Daily Recorder
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
GUEST COLUMNS

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Last month, a U.S. district court granted summary judgment to environmental plaintiff WildEarth Guardians in its suit challenging the sufficiency of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision not to list the two species of Joshua tree.
The cycle of regulatory ping-pong every four or eight years is not new, but it seems especially pronounced (and absurd) today as we see the vice president from two administrations ago now seeking to redo what the last guy undid from what his prior boss did. The realm of environmental regulation is a particularly apt case study.
The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System's pursuit of and support for new legal service models in various U.S. jurisdictions under the guise of solving the U.S.'s justice gap is a Trojan horse for nonlawyer ownership of law firms in those jurisdictions.
First, the good news: The flu was practically nonexistent last year. The bad news: Little flu last season means increased risk this fall and winter.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that includes more than $157 million for Asian Pacific Islander equity in the 2021-22 California budget. This is a historic three-year investment for California's growing Asian Pacific Islander community. Nearly $10 million will go toward better data collection.
Congress is now considering four weeks of paid family and medical leave, down from the 12 weeks that were initially proposed in the Democrats' spending plan. If the plan becomes law, the United States will no longer be one of six countries in the world — and the only rich country — without any form of national paid leave.

Monday, October 25, 2021

With the threat of multiple strikes this fall that could cancel instruction for a third of undergraduate students, the University of California has inched closer to meeting some demands of its more than 6,000 lecturers. It's a move that coincides with increased pressure from state lawmakers to resolve the labor dispute that has been going on for more than two years.
For almost 30 years, America's telecom companies have been receiving billions of dollars in rate increases and extra fees to finance the build-out of a national fiber optic network.
Our congressional leadership can save lives and protect California families by ensuring that housing priorities are kept in the Build Back Better legislation package now under consideration.
After more than 18 months of deliberation, California's political ethics regulators were finally scheduled to vote Thursday on new rules for when elected officials raise money for charities that they or their family control.
Americans are expected to do much of their holiday shopping online this year even as the pandemic recedes, and criminals are expected to follow them. So here are some tips for safe digital shopping.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Forty-nine years ago this week, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act, with the goal of restoring America's waters. Yet today, 95% of California's rivers, lakes, bays and wetlands are plagued by pesticides, metals, pathogens, trash and sediment, making it unsafe to swim, fish or drink.
The decision to leave a job and stay home with children is often a difficult one. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rise in stay-at-home parents often fueled more by necessity than by choice.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The State Bar's paraprofessional program is unlikely to minimize the justice gap and will result in individuals with insufficient training providing inadequate legal services.
Given that one out of two marriages ends in divorce (and the absence of any evidence that premarital agreements make divorce less likely), the parties who enter into premarital agreements are essentially making a bet. If the parties never divorce, the premarital agreement may be irrelevant as a practical matter. If they do, the first question will be whether the agreement is enforceable at all.
Attorneys, jurists, and others throughout the legal profession need to make sure they are cognizant of what is happening within and by the AI and law movement. AI is coming. To some degree, it is already here. Consider the various mindful avenues that can provide you with bona fide content and ensure you get properly up-to-speed on AI and the law.
On days she forgets to pack her lunch, 17-year-old Dalal Erekat has to resort to a few vegetarian options like carrot sticks and tater tots. Her school, Valhalla High, has never provided halal entrees permissible to eat by her Muslim faith.
Recent alarmist commentaries based on an 18-month-old study condemn utility regulators and misrepresent the role that diesel generators play in shoring up California's power grid. With the study's noted limitations such as "CO2 values reflect orders of magnitude approximations," the claims made about diesel generators are questionable.
Each day my team arrives at work wondering how many potential COVID cases we'll handle. Some members spend half their days conducting screening and contact tracing, while others spend hours triaging, determining who needs their attention the most. If you're guessing I'm an administrator at a public health clinic, guess again. I'm a TK-8 public school educator.
Willful patent infringement can result in enhanced, and in some case treble, damages but not in every instance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

It's difficult to understand why any rational person would want to be mayor of Los Angeles, California's largest and in many ways most troubled city.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature on Assembly Bill 1346 makes one wonder whether California politicians ever fully understand — or even want to understand — the ramifications of their decisions.
The oil spill in Huntington Beach demonstrates why we need to ban offshore drilling. The spill, estimated at between 24,000 gallons and 131,000 gallons of oil, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sometimes it seems that nobody likes California's direct democracy — except the voters.
I began writing the Wealth Matters column in December 2008. The column was conceived earlier that year, when the economy still appeared to be running high. But by the time the first one ran, the economy was deep in crisis, and Americans were worried about their investments, their savings and, in many cases, their homes.

Monday, October 18, 2021

The recent $137 million jury verdict against Tesla in a racial discrimination case brought by Owen Diaz, a former African-American subcontractor of Tesla, is a perfect example of how Americans still harken back to ideals and principals enshrined in our Constitution and the words engraved into stone atop the U.S. Supreme Court building: "Equal Justice Under Law."
Gov. Gavin Newsom has now completed three rounds of the annual ritual of deciding what should become law in California by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to hundreds of bills sent to him by the Legislature.
We need a dramatic shift in our efforts to curb wildfires in California.
California small businesses are still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, but we shouldn't be. Every day, more Americans are vaccinated and more businesses are opening up, yet small business owners continue to suffer unnecessary hardship.
Now that eviction protections in California are tied exclusively to whether a tenant applies for rental assistance, advocates are urging the state to take a closer look at who's being left behind.
Do you have a flexible health spending account through your job? Rules for the accounts have changed temporarily because of the pandemic, and that may affect how much you'll want to save next year.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Automakers worldwide are idling plants and cutting capacity as they wait for more desperately needed chips to be delivered.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom has closed the book on the Legislature’s 2021 session by signing 770 bills, many of which exemplify a progressive social agenda.
With paid family leave on the agenda in D.C., we have an opportunity to ensure California’s experience informs a better federal policy.
The Ninth Circuit explained that de minimis goes to the amount of copying of a copyrighted work as opposed to any de minimis use or display of any such a work.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, adopted in 1960, isn’t working but a new array of bills purports to fix its shortcomings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A major oil pipeline failure in Southern California causes environmental damage and ramps up pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom to shut down the oil industry. By Dan Walters
Prop. 19 is making homeownership and passing along small family-owned businesses more difficult for Black communities.
AB 523 helps make community-based care options more effective in serving seniors where they need care.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Absent new policy directions, the role diesel generation plays in California’s energy mix will only increase.
I saw the devastation of the Camp Fire first-hand, and all the wildfires this year show that what we’re doing isn’t working.
Workers may see more perks, and they also may find that their health plans offer narrower doctor networks and emphasize less-costly telehealth care, as employers seek to rein in health care costs without making workers pay more out of pocket.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Thirty-two years ago, in a triumph of ecological restoration, ocean water rushed into a small, newly restored marsh along the heavily developed coast of Huntington Beach.
Even people who can normally afford to charter a private jet at a moment's notice are being forced to be patient and, often, pay more.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

If the written description requirement is not met, the patent won't be granted. If the patent has already been issued, it can be invalidated for failure to satisfy the written description requirement.
Generations of California public school students have been required — by law — to be vaccinated against deadly diseases.
The big summer health care budget news was the passage of Assembly Bill 133, which expands Medi-Cal eligibility, improves behavioral health access and requires providers, hospitals and health plans to share complete health records by 2024. The bill underscores the importance of transparency and data.
Employers say they can't find workers while job seekers say they can't find work. According to the California Employment Development Department, July's unemployment rate is 5.7% lower than the same time last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported a record high 10.9 million job openings in early August. So why aren't Californians filling them?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

California, as everyone should know by now, has the nation's highest rate of poverty as determined by the Census Bureau when the cost-of-living is included in the calculation.
As Gov. Gavin Newsom wraps up a month of high-stakes decisions about what should become law in California, he's also making calls that impact many of the donors who just spent millions of dollars to help him defeat the historic Sept. 14 recall.
On a Tuesday evening in May, third-grade teacher Clara Yanez and second-grade teacher Jackie Gonzalez stood in front of their board of education and asked them to count little plastic farm animals.
In some ways, Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all schoolchildren as early as next year is straight out of the California pandemic playbook.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

For generations, public agencies have directed highways, landfills, meat processing plants, warehouses and other polluting facilities to South Fresno neighborhoods, an area of the San Joaquin Valley that is predominantly populated by lower income households and people of color.
Twelve books stored in a Stanford University library — that's what became of the last effort to dramatically revise California's penal code. No passed legislation, no chaptered laws.

Monday, October 4, 2021

A court reporter's gavel-to-gavel account of a four-month Zoom trial during COVID
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the White House conveyed, in an announcement on Sept. 20, that OSHA will work together with the Biden administration to craft an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and draft legislation on a workplace heat standard.
California's prolonged wildfire season and concerning drought conditions threaten to subject hundreds of thousands of residents to a new round of power blackouts if our state government doesn't take meaningful action.
The California Supreme Court issued several employment law decisions during the past year. We summarize below the most important of these rulings.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Supporters of a push to require companies to report workplace coronavirus outbreaks publicly say they plan to keep fighting despite recent setbacks that they say allow big businesses to keep outbreaks secret.
In August, Christopher Rodriguez phoned into an online meeting of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the 14 volunteers who will draw new congressional and legislative maps that will be used for the next decade.
Change is easier for some than others. It's true of California companies that have refused to add female directors to their boards, as required under SB 826, a 2018 law that requires all public companies headquartered in California to appoint women to their boards.
During the pandemic, state government made significant strides toward a more tech-savvy and inclusive future. That's because Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order temporarily permitting state boards and commissions to meet online – no physical location necessary.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A recent trend is calling upon the legal arena to shift or transform from the outdated solidified ways of doing things to instead become nimbly and liquid-like. This fluidity can be stoked via the advent of appropriate high-tech and especially the use of AI. All told, the new moniker is to refer to this as a liquid legal transformation.
A split decision by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, upholding the validity of Assembly Bill 51 — the state law which effectively precludes California employers from including arbitration clauses in their employment contracts — again sets up California and the 9th Circuit on a collision course with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding whether the statue is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
Nothing clarifies the necessary components of a system like a crisis. The past year of fear, isolation and grief has produced some invaluable lessons about who cares for and about our older adults.
California's teacher shortage means most quality substitute teachers are being hired on full time. At the same time, there has been a steep decline in applications for substitute teaching credentials since last January.
If we learned anything from COVID, it is that high-speed internet service is vital. We need broadband for commerce, education, health, social connections and entertainment.
Sarah Voit likes to keep 10 to 15 rapid test kits on hand in case any of the residents of the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition in Hayward need to be tested for COVID-19. They've had some infection scares, and the antigen tests — which return results in minutes — have been crucial to curbing the virus in the family shelter.
In In re: OnePlus Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd., case number 2021-165, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit validated a possible framework for courts and plaintiffs in patent cases to significantly speed up the process of serving complaints on foreign defendants.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Out-of-state students at the University of California may pay three times more in tuition than California students, but the Legislature sees in-state students as worth more.
Wildland firefighters don't admit to fearing much, but lightning is one terror that even the most experienced veterans say they hope to never encounter.
Perhaps it's a sign that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, or that it has stretched on far longer than we ever expected, but two key pandemic-related safety net programs are soon coming to a close.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

With colleges reopening, students might be checking to see where their classes are, tracing paths to lecture halls that can span campus. At UCLA, those paths usually cross one of the campus's defining landmarks: Janss Steps, three flights of brick-lined stairs up a hillside.
With so much financial information available online, who needs paperwork cluttering your desk? But some members of Congress want Americans to get at least one financial document on paper: their annual Social Security statement.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom has an opportunity to reform California's flawed recall process with the stroke of his pen.
President Joe Biden is leaning into his push to increase taxes on the rich as he seeks to unify Democrats in the House and Senate behind a $3.5 trillion bill that would expand federal efforts to fight climate change, reduce the cost of child care, expand educational access, reduce poverty and more.
New York Times News Service
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies via videoconference before a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

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