Highlights from new lawyers’ reception

Last week, the San Joaquin County Bar Association held its annual “2015 New Lawyer Reception,” at the Bank of Stockton.

New lawyers were introduced by the association’s president-elect, James Morris, and the newly-sworn-in Judge Michael J. Mulvihill, Jr.

The evening’s featured speaker was  District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar, who took office in January.

The group’s “Outstanding New Lawyer Award” went to Michael R. Tener, an associate attorney with Neumiller and Beardslee in Stockton; editor in chief of the group’s “Across the Bar” publication; part of Leadership Stockton’s class of 2009-2010; 2004 graduate of University of California, Berkeley; and 2007 graduate of King Law School at University of California, Davis.

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San Joaquin County settles in lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena

Last week, on Jan. 13, the District Attorney’s Offices of Shasta, Fresno, San Joaquin and Yolo counties reached a settlement in a consumer protection lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena.

The counties brought forward product packaging violations in over-the-counter sales of health and beauty products by the two companies, according to an announcement from Shasta County.

It was alleged the packages appeared to contain more product than they really had; therefore, misleading consumers.

The investigation was initiated by Sacramento and Contra Costa counties.

According to the announcement, the companies cooperated with prosecutors.

Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena settled the case, without agreeing to wrongdoing, with $506,000 in civil penalties and investigative costs, and they agreed to take steps in assuring future packaging is in compliance.


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Victims of violence receive Christmas gifts

On Monday, Dec. 19, New York Life, Stockton Fire Department and the U.S. Marines Motorcycle Club donated a mountain of Christmas gifts to children, who have been affected by violent crimes, at an event organized by the Victim Witness Division of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

Additionally, the agency gained the support of New York Life in its quest to establish a Family Justice Center, a planned one-stop shop where victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse and human trafficking can receive services and support in gaining justice.

Photo of representatives from the organizations and the families courtesy of the DA’s Office


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Bank of the West robbery indictment

Jaime Ramos, 20, and Pablo Ruvalcaba, 21, have been indicted by a criminal grand jury on more than three dozen counts of criminal charges in the July 16 Bank of the West robbery that ended in tragedy. They were arraigned Monday before a press conference at the Stockton Police Department. View the indictment here: RamosRuvalcabaIndictment

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More death row inmates die of natural causes and suicide

According to a press release sent today announcing the death of condemned inmate Keith Richardson, 52, more inmates have died from natural causes and suicide than any other cause since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.

Stats: 66 have died from natural causes, 23 from suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri and six have died from other causes. Currently, there are 749 people on California’s death row.

Richardson died Tuesday at Corcoran. He was sentenced to death Oct. 7, 1992, in Tulare County for the 1988  rape and murder of 11-year-old April Holley.

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X-Ray of hand gun found at Stockton courthouse

The X-Ray of the loaded hand gun found in a woman’s purse as she went through screening in the Stockton family court.

In today’s paper: http://www.recordnet.com/article/20141119/NEWS/141119517/0/SEARCH

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“ID theft” in the case of Jaime Ramos

In this story http://www.recordnet.com/article/20141101/NEWS/141109956/0/SEARCH false IDs were seized from the homes of the suspects in the July 16 robbery of Bank of the West.

To be clear, it doesn’t mean the people on the false IDs were identified as suspects in the robbery.

At least one of those persons – Jefferey Olvera – is the alleged victim of a robbery at gunpoint.

Olvera’s family has received calls from individuals who were confused about his role.

“He’s just a victim of identity theft,” said his mother Stephanie Sanchez. And she wants people to know her son had nothing to do with the horrific July 16 event, nor does he associate with those implicated.

Olvera was walking late at night on Dec. 30, 2013 when he was approached by a gunman, Sanchez said. The man took Olvera’s backpack, which contained his wallet and identifying documents.

Court documents show Olvera’s documents were found during a raid at the home of Jame Ramos. Ramos had Olveras social security card, state driver’s license and a bank card.


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Brown signed bills developed by Pacific students

Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed into law four bills that were were created by students at University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. Developing the bills was part of a unique program, the school’s new Legislative and Public Policy Clinic, that looks at issues facing Californians.

The students’ contributions, Pacific stated:

“Getting “revenge porn” off the Internet without going public: AB 2643, developed by students Marisa  Shea and Christopher Wu, gives victims of revenge porn the right to use a pseudonym when they file to have offensive material removed from the Internet. Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont sponsored it with support from domestic violence groups.

Ability to appeal a conviction based on “junk” science: SB 1058 will give prison inmates the ability to get a new hearing if the expert testimony used to convict them later becomes discredited. A divided California Supreme Court last year issued a ruling that prohibited this. Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco carried the bill with support from the California Innocence Project. Student Sosan Madanat lobbied the bill.

Police trained in recognizing signs of elder abuse: AB 2623 will train peace officers to spot signs of elder abuse. Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento introduced the measure. Smith and Wiraatmadja were the law student lobbyists.

Greater scrutiny of child care center job applicants: AB 2632 would prohibit the Department of Social Services from ignoring a job applicant’s arrest record in making hiring decisions for workers in state-licensed child care facilities. Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego carried it, with support from the Children’s Advocacy Institute. Lexi Howard, Kristina Brown and Aaron Briano lobbied the bill.”

A total of 12 students took part in the inaugural clinic and they created a total of five laws. Out of those five, four made it to the governor’s desk.

“It’s a better record than some lobbyists,” said Chris Micheli, a McGeorge alumnus and member of the board of the Institute of Governmental Advocates, an association that represents professional lobbyists and lobbying firms in California’s Capitol. “It’s fantastic.”

Students had to find legislators who were willing to introduce the measured; they had to draft backgrounders for legislative staff, as well as gather support for the measures.


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View court order-San Joaquin must pay $2 mill retaliation lawsuit award

On Tuesday a federal judge denied motions from San Joaquin County to overturn a jury’s decision to award former assistant chief investigator Janis Trulsson $2 million because District Attorney James Willett retaliated against her by not hiring her to be chief of her division after she had complained of discrimination in the agency (http://www.recordnet.com/article/20140924/NEWS/140929774/0/SEARCH). Willett’s testimony in trial was inconsistent with what he said in a deposition about his knowledge of her complaints. U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller cites that inconsistency as part of her reasons in her ruling. This is a copy of the court order: Ct order on post trial motions (1)

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Local prosecutor challenges Calaveras judge

Good story on San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney challenging a Calaveras County judge in the election by former Record reporter Dana Nichols, who is now at the Calaveras Enterprise:


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