Orange County Reporter
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The question of whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit for a discharge has long been settled law — except when it's not.
As a deadly surge of COVID-19 began hammering California late last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed new restrictions on personal and economic activities and repeatedly promised that massive vaccinations would soon stop its spread.
Rudy Giuliani needs to confront bar disciplinary proceedings for his words that were part of the mosaic that egged on a mob illegally storming our Capitol on Jan. 6. Giuliani's words to his client's rallying crowd: "Let's have trial by combat."

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 was a big year for published trusts and estates cases, including California Supreme Court decisions. The following article contains only this author's selection.

Monday, January 11, 2021

As the new year begins, criminal law practitioners in Los Angeles county are beginning to adapt to massive changes brought about by both changes in state law and by the incoming George Gascón administration at the district attorney's office.
President-elect Joe Biden's potential appointment of U.S. District Judge Merrick Garland as the nation's next attorney general signals the significant shift in priorities for white collar investigations and prosecutions that can be expected in the new administration.

Friday, January 8, 2021

If the parents are unable to agree on how to handle the move-away request, they may need to have a court decide. How does a court make such a significant decision?
If you're a parent, here are some ways you can encourage your kids to become budding philanthropists.
This latest spending bill authorizes additional COVID-19 relief legislation and funds the federal government through Sept. 30, 2021, making important changes to the Paycheck Protection Program.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

One of the biggest divorce settlements of 2020 was finalized on Dec. 24 when the EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation Agreement was reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1864, the new California Consumer Financial Protection Law.
Nearly unnoticed in the wrangling over the amount of COVID relief payments, the stimulus bill signed into law on December 27, 2020 also included several interesting intellectual property provisions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging out of control, hospitals filling up and so many deaths that body bags are in short supply, we must do what we've avoided since March.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

This term the U.S. Supreme Court will reconsider rulings finding the National Collegiate Athletic Association's rules restricting its member conferences and schools from offering players compensation beyond athletic scholarships at cost of attendance unlawfully restrain trade by preventing conferences and schools from competing with each other for the student-athlete's athletic services (and thereby violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act).
For decades, a cliché about California was that the weather was always sunny and mild during Pasadena's Rose Bowl Parade on New Year's Day, and snowbound television viewers in other states were thus enticed to migrate westward.
As attorneys who work with individuals in California's six immigration detention centers, we have seen firsthand our immigration legal system transform into a deportation machine for those seeking protection from violence and persecution.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has been no zombie apocalypse, but it has forced law firms to reevaluate how they do business, particularly across state lines.
President-elect Joe Biden has already highlighted some of the immigration policies that he would like to implement during his upcoming presidency.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Here are five simple lessons on "dollars and sense" that can help kids develop a financial foundation.
In what could surely be called a Christmas miracle, millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed and are being administered to frontline health care workers all across the country. It is an unprecedented scientific achievement that raises hope for an end to the pandemic in the new year.
The Paycheck Protection Program was the centerpiece of the CARES Act, providing loans to businesses of up to $10 million. If you comply, you don't even have to pay your loan back. What's more, there is not even any forgiveness of debt income when your loan is forgiven, something that normally is a standard tax result from a forgiven loan. So far, so good, but can businesses claim tax deductions for business expenses?

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Cannabis businesses have been able to find creative solutions for protecting their intellectual property rights — at least to a limited degree.
Policyholders seek to maximize the benefits of insurance by characterizing costs as defense costs, while insurance companies seek to minimize defense costs by categorizing them as indemnity costs.
In my last column, I discussed the first argument that should be made in overcoming an obviousness rejection made by the patent examiner in a patent application. If possible, the applicant should argue that the examiner has failed to establish a prima facie case of obviousness because the examiner did not make the required factual findings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

When the state Employment Development Department released a new report on jobsthis month, it had a tinge of optimism.
When it comes to terminology that is acceptable in legal briefs and judicial opinions, the California Style Manual is the bible of legal lexicon.
In California, we learn from every fire season. This year, the lessons have been abundant and alarming.
Th court will decide whether the Computer Fraud and Abuse act is essentially an anti-hacking statute or a data protection statute that criminalizes datat misuse.
The lobbying for California's U.S. Senate seat began before election night in November and was filled with speculation, political positioning and tons of media attention.
There is a resurgence of interest in antitrust laws, aimed especially at the tech field and qualms about tech firms that have become massively sized in their clout and hold a pivotal role in our society. One means of potentially squaring out the antitrust discovery process, along with aiding the vigilance lifecycle, involves the leveraging of artificial intelligence capabilities.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Article V should be amended by reducing the state ratification threshold from three-fourths to two-thirds. This would make the process of amending the Constitution a little easier. And it would align the United States with other Western democracies.
Essentials during an emergency: Gasoline? Check. Groceries? Check. Medicine? Check. $32 restaurant prepared barbecue ribs? …Check?

Monday, December 28, 2020

If you are nearing or in retirement, you may be reconsidering your housing needs. Does your current home feel like it's too big for your needs?
The California Coastal Act of 1976 created a new state agency, the California Coastal Commission, and granted it tremendous authority over development along California's coastline. But the act also gave local governments a powerful tool to gain back some control — local governments are allowed to submit a local coastal program to the commission for certification.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, California took swift action to protect workers and the public.
While some California industries have managed to adapt their business models to the coronavirus pandemic, for many, the show simply cannot go on.
The federal stimulus package that lawmakers in Washington have agreed to is "very encouraging news" for California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday as he outlined how much of the $900 billion federal package is likely to flow to the Golden State.
A recent appellate ruling clarifies that product manufacturers can escape liability simply because their defective products are installed in a new home.
A 1-year-old in Fresno raking in $167 a week. An ex-state employee stealing $200,000 from California's unemployment system, some by impersonating Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
California has a power problem that's only going to keep rearing its head until we solve it.
One of the last books written by Dr. Seuss, "Oh, The Places You'll Go" is one of the bestselling books during graduation season each year. The copyright for this book, like all of the works of Dr. Seuss, belongs to Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP, which issues licenses for the creation of new works under the Dr. Seuss brand.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

California's fiscal squeeze tightened up Sunday when congressional leaders reached agreement on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that did not include direct aid to state and local governments.
When I was first elected to the state Assembly more than a decade ago, I had never held public office, yet I knew in my heart I could lead.
Heated debate continues relentlessly regarding the U.S. Constitution and the meaning of this venerated document. One innovative approach to aid this ongoing quest would be to devise an AI-enabled virtual digital twin of the "living Constitution" for active use by all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

As the internet ever-increasingly becomes the default medium for advertising and commerce, businesses are pushing the boundaries of what is ethically and legally acceptable in advertising, employing search engine optimization tactics to increase their chances of showing up in your search results.

Monday, December 21, 2020

California, we have a problem. Gun sales are surging and a good number of these gun purchases are in direct response to the fear of the pandemic and social unrest, according to a recent UC Davis study.
With the end of the year nearing, investors must quickly yet carefully consider last minute tax planning strategies.
Kristi and Brian Anderson have some thoughts about how the first year of California's "get-tough-on-utilities" approach to preventing wildfires is going: Badly. Very badly.
In 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division achieved what Director Stephanie Avakian described as "extraordinary results" in the face of the unexpected and unprecedented challenges posed by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Here are four significant areas of First Amendment law in which courts will likely set new precedent in the new year.
For many of us, the new year means a fresh start and the chance to set new goals. As you consider your resolutions, you may want to add "strengthen my financial foundation" to the list.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

California's authority to set more stringent air pollution standards than the federal government under the Clean Air Act is likely to be reinvigorated once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in next year.
Most patent applications are initially rejected on obviousness grounds by the patent examiner in the US Patent and Trademark Office.
It is dubious that the CCPA will actually benefit California consumers by requiring the anti-spoofing technology six months earlier than federal rules.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Recent mega settlements demonstrate the vitality of derivative actions involving large, publicly traded companies; however, derivative actions are also essential for the protection of small, privately held companies.
Footage will provide a far richer and more accurate understanding of the legal issues and evidence presented during the trial than anything available in a transcript. Video recordings are powerful storytelling tools that journalists often use to inform the public about the judicial branch.
Why, you might ask, has Congress taken the extraordinary step of passing a law to "remind" federal prosecutors of constitutional obligations none could forget?
Gov. Gavin Newsom already faces the complicated chore of filling several high-profile political positions.
A combination of the evolving nature of lemon law litigation in California under the Song-Beverly Warranty Act and changes to the federal tax code that repealed the deduction for certain attorney fees awards can cause adverse tax consequences.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Here are five important cases which affect real estate in California in 2021. We apologize if your favorite case was excluded. It has been a turbulent year.

Monday, December 14, 2020

George Gascón was just sworn in on Monday as the new district attorney of Los Angeles, and he has already issued many sweeping changes.
In 2019, the Department of Justice announced an important change to its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Corporate Enforcement Policy concerning one of the conditions that companies must meet to receive "full credit" for "timely and appropriate remediation" in the resolution of an FCPA enforcement action; it declined to require an outright ban on the use of third-party instant messaging applications.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Social Security is likely to play an integral role in your retirement income plan. Yet too many people aren't as familiar with the complexities of the program as they should be. There are a number of false perceptions about what to expect when the time comes to start collecting benefits. Here are five common myths out there and the real story behind each of them.
Schooling has been an ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide a case dealing with the intersection of labor union organizing laws and property rights.
Sue Ladich spent $1,600 clearing brush and trees from around her home in 2014. In 2017, she ponied up $3,500 to clear even more potential wildfire fuel from her property. This year, she spent another $2,200.
As the revenue-strained months march on, the pressure on budgets of law firms and other users of commercial real estate continues to build, like an ever rising reservoir behind a structurally challenged dam. Something has to give.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

An appellate court recently ruled that the plain language of the law prevents the presence of marijuana, by itself, from constituting probable cause to search a vehicle.
Across the country, most judicial proceedings have ground to a halt. But not eviction cases.
In 10x Genomics, Inc. v. Celsee, Inc., 1-19-cv-00862 (DDE 2020-12-04, Order) (Colm F. Connolly), the District Court ordered the defendant to produce documents and give testimony about communications between defendant and its new corporate owner concerning the litigation and the provisions in the acquisition agreement that concern the litigation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Employers must continue to navigate the various intertwining — and sometimes contradictory — employment laws affecting their workplaces both during and after the crisis.
As annual open enrollment proceeds for Affordable Care Act health plans, millions of Americans have signed up for low-cost coverage. But some people, like those who earn too much to qualify for financial help under the health care law, may find the cost of a plan daunting.

Monday, December 7, 2020

The case warrants the publicity of publication because it discusses an issue that arises with some regularity, but does not usually involve enough money to make extensive litigation advisable.
A century ago, lawyer advertising was widely considered to be unprofessional and uncouth. In keeping with this, most law practices used the names of their principals, rather than the catchy names we see in the marketplace today. But much has changed.
Here is the second half of our two-part article on new employment law legislation affecting California employers.
Californians will likely see the first doses of Pfizer's new COVID-19 vaccine arrive between Dec. 12 and 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday as he unveiled the state's distribution plans for its initial allotment of 327,000 doses.

Friday, December 4, 2020

What the Biden administration may mean for employers nationwide
At nearly 30 years old, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act remains the crown jewel of the federal response to the robocall epidemic.
Pet videos populate Facebook all the time, but one posted during this frenzied election season stood out: A service dog named Maggie Magoo had voted by mail in Santa Cruz, its owner said. Not just that, the owner claimed Maggie was registered to vote using her microchip number as a social security number.
Investing used to be easier for retirees. Many sought to generate enough income from the yield created by bonds or short-term investments like money market funds to meet their living expenses.
The Listing Law assumes that when substituting one subcontractor for another, it is the direct contractor who is making the substitution request. The Listing Law is silent as to whether a public entity can tell a direct contractor to make a substitution.
This year's election results underscore what we've known all along – Californians want affordable homes, health and prosperity for all.
President-elect Joe Biden won the election with the most ambitious education agenda in the modern era. From tripling Title 1 funding for low-income schools to eliminating tuition for most families, his plans will need an Education Secretary with the savvy to match the boldness of the agenda.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The court recently settled a novel procedural question about when defendants should respond with a new answer to an amended complaint and provided some interesting insights into federal practice in the process.
AI is going to be crucial for lawyers and lawmakers, but defining AI is a lot harder than it might seem. Those versed in the practice of law know how beguiling definitions can be, including crafting a properly robust definition or flailing over flimsy ones, for which defining AI turns out to be equally problematic.
In 2019, Carnival Corporation, the owner of the Carnival Cruise Line, attempted to register KING JAMES in connection with a wide variety of services, including retail store services, various retail goods, cruise-ship services, sports, entertainment, banquet services, beauty and health care, and much more. According to Carnival, it planned to name its newest ship King James, and the application seems to indicate that Carnival also planned to use the KING JAMES mark in connection with various other goods and services onboard the ship. As you can imagine, a prominent figure took issue with Carnival's plan. That figure was none other than LeBron James, or as those in the sports world have known him for over a decade, King James.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Throughout California, academic grades for children forced into makeshift learn-at-home arrangements rather than receiving classroom instruction have plummeted — and that's among kids who are actually signing on via computer.
On Nov. 2, the SEC adopted final rules to reduce the complexity and "promote capital formation and expand investment opportunities while preserving or improving important investor protections."
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an intense and wide-ranging stampede by pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, physicians and health care practitioners to find preventative, curative and symptom treatments for the flu-like illness.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Debates ensue over whether today's law is overly complex and needs to be simplified. In the future, as artificial intelligence is infused into the field of law, there might be an inherent and axiomatic path toward simplification, though this is not necessarily a desirable result.
Decades of political conflict over the fate of four obsolete dams on the Klamath River reached a turning point last week with a multi-party, two-state "memorandum of understanding" to remove them in hopes of restoring salmon runs.
As the economy attempts to climb out of the economic recession fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new form of opportunity zone investing has taken shape.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

What do the Dodgers, American Apparel, Rubio's Fish Tacos, California Pizza Kitchen, MGM Studios and Pacific Sunwear have in common?
Businesses in California have a solid, triple threat coming at them right now — a new year, a new administration in Washington, D.C., and a new normal from the pandemic.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Even if you do not litigate long-term discipline claims, understanding their importance will guide clients in the right direction
California has set new statewide restrictions and pulled an "emergency brake" of reopening rollbacks in counties across the state, as well as issuing a new statewide mask mandate.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Over the last several months, Los Angeles County has been on the cutting edge of developing novel solutions to the education and enforcement challenges associated with the public health orders intended to protect the general public from COVID-19.
Proposition 15, which would have boosted property taxes on commercial real estate by billions of dollars a year, finally bit the dust last week.
What a year 2020 has been. Many people in California and elsewhere are still working remotely. In some cases, that includes people who usually work in California for a California employer who are now working remotely of state, and vice versa.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The defeat of California's Proposition 25 may have come as a surprise to some, but not to those who have closely watched the debacle of bail reform unfold in the Golden State in recent years.
Two years ago, Democratic newcomers across the state were swept into Congress atop a frothing "blue wave" of anti-Trump fervor — a result that only became apparent late in the vote count. This year's election has been playing out a little like 2018 in reverse.
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit issued a split panel decision on induced infringement.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Living and paying taxes in California is expensive. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it might just be that it is probably less important where you are on a day to day basis than it used to be. A great deal depends on your business or profession, of course. And even within a business or profession, how you interact and with whom matters a lot.
Despite damning precedent that the test may apply to the franchise relationship, franchisors may have a viable argument that federal and state franchise laws preempt or supersede it following a decision by a federal district court

Friday, November 13, 2020

At this time of year, you often hear advice to take steps before year-end to limit your tax liability. Yet 2020 is a unique year in a variety of ways – while many of the normal rules regarding managing income and timing deductions still apply, new provisions for 2020 have been implemented by The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that may impact your year-end tax planning. Consider if any of these actions make sense for you.
Amazon marketplace sellers battle counterfeit goods (and Amazon)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas explained that the False Claims Act's "materiality requirement" — one of the key elements of any False Claims Act case brought by whistleblowers or the government claiming "fraud" on the government — is "demanding" and "rigorous."
The National Environmental Protection Act has been called the "Magna Carta of environmental laws" for good reason. Its twin aims are to force federal agencies to consider environmental impacts in making significant decisions that require federal permits or approvals and to inform the public about decision making by those agencies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

During the 2016 presidential campaign, there was plenty of talk about estate taxes — death taxes to use a common pejorative term. None of that happened, and in the 2020 campaign, there was little talk about estate tax. Even so, big change might be coming to taxes on death.
You can buy a lot with $200 million. The most expensive ballot proposition in California's history delivered almost exactly what its sponsors were looking for. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart seem to have engineered an end-run around Dynamex and Assembly Bill 5, convincing voters that drivers are better off as independent contractors, rather than employees.

Monday, November 9, 2020

In real estate, the famous line is that there are three keywords to always keep in mind, namely, location, location, location. Perhaps in the field of law, one might assert that the three most notable keywords are laws, laws, laws.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Credit Donald Trump with one achievement in California: His presidency has encouraged record numbers of Californians to become registered voters and cast ballots.
Five years into California implementing the most sweeping change to state water law in a century, the first lawsuits are hitting the courts.
Last month, the Eastern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against the state of California regarding Penal Code Section 653o(b).

Friday, October 30, 2020

Earlier this month, the 1st District Court of Appeal issued an opinion that adheres to an unfortunate trend in some courts to stretch provisions of the California Invasion of Privacy Act to cover situations beyond the statutory text.
Are you among the millions of Americans who has pursued a moneymaking endeavor outside of your job, what is commonly referred to as a "side hustle?" If you have a passion for this venture, you might be looking for a way to turn it into your primary occupation.
Recently proposed amendments to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act will increase interactive computer service providers' civil liability exposure.
Californians are casting their votes and making important choices about revenue for local communities, ending the ban on affirmative action, restoring justice for families and selecting our next elected leaders. The ballot decisions and questions come down to: What California do we want for our families and communities?

Friday, July 31, 2020

When legislators passed and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a 2020-21 state budget in June, they described it as "balanced." Not by a long shot.
Many Americans took advantage of May's long Memorial Day weekend by venturing out of town for the first time in weeks, to gather with family or visit resorts. A few weeks later, COVID-19 cases began a vertiginous rise.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

As doctors, we fight for our patients, advocating for improved patient care and safety in our hospitals. When our weekly shifts end, many of us volunteer to further treat underserved populations.
For those who have either forgotten or don't keep up with takings law, Kelo v. New London was the bombshell case in which a 5-4 majority approved the condemnation of an inoffensive working class Connecticut neighborhood in order to provide amenities for the nearby Pfizer development.
A PIPE, or private investment in public equity, is a private placement transaction executed in accordance with the Section 4(a)(2) exemption and Rule 506(b) of Regulation D.
The pandemic-truncated 2020 legislative session, which resumed this week, has no shortage of business to conduct and just a month to do it — unless Gov. Gavin Newsom grants an extension.

Monday, July 27, 2020

California's attorneys general, the state's top legal officers, have developed a bad habit in recent years — skewing the official titles of ballot measures.
The data is in: We now know for certain who really benefited from federal efforts intended for small business recovery. The biggest banks made billions of dollars in fees from the Paycheck Protection Program.
The ABA recently issued an ethics opinion to clarify the line between legitimate advocacy and conduct that would violate Model Rule 8.4(g).
Maitely Weismann moved her 77-year-old mother from New York into a Los Angeles assisted living facility in mid-March, planning frequent visits to help her settle in. The timing couldn't have been worse, as California's pandemic lockdown had just banned virtually all visits in long-term care homes.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Over the course of their lifetime, the average American changes jobs 12 times and works for 5-7 different employers1. If this rings true for you, you may be among the millions of people who have started 401(k) or 403(b) plans with multiple companies over the years.
Every aspect of life, business and law has been impacted by the current and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The cannabis industry, which was already a transitioning industry undergoing many challenges, has seen a number of major changes.
While a final resolution of the issue in a recent California Supreme Court ruling is long overdue and the court's recent decision brings needed clarity to condemnation law, the work of the Legislature, the Judicial Council and the Supreme Court is incomplete.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The past months have been a time of exceptional change and challenge for Green Dot Public Schools -- as they have for most organizations, families and communities.
As fiduciaries, trustees are typically guided by the responsibilities and obligations imposed on them under the law and/or pursuant to a contract or trust instrument. In litigation, courts typically focus more on the sufficiency of the trustee's asset management process and administrative approach than investment portfolio results. It is important, therefore, that a trustee focus on the review process and reevaluate all aspects of the administration.
Those not knowledgeable in the art of jury selection see little harm in masking jurors and lawyers. But for those of us who spend our careers in the trenches of the courtroom reading the subtleties of juror reactions in order to decide how to exercise the precious few preemptory challenges allowed by law, we will be stumbling blindly — deprived of the essential signs of facial expression.
For high growth tech companies, corporate venture capital can be an attractive investment option. Not only can corporates provide capital, but they can also offer commercial synergies and valuable services — from assistance with product design to regulatory and technical support in specialist areas.
We certainly know that COVID-19 strikes hardest, sometimes fatally, at those who already have weakened bodies, such as the elderly.

Monday, July 20, 2020

After weeks of uncertainty, it's now obvious that the vast majority of California's six million public school students will be staying, and presumably studying, at home this fall, rather than returning to the classrooms they hastily abandoned four months ago.
The nationwide coronavirus lockdown — the first in over a century from a global pandemic — has given us an opportunity to slow down, spend more time with our loved ones, and reflect on our priorities. As we emerge from the lockdown, what lessons can we take with us to thrive in our professional and personal lives in increasingly challenging times? Here are five.
Next in the Negotiating Trauma & the Law Series, interview with Fresno-based immigration lawyer on the importance of giving clients more control; on the imperative of habits to stay healthy in difficult trauma-inducing work.
In June we marked the one-year anniversary of Gov. Gavin Newsom's formal apology to California's Native American people for official atrocities and genocide committed against them by the state.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Two bills currently before the California Legislature are seemingly moving quite easily through the Assembly and Senate but are facing significant opposition from the California insurance commissioner and insurance consumer organizations.
A Court of Appeal ruling recently added to the growing number of California state and federal courts holding that the websites of businesses that are connected to a "brick and mortar" physical location are covered by the ADA if there is a "sufficient nexus between the claimed barriers and the plaintiff's ability to use or enjoy the goods and services offered at the defendant's physical facilities.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A society's budget reveals its moral values, and by that metric, 21st century America barely hovers above bankruptcy. Our budgets expose our value of a carceral, police state, or at least one imposed and inflicted upon marginalized communities of color.
Sisters Maria and Jennifer Salvador start their days before the sun. The Southern California teenagers report to work at an Oxnard strawberry farm with one goal: To harvest as many bright red strawberries as they can.
The Death Penalty Clinic at Berkley Law released a study last week that concludes that "racial discrimination is an ever-present feature of jury selection in California."
We are in a time of global pandemic and the U.S. Southern border wall is progressing. More than 180 miles of new wall has been constructed, without recent push-back from those of us who have long protested the building of a wall.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced this week that they have a deal on a new state budget to take effect on July 1.

Friday, June 19, 2020

In Duke, the California Supreme Court expanded the power of the trial court to admit extrinsic evidence to correct mistakes in wills, a power neither statute nor case law permitted, holding that such intervention was required to avoid unjust enrichment.
Interest rates recently hit all-time lows as the Federal Reserve made cuts to mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19. If you're a homeowner with a monthly mortgage payment, you might be wondering if now is a good time to refinance.
In a stinging blow to the Trump administration, Thursday's Supreme Court decision found the administration's attempt to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, was "arbitrary and capricious."
On June 9, the California Public Utilities Commission issued an order designating all gig drivers classified as independent contractors as presumptive employees of their respective companies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

One would think that with demonstrations against police brutality raging throughout the state, even in small rural towns, officers who monitored the protests would have been on their best behavior.
Three summers ago, my Stanford Law classmates and I were volunteering at an immigration detention center in rural Texas to help asylum seekers. While we were there, President Donald Trump, in a blink of a tweet, rescinded DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Recently, Sen. Mike Braun introduced the Conditional Approval Act, which would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to allow for a shorter pathway to market — that is, to allow for an early, provisional, and time limited approval — for drug candidates that meet six criteria.
Only a little more than a week after the protests started, a panel of the 4th Circuit issued an opinion on the use of excessive force by the police against a homeless black man.

Monday, June 15, 2020

We lawyers are accustomed to incremental change based on reasoned consideration of precedent. Legal precedent is designed to change slowly. That's not always a good thing.
Each juror brings a unique perspective and experience to the process, but together they create new energy. When jurors aren't physically together, some of that will be lost.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others to state violence has ignited a global uprising against racism in all its forms. It also has given new momentum to the fight for justice for black and brown communities across California, with a call to revolutionize our justice systems.
When Jerry Brown returned to the governorship in 2011, he pledged that fixing a deficit-ridden state budget would be his highest priority.

Friday, June 12, 2020

In recent months, many insured businesses have turned to their insurers seeking coverage for claims and losses related to COVID-19.
In a report issued on June 4, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees most nursing homes in the United States, estimated that almost 32,000 residents have died of the virus, more than a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the shortcomings of many of the programs that help protect older adults in California, including our state's food assistance program, CalFresh.
The economic shutdown that we've endured as a nation as we attempt to combat COVID-19 has created significant challenges for small business owners. Even those that were thriving before the crisis are not immune to the effects of a sustained closure or limitation on how they operate.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

No sooner had Joseph Strauss first imagined a bridge to cross the Golden Gate Strait, than the complaints came rolling in. Property prices would be lowered. Views would be ruined. The environment would be harmed. More than 2,000 lawsuits that sought to stymie the project were a testament to an opposition that was powerful, determined and well-funded.

Friday, June 5, 2020

One possible upside to a down market comes in the form of a long-recognized strategy called tax loss harvesting. The concept took a backseat in the midst of an 11-year bull market, but it has jumped back into discussion now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I spent my final years at Harvard studying hard and working hard to fight for race conscious admissions policies there. After graduating last year, I returned home to California as another conversation about affirmative action was emerging with Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5.
As the crises cascade one upon the other — pandemic, economic decline and racial conflict — Democrat Gavin Newsom's governorship bears an increasingly eery resemblance to that of Republican Pete Wilson three decades earlier.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Governments' efforts to address the novel coronavirus pandemic include measures that closed or curtailed many businesses' operations. As governments relax these restrictions, businesses must hire, rehire, or recall employees who were laid off or paid to be on call.
Governments' efforts to address the novel coronavirus pandemic include measures that closed or curtailed many businesses' operations. As governments relax these restrictions, businesses must hire, rehire, or recall employees who were laid off or paid to be on call.

Friday, May 29, 2020

No one could have predicted with certainty how quickly the COVID-19 pandemic would change the lives of so many around the world. Fear of infection, stay-at-home orders and a rallying cry to help "flatten the curve" have drastically changed how people behave in their daily lives. In the face of so much uncertainty, the need to have an emergency fund -- a tool that can help your family manage the financial fallout in the case of a job loss or other unwelcome impact -- has come to the forefront.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Even before COVID-19 rocked California, there were stark economic differences between the state's two major metropolitan regions — the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County-centered Southern California — and the pandemic will widen the gap even more.
By confirming a property interest in employment and fraud as a basis of a public policy claim (albeit in the context of Penal Code statutes), a recent appellate ruling has broadened the definition of statutorily based public policy, to the benefit of unjustly terminated employees.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the 2nd Circuit's application of res judicata to bar Lucky Brand's assertion of a defense in a 2011 lawsuit where it failed to litigate that same defense in a separate lawsuit in 2005.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Apple and Google are releasing application interfaces this month that marshal a smartphone's Bluetooth capability to trace a person's movements. The smartphone broadcasts a random identifier that will be recorded by other cellphones that come within close proximity and vice versa.
In these challenging economic times, many worthwhile charitable organizations find themselves in a precarious financial position. Meanwhile, they are experiencing unprecedented demand, especially those charities who provide basic needs like food and shelter.
Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a landmark decision concerning the liability of internet intermediaries for intellectual property infringement.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wide-ranging environmental programs announced with much fanfare in January have disappeared from California Gov. Gavin Newsom's newest budget proposal, casualties of the global economic collapse during the pandemic.
Clem Miller, a congressman from California's North Coast known as Spendin' Clem for his ability to bring home pork-barrel funding, was a shoo-in for re-election to a third term in 1962.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Parker Tenove remembers looking at his track and field schedule for the 2020 spring season, marveling at the opportunity to run at competitions in California cities from Santa Monica to Bakersfield.

Friday, May 15, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has stoked fears among businesses that they will be targeted with lawsuits as they reopen for business. They foresee customers and employees lining up to sue, claiming unsafe conditions and negligent exposure to the virus, along with mult-million-dollar wrongful death claims from victims' family members. They envision years of litigation, astronomical legal defense bills, and millions of dollars in payouts.
It has taken a global pandemic to finally move legislators in DC toward progress on consumer privacy issues. Despite an urgent need for a comprehensive legal framework to protect personal data, more than a year after it first began looking at a federal scheme, Congress has not managed to reach consensus on a framework such as the European Union's GDPR or California's CCPA.
The now ended long economic boom from 2010-2020 made Californians complacent. Workers were in demand everywhere in America, so employers put up with California's high minimum wage, stunning housing costs and often absurd regulations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Early in his second governorship, Jerry Brown championed a major overhaul of school finance that, he pledged, would close the stubborn "achievement gap" that separated poor and English-learner students from children of more privileged circumstances.

Monday, May 11, 2020

The cloistered community of political lobbyists who specialize in the massive, but otherwise obscure, system of compensating workers for job-related illnesses and injuries had been preparing for one of their periodic clashes.

Friday, May 8, 2020

California finance officials revealed a $54.3 billion deficit Thursday in the first economic assessment of the coronavirus pandemic's devastating blow to the fifth-largest economy in the world.
It was purely coincidental that state Supreme Court justices heard arguments this week in a landmark case involving public employee pensions as state and local officials were beginning to wrest with the severe impacts of a pandemic-induced recession on their budgets.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Governor is taking "legally justified and morally necessary" action says his spokeswoman.
The COVID-19 pandemic gives new meaning to the phrase "living the dream." Like millions, I find myself ruminating, so for want of anything better to say, here are my latest reflections. If I waited another three weeks, you undoubtedly would be reading an entirely different article.
If banks do not extend some comparable long-term relief, another real estate and mortgage crash is a near certainty, some attorneys say, but the plans for delayed payments due to no rents being paid may not really help the property owners.
While California's health system is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, our state's capacity to test, treat and conduct community tracing activities for sexually transmitted diseases has been dramatically reduced.
In the context of the numerous lawsuits have recently filed by policyholders seeking compensation for lost business income occasioned by the pending pandemic, a key issue will be whether those policyholders have suffered "direct physical loss or damage" to their businesses.
Every first of the month, California's past due rent bill gets bigger. As the state enters May sheltering in place for the seventh straight week to stop the spread of COVID-19, nearly 1 in 5 California workers have filed for unemployment, with millions more wondering if their next paycheck will actually materialize.
About three-fourths of the Legislature's 120 seats are occupied by Democrats, which renders the Capitol's relatively tiny band of Republicans pretty much irrelevant.
A divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel denied the U.S. government's request to stay an Oregon district judge's order enjoining a presidential proclamation barring immigrants from entering the U.S. unless they can demonstrate they have the resources to cover health care costs.

Monday, April 27, 2020

A party accused of infringing a patent may challenge the validity of the patent in the federal court infringement litigation or in separate administrative proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Californians struggling with the dramatic financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic heard a little good news from their governor Thursday: stimulus payments are safe from debt collectors, and payments on most private student loans can be postponed, without penalty, for the next 90 days.

Friday, April 24, 2020

California has more than 35,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 but understanding precisely who has been tested and treated remains shrouded in mystery — and is key to ensuring equal access, according to advocacy groups seeking more transparency from the Newsom administration.
Retirement is an important milestone that often comes after years (or decades) of careful planning. But even the most seasoned planners couldn't have foreseen the severe market selloff that happened in March in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. The abrupt end to the 10-year bull market surprised investors of all ages who are now wondering how long it will take for their portfolios to recover.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Quarantines, business shutdown orders, and stay-at-home orders may be effective weapons in the global fight against COVID-19, but such policies require immense government power and perhaps equally severe restrictions on freedoms we normally take for granted. With unprecedented measures being rolled out all over the country seemingly by the day, one might ask: What does the Constitution have to say about the coronavirus?
I hear the clamor at the courthouse doors: "I need this pandemic thing to end, at least in so far as it interferes with my litigation plan." I also hear, "Even if you can't put my entire case back on track, allow us to resume the parts that matter most to us right now." While there is nobody in the Los Angeles legal community who wants to get back to normal more than I do, I need to provide context for my answer to these well-intended questions and concerns.
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the obvious fact that "we are now in a pandemic-induced recession," and appointed an 80-member "Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery" to guide our way back to prosperity.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Burbank High School runs a music program that reportedly provided the inspiration for the hit TV show, Glee. It is nationally known for the competitive show choirs its students participate in as part of the program.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday the state is partnering with philanthropic groups to provide disaster relief to undocumented immigrants affected by the coronavirus who have been left out of other pandemic assistance programs.
Just a month ago, picket lines surrounded the base of the University of California at Santa Cruz campus, the halls of buildings filled with chants like "My neck, my back, the UC is wack."
Local governments have met the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19 with unprecedented changes in law. This is especially true in Los Angeles. In the past weeks, the city council has proposed several significant legislative actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Given the rise of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, it is safe to assume the world as we know it has changed and even a return to some level of normal is likely to be a very different type of normal than what existed pre-COVID-19.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The first few days of the coronavirus crisis revealed that the veneer of civilization may be thinner than we assumed.
Last week, Isabel Solorio turned away five families from the Lanare food bank serving farmworkers in rural Fresno County. There just wasn't enough food to feed the 215 families who showed up. It was twice the number of families that needed food a week earlier, she said.
Even if the most restrictive social distancing measures adopted to address the pandemic last for only a short time, with brick-and-mortar establishments forced to shut their doors, consumer spending has declined and tenants have begun to face extreme hardship in meeting their rent and financing commitments. While some landlords may have the liquidity to offer rent concessions, they still face financing and other contractual obligations of their own.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed California and the nation into uncharted waters, especially with the impact on our schools.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Twice in two years California appellate courts have addressed the proper construction of Probate Code Section 859 on the award of "double damages" with each court reaching a different conclusion.
For California's seniors, the coronavirus pandemic is an especially terrifying crisis. For the state, it is also a powerful signal that gaping loopholes in protections for this vulnerable and growing population must change.

Friday, April 10, 2020

In my early twenties, I started a modest sandwich shop where I learned that even on good days, the margins are tight. The risk, sweat and stress that goes into starting, owning and operating a small business are so constant that one wonders what compels anyone to do it.
Blood tests for antibodies to the novel coronavirus will be "foundational, fundamental," to sending Californians back to work, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday. But medical experts caution that there's still a lot we don't know about whether the tests are reliable enough to ensure people's safety.
In response to the severe economic fallout stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, a record $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package was enacted at the end of March. The wide-ranging CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act is designed to help ease the financial hardships many Americans are facing. You may be wondering what, if any, economic relief is available to you. Here are some possible ways you may qualify for support.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling which will likely make it harder for copyright owners to prove infringement in courts that are subject to the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, the largest circuit in the nation.
As a teacher, I have realized students have different assumptions now. I am sure it is an actual difference in attitudes toward authority for the next generation and our era; it is not merely my imagination or my own maturation.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Businesses will lose billions of dollars because they cannot operate due to the coronavirus. People either will not enter retail establishments or cannot do so due to stay-at-home orders. Restaurants are existing on takeout orders and those who do not have takeout windows are not operating at all. This will lead to a dispute between commercial tenants who cannot pay rent and their landlords.
COVID-19 has precipitated a record drop in the stock market. Here are a few steps to consider.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic terrorizes the nation, the federal government generally and President Donald Trump specifically have been criticized — with good reason — for their lack of preparedness and slow reaction.
California, the largest purchaser of goods and services in the country—outside of the federal government—has been particularly impacted by COVID-19, with the ramifications of the virus also felt by local governments throughout the state.
With the closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic, I have watched incredible, innovative uses of technology to lift spirits and continue learning for students.
On Friday, a lawsuit was filed challenging Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva's effort to shut down gun stores in Los Angeles by deeming such business "non-essential." The lawsuit names Villanueva, Gov. Gavin Newsom and two public health officers.
In Modesto, Claire Lazaro is working full time while caring for her kids with autism. She worries about just how much progress her kids stand to lose now that they're mostly without their critical hands-on services, such as her 11-year-old daughter's one-on-one aide and her 12-year-old son's inclusion specialist.

Monday, March 30, 2020

As California officials desperately try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Chris Miller is coaxing a sample of the virus to grow in a secure laboratory at UC Davis.
The rapidly expanding COVID-19 pandemic threatens the lives and livelihoods of Californians, but it also lays bare some multi-billion-dollar shortcomings in state government finances that have been ignored for decades, despite many warnings.
Many California employers have temporarily curtailed or even closed operations as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Even temporary layoffs may require employers to distribute notices under federal or California laws known as "WARN Acts."

Friday, March 27, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is a public health crisis that's spawned a global economic crisis. Schools and businesses are closed. Jobs are being lost. Retirement savings have been decimated. Citizens are being told to shelter in place. Our health care system is being stressed and providers are sounding alarms about equipment and facilities shortages. Dysfunction in Washington only makes things worse.


Salinas farmworkers Juan Manuel Virgen and Daniel Lopez Aviles circled the field in a white pickup, a coworker behind the wheel. It was about 10 a.m., and the sun was starting to warm the air. All of them had tied bandannas neatly around their necks, tucking them into the front of their shirts.
Last year the court discarded the state litigation requirement, but questions remain.
The Supreme Court likes to pick on the 9th Circuit, and may get another chance when it decides whether to hear a new petition challenging a decision to deny qualified immunity to a police officer who shot an unarmed man to death behind an adult bookstore in San Diego.
When the warm weather finally hits, most of us get bit by the spring-cleaning bug. Our to-do lists often include cleaning out our garages, basements and closets. But this year, it might be time to add another section to the list: finances.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

California can readily and cost-effectively reach its goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 and begin to reverse climate change, according to a recent report led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and authored by more than 20 researchers.
During his first couple weeks of managing California's COVID-19 crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom's words and actions were impressively cool-headed and measured.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This is Sunshine Week, which pays homage to the principle that the public's business should be public even though officials often try to keep us in the dark about their unsavory activities.
The purpose of this article is not to concentrate on the meaning of new statues and significant wage and hour decisions made in 2019. Rather, it is to flag those issues which I believe should be considered as part of the mediation process. Practitioners are well advised to carefully review these changes in preparation for mediating a case.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Today, in middle schools across California and the country, many students struggle to balance the weight of rigorous academic coursework, extracurricular commitments, and social obligations with peers, all of which occur after the final bell rings.
When it comes to personal finance, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. That's why money misconceptions can be so dangerous. Here are four common money myths you may have heard -- and perhaps even believe -- that need to be put to rest.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Practitioners who are familiar with the onerous rule that has barred injured plaintiffs from recovering for their foul ball injuries suffered at baseball games might have hope with a Court of Appeal decision from last week.
Employers must compensate employees for the time they spend waiting for management to inspect personal property before they leave work. That is the California Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Frlekin v. Apple Inc., which is based on California's longstanding definition of "hours worked."
The state high court will soon decide if and when jury trials are available in these actions, including Prop 65.
Attorneys generally may not directly solicit potential clients to provide legal help. This prohibition is meant to alleviate the concern that an attorney's skill and training could permit the attorney to unduly influence a person with less experience dealing with the legal system to retain the attorney.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The new lower PFAS levels will result in many more public water systems with wells exceeding the new response levels, and more wells will likely be removed from service until they can be treated.
The California Supreme Court is expected to decide whether state laws governing wage statements and minimum wage apply to employees who perform work both inside California and outside the state.
If you have a pet, you know the costs of keeping them healthy can add up quickly. From annual vet visits, to medication to special diets, pet ownership often includes a variety of expenses.

Monday, February 24, 2020

At a time when rural schools all over California struggle to keep students in school, a three-year-old experiment in the southern Fresno County community of Parlier is showing some interesting results.
This action by the Los Angeles District Attorney should serve a clarion call to others around the state to follow suit.
Expect parties to look to force majeure provisions.
Back in the 1800s, the expression "pull oneself up by the bootstraps" meant the opposite of what it does now. Then it was used mockingly to describe an impossible act.

Friday, February 21, 2020

While securities fraud remains atop as the most active area for blockchain litigation — due in part to the rush towards initial coin offerings from 2017 onwards — disputes over intellectual property, unfair competition, class action membership, consumer protection, tax, immigration and elections law have begun.
No one can predict the future, but one thing is for sure: If we leave unanswered questions about how to handle our affairs after we pass, life for our loved ones could become much more difficult.
The more or less official rationale offered by the state's Democratic politicians for moving our presidential primary election to March 3 was that the nation's most populous and diverse state should play a major role in choosing a challenger to President Donald Trump and compel candidates to pay attention to our issues.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Nurse practitioner Surani Hayre-Kwan sees long-time patients and first-timers. She manages chronic illnesses, diagnoses kids with colds and refers people to specialists. She goes it alone or works with another nurse practitioner at the Russian River Health Clinic in Sonoma County.
A crisis, it's been said, is a terrible thing to waste. Stanford economist Paul Romer coined the phrase in 2004 in referring to the nation's waning education levels and it's since been adopted and adapted by others.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor recently revised its regulations governing the calculation of the "regular rate of pay."
In his inaugural address one year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom said of California, "This is where America's future is made. This is our charge. That is our calling."
California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today's tech platform gig-work economy.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The start of the new year is a great time to focus on your finances and put them into perspective.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy 2020. If you're in California, you're now subject to a spate of new laws. Natasha Singer focused on a big one: The state's landmark consumer privacy law.

Friday, January 3, 2020

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upended divided patent infringement.
When Disney chose to delay the production and release of merchandise related to The Child—commonly referred to as Baby Yoda—from its hit series, The Mandalorian, it created a significant opportunity for unlicensed fans to create and sell such merchandise.
Three appellate courts recently reached different conclusions regarding whether a claim for contractual indemnity "arises from" protected petitioning activity within the meaning of California's anti-SLAPP statute.

Monday, December 30, 2019

It is an historical anomaly that Supreme Court justices are the only judicial category not currently covered by a code of conduct.
Earlier this year Congress enacted the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 with the stated goal of assisting small business debtors who have struggled to reorganize under Chapter 11.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Many parents have children who have accrued significant debt while they are in college. College graduates often have multiple loans ? each one requiring its own payments on its own due date each month. Aside from parents giving money, there are steps they can encourage their child to take to help manage those debts.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to become a "radically restructured and transformed utility that is responsible and accountable?"

But how?

Friday, December 13, 2019

With the new year upon us, those who collect Social Security or pay into the public retirement program through payroll deduction will see some changes.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Exactly 40 years ago today, a political power struggle erupted in the California Assembly, one that lasted nearly a year and fundamentally altered the Capitol's culture.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Sooner or later, the state Supreme Court must clear up a legal ambiguity it created over how many votes are needed to enact local tax increases.

Monday, December 2, 2019

When sued for patent infringement, a defendant can still petition for inter partes review ("IPR") of the asserted patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") if the petition is filed within one year of service of the complaint. But, as Game & Technology Co. v. Wargaming (Fed. Cir. 2019) reminds us, a plaintiff must properly serve the complaint to trigger the one-year deadline. Specifically, "[s[ection 315(b) states that '[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted if the petition requesting the proceeding is filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner ? is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.'" 35 U.S.C. § 315(b).

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Remember the children's fable about the wolf who was attempting to capture and consume the three little pigs?

Monday, November 18, 2019

A raft of new employment laws take effect on January 1, 2020. To help employers prioritize the many required changes to policies, forms, and procedures, we provide a non-exhaustive list of matters requiring employers' attention by year's end. This discussion may not take into account special exceptions contained in the laws, and is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The gift-giving season is fast approaching. So, if you are like a lot of people, this means you are spending time trying to brainstorm gifts to give your loved ones ? something that they will use and appreciate. For those disillusioned with giving gifts that are quickly used up or forgotten the moment the wrapping paper comes off, consider a financial gift designed to make an impact. Here are a few financial gift ideas you can feel good about giving.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

California's economy has been booming for most of this decade and has generated a cornucopia of tax revenues for state and local governments.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Monday, November 4, 2019

Arizona enacted significant groundwater management legislation in 1980, and lessons can be learned by comparing and contrasting California's circumstances with Arizona's approach to addressing groundwater overdraft.

Friday, November 1, 2019

We hear frequent references in the news to the Federal Reserve (or the "Fed," as it is more commonly called). Yet, for many individual investors and consumers, the way the Fed affects their lives is a bit cloudy. So, let's clear the air.

Monday, October 28, 2019

WeWork said it was going to transform the market for office space, reinvent the way people work and elevate the world's consciousness. But in recent weeks, the brutal reality beneath the lofty visions has emerged.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Recent CWA cases have produced fractured opinions, and circuits are split on how to interpret them — so can an ordinary layperson be expected to figure it out?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Californians often cite homelessness as the top issue facing their state.

Friday, October 18, 2019

As a financial advisor, I've worked with many clients as they plan for their dream home and gleaned insights on the process along the way. Building a home can be an exciting, but challenging time. It takes a plan with realistic timelines, budgets and expectations to stay on track and keep your sanity through what can feel like an overwhelming process. If building a home is on your bucket list, here are some considerations before you start.

Monday, October 14, 2019

This article is Part 1 of a two-part series providing an overview of recent California Supreme Court decisions in employment law.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Educational accountability is attracting a lot of political attention — or perhaps lip service — these days in California.

Monday, October 7, 2019

By happenstance, events in the final week of September perfectly framed what one might call the California Paradox — a thriving, world-class economy with stubbornly high levels of poverty and a widening divide between the haves and have-nots.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Buchalter team helped Hyundai Motor Company beat a $40 million products liability lawsuit after a Los Angeles jury freed it from all claims by a plaintiff whose arm was amputated in a crash.

Monday, September 30, 2019

For James Ehrlich, farm-to-table is just a starting point for the future.

Friday, September 27, 2019

For families of individuals with disabilities, crafting a financial plan requires a delicate balance. As a financial advisor, I've seen this balance play out firsthand. Families want to save responsibly, anticipating future expenses including retirement, but need to be careful not to save more than the limits required for government assistance. ABLE accounts are designed to fill this need. Money saved and invested into one of these accounts can be withdrawn to cover current or future care ? without putting federal and state aid dollars at risk.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A political scandal that erupted in San Diego 16 years ago indirectly established a peculiar — and unseemly — ethical double standard regarding local ballot measures.

Monday, September 23, 2019

News media recently highlighted workplace raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE). Employers should know, however, that workplace raids affect far fewer employers and employees than another of ICE's compliance enforcement methods: the Form I-9 audit. For that reason, employers should ensure they have properly completed Forms I-9 on file for employees in advance of receiving a Notice of Inspection (NOI) from ICE.

Friday, September 20, 2019

For decades, people have subscribed to newspapers, magazines and cable services. Today, that subscription-based payment model is being used across a wide range of consumer products and services.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Giving a teenager a credit card may seem a risky proposition. But finance experts say it can be a helpful educational step, with proper limits.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Many people dream of starting a business. And, for some, a spouse or significant other is the ideal business partner. The prospect of building an enterprise with the person they share other parts of their lives with may be appealing on a number of levels from shared passion, convenience and common goals. However, it's important to approach the joint venture with the same care a person would apply to any other business dealings.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Monday's session in the California Legislature will likely be remembered for the hundreds of anti-vaccine protestors who shut down both the Senate and Assembly at various times in the afternoon. But lawmakers also acted on scores of bills, including significant gun control and #MeToo bills.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Insurance is one of the fundamental financial tools for any household. Most people recognize the important role of insurance, but many are unsure about how it works. If you have questions about insurance, you aren't alone. As a financial advisor, I get a variety of questions about insurance.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

One of the more curious anomalies about California is that while labor unions' political power has increased to virtual hegemony, especially in the last decade, union membership has declined just as sharply.

Friday, August 30, 2019

With the real estate market as competitive as it is in various U.S. cities, more people are opting to stay in their current homes. This decision frequently comes with the desire to take on additional house projects, which often impact your financial situation. If you are considering upgrades and remodels, read on for several considerations on how to prioritize your housing projects.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Human resources professionals may shudder at the sound of an "audit." For starters, it is difficult to make available the time and personnel needed for day-to-day work. And what if the audit uncovers "bad news?"

Friday, August 23, 2019

Retirement is one of the most important financial goals for many married couples. It's something you may dream about and work hard to reach. But, even if you feel like you are on track in terms of meeting your financial objectives, there is an equally important factor to consider ? are you both on the same page about your vision and plans for retirement?
The UC Davis Medical School this week released a report on the state's new "red flag" law aimed at seizing guns from dangerous persons, saying the data "suggest that this urgent, individualized intervention can play a role in efforts to prevent mass shooting."

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The record of the 2019 legislative session -- Gov. Gavin Newsom's first -- is still a work in progress, but his signature on Assembly Bill 392 this week makes it a success, no matter what else happens.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Not so long ago, philanthropy was an area where politics were left at the door. Conservatives and liberals on a philanthropic board could agree to disagree behind closed doors, but the public paid little attention as hospitals, cultural institutions and universities expanded thanks to gifts from the wealthy.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Southern California Gas Company has been ordered to produce documents containing their communications with AECOM Technology Corporation who helped the utility's counsel with legal strategies with respect to the Porter Ranch gas leak litigation.
It's no secret that many American parents want to support their kids by paying for their college education. According to recent Ameriprise research, 87 percent of parents today already have paid for or plan to assist with these costs. Furthermore, 33 percent of respondents have delayed their own retirement, or plan to, in order to help their kids pay for college

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The California Legislature's 2019 session began last winter amidst great hopes and fears.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Employers must take both preventive and remedial action to stop unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at work. An internal investigation is a critical tool to help fulfill these obligations.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Americans juggle a lot of interest rates in their daily lives. They pay interest on car loans, credit card balances and mortgages. They earn interest, at least a little, on the money they save with banks.

Monday, July 29, 2019

COMPTON — It was bath time and Rosalba Moralez heard a cry. She rushed to the bathroom and found her 7-year-old daughter, Alexxa, being doused with brown, putrid water.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Armed with our law licenses and our laptops we flew to El Paso, Texas, and on Thursday morning we were greeted by a lawyer from Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services. In the two days we spent with DMRS we were both heartened by the good deeds performed on a daily basis and demoralized by the size of the problem and the lack of resources to address it.

Friday, July 19, 2019

One of the most important decisions you will make in retirement is when to begin receiving your Social Security benefits. Yet this decision often depends on another: whether you plan to retire or keep working. The following are some pointers to help you make both decisions with confidence.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Senate Bill 614 was born, or reborn, on June 18 when state Sen. Susan Rubio stripped the contents from the measure, after it had passed the Senate and was pending in the Assembly, and inserted an entirely different proposal.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Given their druthers, many government officials would prefer to do their business ? our business, actually ? behind closed doors and provide sanitized, self-serving versions of their actions after the fact.

Monday, June 17, 2019

As President Donald Trump rails against the Federal Reserve and urges it to lower interest rates, a similar push is coming from a group founded this year by three left-leaning millennials — albeit for very different reasons.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Going into this year's legislative session, it appeared that the California Chamber of Commerce's long string of wins on bills it labels "job killers" might end.

Monday, June 10, 2019

President Donald Trump has not done much for Republican legislative priorities. But he has — with the help of a ruthlessly single-minded Mitch McConnell — branded the federal judiciary with his influence. Judges nominated by Trump will be making law, and interpreting the Constitution, for at least a generation.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

It was late one night 40 years ago and Gov. Jerry Brown's most important piece of legislation was in trouble.

Monday, June 3, 2019

David Bornstein points out that a lot of American journalism is based on a mistaken theory of change.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Fair warning: By reading this you will be plunging into the Legislature's almost impenetrably arcane thicket of internal procedures.
Carol Spencer, 86, may be the most influential fashion designer you've never heard of.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Many couples are choosing to start families later in life compared to their parents and grandparents.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

At last count, California's Democratic political leadership had filed four dozen lawsuits against President Donald Trump's administration, reflecting differences on policies large and small.
In January, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the International Documentary Association started hearing worrying reports from journalists and documentarians covering developments related to migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gavin Newsom has spent the last four months telling Californians that he could -- and would -- cure some of California's most pressing social ailments.

Monday, May 13, 2019

There's nothing terribly surprising about how Elizabeth Warren's campaign is playing out. She's scoring big points for her seriousness, reflected in a raft of detailed policy proposals.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Pitting the power of the arbitrator against the arbitration agreement, attorneys for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. argued Monday a neutral overstepped his bounds with a $128 million punitive damage award.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Emotions do not help you decide how to divide community assets, whether to sell the family residence, or what expenses you have to reduce or eliminate.
When an agency seeks a packaging fee, its interests are in conflict with those of the writer.
Buying a home for the first time in some U.S. markets is becoming increasingly challenging.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We've all seen children, often very young children, hunched over from heavy book backpacks, shuffling along sidewalks just an hour or two after sunrise on their way to school.

Monday, April 22, 2019

As the unemployment rate remains low, there may be more available jobs than qualified applicants to fill them. So, job-seekers are in high demand. One possible side effect of aggressive recruiting and rising wages is that employers are experiencing what is colloquially known as "ghosting."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cary Berger has worked as a general counsel for technology companies, media productions and even one of the largest online dating sites in the country. His most recent adventure is a brewpub startup that's all about the beer.

Monday, April 15, 2019

After suffering permanent brain damage in 2014, Shernoff and Trauma Law Center attorneys won more than $8.8 million for plaintiff Zachary Peterson's care.

Monday, April 8, 2019

There is an essential aspect of the creative process that everyone can relate to, even people who don't think of themselves as creative. And it's something that almost no one enjoys: failure.

Friday, April 5, 2019

If you're planning a wedding -- whether it's your own or your child's -- and haven't been paying close attention to the wedding industry, you may experience sticker shock as you begin calculating costs.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Constitution's very specific list of inviolable human rights sets the United States apart from almost every other nation on Earth.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Out in the way beyond, the open land on the far side of the Mueller report and cable news obsessives, is a vast kingdom now being used to hasten the demise of the planet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The plaintiff's attorney said the case is about civil rights but the lawyer for the city of Baldwin Park said it's about money.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The average American consumes roughly 200 pounds of meat a year. According to Jayson Lusk, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, Americans eat more meat per capita than citizens of almost any other country in the world, making them "the king of meat eaters." How did the United States achieve such a status? And what — if anything — should be done about it?

Friday, March 22, 2019

If you follow the news, you may be hearing about how recent changes in the tax code may impact how much Americans receive as a tax refund this year. With tax filing season upon us, now is the time to analyze your tax bill.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

There's long been a somewhat competitive relationship between the power of governors and legislators to make law and the ability of voters to overturn what the politicians wrought and/or make law themselves via the initiative process.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The new tax law created an incentive program which encourages investors to make long-term financial investments in opportunity zones. In exchange, the investor receives a number of benefits related to the reinvestment and deferral of capital gains taxes.
Frans and Caroline Swaalf, management consultants in the Netherlands, have been enamored of South Florida since they were graduate students at the University of Miami in the 1990s.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The 2016 voter initiative to keep the death penalty required the state to maintain the ability to "perform any duty needed to enable it to execute the judgment."
Proposed law may actually impede lactation accommodations for working mothers and promote litigation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

After being accused of witness tampering, an attorney in a patent infringement case hired his own lawyer over the weekend and sent a strongly worded letter to the judge saying Apple's counsel's accusations are sanctionable.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Raghuram Rajan is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago. Rajan's book called "The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind." Its theme is the fragility of democracy — a fairly radical notion for an economist.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

As California's housing shortage deepened in the last decade, Jerry Brown made only token efforts to address it.

Monday, March 4, 2019

When nine refund checks landed in his mailbox a few months ago, Jed Shafer figured he was finally done with his student loan.
California employers may have an arrow in their quiver to challenge the constitutionality of California's Private Attorneys General Act.
In September, California became the first state to ban the sale of most cosmetics tested on animals. The passage of Senate Bill 1249 marked a new day for the animals used in cosmetics testing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The California Republican Party, which has become virtually irrelevant in recent years, had a great opportunity last weekend to commit self-annihilation by electing an unrepentant, Donald Trump-loving right-winger as party chairperson.

Monday, February 25, 2019

It's natural enough to see elite athletes as finely tuned machines. They're usually bigger, faster and stronger than the rest of us, and their movements can have a grace that appears nearly effortless. But if you talk to enough athletes and coaches, you discover that the mind, not the body, is where most of their energy is going.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

On October 11, 2018, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum relaxing the rules on post-accident drug testing and drug testing as part of a safety incentive program.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The state Supreme Court denied anti-SLAPP motions by the city of Carson stemming from its unsuccessful attempt to lure a National Football League franchise.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Taxing the wealthiest Americans at a higher rate may be good politics, since most voters won't be affected. But while two recent proposals sound simple enough, they could be difficult to put into effect.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A California jurist once wisely observed, "All too often attorney fees become the tail that wags the dog in litigation."
And looking ahead to securities regulation priorities in 2019.
Gavin Newsom began his governorship this month by promising to confront what he described as California's most important issue, an ever-increasing shortage of housing.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The dream scenario for many retirees is to have a second place to call home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

With nearly 53,000 federal inmates eligible for relief under the newly enacted First Step Act, the federal criminal justice law that eases mandatory minimums, a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may indicate the court's inclination to streamline the process, attorneys say.

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