News from the Section
The October Litigation Update (new window) was recently sent to Section members. For back issues, see Litigation Update.
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 in conjunction with the Men's Wearhouse National Suit 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 needed.
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 retail items, excluding shoes, clearance and everyday low price items, on your next purchase at Men's Wearhouse®.
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.
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".
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 this event. A mail/fax registration form is also available. For more information, see 2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner.
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 posted some back articles from California Litigation Review in our Members Only Area.
For more information, 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.
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