Calfornia attorney general explains decision to leave mortgage settlement talks

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/04/2011 03:56:03 PM PDT

State Attorney General Kamala Harris said Tuesday she left national settlement talks with lenders over potential mortgage and foreclosure violations because she doesn’t expect a deal will provide enough compensation for troubled California homeowners.

“I do not believe that the total number of Californians who are in foreclosure would be eligible for relief,” Harris said in a conference call with reporters.

Harris also said she was concerned that a deal would allow lenders to escape civil, or even criminal, penalties for alleged wrongdoing.
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California attorney general explains her leaving mortgage settlement talks

By Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/04/2011 03:56:03 PM PDT

California Attorney General Kamala Harris held a conference call today to explain her decision to leave national settlement talks with lenders over potentially illegal mortgage and foreclosure practices.

In the call, Harris said the state is experiencing a renewed wave of foreclosures and that the dollar figures being discussed in negotiations would not be sufficient to provide relief to Californians at risk of foreclosure.

Harris first announced her withdrawal from settlement talks on Friday. Her leaving clears the way for California to press its own investigation of lending and foreclosure practices, which she said may lead to civil or even criminal filings against lenders.
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Court OKs ‘John Doe’ warrants based only on DNA

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)– The California Supreme Court has authorized so-called “John Doe” arrest warrants that contain only a DNA profile of an unknown suspect.

Police agencies are increasingly using no-name warrants to get around statute-of-limitation issues. DNA collected from a crime scene is described in the warrant and when a match is made, the suspect can be arrested even decades later.

The state high court on Monday upheld the rape conviction of Paul Robinson, who was arrested a month after the six-year statute of limitations expired on the case. The justices, in a 5-2 decision, said an arrest warrant without Robinson’s name but with his DNA profile issued before the expiration is valid.

The court ruled that a DNA profile is specific enough to justify an arrest warrant.

- The Associated Press

Prop. 8 backers ask court to hear marriage cases

By Stacia Glenn on November 17, 2008 1:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(AP) — The sponsors of California’s new same-sex marriage ban are urging the state’s highest court to hear a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn the measure.

Lawyer Andrew Pugno says the backers of Proposition 8 are so confident the California Supreme Court would uphold the voter-approved initiative they would prefer the court take the cases and resolve the question quickly.

Supporters of gay marriage have filed four legal challenges to Proposition 8 arguing that voters did not have the authority to enact a ban on gay marriage. The measure rewrote the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

As of Monday, the Supreme Court hasn’t decided whether it will take up the cases.

Court rules L.A. County can’t give judges perks

Here’s an interesting story from our friends at the Associated Press regarding a recent Court of Appeal decision affecting Superior Court judges in Los Angeles County.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state appeals court has ruled that Los Angeles County can not give employment benefits to its judges beyond the compensation determined by the state Legislature.

In a decision issued Friday, a three-judge panel of the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal said that programs allowing judges access to benefits given to other county employees was not allowed under the state’s constitution.

“The duty to prescribe judicial compensation is not delegable,” Associate Justice Patricia Benke wrote in a 37-page opinion.
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Target settles class-action suit with group representing California blind

Here’s an article from the Associated Press about Target stores, which settled a class-action lawsuit aimed at features of the retailer’s web site, with an advocacy group for the blind. Plaintiffs were from the California settlement class.

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. has agreed to pay $6 million in damages to plaintiffs in California unable to use its online site as part of a class action settlement with the National Federation of the Blind, a leading advocacy group for blind people.

As part of the settlement, announced Wednesday, Target will place $6 million in an interest-bearing account from which members of the California settlement class can make claims. Furthermore, the settlement requires Target to implement internal guidelines to make its site more accessible to the blind by Feb. 28, 2009, with assistance from the NFB.

The retailer and the NFB have agreed to a three-year relationship during which the advocacy group will keep testing the site to make sure it is accessible to the blind who use technologies such as screen-reading software. NFB said it will certify the site through
its own certification program once the improvements are completed.

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