A quick update as we close out 2021

End of an era? Not so fast….

Yes, I, like many of you, heard the rumor swirling that there would be no more 1382 extensions coming down from the Chief Justice.   And just as I began to salivate just a little bit….WHAM!    They smacked us with another one.   At some point they are going to have to empty this pool through their little hose, but for now, they have another reprieve:


Homeless Court Coming

There is a MOU being developed for a new program aimed at helping homeless individuals charged with low level felony and misdemeanor offenses.  Since RCCDBA isn’t an organization where one person can make rules for the rest, I was asked to just comment from the private bar’s perspective and have some input.  We will let you know when it’s fully developed by everyone who is actually working on it (DA, PD, Probation, Panels), but the idea is to have one courtroom in each courthouse for the program (I would anticipate it’s going to be similar to veteran’s court being once a week or so) and it seems very promising.  

LCA House Arrest Blues

The LCA Issue has not yet been resolved and may need a legislative fix.   Our bench’s interpretation of AB 1869 is that the court cannot legally order someone to do a house arrest program that charges a fee.   That also includes giving retroactive credits for those of you thinking of workarounds.   The county does not have the money to foot the bill for everyone to get house arrest from LCA and LCA doesn’t work for free.  Yes, the bench is very aware this is a problem, but one where they feel that there is no legal answer.

This may seem like an unnecessary time for a sales pitch, but quite frankly the RCCDBA doesn’t have a TON of juice with the Governor or legislature (yet), so the way I’m going about to try to fix this is through CACJ.  I know people hear me mention it all the time, but these exact kind of issues are why being a member of CACJ is so important.  The legislative work CACJ does is second to none, and I still don’t understand how on earth any criminal defense attorney in California is NOT a member of the California Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (known as CACJ).  Seriously, it’s like the monthly cost of a Netflix subscription to be a member.  And if the issue is money, cancel your Netflix and borrow my login (just no scary movies, my kid uses it too), because it’s honestly just that important to me that you join.  And it should be to you too.  


DPD I-IV Opportunities

Imperial County Public Defender’s Office has opened listings for applications for DPD I-IV positions.  I received a very nice email from one of the senior DPDs there asking me to distribute the news and encourage anyone interested in a PD position to apply.   Sounds like a great opportunity for anyone wanting to dive in and get a start in a PD’s office while living in a lower cost of living environment, but for anyone looking for a change of scenery, they are hiring all the way up to level IV’s.   I personally took a case down there recently and ran into some old Riverside DAs, Danuta Tuszynska and Rebecca Madrid who both enjoy it, and I personally found everyone pleasant to work with.   Anyway, John Harter (the DPD who reached out to me) was nice enough to offer his cell for anyone who wanted to know more about the office or the position, and he made a pretty nice pitch for it so feel free to call him at (909) 528-2996, but below is the link to the job openings.

State Habeas Training / Free MCLE

Anyone interested in learning how to do State Capital Habeas work, there’s a FREE live Webinar worth 8 hours of MCLE put on by the California Appellate Project and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center coming up on November 18 and 19th.   The link is below, but I’ll be frank they are desperate to get more attorneys to do this work, so if you’re looking to branch out or find somewhere new for your practice to move into, there is certainly a demand here and this might be a nice introduction to the area.   Or maybe you just need the MCLE credits.   But either way, here is the link:


Graham Donath
President, RCCDBA

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