California Lawyers Association

Criminal Law

Updates and events from the Criminal Law Section

Do you ever wonder if you can propound discovery in a domestic violence action? Are you curious about where to start? The benefit and impact of different discovery devices? Read more
 The U.S. Supreme Court's current ideological divide may be the sharpest we've seen in a long time. Yet the justices do unite in one key respect: The current court boasts some of the best opinion writers in American legal history.  Read more
Earn up to 5.0 Hours MCLE & Legal Specialization in Criminal Law; which includes 1.0 Hour Elimination of Bias Read more
Todd Bequette has been a criminal defense attorney in Alameda County for over 25 years. He was born and raised in Gridley, a small town in Northern California. He attended Georgetown Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific. He’s also serves annually on the faculty of the Stanford Law School Trial Skills Workshop. He represents clients in some of the most serious criminal cases in Alameda County, and is frequently in trial on homicides. Read more
Brown v. Davenport, No. 20-826 Issue: Whether a federal habeas court may grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the test from Brecht v. Abrahamson is satisfied, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held, or whether the court must also find that the state court’s application of Chapman v. California was unreasonable under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits have held. Read more
The Criminal Law Section would like to acknowledge the contributions of Donald H. Heller, who recently passed away. Don was a member of the Criminal Law Section Executive Committee. Even as he battled cancer, Don was an active participant in our ExCom. His many comments and ideas were always powerful and thought provoking. He was truly dedicated to the improvement of the criminal justice system. Read more
This legislative year there are several bills working their way through the legislature that can have significant impact on the work of criminal attorneys. Many may evolve as they work their way through the legislative committee process. CLA has a bill tracker website that gets updated and is good source for getting information about proposed legislation. One significant piece of legislation that touches upon the work of criminal attorneys is the CARES court proposal by Governor Gavin Newsom. It is a proposal to introduce a new civil court that according to a fact sheet on the California Health and Human Services website Read more
This is a summary of United States Supreme Court OT 2021 mid-term cases. Read more
In a criminal case, each side gets a certain number of peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge is an objection to a juror that the court must follow, and for which no reason need be given. However, peremptory challenges may not be used to systematically exclude jurors based on their membership in a cognizable group distinguished by racial, religious, ethnic, or similar characteristics. This is colloquially known as the Batson-Wheeler rule. See Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79 (applying Fourteenth Amendment equal protection to jury service) and People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258 (California case requiring juries to be drawn from a representative cross-section of the community). See also Code of Civil Procedure section 231.5 (prohibiting use of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or similar grounds in jury selection). Read more
As of March 2021, the DOJ has charged approximately 100 defendants involved in more than $260 million of PPP fraud. The DOJ has also used civil enforcement tools like the False Claims Act... Read more

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