Briggs Law Advises Hollywood L.A.P.D. On Youth Center

Briggs Law handled the leasing and other arrangements prefatory to the opening of a youth center in Hollywood.  LAPD’s press release is as follows:

The Los Angeles Police Department is set to open a youth mentoring center in Hollywood with the aim of giving kids a haven in violence-prone neighborhoods around Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.

The grand opening of the Tomorrow’s Future storefront at 5824 Santa Monica Blvd. will take place next Thursday in Hollywood.  The center will provide special programs, speakers, bilingual tutors and training to neighborhood youngsters, officials said.

LAPD Capt. Beatrice Girmala said the center, funded by community donations, achieves two important objectives.  It provides children with a haven from crime and gangs in an area close to their homes and schools.  Symbolically, she said, it shows that LAPD officers do more than put up crime scene tape or slap handcuffs on people.

“This way, the community sees there’s much more to us than that,” Girmala said.

Kids chosen for the project include immigrants from Mexico, Central ans South America, many of whom speak English as their second language.

In addition to the language and cultural barriers, Girmala said, many of the youths will come from working-class backgrounds and will be “vulnerable to the lure of gangs, who attempt to intimidate and recruit children as young as 10-year-olds to pre-teens… with the promise of better economic times and a kind family that many do not find in a home.”

Girmala said there have been at least 10 gang-related killings in the neighborhoods near the center in the last two years, as well as dozens of robberies and assaults.

The children at the center will be tutored and mentored by graduates of the Hollywood Police Activities League, retired teachers and LAPD officers.

February, 2008

Briggs Law Obtains Successful First Amendment Dismissal Of Complaint Brought By Listed Sex Offender.

In a case of first impression in California and probably the nation, Briggs Law today secured dismissal of a complaint by a person identified on California’s Megan’s Law website as a sex offender brought against individuals and a labor union local accused of having simply re-published the fact of his listing on that website.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos sustained the defendants’ general demurrers, without leave to amend, on the First Amendment grounds urged by Briggs Law’s client and the other defendants.

A version of Megan’s Law exists in virtually every state. Most of the statutes contain a provision prohibiting use of the Megan’s law website information—the names of convicted sex offenders—for purposes of discrimination. California’s law lists prohibited discrimination, prohibits use of the information to commit a crime, and provides for civil penalties for anyone who “uses” the information “other than to protect a person at risk.” Briggs Law’s client and the other defendants were alleged to have distributed “fliers” and other materials identifying the plaintiff as a person listed on the Megan’s Law site in and around the community in which he lives in order to “harass” him. The plaintiff did not challenge the accuracy of the information distributed by the defendants.

Briggs Law argued that defendants did nothing other than re-publish truthful information already a matter of public record in the courts and on the Megan’s Law website, and that penalizing such re-publication violates free-speech protections afforded Californians under both the state and the federal constitutions. The court agreed in what appears to be a first-of-its kind decision.

January, 2008

Flowers Placed At Johnny Grant’s Walk Of Fame Star
Remarks by Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Chair, Jeff Briggs

On any other day, a sunny day like this in Hollywood would be called a “Chamber of Commerce day.” From now on I will think of any day like today as a “Johnny Grant day.” Johnny Grant’s smile certainly lit Hollywood up just as much as the sun does now on what otherwise is a sad day, indeed.

I think Johnny Grant’s greatest legacy will be that he was known as one of the truly great “friends.”

Johnny Grant was a friend to Hollywood’s well-known legends, like Bob Hope and Gene Autry—and any beautiful actress you can think of.

But he also was a great friend to Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes legends—producers, directors, and the character actors whose faces you remember but whose names you’ve forgotten. Johnny never forgot their names and what they contributed to Hollywood.

Johnny was a friend to every gal and guy who ever came to Hollywood with hope in their hearts and stars in their eyes.

Johnny was a friend to Presidents—and was closer than any of them to the GI’s serving on their behalf around the world in peace and war alike.

He was a friend to governors, to mayors, and to city councilpersons—and closer than any of them to their constituents, the men and women in “the business” and business generally, from studio executives to the folks serving lunch in craft services.

And he was the best friend any city ever could hope to have.

He did all he did for Hollywood without any fee or reward other than seeing the success of Hollywood’s greatest comeback story ever.

Millions of people around the world think first of Hollywood when they think of Los Angeles, or Southern California, or even the Untied States. Hollywood is a uniquely American brand in large part because of Johnny Grant. He kept that brand alive and gave it a new shine. Hollywood remains a truly American destination for millions because of Johnny Grant.

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie—and even Mom—move over for Hollywood and its forever Honorary Mayor, Johnny Grant.