First Amendment Case Involving Prisoner Complaint with Veiled Threats Won’t Be Reviewed by Supreme Court Over Strong Objection by Three Justices

Does the First Amendment require a prison to entertain a prisoner grievance that contains veiled threats to kill or injure a guard?  This is the question that Justices Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh believe should be answered by the Supreme Court. However, over their objection, on May 13, 2019, the remaining Justices refused certiorari in Dahne…

Burke Has a New San Diego Location!

Burke is pleased to announce the opening of a San Diego office. With the continued growth and expansion of our firm across the state, this new location will help us better serve our clients. Burke’s expansion into San Diego, which creates its 10th office, underscores the firm’s consistent methodical growth in top economic and employment…

Can White Supremacists Demand Kosher Meals in Prison?

Courts Crack Down on “Creativity” Religion’s Creative Requests Background Regarding Creativity There are inmates across the country who claim to be part of “The Church of the Creator,” which they say “embraces and espouses the religion of Creativity.”  These inmates claim the “overriding mission of the Church and the Creativity religion is the permanent prevention…

Martinez v. Stratton O’Hara: What you say (to the Court of Appeal) can and will be used against you

By Brian I. Hamblet In Martinez v. Stratton O’Hara et al. decided on February 28, 2019, the California Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District) concluded that the “Plaintiff’s attorney committed misconduct on appeal, including manifesting gender bias” in his comments about the trial court judge (which included calling the female judge’s actions “succubustic”) and reported…

The Supremes Strike Again: the Qualified Immunity Iron is Hot

Qualified immunity is a strong affirmative defense for officers and officials in cases where constitutional violations are alleged.  But despite repeated exhortations by the Supreme Court that the analysis about whether a person would be on notice that his/her conduct was unlawful must be highly specific, district courts and even the Ninth Circuit continue to…

Inmate Safety Concerns Put Constitutional Rights to Bed

On January 11, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the case of Olivier v. Baca, finding that former Sheriff Lee Baca did not violate an inmate’s civil rights when he was detained for three days without a bed due to exigent circumstances. Factual Background Maurice P. Olivier was arrested in July 2006 for burglary. Following his…