Across the Bar

Across the Bar is a publication of the San Joaquin County Bar Association, providing local legal news, educational content, and information about Bar Association events.

Transfer on Death Deeds in California

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The most common means of transferring real property upon death of the owner are three well-known methods: (1) holding property in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship, (2) a living trust, or (3) a will. However, in 2016, a lesser-known alternative to keep a decedent's home out of probate became available to Californians: the revocable transfer on death or "TOD" deed, a simple and inexpensive way to transfer real property to a beneficiary in California. Including Cali...
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U.S. Supreme Court Upends More than a Century of Restrictions on Disparaging Trademarks

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On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a Federal Circuit ruling that held the "Disparagement Clause" of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. ยง 1052(a)) unconstitutional on its face. Under the Supreme Court's decision in Matal v. Tam 1 , the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") can no longer refuse federal registration to trademarks that "disparage... persons... institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrep...
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U.S. Supreme Court Adopts a Holistic Approach to Defining "Property" for Regulatory Takings Analysis

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On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Murr v. Wisconsin , 137 S.Ct. 1933 (2017), that an ordinance preventing two contiguous parcels from being sold independently of one another did not result in a compensable regulatory taking of real property. The Court held that the petitioners, the owners of two adjacent lots, were not deprived of all economically beneficial use of their property through the denial of the sale of a single lot. The decision rejected a formalistic approach to t...
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A Call to Action: Threats to Judicial Independence Place Judicial Fairness and Impartiality at Risk

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The United States Constitution and California Constitution establish three separate-but-equal branches of government, which make up America's democracy. The legislative branch makes laws, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch interprets the law. The point of creating three separate-but-equal branches is a separation of powers, so one branch does not get too powerful and become oppressive. Judges are under a legal duty to follow the rule of law. A judge must be free from ...
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Proposition 64: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

Proposition 64: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About the Adult Use of Marijuana Act
The passage of California's Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or "AUMA," legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana under California law makes this state the most populous state in the nation to do so. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure, and it expands on Proposition 215, the law that twenty years ago made California the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Proposition 64 sets up a broad range of marijuan...
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California Criminal Law after the 2016 Election

California Criminal Law after the 2016 Election
Among other items of interest in the dramatic 2016 election, three ballot measures passed that will significantly affect the way we do business in California criminal courts. Proposition 57 made significant changes to parole eligibility and juvenile cases handled in adult court. Proposition 64 significantly changes the way marijuana is treated in the criminal law. Proposition 66 changes many post-trial procedures in death-penalty cases with an aim to speeding up executions. These changes follow ...
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U.S. v. Texas - The future of President Obama's Immigration Executive Orders after Justice Scalia's Passing

U.S. v. Texas - The future of President Obama's
Immigration Executive Orders after Justice
Scalia's Passing
U nited States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia passed away on February 13, 2016. Responsible for the rebirth of originalism, Justice Scalia was highly intellectual, fiercely conservative, and sometimes combative in the language of his dissenting opinions. His passing leaves a large void on the "conservative side" of the Court that will undoubtedly affect many pending cases, including this term's most significant immigration case, United States v. Texas . Perhaps more than ...
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