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Government Subpoenas and Investigations
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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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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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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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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 and FDA Warn Against False Covid Claims

As federal courts slowly begin to reopen in phases, the government’s pursuit of Covid fraud continues apace. In particular, two agencies—the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration—are issuing warning letters to businesses selling or marketing products that purport to treat or prevent Covid-19. Think oils, herbs, vitamins, minerals, or supplements. But it can 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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