Riverside Business Journal
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
GUEST COLUMNS

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The newly constituted National Labor Relations Board, which is now at full capacity with two new Biden appointees, along with the newly confirmed general counsel, is gearing up for yet another round of significant changes to labor policy at the NLRB level.
We assume that we have "equal protection under the law" but this is not true. We assume that the California Legislature will pass laws that protect our constitutional rights, due process and our civil rights. While it is encouraging to see new legislation, like Assembly Bill 1194, restricting fiduciaries' unfettered power in the court, there remains much to be desired as far as the protection of any individual coming before the probate court.
When people think of bias, they tend to associate it with unfairness and injustice. While unchecked biases can and do often have such an impact, the focus on perceived and even actual biases themselves is misplaced, in my opinion
California is poised to invest $10 billion to accelerate housing production and $12 billion to tackle homelessness.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

On Aug 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a nationwide residential eviction moratorium continuing the ban on evictions of residential tenants in counties experiencing high levels of community transmission. The CDC's original eviction moratorium — first implemented in September 2020 and extended several times since — ended on July 31. Consistent with its prior orders, the CDC's August order prohibited landlords from evicting any residential tenant who stated, among other things, that they were unable to pay rent.
Determining the amount of support in a marital dissolution action is relatively simple and straightforward when the parties have stable and predictable incomes. It is more challenging when their incomes fluctuate from year to year.
"Rich is just the term we use to describe people who have more than us when we don't think they deserve it."

Monday, September 20, 2021

Decades of underbuilding, largely due to red tape imposed by prohibitive land use laws, has pushed California into a housing crisis. Apartments and homes have never been more expensive. That's why state lawmakers passed laws giving Californians the right to build accessory dwelling units — also known as in-law suites or granny flats.
Attorneys from Beverly Hills' Johnson & Johnson LLP review some of the latest developments in music litigation over the past year. MCLE credit available.
The changes to the form and its financial aid calculations aim to make the FAFSA simpler as well as to encourage more students to complete it and to expand aid eligibility for lower-income students.

Friday, September 17, 2021

A district court in Arizona recently directed the EPA and Army Corps to apply the pre-2015 standard for Clean Water Act jurisdiction, The agencies are applying the decision nationwide while they formulate a new definition of "waters of the United States."
Legal handwringing is taking place about the increasing use by the U.S. Supreme Court of a shadow dockets approach that produces so-called shadow decisions. Should the topmost court be generating legal rulings that are absent of our customarily expected and ostensibly robust legal argumentation? This prods consideration toward another realm that might go this route, namely the advent of AI-based legal reasoning systems.
In the fall, many employers offer an open enrollment period – a window of time to select your benefits package for the coming year. It's easy to overlook this opportunity and maintain the status quo, but this could be a costly mistake given the significant role benefits play in your financial life.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

For generations, it did not seem possible that college athletes could earn big before they went pro. Some star high school athletes skipped college for that reason. But now name image likeness deals — NIL for short — are permitted, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the NCAA cannot bar payments to athletes.
The statutory presumption of at-will employment, codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, remains an unjust vestige of 19th century laissez-faire economics, impeding workplace justice.
The attempt to throw Gov. Gavin Newsom out of office failed by a wide margin, according to vote counts released tonight in California's historic recall election.
As our state suffers catastrophic damage from wildfires and drought, California is at last gearing up to develop offshore wind power.
While the intentions might be good, it will be extremely important for governing bodies to determine what is considered COVID-19 immune and COVID-19 vaccine exempt.
For Newsom and his political team, the last six months of campaigning offer an electoral blueprint to seek four more years.
Living on the South Carolina coast means living under the threat of dangerous weather during storm season. But the added peril of the pandemic made Ann Freeman nervous.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance on July 28 outlawing camping around parks, libraries and other public buildings and areas. In light of public pressure to act on the ever growing homelessness issue within the city, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the ordinance, which officially went into effect on Sept. 3.
Last week, about eight months after taking office, President Joe Biden finally announced that enough is enough and ordered that people who were not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 get vaccinated. "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin," Biden said.
America's longstanding antitrust policy is under fierce attack. What was once a relatively insipid area of law characterized by broad, bipartisan consensus has since turned into an intense battleground for ideological interests.
As if California needed another crisis, the state's seemingly perpetual wildfires are forcing millions of homeowners in fire-prone areas to pay skyrocketing premiums for insurance coverage — if, indeed, they can buy it at all.
There's a hive of PhDs at the University of California at Davis who are working to reinvent food production in the Golden State. Researchers have fanned out across the globe collecting rare plant samples; others are grafting Frankenstein trees and stitching together root systems of plums and peaches to create better almond and walnut trees.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A recent case questions whether a single "co-registered" owner could validly consent to the tracking of a vehicle driven primarily by the other co-registered owner without that other owners knowledge or consent.
You know that feeling you get when you want to yell at the screen because a fictional lawyer in a television show mishandled a legal ethics dilemma?
In his latest installment documenting his in-person trial gone remote, Kiesel discusses training the jury to participate remotely.
Two years ago, Kathy Williams, a Missouri woman, fell down a flight of stairs in her home and died. Her blood alcohol level was .337.
California may not come to mind as lacking in powerful women in politics. Kamala Harris rose from attorney general to U.S. senator to the first female vice president. Nancy Pelosi is in her fourth term as Speaker of the U.S. House. The state had two female U.S. senators from 1993 to 2021 — until Harris resigned in January to become V.P.
Later this month, a group of renters in the United States will get a new break when they try to become homeowners: Their history of consistently paying their landlords will count toward qualifying for a mortgage.

Monday, September 13, 2021

In 1963, the federal Equal Pay Act was signed into law, mandating equal pay for equal work by forbidding employers from paying men and women different wages or benefits for doing jobs that require the same skills and responsibilities.
Was your home damaged by Hurricane Ida? Insurance experts say you should file claims as soon as possible — if you have coverage.

Friday, September 10, 2021

In the wake of the rolling blackouts last summer, California energy regulatory agencies and the state government have been scrambling to prevent blackouts this summer and next, even as the impacts of climate change make that job increasingly difficult.
While California has historically leaned on other western states, including hydroelectric power from the Pacific Northwest, to import power when demand is high, it has become more challenging to rely on imported power during high heat conditions.
There is no right answer for everyone, but in many cases, it may make sense to use both active and passive investments to effectively build and manage a diversified portfolio.
It can't be said enough; California's farming industry is a cornerstone of this great state – our growers provide food for your families and the world. As we hear so often during this pandemic, farming and agriculture are essential.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

As we head into year five of legal cannabis, the Los Angeles cannabis industry was dealt yet another curveball by the city's regulators earlier this summer. Never a dull moment in the world's largest cannabis market, on July 1, the city delivered yet another round of amendments to the cannabis rules and regulations when Ordinance Nos. 187094 and 187095 went into effect.
In a recent appellate case, a contractor who was unlicensed during a portion of a project dodged a bullet. However, I'm not so sure that he dodged the hail of bullets that were coming after.
The Central Valley's rice fields and wetlands are widely heralded as key rest and refuel stops for millions of migratory birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway.
The government's app for facilitating transactions — its "digital wallet" — went offline temporarily, protesters took to the streets of the capital to denounce the move, and the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply, demonstrating the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Americans are hearty souls. In our litigious land of the free and home of the brave, our laws allow — and our grandiose notions of exceptional individualism embolden — self-representation in court. Joe Layman thinks that because no lawyer will ever really understand or care about my case as much as I do, I may as well be my own advocate, and save some greenbacks to boot.
Last month the California Supreme Court ruled on who should bear the risk of the injury — the owner of the property, or the independent contractor on whom the owner relied to perform the work in a safe manner.
Most insureds pay regular monthly life insurance premiums for years without a problem. Occasionally, a policyholder may miss a premium payment. For example, in the last few months of her life, the policyholder may be so ill or incapacitated that she uncharacteristically fails to pay the monthly premium.
An acquaintance had some good news to impart last week: Her son, who operates construction machinery, just got a raise from $43 an hour to $57. It explains why government construction is costly in California, but also undermines the popular belief that one must have a college degree to get a well-paying job.
The solution to California's housing crisis is simple: Scrap the California Environmental Quality Act.
In nearly every way, Larry Elder appears to be the candidate that the California Republican Party has been waiting for.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health have issued new public health requirements in response to the increasing number of hospitalizations and ICU patients in California caused by the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.
There's a legal maxim that says, "for every wrong there is a remedy." The catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium building in Surfside, Florida may prove the exception.
California's bet on transitional rehabilitation programs is novel, and recent evidence suggests it is paying off.
The problem emerged last year as state employment systems were straining to process a crush of claims during the coronavirus pandemic. The fraud persists even as authorities try to crack down on it and as expanded pandemic unemployment benefits are set to expire, identity theft experts say.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Proposition 22 "appears only to protect the economic interests of the network companies in having a divided, ununionized workforce…"
Relatively few day-to-day lawyers have heard about experimental jurisprudence. The wording alone is apt to imply something other than what it portends. Yet this is a rising approach that you might want to know about, especially since it is a burgeoning legal scholarly focus that could ultimately weigh heavily on the practice of law. In addition, AI is going to further enhance and bolster the advent of experimental jurisprudence. It is time all legal beagles to get up to speed.
Two weeks before voters decide whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom, a second round of stimulus payments is landing in the bank accounts of Californians who make less than $75,000 per year — with one glaring carve-out.
Governing a state is hard work, but governors aren't supposed to mislead citizens, make up sympathetic stories or create rules they neglect to follow. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom is a repeat offender of all those.
More than 200 occupations are licensed the same way in California, from teachers to doctors. Professions that require public confidence are held to a high standard, and the privilege of practicing can be rescinded for failing to meet it. Law enforcement is not among those 200.
If you're among those who plan to quit your current role in search of a better opportunity, it's important to consider how doing so could affect your finances. Here are some things to think about before you hand in your two-week notice.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

A good Samaritan is distributing food and water at a homeless camp. She steps in the street to walk around a tent and is hit by a car. Does she have a case?
Weeks and months after getting a COVID-19 infection, many survivors continue to experience disabling symptoms that limit or prevent them from engaging in major life activities, including resuming work.
Under California law, non-exempt employees who are not provided a compliant meal and/or rest break must receive "premium pay" equal to one hour of pay.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Facebook and other tech giants believe they can choose which speech to allow and which to ban because they are private companies. However, they cannot legally ban speech they dislike, at least not in California. The reason lies buried in court cases on the taking of private property.
In a surprise decision with potentially far-reaching consequences for ride sharing companies and other companies that utilize app-based drivers, the Alameda County Superior Court issued an order striking down Proposition 22 — a 2020 initiative statute that categorically classified app-based drivers as independent contractors for purposes of California labor law, among other things.
Three decades ago, it became apparent that casino gambling was coming to California and the only question was who would control and benefit from it.
Alex Valdivia began paying more attention to politics over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year, nearly 4,000 Californians die in car crashes. More than three times that number are severely injured. The difference between death and injury is speed — and with every mile per hour, the risk only grows.
Nearly $2 trillion in federal funding is flowing to state and local governments as part of the American Rescue Plan, which is more than what President Franklin Roosevelt spent on the New Deal, even after accounting for inflation.
When Baldomero Perez, a farmworker who lives in Bakersfield, voted in a union election in 2016, he saw many of his colleagues were fearful when they went to cast their ballots.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

As law students return to class this fall, they arrive amid several positive signs for legal education. Most obviously, students are actually back in classrooms, learning in person from faculty, and from each other.
Gascón's juvenile justice policy ignored individualized facts, like the sophistication or heinousness of the crime.
Republicans running to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall election have talked about making some big changes in California: Cut taxes. Give parents vouchers for private schools. Roll back some landmark environmental laws.
As prices go up, it is more difficult for working-class Californians to make ends meet. And with unemployment rates sitting at 7.7%, our elected officials should be encouraging employers offering high-paying jobs to move to — and stay in — California.
A year and a half of pandemic living has revealed — or reminded us of — some persistent patterns around money, gender, marriage and families. And they aren't always pretty.

Monday, August 30, 2021

"Be the Jury" pilot program can help diversify juries
It is dangerous to hide the ball from the opposing party; and doubly dangerous to hide the ball from the court.
Sometimes the legal gods smile on you. Your earth-scouring investigation of the facts surrounding an arbitration dispute yields a cool reward: the revelation of a potential game-changing witness.
Turns out 2021 is not a good year for Democrats to make California stand out too much for being weird.
The state and federal efforts to fund transitional housing during the pandemic should be paired with permanent housing options that get people off the streets and into safe, dignified, long-term housing.
Here's one you probably haven't heard before: The Legislature is considering a plan to make it easier for California community college students to get into a UC or Cal State campus, but current community college students aren't backing it.
A new crop of mobile money apps are promoting themselves as part of the solution to a stubborn problem: a lack of financial savvy, particularly among young Americans.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Echoes of the Great GATT Bubble of 1995: What is the Scope of the Doctrine of "Prosecution Laches?
As a result of recent legal developments, the gun industry, which has weathered lawsuits and legislative efforts to clip its wings with impunity, is in an unprecedented state of vulnerability.
Budgeting and financial planning are two terms that are easily confused. Both apply to personal finances and both are activities that can help you be financially successful now and in the future.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

We are now facing a veritable smorgasbord of lawsuits challenging eviction moratoria
Kevin Paffrath is running to be California's next governor in the Sept. 14 recall election, but he doesn't quite look, or talk, the part.
The differences between President Biden and Gov. Newsom were never as stark as they were earlier this month. Both leaders understand the urgency of climate change. Both see our economy transitioning to lower-carbon energy sources. But the way they're governing is wildly out of sync.
Heather Christiansen got an email on Aug. 14 from her son's school, saying her 10-year-old had been in contact with a classmate who tested positive for COVID-19.
There's an expression about the personal-information-grubbing practices of free digital services that sell ads, including Facebook and weather apps: If you don't pay for the product, you are the product.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Training programs, like a mandatory training on limited conservatorships conducted last week by the Los Angeles County Bar Association which are not guided by formal performance standards, are a recipe for disaster.
One silver lining has emerged from this pandemic: Never, perhaps, has it been so clear how much we owe the physicians in our communities. And California Supreme Court case Natarajan v. Dignity Health helps clarify the standards applicable to medical staff peer review hearings.
California had a huge and growing housing problem before COVID-19 reared its ugly head 18 months ago, falling well short each year of state construction goals.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

In this article, we highlight pending 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court civil cases that should be on litigators' radar in the coming months.
A recent case from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals breaks new ground on the question of whether a commercial general liability policy provides coverage for damages arising from a data breach caused by a third-party hacker.
A recent Supreme Court decision raises an important question: What does it mean to bring something onto a school campus, or any other location for that matter?
The large firms and small boutiques who sent their workers home in the early days of the pandemic are watching with wary eyes the Delta variant, even as they are opening their doors and turning the lights back on. But the attorneys who show up to work in this next phase of the pandemic could look much different than the group that departed last year.
A bill that would have fundamentally changed how garment workers are paid had enough votes to pass during last year's legislative session, its supporters say, but ran out of time during the session's frenzied final hours.
A trial expected to start yesterday will offer an unusual, public peek into the details of a big-money Silicon Valley divorce. They include Hassan's failed attempt to persuade Huynh to sign a so-called postnuptial agreement and his admission that he started a website in her name to publicize embarrassing information from her past.

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