Hearings on California's Civil Justice Crisis
By Todd Roberson on 11/14/2011 @ 10:48 PM
The first of four hearings across California to highlight the impact of the state court budget cuts will take place tomorrow in Sacramento. The California Commission on Access to Justice, the State Bar of California, and the California Chamber of Commerce have joined together to co-sponsor the hearings, which will show how cuts in funding for the courts and legal services threaten efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars and the protection of rights and equal treatment under the law.
CJAC has consistently opposed the cuts to the courts budget, which has been cut 30% over the last three years and suffered its largest cut ever in this year's budget. Californians need an adequately funded court system so they can resolve the many legitimate disputes that occur and these hearings will provide valuable insight on the impact of these cuts.
Tomorrow's hearing in Sacramento will be moderated by Justice Ron Robie of the California Court of Appeal, Dean Kevin Johnson of UC Davis School of Law, and Kevin Baker of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
For more information and to RSVP, go to www.californiahearings.org.
Here is the list of hearings:
Sacramento: November 15, 12:30 p.m.
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Ave, Sacramento, CA 95817
San Francisco: November 30, 1 p.m.
Administrative Office of the Courts
455 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94012
Los Angeles: December 2, 1 p.m.
Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Irvine: December 7, 1 p.m.
UC Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Irvine, CA 92617
Congressman Dan Lungren Proposes ADA Reform
By Todd Roberson on 11/10/2011 @ 10:48 PM
A new proposal has been introduced in Congress, H.R. 3356, to give business owners a brief period of time to make ADA fixes before they can be sued. Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), from the Sacramento region, recognizes how vulnerable small businesses are to an exploitative lawsuit, and wants to give business owners 120 days to get their facilities in compliance after they have been notified of alleged violations.
Check out the news story run by the Sacramento's KOVR-CBS here, which features CJAC Legislative Director Katherine Pettibone explaining how "drive-by lawsuits" are about financial gain rather than increasing access.
CA Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Tomorrow in Landmark Meal and Rest Break Case
By Todd Roberson on 11/07/2011 @ 10:48 PM
Tomorrow morning the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court, a monumental case that will determine an employer's obligations in regards to meal and rest break periods for their employees. This a long-awaited development, as it has been over three years since the Supreme Court granted review of the case.
At issue is whether employers are required to ensure that their employees take meal and rest period breaks or only required to make these breaks available to employees and not force them to work through the break periods. Also at issue is whether a case brought by employees alleging meal and rest break violations by their employers should be certified as a class action.
CJAC submitted an amicus brief in August 2009 on this case, which you can read here. In our brief we argue that employees are free to choose whether to take a meal or rest breaks "provided" to them by their employer and to waive their rights to these breaks for their own reasons. If an employee decides to not take a break it does not mean their employer is in violation of Labor Code provisions requiring it make the breaks available. We also argue that employer liability for off-the-clock work requires proof that the employer knew or should have known employees were doing this contrary to express company policy, so class certification is not appropriate in this case.
Tomorrow's hearing will be broadcast live on the Cal Channel website at 9:00am.
2011 Civil Justice Leadership Awards
By Todd Roberson on 11/03/2011 @ 11:48 PM
We are excited to announce that we have selected the recipients of our 2011 Civil Justice Leadership Awards. We are extremely appreciative of these legislators' efforts to reduce excessive litigation in California and will be giving them their awards at luncheons in each of their districts. The dates are below and if you or someone from your organization would like to attend please contact Marie Ortega at 916-443-4900 or email@example.com for more information.
Our awards are going to:
Senator Lou Correa (D-34th Senate District)
Tuesday, November 29th in Anaheim
Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-31st Assembly District)
Wednesday, November 30th in Fresno
Assemblymember Don Wagner (R-70th Assembly District)
Wednesday, December 7th in Irvine
Assemblymember Alyson Huber (D-10th Assembly District)
Thursday, December 8th in Sacramento
CJAC Op-Ed on Orange County D.A. and Plaintiffs' Attorneys
By Todd Roberson on 10/27/2011 @ 11:48 PM
We continue to draw attention to the Orange County district attorney's office partnering with plaintiffs' attorneys, as it has made a new agreement with famed plaintiffs' attorney Tom Girardi, that it has not yet released, for the prosecution of Toyota over unintended acceleration claims.
Read the latest from CJAC President Kim Stone in an op-ed that was posted on Fox & Hounds, which explains the different motivations of public prosecutors versus plaintiffs' attorneys.