August 2, 2000
CHARLES J. UNGER Sometimes I just don't get it. There is a penal code section that has been existence since 1978 that requires judges to inform defendants that if they plead guilty or no contest to a criminal charge, their plea can result in their being deported or denied naturalization or excluded from admission to this country. The law says that this must be told to a defendant before he pleads guilty and must acknowledge that he understands this.
January 12, 2000
Walt Meares While we've all been watching the Burbank Airport Waltz, the Legislature, special interests and initiative gadflies struck hard at the year 2000 election seasons. The box score to date reads like this: Issues on the ballot: 5 Legislative constitutional amendments 5 bond acts 7 initiative statutes/amendments 3 referenda Issues pending: 2 constitutional issues needing signature verification Total for 3/7/00: 22 propositions possible; 20 now Circulating: 16 initiative petitions Additional petitions: 19 in the attorney general's office That's 57 propositions that could reach the March or November ballots, and that doesn't include propositions the Legislature may want to add to the November ballot.
November 13, 2002
Jewish activist Irv Rubin was reportedly looking better this week, through he remained in critical condition at an area hospital. Rubin sued the city and won an injunction against using the word "Jesus" or any other religious deity during City Council invocations, and the case is set to go to the state Supreme Court. Rubin fell from a two-story-high railing at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Nov. 4. FBI officials have said the almost 20-foot fall was from an apparent attempt to commit suicide after also trying to slash his throat.
September 27, 2006
As of August 2006, score one for the trees over the billboards. Have you ever driven to Los Angeles International Airport and seen several rather large billboards from Regency Outdoor Advertising? Well the Regency people aren't happy because if you have seen them, you can no longer see them as well as you used to. In August, the city of Los Angeles prevailed in the State Supreme Court in this epic battle of the trees versus the billboards. This ruling marks the end of six years of litigation between the city of Los Angeles and Regency.
November 25, 2011
Republican activists trying to overturn some new voting districts cleared a significant hurdle toward putting the issue on the ballot by turning in petitions bearing hundreds of thousands of signatures. But the next step - verification of those names by county elections officials - could take long enough to stymie the proponents' goal of getting new state Senate districts drawn by the state Supreme Court in time for next year's elections. Secretary of State Debra Bowen has said that vetting all the signatures could take until mid-March, after the Feb. 23 deadline for some candidates to file for the June primary.
January 6, 2007
Here's one the California Supreme Court got right in December (and frankly I admire the court's willingness to change its mind): In 1994 the State Supreme Court ruled that if a juvenile is searched via a search that would otherwise be illegal, the search would be permissible if, after the search, the police were to discover that the juvenile was on probation. This made no sense in 1994 and fortunately in 2006, the State Supreme Court decided to do something about its previous erroneous decision.
March 23, 2005
Mark R. Madler City Council candidate Michael Bergfeld is asking the courts to fine an assistant city attorney for not answering questions in his lawsuit against the city. Bergfeld filed a motion Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William F. Fahey asking that Assistant City Atty. Juli Scott be fined for not providing responses to his questions about an out-of-state attorney's ability to practice law in California. Bergfeld's motion follows Fahey's levying an $800 sanction against him last week for an improper response to an attorney's question in the case.
November 16, 2002
Jewish activist Irv Rubin, the national chairman of the Jewish Defense League who objected to references to "Jesus Christ" and other deities during Council invocations, has died. He was 57. Rubin, who died late Wednesday night, had been in critical condition after suffering head injuries from a fall from a two-story-high railing at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Nov. 4. FBI officials have said the almost 20-foot fall was from attempt to commit suicide after trying to slash his throat with a razor reportedly issued by the jail.