Riverside Business Journal
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Critics of a recent decision have questioned the basis for concluding that the joinder and institution are "separate" decisions, since the Federal Circuit did not clearly articulate how it came to this conclusion.
This article examines nine key considerations for Prop. 19 as we approach the election.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

If you hold a job in America, care about workers or simply don't like the idea of some of the richest corporations in the world literally writing their own laws, then you can't afford to ignore what's happening in California.
As a musician, this pandemic has been brutal for me. Paying gigs have all but disappeared. I wouldn't even be able to pay my bills, except that I use my car to drive rideshare on the side.
When I was diagnosed with severe asthma at the age of 5, my mom asked the doctor what could be done. He basically said, "Move out of California to avoid pollution."
California voters are not only voting on presidential, congressional, legislative and local government offices and a dozen statewide ballot measures but deciding the fate of 234 local tax and bond measures.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, 18-540, a case examining whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts state laws regulating the reimbursement rates paid by "pharmacy benefit managers" to pharmacists who sell prescription drugs to claimants with ERISA-governed health care plans.
Paz Aguilar continued working seven days a week at two fast food restaurants and as a janitor, even as Oakland seemed to be grinding to a halt around her. Then in late June, her life did too.
For nearly two weeks now, 7,000 miles away from California, the native Christian-Armenian people of the Republics of Artsakh and Armenia have been weathering the death-wish designs of the armed forces of the neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Friday, July 31, 2020

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.
The July 27 column, "Time to end systematic abuse of California's lemon law," authored by two Hyundai Motor America in-house counsel, advocates for the undermining of Song-Beverly through the weakening of its attorney fee-shifting provision.
In order to improve access to legal services, the State Bar should promote the use of online attorney referral and matching systems. Instead, the bar is waging war against LegalMatch.com, a prominent online attorney matching service.
The first test of whether corporate "federal forum selection" clauses will be enforced by California courts will occur on Friday when the San Mateo County Superior Court will hear argument in In re Dropbox, Inc. Securities Litigation.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

As coronavirus cases continue to climb, Gov. Gavin Newsom lasered in today on one of the state's new hot spots — the Central Valley, an eight-county region where the positivity rate of COVID-19 is well above the state average and hospital beds are filling up.
George Floyd's killing has pushed our country to a long overdue tipping point. Across the nation conversations about systemic racial injustice -- that for too long were stigmatized and sidelined -- are taking their rightful place at the forefront of public discourse.
If there was ever a good time to convince people guaranteed income can make a difference, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs figured it'd be in the middle of a pandemic that is taking a heavier toll in poor neighborhoods and among Black and Latinx communities.
The struggles faced by Black Americans today stem from the insidious history of slavery -- the theft of the value of their labor -- compounded by government sanctioned denial of capital access, better known as redlining.
An unpublished decision from the Northern District of California emphasizes how important it is for attorneys to follow patent local rules.
Knowing when an asset or liability is community or separate property is essential, not just in a divorce but also in debtor-creditor and probate actions. The outcome of a dispute involving a bankruptcy can depend on the character of property, as seen in an opinion last week by the California Supreme Court.
When implementing modern-day technology for law practices and the courts, there is an oft-used line known to insiders that comes from years of seasoning and is indubitably based on a school-of-hard-knocks about getting our legal system to adapt to new technologies, namely this: Do not pave the cow paths.
The fact that the Department of Justice is used to carry out the president's broad policy preferences is neither surprising nor unusual. But allowing political considerations to influence prosecutorial decisions in individual cases is not the same thing.

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.
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.
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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

If you want to experience the power of the Endangered Species Act for yourself, go to Sequoia National Park and look up. There, gliding high on the thermals, you'll see the embodiment of this extraordinarily successful law: California condors.
The object of this article and accompanying self-study test is to familiarize readers with procedures under the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code Sections 810, et seq.), the statute that must be complied with when litigating actions against public entities.
The court's rationale is that motions under that statute are limited to eminent domain actions and other remedies, such as summary judgment motions are available. The Weiss decision is logically flawed and will inevitably result in waste of precious judicial resources.

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.
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.
The ABA recently issued an ethics opinion to clarify the line between legitimate advocacy and conduct that would violate Model Rule 8.4(g).
On July 16, the Court of Justice of the European Union announced its much awaited decision in the Schrems II case. The court declared that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework invalid. Finding that the United States cannot provide the requisite level of protection to EU residents' personal data will undoubtedly significantly affect businesses here in the U.S.

Friday, July 24, 2020

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.
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.
As California's daily COVID-19 case count surpassed 11,000 for the first time, it is clear that the state is by no means out of the woods with this pandemic.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

In f'real Foods, LLC et al v. Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. et al, 1-16-cv-00041 (DDE 2020-07-16, Order) (Colm F. Connolly), plaintiffs freal Foods, LLC and Rich Products Corporation sued defendants Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. and Hershey Creamery Company for infringement of four patents on four accused products that are high performance blenders manufactured by Hamilton Beach.
The past few months have seen a historic surge in both state and federal legislation aimed at lessening the detrimental effects of the current pandemic on the health of both individuals and the economy as a whole. This has included multiple congressional relief bills, along with a multitude of other laws by states across the nation aimed at protecting individuals and employees affected by COVID-19.
Despite the concerted efforts to pressure the insurance industry for business interruption payments, none have been successful as one French restaurant, and the ruling is leading to more settlements.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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.
Dan Makevich's terrible eyesight made him retire early from his beloved job of 15 years as a tour guide in the Bay Area and Yosemite. When the pandemic hit, Makevich knew his age, diabetes and respiratory problems made him a prime target. What he didn't know was that not owning a computer would make getting health care much harder.
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.
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.
We certainly know that COVID-19 strikes hardest, sometimes fatally, at those who already have weakened bodies, such as the elderly.
In grade school, Napat Maneerit was uncomfortable bringing his mother's food to school. As a Thai American living in the United States, he went by Nathan to avoid feeling embarrassed when others mispronounced his name.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

According to many polls, President Donald Trump's path to re-election has never looked more difficult. But the polls fail to account for what is known as the "contingent election," which Lin-Manuel Miranda uses in the storyline to the hit musical "Hamilton."
Many employers and employees alike are eager to get back to work as Safer-at-Home restrictions begin to ease. Notwithstanding reports that coronavirus infection rates are spiking in California, efforts by businesses to cautiously resume operations are likely to continue.

Monday, July 20, 2020

A month ago, everyone in Merced County infected with the coronavirus got a call from county officials, asking questions about whom they'd come in contact with. It's a tracing process that experts say is critical to stopping the spread of the highly infectious disease.
From San Onofre to Humboldt Bay, nuclear waste is piling up in California. This most-toxic waste -- tons and tons of it -- is deadly for 200,000 years. Stranded next to a rising ocean at aging and decommissioned plants, the waste has no permanent home. California is overdue in showing leadership.
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.
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.
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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

In the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. government and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, the U.S. has dealt another major blow.
On June 5, the governor of California gave the green light for film and television production to resume, effective June 12. This news came a few weeks after the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force submitted a white paper containing recommended protocols to governors across the country, including California and New York.
Even as a boy, I knew there was something unusual, even other-worldly, about living in the Imperial Valley.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

California cities have, in the past few months, accelerated a trend that has been developing for a few years: they are passing employment laws applicable to employers within their city limits.
"Go vote in November," everyone tells you. "Vote because your vote will determine the next leader of the free world," people say. But this is only partly true.
The baby's father was the first to get sick. As a cook in Los Angeles, Ramon Lopez never stopped going to the restaurant while other kinds of workers could log in from home. He ran all the family's errands, buying groceries and putting gas in the car.
Four months out from November's election — and just three months until mail voting begins — outcomes of virtually all major California races are preordained, including a win by the Democratic presidential nominee, assumedly Joe Biden.
On Friday, April 10, at 5 p.m., Californians learned I had resigned as Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority.
From its inception this column has drawn inspiration from the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, "The young man knows the rules but the old man knows the exceptions."
On June 22, the White House issued a new presidential proclamation to suspend the entry of new H-1B, L-1, certain J-1 and other temporary work visas for highly skilled workers through the end of the year. The proclamation also extended an existing ban on certain immigrant entries through the end of the year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Betty Hunter and her rising eighth grader had a challenging spring of distance learning. On one hand, Hunter felt "blessed" that her son, Angel, received at least some form of live instruction each day from his teachers at the Mary L. Booker Leadership Academy, the San Francisco charter school he attended this spring. Educators also made themselves available through office hours, another plus.
On the afternoon of June 2, 2019, psychosis convinced 23-year-old Miles Hall that a long iron gardening tool given to him by a neighbor had morphed into a staff gifted from God, his mother said. He used it to break his parents' sliding glass door.
In 2003, the California Supreme Court held that all security personnel — including school security, school police, school resource officers, and backup officers — are "school officials" for purposes stops and searches.
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting urban and rural communities across California. Congress is exploring economic recovery legislation that includes investments in workforce development and infrastructure. And in Sacramento, there have been discussions about focusing future climate and natural resource bonds on economic recovery.
On June 25, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion allowing a district attorney to seek recovery for violations of California's Unfair Competition law that occur beyond the borders of their county.

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.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The work of crafting a pandemic-era state budget was never going to make California Democrats happy. The question, as soon as the economic fallout from the coronavirus became evident this spring, wasn't whether there would be cuts, but rather, who would take them and how deep they would go.
Unicolors, Inc. creates and markets artistic design fabrics to various garment manufacturers. Some of these designs are marketed to the public and placed in its showroom while other designs are considered "confined" works that Unicolor sells to certain customers.
The 2020-21 state budget agreement, announced this week by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders, assumes that California's economy will perform a bit better than previously assumed — enough better to add another billion dollars to the revenue side of the ledger.
A wave of bankruptcies is likely due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy and the unemployment rate. For someone with an outstanding income tax liability who is considering filing for bankruptcy, a key question will be whether that liability is dischargeable in bankruptcy.
As California confronts increasing water challenges, the most equitable statewide solution from a social justice perspective is the single-tunnel project proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, known as the Delta Conveyance Project.
Marijuana, the IRS and taxes have a difficult relationship. In a recent 9th Circuit ruling, the unhappy story starts with a regular old tax audit.
After months of being confined to our homes, thousands of people have been shouting in the streets, risking their lives in the midst of a pandemic to fight structural racism and to be heard. It's time to listen.
Barbecuing at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Selling water without a permit. Both instances in which a Black person was doing something deemed criminal by a white person. Both instances in which a white person called the police.

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.
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.
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."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Act requires certain employers to provide employees with Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, paid at the employee's average "regular rate of pay."
It is inevitable that the ongoing global pandemic will continue to affect nearly all facets of social and business life across the nation. Some bankruptcy courts have utilized their equitable powers to assist debtors in their attempts to reorganize and/or liquidate while accounting for the COVID-19 lockdowns and economic downturn.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Assembly Bill 2501 must pass off of the assembly floor by Friday. If passed, the bill will put in place certain loan forbearance requirements, eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, tenant rent relief requirements, and other borrower and tenant protections.
Recognizing the need for civil litigants to have a venue to resolve disputes outside the court, members of that task force, representing both the plaintiffs and defense bar, came together to form RESOLVE Law San Diego.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Breanna Dixon doesn't remember struggling to breathe when she overdosed, but her younger brother Joshua hasn't forgotten the sound.
Commercial and residential tenants and landlords seeking to address the financial impact of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders and reopening plans have encountered a confusing maze of new laws at the city, county and state levels.
Offering significant relief from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service recently released Notice 2020-39, providing generous benefits for qualified opportunity funds and their investors.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has established a new program for prioritized examination for patent applications for inventions related to COVID-19 and for trademark applications for marks used for certain medical products and services used in connection with COVID-19.
A battle raging over the prospect of sports betting in California is set to play out this Thursday in the California Senate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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.
Everyone knows that tax returns are due April 15 most years. In California, that means both the IRS and the FTB. But 2020 has hardly been a normal year.
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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Easing the restrictions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act's Payment Protection Program program, on June 3, the Senate passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which had passed the House in late May.
Recognizing the issue as a matter of first impression, the Court of Appeal construed the statutory language as limiting coverage "only if the insured is aware of the hazard or reasonably could have discovered it through exercising ordinary care or diligence."

Monday, June 15, 2020

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.
Ironically, in a vote cast by email to ensure their own safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Judicial Council voted 17-2 on Wednesday afternoon to rescind the emergency order that "required," depending on where you practice, that bail be set at $0 for most people accused of lower-level, nonviolent crimes, absent a showing of danger to the community or other circumstance warranting pretrial detention.
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.
When Jerry Brown returned to the governorship in 2011, he pledged that fixing a deficit-ridden state budget would be his highest priority.
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.

Friday, June 12, 2020

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.
In recent months, many insured businesses have turned to their insurers seeking coverage for claims and losses related to COVID-19.
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.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have experienced anything from noticeable stress to serious health or financial problems. Are our law practices facing financial ruin? Is emotional upheaval affecting our relationships? How do we deal with this crisis? Fortunately, there are adaptive strategies that can help.
What was once illegal is now a thriving industry. That's right — I'm talking about cannabis. But my initial statement isn't entirely accurate. Although Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have legalized cannabis, the drug remains a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Salvador Bradford takes pride in keeping his studio apartment relatively tidy. He needs to. The converted hotel room he calls home has around 250-square feet of space to fit a bathroom, stove-top, and mini-fridge.
The commonly used methods of valuation are categorized into three primary approaches. The three approaches are the asset, income and market approaches. Each method uses its own theoretical basis and mathematics. The independent results of each method can produces sometimes significantly different valuation results.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

On May 21, the SEC published its final rule regarding Amendments to Financial Disclosures about Acquired and Disposed Businesses. While the feedback submitted during the comment period was generally positive and supportive of the proposed amendments, in our view the rule could have negative consequences for investors.
While historically the issue of noncompete enforcement has been left to the states, the last year has seen the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission begin to examine the effect of such covenants on the labor market.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Twenty-eight years ago, I was a new attorney practicing criminal defense law. I took court appointed cases. In the wake of the acquittal of four LAPD officers who beat up Rodney King, Los Angeles erupted in a firestorm of flame and smoke. And the city began arresting 'looters.'
The California Legislature is considering $2.5 billion of cuts to child care, adult dental care, hospitals, parks, courts, social services and preschools. Instead, lawmakers should cut $2.5 billion of unnecessary insurance subsidies for retired state employees.
The House has passed a bill to expand Payment Protection Program, or PPP, loans in key ways. The Senate has its own version under consideration. This bill is not yet law, but it the Senate acts favorably and the president signs it, it would make key improvements.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Four years ago, despite fierce opposition from Democratic politicians, California voters passed Proposition 54, a constitutional amendment requiring the Legislature to be more transparent.
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.

Pediatricians do not usually cite appellate court decisions, but Judge Josephine Staton's dissent in the landmark Juliana v. United States rings out like a clarion call.

We are all engaged in a great struggle. Pandemic or not, this is the nature of our journey. Throughout our negotiations, we seek above all to persuade, to influence the outcome of our conversations to satisfy the interests of clients.
Politicians from both political parties have floated various proposals for limiting or eliminating CDA immunity. If those efforts succeed, online platforms will find themselves without a key protection against user-content-based litigation.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Forty years ago Willie Ramírez entered a hospital and forever gained a place in history. The 18-year-old baseball player, semiconscious and unable to speak, suffered a brain hemorrhage that doctors did not properly diagnose. Why? Mostly it was an incorrect understanding of a term used by the young man's girlfriend and her mother to describe what might have caused his sudden incapacity: "intoxicado."
This month, the California Fish and Game Commission will be evaluating whether to advance a petition to list the western Joshua tree pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act.
On Monday, in a 5-4 decision issued, the Supreme Court made it a whole lot more difficult for retirement plan participants to protect their defined benefit pension plan interests from imprudent management and self-dealing by plan fiduciaries.
In Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al v. Serenity Pharmaceuticals, LLC et al, 1-17-cv-09922 (SDNY 2020-05-27, Order), Chief Judge C.J. McMahon of the Southern District of New York ordered an upcoming bench trial set to begin on July 6, 2020 in a patent infringement case to be "all remote," at least in the sense that at a minimum all the witnesses will testify remotely.
In the midst of this pandemic, college-age students and their families are considering what to do next fall. The most interesting question posed to me is: should I take a "gap year"?
Construction specifications generally come in two flavors: "design" specifications and "performance" specifications. Design specifications set forth the materials to be used and the manner in which work is to be performed which are to be followed by a contractor without deviation. Performance specifications, on the other hand, specify the results to be obtained but do not necessarily set forth the materials to be used or the manner in which work is to be performed to achieve those results.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A recent report by the Copyright Office includes a series of recommendations on how to reallocate rights and risks in ways some stakeholders like and others do not.
When our Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia introduced Assembly Bill 2736 to give my community and the surrounding areas just a little voice in how a massive project in our region is developed, he was immediately met with an onslaught of opposition led by the National Parks Conservation Association and other Washington, D.C.-based, self-appointed protectors of Eastern Riverside County.
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.
Intellectual property and the exclusivity it provides its owners is a valuable tool for cannabis businesses, allowing them to gain a competitive edge. However, California cannabis-related businesses face special challenges in securing and enforcing intellectual property protection in that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level.
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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The news in this opinion is that the California Supreme Court has found that preventive detention is constitutionally permitted under both the state and federal constitutions under the standard of California Constitution Article I, Section 12, subdivision (b), but with qualifications.
May 27, 2020, will be remembered as the day when the president of the United States publicly threatened to censor political speech.
Before the pandemic, district attorneys in many California counties continued to seek the death penalty despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's moratorium on executions. What was arguably a wasteful, symbolic act is now even less defensible, as the pandemic has made it virtually impossible for defense counsel to conduct constitutionally required investigations and rendered in-person jury trials a public health nightmare.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Executive Order N-62-20 establishes a rebuttable presumption, for purposes of awarding workers' compensation benefits, that employees who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days after they perform work at their place of employment contracted the virus in the course of employment.
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.
The 9th Circuit decided a case on May 22 in which it firmly rejected First Amendment arguments which contested the application of San Diego County's stay-at-home ordinance to religious services. It is not likely that the holding will have much influence.
Desperate times call for clever solutions. I've been rounding up stories about the many innovative ways in which lawyers and mediators have been dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and discovering the surprising number of people who find the changes in their lives, while disruptive, to be positive.

Friday, May 29, 2020

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit held in two separate opinions that lawsuits for damages to infrastructure caused by energy companies are not entirely preempted by the federal Clean Air Act, but that they must be brought in state and thus not federal court.
This Sunday, just as the disciples were "together in one place," a number of churches throughout the state are planning to mark the occasion by defying local health and safety orders and gathering their members together in one place.
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.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The extraordinary events of the last few months have affected millions of lives and the one thing that can restore more certainty and control in litigation is self-resolution of disputes, as courts seem handcuffed and continue to broadcast that there will be significant delay in providing the justice that litigants seek.
Previous articles indicate that if COVID-19 is a force majeure event, it is one like no other ever litigated: a worldwide pandemic, occurring in continuing phases, with no known cure or end, and a waterfall of events, specifically including social and economic shut down of most the United States and a number of other countries.
Certain literary or graphic characters may, in some cases, enjoy copyright protection. Think James Bond - or Batman and even his Batmobile. Recently, the Ninth Circuit was called upon to determine whether the Moodsters, "anthropomorphized characters representing human emotions," are subject to the same copyright protection as Batman. Sadly, the Ninth Circuit concluded they do not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

There is broad acknowledgement across the state that communities of color, particularly black and Latino communities, are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

As luck would have it, an urgent client matter required that I make an ex parte appearance at Stanley Mosk in the second week of May, when the rate of COVID-19 infections was alarmingly high and while the Safer-At-Home Order was in full force.
It's a crazy time. You're home with the kids. Your sister Roberta is taking care of mom half a state away and worries that mom won't outlive the virus. Roberta has bills and wonders if mom's estate plan leaves her enough money. You hope Roberta's not being too overbearing or eager about her inheritance, or maybe she's even taking early bites at the apple. But how would you know if she was?

Friday, May 22, 2020

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.
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.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

When California, with 17 million residents, surpassed New York to become the nation's most populous state in 1962, it was a cause for celebration.
You might be tempted to raise prices to try to recoup some of your lost revenue. But be careful — if you do raise prices, you might unwittingly commit the crime of price gouging under California law.
Eventually, it was bound to happen. A patent application was filed by a machine. Well, not exactly. A human being filed a patent application naming a machine as the inventor.
Adding to the maze of federal and state coronavirus legislation, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced sought-after property tax relief for California homeowners and businesses who have demonstrated financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Last week the California insurance commissioner issued a notice to all insurers recognizing the economic hardship and lack of access to courts many insureds are facing; he also noted that some insurers are unfairly trying to take advantage of the crisis.
One of the most interesting and important debates around COVID-19 is the question of whether the cure -- sheltering in place and sidelining much of our economy -- is worse than the disease.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the global economy and financial markets. As a result, public companies are increasingly vulnerable to hostile acquirers rapidly building meaningful equity stakes in target companies at depressed prices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the California economy, especially public-facing businesses. Entertainment -- including motion pictures, television, live shows and theme parks -- restaurants, accommodations and retail sectors have been laid waste, evaporating thousands of jobs.
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.
For a gifting technique to be successful, the grantor needs to cut certain tax strings to prevent the gift from being included back into the grantor's taxable estate. Unfortunately, in Badgley v. United States, the grantor died three months too soon while the strings were still attached.
It is often said that every crisis also presents an opportunity. The current COVID-19 pandemic presents a chance to revise and improve protective strategies for trade secrets, and it's an opportunity that should not be disregarded.
Undergraduates who enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this year paid $5,742 in tuition — less than many of their peers at public universities nationwide, one reason a California State University education is often lauded as a path to upward mobility for the state's low-income students.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trump issued an executive order this month declaring a national emergency over potential foreign threats to the security of the U.S. bulk power system.
On May 7, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to prosecutors policing public corruption under federal property fraud statutes by unanimously overturning the convictions of two New Jersey officials in the much-publicized "Bridgegate"
Our firm has begun receiving calls asking this question. I regret to inform workers that, as long as the employer had workers' compensation insurance, we cannot file a civil lawsuit against the employer, but that the worker can file a workers' compensation claim.

Monday, May 18, 2020

On May 6, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education released its new regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
The popularity of the Netflix documentary "Tiger King" has thrust the plight of big cats in captivity into the spotlight. While the show failed to meaningfully address the cruelty inherent in roadside zoos like the one maintained by "Joe Exotic," it did spark a much-needed national conversation about captive wild animals in the United States.
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

As pilot projects go, it couldn't have gone much worse. The nation's first commercial shellfish farm in federal waters was supposed to provide a national model for sustainable aquaculture.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The governor recently issued Executive Order N-51-20 which ordered private sector employers of more than 500 employees to provide "food sector workers" up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for health reasons related to COVID-19.
A major deficiency under the current whistleblower protections is the time-consuming litigation process subjecting aggrieved employees to years of litigation before potential redress.
As California communities return to work amidst the ongoing pandemic, landlords must consider how and when to reopen traditional workspaces. Five key principles should guide their decisions as they face this challenge.
The battle started almost six years ago. A Utah-based company known as Dan Farr Productions ("DFP") decided to use San Diego Comic Convention's ("SDCC") registered trademark COMIC-CON in conjunction with its own comic and popular arts convention, resulting in SDCC filing suit in the Southern District of California.
The state of California is the 5th largest economy in the world. Its 40 million people deserve world-class consumer protections in the financial marketplace. That requires an agency with a singular focus on protecting Californians against scams, frauds and predatory conduct.
Amid the dark clouds of the ongoing pandemic, a silver lining has appeared for white collar defendants and their counsel, in the form of the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss the criminal false statements case against Michael Flynn.
Permitting employees to work remotely comes with its own special wage and hour considerations that must be addressed, especially as to nonexempt hourly employees, to avoid any potential pitfalls that could result in costly litigation. This article provides some guidance to the common issues that arise when an employee is working remotely.
As missed rent payments and delinquent mortgages pile up across the state, California Democratic lawmakers Tuesday introduced a series of sweeping proposals aimed at shielding homeowners, renters and landlords from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
As public health officials and policymakers grapple with strategies to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in the United States, one area of focus is contact tracing of individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

What Congress and the Small Business Association giveth, the IRS taketh away.
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.
On May 5, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the City Attorneys for the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court against Uber Technologies, Inc. and Lyft, Inc. alleging that these entities violated California law by intentionally misclassifying their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

While it's not possible to cover all of the legal issues that nonprofits are currently facing in this one column, I'm focusing this month on a few of the key issues I'm seeing.
If there is anything that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it is that it's impossible to predict when a crisis will strike but it is possible to prepare. And preparation is key to dealing with such a crisis.
It is important that businesses enduring significant financial distress, even if the problems only arose as a result of fall-out from the pandemic, act proactively to sustain viability and chart a viable path forward.

Monday, May 11, 2020

The federal Paycheck Protection Program was meant to help small businesses keep their employees on payroll, and to pay utilities, rent, interest, health insurance and pension contributions.
The always forward-thinking New York City Bar Association has urged adoption of a humanitarian exception to its ethics rules to permit its members to contribute items of necessity such as food and rent assistance to poor client situations. Other lawyers have indicated a desire to assist by contributing to community businesses serving low-income residents in their communities.

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.
Women are uniquely impacted by the coronavirus. Domestic violence has surged; industries in which women provide an outsized portion of the labor force — service, retail and childcare — are being crushed by the economic fallout; and incidents of sexual harassment by landlords have reportedly increased. Women are also experiencing disruptions in sexual and reproductive health care during the peak of the pandemic.
The onset of COVID-19 flu has prompted physicians, researchers and health care practitioners to scramble to come up with treatment methods for the illness.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

On Monday, May 4, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, B.V.
Until recently, Baby Boomers were being hailed as the generation redefining what it meant to grow older in America -- "60 is the new 40" and all that. Now we're an "at-risk population," members of that "older, compromised generation" everyone's so worried about in the COVID-19 pandemic.
California's public transit agencies deliver a vital service every day, and especially during times of emergency -- providing critical mobility options for millions of frontline health care, public safety, grocery and restaurant workers fulfilling essential roles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 26, as the coronavirus pandemic was mounting and governors across America scrambled to secure medical supplies, the state of California wired almost a half-billion dollars to a company that had been in business for just three days.
As our communities grapple with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, structural inequities in our health care systems and economy have been brought to light, with Latinos and people of color bearing the brunt of these injustices.
For California Supreme Court watchers, this all may sound strangely familiar: A public agency is being sued by its unionized employees for fiddling with their pensions and the state's highest court is now preparing to weigh in.
Take advantage of this quiet time as a point of self-reflection. If you have a lull in your practice, take advantage of all of the free CLE offerings. Learn a new area of law, or educate yourself in your current area of practice. Read up on all of the new rules. We do not know if some of them will be permanent.
Amidst all the chaos and concern, it can be easy to lose sight of some basic tax rules.
The Newsom administration has teamed with two universities to train more than 3,000 employees per week to become coronavirus detectives tracing the spread of the disease throughout California.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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.
9th Circuit invalidates its own model intent-to-defraud jury instruction in new ruling.
"Bring Back Borello!" will never work as a rallying cry, but it might be a timely agenda item for California legislators to seriously consider when the coronavirus coast is clear for them to return to Sacramento.
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.
Just as every dog has his day, every litigant — best in show, purebred, cur, or junkyard biter — can always exercise that right, right? Well, actually not. In exceptional cases, a litigant can so egregiously misbehave that the right to appeal can be lost. We're talking here, of course, about the civil disentitlement doctrine.
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.
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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

In the battle to stop the spread of COVID-19, California's local hospitals are on the front lines. As the number of cases surged last month, public health officials became increasingly concerned that hospitals could be overwhelmed.
A bit of fiscal history is in order. The Great Recession that hit California 13 years ago had a devastating effect on the state budget.
As employers contemplate re-opening businesses and returning employees to work, they face a number of litigation risks from the very workers they are putting back on the active payroll. Carefully addressing key legal issues may help to ensure a healthy workforce and avoid the more expensive of these risks.
It was a few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic when I got the call from my boss. I could tell from the sound of her voice what I was about to hear: She had no choice but to let me go.
As the political debate continues about whether to reopen the economy or maintain "stay at home" policies, many employers are working on creative solutions that enable extended remote work arrangements for larger segments of their workforces. Employers face many risks and challenges relating to managing remote workers under California law. Here are 10 considerations that may be helpful at this time.
The vast majority of people who were unhoused in California before coronavirus swept across the state are exactly where they were. Encampments still line the streets. Shelters feel more like a risk than a refuge. And affordable housing is as elusive as ever.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The view from high up in Del Mar's 17th Street lifeguard station is a visit-California poster: a sweeping curve of sand, dramatic coastal bluffs, a welcoming sea. What scientists see, though, is somewhat more sobering: the Pacific Ocean as seething menace, a marine battering ram born of climate change that will inexorably claim more and more land and whatever sits upon it.
With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the economy, the issue of zombie foreclosure will resurface. This article will explain the legal tools that California banks, cities, counties and homeowners can use to stop them.
For some time there has been a split among the Federal circuits as to whether evidence of willfulness is required in order to award disgorgement of profits for trademark infringement under Section 1125(a) of the Lanham Act.
I once saw a "no poets" clause in a lease. Obviously, it was a typographical error for "no pets." But the no-pets provision found in most residential leases is no less oppressive, and it should be abolished. There is a growing movement to eliminate the right of a landlord to impose a complete restriction on residential tenants having pets, or "animal companions" in modern parlance.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The 9th Circuit recently found jurisdiction over a non-tribal member under both prongs of Montana v. U.S.
Wells Fargo's problems may not be over. Last month, the Democratic staff of the Committee on Financial Services for the U.S. House of Representatives issued a scathing 113-page report. And just recently, some small businesses have filed class actions accusing Wells Fargo of gerrymandering the order of processing of loans under the government-backed Paycheck Protection Program to favor larger loan applicants, which make the bank more money.
By the time public health officer Bela Matyas learned that the novel coronavirus was spreading in Solano County, the patient in her 40s was already on a ventilator.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, Congress has enacted several legislative packages aimed at providing financial relief to businesses in the form of loans, increased tax deductions, and refundable tax credits.
Today's COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that every person is vulnerable to disease, instability, unavailability and loss. Its worldwide reach has created circumstances that most people never before considered but which have always been possibilities.
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).

Friday, April 24, 2020

With the COVID-19 wreaking havoc on California's economy, many of the adversely affected businesses increasingly find themselves unable to perform their contractual obligations.
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.
For over 75 years, California employers have been vexed by the prolix requirements for the statements accompanying paychecks set out on Labor Code Section 226. After a decade of pitched litigation concerning the scope of penalties for violation of these requirements, a state trial court has now definitively held — for the first time — that there are severe statutory limitations on the scope of civil penalties for paystub violations.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Earlier this month, the California Court of Appeal issued its first published decision addressing unlimited vacation time policies under California law.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global economy. Companies in the midst of M&A transactions when the pandemic began are likely to have substantial concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the target company's operations and continued financial viability.
A commercial insurer that denied a business interruption claim by Hollywood’s Musso & Frank Grill over its forced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic is the target of a federal suit filed Tuesday in the Central District of California.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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.
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?
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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

California aims to help businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic by assisting them with inventory problems and credit card debt they've amassed.
As California scrambles to protect more than 150,000 homeless residents from contracting and spreading novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom had some harsh words Saturday for cities he accused of blocking the conversion of hotels and motels for emergency housing.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last month that he would commit $150 million to addressing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Project RoomKey, in collaboration with local efforts, aims to shelter 50,000 of the state's more than 150,000 homeless people in hotels.
Every day that Californians heed official exhortations to remain in semi-isolation reduces the spread of coronavirus infections and, therefore, deaths from COVID-19, and will hasten the day that social and economic restrictions can be eased.
A core component of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package allows the Small Business Administration to create a Paycheck Protection Program from Feb. 15, 2020, to June 30, 2020, that provides for 100% federally backed forgivable loans for certain eligible businesses and nonprofits hurt by the coronavirus fallout.
In the wake of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, local governments have begun enacting ordinances designed to extend FFCRA-like leave entitlements to employees not eligible for this particular federal paid leave because they work for employers with 500 or more employees.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Despite rapid growth of regulated cannabis markets across the U.S. and its territories, conflicting federal and state laws continue to hinder the industry. As a result of banking restrictions, everyday business activity performed by state licensed cannabis businesses — lawful in most other sectors — transforms into criminal conduct.

Friday, April 17, 2020

The California Legislature's decision to suspend work until May 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic was a wise move. Some want to take it a step further, urging that all non-essential legislation be postponed until 30 days after the statewide "shelter in place" order has been lifted.
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.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says he sees light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, when Californians regain "a semblance of normalcy," emerge from their homes, converse verbally rather than electronically and return to their jobsites.
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. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

In mid-March, a fear-induced global sell-off triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic ended the longest bull market in U.S. history -- leading us into our first bear market in 11 years. Bear markets are commonly defined as a decline of at least 20% from the market's high point to the low during the sell-off.
Consider the following scenario: Smith sues Jones. Insurance Company hires Defense Counsel to defend Jones under the terms of a liability policy with $1 million policy limits.
A major consideration for landlords and tenants is a loss of business or increased liabilities due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Insured parties should review their insurance coverages and determine whether additional coverages are available or whether COVID-19-related losses are a covered event.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

As a constitutional studies instructor (now teaching law students "on-line" from the quiet of a bedroom closet) and as someone who worked for almost three decades at the U.S. Department of Justice (for presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama), I have been asked by quite a few students about both my ability to stay optimistic and productive during home-confinement and how I view the president's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. My answers overlap.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed California and the nation into uncharted waters, especially with the impact on our schools.
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 first few days of the coronavirus crisis revealed that the veneer of civilization may be thinner than we assumed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The promise of freedom and prosperity enticed my parents to leave their homes in China and come to the United States. Along with their hopes for a brighter future, they brought a distrust of government forged from living under a repressive regime. Initially, they did not even approve of my career as an elected government official.
In classic college comedies like "Animal House," the most significant cost associated with higher education was incurred by the liver. In the University of California system, tuition was free until 1968, when registration fees increased to $300 per academic year, which might cover the cost of an Abnormal Psychology textbook in modern times. Annual tuition and fees for resident UC undergraduates did not exceed $1,000 until the 1985-1986 academic year, when tuition and fees totaled $1,296.
As the rest of us hunker down in place or, donning our masks and gloves, venture tentatively outdoors, there is a subset of individuals particularly maladapted to this coronavirus pandemic lifestyle.
The impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy is spreading faster and claiming more victims than the virus itself, and no specific sector or individual is immune to it. Within the family law context, the domino effect is unstoppable. As a supporting parent or former spouse's source of income is suspended, reduced, or eliminated, so is her or his ability to pay child or spousal support pursuant to an existing stipulated agreement or litigated order.
Richard Dobbs was coughing, feverish, and preparing to sleep on the sidewalk again. Dobbs, 60 and homeless in Sacramento for the past two years, had just been discharged March 28 from Sutter Medical Center's emergency department, where he was given a test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and written instructions for how to self-isolate while he awaited the results.

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.
Compliance concerns and governmental interest in prosecuting bribery and corruption remain high — yet compliance leaders have fewer resources to tackle bribery and corruption risks, according to a new report from Hogan Lovells, Steering the Course II.
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 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.
When you're barely old enough to buy beer, estate planning in typical times and for the typical person is not going to be top of mind. However, these are not typical times.
At long last, the results are mostly in. And as was clear on election night, Vermont Sen. and Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders won the California primary. In a very crowded field, he landed 8 percentage points ahead of second-place finisher Joe Biden.
Six days after Gov. Newsom declared a state of emergency, the LA Alliance for Human Rights, a coalition of business interests formed in the guise of protecting human rights, sued Los Angeles. It alleges that local leaders are failing to provide beds for all of Los Angeles' 59,000 individuals experiencing homelessness.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

As cities and states now in lockdown struggle to determine if construction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is an essential service, commercial real estate stakeholders and their attorneys are examining contractual obligations to assess risk and introduce clauses to limit exposure.
On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that, pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, certain deadlines for patent and trademark applications would be extended. 
Franchise systems in all industries would be well served to proactively adapt their systems to allow franchisees to provide some level of service, while navigating legal issues prompted by COVID-19.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), includes tax credit provisions designed to encourage employee retention by employers experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19.
Whose appeal is this anyway? Conventional wisdom is that an appeal "belongs" to the appellant. The appellant created the appeal by filing the notice of appeal, and is responsible for the care and feeding of the appeal: pushing the paper and paying the fees. Thus, should the appellant get cold feet about pursuing the appeal, it can pull the plug at any time, right?
In 2006, California's pledge to build 1 million solar energy systems on homes, schools, farms and businesses was visionary and audacious, but achievable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended every American wear a face mask while in public to protect against contracting coronavirus.
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.
Sue Swezey, 83, has spent the last three weeks at home caring for her son John, who is 57 and severely autistic. John needs 24-hour supervision. He cannot cross a street safely. The other day, he used a metal fork to unstick a piece of bread stuck in an electric toaster. His mother rushed in to pull the plug.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The unprecedented $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, aka the CARES Act, is the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history, providing crucial funds for individuals, nonprofits and small businesses.

Friday, April 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic may give rise to a variety of novel insurance coverage disputes, and some of those disputes may include claims by policyholders for emotional distress due to a bad-faith claim denial.
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.
With the closure of the U.S. southern border due to the pandemic, many Mexicans and Mexican Americans in California are physically cut off from home or family, while others contend with indefinite pauses in deportation or residency cases.
A month ago, it would have been unthinkable to pay $50 for an eight-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer or $250 for a 50-pack of N95 masks. But as the nation began to grapple with the new reality of living under the threat of contracting the COVID-19 virus, the media spotlighted merchants selling these common (and vastly less expensive) items for outrageously high prices.
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.
COVID-19 has precipitated a record drop in the stock market. Here are a few steps to consider.
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.
"Let's call it what it is — a disgrace – that the richest state in the richest nation, succeeding across so many sectors, is failing to properly house, heal and humanely treat so many of its own people." -Governor Gavin Newsom, 2020 State of the State Address.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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.
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.
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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

On the heels of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing in January, his widow, Vanessa Bryant, and the couple's three minor children find themselves in Orange County probate court to address an oversight in the Bryant family estate plan.
In the realm of trade secret law, an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. Remove that protection, and a company may suffer a severe headache in the form of fact-intensive litigation. Dueling trade secret lawsuits brought by Quibi Holdings, LLC and a parent company to the company known as Eko serve as a stark reminder of this adage.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom took his now-usual spot behind a podium in Sacramento for a livestreamed news conference and rattled off a dizzying list of statistics.

Monday, March 30, 2020

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."
Trade secret litigation in California is growing, in both volume and impact.
As states and the federal government wage a battle against the spread of the coronavirus, we also face a real threat to our democratic institutions.
In an unprecedented move, both the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board recently took sweeping steps to delay tax filing and payment deadlines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ability of businesses (large and small alike) to weather this storm and rebound will depend on the severity and duration of the pandemic and the resulting economic impact.
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.
The need to delay CCPA enforcement is particularly acute for the state's brick-and-mortar retailers. For many of them, this is one more burden as they shut their doors indefinitely and try to figure out how to stay solvent amid what is quickly becoming the most devastating pandemic of our lifetime.

Friday, March 27, 2020

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.
Last year the court discarded the state litigation requirement, but questions remain.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

As California braced for an onslaught of desperately ill coronavirus patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans over the weekend to open two new hospitals, and President Donald Trump said the federal government will ship a number of mobile hospital units to the state, pay for National Guard deployments and deploy the San Diego-based naval hospital ship Mercy to Los Angeles.
Batson's prohibition is easy to articulate, but significantly harder to enforce.
Following a sunny weekend when Californians flocked to beaches and hiking trails despite a government order to stay home, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday a "soft closure" of state parks to curb the spread of coronavirus.
In the week since California began shutting down for the coronavirus crisis, Elena Ramirez has spent her days deep cleaning at her Happy Face Family Preschool. Her doors have remained open, even though none of the 14 kids she usually cares for in San Francisco's Sunnyside district have shown up for a week now and both her teachers have stopped coming to work.
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.
When Venice Family Clinic opened its doors 50 years ago, two volunteer physicians provided free medical care after hours in a dental clinic. They served about a dozen patients that first day.
The coronavirus pandemic has not only killed and sickened people, but it has essentially shut down much of the world's economy. Not everyone can work from home. Whether ordered by the government or not, some people cannot go to work and, as a result, companies have suspended operations. The crippling question for insurance companies is whether the losses sustained due to the business interruption and the inevitable lawsuits that will arise from the virus are covered.

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.
Income tax planning can be controversial. The most recent IRS "Dirty Dozen" list includes structures designed to reduce your ordinary income tax: falsifying income to claim credits; falsely padding deductions on returns; excessive claims for business credits; offshore tax avoidance; frivolous tax arguments; and abusive tax shelters, including syndicated conservation easements.
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

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.
The full extent of the business interruption caused by the novel coronavirus is unknown, but the losses are already catastrophically high. The stock market's recent plunge over coronavirus fears was the largest since the financial crisis in 2008.
As opportunity zone investments become more commonplace, many opportunity zone sponsors and developers are interested in understanding the difference between "original property" and "substantial improvement" property. This is an important distinction which is outlined in the final opportunity zone regulations, which become effective Friday.
"Social distancing." In this time of coronavirus, it sounds straightforward: Avoid crowds. Don't shake hands. Shield the elderly and infirm from infection. If necessary, go home and hunker down.
Like other fans, an extraordinarily devoted following, I felt a loss when the television series "The Good Place" came to its inevitable end. I immediately began binge watching the afterlife comedy all over again.
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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission has relied on disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as one of its main and most effective enforcement tools for several decades. It was broadly accepted until fairly recently that the SEC could obtain disgorgement as a form of equitable relief in enforcement actions in federal court.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that has significant implications for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile-long underground pipeline intended to deliver natural gas from hydraulic fracturing operations in West Virginia to coastal Virginia and eastern North Carolina, with an expected cost of over $7 billion dollars.

Monday, March 2, 2020

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.
Employers must compensate employees for the time they spend waiting for management to inspect personal property before they leave work. 
The state high court will soon decide if and when jury trials are available in these actions, including Prop 65.
A spectre is haunting the county elections offices and campaign headquarters of California: Iowa.

Friday, February 28, 2020

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. Plus, you never know when they may need emergency care, surgery, or other expensive treatment. 
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.
When Resi Salvador's three little brothers walk through the door, they make a beeline for her, seated at a folding chair at her parents' kitchen table. They snuggle into her arms. Resi laughs. She's home.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

It has become commonplace for companies such as Google to use local servers to provide faster service to customers. This practice has raised the question as to whether those local servers constitute "a regular and established place of business" for the purposes of establishing venue in patent infringement suits in the districts where the servers are located.
This is the rare antitrust case that can be reduced to a credibility contest between testifying witnesses or decided correctly based on the court's gut business instincts.
When employees are involved in romantic relationships with each other, it can bring a whole host of potential problems that neither the lovers, nor the company, may see coming.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

To help ensure increased biosimilar licensing and consumer and healthcare provider awareness of the benefits of biosimilars, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a joint statement identifying four joint goals regarding the market for biologics
In recent years, state regulators and private plaintiffs have attempted to circumvent and undermine a regime of legal certainty by arguing that preemption of state usury laws should apply only if — after applying a fact-intensive, multi-factor test — the bank is determined to be the "true lender" on the loan.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The outbreak of coronavirus disease has infected tens of thousands of people in China and escalating numbers in at least two dozen other countries, including the United States.
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.
On a recent afternoon, more than a dozen California lawmakers gathered to discuss thorny issues impacting a state that is the cradle of technological innovation — but also suffering from wildfires, aging infrastructure, and vast economic inequality.
This action by the Los Angeles District Attorney should serve a clarion call to others around the state to follow suit.
Rob and Mialisa Bonta describe themselves as partners in life and partners in service. Together since they were 17-year-old freshmen at Yale, the Democratic assemblyman and his wife, an Alameda school board member, have long shared an ambition to provide young people with educational opportunities.
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.

Friday, February 21, 2020

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.
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.
Although there is certainly no express exemption for big data written into the Sherman Act, determining exactly how antitrust law (as opposed to, say, consumer protection law) applies has been far from trivial.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

California's law dictating the number of women who must be hired to the boards of publicly traded California corporations (whether incorporated or just headquartered in California). This woman quota (Senate Bill 826) is plainly unconstitutional.
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.
The debate over the Supreme Court of California's 2018 Dynamex decision – in which the state's highest court adopted the so-called "ABC test" for determining whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor or as an employee – and the California legislature's subsequent codification of Dynamex via Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5), has dominated the legal landscape of California employment law.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Rent control may well limit rent increases on current occupied units and enable existing tenants to remain in their units longer; however, it discourages new housing starts and creates scarcity.
I hate word games. One that has haunted the land use field for years is the use (or abuse) of the word "dedication." Land use regulators are fond of requiring property owners to "dedicate" property as a condition to obtaining development approval.
Sen. Scott Wiener's controversial Senate Bill 50 is huffing and puffing its way back to the 2020 California legislative session. It aims to blow down formerly protected constitutional authority for cities to tackle their own planning and zoning.
In Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., 1-17-cv-01616 (DDE 2020-01-07, Order), the Court rejected the Plaintiff's argument that an inequitable conduct claim must be related only to the prosecution of the patent-at-issue in ruling on plaintiff's motion to dismiss defendants' infectious unenforceability counterclaims. In the case, the Defendants' theory as to the unenforceability of U.S. Patent No. 9,902,992 (the '992 patent) was not based on inequitable conduct said to have occurred during the '992 patent's prosecution.
Rent control may well limit rent increases on current occupied units and enable existing tenants to remain in their units longer; however, it discourages new housing starts and creates scarcity.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Teaching the required course in professional responsibility, an anodyne title for legal ethics, I always face the same issue at the beginning of the semester.
It sounds so simple. The Clean Water Act applies to "waters of the United States." But a clear and consistent definition of this critically important phrase has long proved painfully elusive.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently revised its regulations governing the calculation of the "regular rate of pay."

Friday, January 10, 2020

One leap forward and two missed steps
The start of the new year is a great time to focus on your finances and put them into perspective.
"Flavor of the Month" is a misnomer, particularly for PFAS; between a hit movie (Dark Waters) and the interest of class action plaintiffs' attorneys, we can expect to hear about PFAS for a long time. But the catchphrase is accurate in implying that media interest usually moves on to another potential threat from other "forever chemicals" long before a solution to an old problem is found.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

It's a presidential election year, so what can California voters anticipate between now and Nov. 3?
Someone will have to pay for wildfire risks, whether it's the individual policyholder, the insurance industry or the taxpayers; and it will most likely be some combination of all of them.

Monday, January 6, 2020

"Behavioral Legal Ethics" is a relatively new area of the law that deals with how automatic and mostly unconscious processes potentially lead otherwise well-intentioned people to make self-serving decisions, and the implication of such actions for legal policymaking.
Happy new year! Hopefully, you got everything you wanted for Christmas and didn't get a lump of coal. For one contractor, aptly named Black Diamond Electric, Inc., the holidays weren't so good.
Less than 72 hours old, the employee-presumptive Assembly Bill 5 already faces several legal challenges from industries opposed to reclassifying independent contractors.

Friday, January 3, 2020

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.
Domestic violence is a complex phenomenon that impacts families across generations. Victims can become perpetrators. Perpetrators are often victims. Family members who were never physically touched by violence are still deeply affected. Fear and shame can generate silence. These factors, and many others, allow the cycle to continue.
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.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Would you be willing to delay your retirement to help your child pay for their first car, college education or wedding? Increasingly a lot of Americans say the answer is yes.
Senate Bill is a lengthy and complicated piece of housing legislation that will significantly affect land development in California. But does the new law unreasonably curb local agencies' police power? Or is it the answer to solving the state's housing crisis?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a record-setting $191 million settlement with the University of Phoenix (UOP) and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, Inc., following allegations that the school deceptively advertised the benefits of a UOP education.
Choice of entity has always been a difficult decision, but two years later we are seeing that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has made it a little bit easier.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

In the early 2000's, an all-girl band called 3LW performed a song called "Playas Gon' Play," which was written by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler. "Playas Gon' Play" was initially released in May, 2001 and rose to number 81 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
Whistleblowers often face the same Catch-22 as recent college graduates. You can't get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without a job. Similarly, a whistleblower cannot prove corporate misconduct without documents, but appropriating corporate documents — or "purloining" as the employer would say — may result in suspension or termination.
Banks are caught in the between state and federal laws on marijuana. Like any other business, marijuana producers and dispensaries need bank accounts to avoid the costly and dangerous consequences of all-cash dealings.

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.

Monday, December 23, 2019

In 2019, the California Legislature had another busy year working on new environmental and natural resource bills.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Although they are generally distinct sections with their own provisions, there is one possibility in which Section 1031 exchanges and opportunity zones can intersect.
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. The Social Security Administration makes cost-of-living adjustments on an annual basis. Here's how the changes may impact you:

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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A veteran's access to a lawyer can mean the difference between living under a roof or under a bridge

Monday, December 9, 2019

Individuals, creators and businesses have a right and a duty to protect themselves and their assets from infringing online activities and to censor unconstitutional speech. However, if copyrighted material found online was fairly used and statements were made in furtherance of free speech related to a public issue, defenses such as fair use and improper takedown under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well as anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) motions, will prevail and alleged unlawful activity will be deemed lawful

Friday, December 6, 2019

It's the holiday season. A time when family and friends, and even neighbors, gather together.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on a petition filed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review whether BOOKING.COM is a registrable trademark.

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

Like many teachers, I regularly tell my students there are no "stupid" questions; yet like many of my peers, I am not always sure how to answer. Here are a few examples of conversations that have flummoxed me.

Friday, November 29, 2019

In many ways, 2019 has been a miserable year for the world economy, with trade wars, geopolitical instability and slowing growth. Yet global investors in fact have much to celebrate this year — no matter where they invested their money.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

How confident are you about the insurance strategies you have in place to protect against an unexpected turn in your life? Do you feel like you have a clear handle on how to manage your insurance needs effectively?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Earlier this month, AT&T stipulated to a $60 million judgment to settle the case. The money will be distributed as a partial refund to current and former customers whose mobile data speeds were throttled by AT&T.

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.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Jerry Dewayne Williams, if popular folklore is to be believed, should be coming up for parole soon.

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

One take on the current race to be the next district attorney of Los Angeles County.
Ready or not, tax time is looming. And as we enter the last two months of 2019, many opportunity zone investors and developers are busy planning for year-end transactions to maximize tax benefits.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

In Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc. et al., case number 18-2140, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently considered whether the appointment of the Board's Administrative Patent Judges ("APJs") by the Secretary of Commerce, as currently set forth in Title 35, violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Having declared "I own it," Gov. Gavin Newsom is stepping up his personal involvement and political investment in the disaster-tinged bankruptcy of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., wagering his still-new governorship on reforming — or dissolving — the nation's largest investor-owned utility.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Elijah Cummings, Daniel Goodman and George Washington

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.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Should a company be required to license its patents to a competitor? That's one question that arises when intellectual property law and antitrust law intersect.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Apple Inc. and Google LLC are "nothing more than modern tape pirates" according to amended complaint filed Friday in a Los Angeles federal court by the rights-holder to the works of an acclaimed composer and songwriter.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

With the looming implementation of AB 5 many people in various trades and professions are asking, "Are we now employees?" One such profession is the golf industry.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Investors who follow the markets have seen headlines in recent weeks about something called the "inverted yield curve." For those less familiar with the phenomenon, an inverted yield curve is essentially a point on a chart where short-term investments in U.S. Treasury bonds pay more than long-term ones. And when it occurs, it's generally regarded as a warning sign for the economy and markets.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Before 1995, the term of a U.S. utility patent was 17 years from the day the patent issued. In 1994, the federal statutes were changed to make the patent term 20 years from the effective filing date of the patent application.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Gavin Newsom has a transportation problem — not personally, but politically.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series providing an overview of recent California Supreme Court decisions in employment law.

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.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Be careful what you ask for because you may get it. This old adage had particular meaning for the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules in 2018. But net neutrality rules are likely to come back even stronger.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

As Gavin Newsom disposes of the last few bills from the 2019 legislative session, he more or less closes the book on his first year as governor and it's an appropriate moment for a progress report.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

It was a problem that California had come to dread. The risk of wildfires was high. acific Gas & Electric, the giant utility whose power lines and transformers have been blamed for a series of disastrous wildfires in recent years, was determined to prevent another one.

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

For years, the state of California has wanted to expand public access to the beaches at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County. The state has been unsuccessful, some claim, because rich property owners have thwarted the will of the people.

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.

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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

College application season is approaching, and that means prospective students are in the midst of campus visits.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Landlords whose tenants sell counterfeit goods can be liable for trademark infringement if they have knowledge of the infringing acts or are willfully blind to the infringement.

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.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The USPTO recently refused legendary quarterback Tom Brady's application to register the mark TOM TERRIFIC. If you're like me, you're wondering why Tom Brady would want to register such a trademark. Well, according to Brady, he wanted to obtain the rights to the mark to prevent people from referring to him by that nickname. But that response isn't satisfactory for those of us who know about trademark law for a couple of reasons.

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?
Which expenses are business and which are personal? You might think it's obvious, but your view and the IRS view may differ. These days business and personal can often seem mixed up, such as when you entertain, try to motivate employees, go on combined business and work trips, and more.
As recently as in the lifetime of some of us, the United States made an offer to buy the giant island. In 1946, we were ready with an offer of one hundred million dollars.

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.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

People are always changing their minds, day to day. But over the past 20-odd years one group has shifted to an astounding degree: highly educated white Democrats. I'm not sure I understand why this group has undergone such a transformation, but it has, and the effects are reshaping our politics.

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.
A now-former Internal Revenue Service analyst has pleaded guilty to illegally leaking information about former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
A recent appellate ruling is yet another stark reminder of the severe consequences when a settlement requiring payments over time is done improperly. The holding confirms existing law that a settlement agreement may not include an impermissible penalty by requiring a defendant to pay more than the agreed upon sum in event of default.

Friday, August 16, 2019

It's no secret that many American parents want to support their kids by paying for their college education.
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.
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.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Seeing a quick way to make a bunch of bucks, the paparazzi are suing celebrities to squeeze every penny out of these impromptu pictures. The photographers are armed with the long-standing rule that copyright law gives exclusive rights to the person behind the camera, not the subject of the photo.
In our country's fraught search to do something to stop mass violence, and hold someone or something accountable for conduct that has caused unspeakable pain and loss, many are looking to online speech forums.
In Celgene Corporation v. Peter, the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the PTAB's decisions finding appealed claims obvious. However, more importantly, the Federal Circuit also held that the retroactive application of IPR proceedings to pre-AIA patents is not an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

After the two most recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, President Donald Trump suggested that he might support federal legislation to encourage red flag laws. But while they are a constitutional way to decrease gun violence, they are not enough.
Then in 2018, the Trump administration froze the corporate average fuel economy standards, neither reducing neither fuel consumption nor emissions, but purporting to save lives. A twisted tale that calls for some explanation.
The California Legislature's 2019 session began last winter amidst great hopes and fears.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Instead of merely following the latest trend for choosing a legal form, founders should weigh the following considerations.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Subrogation means the stepping of one person into the legal place of another. In a lease where there is a "waiver of subrogation," the term subrogation is applied to mean that one party's insurer will be specifically directed by that party that the insurer cannot step into the legal place of the party for the purpose of pursuing a damages claim, i.e., a negligence claim underlying an insured loss.
There is a long list of publications that you actually can rely on, including the tax code and the regulations. There are many other authorities too, including tax cases. However, IRS form instructions and informal IRS guidance such as frequently asked questions are usually not considered actual "authority" for tax purpose.
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 9, 2019

Parents want good things for their children, and a good credit record is certainly something that falls into that category.
When the governor not only executes the laws, but also orders the adoption of laws to overturn judicial decisions, the governor assumes control of all three branches of government.
People new to the cannabis industry often think that marijuana is simply "legal in California." That's only partially true; many jurisdictions have bans on most types of canna-businesses, meaning that the type of business that you may want to pursue may not actually be legal in most of the state.
When lawyers and their former clients are sued for malicious prosecution, it is necessary to determine applicable statutes of limitations.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Governor Newsom recently approved a bill that modifies several California laws health care, including financial eligibility requirements for HIV Care Programs, reporting standards for lead poisoning screening of children who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries, the allocation of funds for Hepatitis C testing and prevention, and the establishment of the Office of the Surgeon General.
The 9th Circuit said that the "Blurred Lines case" was just one case. They said that it would not affect other cases. Many said that it was an outlier. Well, they were wrong.
Today, over 1,000 Californian bar applicants each year achieve a score that would qualify them to practice law in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois and yet they are denied admission to the California bar because of the unjustifiably high score required to pass the bar exam.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Things should be dismal in Silicon Valley right now, with technology's biggest companies under attack from regulators, lawmakers and even President Donald Trump. Not for Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi. The two Stanford dropouts, both 23, are the founders of Brex, one of the hottest young companies today. Their startup's mission? To provide charge cards to other startups.

Friday, August 2, 2019

America’s embrace of civilian gun ownership makes police work more dangerous in the United States than in other developed countries, a phenomenon that in turn contributes to officers killing nearly 1,000 people each year.
Americans juggle a lot of interest rates in their daily lives. They pay interest on car loans, credit card balances and mortgages

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Insurers have not settled on precedent policy language and there has been little case law on coverage disputes, creating an air of uncertainty around many facets of cyber policy coverage and a customer base of insureds with little or no knowledge of what they are purchasing.
The federal patent laws provide for an award of attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in exceptional patent infringement cases.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Now that California has adopted its own version of ABA rule 8.4, Misconduct, it is increasingly apparent that an attorney´s off-the-clock behavior can have on-the-clock consequences.
Now that Oregon has joined California and Washington in holding that employees may misappropriate trade secret customer lists through their mental impressions, employers up and down the west coast should be vigilant in protecting their trade secrets in all forms, including their employees' memories.
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.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (the "USPTO") explains that

"A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services."

Now that takings plaintiffs can immediately sue in federal court, many will no doubt choose to do so. Rightly or wrongly, superior court judges are believed to be sympathetic toward agencies in their jurisdictions.
Without traditional banking services, cannabis businesses are forced to operate in all cash — maintaining piles of bills at their businesses, manually transporting large sums for transactions, and making suitcases of cash payments to the federal, state and local tax collecting agencies. This creates serious public safety risks and logistical headaches, which have prompted both the California and federal legislature to pursue banking institutes.
One of the reasons major corporations don't seem to prioritize preventing data breaches is the lack of long-term consequences. After the initial negative publicity dies down, stock prices rebound and executives don't go to jail — until now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Given the impact that "taking Five" can have in parallel civil and criminal proceedings, a working knowledge of its application in the relevant civil forum is an indispensable part of the civil trial lawyer's strategic toolkit.
There is some sort of hard-to-define spiritual crisis across the land, which shows up in rising depression rates, rising mental health problems. A survey that the Pew Research Center released late last year captures the mood. Pew asked people to describe the things that bring meaning to their lives.
The panel is pursuing a split from the State Bar by the end of 2019.

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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Digital reporting has shown that it can effectively fill the gap caused by inadequate numbers of shorthand reporters and keep the system functioning.

California employees may claim unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, penalties, and interest via administrative complaints filed with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (also known as the Labor Commissioner's office).

Monday, June 17, 2019

One of the most heartbreaking cases of elderly abandonment happened in the midst of the Tubbs wildfire that raced through Sonoma County beginning October 8, 2017. The fire burned more than 36,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 5,600 or more structures, and killed approximately 22 people. Two multi-story residential care facilities, named Villa Capri and Varenna, housed over 300 elderly or infirm residents.
As a former military shooting expert, I have a fear of guns — in the hands of fellow educators. In the aftermath of the 2018 shooting massacre at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a bill is now pending in the Florida Legislature. If enacted into law, volunteer K-12 teachers can opt to arm themselves.
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

In the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. government and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, a civil trade secret dispute between two companies that might have resolved without much fanfare in previous years has grown into a full-blown criminal prosecution and a major point of leverage in the United States' political maneuverings with one of its largest world rivals.
In a stark reversal from the panel decision, the en banc 9th Circuit held that settling parties are not required to conduct a 50-state conflict-of-law analysis to certify a settlement class alleging violation of state consumer laws.
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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

ver the past several years, teenage suicide rates have spiked horrifically. Depression rates are surging, and America's mental health overall is deteriorating. What's going on?
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marc D. Gross made history on June 5 by becoming the first state court judge to decide an issue that has been haunting California employers for years.
Employers Beware: In a cautionary tale to employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers defending harassment claims under Title VII may waive a "potentially dispositive defense" if asserted too late.

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.
Recently state and federal courts alike have expanded the interpretation of California law to void not only covenants not to compete, but also to invalidate nonsolicitation agreements.
Here at Exceptionally Appealing, we assume that the appellate bar is a cut above the ordinary, and therefore far less likely to become embroiled in State Bar disciplinary proceedings.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

If your heart is beating and your lungs are taking in oxygen, you know that Game of Thrones recently reached its epic conclusion.
Lawyers may source money entirely for themselves, clients alone may seek it, or each may get some, depending on how the deal is structured. But one of the questions consistently facing clients and lawyers is how taxes will be handled.
As the New York Legislature considers Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposed Consumer Right to Know Act, California's costly and often convoluted implementation of Proposition 65 offers a cautionary tale.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Many couples are choosing to start families later in life compared to their parents and grandparents.
Director John Singleton and former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel were very different Hollywood animals, but both made common but critical errors in their estate planning.
Not surprisingly, technology is not the main barrier to the introduction of urban air taxis. Rather, regulation and public policy are the main obstacles.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The global AV market is projected to be valued as high as $50 billion in 2019, with future projections in decades to come soaring to the trillions. Given the value at stake, companies must diligently protect their intellectual property from competitors.
One of the requirements for obtaining a patent is the written description requirement -- the specification must include a written description of the invention. 35 U.S.C §112(a).
While attention has been focused on massive data breaches at large corporations over the past few years, a study of cyber incidents in 2018 concludes that governmental agencies are orders of magnitude more likely to be the source of data breaches.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A confidentially marketed public offering is a particularly effective tool for small to medium-cap companies.
As the millennium approached, the Venture Lending market was strong but still in its infancy. But the venture lending market has evolved since that time.
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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

On April 17, the Internal Revenue Service issued its second tranche of proposed regulations to address many questions left unanswered by the first tranche issued last October, providing additional clarity necessary to spur increased activity in QOZ investments.
More than 40,000 investors descended on Omaha for Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting. The most prominent face of capitalism — Warren Buffett, the avuncular founder of Berkshire appeared to distance himself from many of his peers, who have been apologizing for capitalism of late. "I'm a card-carrying capitalist," Mr. Buffett said.
While the growth in patent filings is almost ubiquitous in technology areas in the medical device segment, the biggest growth in patent filings has occurred in high-tech medical device, potentially indicating a shift away from traditional medical device technologies.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Most everyone knows that nonprofit religious organizations are not treated the same as other entities with respect to some laws — for example, discrimination based on religion — but others still apply.
There are approximately 300,000 elderly Californians currently living in assisted living facilities throughout the state. While the laws governing large chain facilities and smaller facilities are the same, the worlds are completely different. Both have their separate horrors and pitfalls.
Employers must pay workers for "reporting time" when employees call in to determine if they will be expected to work, according to the California Court of Appeal's decision in Ward v. Tilly's, Inc.

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.
Several commander-in-chief hopefuls, seeking the White House residency beginning in January 2021, have begun stridently pontificating and sermonizing about restoring voting rights for incarcerated felons.
Why I admire Parliamentary procedure

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court's latest arbitration ruling continues a proxy war over 'statutory originalism.'
Gary Cohn was born in 1960 in the suburbs of Cleveland.

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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

When Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook called for regulating harmful internet content in an opinion column last month, Republicans in Washington expressed outrage that he was calling on the government to regulate speech.
A new issue quickly spilled onto center stage in a securities case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court: whether investors have a private right of action to bring claims under Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act at all.
Despite the fact that the FTC may demand consumer redress or relief, this has not transpired in any cases against influencers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

California should adopt a simple, modern approach that recognizes the new ways that Californians memorialize their end-of-life wishes.
Last year, Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before Congress and apologized for his company's role in enabling "fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech." As Silicon Valley grapples with its version of becoming too big to fail, Zuckerberg and his industry peers might take lessons from Wall Street, whose leaders have some experience with government scrutiny.

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.
Here's a brain-twister: Can you knowingly approve something, which does not include something else, if you never considered the absence of that "something else"? Think about that for a moment... or better yet, just read on.
Sometimes lawyers get sanctioned for outrageous and improper behavior in court. But what about civility in more casual settings?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It's still illegal at the federal level, so where there is business — and cannabis business is thriving — what are banks to do?
Due to recent federal district court decisions in California, public employers that provide nonexempt employees who sporadically work holidays the benefit of holiday pay, but do not include the benefit in employees' regular rate of pay when calculating overtime, face increased risk of being sued for underpaid overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Constitution's very specific list of inviolable human rights sets the United States apart from almost every other nation on Earth.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The two most recent times I saw my friend Makoto Fujimura, he put a Kintsugi bowl in my hands. These ceramic bowls were 300 to 400 years old. But what made them special was that somewhere along the way they had broken into shards and were glued back together with a 15th-century technique using Japanese lacquer and gold.
As the gig economy continues to expand and businesses grapple with remaining legally compliant with the ever-evolving employment and labor landscape, the question of worker classification has significant impact on how California employers run their businesses.
A recent Court of Appeal ruling held that California's state minimum wage applies to all public employers, including charter cities and all counties.
The trial will pit Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook and Qualcomm's CEO Steve Mollenkopf in the witness box.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Ironically, the risk of having an ineffective waiver is even greater when lawyers try to get out in front of the issue and obtain one in advance.
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.
Much of an attorney's job is communication—but when can legal communication result in liability?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

First-time funds have been growing at a healthy pace year over year with continued upward growth since 2013.
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.
Moody's, one of the world's largest credit rating agencies, may be headed in the right direction. It announced last year that it will begin factoring vulnerability to cyberattacks into its analysis of a corporation's creditworthiness.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Many employers use background investigations when making hiring, promotional, and similar decisions.
At the beginning of the year, if you told me this is what we were going to be dealing with, I would have called you crazy," said Mayor Steve Manos of Lake Elsinore.
Marijuana may present the most combative clash between federal and state law today. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996. Effective November 2016, California legalized specified personal use and cultivation of marijuana. Yet, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
As a defense attorney, I'm against the death penalty. But as a private citizen, I'm for it.

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?
Our previous article addresses the substantive defects of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's rulings in the Oracle v. Apple case. This article will tackle the unanticipated fork in federal appellate jurisdiction from the Federal Circuit's arrogation to itself of a decisive role in adjudicating copyright software disputes nationwide.
In what appears to be a massive power-grab, the Bureau of Cannabis Control recently approved regulations which override all local or regional control of the delivery of marijuana and its byproducts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Fortunately, the Code of Civil Procedure offers a potential escape hatch when an attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect has harmed the client.
In a case where the unusual has become the norm, all eyes will be on the Supreme Court to see if or how it addresses the California court's finding that the proposed census question is unconstitutional.
Josef Stalin dreamed of creating a totalitarian society where every individual's behavior could be predicted and controlled but he was born a century too early. He lived before the technology that would have made being a dictator so much easier!

Monday, March 18, 2019

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.
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.

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.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest to determine whether a patent applicant, win or lose, must pay the salaries of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's ("USPTO") in-house attorneys in district court actions challenging the rejection of patent claims by USPTO patent examiners.
The opioid problem is monstrous and tentacular. Litigation is a critically important component of the response to the crisis: as a discovery method; to establish accountability; and because of the economic consequences.
The Supreme Court holds that there are no equitable exceptions to Rule 23(f)'s 14-day deadline to file a petition for permission to appeal an order granting or denying class certification, but does not address three other key questions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Former Marriott International deputy general counsel is taking over at Dunkin'
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.
It's a scenario that many trial lawyers dread: Your life care planner is on the stand. Just when she's about to get into the details of reports from your client's treating physicians, defense counsel shouts, "Objection! Hearsay."

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Traveling abroad might be a luxury or a necessity, depending on the circumstances. But now you can add tax problems to the list of things you may need to consider when you make travel plans.
Fifty years ago, an oil drilling company failed to put proper safety measures in place causing one of its oil platforms to rupture off the Santa Barbara coast. The result was 3 million gallons of crude oil spewing into 800 miles of the Pacific Ocean and onto 35 miles of Santa Barbara beaches.
For years, it has been standard practice for lawyers to give the "thumbs up" on settlement agreements by signing "Approved as to Form and Content." Since the inception of the Monster Energy v. Schechter case, attorneys have been watching — and waiting — to see the implications of any final ruling.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 echoes concepts found in the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, but it differs in key respects as well.
We are living in the Information Age, where technologies continuously and rapidly evolve and the law struggles — and often fails — to keep up.
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.
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.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

This week, the Supreme Court resolved a split in the circuits regarding an issue in copyright law that affects copyright owners in California.
As every law student and lawyer knows, while there are the rules, there are the exceptions to the rules, and then there are the exceptions to the exceptions to the rule, and so on.
The initial coin offering was the natural next step in the evolution of applications for blockchain technology. The only problem is that the law did not keep up with the technology.
My three children made me a mom. Trying to get them a good education in Los Angeles public schools made me an advocate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

As California's housing shortage deepened in the last decade, Jerry Brown made only token efforts to address it.
The phrase "on the internet" became a running joke with patent attorneys after the dot com boom; today it might be "machine learning." By John Kind Page 7
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases involving whether the act regulates discharges of pollutants to groundwater.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Everyone, it seems, has ideas about new tax strategies, some more realistic than others. Whatever your politics, there is a bipartisan acknowledgment that the tax system is broken. Whether you believe the system should be fixed to generate more revenue or employed as a tool to limit inequality, there is a justifiable sense the public doesn't trust the tax system to be fair.
In the battle between desire for public access and environmental preservation, respecting property rights is the best solution

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week to apply the excessive fines prohibition of the Eighth Amendment to the states, Timbs v. Indiana, 2019 DJDAR 1337 (Feb. 20, 2019), has broad implications to the right to a jury trial in civil cases.
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.
This week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will remind many Californians of the Mt. Soldad controversy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Practicing appellate law is like walking along the beach: Avoiding the big wave that can wipe you out is pretty easy to do, but it is the constant flow of smaller waves that can trip you up if you are not careful.
Following a recent California Supreme Court decision, the voter approval requirements for special taxes proposed via a citizen initiative is uncertain. This uncertainty will have to be resolved in the future by the courts or California voters.
For decades, employers have used timekeeping practices that involve rounding, for example, rounding the employees' "punch time" up or down to the nearest tenth or quarter hour.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Feb. 12 requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the National Rifle Association. Though Mayor Eric Garcetti's signature is still needed before the ordinance becomes official, the ordinance as approved by the City Council is already raising constitutionality concerns.
Husbands and wives rarely retain separate attorneys when creating an estate plan. When the spouses sign a conflict waiver, and if they have an actual conflict, is it waivable?
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

n 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.
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District was the first Supreme Court ruling that provided protection for students' First Amendment rights.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Two banks announced the industry's biggest merger in a decade on Thursday, signaling bank executives' growing confidence that the regulatory constraints imposed after the 2008 financial crisis have begun to loosen.
There is a distinct population interested in procedure, perhaps even more than substance, who think about issues in those terms.

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.
Our appellate rules are pretty darn good. But they're not perfect and can't account for every bizarre situation.
As a law professor, I wish students would hesitate before denouncing government actions, or public officials, as "racist" or "sexist."

Monday, February 4, 2019

axing the wealthiest Americans at a higher rate may be good politics, since most voters won't be affected.
Real property tax lien investments are not without risk. When there are liens arising under federal law which attach to the real property, most commonly federal tax liens, sovereign immunity issues are implicated there are different steps that need to be taken.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The California Supreme Court's decision the landmark worker classification case is having a greater impact on employers than any other decision in recent memory.
On Friday, the California attorney general's office hosted a public forum at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Los Angeles regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.
Prior to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"), the patent statute (35 U.S.C. § 102(b)) prohibited patenting an invention that was "on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States."

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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.
A California jurist once wisely observed, "All too often attorney fees become the tail that wags the dog in litigation."

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Employers require at least some employees to travel for business purposes.
One perspective which is critical and is often overlooked until the time comes to actually execute on becoming a public company is that of an underwriter.
Despite these challenges, investors are more than willing to engage in pre-licensing deals as a way to get in at the ground floor in California — the world's largest cannabis market.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

President Donald Trump has threatened to exercise emergency lawmaking power to construct a $5.7 billion border wall; many legal experts have opined that no such constitutional power exists.
When a new invention is created (if it is worth anything), everyone wants to take credit. Figuring out whose "baby" it is, is a difficult question.
If voters wish to narrow the sentence reductions of Proposition 57 in a way that does not conflict with its actual text, they are free to do so. A

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Is there anything you can do to get your case on appeal decided faster? Is there anything the appellate courts can do to improve the situation?
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.
Although Dynamex retroactivity is not guaranteed, the likelihood that an exception would be granted is about the same as winning the lottery.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Stocks came very close to entering a bear market on Christmas Eve, which was a very bad thing. Just about everybody said so.
Traditionally analyzed under the "totality of the facts," a recent appellate decision embraced three factors that are "especially pertinent" to determine the validity of a 998 offer.
Whether you represent people injured in accidents or defend these cases, you need to understand your ethical obligations regarding liens. Failing to properly address a lien could prove embarrassing or even cost you the right to practice law. This is very important stuff.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Commission on Judicial Performance has launched formal proceedings against 2nd District Court of Appeal Justice Jeffrey W. Johnson, citing sexual assault and misconduct allegations dating back to 1999.
The Commission on Judicial Performance has launched formal proceedings against 2nd District Court of Appeal Justice Jeffrey W. Johnson, citing sexual assault and misconduct allegations dating back to 1999.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Employers enter into agreements with employees to settle threatened claims or litigation, and to resolve any potential claims, such as at the time of a layoff or discharge. The primary goal of these agreements is to resolve active disputes or potential claims.
Two recent cases mark a trend in which California courts recognize that wealth and poverty have increasingly resulted in two different justice systems, and demonstrate attempts to even the playing field.
The Trump administration, at the direction of the president, has charted a new course on federal water pollution law. A

Monday, January 14, 2019

You probably want to be a good person. But you may also be completely self-absorbed. So you may be thinking, "There is no way I can be good if I'm also a narcissist. But how wrong you are!
Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos has taken over the nearly 300 coordinated cases filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court over the 2015 Porter Ranch gas leak.
The former patent examiner, Albert Einstein, is credited with having told reporters, "I never think of the future, it comes soon enough."
Calling the 9th Circuit's ruling both "erroneous" and "puzzling," the Supreme Court ordered a fresh look at this case and the specific issue regarding whether a police officer in Escondido used excessive force when responding to a domestic dispute.
Last year once again saw courts addressing key insurance issues.
Wagering on eSports is quite similar to wagering on traditional sports played on courts, fields, tracks and ice rinks: You pick the winner, the number of points, etc. H

Thursday, January 10, 2019

On December 28, 2018, the Court in The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-03714-GW-(AGRx), issued a Final Ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment of Validity under 35 U.S.C. § 103 based on IPR estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2).
For family law lawyers, love can indeed be a battlefield; a battlefield filled with real estate, children, jewelry, IRAs, and, as of Jan. 1, 2019, pets
Remedies to the military sexual assault situation require attention by both Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Even a president lacks the power to bring about significant change.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Last year once again saw courts addressing key insurance issues.
The former patent examiner, Albert Einstein, is credited with having told reporters, "I never think of the future, it comes soon enough."
Gov. Gavin Newsom punctuated his inaugural address this week with several jabs at President Donald Trump, referring at one point to "the corruption and incompetence in the White House.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Intellectual property legislation is rarely front of mind for legislators, and more pressing concerns often leave IP proposals to die from inactivity. However, there are signs that 2019 may see serious attention to this patent eligibility issue.
Last September, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that a Delaware choice-of-law provision and covenant not to compete in an employment agreement between a California resident, Patrick Miles, and his former Delaware-based employer, Nuvasive, Inc., were enforceable.
Intellectual property legislation is rarely front of mind for legislators, and more pressing concerns often leave IP proposals to die from inactivity. However, there are signs that 2019 may see serious attention to this patent eligibility issue.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Last month the Delaware Court of Chancery issued an important decision denying a motion to dismiss derivative litigation.
When a motion to disqualify is filed, tensions often run high. The attorney targeted by the motion may feel a mix of anger at opposing counsel and discomfort in explaining to the client why it should incur additional fees to defend a motion in order for the attorney to continue the representation.
A year ago, in the wake of President Donald Trump's tax cut, euphoric investors pushed the Dow Jones industrial average past 25,000, a record.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board recently issued an interesting decision regarding standing to oppose the registration of trademark applications. United Trademark Holdings, Inc. filed for registration of the mark RAPUNZEL for use in conjunction with dolls and toy figures.
Let me suggest something for your 2019 reading list: Your insurance policy. Ok, I know that's about as likely as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Donald Trump singing James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend" together, but don't say I didn't tell ya.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A quick glance at television commercials or online pop-up ads shows that rewards programs are the name of the game for many credit cards.
Attorneys must be aware that a trial court will not tolerate motions to withdraw being used as a delay tactic or litigation tactic.
In the law, are there exceptional forces with the power to revive an appeal from its grave? (Cue creepy organ music.) Indeed, there are.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

It generally was concealed from the American public. President Woodrow Wilson, for example, was incapacitated by several strokes in 1919.
California judges disagree about the exact nature of California's standing doctrine, in particular the extent to which it mirrors its federal counterpart. A recent decision from the 4th District Court of Appeal illustrates this point.
Law students and professors have gone to Tijuana to advise asylum seekers on their options.

Monday, December 31, 2018

With the implementation of many provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the drama surrounding the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the continued attention paid to donor-advised funds, and ongoing attempts to modify or altogether repeal the prohibition on 501(c)(3) campaign intervention activity, it's been a big year for tax-exempt organization legal updates.
This fall, the California legislature responded to the #MeToo movement in a significant way. One bill, SB 1343, affects nearly every employer in California.
A recent Court of Appeal decision raised the issue of realigning California takings law with paramount federal authority. Why would such realignment be needed? How did California law get out of line?

Friday, December 28, 2018

Family law proceedings almost exclusively deal with state law. At times, however, federal law issues come into play and when they do, the parties' and attorneys' unfamiliarity with these concepts will unnecessarily disrupt the proceedings. One area is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Potential hires want to see a firm is advancing equal opportunity in all aspects of operations and practice, and taking concrete action to build a diverse workplace.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Trader Joe's outsells all other grocery stores per square foot.
Distributed ledger technology powers ahead in the energy sector despite the downturn in crypto markets.
As an investor, you obviously want to make a smart decision and invest in a thriving, growing, and well-protected company, but how?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The blocking of a pardon for a twice-convicted felon was a rare stumble in the governor's race to grant clemencies as his last term comes to an end.
A few simple steps, taken early in the litigation, can make the difference between a favorable early settlement and a large fee award after trial.
In his 1989 Inaugural Speech, the late President George H.W. Bush famously stated: "America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world."

Monday, December 24, 2018

Employers and the public understandably focus on workplace harassment claims arising from co-workers' or supervisors' conduct.
We recently wrote about how the Patent Office's new rule could create disharmony in claim construction. Today we discuss the potential implications of that disharmony.
Actress Olivia de Havilland has an enviable resume. Now 102 years old, de Havilland seeks to leave yet another mark on the entertainment and legal landscape.

Friday, December 21, 2018

For many of us, the new year means a fresh start and the chance to set new goals. If your resolutions are money related, here are some ways to strengthen your financial foundation in 2019.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The law school's finances won't face scrutiny from Moody's because its bonds have been paid off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I've only been around Phil Anschutz a few times. My impressions on those occasions were that he was a run-of-the-mill arrogant billionaire.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Ninth Circuit recently was called upon to decide awarding attorney's fees in a case where artists were suing for unpaid royalties under the California Resale Royalties Act ("CRRA"). The Ninth Circuit ordered that the Plaintiff-artists be required to pay attorney's fees to the defendants. This conclusion required a discussion of the doctrine of preemption and a determination that defendants could still be awarded attorney's fees under CRRA despite a finding that the bulk of Plaintiffs' claims under the CRRA were preempted by the 1976 Copyright Act.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Recently, officials in California announced that the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history, had been fully contained. The achievement was made possible through the hard work of firefighters on the ground, with some help from above: a swarm of tiny, orbiting satellites that represent the next phase of the space age.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The open office design has been around for decades, in a variety of forms. If you're a cynic, you might think an open office is all about cramming the maximum number of employees into the minimum amount of real estate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Los Angeles political hopeful may continue his lawsuit against California's secretary of state for barring him from designating himself as a socialist on a recent ballot for a state Assembly seat, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We're enjoying one of the best economies of our lifetime.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Political conflicts are wars without guns, and ordinarily, they pit those of one political party against those of another.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Retirement brings the end of a chapter in your career and the start of a new lifestyle. This unique transition can bring a myriad of emotions, most commonly ones of excitement and apprehension.

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