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Appellate Courts Reject Recreational Trail Immunity for Adjacent Hazards

Two decisions in the last three months have increased the potential for a public entity to be held liable for an injury suffered on one of its recreational trails.

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New School Funding Scheme Does Not Eliminate Immunity From Federal Damage Claims

Changes to California's school funding scheme did not eliminate local school district and county office of education immunity from federal claims for damages, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

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Supreme Court Finds Trademark Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

The United States Supreme Court has held that trademarks are private speech protected by the First Amendment, even if some find the ideas they express offensive.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Denial of Government Grant to Church

The United States Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a state policy excluding churches from participating in a government benefit program solely based on their religious status.

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State's Top Court Rules that Contractors Can be Prosecuted for Conflict of Interest

The California Supreme Court has ruled that an independent contractor can be criminally liable for a conflict of interest under California Government Code section 1090, expanding the universe of penalties a contractor can face for violating the statute and reversing a prior appellate court ruling that exempted contractors from criminal liability for such conflicts.

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OCR Issues New Instructions on Transgender Student Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new instructions to its regional directors regarding how to handle complaints involving transgender students. The document is intended to offer OCR staff additional guidance in light of recent court developments and the Trump Administration's withdrawal of the Obama Administration's guidance on transgender students.

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Appellate Court Orders Publication of Lease-Leaseback Decision, Making it Binding Precedent

On May 31, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal ordered publication of its decision in California Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction, Inc. et al.(2017) 12 Cal.App.5th 115 (Taber), which upholds the validity of a lease-leaseback arrangement. This reversed the court's initial decision not to publish the case.

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Public Entities Must Proceed with Caution When Preparing an Addendum to a Negative Declaration

A California appellate court has held that a public entity violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by preparing an addendum to a mitigated negative declaration.

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Federal Court Upholds Texas School Board’s Practice of Student Invocations at School Board Meetings

A federal appeals court recently upheld a Texas school district's practice of permitting students to deliver a religious invocation at the beginning of governing board meetings.

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