Riverside Business Journal
Friday, May 20, 2022
GUEST COLUMNS

Friday, May 20, 2022

How fire victims are taxed depends on their circumstances, what they ultimately collect, and what they claim on their taxes.
This state-by-state approach is certain to create a split among the circuits, which likely means that the matter will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, which has already become highly politicized by its handling of lawsuits related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The controversy about the Department of Education's guidance is somewhat different in that the due process deficits were not occurring in proceedings directly before the federal agency. Rather, the Department of Education promulgated guidance telling schools that they risked losing their federal funding unless they adopted one-sided procedures in deciding sexual misconduct matters.
These "qualified life events," as they are commonly referred to in the insurance industry, may permit you to make adjustments to the benefits you receive through your employer or other provider.
Every Bay Area community has until January to update its housing plan (city officials call this the "housing element" of the city's general plan, the legal document that guides development).
The Democratic city controller from Los Angeles is running to replace Betty Yee, who has served as state controller for two terms and is ineligible to run for re-election.
The state now has a $97.5 billion budget surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The talk-show refrain of "just let the states have different rules" is not how the justice system works. If a California doctor prescribes abortion medication to a patient who returns home and takes the medication in Alabama, then Alabama could indict the doctor, and under the ordinary operation of both federal and state law, California would arrest the doctor and send her in cuffs to Alabama to face felony charges. If we don't want that to happen, we'll need some changes to our laws.
Some carriers have taken the position that where multiple policies are implicated, the insured must satisfy all the deductibles for all of the triggered policies before the first dollar of defense or indemnity is available.
About 30 states have some form of legal wagering on sports events, thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court decision overturning a federal ban on such bets.
A typical dental office cannot perform general anesthesia nor can it accommodate other disabilities requiring wheelchair lifts or other specialized equipment.
This case will set the stage for the Ninth Circuit to clarify how far video games and social media companies can go in profiting off of viral dance moves. Previous cases have been unsuccessful, largely on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked copyright registrations in their dances.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Regional Director asked the Court to order Starbucks to cease and desist from committing unfair labor practices in violation of the Act, and to reinstate the seven former employees who were unlawfully terminated.
In the Supreme Court Opinion written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Court notes that jurisdictional requirements mark the bounds of the Court's authority. These requirements cannot be waived or forfeited and do not allow for equitable exceptions.
Student activists supporting Senate Bill 886, authored by San Francisco Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, want faster action on housing projects, which can get tangled in lawsuits and lengthy review processes.
Some advocates say the revised budget Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled Friday won't do enough. To address inflation, Newsom is proposing to devote $18.1 billion in state funds.
This critical watershed supplies water to more than 30 million people and more than 6 million acres of farmland.
Today, the Bay Area has one of the country's lowest COVID-19 death rates.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

But what this "analogy" ignores is that a half a pound (of illegal) drugs amounts to approximately 226 grams. That's enough Sweet and Low to fuel a gala at the Jonathan Club.
The more the conservative movement turns its back on stare decisis, the more our entire system of governance becomes a struggle for raw power without a single principled check or balance in place.
Riding a superheating economy and drawing disproportionately from the state's highest earners, the state is now projected to have a surplus bigger than California — or any state — has ever had, and significantly more than the $76 billion that the governor predicted in January.
Private loans — those from banks and lenders other than the federal government — carry fewer borrower protections than federal loans and tend to be more expensive.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Those seeking to cancel a trademark application in federal court should thus craft their allegations to establish a nexus between the trademark application they seek to cancel and a registered mark over which the court has jurisdiction. If not, the claim will likely be dismissed.
Most of the time, these individuals have been fully paid for their services through their agency, but nonetheless file claims in court seeking damages in amounts exponentially higher than their agreed upon – and fully paid – daily rate.
Such policies take two forms: mandates requiring the inclusion of such units (deed-restricted units that must be offered to eligible households at below-market rents, often for 55 years or more) in any new development, or voluntary incentives rewarding the inclusion of such units with increased density allowances (more apartments in a given development), reduced or eliminated parking requirements, and other offsets for the reduced revenue a project can generate when including affordable units.
The decision about the $1.4-billion plant in Huntington Beach is pivotal because it could steer the future of turning seawater into drinking water in California, buffering its vulnerable water supply against drought.

Friday, May 13, 2022

The truth is that insurance companies do not settle frivolous medical malpractice cases and will take them all the way to trial.
Though the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, the discussion of arbitrability is a playbook for institutions in drafting arbitration clauses going forward.
It remains to be seen when the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 will be finalized, including when businesses will be required to comply with its regulations.
Research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found people with $500,000 or more in savings at retirement spent down less than 12% of their assets over 20 years.
The Decolonizing Wealth Project, an Indigenous and Black-led organization, will distribute $500,000 to California Indigenous communities and nonprofits. It's to support storytelling and healing, said Carlos Rojas Alvarez, director of executive affairs and strategic initiative.
Assembly Bill 1961, authored by Assembly members Jesse Gabriel of Van Nuys, Evan Low of Cupertino and Buffy Wicks of Oakland, would create such a database, allowing Californians who qualify the chance to apply online for a lower-cost place to live.
The researchers found that people who have social or economic advantages tend to believe they'll be harmed by policies that reduce inequality — even when those policies don't reduce their own access to resources.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

One of the President's proposals is to tax long term capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income if your taxable income exceeds $1m. If you make a big gain, having a rate jump from 23.8% to 39.6% is going to hurt.
California Realtors, Habitat for Humanity and the California Building Industry Association — a housing coalition — echoes those calls to our legislative budget committee leaders working on revising the state budget to allocate a greater portion of the projected surplus to the construction of owner-occupied housing and down-payment assistance programs.
In a letter to HBO, West's lawyer claims that Winning Time falsely and cruelly portrays West as an out-of-control, intoxicated, rage-aholic. West's lawyer claims that the producers have committed the tort of false light invasion of privacy by creating a false impression about Mr. West that is highly offensive and injurious to his reputation and have also defamed Mr. West by attributing acts of rage to him that he never committed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A recent story suggested that Elon Musk may have paid a portion of Amber Heard's pledged ACLU donations. That hearkens back to taxes featured in the Depp and Heard divorce in a big way.
Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, ace reporters for my old employer, the Sacramento Bee, describe in great detail how some victims of the wildfire that wiped out the small town of Paradise four years ago have been victimized again by shoddy contractors who promised to rebuild their homes.
Companies in several states — including California — currently must tell workers about a job's pay ranges upon request, while Colorado, Washington and New York City have passed measures in recent years requiring companies to put pay ranges in job postings.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Often, effective HR isn't a priority and recruitment tends to center around identifying other people "like us." As a result, unconscious gender bias can unwittingly inform recruitment decisions. Without effective HR, bad seeds quickly grow.
In a famous letter written by Abigail Adams to her husband, John Adams, she wrote, "I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors…"
More than a decade of research shows that starting in a remedial class makes students less likely to earn a degree. Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, a Democrat from Camarillo, seeks to remove this barrier with Assembly Bill 1705.
The program is a significant benefit to "small employers" subject to the CFRA.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The bad news is that word appears to be getting out slowly. Anecdotal evidence points to apartment dwellers receiving food waste pails from their landlords, with no explanation about their use or the new rule requiring food waste to be separated from other trash.
When a public health emergency, such as the COVID pandemic, increases the risk to employees, companies should be held to an even higher standard. When the local health agency issues guidelines for maintaining a safe workplace, any dereliction is inexcusable.
The war escalated last year when the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted another law that allows duplexes to be built on lots zoned for single-family homes.
Across California State University, the country's largest public four-year university system with close to half a million students, campuses are making different choices around COVID-19 protections as the pandemic moves into a new phase.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Stephen K. Tamura and his family were also interned in Poston, Arizona. Captain Tamura served in the 442nd. He was wounded in action, and survived to be a trailblazer in civilian life. He became the first Asian American County Counsel in the U. S., then a superior court judge in Orange County, and later was the first Asian American judge to sit on a state appeals court – California's Fourth District Court of Appeal. A courthouse in Westminster, California is named after him.
With fair market values climbing almost daily, no bankruptcy attorney could absolutely guarantee that there would not be unprotected equity in the home by the time a Chapter 7 trustee analyzed the case. But now, with the large increases in the exemptions, it is much less of a gamble.
It's time to increase funding and remove obstacles so that the state public higher education system can create the housing students need.
A bill sponsored by Torrance Democrat Al Muratsuchi, AB 2220, would create a homeless courts pilot program, offering grants to counties which can tailor programs to their own communities.
For those of us who are not able to help the people of Ukraine in person but still want to aid in relief efforts, it can be hard to know how best to get involved and make the fullest impact with your support.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

AB 35 appears to be an attempt to mollify plaintiffs' attorneys and victims' advocates by giving them one small piece of the pie.
JOC contracting is a project delivery method used on public works projects and has been authorized to be used by California K-12 school districts, community colleges, CalState universities, and the Judicial Council of California.
There are the everyday functions — writing checks, conducting audits, making policy recommendations and serving on nearly 80 boards, including ones that oversee state employee retirement funds.
Professors and teachers have confronted the challenge of how to prevent students from cheating on exams.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

In its ruling, the court recognized that while having a heterogenous board may be a valid goal, the Equal Protection Clause protected the rights of individuals, not groups.
The Cassirer case will be remanded to the lower court, which will decide the heirs' claims based on the property laws of California, as opposed to those of Spain, where the painting is currently held in a state-run museum.
High-end shopping centers, trendy restaurants and seven-figure homes abound and those who live and work in the area complained for months about an encampment of about 30 homeless people in a grassy strip of land at the intersection.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tax lawyers look to George M. Cohan for a different kind of legacy – an "I'll take you to court" audacity that is as American as apple pie. It's a shame that so few taxpayers have even heard of tax law's "Cohan Rule."
We have developed a process in our legal system which is designed to find the truth through the painstaking, often tedious and sometimes acrimonious review of all relevant evidence, and by providing the accused due process of law. That process is taught at Hastings College of the Law.

Monday, May 2, 2022

With less than 5% of the Office's 500 attorneys devoted to affirmative litigation, the next City Attorney is poised to dramatically scale the Office's fight against corporate pollution, landlord harassment, and abusive workplaces.
The Court found there was no reason based on any special foreseeability concerns to depart from the usual duty to exercise reasonable care on third party vendors.
The marketplace of ideas is supposed to flourish and the antidote to speech you disagree with is more speech to counter it. Little did I expect as a wage and hour lawyer who has sued Disney on more than one occasion, that I would be standing up for its corporate rights.
"The current program is really just focused on: can you get people into jobs as much as possible. Everything else is secondary," said Esi Hutchful, policy analyst at the California Budget and Policy Center, which advocates for low-income Californians.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Trump appointed fifty-four federal appellate judges in his four years in office, one short of the fifty-five nominated by former president Barack Obama in eight.
A battle seemed inevitable until, by happenstance, a column of 50 U.S. Cavalrymen on a routine march from San Diego arrived in L.A. At the county sheriff's request, four cavalrymen were stationed inside the clerk's office adjacent to the courtroom, while the remaining cavalry were outside surrounding the building.
He sees his Republican background as a selling point: He vows to be an independent watchdog on the Democratic power structure.
In 2021, the inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by 7.0 percent, the largest annual change in living costs since the early 1980s.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The lawsuit, filed by The PLS.com LLC, claims the national association is violating federal and state antitrust laws by requiring all listings to be posted on its own multiple listing service within one business day.
"The wrongful retaliatory actions we alleged toward these firefighters, who dedicated their lives to protecting the community, was not only damaging to them, but to the thousands and thousands of people who worked in the buildings the plaintiffs believed were improperly and unsafely inspected," statement by plaintiffs' firm McNicholas & McNicholas read.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Just last year, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued a decision in Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases v. Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40, et al. That case is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was filed in 2001, more than 20 years ago. That seems like a long time, but in the world of water law, it is certainly not an outlier.
The result was a family who now cannot assert claims for punitive damages against a health care provider who engaged in horrific wrongful conduct and intentional misrepresentations, resulting in the death of a wife and mother.
This month, the state Department of Education reported that for the first time in many years, enrollment had dropped below 6 million.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"I'm tremendously proud of the fact that the jury saw Jessica Vu as she was, and how an injury like this requires such a high compensation," said plaintiff's attorney Alan L. VanGelder of Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP.
"I represent Alec in all matters related to "Rust." Aaron Dyer no longer represents Alec. The other producers are represented by various lawyers, not me," confirmed Luke Nikas, partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Sullivan LLP.

Monday, April 25, 2022

True gifts are not income the IRS can tax, but the line between what is income and what is a gift is sometimes disputed.
Fortunately, there are a few cases that have poked some holes in the liability barrier erected by Section 230 – thanks largely to decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Friday, April 22, 2022

President Biden has proposed what he calls the "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" as part of his new budget. The title is a misnomer, as tax legislation so often is. You don't have to be a billionaire to be saddled with it.
By asking the Legislature to change the College's name, its Board of Directors is attempting to impair the contract that created the College.
In order to obtain coverage for disgorgement settlements, policyholders need to overcome a series of hurdles.
While everyone's journey is different, I know from my years of experience as a financial advisor that there are common themes when it comes to questions about retirement.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

One of the most interesting pieces of legislation that ought to have a chance of passage is S.500 – a bipartisan bill that would restrict the commercial use of personally identifiable health information collected from a smartwatch or similar consumer device without consent.
Some things, referred to as patent-ineligible subject matter, are not patentable: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas.

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