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April 26, 2013 | Elaine Woo
Leo Branton Jr., a civil rights and entertainment lawyer whose stirring defense of '60s radical Angela Davis brought him his most celebrated victory in a six-decade career often spent championing unpopular cases, died of natural causes Friday in Los Angeles. He was 91. His death was confirmed by his son Tony Nicholas. Branton, the only African American graduate of Northwestern University's law school in 1948, helped singer Nat King Cole integrate an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood, defended Communists in McCarthy-era Los Angeles and won misconduct cases against the Los Angeles Police Department decades before Rodney King became a household name.
April 12, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
California needs to strengthen regulation of hydraulic fracturing, according to a UC Berkeley Law School report that identified a number of shortcomings in state oversight of the controversial practice. Although not new to California, fracking has come under increasing scrutiny recently as states such as Pennsylvania and New York experience a boom in the technique, which involves the high-pressure injection of chemical-laced fluids into the ground to crack rock formations and extract oil and gas. Environmental concerns center on potential groundwater contamination from fracking fluids and disposal of saline wastewater.
April 2, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dozens of law graduates across the nation have joined class-action lawsuits alleging that law schools lured them in with misleading reports of their graduates' success. Instead of working in the law, some of the graduates were toiling at hourly jobs in department stores and restaurants and struggling to pay back more than $100,000 in loans used to finance their education. Others were in temporary or part-time legal positions. Michael D. Lieberman decided to enroll at Southwestern Law School after reading that 97% of its graduates were employed within nine months.
April 1, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - Michael D. Lieberman decided to enroll at Southwestern Law School after reading that 97% of its graduates were employed within nine months. He graduated in 2009, passed the bar on his first try but could not find a job as a lawyer. He worked for a while as a software tester, then a technical writer, and now serves as a field representative for an elected official. Lieberman, who earned his undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, is one of dozens of law graduates across the country who have joined class-action lawsuits, alleging that law schools lured them in with misleading reports of their graduates' success.
December 22, 2012 | Sandy Banks
When Tony Tolbert turned 50 last year, he marked the occasion by moving in with his mother. The decision wasn't about money. He's a Harvard-educated attorney, on the staff of UCLA's law school. And it wasn't because his mother wanted or needed him home. It was Tolbert's response to the sort of midlife milestone that prompts us to take stock. Instead of buying a sports car, he decided to turn his home - rent free - over to strangers. He'd been inspired by a magazine article about a family that sold their house, squeezed into a tiny replacement and donated to charity the $800,000 proceeds from the sale.
November 25, 2012 | By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Hal Rosner is a partner at San Diego's Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, one of the largest law firms in the country specializing entirely in consumer auto fraud cases. Founded by Rosner in 1985, the firm employs 10 full-time attorneys and reviews 200 to 400 potential cases a month, taking on about 10% of them. To date, Rosner has handled more than 1,000 auto fraud cases in the Golden State, winning millions of dollars for his clients. It has won him begrudging respect from the auto industry; last year the head of the California New Car Dealers Assn.
November 4, 2012 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
The gig: David Nevins, 46, is president of entertainment for cable network Showtime, home to some of the hottest shows on television including "Homeland," the spy thriller that won Emmy Awards for best drama, actor and actress. The executive also oversees such series as the critically acclaimed comedy "Episodes" starring Matt LeBlanc and "House of Lies," a dark spoof of corporate consultants. Pass the popcorn. The son of a lawyer-lobbyist, Nevins grew up in Bethesda, Md., a suburb of Washington.
November 2, 2012 | By Maeve Reston, Washington Bureau
BOSTON - When Mitt Romney decided to tackle a universal healthcare system for Massachusetts, he wasn't motivated by a campaign promise or a heart-wrenching story. He was inspired instead by an intriguing set of numbers. During his first two years as governor of Massachusetts, Romney had spent much of his time slashing the state's budget deficit, a tedious exercise that left him with little flexibility. With his political legacy at stake and a presidential campaign looming, he zeroed in on healthcare, noting that it was consuming a third of the state's $23-billion budget, with $1 billion directed each year to cover the costs for 460,000 state residents who were uninsured.
November 1, 2012 | By Michael Kinsley
Stuart Taylor Jr. was in my law school class. Or, more accurately, I was in his law school class, since he graduated at the top of the class and I graduated. Now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Taylor has co-written, with Richard H. Sander, a professor of law at UCLA, an influential book highly critical of affirmative action. I am hesitant to write about it, first because he is a friend I'd like to keep, and second, because the book is intimidating, both in its statistics and in its evident goodwill.
October 11, 2012 | Meghan Daum
It's hard to say which is more cringe-worthy: President Obama's debate performance last week or his efforts to control the damage by poking fun at himself. In Los Angeles on Sunday night, Obama recognized Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry as "incredible professionals" who "perform flawlessly night after night. " Then he added, "I can't always say the same. " Later that night, he spoke of taking his wife out the night before for a late celebration of their wedding anniversary, postponed because the debate fell on the actual anniversary date.
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