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The Name of the Game is Compliance

Two more points for now on California’s Private Attorneys General Act. First, in many cases, you don’t have to prove that your employer’s violation hurt you or cost you anything. You just need a violation. For example, the Labor Code requires pay stubs to accurately itemize certain basic information. If yours don’t, it’s a violation Read More

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The New Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Now that Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in, we’ll begin to find out how he wields the law as a member of the highest court in the land. Some say he’s a natural successor to the Justice whose seat he fills, Antonin Scalia. Here is a profile of Mr. Gorsuch that compares his views to those of Mr. Scalia Read More

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Murder, Manslaughter, or Self-Defense?

True story. One homeless man killed another in a street fight, and they charged him with first-degree murder. He was convicted at trial, but last week, the California Court of Appeal reversed that conviction and sent the case back. Why? The defendant had pleaded self-defense, but the trial court didn’t let him present expert testimony that homeless Read More

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What’s a Hate Crime in California?

If you’re wondering about that in light of recent events, here’s an overview. California defines a hate crime as any crime that you commit, in whole or in part, because of a victim’s actual or perceived race, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or association with those who bear these characteristics. The phrase “in whole or in part” Read More

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A Penny For Your Thoughts, Judge

Thank God we live in a country whose leaders speak like this. What if they didn’t, or couldn’t? In this case, maybe it’s because the speaker, Alex Kozinski, a prominent federal judge, was an immigrant born behind the Iron Curtain, the son of two Holocaust survivors who came here when he was twelve. Maybe we value the rule of law Read More

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Social Media is not Words with Friends

Speaking of the U.S. Supreme Court, the high court delivered another interesting opinion on Monday, this time in a case that confronted tough questions about the line that separates free speech from criminal threats. The defendant was a 27-year-old man whose wife left him in May 2010, taking their two young children with her. The couple had been married for Read More

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U.S. Sentencing Commission Amends Guidelines for White-Collar Fraud Cases

Any day now, the U.S. Sentencing Commission will submit to Congress a set of proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines that it voted to approve three weeks ago. That matters because, in federal court, the guidelines drive most sentences and influence nearly all of them. If Congress doesn’t object to the amendments, they will go effective on November 1. Here’s Read More

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