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Litigation Section

News from the Section

Litigation Update

The January Litigation Update (new window)  was recently sent to Section members. For back issues, see Litigation Update.

Morgan Chu to Be Inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Morgan ChuThe Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Morgan Chu, Partner with Irell & Manella LLP, will be inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

The reception and dinner in his honor and presentation of the award will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel on Friday, July 11, 2014.

More information will be available soon.

An Evening with California Superior Court Judges

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
ARC (Alumni Reception Center)
U.C. Hastings College of the Law
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP your attendance to Ana Castillo.

Moderator: Edward Torpoco, Senior Director & Legal Counsel, eBay Inc., San Jose

Panelists:

  • Honorable Suzanne R. Bolanos, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
  • Honorable Kathleen Anne Kelly, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco

Topics Covered:

  • Laying the groundwork for a successful career while still in law school
  • The importance of mentors in law school and relationships with faculty
  • Landing the first job after law school and what to look for in an employer
  • The benefits of networking in career advancement
  • Getting involved in local bar associations and the State Bar
  • Paths to the bench
  • Open forum on any questions of interest to the law students

Webinar: Suing and Defending State and Local Public Entities: The Claims Process

WebinarThursday, May 22, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by the Public Law Section and the Litigation Section

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

The Government Claims Act sets forth the prerequisites for maintaining a suit for damages against State and Local public entities in California. The claims process is fraught with technical and sometimes confusing requirements that can impede or even terminate a lawsuit before it ever gets to court. This webinar will take the participants through the claims process, and point out traps for the unwary, as well as the mechanisms for obtaining relief from late or deficient claims.

Speakers: Kevin Reager and William R. Seligmann

Effective Use of Mediation: A View From In-House Counsel

Thursday, May 29, 2014
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
The Law Offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
300 South Grand Avenue, Suite 3400
Los Angeles, California 90071

Registration fee includes 1.5 Hours of participatory MCLE credit and lunch

You can now REGISTER ONLINE for this program. For the full program brochure, see Effective Use of Mediation.

  • How mediation strategies have evolved in-house as an alternative to litigation
  • How to identify a case where dispute resolution could be successful
  • How neutrals are screened and selected

Panelists:

  • Rhonda Hjort, Assistant Chief Counsel Lucasfilm
  • Karen J. Petrulakis, Chief Deputy General Counsel University of California
  • Eric Geismar, Vice President & Chief Counsel Medtronic Diabetes
  • Edward Torpoco, Senior Director & Legal Counsel eBay Inc.
  • Ruth V. Glick, Mediator and Arbitrator American Arbitration Association Moderator

Webinar: The Moradi Case, Earthquake or Tremor? Employers' Liability Exception to the "Going and Coming" Rule

Presented by the Litigation Section

WebinarWednesday, June 18, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m. (Pacific)

This program offers 1 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Is the new Moradi case an expansion of employers' liability for their employees' acts while commuting, or just a clarification of the Required Vehicle Exception.

This hour long webinar will discuss modification to the "Going and Coming" Rule following the new Moradi decision, and how the Required Vehicle Exception can determine whether or not an employee is in the scope of employment during his or her daily commute. These issues will be discussed within the framework of the recent cases of Moradi v. Marsh and Lobo v. Tamco.

Former Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles and Consumer Attorneys of California President, and plaintiff's attorney on the Moradi case, Wayne McClean, will discuss these issues from the plaintiff's perspective, while Christina Morovati of Los Angeles defense firm Bragg & Kuluva will present the defense point of view. The webinar will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session with the presenters.

Speakers:

  • Carol Kuluva
  • Wayne McClean
  • Christina Morovati

Webinar: Navigating the Rough Seas: When the FAA Meets the CAA

Presented by the Litigation Section

WebinarTuesday, July 22, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

This session will explain the interaction between the Federal Arbitration Act and the California Arbitration Act in federal and state courts in California, including the when courts must or may compel arbitration depending on whether the FAA or CAA applies; when FAA or CAA rules of arbitration apply; and when agreements for the substantive review of arbitration awards can be enforced in light of Hall Street  and Directv.

Speakers: Jeff Dasteel and Paul Dubow

Webinar: Suing and Defending State and Local Public Entities: Dangerious Conditions of Public Property

Presented by the Public Law Section and the Litigation Section

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Webinar

This program offers 1.5 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

The Government Claims Act sets forth the unique elements that apply to suits against State and Local public entities for dangerous conditions of their property. These elements differ in important ways from premises liability suits brought against private property owners. This webinar will introduce the participants to legal and practical issues involved in suing and defending public entities under these highly specialized rules of law.

Speakers:

  • Kevin Reager
  • William R. Seligmann

Lawyer Beware: Kickbacks from Deposition Firms Expose Law Firms and Lawyers to Possible I.R.S.Tax Penalties

By  Stephen J. Walwyn, Esq.

Booking a deposition with a licensed court reporter should not expose lawyers or law firms to possible tax problems. However, the way some court reporting firms entice business may entangle lawyers and law firms with the Internal Revenue Service as well as the Franchise Tax Board.

Most lawyers don’t realize that some court reporting providers vigorously market their services to the secretaries, legal assistants, and paralegals who frequently select which court reporting provider to use. Some court reporting providers regrettably go so far as to offer kickbacks to law firm employees in exchange for bookings. These kickbacks – often entirely unknown to lawyers or law firm managing partners -- can be of significant value: cash and gift cards, spa treatments, tickets to major Broadway plays, bottles of expensive champagne, airline tickets and free condominium stays, contests with valuable prizes awarded.

While the court reporting providers style these valuables as "gifts," both practically and as a matter of tax law they are not gifts but payments for services. As confirmed by a recent, thorough analysis by counsel at Hanson Bridgett, the law deems these valuables to be compensation paid to a lawyer’s or law firm’s employee in exchange for services provided; namely, giving the lawyer’s or law firm’s business, often exclusively, to one court reporting provider.

The valuables that raise tax issues are specifically offered as quid pro quos: valuable items offered and delivered in exchange for the scheduling of reporting business. Further, even if the kickback is characterized as a prize, award or as points, the Internal Revenue Code specifically includes amounts received as prizes and awards in gross income unless the prize or award is transferred directly to a charity.

Read the full article HERE.

Member Benefit -  "Giving a Deposition" Video 

Giving a Deposition” is a benefit of your membership in the Litigation Section. It will hopefully save you and your clients time and money, and allow you to prepare witnesses more effectively for their depositions.

The video is intended to be shown to witnesses who have not had their depositions taken before, or for whom a refresher course would be worthwhile. Through a series of vignettes, the video explains the deposition process and provides advice about how to answer questions carefully, truthfully, and in a manner that expedites the completion of the deposition. The video obviously does not replace diligent witness preparation by lawyers and staff, but facilitates deposition preparation so that the lawyer’s time can be spent on the merits.

For more information, see "Giving a Deposition".

Other News

2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner

The Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Thomas J. McDermott, Jr. was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

The reception and dinner in his honor and presentation of the award took place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

For more information, see 2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner.

Advance Tapes: Special Offer to Litigation Section Members

Professor Steven FinzEvery two months, Professor Steven R. Finz issues a recorded talk in which he analyzes and discusses every decision published by the California state courts in the previous two months that is likely to be of interest to the busy litigator. The recordings in this series are titled Finz's ADVANCE TAPES on California Civil Procedure, Discovery, and Evidence, and are available as audio CD or audio tape.

The ordinary subscription price is $220 per year (six issues). But by arrangement with The Litigation Section, Professor Finz is making a special offer to Litigation Section Members. You can subscribe for half a year (three issues) for only $15. You'll also receive unlimited access to this website. . At the end of the introductory period, you will be given an opportunity to continue your subscription at a discounted price of $180 per year. BUT ONLY IF YOU SAY SO. Nothing will happen automatically.

For more information about this special offer, see Advance Tapes - Special Offer for Litigation Section Members.

E-Discovery Pocket Guide

In August, 2008, the Litigation Section of the California State Bar distributed to members its E-Discovery Pocket Guide which identifies specific issues and topics of which every California litigator, if not every lawyer, must be familiar and conversant. It includes ESI topics to discuss with clients, topics to discuss with opposing counsel at the meet and confer conference, and topics to cover in the initial case management conference with the court. The one page brochure is not exhaustive but illustrative of common issues and topics facing most civil litigators and courts.

California Litigation

California LitigationThe Litigation Section publishes California Litigation three times per year, under the supervision of the California Litigation Editorial Board. Each issue contains informative articles on themes of interest to litigators.

We have provided tables of contents from Volume 1, No. 1 to the present at California Litigation. And we have posted recent issues in our Members Only Area.

Copies of some back issues are still available. Please call 415- 538-2546 if you are interested in obtaining one or more.

California Litigation

California Litigation
 

California Litigation Review

California Litigation Review comes out annually and is sent to members of the Litigation Section as a benefit of membership. The Review provides an annual overview of developments of interest to California's civil litigators and a review of many areas of practice that we do not regularly encounter, but need to know!

We have  posted some back articles from  California Litigation Review in our Members Only Area.

For more information, see California Litigation Review.

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Litigation Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Litigation Section
State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
 San Francisco,  CA  94105-1639
415-538-2546
FAX 415-538-2368

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