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Federal and State Criminal Defense
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And Then There Were Six

On Wednesday, the longest-serving justice of the California Supreme Court announced that he would retire this summer. It’s a big deal for a court that seats only seven. Ming Chin, the state’s first Chinese-American justice, will hang up his robe after nearly twenty-five years on the high court. Before that, he served on the trial court Read More

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Put that New-Year Resolution on Hold

That’s what a federal court in California said to the state legislature two days before a new employment law was to go into effect. The new law, Assembly Bill 51, would’ve banned mandatory arbitration agreements with employees. It also would’ve banned agreements that required folks to opt out of arbitration. And it would’ve barred retaliation against those Read More

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A Promise Is A Promise

Brilliant. In 2020, thirty-nine top prosecutors from across the country have promised to visit the jails and prisons in their jurisdiction and to require their line prosecutors to do the same. What’s more, they’ve pledged to make it part of the job description going forward. That’s thirty-nine district attorneys, county attorneys, or state attorneys from Read More

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Drinking From a Fire Hose

Effective December 1, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers must follow a new rule of procedure that aims to ease the burden of modern discovery. It’s a simple rule with two parts. First, no later than fourteen days after arraignment, the two sides must talk about the evidence in the case and try to agree on how Read More

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Healthcare Investigations at Warp Speed

We covered one of the U.S. Justice Department’s major healthcare sweeps last month. But we didn’t know the feds had shut things down with such blinding speed. Reportedly, it took them six to eight months from first alert to coordinated raids. The investigation is said to have begun earlier this year when analysts detected a surge in Read More

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More Varsity Blues

As the college-admissions scandal winds its way through court, California’s clawing back the money. The tax money, that is. A few days ago, the state enacted a new law that scrutinizes all tax deductions these defendants may have taken for charitable donations to any college or university. It applies to every tax year beginning with 2014. It also denies Read More

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The Lure of Free Cancer Screenings

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced a major takedown of telemedicine that it says went too far. It’s among the bigger healthcare-fraud sweeps to date: 35 people charged with over $2.1 billion in false or fraudulent bills. The defendants hail from telemedicine companies and genetic-testing labs and include nine physicians. They reportedly billed Medicare for tens Read More

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You Cannot Be Serious

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Those are the actual words of the text, which is why I put them in quotes. But earlier this month, the federal court of appeals that covers California and eight other states could not say whether it violated the Fourth Amendment 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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