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NINTH CIRCUIT LAWYER CROSSES GENDER GAP IN NEW BOOK Only a few of the hundred or so people who came to Dhillon Khosla’s afternoon goodbye party were still around at 6 p.m. Friday, enjoying wine, cheese and the fireplace in the Ninth Circuit’s Redwood Room. Until last week, the craggy-faced Khosla was one of the appeals court’s longest-tenured staff lawyers, having worked on habeas corpus cases for about 10 years, interrupted by a stint at the state Supreme Court. This week, he departs on a tour promoting his first book, “Both Sides Now,” and hopefully the beginning of a new career. Subtitled “One Man’s Journey Through Womanhood,” Khosla’s book details the other big transition he made since coming to the Ninth Circuit: Khosla, who was a woman for the first three-quarters or so of his life, went through a series of complex and life-threatening surgeries to become a man. “I came close to death in one of the surgeries,” Khosla said over lunch recently, adding that staffers and judges at the Ninth Circuit were supportive throughout the process. The biggest issue for many of them, he said, was “the pronoun shift. People worked hard at it.” It eventually caught on, he said, although all along, the focus at work remained on, well, work. “They’re very, very appreciative if you’re good at what you do,” he said. For the last several years, Khosla has conducted training for clerks and new staff attorneys on habeas procedures while working at night writing the book, an idea that came from years of journal entries. “By the time two years passed, I had thousands of pages,” Khosla said. “There were all these things that I witnessed that were worth writing about.” It didn’t take long to find an agent and a book deal, and Khosla has speaking and book-signing dates lined up across the country, along with interviews on Fox News and several other TV and radio stations. Once that’s done, he’ll try to develop a new career as a musician � he’s already recorded an album � and perhaps continue writing. At the tail end of his party Friday, Khosla said he wasn’t worried about leaving a stable job for an uncertain future � the risk is nothing compared to what he’s already gone through, and he’s always got the law to fall back on. Plus, Khosla said earlier, none of his life decisions have ever felt like a choice. “It’s not like, �Hey, I have a book.’ I feel like this is my purpose,” he said. “My job is to tell the truth of who I am.” For more information about “Both Sides Now,” click here.Justin Scheck KNOWING WHEN TO HOLD IT If your client carries drugs in his pockets, you should advise him to find a real bathroom when he feels the call of nature. That’s the takeaway from a published opinion out of the First District Court of Appeal last week, where a unanimous panel decided � in “what appears to be a question of first impression” � that public urination is indeed a crime in California. That’s bad news for defendant David McDonald, because it means an Alameda County Superior Court judge won’t suppress evidence of the cocaine base that a police officer discovered in his pocket when he was caught urinating in an empty restaurant parking lot. McDonald claimed the cop’s search was unjust because he hadn’t done anything illegal to prompt it. And that defense led to a 20-page opinion dissecting the legal definition of urine. Is it litter? Not quite. The appeals court decided that the relevant meaning of “litter” in state law describes waste matter as “carried on or about the person.” And that just doesn’t make sense, said the panel led by Justice J. Anthony Kline, who wrote, “Urine is carried within the person.” The court also didn’t buy the prosecution’s theory that McDonald was breaking a different state law, one that prohibits anyone from discharging a substance that’s “nauseous, sickening, irritating or offensive to any of the senses.” Because another part of that statute refers to manufacturing or preparing the offensive substances, the court said, that law must be limited to artificial things. And, as Kline noted in People v. McDonald, 06 C.D.O.S. 2013, “Urine, a natural product of the human body, is not such a substance.” But there was a saving grace for the prosecution � McDonald, it turns out, created a public nuisance, because his behavior was injurious to health, indecent or offensive to the senses (actually, the court said it was all three), and because he interfered with the “comfortable enjoyment of life or property” of a considerable number of people, given that the parking lot was near a busy street. Had he been caught in some remote forest, his case might have turned out differently. Acknowledging exceptions, the court allowed that “a hiker responding to an irrepressible call of nature in an isolated area in the backwoods” wouldn’t be interfering with any common, public right. � Pam Smith GETTING SPECIFIC A research attorney � or a justice � with a little time on his hands can be a dangerous thing. Or at least a little twisted. Thus an eye-catching footnote in a Feb. 27 unpublished ruling out of the First District Court of Appeal that goes to great lengths to define the word “fuck.” We quote: “A certain four-letter verb for �copulate,’ of possible Scandinavian origin (see Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) p. 463, col. 2) appears frequently in the record along with its gerundive and a related noun involving the maternal parent.” Sure enough, a quick search of the text of Smith v. City and County of San Francisco, A108308, reveals 19 uses of “fuck,” nine of “fucking” and three of “motherfucker.” There’s also one “F up” � as in “shut the F up” � and three instances of “asshole.” The case involved a Haight Street confrontation between James Smith and San Francisco police officers Alex Fagan Jr., who’s no longer on the force, and John Broucaret. Jurors threw out an assault and battery and civil rights suit against the two, and the appeal court affirmed. Rich material for a bored justice or his research attorney. � Mike McKee

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