Posts Tagged ‘justice’

The US Attorney’s Office Throws Down: Reaches $80k Settlement with Fremont Apt. Complex for Discrimination Against Families

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

First, take a look at this review on YP.Com:

“This place is awful!!! DO NOT MOVE HERE IF YOU HAVE KIDS!!! They act like they are family friendly but they most certainly are not. We were constantly harrassed for our 2 yr old’s night mares. We were threatened with calls to CPS because "we let him cry for more than 10 minutes", we called the police department to find out what our rights were and go figure we were doing nothing wrong. I would wake up to nasty messages from the manager about my bad parenting. Right before we moved they posted notice on all the tenants’ doors saying that kids were no longer allowed in the courtyard regardless of supervision. It said more specifically that parents were lazy and needed to make time for their kids and take them to park to play…

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

Justice Department Obtains $80,000 Settlement In Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against California Landlord

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 25, 2014 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Woodland Garden Apartments in Fremont, California, to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children. Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the defendants are required to pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination and an additional $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty. The settlement resolves a complaint filed by the department on Oct. 25, 2013.

The lawsuit alleged that the apartment complex maintained rules that discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the lawsuit challenged a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas of the complex and provided that families would be evicted if they violated this rule. The lawsuit also alleged that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination.

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Poor Woman Just Got Her iPhone Pickpocketed in Dolores Park on Saturday – Is This a Cellphone Photo of the Thief?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Here’s the latest attempt at Twitter Justice, via Tweeter Mo Kudeki:

“Here’s the pickpocketing bro who grabbed me, had @pollydallas take a pic, and stole my iPhone Sat @ Dolores. #douchebag

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Leave us note that the screen was “hella cracked.”

One hopes the SFPD has been alerted to this alleged crime…

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer Graces U.C. Hastings – Another Interview From “Legally Speaking” Series

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

I’ll tell you, our UC Hastings Law School down in Civic Center has been en el fuego this past year or so, what with its new, new-school dean and whathaveyou.

For example, here’s yesterday’s joint, featuring United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer getting interviewd by UC Hastings Distinguished Professor David Faigman, an expert on constitutional theory:

Via James Block - click to expand

(And that comes on the heels of another Supreme Court Justice and the political debates they’ve had recently. It’s amazing, really.)

What were the topics? I have no idea. But Bob Egleko was there (with his pencil and notepad, since they don’t allow recordings), so check his report.

And I’ll be sure to upload video or link or whatever I can find in a week or two, pinky-swear.

“Legally Speaking: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer
11/16/2011 from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
198 McAllister, Louis B Mayer Lounge

Legally Speaking is a series of probing interviews with prominent lawyers, judges and academics, co-produced by UC Hastings and California Lawyer.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will join UC Hastings for a Legally Speaking interview. Justice Breyer is the third U.S. Supreme Court Justice to spend time at UC Hastings in the last 13 months. He will be interviewed by UC Hastings Distinguished Professor David Faigman, an expert on constitutional theory. Justice Breyer’s most recent book Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View will be the topic of discussion.”

Annual UC Hastings Supreme Court Review & Preview 2011 is Today at 3:30 PM, September 28

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Here it is:

2011 Annual UC Hastings Supreme Court Review & Preview

Start: 9/28/2011 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: 198 McAllister, Louis B Mayer Lounge

California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon, and UC Hastings Professor Osagie Obasogie review and discuss recent U.S. Supreme Court hearings and decisions. Moderated by UC Hastings Professor Rory Little.”

Historic 100 McAllister:

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See you there!

ZOMG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Graces UC Hastings Law School for “Legally Speaking” Series

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Get all the deets right here about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent visit to U.C. Hastings, the first law school of the American West.

And writer Bob Egelko was there so be sure to take a look.

RBG also paid a visit to Professor David Faigman‘s Constitutional Law class earlier in the day:

James Block

  • Legally Speaking: Conversations with the Most Interesting Lawyers in the World
  • Professor Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law
  • Professor David L. Faigman, John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, Director, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy

San Francisco’s State Building Is Going to Get a Republican’s Name on It: Presenting the Ronald M. George State Office Complex

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

You wouldn’t believe how long people have been working on getting a new sign up on the State Building at 350 McAllister in Civic Center. I mean, this is a months-long project. They come out, they put up a sample, they look at it, and then they go back inside.

Anyway, in addition to the State Seal and the golden letters spelling out “STATE OF CALIFORNIA,” the old courthouse will soon be getting a big plaque what says, “RONALD M. GEORGE STATE OFFICE COMPLEX.”

See?

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San Franciscans probably won’t ever really notice this addition to the front door of our California Supreme Court, but let’s meet our 27th Chief Justice:

“As a Superior Court judge, George presided over the trial of Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono in 1981–1983. George was lauded for his extremely unusual decision to deny the motion by Los Angeles County District Attorney‘s office to dismiss all 10 counts of murder against Buono. However, his unusual decision was speculated to be a result of his earlier decision to separate crucial counts of rape and sodomy, which in themselves would serve as evidence against the defendant, from the murder charges. The prosecutors felt the evidence against Buono was so weak that it did not justify even an attempt to win at trial. Judges rarely second-guess the prosecutors’ judgment on such a matter (and George stated that he was “loath” to do so). However, George’s review of the evidence in the case caused him to feel so strongly that the prosecutors were in error that he did exactly that.” 

See that? Dude wouldn’t let the prosecutor drop murder charges.

Now, what Arnold Schwarzenegger really wanted last year was to name the joint  the “Ronald M. George Justice Center,” but that didn’t fly with the SEIU union, so the name we’re getting is a kind of compromise. (Arnold also wanted to sell this building to his buddies but that didn’t work out neither, of course.)

Anyway, All Hail Republicans!

More deets of Executive Order S-17-10 after the jump.

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California Supreme Court Upholds Municipal Ban on Plastic Bags: “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach”

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Just saying. KQED’s Scott Shafer has some deets.

Looks like San Francisco’s idea will spread further, now that there will be fewer concerns over every NIMBY’s favorite weapon, the California Environmental Quality Act.

See below for the deets on “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach.” No. S180720.

Bags, bags, bags!

“California Supreme Court Upholds City’s Ban on Plastic Bags

Ruling Dampens Challenges to Plastic Bag Bans Across The State, And Raises Threshold For Environmental Impact Reports

SAN FRANCISCO, July 14, 2011 — The California Supreme Court today issued a ruling that impacts not only plastic bag bans throughout the state but has far-reaching ramifications for the circumstances under which public agencies must prepare environmental impact reports under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). The court ruled in favor of the City of Manhattan Beach, paving the way for the city’s ban on plastic bags to go into effect. Downey Brand partner Christian Marsh argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of the appellant, Manhattan Beach. He was joined in the argument by James Moose of Remy Thomas Moose & Manley for amici curiae Californians Against Waste. “We were confident the city had a right to impose the bag ban, and this ruling gives cities across California some real clarity,” Marsh said.

An industry coalition of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors known as the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition sued Manhattan Beach for its citywide ban on plastic bags, arguing that the environmental impacts associated with increased paper bag use would outweigh any environmental benefits of the ban. The city, among many in California with similar ordinances, imposed the ban to limit the number of plastic bags making their way into the ocean and marine environment. The case raised two important issues that have been facing fiscally-strapped cities and counties across the state: (1) whether the coalition, which had a commercial interest in overturning the ban, qualified for “public interest” standing under CEQA, and (2) what is the legal threshold under CEQA for when a project or ordinance necessitates preparing an environmental impact report, known as an EIR. In its ruling, the court sided with the city on the CEQA threshold, but ruled against the city on the coalition’s standing to sue.

Justice Carol Corrigan, writing for a unanimous court, upheld the city’s ban, finding that “it is plain the city acted within its discretion when it determined that its ban on plastic bags would have no significant effect on the environment.” In the face of a number of “life cycle” studies that had been put forth by the coalition, the court noted that “common sense leads us to the conclusion that the environmental impacts discernible from the ‘life cycles’ of plastic and paper bags are not significantly implicated by a plastic bag ban in Manhattan Beach.”

The decision on the threshold for producing an EIR was being closely-watched by public entities and private project proponents alike, as often they are compelled to prepare costly and time-consuming EIRs even though the activity in question has little or no environmental impact (and in this case, a tremendous environmental benefit). As Marsh reported, “Due to the risks associated with litigation over these decisions, public agencies often feel the need to go well beyond the requirements of the statute, at great time and expense. This decision sets a more reasonable threshold for when pubic agencies must prepare EIRs, and will reduce the ability of would-be challengers to delay projects across the state. Instead of conducting unwarranted environmental review, the decision allows public agencies to focus their limited resources on producing reports for projects that are much more likely to impact the environment than minor projects would.”

Christian Marsh is a partner in Downey Brand’s San Francisco office, and advises public and private clients on natural resource, energy, and land use matters involving water supply and water quality, endangered species, California planning and zoning law, and CEQA and its federal counterpart the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). Marsh also conducts trial and appellate-level litigation in these areas. With a former partner, he prevailed in the last CEQA case decided by the California Supreme Court, Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2010) 48 Cal.4th 481.”

Remembering the Cosco Busan Oil Spill Three Years Later – Turns Out That Everybody was to Blame

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Has it been only three years since the Cosco Busan, the leakiest 2001 Hyundai ever, spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel* into the bay? Seems longer.

Anyway, turns out that a dude who supposed to be up front looking out for stuff in the pea soup fog was downstairs in the galley eating breakfast. I did not know that, no sir. Of course, the idea to depart on sked despite the fog came from the bar pilot, so that’s the person who’s primarily responsible. But there still plenty of blame to go around. Deets below.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!

Click to expand

All right, it’s Blame Time:

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the following probable causes of the accident:

- the pilot’s degraded cognitive performance from his use of prescription medications, despite his completely clean post accident drug test,
- the absence of a comprehensive pre-departure master/pilot exchange and a lack of effective communication between Pilot John Cota and Master Mao Cai Sun during the accident voyage, and
- (COSCO Busan Master) Sun’s ineffective oversight of Cota’s piloting performance and the vessel’s progress.

Other contributing factors included:

- the failure of Fleet Management Ltd. to train the COSCO Busan crewmembers (which led to such acts of gross negligence as the bow lookout eating breakfast in the galley instead of being on watch) and Fleet Management’s failure to ensure that the crew understood and complied with the company’s safety management system;
- the failure of Caltrans to maintain foghorns on the bridge which were silent despite the heavy fog;
- the failure of Vessel Traffic Safety (VTS) to alert Cota and Sun that they were headed for the tower. VTS is legally required to alert a vessel if an accident appears imminent, yet they remained silent;
- the malfunctioning radar on the COSCO Busan, which led Captains Cota and Sun to use an electronic chart for the rest of the voyage. Although Coast Guard investigators found the radar to be in working order, they did not examine it until days after the accident (allowing time for faulty equipment to be fixed, which is not uncommon after a marine accident)
- Captain Sun’s incorrect identification of symbols on the electronic chart;
- the U.S. Coast Guard’s failure to provide adequate medical oversight of Cota, in view of the medical and medication information he had reported to the Coast Guard

Happy Anniversary, Cosco Busan, or should I say MSC Venezia? Don’t ever come back.

The patched-up ship finally hits the road, back in aught-seven – this was the last time we’ll ever see the Cosco Busan in the Bay Area, most likely:

*Yeah, Wiki is still wrong on that gallonage figure, partly due to the U.S. Coast Guard sitting on information for months and months ’cause they didn’t want to earn themselves any more bad press.

Now That Michela Alioto-Pier is Out of the District 2 Supe Race, Mark Farrell Emerges as the Interesting Candidate

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Almost feel as if I owe our City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera (who is certainly on the list of the smartest pols in town)* an apology for thinking he was tilting at windmills by pursuing the whole Michela Alioto Pier appointed-to-a-term-of-more-than-two-years thing.**

Anywho, feel free to read all three press releases I just received on this matter.

Now, on to new bidness. What up, Mark Farrell? (He’s going house to house, door to door these days – see  Comments.) Is he the dark horse?

“As fundraising leaders, we have raised more than any other candidate in this race and have over 750 individual donors – half of which are in District 2 and San Francisco.”

O.K. then. Of course he lacks the official embrace from that “Politburo” known as the Central Committee (aka DCCC), ’cause Janet Reilly has that all locked-up lock, stock, and barrel. But who knows what will happen with this race. 

We’ll find out more at the next big debate emceed by Sweet Melissa Griffin. (You’d think they’d have one skedded soon…)

Now, as promised, the dueling press releases, starting with this classy and pithy bit from MAP herself:

“I believed and continued to believe that the intent of the voters as reflected in the plain language of our city charter allows me to run for second four year term.  While I am disappointed in the outcome, I of course respect the judicial process. I will continue to work hard for the residents of my district and the people of San Francisco for the remainder of my time in office.”

And here’s the reaction from Mark (and not Mike, oh no) Farrell:

“With today’s decision by the California Supreme Court not to review the California Appellate Court’s decision regarding the eligibility of Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier in the District 2 Supervisor race, our campaign is beginning the final campaign sprint towards Election Day. 
 
I would like to state, unequivocally, that I am an ardent and vocal supporter of Supervisor Alioto-Pier and I am proud to call her my friend.  As a fellow native San Franciscan, I believeshe has represented the values of District 2 in City Hall, and I hope she will continue to seek out new opportunities to serve our City.
 
From Day 1, our campaign has been about bringing a neighborhood voice and returning real financial and budget experience back to City Hall.  I believe more than ever that my background as an attorney, finance professional and small business owner is exactly what we need at the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, and I will work tirelessly until Election Day to ensure this message is heard throughout District 2.
 
We are excited about how far we have come in this race and we know how much we have accomplished:

·         As fundraising leaders, we have raised more than any other candidate in this race and have over 750 individual donors – half of which are in District 2 and San Francisco.
·         Our incredible field campaign has identified thousands of voters, garnered hundreds of volunteers and has captains in every one of our 60 precincts.
 
And now, we have polling data which shows, in real numbers, how much we have accomplished and how voters want real change – not the typical “institutional” political candidates that seek office simply out of a desire to become politicians.  San Francisco voters want a new direction for our City government, and I am running to bring their voice to City Hall.
 
Thank you to my supporters, friends and volunteers for sticking with us throughout this entire time.  Thank you to my amazing staff who have worked hard every day to keep us in the best position to win this race. 
 
To my wife Liz, my Mom and Dad and my children Madison and Jack, thank you for all you have done to get us to this point.  I love you all very, very much!
 
Now, with fewer than 9 weeks left, we have a lot of work to do – I am excited, motivated, and look forward to seeing everyone out on the campaign trail!”

And get the statement from Dennis Jose Herrera, after the jump.

* Along with, and in no particular order, Rafael Mandelman, Scott Wiener, Carmen Chu, David Chiu, David Campos, Eric Mar, and Phil Ting, among others.

** I don’t know, if I were charged by the electorate the task of delivering empty bottles of milk to everyone in town every morning, I’d just do it. I wouldn’t speculate on what they really meant, I wouldn’t guess and give them something sensible like 2%, I’d just give them exactly what they ordered. But that’s just me.  

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PBS to Air “Presumed Guilty” July 27th – Two UC Berkeley Students Explore Mexican Justice System

Monday, July 26th, 2010

This is what’s coming up on KQED-TV tomorrow at 10:30 PM: a documentary from UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy doctoral candidates Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete.

Tune into Channel 9.  All the deets, below

Congratulations to Roberto and Layda.

BERKELEY — On Tuesday, July 27, the PBS POV documentary series will air “Presumed Guilty”, a riveting examination of the Mexican judicial system created by UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy doctoral candidates Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete. In the Bay Area, the film will air at 10:30 p.m. on KQED.

Hernández and Negrete, both attorneys, document their struggle to free a wrongfully imprisoned man and to expose a Mexican criminal justice system that imprisons thousands of other innocent people like him.

PBS says this about the documentary: “Imagine being picked up off the street, told you have committed a murder you know nothing about and then finding yourself sentenced to 20 years in jail. In December 2005 this happened to Tono Zuniga in Mexico Cityand, like thousands of other innocent people, he was wrongfully imprisoned. ‘Presumed Guilty’ is the story of two young lawyers and their struggle to free Zuniga. With no background in film, Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete set about recording the injustices they were witnessing, enlisting acclaimed director Geoffrey Smith (“The English Surgeon”) to tell this dramatic story.”