Author: Pamela A. MacLean

No Jury for State Tax Disputes

California taxpayers have no constitutional right to a jury trial to resolve disputed tax refunds.  The state Supreme Court unanimously rejected the notion that taxpayers may ask a jury to decide whether they should get a tax refund in disputes…

Costly Prison Guard Training

Cash-strapped California has run into a new cost for training prison guards.  A state appeals court says new cadets may only receive basic training in either the state’s training academies at Galt or Stockton where the cadets are paid state…

Crack Sentence Disparity Remains

If only Lyndon Baptist had been sentenced after Aug. 3, 2010 instead of before. Yesterday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the federal sentencing commission t last year’s law, which reduced sentences for crack cocaine, should apply to those already…

Crocodile Handbag on Hold

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco have launched a criminal investigation into allegedly illegal import of crocodile products from Singapore, in this case a French-made Hermes crocodile handbag worth as much as $55,000. They feds aren’t talking and there is no…

Text Me At Your Peril

Hate getting those unsolicited advertising texts on your cell phone?  So does Bret  L. Lusskin, who filed one of two class actions that popped up this week in federal court.  He is particularly miffed at Google, Inc.’s new disco.com service,…

Post-Execution Debate Continues

Arizona executed Donald Edward Beaty May 26 but that doesn’t mean the legal wrangling has stopped.  Beaty challenged Arizona’s last minute switch in the drug cocktail used for lethal injection but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to…

Rent Subsidy Cuts ‘Inhumane’

To cut off $191 monthly housing allowances to 6,000 unemployed adults on Alameda County’s general assistance rolls because their landlords fail to provide a social security number would be “arbitrary and inhumane,” a state court of appeals ruled.  General assistance…

Illegal Toad Venom Pills

A 79-year-old San Franciscan was charged with selling Chinese cold remedies that contained toxic substances, including arsenic, bufotenine and toad venom, according to the U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. The pills, “Six God Tablets” or “Six Spirit Pills,” were sold as…