Tag Archives: jerry brown

Decision on Attorney-Client Privilege Spooks Defense Bar

Charles Toutant and Vanessa Blum, The Recorder

A closely divided California Supreme Court on Thursday limited the protection afforded to legal bills under the attorney-client privilege when those bills are sent to government entities and sought under the state’s Public Records Act.

The court ruled 4-3 that a law firm’s invoices to a government agency are exempt from disclosure only when they pertain to active matters. Just how a big a chink that cuts in the privilege for legal bills generated outside government representation isn’t immediately clear.

“That’s the $1 million question,” said Steven Fleischman, a partner at Horvitz & Levy. “Are courts going to find this decision only applies to public records cases? Or are they going to read it as saying attorney bills are no longer privileged once the case ends. I certainly hope it’s the former.”

In a vigorous dissent, Justice Katheryn Werdegar scolded her colleagues for undermining a “pillar of our jurisprudence” by finding that legal bills aren’t universally shielded by attorney-client privilege and accused the majority of twisting California’s Evidence Code to “discover a heretofore hidden meaning.”

“The majority’s decision … is unsupported by law,” she wrote.

In a somewhat unlikely alliance, the court’s majority opinion was written by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and joined by Ming Chin, Goodwin Liu and Leondra Kruger. Cuellar, Liu and Kruger are the court’s three newest justices; all graduated from Yale Law School and were appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Chin, generally seen as a conservative voice on the court, has held his seat for 20 years.

Read Full – http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202775795778/Decision-on-AttorneyClient-Privilege-Spooks-Defense-Bar?slreturn=20170002234747

Parole recommended for former California Mexican Mafia chief

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Acting amid extra tight security, parole commissioners on Friday again recommended the release of a former leader of the Mexican Mafia prison gang who now helps law enforcement, Board of Parole Hearings spokesman Luis Patino said.

Rene “Boxer” Enriquez has been in prison since 1993 on a 20 years-to life sentence for two murders, multiple assaults and conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances.

It’s the second time parole officials decided that he can safely be released. However, Gov. Jerry Brown last year rejected parole for the 53-year-old Enriquez and Brown has about five months in which he can block it again.

“Hopefully this time the governor will let him go home,” Enriquez’s attorney, Michael Beckman, said after the hearing.

Brown last year rejected Enriquez’s parole in part because of concerns that he would be targeted for retaliation by other gang members if he is released. That could endanger Enriquez, his family, parole agents and the community, Brown said.

That concern was reflected in Friday’s hearing. Prison officials kept the timing and location of the hearing secret, citing safety concerns for Enriquez and prison employees.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Steve Sowders said three survivors were allowed to use only their first names as they testified against his parole by video conference.

“They’re concerned about their safety,” he said. “This is because of the case involves the Mexican Mafia.”

Enriquez drew attention last year when the Los Angeles Police Department used an invalid court order, spent $22,000 and cleared a downtown Los Angeles building so Enriquez could speak to a gathering of law enforcement and business leaders.

He has talked in recent years to various groups of officers and provided valuable information on the transnational criminal enterprise to which he once belonged, Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Michael Downing said afterward.

Enriquez cited his cooperation and the self-improvement classes he has taken in prison as he spoke for more than three hours Friday, according to a Los Angeles Times reporter who watched by video conference. The reporter described him as sitting like a businessman at a board meeting before the two-person parole panel, his hair slicked back and cut short on the sides.

Read Full Article – http://news.yahoo.com/parole-recommended-former-california-mexican-mafia-chief-224139155.html

Robert Downey Jr. gets holiday pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown for 1990s drug offenses

Actor Robert Downey Jr., who spent time behind bars in the late 1990s on drug convictions, received a Christmas Eve pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown, effectively removing a black mark from the movie star’s checkered past.

The actor was one of 91 people to whom the governor granted clemency for past crimes, most of them minor drug offenses that no longer are felonies under California law, as well as robbery and burglary. It has become an annual Christmas Eve tradition: official proclamations for men and women who previously served time for mostly nonviolent crimes.

Downey has a long history of problems with drugs and the law, including repeated arrests in 1996.

In June 1996, he was pulled over by police in Malibu for speeding. They found him under the influence, with a gun, cocaine and heroin in the truck.

Then in July, the then-31-year-old actor turned up in the house of a neighbor, passed out in a spare bedroom. At the time, he had just completed the film “One Night Stand,” portraying a character dying from AIDS.

“It’s like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth, my finger on the trigger and I like the taste of gun metal,” Downey told a Los Angeles judge in 1999, as he was sentenced to three years in state prison. He was released one year later, and three months after that, was arrested in a Palm Springs hotel room where cocaine also was found.

He bounced between jail and rehabilitation clinics for several years, but then remarried and, in 2008, rekindled his acting career in the role of Tony Stark and “Iron Man” in a series of Marvel films.

In total, the actor served 15 months behind bars, and in 2002, he completed his parole.

Downey obtained an order on Oct. 20 from a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, finding that he has since “lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.”

On Oct. 28, Brown inducted Downey into the California Hall of Fame, alongside Charlie Brown cartoonist Charles M. Schulz and country music legend Buck Owens.

The Christmas Eve pardon reads, “By completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community of his residence since his release, Robert John Downey, Jr. has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon.”

Read Full Article – http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-robert-downey-jr-pardon-20151224-story.html