In the News

A new strategy for shareholder activism: engagement

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 29, 2016

Now, big fund managers like BlackRock, with $4 trillion under management, argue that shareholders should be more prominent and have an active role in shaping companies directly.

For execution of Ricky Gray, Virginia plans to use drug involved in 3 botched executions elsewhere

Megan McCracken quoted by The Virginian-Pilot, Nov. 29, 2016

“It’s not used to maintain anesthesia,” McCracken said. “So with the three botched executions using Midazolam, one of the similarities … is the person initially loses consciousness or appears to and then regains consciousness.”

Trump might be stuck with NAFTA

John Yoo co-writes for Los Angeles Times, Nov. 29, 2016

If Trump simply announced that the United States was pulling out of NAFTA, all the U.S. laws that implemented it would remain unchanged. Trump would have effectively freed Mexico and Canada to impose trade barriers against our products while leaving in place our preferential treatment of theirs — the worst trade deal in American history.

Six things to watch as Cisco, Arista head to trial over IP

Peter Menell quoted by The Recorder (registration required), Nov. 23, 2016

Berkeley Law professor Peter Menell writes in a recent scholarly article that Freeman faces a dilemma: “whether to follow the Ninth Circuit’s jurisprudence or the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the Ninth Circuit’s jurisprudence.”

California gives lifeline to death penalty, approves reform

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, Nov. 23, 2016

“The irony is that Prop. 66 was supposed to simplify and speed things up,” Zimring said. “The smart money would bet that it has made things more complex, increased the set of issues to be litigated and if anything could slow down the path to execution in California from its glacial pace previously, it is this.”

Prop N. doesn’t pass muster

David A. Carrillo co-writes for Daily Journal (registration required), Nov. 22, 2016

San Francisco voters approved Proposition N in November 2016. It would permit “a noncitizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age and the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education.” This measure is contrary to controlling state law.

These Californians want to break away from the United States

Daniel Farber quoted by BuzzFeed News, Nov. 22, 2016

Daniel Farber … described the odds of California breaking away from the United States as “one in a billion.” …“It’d be like doing Brexit only harder,” Farber said. “We’d have to negotiate over trade, passports, and travel. We’d have to negotiate over the Colorado River and whether we could get water out of that.”

Despite conflicts, financial overhaul proposals have merit

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 22, 2016

The simple Trump plan seems to focus on making banks smaller and taking away the regulatory oversight and safety net. On the other hand, the Republican plan does not do away with financial regulation; it simply makes what the Republicans view as reasonable modifications to allow the banks to operate more effectively.

Jailed for ending a pregnancy: how prosecutors get inventive on abortion

Jill Adams quoted by The Guardian, Nov. 22, 2016

“Prosecutions for self-induced abortion are an abuse of the criminal justice system,” said Jill Adams, the chief strategist of the SIA Legal Team. “Once a woman has decided to end a pregnancy, she should be able to do so safely and effectively. Women who self-administer abortion need to be supported, not seized. Abortion, whether self-directed or provider-directed, is a private experience.”

Citizens need more say over police surveillance technology

Catherine Crump writes for San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 21, 2016

Now that the power of digital technologies to facilitate invasive, mass surveillance is widely known, it is time for citizens to demand greater transparency, oversight and control over surveillance in their communities. We look to local leaders to help safeguard our civil liberties.

Calexit group files for 2018 vote on whether California should leave U.S.

Daniel Farber quoted by The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 21, 2016

“I don’t think it gets to the point where we have to worry about those details and how to make it work,” Farber said. “Many of us have had that thought from time to time, but in the end it’s not really a feasible option as far as I can see.”

Trump and immigrants: Wide fear of deportations in Bay Area, but how will it work?

Leti Volpp quoted by East Bay Times, Nov. 18, 2016

Federal law already allows the deportation of legal permanent residents with even minor convictions, such as possessing a small amount of drugs, or petty theft, said UC Berkeley law professor Leti Volpp. “There has been a lot of criticism of how the criminal grounds (for deportation) have broadened over time, sweeping in minor offenses,” said Volpp, who specializes in immigration law.

Democrats voice concerns over Trump’s attorney general selection

Christopher Kutz quoted by Fox 2 KTVU, Nov. 18, 2016

U.C. Berkeley School of Law Professor Christopher Kutz says if Sessions is confirmed, there could be a 180-degree change in the Justice Department’s position on many key issues. “The Attorney General’s views on what the law permits the President to do by way of policy and what the law requires the President to do by way of policy are crucial to policy-making across a whole range of areas,” Kutz said.

Talks of US immigrant registry stokes fears

Amanda Tyler quoted by Fox 2 KTVU, Nov. 17, 2016

“There is no decision that ever upheld the internment as lawful, and there’s no decision on the merits on the registration issue either,” Tyler said. … “Even J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, said there was no factual basis supporting these policies, so there are both legal problems and factual problems with what happened during that period,” Tyler said, noting that the Hirabayashi and Korematsu convictions were later overturned and both men received Presidential Medals of Freedom.”

Climate change fight has new obstacle

Ethan Elkind writes for Daily Journal (registration required), Nov. 15, 2016

The presidential election results will make the global fight against climate change more difficult. President-elect Trump has pledged to withdraw the United States from the landmark international Paris accord that commits the world to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. … He may appoint judges sympathetic to arguments that could preempt or invalidate some of California’s environmental laws.

Why lawmakers are ending court fees for kids

Kate Weisburd quoted by Youth Radio, Nov. 15, 2016

“It almost felt like you were at the checkout line at Target. And you were getting this receipt for how much money you owed.” Weisburd, who primarily represents young people in Alameda County, Calif., said teens and their families would end up with piles of bills they didn’t expect, and since the majority of her clients are low income, the impact was huge.

TransPerfect is threatened by owners’ petulance

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 15, 2016

A Delaware court decision to require the sale of TransPerfect, the big, profitable language translation company, has employees howling. … But the real fault lies with the owners who seem to be acting like spoiled children, wreaking havoc on the company they founded.

Criticism of ‘feckless’ Mook after Clinton’s loss

Eric Stern quoted by Washington Blade, Nov. 15, 2016

“My hope is that as the Democratic Party begins to pick up the pieces and develop a game plan for the future — that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and leaders from the communities made most vulnerable by the election of Donald Trump have real seats at the decision making table (as well as consideration for party leadership positions). Excluding the voices of those leaders at this critical moment — who represent millions of Americans — would be disastrous for our party.”

How the GOP plans to take back California

Ethan Elkind hosts KALW-FM, Nov. 14, 2016

“According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the percentage of registered voters who identify themselves as Republicans continues to drop. And a recent poll found that less than one in four Californians now view the Republican Party positively. … So tonight we ask, how did this big shift happen to turn Californians away from the Republican Party?”

Will Trump end California’s climate rules?

Ethan Elkind quoted by The Mercury News, Nov. 13, 2016

“California is the fifth largest economy in the world,” Elkind said. “That’s quite a powerful entity to be committed to these climate goals. I don’t think all is lost, but this election is a big setback for climate policy.”