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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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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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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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If At First You Don’t Succeed?

Last week, a federal court heard the appeal of Monica Los Rios, the woman who claims NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends gang-raped her in 2013. She never called the police but filed a civil case against him two years later, asking for over $21 million in damages. And she took her case all Read More

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Privacy Across the Pond

We’re fresh off a conference on how privacy laws in Europe affect life and business in the United States. So we tip our hat to the law firm that spotted this case about just that. The background is that one business had sued another in England and won. Then it had sued again here to collect on the 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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When You Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

You may never serve on a jury, but suppose you did. How would you feel—how would any of us feel—if we voted to convict someone innocent? This person knows. In 2009, she voted to convict a 17-year-old boy for murder based on the testimony of one eyewitness. The witness and victim were friends, and they were Read More

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Hidden Bias and Fair Trials

You may serve on a jury one day, and if you do, your thought process will mean a lot to the people involved. Those people, and the system as a whole, will rely on you to give them a fair trial. To that end, one court has created a video to help potential jurors understand their hidden biases. These Read More

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Throwing Pitches in a Civil Case

Make that Pitchess with an extra s—as in Pitchess motions. In California, they’re how you ask a court to order the production of a police officer’s personnel file in litigation. We’ve written about them in the context of criminal cases, but the procedure’s the same in civil cases, as a court of appeal recently explained in an employment case. A Read More

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