No New Cuts to Courts in Governor's Proposed Budget – As Long As Tax Initiative Passes
By Todd Roberson on 01/06/2012 @ 10:30 AM
Governor Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 budget was unexpectedly released yesterday, and after drastic cuts in each of the last three years, the judicial branch is not a part of any new cuts for now. However, that’s all dependent on California voters approving the governor's plan to temporarily raise income and sales taxes in November. If the initiative fails, the court system would take a $125 million hit.
Also, as Cheryl Miller from The Recorder discusses here (subscription required), the budget proposal includes an additional $50 million for the courts from an increase in civil fees. The type of civil court fee increases is not specified. Court users' groups and judiciary officials would make the determination.
A Note to Employers - Ninth Circuit Says Overtime Laws Apply to Nonresident Employees
By Todd Roberson on 01/05/2012 @ 10:48 AM
California employers should be advised that, after some back and forth on a case involving the Oracle Corporation and a few of its out-of-state employees, the Ninth Circuit confirmed in December that nonresident employees are subject to California overtime laws when they perform work in California. Last summer the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the employees, a federal district court ruling followed in favor of Oracle, and now the Ninth Circuit has reversed that ruling. As LawyersandSettlements.com explains here, in most other states employers are only required to pay employees overtime if the employees work more than 40 hours in a week in that state…
Plaintiffs' Lawyer Gives Award to Judge With Case Pending in His Courtroom
By Todd Roberson on 12/22/2011 @ 10:48 AM
Last Thursday the Daily Journal (www.dailyjournal.com – subscription required) ran an article worthy of attention – “Award for LA judge spurs ethics debate.” The Daily Journal’s Ciaran McEvoy reports that a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge named Mark Mooney received a “Trial Judge of the Year” award in January from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). He was presented the award at an event by attorney C. Michael Alder, CAALA’s Vice President at the time and chair of the committee that selected Mooney for the award.
Well, it turns out that Alder actually had a lawsuit pending before Mooney, and the case is still pending (he’s representing Concept Chaser Inc., an advertising company that sued Pentel of America, a pen manufacturer, for breach of contract and fraud). Additionally, Mooney never disclosed that he received the award. Pentel’s lawyer learned of it looking at CAALA’s website, and Mooney denied Pentel’s attempt to get a disqualification hearing.
Civil Justice Leadership Award Luncheons: Part 2
By Todd Roberson on 12/13/2011 @ 10:48 PM
Last week CJAC held its final two Civil Justice Leadership Award luncheons after presenting our first two awards the week prior. On Wednesday, December 7th, we headed to Tustin in Orange County to present an award to Assemblymember Don Wagner (R-Irvine), who represents the 70th Assembly District. As mentioned previously, Wagner received the award for being a consistent, strong voice for civil justice reform as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which hears hundreds of bills each year that impact the civil justice system. He also authored and supported a number of bills that would bring greater balance to California's legal system. His luncheon was attended by 40 guests and he is pictured here with his award between CJAC President Kim Stone and Legislative Director Katherine Pettibone.
The next day we presented our final award to Assemblymember Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills), who represents the 10th Assembly District. Huber is also a member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and, as we've mentioned, received an award for her open-minded approach to civil justice issues, which resulted in her opposing several proposals that would have worsened California's legal environment. Her luncheon was also attended by 40 people and she's pictured here with Kim and Katherine.
Judge Tosses FCPA Conviction of California Company As Battle for Reform Continues
By Todd Roberson on 12/02/2011 @ 10:48 PM
There was some interesting news regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) this week as a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the Department of Justice's first-ever conviction of a corporation under FCPA due to "flagrant" misconduct and "reckless" disregard to comply with its duties. The defendant was Lindsey Manufacturing, an Azusa, CA-based company that makes emergency electricity towers. Read the Wall Street Journal's coverage here.
The dismissal of the conviction comes at an interesting time as debate over the problems with enforcing FCPA continues, as the Wall Street Journal also reported earlier this week (read about it here).