California Legal Overview
A majority of court cases in California begin in one of the 58 Superior Courts that function as trial courts, one for each county. Appeals are heard by the Supreme Court of California and the Court of Appeals. The latter has 105 justices in six districts. The Supreme Court has one Chief Justice and six associate justices. The California judiciary is the largest in the U.S. that is staffed entirely by judges licensed to practice law. Judges for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are appointed by the Governor and have to be reelected after 12-year terms.
Top metro California areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in California. The state has a penchant for enacting laws via ballot measures and then testing their constitutionality. Proposition 22 was enacted in March 2000 to ban same-sex marriages and struck down by the California Supreme Court in May 2008 as unconstitutional. Proposition 215 allowed patients to cultivate medical marijuana for personal use. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, but counties who refused to allow it were forced by the California Supreme Court. California's three strikes law was watered down by Proposition 36 that allows probation in lieu of jail time for qualifying defendants.
2. In California, a lesbian couple filed a federal lawsuit seeking to solve their immigration problems and put a stop to the deportation of same-sex couples.
3. A California lawsuit claims Hyundai’s Elantra car doesn’t get the 40 miles per gallon that is advertised. Louis Bird in Sacramento filed the suit, alleging that Hyundai Motor America aggressively pitches its “40-mile-per-gallon Elantra” claim without a government-required disclosure that the claim is based on highway driving only.
Trending California Legal Topics: The State Bar of California was established in 1927 and is the largest State Bar in the nation. It has nearly 227,000 members, of which about 48,000 are inactive. Membership is mandatory in order to be licensed practitioner of law in the Golden State. Complaints against judges are investigated by the Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency with jurisdiction over more than 2,026 judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Superior Court.