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Enforcement by California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control

To round out the series we rolled out three weeks ago, here’s how the BCC polices the pot market. As you may know, the Bureau has a right of full and immediate access to enter and inspect any licensed premises, with or without prior notice. So they may come in and test your pot, test your Read More

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The Right to Counsel in the 21st Century

As we touched on last week, the Sixth Amendment protects not just a right to counsel but a right to the effective assistance of counsel. In the 21st century, this means at least three things. First, the government can’t take away your life or liberty without a legal defense. Second, if you can’t afford a lawyer, the Read More

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When in Doubt, File the Appeal

Last week it was the Eighth Amendment; this week, it’s the Sixth. The Sixth Amendment says, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to … have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court said the right to counsel means you decide whether to appeal, not your lawyer. If Read More

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You Can’t Revoke a Doctor’s Hospital Privileges Without Due Process

This ain’t your grandfather’s medical practice anymore, is it? The modern doctor must deal with a dizzying array of rules and regulations like the one we covered last week. At the same time, California law affords you certain protections that can’t be bargained around or contracted away, as a hospital found out when it tried Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Quatre

Here’s our fourth and final installment of notable new laws. Employers can’t ask about or investigate a conviction that’s been sealed or dismissed unless it’s specific to the job you applied for. This is Senate Bill 1412. Generally speaking, California employers can’t ask about or run checks for convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, or expunged. One Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Deux

Here are three more new laws for this week. The public has greater access to police personnel files. This is Senate Bill 1421. It declares that the public has an important interest in law-enforcement transparency because it is essential to having a just and democratic society. It then amends the Penal Code to confer more access Read More

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The Federal First Step Act of 2018

Here’s more meat on the bones of the new sentencing law from last week. Earning credit toward early release. You can earn 10-15 days of credit for every thirty that you participate in certain programs. These may include work programs, academic classes, vocational training, trauma counseling, substance-abuse treatment, faith-based services, and family-building and parenting. The credits Read More

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New Federal Rules Proposed About Sexual Harassment on Campus

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education proposed new rules on the handling of sexual-harassment complaints on school campuses that receive federal funding. The regulations aim to address when a school violates Title IX, a federal law against sex discrimination, based on the way it responds (or doesn’t respond) to such complaints. There is a Read More

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Why We Defend People

In 2009, I was a prosecutor in Orange County when I became a defendant in my own criminal case. I was falsely accused of domestic violence, and I was charged with two felony counts even though I was the one who called the police three times that night over my accuser’s behavior. It was surreal. Read More

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A Personal View of California’s Bail Reform

This problem of locking people up before trial is personal to me. Ten years ago, I was falsely accused of a crime, and I spent a night in jail based on one person’s word. I had committed no crime, but I was booked for and charged with felony domestic violence, and I had to take the Read More

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