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…

How One Prisoner’s Persistence Paid Off: The Tale of Inmate Barry Jameson

Despite the best efforts of the Legislature to limit frivolous prisoner lawsuits by enacting the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which requires exhaustion of administrative remedies, proof of a physical injury that is more than de minimis in order to recover emotional distress damages, and limits attorney fee recovery to 150% of the verdict, the…

Legislating Law Enforcement

Typically law enforcement agencies, with the help of their respective governing City/County/State entity, create their own policies and procedures in procedures in conformity with the Penal Code, case law, and POST guidelines.  This year, numerous bills have been proposed in the California Legislature to impose new requirements on peace officers.  While some of these proposals…

When Words Alone Constitute Severe and Pervasive Harassment

The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” may apply in Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment cases, but it doesn’t work in FEHA harassment claims. In Augustine Caldera v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Fourth Appellate District recently issued a published opinion finding…

Gender Issues in Policing from the Law and Order Perspectives​

On Friday, May 4th, Susan E. Coleman will be co-presenting with Sandra Spagnoli, Chief of Police, Beverly Hills Police Department at the League of California Cities, City Attorneys’ Conference. The last several decades have witnessed a rise in female officers in law enforcement agencies, with a growing number of women leading police departments.  L.A. County…