Author: Laura Whyte

The Mexican Legal System at a Glance

Riverside County lies just over 100 miles from the Mexican border and much of our population has business and personal connections with our neighbors to the south. On Cinco De Mayo, many Californians celebrated our close relationship with Mexico through food, drink, and music. Indeed, until 1850, California was a part of the country of Mexico. Given our close connection, I thought I would investigate a little bit into Mexico’s legal system. The following are some of my findings! Mexico gained...

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Clara Shortridge Fultz, Pioneer in California Law

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, lets take a look at a woman who made a huge impact on the legal profession.  Clara Shortridge Fultz is a woman who had a tremendous impact on legal history in California. She was the first woman licensed to practice law in the western US, the first woman admitted to law school in California, created the public defender program, was the first woman to serve on the state board of corrections and as an assistant district attorney, and a gubernatorial...

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Riverside County Among the First to Implement New Program

On September 14, 2022, Governor Newsom signed into law the CARE (Community Assistance, Recover, and Empowerment) Act with the goal of aiding the mentally ill or those with a substance use disorder by providing a route out of the cycle of hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration faced by many on the streets. Families, clinicians, first responders and others would be able to refer an individual to a network of CARE Courts at the county level where a plan would be developed with an individual...

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Social Justice Suite on HeinOnline

HeinOnline is the hidden gem of our database offerings at the Riverside County Law Library. I tend to forget about all that it offers only to rediscover its broad historical and academic content and vanish down a computer rabbit hole once again. I was happy to attend a free webinar introducing their Social Justice Suite of databases. These are available not only to subscribers and law library patrons. Community organizations, schools, and libraries can also sign up for this collection free of...

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What the Constitution Means to Me Review

What the Constitution Means to Me is a Broadway play that premiered in 2019. I had the opportunity to view it on Amazon Prime recently and am very glad that I did. In the play, the protagonist recounts her experiences as a teenager touring American Legion Halls around the county to participate in debates about the US Constitution. She was so successful that she was able to fully fund her college education with her winnings. The play begins with Schreck’s 15-year-old character eagerly extolling...

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So, Can I Walk My Camel in Cowboy Boots?

It’s the beginning of a new year and many newspapers and websites have been running summaries of the year’s new laws.  I recently started my own search for funny or ridiculous laws in California and immediately found dozens of results, many of which listed the same 10 to 25 especially humorous laws. Two of these featured laws in cities within Riverside County: “It is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive in the City of Palm Springs between 4 and 6 pm.” And “It is illegal to wear cowboy...

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New Law Would Eliminate Bail

On August 28th of last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB10, better known as the bail reform bill, into law. Originally scheduled to go into effect in October 2019, the new law promises to transform conditions of pretrial release and is already being used in test programs in several counties. For example, Napa County has a similar system in place and has reported a lower rate of recidivism. Under current law, those facing misdemeanor charges are usually released on their own recognizance and...

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Everything you need in one place

At the Riverside County Law Library, we try to provide help to every patron who comes through our door. Occasionally, we also receive questions from the public over the phone. These calls often serve as scouting missions that provide us with the opportunity to explain the resources which our library has to offer. I was recently called by a gentleman who had become frustrated in his attempts to print a section of the penal code at home. He complained that he had tried several sites but the printed...

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Exploring the Past at the Library

The Riverside County Law Library is a place many history buffs might never think to go. In fact, all three of our locations offer a wonderful variety of historic documents and information that would be appealing whether or not you have a particular interest in the law. Both our Indio and Riverside branches offer the book History and Directory of Riverside County 1893-94. This is a great little book; giving descriptions of settlements within the county in the last decade of the 1800s complete...

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