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BUSINESS
July 6, 2013 | Alana Semuels
When Jose Tadeo Gamez Flores realized that his employer had failed to pay him for all the hours he was working as a janitor, he did what many other employees might do in the same situation: He tried to sue to recover the lost wages. But Flores, 34, ran into an obstacle when he tried to file a class-action lawsuit to get back his and other janitors' wages. He had signed away his right to file a lawsuit against his employer. After being hired, Flores had been presented with a pile of papers to sign.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 | Laura J. Nelson
Knocking down one of the last hurdles for Los Angeles' long-awaited Westside subway extension, a judge ruled late Wednesday that transit officials followed environmental laws when they chose a route that would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year, $13.8-million environmental review process was thorough and fair, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio wrote in a 15-page decision.
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NATIONAL
June 12, 2007 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The nation's home healthcare aides are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay under federal law, even if they work for private employers, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 9-0 decision, which keeps in place a long-standing rule that denies minimum wages and overtime pay to those who provide "companionship services" at home, could trigger a move in Congress to amend the law.
OPINION
April 3, 2014 | By Jessica A. Levinson
Thank you, Supreme Court. Before your decision Wednesday in McCutcheon vs. FEC, Americans were confined to giving a measly total of $48,600 in campaign contributions to federal candidates (enough for about nine candidates) and a total of $74,600 to political action committees. That means individuals were subject to aggregate contributions limits totaling a mere $123,200. Of course, individuals could, and still can, give unlimited sums to independent groups, such as so-called super PACs and other nonprofit corporations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2001 | DAVID HERMANN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The case of a 16-year-old girl accused of torturing and beating an elderly woman to death last July will return to adult court, a San Bernardino Juvenile Court judge ruled Thursday. "She has no compassion, no empathy, no morality or decency," Judge John P. Wade said, explaining why he determined that Christy Phillips, who was 15 at the time of the crime, is unfit to be tried in Juvenile Court.
NEWS
December 24, 2000 | MAURA DOLAN and MITCHELL LANDSBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Only rarely does a judge in a criminal case overturn the verdict reached by jurors in her own courtroom. Still rarer is the judge who admits to committing an error so serious it taints a verdict. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor did both Friday night in an extraordinary ruling that overturned the convictions of three Rampart Division police officers, impressing legal scholars with both her tightly reasoned legal arguments and her unusual candor.
NEWS
June 13, 1995 | MELISSA HEALY and PAUL RICHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Republican critics of affirmative action hailed Monday's Supreme Court decision as a mandate for even more sweeping action by Congress and vowed to press home their attack on federal programs of racial preference.
WORLD
July 13, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Weak from lack of food and worn down by months of harassment, the 100-plus hunger strikers at the Guantanamo Bay prison complex in southern Cuba scored symbolic court victories this week as their nearly 5-month-old protest against indefinite detention stretched into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Military jailers at the U.S. Navy base have been force-feeding 45 detainees whose refusal of food - most since February - has taken its toll on their health and attitude toward compliance with the rules of detention.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 1997
When will they learn that nobody is above the law? Then: Supreme Court--8; Nixon--0. Now: Supreme Court--9; Clinton--0. C.H. GULLETT San Clemente
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2010 | By Maura Dolan and Dan Weikel
Los Angeles and other California cities and counties may bar the Hare Krishnas and other groups from panhandling at airports, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday. The state high court, reviving a 1997 Los Angeles ordinance aimed at LAX, ruled that bans on soliciting at airports do not violate state constitutional guarantees of free speech. Lawyers for Los Angeles said that about 100 individuals representing at least 15 groups solicit money regularly at LAX. Thursday's ruling is expected to lead other airports to consider ordinances similar to L.A.'s law, which would ban solicitations in the interior terminals, parking lots and adjacent sidewalks.
NATIONAL
April 3, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's decision to lift the cap on the amount donors can contribute in a congressional election cycle promises to shift power to the political party's established leaders, who had lost ground to outside groups. With the demise of the $123,200 limit for the two-year election cycle, party stalwarts such as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be able to raise multimillion-dollar checks from wealthy contributors for new campaign committees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Jill Cowan
The staggering backlog of applications for concealed weapons permits in Orange County has grown to almost 3,000 and some applicants said they've been told it may be years before their paperwork is fully processed. The flood of applications was triggered by a pro-gun appeals court ruling that relaxed the restrictions on who could carry weapons. Most counties in the state have opted to wait for a likely appeal, but Orange County has gone the other way - taking applications from those who claim they need to carry a weapon for their own protection or safety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Law enforcement in California may continue to collect DNA from people arrested for felonies - even if they are never formally charged - and store the genetic profiles in a criminal database, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. An 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court decision that refused to shut down the state's practice of swabbing individuals for DNA upon arrest. The 9th Circuit said California's practice was "clearly" constitutional under a Supreme Court decision last year that upheld a similar, but narrower, program in Maryland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- A man jailed in Los Angeles County for a month because he was mistaken for someone with the same name and birth date lost a legal effort Wednesday to hold law enforcement agencies responsible for the mix-up. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected  claims by Santiago Rivera that the Los Angeles and San Bernardino County sheriff's departments violated his constitutional rights when they arrested and held him based on a warrant for another man. “The deputies were not unreasonable in believing that Rivera was the subject of the warrant at the time of arrest,” Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Anxious about last summer's ruling on Proposition 8, sponsors of California ballot measures are going to considerable lengths to ensure they will be able to defend them if the state doesn't. Nearly 1 in 4 proposed initiatives include language intended to skirt the ruling and avoid having a measure overturned because of antipathy by state officials, a review of the measures showed. The proposal topics are as varied as public pensions and Internet privacy, each armed with clauses aimed at turning sponsors into semi-public officials able to defend the measures if the state refuses.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Outside accountants and lawyers who reveal fraud and wrongdoing at publicly traded companies are protected as whistle-blowers just as employees are, the Supreme Court ruled, expanding the reach of an anti-fraud law passed in the wake of the collapse of companies such as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. The 6-3 decision Tuesday will affect the mutual fund and financial services industries in particular because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisors. Denying whistle-blower protection to all outside employees of such companies would leave a "huge hole" in the 2002 law, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that most mutual fund companies hire independent investment advisors and contractors rather than employees.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2004 | Lewis Segal
In the latest development in a long and bitter legal battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled this week that choreographer Martha Graham did not own most of the works she created and therefore could not leave them to her heir, Ron Protas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - A Northern California high school that asked students to remove American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo acted reasonably to avoid igniting ethnic tensions, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Thursday. The ruling stemmed from a 2010 incident that provoked angry commentary across the country and a lawsuit by students claiming their constitutional rights had been violated. In siding with the Morgan Hill Unified School District, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said administrators at Live Oak School had reason to fear the flag attire might spark a potentially violent race-related disturbance during the school-sanctioned celebration of the Mexican holiday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - In a ruling that a dissenting judge called "unprecedented," a federal appeals court ordered Google Inc. on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim video that an actress said forced her to leave her home because of death threats. Google said it would appeal the ruling, but removed the video, "Innocence of Muslims," from YouTube and other platforms. The video has incited violent Muslim protests and has been banned by several Muslim countries. The 2 to 1 decision by the 9 t h U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the actress who appeared in the film never consented to being in it and her performance may be protected by copyright law. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa ," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the majority.
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