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Federal and State Criminal Defense
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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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California Wants YOU for that Business or Professional License

Do you have a rap sheet? So do approximately one in three Americans, so you’re not alone. This summer, a new law went into effect that could help you earn that business or professional license you seek. We wrote about it in January 2019, but now that it’s effective, here’s more food for thought. It matters more Read More

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Do Not Put This Man Back In Prison

The man, Richard Midkiff, was 19 when he was sentenced to 38 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. After serving 23 of them, he was released in June of last year. He works full-time and then some, starting his days at 5am. He just got engaged last month. Now the state wants to Read More

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California Courts Must Tighten Belts Again

The state’s new budget, signed into law on Monday, cuts $200 million from the judiciary. For the fiscal year that begins today, the trial courts have $176.9 million less than last year, and the appeals courts lose $23.1 million. Overall, the budget gives $4 billion to fund the courts out of a total of $202.1 Read More

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FTC Warns Nursing Homes Not to Take People’s Stimulus Checks

The Federal Trade Commission has clarified something for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities: their residents’ stimulus checks belong to them, not the facility, so you can’t take it from them. Reportedly, some facilities have requested or required that people on Medicaid sign over the checks. Don’t do that. As the FTC’s notice explains, these checks are, by law, personal Read More

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Dude Catches Federal Case for Lying about Covid

Consider the juxtaposition. Last week, we wrote about people whose convictions were reversed because their conduct, while wrong, didn’t quite fit the crime. They made a mistake and lied—rather egregiously—but it wasn’t wire fraud because they didn’t do it to obtain money or property from the other side. Fair enough. This week, we couldn’t help but Read More

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Bridgegate, Reversed

Once upon a time, you might recall, there was another kind of lockdown. For four days in September 2013, three public officials shut down two traffic lanes on one bridge from New Jersey to New York. It wasn’t just any bridge, though, but the busiest motor-vehicle bridge in the world. And it wasn’t just for Read More

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The SBA’s FAQs on the PPP

Here’s the government’s FAQ sheet on the Paycheck Protection Program, current as of today. It may not have all the answers, but it gives relatively simple answers to 47 questions by lenders, borrowers, and others. Here’s a sampling: Do payments to independent contractors count toward payroll? No. See Question 15. Do part-time employees count? Yes, for eligibility but no, Read More

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