Archive for the ‘Mike McKee’ Category

Judge Takes Election Fire over Marriage Ruling

November 6, 2006

Brian Leubitz knows he doesn’t have much hope, but nevertheless is making a last-minute push to get William McGuiness voted off San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal.

On his “No on McGuiness” Web site, Leubitz, a non-practicing lawyer and a blogger on, urges voters in the 12 counties served by the First District to reject McGuiness for authoring the Oct. 5 ruling against same-sex marriage.

McGuiness is up for retention.



Janice Rogers Brown: Still Outraging Liberals

November 1, 2006

Liberals never much liked Janice Rogers Brown while she was on the California Supreme Court. And they haven’t changed their minds one year into her new job.

In a recently released 101-page report (.pdf), the People For the American Way Foundation rails on 38 appellate judges appointed by the Bush administration, accusing them of “undermining Americans’ rights, liberties and legal protections.”

Brown, who joined the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Sept. 8, 2005 — after nine controversial years on the California Supreme Court — gets her share of lumps from the organization.

Specifically, People For the American Way Foundation addressed three rulings — in which Brown either authored the decision, wrote a separate opinion or voted against rehearing — that it believes show her views are outside those of mainstream society.


State Supremes Tune Out Shock Jock’s Petition

October 27, 2006

Former radio shock jock Jason Antebi will have to be satisfied with suing Occidental College and its general counsel for defamation.

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court refused to review his broader claims that the private college in Los Angeles violated a state law protecting students’ speech rights.

In August, L.A.’s Second District Court of Appeal threw out (.pdf) invasion of privacy and emotional distress claims Antebi had filed against Occidental College, which he attended from the fall of 2000 until the spring of 2004.

Antebi had been a shock jock on the school’s student-run radio station, and routinely mocked people of all persuasions. After three students filed complaints accusing him of making racist and sexist comments, Antebi fired back on-air.

College administrators eventually removed Antebi from the show and officially censured him. General Counsel Sandra Cooper, however, allegedly made the mistake of confronting Antebi in a public hallway in March 2004 and supposedly calling him a racist, sexist, misogynist, anti-Semite homophobe who was “unethical” and “immoral trash.”


Pledge Challenger Gains Ground in Libel Suit

September 18, 2006

Three justices on San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal seemed inclined during oral arguments Monday to make Internet minister Austin Miles go to trial on allegations he libeled famed Pledge of Allegiance challenger Michael Newdow.

Talk is cheap, but maybe not for Rev. Miles.


PSA: Adapt to the Court Metal Detector, Genius!

September 15, 2006

A Legal Pad public service announcement: Along with courses on criminal law and civil procedure, it might be a good idea for California law schools to start teaching a more basic lesson — such as how to navigate courtroom metal detectors.

It seems that not one argument before the California Supreme Court goes by without several lawyers slowing down the line into the courtroom by fumbling through their pockets at the last minute for keys, loose change and money clips. How many times do they need to practice this before they get it right?


Yet Another Screwup Prosecutor Goes Unnamed

August 23, 2006

They’re still at it — appeal court justices, that is, who don’t name misbehaving prosecutors in court rulings.

Last week, Los Angeles’ Second District Court of Appeal omitted the name of L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Nicol Walgren in an opinion reversing a robbery conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct. Instead, the court chose to refer to Walgren as “the prosecutor” 30 times.

That makes at least five times in the last four months that appeal courts in California have chosen to keep miscreant prosecutors’ names out of print. It’s a practice defense lawyers hate and that Chief Justice Ronald George recently told Cal Law might be worth abandoning in the name of fair play.


High Court Review Could Pay Off on Witness Issue

July 26, 2006

Carl Olson and Mark Seidenberg went in debt to the tune of more than $250,000 when they retained two expert witnesses — one on elections and the other on economics — to challenge their auto club’s elections procedures.

But thanks to the California Supreme Court, which agreed to review their case on Wednesday, both might yet get some of that hard-spent money back.


Just Name Prosecutors Who Commit Misconduct

July 20, 2006

[Update: This blog item inspired a front-page story in The Recorder, available at]

What is it about California’s appellate courts omitting the names of prosecutors from their rulings, particularly if they stand accused of committing misconduct?

It happened once again on Tuesday, when San Jose’s Sixth District Court of Appeal left the name of a former Santa Cruz County deputy district attorney out of a 27-page ruling that found he had acted irresponsibly during closing arguments of a DUI and drug possession case.


Court Buries McCoy Feud (not that McCoy feud)

July 20, 2006

San Francisco attorney Waukeen McCoy’s long and winding feud with Angela Alioto over $2 million in fees may have come to a whimpering conclusion.

After losing most every step of the way through the courts, McCoy’s last-ditch appeal to the California Supreme Court was met Wednesday with a blunt “petition for review denied.”


Mistrial Denied in Case of Chatty Alternate Juror

July 6, 2006

When one woman’s 15 minutes of fame inadvertently came during jury deliberations in a breach of contract case, Michael Brassfield practically blew a gasket.

Brassfield was the plaintiff in the case against the Moreland School District and moved for a mistrial when it was discovered that an alternate juror had sat in on — and made comments — during the first 15 minutes of deliberations.