News from the Section
- Litigation Update
- 2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner
- 12th Annual Law Suits™ Clothing Drive Set for July 2013!
- Lawyer Beware: Kickbacks from Deposition Firms Expose Law Firms and Lawyers to Possible I.R.S.Tax Penalties
- A Half-Day of Specialized CLE for Staff Counsel Attorneys, Claims Specialists and Paralegals, Friday, May 17, 2013, Costa Mesa
- A Week in Legal London, Sunday, May 19 - Friday, May 24, 2013, London, UK
- Member Benefit - "Giving a Deposition" Video
- Other News
The May Litigation Update (new window) was recently sent to Section members. For back issues, see Litigation Update.
2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner
The Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Thomas J. McDermott, Jr. 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 Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday, June 22, 2013.
You can now register online for the 2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner. A mail/fax registration form is also available.
Law Suits™ Twelfth Annual Statewide Clothing Drive
Gently used suits providing new opportunities for men and women transitioning to self-sufficiency
The Litigation Section of the State Bar of California announces the Twelfth Annual Law Suits™ Statewide Clothing Drive. During the month of July, drop off your gently used business suits (men's or women's) at any Men’s Wearhouse® in California. Shirts, ties, belts and shoes, in good condition, are also urgently
All clothing will be donated to Working Wardrobes for a New Start® and other nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping adults in crisis get back to work. You will receive a receipt for your donation and 50% off the regular price of all items, excluding shoes and everyday low price items, on your next purchase.
For more information, see Law Suits™.
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.
A Half-Day of Specialized CLE for Staff Counsel Attorneys, Claims Specialists and Paralegals
A Week in Legal London
Sunday, May 19 - Friday, May 24, 2013
In its 25th year, A Week in Legal London is proud to continue its tradition of mixing exciting new opportunities with exceptional legal destinations and interactions. As a result of the special relationships we have formed over many years, we are able to provide access to people and places the general public does not have. In addition to the profound interactions the program presents, A Week in Legal London also provides one-of-a-kind professional experiences. We will spend time behind the scenes with prominent judges, barristers and solicitors.
The start of our exciting program will be with Sir Igor Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, who will welcome us at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday morning. We are his guests during our week in England.
In October of 2009, England and Wales created a Supreme Court. (Previously, the highest court in the land was The House of Lords.) The Supreme Court will be in session while we are in London, and on Tuesday the President (Chief Justice), Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, currently Master of the Rolls, will welcome us to his court, and discuss the new Supreme Court’s purpose and function. During our 2011 program, The Right Honourable Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the first ever President of the Supreme Court hosted us in his court. In addition to meeting Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, we have arranged for other Supreme Court Justices to meet individually with our small groups.
Throughout the week, we will break into small groups to attend trials in various courts and interact with the barristers and judges. We will visit the Inns of Court and Barrister’s Mess at the Old Bailey for lunch as well as attend special programs at the Law Society of England and Wales. In our small groups, participants will rotate "carousel" style through court sessions in the Supreme Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Old Bailey (the Central Criminal Court), the Magistrates' Court, and a local Crown Court. Groups will lunch with barristers and judges at three of the four Inns of Court, Old Bailey and the Crown Court.
This year we are privileged to host our Closing Reception and Gala Dinner celebration in the Peers Dining Room at the House of Lords. The Right Honourable Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC will be our host for this celebration and unique opportunity to dine within the walls of the House of Lords.
The luxurious five-star May Fair Hotel, near famed Berkeley Square, will be your home away from home. Join your colleagues from the State Bar of California for A Week in Legal London. In order to maintain the program's intimacy the attendee cap is 60 so don't delay, register today! For more information, see A Week in Legal London.
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".
2012 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner
The Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Mary Alexander was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
The reception and dinner in her honor and presentation of the award took place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, June 23.
Advance Tapes: Special Offer to Litigation Section Members
Every 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.
The 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 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 now posted articles from the 2009 issue of California Litigation Review. These articles are posted in our Members Only Area.
Key Developments in the Law–2009
Douglas A. Hedenkamp – Connor, Fletcher & Williams LLP
by Roman E. Darmer & Jared S. Kirkwood – Howrey LLP
by Alreen Haeggquist—Zeldes & Haeggquist, LLP
By Cedric C. Chao, Susan V. Vaughan – Morrison & Foerster LLP; and Dean J. Zipser – Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
by Gary Christopherson, Kathleen M. Abdallah and Allison Cherry Lafferty – Kroloff, Belcher, Smart, Perry & Christopherson
Appeals, Writs, & Post-Trial Motions
by David M. Axelrad and Wesley T. Shih – Horvitz & Levy LLP
Developments in Class-Action Law
Brian S. Currey & Matt Powers – O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Intellectual Property Law
By Kenneth R. O’Rourke and Jeffrey Huang, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Alternative Dispute Resolution
by Paul Dubow – Dubow Arbitration and Mediation
For 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004 annual reviews, see California Litigation Review.
Save Money with CEB
Continuing 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.
State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
The Litigation Section is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider.