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  • 07/20/2017 12:01 PM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    California Courts Newsroom


    July 20, 2017 

    Blaine Corren




    The Judicial Council at its July 27-28 business meeting will consider proposed updates to part of the model used to determine how the state’s 58 trial courts are funded.


    The council uses the Workload-Based Allocation and Funding Methodology (WAFM) to decide how much funding each trial court receives annually, based on the workload at each court. The council will consider a proposal to update the Resource Assessment Study model, which is used as part of WAFM to weigh both the number and type of cases handled when determining a court’s workload. A traffic infraction, for example, takes far fewer resources and staff than does a complex felony, and is given less weight in the calculation.


    The council last updated the resource model in 2013, realizing that ongoing adjustments would continue to keep up with policy changes that affect work in the courts. Proposition 47, Assembly Bill 109, and Assembly Bill 1657 are all examples of recent initiatives and statutes that have altered court workload.


    Other items on the July 27-28 council meeting agenda include:


    Requesting Adjustments to Workload-Based Allocation and Funding Methodology (WAFM): The council will consider revisions to its procedure for requesting adjustments to its funding methodology for the trial courts. The proposed revisions are mostly technical changes related to timing of the process.


    Providing Legal Representation in Civil Cases: Pursuant to the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, the council will consider grants for pilot projects that provide legal representation for low-income litigants in civil cases affecting basic human needs. The council will also consider a progress report to the legislature, the first to measure the impact of pilot programs that have provided legal representation to 27,000 people facing landlord/tenant matters, highly conflicted child custody cases, and guardianship and conservatorship matters.


    Court Technology Update: The council will receive an update on its Court Technology Governance and Strategic Plan and current technology issues in the trial courts. The update will also highlight recent changes to the council’s Information Technology office that better aligns its structure with the business needs of the branch.


    Courthouse Closures or Reduced Hours: Per statute and its normal meeting procedures, the council will receive a report on which trial courts have closed courtrooms or clerks’ offices or reduced clerks’ office hours because of budget challenges. Since the previous report, 5 superior courts—San Diego, San Joaquin, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, and Tulare Counties have issued new notices of closures or reductions.


    The meeting agenda and council reports have been posted online, and a link to the live videocast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.





  • 07/20/2017 12:00 PM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    On Saturday, May 20, 2017, the Cambridge Public Library hosted Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who spoke as part of the library's Democracy Day activities. The talk took place at the library's main lecture hall and was filmed by Seth Myer.






  • 07/19/2017 8:01 PM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    Metropolitan News-Enterprise

    Monday, July 17, 2017


    By a MetNews Staff Writer



    State Bar President-Elect



    Nevada County attorney Michael G. Colantuono, of the firm of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC, was elected on Friday as 2017-18 State Bar president by the Board of Trustees.


    Jason P. Lee, who is on extended leave as an attorney in Los Angeles for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, was chosen to serve as vice president and San Diego lawyer Todd F. Stevens of Keeney Waite & Stevens was selected as treasurer, a post he currently holds.


    Outgoing State Bar President James P. Fox said:

    “I welcome this new board leadership team, and am confident they will continue the momentum of reform and ensure a focus on the agency’s core public protection mission. We have accomplished much, but there is still more work to do.”


    Colantuono was city attorney for Calabasas from 2003-2012. He said at the time that he left the post because of the long commute between that city, in the northwest portion of Los Angeles County, and his home in Grass Valley, near Sacramento.


    He also maintains an office in Pasadena.


    A certified appellate specialist, he is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has argued in all six of California’s appellate districts.


    Colantuono Michael graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received his law degree from Boalt Hall. He was admitted in 1989.

    His appointment to the Board of Trustees was by the Assembly.


    Lee received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, his JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and a master of laws, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center.


    He is a former chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. The California Supreme Court placed him on the Board of Trustees.


    Stevens has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Seattle and a law degree from the University of San Diego.


    In 1999, he became the first openly gay president of the San Diego County Bar Association. He served in 2000-2002 as the president of the Bar Foundation of the county bar.


    He was elected to the Board of Trustees by attorneys in District Four.


    Copyright 2017, Metropolitan News Company

  • 07/19/2017 8:00 PM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    ABA Journal

    The Modern Law Library



    Word by Word cover.


    Posted July 19, 2017

    By: Lee Rawles


     What do lawyers and lexicographers have in common? The main job of both is to determine the meaning of words.

    In this episode of the Modern Law Library, the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles talks with Kory Stamper about her work as a lexicographer and editor for Merriam-Webster; her new book, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries; and her position as chief defender of the word "irregardless."

    We explore the difference between the prescriptivists—whose champion, Bryan A. Garner, writes a column for the ABA Journal—and the descriptivists, and why using the dictionary definition of a word should not end all arguments. We also find out what goes on behind the scenes to produce the newest edition of a Merriam-Webster dictionary.


    In This Podcast:

    <p>Kory Stamper</p>

    Kory Stamper


    Kory Stamper is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, where she also writes, edits and appears in the “Ask the Editor” video series. She blogs regularly on language and lexicography at and her writing has appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times, and on Photo by Michael Lionstar.





  • 07/17/2017 8:46 AM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    Stanford Lawyer Magazine

    Spring 2017 Issue 96

    May 31, 2017

    By: Rick Schmitt


    In a way the future of the sharing economy, the array of high-tech firms revolutionizing the way Americans take vacations, commute, and contract for personal services, may turn on a legal precedent about vegetables and farm labor. Consider Uber Technologies Inc., the pioneering ride-hailing firm. The company has a policy of treating its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. That has saved it a ton of money, but has also brought lawsuits from the drivers, who say they’ve been short-changed. In their legal arsenal is a landmark 1989 decision by the California Supreme Court, S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations, which gave migrant farm workers hired to harvest a crop of cucumbers rights as employees.


    The Sharing Economy: Can the Law Keep Pace with Innovation? 3


    Professors Rabia Belt and Nora Freeman Engstrom, JD ’02, with Bryan Casey, JD ’18


    But it isn’t the only legal issue cropping up. While sharing economy companies are changing the lives and lifestyles of millions, judges, legislators, and regulators are struggling to decide the rules by which they should operate.


    One challenge is that many of these startups don’t see themselves as traditional companies, but as technology “platforms” where independent buyers and sellers come to transact business—exchanging services, selling their wares, renting out their homes. And this new business model has had widespread effects on a number of legal fronts, including tort liability, municipal regulation, discrimination, and privacy.



  • 07/12/2017 6:00 AM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)


    WASHINGTON, DC (July 10, 2017) – Legal publisher Fastcase today announced the company’s annual list of “Fastcase 50” honorees. Selected from online nominations, the award recognizes the year’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.


    Since the inaugural awards in 2011, the Fastcase 50 has spotlighted and applauded the most fascinating trailblazers and architects of the future of law and legal technology. The honorees for the Fastcase 50 Class of 2017 represent a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, law librarians, bar association executives, and innovators from all walks of life. The award recognizes pioneering people who have made important contributions to the legal profession, for practitioners and the public.


     This year’s honorees will be celebrated during next week’s annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries.


     View the 2017 winners at



  • 07/11/2017 5:59 AM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    At the Lectern 

    July 9, 2017


    It’s been four months since Justice Kathryn Werdegar announced her retirement.  There’s been speculation about whom Governor Brown will appoint to take Justice Werdegar’s seat, but not as much discussion about when an appointment will be made.


    Will there be a replacement on the Supreme Court before the court’s next oral argument calendar, which will take place during the first full week of September?  Or will there be a new parade of pro tem justices from the Court of Appeal to temporarily fill the vacancy, as there was following Justice Joyce Kennard’s retirement three years ago?


    A lot depends, of course, on when the Governor is ready to name the new justice.  But there’s also the issue of when he has the authority to make an appointment.


    Justice Werdegar may have announced her retirement a while ago, but it will not be effective until the end of next month.  The constitution provides that “[t]he Governor shall fill vacancies in [the Supreme Court] by appointment” (emphasis added) and that the appointment “is effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.”


    There’s no vacancy now.  Can the Governor make — and the Commission confirm — an appointment to fill an impending vacancy?  If not, then Governor Brown will have to put his appointment on hold until after August 31, and the court will start its new term short one permanent justice.


    However, an almost-40-year-old Court of Appeal opinion indicates that there’s no need to wait.  In that case, concerning a municipal court seat, the court held, “unless expressly forbidden by statute, the Governor is empowered to make an appointment to judicial office to fill an impending vacancy, provided he or she is still in office at the time vacancy occurs and the commission becomes effective.”  (Morrison v. Michael (1979) 98 Cal.App.3d 507, 514.)


    It would be better to have a full-strength Supreme Court come September, and there doesn’t appear to be any legal impediment to Governor Brown making that happen.


    News and commentary on the practice of law before the California Supreme Court.


    This blog is maintained by Horvitz & Levy LLP, the nation's largest law firm devoted exclusively to appellate litigation.

  • 07/10/2017 6:02 AM | Denise Bashline (Administrator)

    July 3rd, 2017 


    -5.3 Million dollar budget deficit


    -Courtrooms, courthouses will remain open on limited service days


    News Release:





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