Law Review: New laws for 2019 (Round 1) |

Law Review: New laws for 2019 (Round 1)

The Legislature passed and Gov. Jerry signed 1,016 laws this year. Not a record, but nothing to sneeze at. Here is the first (random) sampling, more to come in future columns.

Pet-Friendly Parks — Not later than July 1, 2020, owners of pets will have access to a comprehensive list of State Parks or portions of State Parks that allow dogs. The Department of Parks and Recreation must update its website and maintain real-time information on pet rules in State Parks.

Doctor Disclosure Rules — When medical providers in California are disciplined for ethical violations like gross negligence, substance abuse, inappropriate prescribing or sexual misconduct, they can be placed on probation. Doctors may continue working while under probation; however starting July 1, 2019, doctors including acupuncturists, chiropractors and osteopathic and naturopathic doctors will have to inform patients if they are on probation. That will not be a fun conversation.

Past Marijuana Convictions — Marijuana was the story of 2018 as California and counties and local municipalities passed laws regulating the use of recreational marijuana. By July 1, 2019, the California Department of Justice must review past marijuana convictions that may be eligible for dismissal of a conviction.

Last Call 4 a.m. — In a law I would call dubious, there is a “pilot program” in nine cities, including Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland, where bars may stay open until 4 a.m., subject to approval by the local municipality. The extension of two hours would require an additional license.

No More Cash Bail — As of Oct. 1, 2019, as the first state in the nation to do so, California will ban cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. People charged with felonies will go through some form of a pre-trial risk assessment and if the judge releases them they will be supervised by a government agency or business contracted to handle that daunting task. Most misdemeanor defendants will be booked and released without an assessment. I don’t know the stats regarding crimes committed while on bail, but this sounds risky. So much for the bail bond business. Governor Jerry supported the bill. The goal of the legislation was to eliminate human bias in bail proceedings, but critics argue the no-bail system may perpetuate discrimination. The California Bail Agents Association says it will file a Referendum to overturn the law.

Release of Body Camera Videos — Two measures signed by the Governor require the release of body camera footage and records related to shootings in deadly use-of-force incidents within 45 days after an officer fires a weapon or severely injures or kills another person.

Minimum Age for Buying Long Guns Now 21 — The minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns as of Jan. 1, 2019, increases from age 18 to 21. We will highlight several new gun control laws in future columns.

Electric Scooters — As of Jan. 1, 2019, the speed limit for electric scooters on streets increases from 25 mph to 35 mph, and as if that is not bad enough, riders may go helmet-less.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at or

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