Inter-City Express
Sunday, January 16, 2022
GUEST COLUMNS

Friday, January 14, 2022

The answer is: It depends.
California has no shortage of critical issues – pandemic, water, housing and chronic poverty to name a few.
Assembly Bill 933, authored by Assemblymember Tom Daly, a Democrat from Anaheim, addresses a big problem that most people know little about: the state's prescription drug rebate system.
The Assembly must act on the Guaranteed Health Care for All Act – Assembly Bill 1400 – in January.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Centralized health care seems to work fairly well in other developed countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, with per capita costs somewhat lower than those in the United States.
While in 2022 we're set to have a second consecutive year of historically high budget surpluses, national data demonstrates that routine pediatric vaccination rates, and primary and preventative services among our most vulnerable children have all steeply declined.
Propelled by approaching term limits, new district lines and a raft of political opportunities outside the state Capitol, more than a dozen California lawmakers have sought employment elsewhere.
Even as the omicron variant batters the state, only 38% of vaccinated Californians have gotten a booster shot.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The U.S. Senate's filibuster rule looms large, threatening to stymie both the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and President Joe Biden's $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, despite the Democratic Senate majority and strong popular support among Democratic voters for both measures. Popular mythology aside, the filibuster's crucial and insidious function is that it enables senators to feign serving their constituent voters while in fact serving their special interest donors. It operates like the orchestration of a particularly debauched bachelor party.
Elaine Howle retired the other day after more than two decades as the state's auditor but left behind a few reports that cement her legacy as a fierce watchdog of inefficiency and malfeasance in state and local government.
Recent rains unfortunately do not mean rest for California water policymakers, local governments and regional water agencies. With increasingly severe weather conditions year after year, we anticipate that California will be facing significant water deficits on a recurring basis.
The sharp increase in coronavirus cases is again challenging California's courts, with judges releasing plans this week to scale back some courtroom procedures as the state experiences the largest spike in COVID-19 since January 2021.
Nearly three dozen state lawmakers were absent from floor sessions Thursday morning after many of them, including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, were potentially exposed to the coronavirus at a farewell event for a colleague on Tuesday night.
A new year is upon us, and 2022 means not only the arrival of year three of the coronavirus pandemic (yikes), but also the implementation of hundreds of new laws in California.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Just how serious is California's COVID-19 situation?
It's time for lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom to deliver on their promise to rebuild our decimated public health workforce and infrastructure so that we can continue to combat the spread of COVID – and be prepared for the next public health crisis before it hits.
After two years of not being penalized for declining enrollment during the pandemic, school districts are bracing for a sudden drop in revenues next year as their funding gets recalibrated to match current enrollment, which plummeted since COVID-19 first closed California's schools.
The Internal Revenue Service is sending special statements to the millions of Americans who got monthly payments last year of the expanded child tax credit, part of the pandemic relief program. The agency is also sending letters to the people who got the third stimulus payment last year.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The first Europeans to visit California were Spanish explorers who assumed it was an island and named it for a fictional island in a 16th century Spanish novel, occupied by a band of woman warriors led by a queen named Calafia
There is truly nothing like experiencing a desert oasis.
The majority of Californians in 2016 cast votes to displace the illicit cannabis market with a taxed and regulated marketplace – one that would be controlled by licensed businesses, not by criminal entrepreneurs. Five years later, voters' desire has yet to become a reality.
The scariest story I read over the holidays had nothing to do with winter wildfires, the COVID-flu combo or the threat of Russia invading Ukraine.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Wendell Berry famously said that eating is an agricultural act. That makes all of us into farmers, and nowhere is that more true than in water terms.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for universal broadband access.
There's a water fight brewing on the Kern River. The State Water Resources Control Board's handling of the conflict will be telling for the future of California's streams and rivers.
In WAG Acquisition LLC v. Flying Crocodile Inc et al, 2-19-cv-01278 (WDWA Dec. 28, 2021), the Court granted defendants' motion to stay pending ex parte reexamination even though the case had already previously been stayed pending inter partes review.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Superficially, California's politics seem poised for a big upheaval in this election year, but appearances can be deceiving.
Another coronavirus variant spreading like wildfire, and another huge state budget surplus: In some ways, 2022 is off to a similar start as 2021.
President Joe Biden came into office pledging to appoint federal judges who better reflected the racial and gender diversity of the country as well as a broader variety of professional backgrounds. He has lived up to that promise.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The current problem has shown the notification requirements to be weak links in the protections that the CJP, the California Judicial Council, and the State Bar devised in response to a California Supreme Court fiasco in th 1970s.
"Buy now, pay later" online loans are getting attention from both regulators and the credit industry as consumers increasingly turn to them, and they may soon play a bigger role in credit scores.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Employers know they must confirm the identity and work authorization of each new hire by completing a Form I-9.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Especially at a time when many of tech's leaders seem more interested in building new, virtual worlds than improving the world we live in, it is worth praising the technologists who are stepping up to solve some of our biggest problems.
Despite gains in education, employment and earnings in recent decades, American women still face a rockier road to secure retirement than men.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Visit nearly any marijuana dispensary in the country and you will likely be presented with the option to pay with a credit or debit card. In light of the apparent wide acceptance of electronic transactions at many dispensaries, you may be surprised to find that Visa and Mastercard ban cannabis merchants from their platforms.
Hollywood got its first big case about non-fungible tokens last month when Miramax filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles against Quentin Tarantino.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Based on the pace of enforcement actions in the recent quarter, expect the number of cases to continue recovering from the marked drops in the past two years.
More than 60% of the program's funding — $18 billion — went to businesses run by women, veterans and historically underserved groups, mostly during an initial 21-day exclusivity period.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

In addition to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, young people face existential threats like climate change, gun violence in schools as well as communities, civil rights crises, and an uncertain educational and economic future.
Airlines are moving to qualify frequent travelers by the money they spend, not the amount they fly.

Monday, December 27, 2021

The question is whether Jack can establish that FTX's Moon Man is similar enough to Jack's marks and whether dilution is likely.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Silicon Valley is now awash with stories of people riding seemingly ridiculous crypto investments like Dogecoin, a digital coin based on a dog meme, to life-changing wealth.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A recent California Court of Appeal case provides guidance on when courts may dismiss Private Attorneys General Act actions due to manageability issues.
Californians have an opportunity to begin to repair historic wrongs endured by the state’s tribes with a plan to protect the environment.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

"This court's lack of authority to issue any relief directed at another superior court judge is fatal to all of petitioners' claims, and cannot be remedied by any amendment," ruled Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Edward G. Weil, who then agreed to do further research.
Nearly 45 counties have started their own versions, according to Los Angeles County Judge Paul A. Bacigalupo.
Recent attorney disbarments, suspensions, probations and public reprovals in California.
That's why organizations from across the state are working together to make sure that California keeps funding every part of public health, through a $300 million budget allocation that has been promised every year beginning in 2022.
Here in California, our lives and livelihoods are under threat by massive wildfires, toxic air, drought and deadly heat waves. And despite the recent COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, the Washington Post has reported that our planet is on track for a catastrophic 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming. Without radical action, our children will grow old in a world of unprecedented disaster, increased conflict, intensified environmental racism and mass extinction. A world unrecognizable to their parents.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber released the title and summary text for three initiatives proposed by the Civil Justice Association of California.
Tipping service workers has centuries-old roots and may have emerged as a way for tavern patrons to "forestall envy" while they imbibed, Lynn said. Customers didn't want the workers to resent their carousing, "so they said, 'Here's some money to have a drink later.'" (In many countries, he said, the word for a tip incorporates drinking. For instance, the French term for a gratuity, he noted, is "pourboire," or roughly translated, "for drink.")

Monday, December 20, 2021

The big utilities — Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy — are pushing the policy change. They argue that since rooftop solar arrays are mostly owned by upper-income Californians, the current policy, in effect, gives them a subsidy, of as much as $3.4 billion a year, from the pockets of less affluent ratepayers.
A new state law could make a huge difference for people like them, Marquis said. Not only could it ease anxiety, but it could also provide important protections from discrimination and harm.
California's atrocious legal environment coupled with the Legislature's relentless pursuit of liability expanding principles has earned the Golden State the dubious honor of being named the "Top Everlasting Judicial Hellhole" in the nation, by the American Tort Reform Foundation.
Today, hundreds of California cannabis farmers are choosing to let crops rot in the fields rather than risk a money-losing harvest or returning to the illicit market. Astonishingly, amid this crisis, California's Department of Tax and Fee Administration recently announced yet another tax increase.
Last year's flu season caused about 1% of the hospitalizations and infections of an average season, according to some estimates. In California, 50 people died of the flu last winter, a huge drop from 706 deaths during the 2019-20 season.

Friday, December 17, 2021

The IP Law Blog has been tracking the progress of the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Taylor Swift by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, the writers of "Playas Gon' Play" by the girl group 3LW (released in 2001).
The standard operating procedures of the previous century no longer suffice. In some cases, hardened infrastructure exacerbates flood risk, harms natural resources and wildlife, and leaves the most vulnerable communities behind.
Most regulatory battles before the California Public Utilities Commission capture scant attention, yet one imminent decision carries big stakes: revisions to "Net Energy Metering" rules making rooftop solar less affordable for Californians.

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