Law School Blogs

  Publishing Letters to the Journal (transcript) Today’s post is on publishing letters to the Journal for determining legislative intent. Sometimes in order to explain the intent behind a specific piece of legislation, one or both houses of the Legislature will utilize a process by which a legislator publishes a letter stating his or her intent to explain the piece of legislation. For Assembly Members, this is published in the Assembly Daily Journal, and for…
Joe Mathews, who spoke at our Belote Lecture on Journalism in the Era of Fake News in January, does an annual “California Office Pool” on Fox & Hounds. He gives the background on it here, where you can also find the questions and his picks for what is now the 10th Fox & Hounds California Office Pool. Joe says to “clip n’ save (or bookmark and save)” you picks, but I think it would…
  Rules of Statutory Construction (transcript) Today’s post is on rules of statutory construction primarily for the non-lawyer. For those working in and around the California State Capitol, it’s important to understand general rules of statutory construction whether you’re a lawyer or a non-lawyer. The general rule of statutory construction is to effectuate the intent of the Legislature, which basically requires the courts to give the statutory language its usual and ordinary meaning. The fundamental…
Like any law school, the University of Miami School of Law sought to find a way to include a public service experience in its orientation, both to create more meaningful connections between students and the Miami community and to help its students begin developing the soft-skills they will need to be successful practitioners. The law school created its own version of a “hackathon,” putting students on teams that challenged students to solve legal problems including…
  Court Cases Related to California’s Legislative Process (transcript) Today’s post is an overview of specified court cases related to California’s legislative process. As you can imagine, there are a number California Appellate Court decisions that related to the legislative process. These cases deal with a number of separate and distinct issues. While I don’t cover all of them, there are some major cases that capitol observers and insiders should be aware of. The first…
The following is a student article written for my last craft beer law class at McGeorge.  The student author is Katie Green, and as a “reward” for receiving the highest grade in the class, here is her article for your reading pleasure.  Ms. Green makes an interesting argument about why craft beer needs to explore PACs instead of relying on grassroots movements.  And with all the whisperings I keep hearing about craft beer PACs, maybe…
The California Legislature’s Organizing Session (transcript) With this year being an even numbered year, the California Legislature’s organizing session will take place next Monday, December 3. Today’s post and podcast is an overview of California’s legislative organizing session. As you may be aware, the California Legislature operates during two-year legislative sessions. At the commencement of the two-year session, the Legislature must organize itself. In that regard there are several provisions related to organizing the Legislature.…
  Methods of Floor Voting (transcript) Today’s post is on the methods of voting on the floors of the California State Assembly and State Senate. In the two houses of the California Legislature, there are differences in how voting by legislators is conducted on the floors of the State Assembly and State Senate. The main difference is that the Assembly uses an electronic means of recording votes on the floor while Senators record their votes…
The deadliest fire in California history is still raging, and there still hundreds of people unaccounted for in this ongoing tragedy. In addition to earning that moniker, the Camp Fire is also “the most destructive in California history … 8,817 structures have been destroyed, including 7,600 homes.” Like the fires in 2017, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) appears to be the focus of the finger pointing. There’s already talk of lawsuits directed at PG&E –…
Many people lament big beer purchasing former craft breweries and folding them into the global collective. The reasons behind the aversion vary from person to person. I like to play a game whereby I send out a friend or a family member and ask that person to bring back some “craft beer” from the grocery store. Inevitably, that person brings back a Golden Road or a Saint Archer with a smile on his or her…