Riverside Business Journal
Thursday, July 29, 2021
GUEST COLUMNS

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Way back in 2014, IRS ruled that cryptocurrency is property in Notice 2014-21. That classification as property has some big tax consequences, accentuated by wild price swings. Buying and selling crypto can trigger gain or loss and be taxable. Yes, even buying something using crypto — a house, a car, a new suit of clothes — can trigger taxes. Even paying taxes in crypto can trigger taxes.
The use of computational pattern matching known as machine learning has taken the marketplace by storm in all realms, including the law and legal profession. Some wonder what will happen next in AI and ponder whether machine learning will be the sole focus going forward or perhaps the "old-fashioned" rules-based approach will be reborn, or heaven forbid that a hybrid of both camps might be the best path forward.
If we are going to solve homelessness in California, every city must be part of the solution.
Drought-plagued California is poised to bar thousands of farmers, landowners and others from pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed, a move that irrigation districts said exceeds the water board's authority.
In December 2019, Scott Hervey wrote about the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Taylor Swift by the writers of the song "Playas Gon' Play."

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Assembly Bill 104, signed and filed on July 1 as an "urgency statute," added three new sections to the California Education Code, operative immediately. Each section uniquely addresses public concerns with grading and student achievement during the 2020-2021 school year, resulting from distance learning and virtual education. These new laws impact "public schools" including school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools.
In Jolie v. Superior Court, the 2nd District Court of Appeal mandated strict and literal compliance with the disclosure obligations of private judges. The court's opinion has significant implications for attorneys with multiple cases pending before the same private judge.
From balancing a checkbook to calculating rocket trajectories, human beings rely on their ability to understand and use mathematical tools, and we expect our schools to develop those tools in their young charges.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Undertaking a traditional underwritten registered offering can expose a company to the risk of a "closed" window. A closed window is when the market is just not receptive to new offerings or will only entertain a deal with a steep discount to market price. An "at-the-market" offering — ATM — program is one capital markets financing tool that a company who is S-3 or F-3 eligible can use on an as-and-when-needed basis.
The California Supreme Court held that employers must include non-discretionary payments such as commissions, bonuses, piece rate units, etc., in the calculation of meal and rest period premium pay if an employer fails to provide a meal or rest break pursuant to California law.
Encouraging housing to be built in place of abandoned big box stores and strip malls. Making it easier to build student housing near community colleges. Establishing an authority in Los Angeles to finance affordable housing.
David Gross, an executive at a New York-based advertising agency, convened the troops over Zoom this month to deliver a message he and his fellow partners were eager to share: It was time to think about coming back to the office.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The harms to the unhoused and to all of us have become too severe to be excused by doctrines of federal deference.
I'm often asked: When examining witnesses, my opponents like to ask questions that have nothing to do with the case. Why don't arbitrators sustain my relevance objections?
Employees' financial stress is a major issue for U.S. employers. According to a recent PwC study, 63% of American workers said their financial stress had increased since the start of the pandemic.

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Smartnail is being offered by a nail Salon called Lanour Beauty Lounge in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The wearer can share a wide range of personal data including WhatsApp contact detail, email address, Instagram or LinkedIn Profile. Seriously?
A dressing room invasion and a dispute between neighbors are the subjects of recent appellate decisions.
Led by its conservative majority, the U.S. Supreme Court has actively reshaped takings jurisprudence in recent years.
One in five Americans are currently unpaid caregivers, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is on the rise.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

When the 15 agencies of the executive branch unite behind a core goal, it is time to take notice.
A longstanding parable in AI is that there might someday be a super-intelligent system that would seek to attain a human-provided goal and yet do so to the detriment of humanity. Though facets of this saga are criticized as farfetched, there are nonetheless useful insights to be gleaned, including for AI and the law.
Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of news articles and stories about police officers playing popular music during a citizen/officer interaction that is being filmed by the citizen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sisters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian won their suit for royalties from the makeup line Kardashian Beauty.
No one plans a pandemic, but ultimately someone must pay for it. In the United States, lawmakers have responded to the crisis by passing emergency legislation designed to mitigate the economic catastrophe wrought by COVID-19.
It is time to approach the officials with ultimate responsibility over legal ethics and the delivery of competent legal services. The California Supreme Court.
In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, a six-justice U.S. Supreme Court majority sent a message to the country: If you care about voting rights, don't look at us.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times published a damning article about the state agency that is supposed to police California's physicians.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Many attorneys anticipate the meet-and-confer process as eagerly as a dentist visit, but it can nonetheless prove useful; in my short life as a defense attorney, it has resulted in at least one or two complaints being amended in response.
Climate change can seem like such an enormous problem that individual actions would have little impact. But people can have an impact, experts say, both by how they spend their money and how they spend their time.

Monday, July 19, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld your constitutional right to privacy of association. On July 1, in a 6-3 opinion in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, 2021 DJDAR 6702, the Supreme Court struck down California's attempt to demand disclosure of the names of certain donors from every single nonprofit that solicited funds within the state.
The U.S. Supreme Court has another opportunity to finally end the battle over the enforceability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements with waivers of representative actions under the California Private Attorneys General Act.
The Gavin Newsom recall may have picked up steam as a referendum on the governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but now homelessness is also taking center stage.
Many colleges that require health insurance include the cost of the campus policy on their fall semester bills. But they allow students to opt out by showing they have comparable coverage.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Typically, subrogation is a matter of contract and the rights and responsibilities of parties are set forth within the terms of a policy. However, subrogation may be matter of law. This is where equitable subrogation comes in
Some assert that the advent of AI has increasingly become unruly and is precipitously veering toward lawlessness. AI systems are being tossed into the world and at times replete with all sorts of appalling problems, including discriminatory practices and undue biases. A legal movement is afoot to revise and in some instances revamp our laws to ensure that AI systems are properly devised and fielded, respecting human rights accordingly.
If you are considering your options to expand your family, it's important to understand the associated financial realities and develop a plan to deal with them.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in a case in which plaintiff members of two ERISA pension plans claimed that the plans and trustees breached their fiduciary duty of prudence with respect to some of the investment options provided to plan participants.
As businesses across the nation were buffeted by the pandemic last year, we witnessed an unprecedented number of closures and layoffs. Companies large and small struggled to stay open while workers hung on by their fingernails, not knowing if there would be sufficient work to keep them employed at home or if there would be jobs to come back to.
The Supreme Court further recognized that "laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas" are not patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101. To determine whether claims are patent eligible the Supreme Court set forth a two-part test in Mayo as further explained in Alice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The law is a haunted house. Haunted by ghosts, by our past.
In 1972, the U.S. Congress passed the Clean Water Act in response to the realization that a large number of rivers, lakes and other water bodies were polluted. Jurisdiction of the CWA relates only to "navigable waters," which is defined as the "waters of the United States"
Deeply blue California's top political figures, from the governor downward, portray the state as a model of multicultural integration.
Miranda Griswold and her partner were thrilled to grow their family when they had their first child in 2018. The less thrilling part: adding baby costs to their existing expenses — alimony payments, student loans and credit card bills.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Even as the State Bar of California acknowledges mistakes regarding its stunning failure of regulatory oversight in the matter of Thomas V. Girardi, it nonetheless continues to pursue plans to implement a major restructuring of the delivery of legal services in California.
Last month the Supreme Court affirmed a Northern District of California judgment finding that the NCAA had violated antitrust laws by restricting education-related benefits provided to college football and basketball players.
Loud parties, surveillance cameras and a neighbor dispute? The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in California was recently faced with these issues in a case involving claims that one neighbor's use of surveillance cameras violated the other neighbor's right to privacy.

Monday, July 12, 2021

For a certain slice of corporate employees, working from home for some or all of the pandemic scrambled their thinking on work and life.
While driving on a particularly winding stretch of road, professional golfer Tiger Woods sustained multiple injuries as a result of a single-car accident. Woods lost control of his vehicle, traveled over the centerline into the opposite lane, and tumbled onto a hillside. Following the crash, in a statement by county Supervisor Janice Hahn, the county's Department of Public Works will perform a safety review of the roadway.
If the Supreme Court rules that the Medicaid Act does not preempt state law, laws like those in California that do not permit recovery from medical costs allocated to the future may be in jeopardy.

Friday, July 9, 2021

There has been much buzz about the surprising loquaciousness of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in a statement regarding the denial of certiorari in a recent case. So what are the takeaways?
There is a bit of nebulousness when it comes to talking about AI and the law. Different experts or pundits seem to refer to the topic in seemingly disparate ways. No problem, since the whole shebang can be relatively readily boiled down into an easily comprehended framework, doing so in this quick and handy primer.
State-funding efforts to shelter unhoused residents in converted motels could be a game-changer for Motel Drive, an area of Fresno that city leaders say has long been overrun by drugs, human trafficking, and prostitution.
An often overlooked but key area of your overall protection strategy is the need to protect your income stream if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. Think about the financial impact if you were unable to earn a paycheck for an extended period.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Activities of shareholder activists this proxy season at oil and gas companies have been widely reported. The successes of these campaigns is one of many indications of the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance matters to investors.
The pop singer's conservatorship case is a perfect example of why laws that "protect" the right to counsel have too many loopholes. These laws need to be strengthened.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

To date, no corporation itself has challenged either law. And in March 2021, more than two years after the enactment of SB 826, the California secretary of state reported that of the 318 corporations that filed a 2020 Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement, "311 reported compliance with the 2020 Women on Boards requirements."
In Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco, the Supreme Court spoke with one voice. Knick v. Township of Scott means what it says: There is no state exhaustion requirement and a court that warps other justiciability doctrines to impose one will be summarily reversed.
This is an apt topic for Independence Day — whether the U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow for privacy and free speech last week or undermined California's justifiable effort to require a controversial (and conservative) political organization to reveal its donors.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court in a recent case sided with credit reporting agency TransUnion in ruling that thousands of consumers improperly flagged as potential terrorists do not have standing to sue the company for damages.
Some California jurisdictions are experiencing increases in their local minimum wages rates, effective this week.
Since our last annual United States Supreme Court roundup article, the Court issued four decisions that may affect California employers.

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Supreme Court is considering whether to review a case involving a long-running dispute over water rights in the Imperial Valley.
Unfortunately, the pop star's experience is a common one for people with developmental disabilities or mental illness, whose fundamental life choices are restricted "for their own good."
One of the most appealing aspects of stock options is that it gives you a greater stake in the potential success of the company.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court recently addressed important substantive and procedural questions for class certification in federal securities class actions.
On June 18, the IRS released Chief Counsel Advice 202124008, asking and answering a question: Does an exchange of (i) Bitcoin for Ether, (ii) Bitcoin for Litecoin, or (iii) Ether for Litecoin qualify as a like-kind exchange under Section 1031 of the tax code?
With the latest emergency temporary standards for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees in the workplace and many employees returning to the office, employers have new challenges to navigate. Namely, whether vaccines should be mandated or encouraged, and how to prepare for and avoid the issues that can arise as a result.
Lawmakers are boasting about a massive infusion of funding in the new budget to help more Californians afford college and expand enrollment at public universities, including the most competitive. But all of those are unfunded promises.
On a breezy late May afternoon, members of Madison Park Academy's senior class donned shimmery white gowns and tasseled caps decorated with fabric flowers and celebratory messages.
Patents protect inventions. However, patents protect only certain inventions.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Every lawyer knows that filing a complaint in court is only the beginning of the litigation process. Like the opening kickoff for a Saturday afternoon football game, a case does not start until there is proper service on a party of the lawsuit with a court-issued summons providing notice of legal proceedings.
People living with HIV or AIDS must decide whether, how and when to disclose their positive status. In many states, different laws play an outsized role in this highly personal calculus.
This is how California's water crisis is going these days: The only functioning well in the rural community of Teviston broke in early June, leaving more than 700 residents without running water as temperatures in the Central Valley soared to triple-digits in a drought.
As a neurologist, I see patients with chronic medical conditions. While these diseases are not curable, they are treatable with appropriate strategies, including medications that can give patients their best chance at a full and productive life. The key is selecting the best medication for each individual patient.
Hundreds of mariachis come to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles from across the United States and Mexico, in search of work.
Drought may be the sneakiest of natural disasters. Although human history teems with people engulfed by abrupt aridity — the Akkadians of four millenniums ago, the Maya in the ninth and 10th centuries A.D., the Great Plains farmers of the 1930s — even today drought is a poorly appreciated phenomenon.

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