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My 9/11 Memory

Do you remember where you were? I was 22 years old, and I was at a small fitness center in the apartment complex we lived in. It was early, and I was the only one in there. I got on the treadmill, wearing earphones, listening to music, and absent-mindedly looking at a TV that was Read More

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When the Government Goes to Trial

Every now and then, a court will speak to the core of the laws that govern our way of life. Last week, the California Court of Appeal said something profound for the 21st century. Sure, it’s been said before but maybe not in this way, updated for the modern day, spelled out in language we all understand. Read More

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You’ve (Still) Got (Money) Bail

California’s bail system is proceeding along two tracks for now. On one hand, around this time last year, the state passed a law to eliminate money bail. We broke down the new law in detail here, and we weighed its pros and cons here. The law was supposed to go into effect this October, but opponents have since Read More

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Prosecutors Endorse Pell Grants for Prisoners

On Thursday, the nation’s largest organization for prosecutors endorsed an idea we touched on a few weeks ago. Let people in prison apply for federal grants toward higher education. Don’t cut them off completely. In the press release, the National District Attorney Association backs a federal bill that would restore eligibility for Pell grants to prisoners Read More

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A Feel-Good Story From Our Backyard

Earlier this month, a group of law students from the University of California, Irvine did something special: they won the release of an elderly inmate based on the law of compassionate release. That is not easy to do. Before a recent new law, it was nearly impossible, and even now, it’s exceedingly rare. But the man Read More

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Tribute to a Courtroom Legend

“Some people walk the walk,” my wife said to me this morning. Well, the flags at the federal courthouse in the city of angels flew at half staff on Friday to honor U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, who passed away last week at 95. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he was the longest-serving active Read More

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Giving the Gift of Education

How’s this for an idea? Let’s reinstate Pell grants for people in prison. What are those? They are federal grants that help people pay for college who otherwise can’t. They require you to use the money for higher education and maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. People in prison were eligible for them until 1994 but Read More

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The Long Odds in Criminal Cases

They are not for the faint of heart. The fact is very few cases go to trial, and of those that do, most people go down swinging. But according to the latest data, we are seeing even fewer trials than ever. The analysis comes from a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, and the underlying data comes from Read More

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Failing to Point Out the Other Side’s Fail

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court answered a notable question in the world of employment litigation. Does it matter that an employee failed to follow the “right-to-sue” process before suing for discrimination, if the employer never complains? The answer: No. What if the employer does complain but takes its sweet time doing so? The answer: Still Read More

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CFTC Publishes Enforcement Manual for First Time

On May 8, the Enforcement Division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published its Enforcement Manual for the first time. The Manual’s purpose is twofold: to explain the role of the Enforcement Division within the CFTC and to set general policies and procedures that guide it in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of law. There’s too much Read More

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