Tag archives: law

California Legislature 2022 Watch: Some good bills, and some not so good
By Sharon Byrne   |   August 23, 2022

As we head into the close of the 2022 California Legislative session, bills are passing that could help our community, and some that could hurt it. Here’s a round-up of the bills we’re watching: Conversion of commercial zones to housing. Senate Bill 6; Caballero. This bill allows a housing development project on a parcel that […]

Letter of the Law
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 5, 2022

Nowadays, it’s hard to avoid being a criminal, because, whatever you try, there’s bound to be a law against it – perhaps several laws, some of which may be in conflict with the others – that’s how lawyers make their money. Many such legal eagles are in fact known as “criminal lawyers.” Their avowed purpose […]

Justice for the Little People?
By Robert Bernstein   |   February 1, 2022

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids all men to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread – the rich as well as the poor.” So wrote Anatole France in The Red Lily (1894). It is difficult to express the injustice of the legal system better than that one brilliant […]

What is Law?
By Robert Bernstein   |   July 15, 2021

“186,000 Miles Per Second. It’s Not Just a Good Idea. It’s The Law.” A friend in grad school at UCSB Physics had this sign on his desk. Why is this funny? Because we confuse two kinds of laws. Everyday laws are the ones we should not break. Or else we may get a ticket or […]

It’s the Law
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 29, 2021

Quite apart from our legal system, there are so many laws in Science and Economics and other disciplines that it must have been inevitable for satirical “laws” to appear, usually commenting on the perversity of life as we experience it. Probably the most famous of these “laws” states (in various versions) that “If anything can […]

Demystifying the Superior Court
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   April 16, 2020

This latest article in my series of legal columns is written to demystify our local Superior Court, which is where our significant Santa Barbara lawsuits will be filed. Judicial Disqualifications Q: Can you disqualify the judge that was assigned to your case for any reason or no reason? A. The surprising answer in California is […]

Endangered by AB5
By Lynda Millner   |   January 30, 2020

In case you’re wondering why I missed my first column in 25 years last week, it’s because of a new law passed by the state of California. If I’m not a full-time employee of the Montecito Journal, I’m only allowed to write 35 columns a year, not my usual 52. Few small papers can afford […]

Put It There
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 28, 2019

I’m sure you’ve come across the expression, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” It makes a lot of sense. It sums up the whole idea of neatness and order. You can’t put things away properly, if you don’t know where they go. And you can’t find anything very easily, unless you know […]

A Fascinating Future
By Bob Hazard   |   November 8, 2018

The best way to predict the future is to watch those who are working hard to create it. It is fascinating to reflect on how fast the world is changing. The Auto Industry Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Alphabet Inc’s Waymo has become the first company to receive a permit from the […]

Divine Intervention
By Steven A. Blum   |   June 14, 2018

“It was an act of God,” is a phrase I hear from time to time. Not from preachers but from landowners, and sometimes their insurance adjusters, trying to avoid liability for injury caused by a natural condition on their land to neighbors. The question arises: Does a landowner have the duty to remedy a natural […]

Sheriff’s Blotter: Juvenile Arrested for Burglary
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 7, 2018

(Information provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department)  Sunday, 3 June 2018, 9 am – A homeowner in Montecito called 911 after finding a 17-year-old male inside of her home, which is located in the 300-block of Woodley Road in Montecito. The homeowner found the juvenile, whom she did not know, using a computer […]

I Lost My House, I Won My Court Case, Now What Do I Get?
By Steven A. Blum   |   May 17, 2018

Our home in Glen Oaks wasn’t destroyed in the January Montecito mudslides, but others within a cat’s prowl lost theirs. This article about measuring “just compensation” in an inverse condemnation case is for my less lucky neighbors and friends. This involves real estate appraisal, which, like poker, is not very interesting unless played for money.  […]

Fire, Flood, Mud, and Lawsuits for Wrongful Death
By Steven A. Blum   |   April 5, 2018

The awesome mountains above us still precariously harbor massive boulders, reminding us daily of our lost friends, neighbors, and family. Some of the 12-foot high boulders that traveled all the way down the mountain, past East Valley Road, sit like monuments to the enduring power of nature. What does the law have to say about […]

Here’s the Emergency: Government’s Failure to Warn in an Emergency
By Steven A. Blum   |   March 29, 2018

On March 22 at 5:19 a.m., Santa Barbara County officials issued emergency phone alerts and calls to evacuate Montecito residents. “Flash flood watch in effect for SB County. Leave now if you are still in evac/burn areas.” The County sent the alert as soon as rains started pummeling Southern California. They used a federal emergency […]

Government Must Pay If It Wants to Stop Us from Rebuilding
By Steven A. Blum   |   March 15, 2018

A few days before the mudslide, my neighbor Curtis Skene moved his 104-year old mother out of their home on East Valley Lane. Around 4 am on the day of the mudslide, he heard crashing sounds, looked out the bedroom window, and saw giant boulders fly by. He hopped out of bed and ran outside. […]

Troubled Waters: Surface Water Law and the Montecito Floods
By Steven A. Blum   |   February 8, 2018

In last week’s issue of The Montecito Journal, I explained that if the facts show a fire, covered by a typical homeowners’ insurance policy, was the “efficient proximate cause” of a later mudslide, then mudslide damage could be covered under a homeowners’ insurance policy. On January 29, California insurance commissioner Dave Jones adopted the same […]

The Constitution Protects Private Property Owners
By Steven A. Blum   |   January 25, 2018

I live on Glen Oaks Drive, 200 yards from San Ysidro Creek. On January 9, a torrent of mud and giant boulders tore through my neighborhood and destroyed dozens of homes. Tragically, three of my immediate neighbors lost their lives, and after staying through the week my family and I followed the mandatory evacuation order. […]

Dad & Daughter Duo
By Jon Vreeland   |   November 16, 2017

On East Victoria Street, just a block and a half north of the Santa Barbara County courthouse, is a small but busy law firm run by longtime Santa Barbaran and defense attorney, Doug Hayes. For nearly half a century, Mr. Hayes has worked in the world of law and magistrates, bailiffs and prisoners, the virtuous, […]