News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Sanctions can be discharged in bankruptcy, 9th Circuit says; BigLaw firms observe Juneteenth

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Lawyer’s discovery sanctions can be discharged in bankruptcy, 9th Circuit rules

A suspended California lawyer may discharge more than $5,700 in discovery sanctions in bankruptcy, but she can’t discharge more than $18,000 for the costs of state disciplinary proceedings against her, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco ruled in the case of Lenore Albert, who represented homeowners in housing and mortgage disputes. While representing homeowners in an eviction action, she and one of her clients were sanctioned for misuse of the discovery process. In the state bar case, she was found culpable for failing to pay the discovery sanctions and failing to cooperate in the ethics case. (The Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Law360)

Juneteenth is observed at some BigLaw firms

Several BigLaw firms have announced that they will be providing a full or partial day off on June 19 to observe the Juneteenth celebration of the end of slavery. Among the first law firms announcing time off were Dechert; Sidley Austin; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Other firms that followed included Akerman; Ballard Spahr; Debevoise & Plimpton; Foley Hoag; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel; Mayer Brown; Morrison & Foerster; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Ropes & Gray; Schulte Roth & Zabel; Shearman & Sterling; Sullivan & Cromwell; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; White & Case; and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. (Above the Law,

California prosecutors routinely strike black and Latino prospective jurors, study says

California prosecutors routinely use peremptory challenges to remove prospective jurors who are black and Latino, and appeals courts in the state often uphold the strikes, according to a study by the University of California at Berkeley. Prosecutors removed black prospective jurors in about 72% of appeals cases in the study, and they removed Latino prospective jurors in about 28% of the cases. Prosecutors most often cited the prospective juror’s demeanor to support the strikes. (The Los Angeles Times)

Oregon Supreme Court upholds shutdown orders

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Friday that Gov. Kate Brown’s shutdown orders remain in effect until she lifts them or the legislature lifts them. The court ruled in a challenge by 10 churches and other plaintiffs. A lower court judge had ruled that Brown had to get legislative approval to extend the shutdown after the initial 28 days. (The Oregonian, the Associated Press, the decision via How Appealing)

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