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Mani Dabiri
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Calling in the Cavalry

Amid these lockdowns, help is on the way for all stakeholders in California’s criminal-justice system. Are you a defendant whose life sits in limbo while you wait for trial or your next hearing? Are you a victim who’s desperate for closure or restitution? The California Supreme Court has expanded a program that sends retired judges Read More

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Making a Splash

There’s a new district attorney in Los Angeles, you may have heard, and he’s making some changes. When George Gascon took the oath of office, he issued nine policy directives that will change the way his office carries out its important mission. We summarize each of them below. Bail and pretrial release. The office will Read More

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California Expands Employee Protections for Crime Victims

Under a new law, California employers may not discriminate or retaliate against employees who take time off to get a restraining order or seek other help for their health, safety, or welfare (or that of their child) as a victim of a crime. And employers must provide them reasonable accommodations for their safety upon request. Read More

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LAPD Tightens Policy on Consensual Searches

The L.A. Police Commission has unanimously approved a new policy under which officers who obtain your consent to a search must now prove up that consent by capturing you on camera or getting your signature on a form. It’s no longer enough to simply say that you consented verbally or through your behavior. The policy Read More

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USDOJ Warms Up to Body-Worn Cameras on Joint Task Forces

Under a new policy, the Justice Department will let state and local officers on joint task forces use body-worn cameras in some cases. The policy follows a successful pilot program that ran in cities like Houston, Detroit, Wichita, and Salt Lake City over the last year. It is a response, in part, to the growing use Read More

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The Due Process Protections Act

Last week, Congress passed a new law that sharpens a fundamental rule of fairness in our system: “In all criminal proceedings, on the first scheduled court date when both prosecutor and defense counsel are present, the judge shall issue an oral and written order … that confirms the disclosure obligation of the prosecutor under Brady v. Maryland, Read More

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California Broadens Its Family Rights Act

Attention, small businesses and their employees. This one’s for you. Beginning January 1, 2021, if you employ five or more people in the state, you must provide them up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, upon request, so they may welcome a newborn or care for a sick family member. You don’t have to pay Read More

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Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)

Okay, so it’s not a competition. But Orange County has rolled out remote hearings for traffic tickets, too. We talked about L.A. two weeks ago. But O.C. launched its own service at the same time, and they’ve got video. If you already had a hearing scheduled, it’ll be rescheduled and held remotely, and they’ll show you how. Read More

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L.A. Rolls Out Remote Hearings for Traffic Tickets

How’s this for useful information? Now, if you have a court date scheduled on or after September 14, you don’t have to go to court. You can appear by phone. And you can do it for traffic tickets as well as non-traffic infractions. But you can’t do it if you’re appearing for trial or you Read More

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L.A. Goes Remote for Civil and Criminal Cases

As of August 10, every criminal courtroom in the L.A. Superior Court is equipped to hold hearings by audio- or video-conference. You just need the judge’s approval and the defendant’s consent. The same goes, more or less, for family-law matters. In restraining-order or contempt proceedings, you can now appear by audio or video. For all other matters, it’s Read More

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