News & Events
Since 2011, something strange has been going on in jails throughout California. For years, the California government has been struggling with the problem of incarceration overcrowding, and in 2003, under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the issue finally started to take priority. After several attempts to solve the crisis, including a $7.75 billion prison expansion, transferring prisoners out of state, and other measures, the governor was still finding it difficult to reach a middle ground between reducing prison populations and taking a hard line against violent offenders.
Fifty people, so far, have been indicted in what U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has described as “the largest college admission scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.” Those charged include high-profile actresses, a fashion designer, business leaders, and other wealthy parents; as well as nine athletic coaches from such prominent universities as Yale, Georgetown, USC, and UCLA. The alleged “scam” involved bribing coaches, falsifying SAT and ACT scores, questionable claims of learning disabilities, and the creation of fake athletic resumes. In short, the allegation is that wealthy parents were presented with and took advantage of various tactics to help ensure their children would gain admission into elite colleges across the country.
In June 2015, Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP was retained by Bryce Dixon, a star tight end on the USC football team, to defend him against Title IX allegations made by another USC student. Following several years of intense legislation, our firm was successful in obtaining a positive ruling. Because of John Doe v. University of Southern California, Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is now further strengthened to continue fighting for students against Title IX allegations. This Los Angeles Times article outlines our efforts.
In recent years, California has led the nation in criminal justice reforms, especially those designed to protect minors and the disabled. A number of bills were recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown and went into effect to change several statutes on the books. The passage of these bills is good news for anyone facing criminal charges, as well as those convicted who are facing lengthy prison terms.
In August 2018, the Reform L.A. Jails Coalition turned in nearly a quarter of a million signatures to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder to get reform legislation onto California’s Presidential Primary ballot in 2020. This was an impressive feat, considering the group gathered 100,000 more signatures than required by law to file a ballot measure. This measure, if passed by voters, will provide more oversight for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and push for funding and research into alternatives to incarceration.