Tag Archives: los angeles legal news

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

L.A. Now California: This just in LOCAL L.A. Now Violent crime in California rose 10% in 2015, state attorney general says

By Bettina Boxall

After two years of decline, the number of violent crimes in California rose by 10% in 2015, although the overall crime rate remained among the lowest in decades.

The numbers were up in all major categories of violent crime compared with those of 2014, according to reports released Friday by the state attorney general’s office.

Homicides increased 9.7%, and robbery and aggravated assault climbed by more than 8%.

Hate crimes followed the same trend, with a 10.4% jump. The vast majority of the uptick involved religious bias. Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish incidents were up, as were those targeting Latinos.

Although the number of burglaries dropped, total property crimes climbed by 8.1%, driven by a significant rise in motor vehicle thefts.

Despite the upswing, overall violent and property crime rates per 100,000 were lower last year than in 2010, and remained dramatically lower than the peaks of the 1980s and 1990s.

Statewide, 1,861 people were slain in 2015, compared with more than 4,000 in 1993.

In 2009, the number of homicides across California dipped below 2,000 for the first time since 1974 and has fluctuated below that number ever since.

Read Full Article – http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-violent-crimes-20160701-snap-story.html

Suge Knight’s Lawyer Claims Justice System Is Treating Client Unfairly

by VICTORIA HERNANDEZ on January 06th 2016

Suge Knight is in county jail in Los Angeles after a hit and run last year.

Suge Knight is currently residing in Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and isfacing murder charges after a hit and run January 2015 on the set of Straight Outta Compton. Terry Carter was killed in the incident and two others were injured.

In an interview with The Wrap, Knight’s Lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, says that his client is being treated unfairly by the justice system.

“He should be at home and he should have been granted reasonable bail, like everybody else,” Mesereau says. “This case is going forward because of who he is, not because of anything he did that was wrong.”

Knight’s $2.2 million bail was reportedly revoked because of his being a potential flight risk and his criminal past. Mesereau said that his client’s character is not that which the media has portrayed of him.

“He’s a person of character and courage and fortitude,” the lawyer says, “and he looks forward to his day in court.”

Suge Knight is scheduled for a February 26 hearing where his trial date will be set.

For additional Suge Knight coverage, watch the following DX Daily:

Read Full Article – http://hiphopdx.com/news/id.36919/title.suge-knights-lawyer-claims-justice-system-is-treating-client-unfairly

Suge Knight, Katt Williams Plead Not Guilty in Robbery Case

  • By ANTHONY MCCARTNEY, AP ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

LOS ANGELES — Oct 27, 2015, 5:00 PM ET

Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight and comedian Katt Williams pleaded not guilty Tuesday to robbery charges filed against them after a celebrity photographer accused them of taking her camera last year.

The pair appeared briefly in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday and entered the pleas, which needed to be re-entered because a judge determined two weeks ago that they should stand trial for the September 2014 incident in Beverly Hills.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen on Tuesday admonished Knight because the Death Row Records co-founder had held up a sign conveying a happy birthday message to his son for cameras during his last court appearance two weeks ago.

“If he does it again, I will shackle his hands to a chair,” Coen said. Knight, 50, acknowledged he understood the judge’s warning.

Coen has taken a hard line with Knight, who had a series of medical episodes in court and refused to leave his cell for one hearing, prompting the judge to sign an order to have him forcibly brought to hearings if necessary.

Knight’s attorney denies the Death Row Records co-founder was involved in taking photographer Leslie Redden’s camera last year, just days after he was wounded in a nightclub shooting. His attorneys have cited the wounds as causing some of his courthouse medical episodes.

Attorney Thomas Mesereau said Oct. 13 that threats Knight made toward Redden were attempts to get her to not shoot photos of his young son.

“The only evidence that exists is he didn’t want his son photographed,” Mesereau said. “Any father would have acted as he did.”

Redden recorded a verbal confrontation with Knight on a camera hanging from her neck, but the device did not capture the physical struggle over her professional camera.

Knight remains jailed on $10 million bail in a separate murder case filed after he ran over two men outside a Compton burger stand in January, killing one and seriously injuring an adviser to the film “Straight Outta Compton.” Knight’s lawyers have said he was fleeing armed attackers when he hit the men.

Knight has pleaded not guilty and already been ordered to stand trial in that case, but no trial date has been set. Coen set a Dec. 11 court hearing to get an update on the case.

Knight was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his Death Row Records label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. He lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.

He faces potential life sentences if convicted in either case because of prior convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun.

Williams, 44, has starred in several comedy specials and appeared in films such as “First Sunday” and “Friday After Next.”

The next hearing in the robbery case is scheduled for Nov. 30. No trial date has been set.

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This story has been corrected to show that Knight is being held on $10 million bail in a murder case, not without bail.

Full Article – http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/suge-knight-katt-williams-due-back-los-angeles-34753983

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP