Donald Sterling's ex-girlfriend hit back on social media hours before she testified Thursday in her fight to keep $3.6 million in gifts from the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team.


     Lady Gaga's producer and ex-beau Rob Fusari must post a $7.3 million bond by Friday to stay claims that he never paid the woman who discovered the pop star, a federal judge ruled. 


     Farmers in Maui may continue to grow genetically engineered crops without facing penalties and imprisonment, a federal judge ruled. 


     David Axelrod is stealing credit for one of the most successful counterattacks in modern urban politics, a political strategist claims in Federal Court. 

     Despite contracting a terminal illness at 50, Joseph Nordella kept a sense of humor until the end - and beyond.
     On his tombstone at the Cambria Community Cemetery, immediately under his name, an epitaph teases: "I told you I was sick."
     For many people, a cemetery is literally the last place they want to spend time. But I find they offer glimpses into history, human drama and mortality.
     A frequent visitor to California cemeteries, I often look at a grave and wonder what stories the person six feet under could tell me.
     If you travel to the Sierras, you'll find tiny cemeteries filled with people from France, Germany, England, Italy and Ireland. The Europeans planned to return to their homelands with bags of gold in the 1800s, but found their dreams thwarted by cholera, typhus, pneumonia and murder - frequent causes of death during the Gold Rush.
     Jacob Giddis, of New Jersey, was one of the many miners who failed to score the mother lode. But rather than die broke, he decided to make a living collecting as an agent for the Tuolumne County Water Company - a key supplier for gold miners. Apparently, Giddis had at least one enemy.
     According to his epitaph at the Columbia Cemetery, he was "murdered on or about the 28th day of June, 1861."
     If there's ever a "CSI: Gold Rush," I nominate the still-unsolved mystery of Giddis, who was found floating in a reservoir, for the pilot episode.
     As much as our health care system needs work, cemetery visits show you how far we've come.
     At the old Parkfield Cemetery many of the dead are children who succumbed to a 19th Century diphtheria outbreak. Near the San Andreas Fault, there's no sign at the entrance to this small cemetery, no grass and no noise, aside from the wind breezing through the pines.
     Standing in this Old West-style graveyard, you can imagine a once-constant sorrow here as you visit the graves of sisters Edith (7 months old) and Lottie May Jones (7 years old), who died three years apart in the 1890s. Next to them lies their father, who died three months before Lottie May, at 34. His wife outlived the entire family; she made it to 37.
     In the old days, reaching a ripe old age was quite an accomplishment.
     Of the 55 permanent guests at the Canet Family Cemetery in Morro Bay, 11 are babies.
     Often those tombstones give us clues that we can research later. The modest marker for August Wolf, at the rural Estrella Adobe Cemetery in Paso Robles, has an epitaph that proclaims "Lost at Sea." According to the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, he drowned in a 1931 fishing accident.
     A few yards away lies Thomas Rude, a Kentucky native the genealogical society tells us was dragged to death by his horse in 1882.
     Cemeteries remind us that death often arrives unannounced. One tombstone in Cambria features the names of four Japanese abalone divers who died in 1910. Doug Spelts, manager of Cambria Community Cemetery, told me the men lost the air supply to their diving helmets.
     Cemeteries aren't all grim, though. Last summer several rockers gathered at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, to pay tribute to Johnny Ramone. In a remarkable cemetery where you can get close to entertainment giants Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille and Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Ramone's tombstone - featuring a bust of the punker playing guitar - stands out.
     The best epitaph I saw there is from Mel Blanc, who bid us farewell with his Porky Pig catch phrase: "That's all, folks."
     Nordella, who died two years after Blanc, would have appreciated that. A tree trimmer for 23 years, his "I told you I was sick" was a last laugh.
     While it wasn't his own material - you can find that epitaph nationwide - Nordella's parting shot sheds light on what could be a dark place.
     There's no better place than a cemetery to remind us that life is precious.


     The California Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a $1 billion drought package, following the Senate's passage of the two bills late Wednesday.

     An East Village building exploded Thursday afternoon, causing one partial and one full building collapse, and injuring at least a dozen people.

     A former contestant on "The Voice" says that a woman with a onetime label at Sony planted a story that accused her of writing a love song to North Korea's communist dictator. 

     Declaring a public health emergency on Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said a recent outbreak of HIV in Scott County has reached "epidemic proportions."

     A U.S. health care worker being treated for Ebola is no longer in critical condition, a government-run hospital said Thursday.

     Re/Max sold 30 people luxury condos in the Cayman Islands without telling them the developer had no financing, and refused to refund $5.6 million when the project collapsed, liquidators claim in court. 

     "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane persuaded a federal judge to take the stuffing out of claims that he stole the idea for the foul-mouthed teddy bear in "Ted."  

     Propane leaking from a water heater caused a Pennsylvania home to explode after a storm, an insurer claims in court. 

     The Delbarton School faces five lawsuits from alumni of the preparatory school who say they were sexually abused 30 years ago. 


     A home health care aide crashed through a garage door to take her elderly charge's car on a drunken joy ride to another state, the 77-year-old woman claims in court. 

     A union organizer alarmed by the GPS tracker he found on his truck asked a Texas judge for permission to depose the store owner who sold the device. 

     Waynesboro, Miss. police officers used unnecessary force to arrest a pharmacist on fabricated charges, a federal lawsuit claims 

     Whether Kaiser owes its patients coverage for reconstructive surgery after massive weight-loss procedures remains a question hung on what constitutes a "normal appearance," in the class action's second week at trial.

     A longtime sewer superintendent in South Dakota could face jail time if convicted of falsifying records about wastewater discharged into the Missouri River. 

     Nevada legislators want to dump the state's troubled health exchange, prohibit the creation of a new one, and join the federal program.

     California Attorney General Kamala Harris has sued in state court to duck having to circulate an attorney's ballot bid calling for the execution of "sodomites" by "bullets to the head." 

     A fencing coach hit his world-ranked student over the head with a wine bottle in Belgium, though he knew she had recently suffered a head injury, the woman claims in court. 

     The owners of a Kansas apartment complex discriminated against families with children by threatening to report them to social services, Uncle Sam said in a settled complaint. 

     Blaming his urologist in court for botching his penile implant procedure and maiming his member, a man named Willie says he will never have sex again.

     The estate of a woman killed by her ex just hours after she had him arrested waited too long to sue police for negligence, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled. 

     A Newport News, Va. woman cannot pursue claims against the city's sheriff for injuries she received when she fell down a staircase while in police custody, a federal judge ruled. 

     The wife of "Hill Street Blues" writer David Milch sued Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno, accountants, claiming they concealed from her that her husband's gambling addiction put them $17 million in debt, in Superior Court.

     Liberty Asset Management Corp. et al. ran an $11 million real estate-based Ponzi scheme, investment firm JD Brothers claims; click headline to see the defendants in Federal Court.  

     Two Chicago-area men, one of whom was a national guardsman, will appear in federal court Thursday afternoon on terror charges. 

     An attorney who compared public officials to Nazis and called a Wisconsin mayor a member of a "death cult" has been suspended for a year. 

     The 11th Circuit held the relatives of victims killed by Colombian paramilitary forces cannot sue Drummond Co. in U.S. courts for its alleged support of the murderers. 

     A federal judge certified a class of Georgia residents who claim the state denied them benefits by delaying processing their applications for food stamps. 

     A Canadian antiques dealer was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns, elephant ivory and coral.

     The government did not violate Native Americans' housing-assistance rights by lowering grants after discovering past overpayments, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday.  

     By agreeing to construct a pond, a construction company was warranting that it would hold water, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled. 


     A California lawmaker has proposed to redefine state penal code to make it legal to film incidents of police brutality without fear of reprisal by officers.

     Grindr need not face negligence claims from a man arrested after a 13-year-old allegedly used the gay-dating app to solicit a threesome, a federal judge ruled. 

     A federal judge ruled two professional gamblers who won more than $9.6 million must face a New Jersey casino's claims that they used an "edge sorting scam" to distinguish good card. 

     Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings agreed to plead guilty and pay a $233 million penalty for violating United States sanctions forbidding trade with Iran and Sudan, the Justice Department announced. 

     A geothermal energy developer cannot duck claims that it defrauded the United States of $122 million by reporting false information about two projects to get government grants, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. 

     European regulators said Thursday they will launch an antitrust investigation of the EU's e-commerce sector, a day after announcing plans to create a single, continent-wide digital market.

     The newly minted Nevada Court of Appeals heard its first four cases on Wednesday, leaving only nine states with no appellate court systems.

      A 33-month prison sentence meted out to a distraught mother who called the White House comment line and threatened to kill President Obama may be excessive, the 2nd Circuit ruled. 

     Two government agencies are not liable to a woman seeking justice after an alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia, a federal judge ruled. 


     Personal information of substitute teachers who were harassed during a strike must be released to Cleveland's union boss, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled. 

     Moving two zoo elephants from Seattle to Oklahoma will cause the animals undue suffering and violate the Endangered Species Act, animal activists claim in court. 

     Indianans are complaining that a "religious freedom act" Gov. Mike Pence signed today in a private ceremony will legalize discrimination.


     A woman who murdered her best friend should not be allowed to profit from books about it, the victim's family says in court.

     A Pennsylvania bus driver who crashed into a freight train while transporting special-needs and elderly passengers now faces seven lawsuits. 

     An animal control officer and five others involved in the arrest of a dog rehabilitator operating out of Michael Vick's former dogfighting arena must face conspiracy claims, a federal judge ruled. 

     Chicago attorney Kathleen Niew pleaded guilty Thursday in Columbia, S.C., to three counts of wire fraud to further a fraudulent investment scheme.


     An Indiana county's ban on nonresidents using its courthouse lawn is unconstitutional, two civil rights groups claim in Federal Court. 

     The European Commission sued Belgium on Thursday for refusing to admit workers who pay social security to other member states.

     Priceline.com, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and other travel-booking companies are infringing on copyrighted promotional photographs, the Wave Studio claims.

 


     Armen Boladian, president of Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records, claims George Clinton and Clinton's attorneys maliciously prosecuted and defamed him by claiming he owes the funk singer millions of dollars, in Superior Court.


     Without mentioning an amount, a federal judge Tuesday preliminarily approved a class action settlement that claims BMW Z4 alloy wheels crack prematurely. 


     A firefighters union claims the Monarch (Mo.) Fire Protection District has an unconstitutionally vague policy prohibiting workers from posting "inappropriate" images on the Internet, on their own time, in St. Louis County Court. 

     A federal judge Monday dismissed the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley's 2009 lawsuit claiming the Secretary of the Interior unfairly refuses to grant it tribal status. The tribe was terminated in 1959.