls like this from all over the country, more now than ever, and he knew one thing: This soldier, calling from Florida, was serious.