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The Common Application Bans the Box

Do you have a kid in high school? Are you in high school yourself and plan to go to college? You may want to check this out. On August 7, the Common Application announced that it will no longer ask about an applicant’s criminal record, starting with the 2019-20 pool of applicants. The Common Application Read More

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Happy Birthday, 14th Amendment

Did you know? This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. To commemorate the occasion, here is a look at the Ohio congressman who authored arguably the most important amendment after the first ten. If he’s forgotten today then it’s a shame because he’s responsible for these momentous words: “All persons born Read More

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Misdemeanors are the Meat and Potatoes

The meat and potatoes of the criminal justice system, that is. And you may think of them as small potatoes, but they’re not. They take up most of the space on the proverbial plate, and they’ve got bite. They take up the most space because they make up eighty percent of all criminal cases across Read More

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The Trial Penalty

That’s the title of this new report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It looks at the steep decline of jury trials in our system, explains why that matters, and examines how to preserve this important right to trial by jury. What is the trial penalty? It refers to the big difference in Read More

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‘Tis the Season for Healthcare Enforcement

Speaking of health care, the federal government brought the heat again this summer. As it has for several years, it announced major, coordinated raids and arrests of healthcare providers and professionals around the country. We covered the government’s raids in 2015 and 2017, and they’re getting bigger and badder each year. This year’s takedown set new records Read More

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California Just Says No to Medical Pot Prosecutions

Last week pit state law against federal law. This week, it’s state law versus local law in the cities or counties. Under state law, there is a defense to criminal prosecution for a medical-marijuana collective or dispensary that is run on a nonprofit basis for people who have state medical-marijuana cards or a physician’s recommendation. Read More

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Don’t Grow Pot on Federal Property

It may go without saying, but then ask these guys. In 2012, the three of them were growing pot east of Sacramento, California when local police served a search warrant for their property. They readily told police they were using the property to grow pot under state law, but it turned out their actual grow Read More

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Police Need a Warrant for Your Cell-Phone Location Records

You can thank the Supreme Court for that. Last week, the nation’s high court ruled that police need a warrant to get your phone’s location records and map out your every move over time. The case reflects a growing consensus to protect these records, and it builds on a prior decision that said police can’t rummage through your phone just because Read More

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Buckets of Money

If you’ve lost a case against the SEC recently, and it was heard by an administrative law judge (or ALJ), you may want to call your lawyer. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court sent back a case because the SEC hadn’t appointed the ALJ the way the Constitution required. The decision marked the culmination of years-long legal challenges to the Read More

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The Name of the Game is Compliance

Two more points for now on California’s Private Attorneys General Act. First, in many cases, you don’t have to prove that your employer’s violation hurt you or cost you anything. You just need a violation. For example, the Labor Code requires pay stubs to accurately itemize certain basic information. If yours don’t, it’s a violation Read More

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