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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 27, 2013
A Costa Mesa law school hopes to ease the stress on the California court system, which has suffered severe budget cuts, by offering its newly christened practice courtroom on campus for official legal proceedings. In response to belt-tightening within the state's legal system, Whittier Law School plans to invite authentic trials and arbitration to its facility. Such a setup would benefit students, as well, allowing them to observe the proceedings in the school's fully functioning 4,400-square-foot courtroom, which opened this month.
NEWS
December 15, 2000
Deepa Bharath SANTA ANA -- The trial of Eric Bechler has as much to offer to spectators as a sizzling suspense novel -- sex, lust, blood, murder, money, lies, greed, secret tapes and a dead body that's never been found. "It's better than a TV show," said Donald Bringgold, an attorney from Big Canyon who has been in the business for more than 40 years. The small courtroom on the eleventh floor of the Orange County Courthouse has been packed with eager spectators for much of the trial, which began last week.
NEWS
September 24, 2008
Four men who police say brawled two days ago inside a Newport Beach courtroom are scheduled to be back in the courtroom today, this time in shackles. Julio Ocampo, 18, Luis Ocampo, 19, Alexander Calixto, 19, and Victor Garcia, 19, are set to be arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center after Orange County Sheriff’s deputies arrested them for allegedly fighting when they recognized each other as rival Costa Mesa gang members. Three of them were in court on other cases and free on bail.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | May 1, 2009
When John Fitzgerald Kennedy sat in the defendant’s seat in Judge Frank Fasel’s ninth-floor courtroom Friday morning, awaiting sentencing for killing a Newport Beach couple years earlier, no one came to his aid. As is customary before many sentencings, the judge afforded both the victim’s and the defendant’s friends and family a chance to weigh in before he determined whether Kennedy should get life in prison without parole,...
LOCAL
October 28, 2009
Have you ever had to go to court to watch a friend or family member appear before a judge? Have you ever had to wait for your own appearance? Either way, typically defendants are ordered to appear at 9 a.m. but rarely actually deal with a judge at that time. Now, Orange County Superior Court officials, with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, are working to make that wait shorter, or even disappear. Court and sheriff’s officials unveiled their newest courtroom Wednesday morning, and it’s housed right inside the Central Jail Complex in Santa Ana. Instead of driving to the courthouses in Santa Ana or Newport Beach, among others, some defendants can now make an appearance there, saving time and money for everyone.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 18, 2009
Victor Manuel Garcia choked up with emotion as he talked about that night in September 2001 when he celebrated his daughter’s birth and then murdered a 16-year-old Costa Mesa girl. “It’s a tragedy,” Garcia, 26, said, just before a judge sentenced him Friday to 25 years to life in prison. “If I could go back in time and change things, I would. But I can’t.” In his last words to Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg before being sentenced, Garcia said he was sorry.
NEWS
November 28, 2011
The case against an Irvine man accused of throwing his son off a boat during a cruise around Newport Harbor will be moved to a courtroom that works with military veterans suffering from conditions related to combat, prosecutors said Monday. Sloan Steven Briles, 35, is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 6 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, where courtroom staff will evaluate his eligibility for its veteran's program geared toward combat veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism or drug addiction or other long-term issues.
NEWS
August 1, 2004
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COURTS Judge concerned by officers' presence in court At least 50 uniformed Costa Mesa Police officers filled a courtroom Wednesday morning to support a colleague who was hit and injured by an alleged drunken driver, a show of support that earned chiding from the judge. Judge Geoffrey Glass, who continued the hearing to Aug. 18, told the officers that their presence in court was having a "negative impact" on the case. "Your being here isn't making things any easier," he said, adding that he was concerned uniformed officers were sitting in a courtroom instead of patrolling the streets.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | October 20, 2011
A man convicted of murdering a wealthy Newport Beach businessman in 1994 is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in a Santa Ana courtroom. Eric Naposki was convicted in July of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for committing murder for financial gain in the slaying of Bill McLaughlin. Prosecutors claimed in court that Naposki plotted the murder with former girlfriend Nanette Packard in order to collect $1 million in life insurance and live for free in his beachfront home in Newport Beach.
NEWS
March 18, 2000
It must be terrible to lose a child and I sympathize with Cindy and Eric Soto ("Sotos expected to file lawsuit," March 15). However, I feel the decision that they and the Wieners have made is not one that will bring any good to anyone but the lawyers. They have no idea what it will be like to sit in court and relive the agony of what has happened and cast blame on a church and a preschool. I hope they didn't forget to name the Cadillac, the manufacturer of the fence and all the other children and adults who were there and did not throw themselves in front of the car, in the suit.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 27, 2013
A Costa Mesa law school hopes to ease the stress on the California court system, which has suffered severe budget cuts, by offering its newly christened practice courtroom on campus for official legal proceedings. In response to belt-tightening within the state's legal system, Whittier Law School plans to invite authentic trials and arbitration to its facility. Such a setup would benefit students, as well, allowing them to observe the proceedings in the school's fully functioning 4,400-square-foot courtroom, which opened this month.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Jeremiah Dobruck | November 14, 2012
For first-time novelist A.G.S. Johnson, inspiration struck like lightning and immediately slowed to a crawl. "I was awakened one night, maybe 15 years ago, by this cocky female voice that was so intriguing to me that I jumped out of bed, literally, and I wrote as fast as I could," Johnson said, talking about the would-be foundation for her debut novel. "It was a couple of paragraphs of what this voice was saying … So I carried this stupid piece of writing around for probably a few years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jenny Stockdale, Special to the Pilot | May 17, 2012
Kristy Johnson found out the hard way that she could not overpower or subdue her creative side. The Chicago native and lone female cast member in South Coast Repertory's production of the August Wilson play "Jitney," which opens on Friday night, gave up a promising legal career to start over again as an actor. "I discovered that what I said I wanted for my life was not what I wanted at all," she said in an interview. After a straight trajectory through Harvard University, the University of Chicago Law School and a great position at a top Chicago law firm, Johnson decided to scrap a career in the courts to pursue one on the stage.
NEWS
By Steve Virgen | March 27, 2012
ORANGE - A disheveled, chubby, out-of-breath lawyer walked into a family courtroom tugging at two boxes of files on a dolly. Sounds like the start to a joke, but to NBA Hall of Famer and former Newport Beach resident Dennis Rodman, Jack Kayajanian, his ex-wife's lawyer, was no laughing matter. "You guys are working me," Kayajanian said, trying to be humorous. Rodman rolled his eyes and calmly responded, "No, you're working me, bro. " Rodman was mostly referring to a highly charged, and mostly false, press release Kayajanian sent to the media Monday.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | December 8, 2011
SANTA ANA — An allegedly intoxicated driver who hit and seriously injured a Newport Harbor High School student was charged Thursday with felony driving under the influence with an enhancement for causing brain injury and paralysis. Marnie J. Lippincott, 38, of Costa Mesa was also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license. Her arraignment in Orange County Superior Court was delayed Thursday until later this month. Prosecutors said Lippincott was under the influence of drugs and alcohol Tuesday afternoon when her black Chevy Tahoe hit Crystal Morales, 17, as she crossed Margaret Drive in a crosswalk near of the school, which had just let out for the day. Morales suffered serious internal and head injuries.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | December 1, 2011
NEWPORT BEACH - A Newport Beach woman will stand trial on charges that she was driving drunk and texting when she hit and killed a bicyclist in Newport Coast, Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson ruled Thursday. Danae Miller, 23, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The felony charge stems from a Feb. 21 accident on San Joaquin Hills Road that killed Amine Britel, a Moroccan athlete who had moved to the United States and ran a successful local business.
NEWS
November 28, 2011
The case against an Irvine man accused of throwing his son off a boat during a cruise around Newport Harbor will be moved to a courtroom that works with military veterans suffering from conditions related to combat, prosecutors said Monday. Sloan Steven Briles, 35, is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 6 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, where courtroom staff will evaluate his eligibility for its veteran's program geared toward combat veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism or drug addiction or other long-term issues.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | October 20, 2011
A man convicted of murdering a wealthy Newport Beach businessman in 1994 is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in a Santa Ana courtroom. Eric Naposki was convicted in July of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for committing murder for financial gain in the slaying of Bill McLaughlin. Prosecutors claimed in court that Naposki plotted the murder with former girlfriend Nanette Packard in order to collect $1 million in life insurance and live for free in his beachfront home in Newport Beach.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Depko and Susanne Perez | March 24, 2011
Matthew McConaughey ramps up his mojo playing Mick Haller, a street-smart attorney in "The Lincoln Lawyer. " He clearly understands the fringes of society as he picks up clients charged with prostitution, assault and drug cases. The title refers to his use of a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car as his mobile office. But he really knows his way around the back corridors of the jail and courthouse, where he plies his sleazy trade. The sharp opening sequence provides a vivid cross section of the kinds of cases a street lawyer might encounter.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | January 28, 2010
There are, basically, two great military courtroom dramas: Herman Wouk’s “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” and Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men.” In the space of two years, the Newport Theater Arts Center has staged both of them — under the same director and featuring the same actor as the twisted authority figure. Gigi Fusco Meese mounted “Caine” in 2008 and now has a powerful production of “Men” on the Newport stage.
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