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NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
DWP union boss Brian D'Arcy had his day in court Tuesday and lost . Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied the request from D'Arcy and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, to block subpoenas issued by City Controller Ron Galperin. Galperin is trying to audit two joint Department of Water and Power and IBEW nonprofits that have received $40 million in ratepayers funds over the last decade with virtually no public accounting for how that money was spent.
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NATIONAL
March 26, 2014 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Oklahoma's law governing executions is unconstitutional because privacy provisions prevent anyone from learning about the drugs used to kill the condemned, a state judge ruled Wednesday in the latest case in the growing area of death penalty litigation. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish ruled that the state's secrecy laws prevent the courts and inmates from getting information about the drugs that would be used in executions, thus preventing them from exercising their rights under the Constitution.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
A Los Angeles County judge signaled Tuesday that Department of Water and Power union chief Brian D'Arcy will have to turn over records showing how two nonprofit trusts he co-directs used $40 million in ratepayer money. D'Arcy has been locked in a political and legal struggle over control of the financial information since September, following a Times report that managers at the utility had only scant information on how the money was spent. In January, City Controller Ron Galperin issued a subpoena to D'Arcy and the nonprofits demanding that they turn over internal ledgers and bank records covering the last five years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
A Los Angeles judge signaled Tuesday that he intends to order Department of Water and Power union chief Brian D'Arcy to turn over financial information showing how two nonprofit trusts he co-directs used $40 million in ratepayer money. D'Arcy, who oversees the nonprofits with the utility's general manager, has been fighting city officials' efforts to account for the money since September, after The Times reported that DWP managers had only scant information about how the money has been spent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | Robin Abcarian
Is a real-life friendship less meaningful than a Facebook friendship? If a judge discloses that a lawyer who comes before him on a case is a friend, but fails to say that he and the lawyer are Facebook "friends," has the judge hidden important information? What about if the judge makes a single, non-legal comment on the attorney's Facebook page at some point before the conclusion of the case? Does that mean he has lost the ability to be impartial? Yes, say attorneys for Paul Evert's Country RV in Fresno, who have called into question the impartiality of Fresno County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton, who slapped Paul Evert and two of his employees with a multimillion-dollar defamation judgment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Kate Mather
A Los Angeles judge Monday again ordered ex-NFL star Darren Sharper to remain in jail without bail amid ongoing sexual assault investigations in five states. Los Angeles prosecutors have charged Sharper, 38, with two rape and five drug counts, alleging he drugged and attacked two women he met at a West Hollywood club in two separate incidents. After first being released, he was taken into custody Feb. 27 when New Orleans police issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with two alleged rapes there.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | Tina Susman and Jerry Hirsch
A federal judge ratified the landmark deal in the criminal prosecution of Toyota Motor Corp. over safety defects in its vehicles, but not without a tongue-lashing about the "reprehensible picture" of corporate misconduct the automaker displayed. "Corporate fraud can kill," Judge William H. Pauley III said Thursday as Christopher P. Reynolds, the chief legal officer of Toyota Motor North America, stood silently before him in a lower Manhattan courtroom. "I sincerely hope that this is not the end but only a beginning to seek to hold those individuals responsible for making these decisions accountable," Pauley said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A judge on Friday ruled that Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch could be allowed on the ballot for the open 26th state Senate District seat in the June primary but county officials later determined he did not turn in enough valid signatures on nominating petitions to qualify. Mirisch would have been the only Republican candidate among seven Democrats and one candidate with no party preference who have filed papers to run for the seat. The office opened up when Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
NATIONAL
March 21, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A lesbian couple in Michigan who have lived together for eight years have the right to marry, a federal judge ruled, finding that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. In striking down the ban, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman became the ninth federal judge to strike down state gay marriage bans in successive cases. Since December, judges in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia have found gay marriage bans unconstitutional. "Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage," Friedman wrote in his ruling issued late Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Lawrence E. Walsh, a former federal judge and Wall Street lawyer who spent a frustrating seven years as the independent counsel investigating misconduct by Reagan administration officials in the Iran-Contra affair, died Wednesday at his home in Oklahoma City after a short illness, his family said. He was 102. Walsh undertook the controversial job when he was 75 and semi-retired from a career that began in the mid-1930s, when he prosecuted racketeering in New York City. The Republican later was appointed to the federal bench, served as president of the American Bar Assn., and was No. 2 in President Eisenhower's Justice Department before spending two decades with the powerful law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell.
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