Dear CLA Members,
It’s been a busy summer for us at the California Lawyers Association—not only have we been making strides in expanding our programming and growing as California’s largest voluntary organization for attorneys, but we’ve also been preparing for our inaugural Annual Meeting. We invite you to be a part of history, and join us for this dynamic two-day event at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Reception (September 14–15), convening legal professionals from across California. It’s not too late to register today.
There are many reasons to join us for this exciting conference, all of which will strengthen your ties with California’s legal community and benefit your practice. As part of your attendance, you’ll not only be able to participate in opportunities to network with fellow attorneys and legal professionals, but you can also earn up to 12 hours of MCLE credit. Our Annual Meeting will feature 48 education programs—all approved for MCLE credit—facilitated by more than 100 legal scholars and jurists, giving you an opportunity to deepen your professional expertise. You can even peruse our offerings by Section, so you can view the programs most relevant to your practice.
In addition, the Annual Meeting will feature two keynote luncheons, the annual Business Law Section Breakfast, and a variety of other special and affiliate events—including the swearing-in ceremony of CLA’s leadership in which you’ll hear from special guests, such as Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. Members are invited to participate in these programs being held in conjunction with the Annual meeting (which require separate tickets). Plus, various Sections will hold their own award presentations and receptions.
Lastly, we offer a variety of registration options to fit every attorney’s busy schedule and budget. The registration fee covers admission to education courses, a certificate of attendance for up to 12 hours of MCLE credit, course materials, one complimentary ticket to the Friday morning general session and breakfast—as well as one complimentary 2018 Section membership. One-day ticket options are also available.
Together, we will set the precedent for future Annual Meetings and help shape the future for all California lawyers. We encourage you to attend and help us launch what we firmly believe will become the central major meeting for all legal professionals across California. We hope to see you in San Diego.
Heather L. Rosing, CLA President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jim Hill, CLA Chairman of the Board (email@example.com)
California’s premier antitrust and privacy conference, the Golden State Institute (GSI), enters its 28th year. Hosted by the CLA’s Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy Section, GSI features innovative speakers, including federal and state judges, government leaders, and top trial attorneys in the antitrust and privacy fields, along with excellent networking opportunities. It takes place Thursday, November 8 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. Get more information.This year’s GSI promises to live up to the Institute’s rich legacy. It will include a comprehensive update on recent developments in antitrust, unfair competition, and privacy law; and panels featuring lead counsel from two major antitrust trials that took place this year (In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation and In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation).
This year’s GSI will also include a discussion with California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino Cuellar, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Barry Nigro, and Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman; as well as a privacy panel featuring Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal and Electronic Frontier Foundation Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch.
We will cap off the day with a judges panel, including Judges William Alsup, Edward Chen, and Laurel Beeler from the Northern District of California. After the GSI, the Section will hold its annual Lawyer of the Year dinner, in which we will honor Bruce Simon of Pearson, Simon & Warshaw LLP.
The Golden State Institute is just the beginning. The Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy Section offers its members key publications frequently relied upon by courts, governmental enforces, and practitioners alike, including the Antitrust Treatise and the Competition Journal. Members also enjoy webinars, live events, monthly eBriefs, case law updates, networking events, and much more.
The Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy section is always looking for new members interested in competition and privacy issues, and for current members to get more involved. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to our Chair Lee Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The audience applauded as Heather Rosing announced that, “In just seven months, the California Lawyers Association has established itself as the largest voluntary state bar association in the country.” CLA will be be returning to San Diego for the CLA’s inaugural Annual Meeting on September 14-15.
Jim Hill added that CLA is the bar association for all California lawyers and their advocates: “We are launched and moving forward.“ Several of those in attendance joined CLA as new members.
The CLA tour is hitting the road this fall and coming to Los Angeles. We are tentatively scheduled to hold our next reception in Century City on Thursday, November 8. If you are in Los Angeles, please plan on attending and inviting colleagues. Future receptions include Orange County, San Francisco, and Sacramento. More details to come.
California Lawyers Association (CLA) will soon have a new home in Sacramento—and with the move comes increased access to legislators and other policymakers who influence our work. Staffers have been hard at work since CLA’s inception to develop and nurture key relationships across California and in the State Capitol, ensuring legislative committees have access to CLA’s subject-matter experts.
There is also action underway among the Sections in the realm of governmental affairs. Jared Gordon, who is a member of the Business Section, explains why the California Legislature relies on CLA’s experts in various areas of law for input: “Busy legislative analysts and legislators do not have time or the background to learn about the nuances of the law in order to consider how a bill might interact with existing state and federal law or precedents. When CLA committees use their expertise to explain problems with a bill under consideration (or possibly current law), legislators listen.”
For example, our members have pressed legislators to take specific action with regard to AB-2546, a bill making its way through the Legislature. AB-2546 would expand California’s anti-SPAM law: prohibiting certain types of commercial emails, and requiring email advertisers to prove they used due care to prevent unsolicited commercial email advertisements.
CLA’s stance? According to Mr. Gordon, “It is our view that the revisions [presented by AB-2546] are at odds with the voters’ approval of Prop 64 limiting unfair competition law claims where a plaintiff suffers no actual injuries. Although AB-2546’s goal of adding clarity for the requirements for advertisers to exercise ‘due care’ is welcome, the specific language used by the author is confusing in certain respects and should be improved.”
Mr. Gordon and other leaders from the Business and Intellectual Property Law Sections have taken steps to impact the measure’s progress—speaking before legislators and submitting a letter opposing AB-2546’s private rights of action and other provisions. The Senate Business & Professions and Judiciary Committees have reacted positively, leading to amendments to the measure, which is still under review.
CLA’s work has just begun, with the Section committees mentioned above planning to advocate for changes to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. “Given the wide scope of the California Consumer Privacy Act, our efforts may involve other parts of the CLA, in an effort to provide the broadest input on addressing as many of the problems with that new law as we can,” says Mr. Gordon.
As CLA prepares to relocate its headquarters to Sacramento, members will have continued opportunities to interact with legislators—underscoring the value of belonging to an organization that truly supports the professional advancement of California attorneys: “CLA provides a voice for the practitioners who know an area of law best, so that legislative bodies can benefit from our expertise when they consider changes to the law,” adds Mr. Gordon. “I have been pleasantly surprised at how willing legislators are to listen to our concerns and act on them.”
Interested in impacting public policy as a CLA member? Visit your Section’s page to learn more about relevant opportunities and to join a standing committee.
We are pleased to announce the winners of a number of prestigious awards from the Public Law and Intellectual Property Law Sections—their first since the inception of the California Lawyers Association.
The 2018 honorees include: Judge Pauline Newman, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (judicial); Peter Menell, Koret Professor of Law, Berkeley Law, University of California (academic); Mallun Yen, Co-founder & COO, SaaStr (in-house counsel); and Kelly Klaus, Litigation Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (private practice). The Intellectual Property Section will present the Vanguard Awards at the 2018 Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Institute—the Section’s flagship event being held on November 8-9, at the Fairmont San Jose. A welcome reception will take place the evening of November 7.
Congratulations to these exemplary individuals who are upholding the legal profession and advancing the aims of the California Lawyers Association!
Wednesday, September 5, 2018: Real Property Law Sectionpresents Murphy's Law Strikes, Now What? Insurance Coverage in California for Construction Claims, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1055 W 7th St #2700, Los Angeles, CA 90017, 415-795-7185. [3 hours participatory MCLE credit]
Wednesday, September 5, 2018: Litigation Law Sectionpresents Webinar: The International Arbitration California Gold Rush!, participation by computer, 415-795-7108. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit]
Monday, September 10, 2018: Litigation Law Section presents Webinar Replay: Ethics and E-discovery: Understanding Proportionality and Reasonable Accessibility, participation by computer, 415-795-7108. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics]
Monday, September 17, 2018: Litigation Law Section presents Webinar Replay: Ethics and E-Discovery: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You, participation by computer, 415-795-7108. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics]
Monday, September 17, 2018: Family Law Section presents Webinar: Taking Stock: Valuing Stock Options and Other Equity Compensation in Family Law Litigation, participation by computer, 15-795-7102. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law]
Friday, September 21, 2018: Taxation Section presents Webinar: Household Employment Taxes: Are Your Clients Tax Compliant?, participation by computer, 415-795-7187. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit; 1 hour legal specialization credit in Taxation]
Monday, September 24, 2018: Litigation Law Section presents Webinar Replay: Ethics and Social Media: Cybersleuthing, Predatory Friending and More, participation by computer, 415-795-7108. [1.5 hours participatory MCLE credit; 0.5 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics]
Monday, September 24, 2018: Family Law Section presents Essentials 2018: Making a Real Difference -- Essentials 2018: Making a Real Difference -- Candid Discussions Between Bench and Bar Regarding Custody in Today’s Courts, State Building 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, 415-795-7102. [6 hours participatory MCLE credit; 6 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law]
Tuesday, September 25, 2018: Real Property Section presents Common Deal Breakers in Commercial Leasing, Procopio, 525 B Street, Ste 2200, San Diego, CA 92101, 415-795-7185. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit]
Tuesday, September 25, 2018: Taxation Section presents Webinar: Tax Scams and Tax Professionals Data Theft and Protection, participation by computer, 415-795-7187. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit; 1 hour legal specialization credit in Taxation]
Thursday, September 27, 2018: Real Property Section presents the 1st Annual Southern California Women in Commercial Leasing Conference, Hilton Glendale, 415-795-7185. [3 hours participatory MCLE credit]
The State Bar of California invites members of the public, including licensed attorneys, to provide
input as it undertakes a statutorily mandated study of issues related to legal malpractice insurance.
Business and Professions Code Section 6069.5 directs the State Bar to study the following issues:
• The availability of lawyers’ professional liability insurance;
• Measures for encouraging attorneys to obtain professional liability insurance;
• Recommended ranges of insurance limits;
• The adequacy of the current disclosure rule regarding insurance; and,
• The advisability of mandating professional liability insurance for licensed attorneys.
A report on the findings of this study will be made to the California Supreme Court and Legislature on
March 31, 2019.
The State Bar’s Board of Trustees has appointed a Malpractice Insurance Working Group (MIWG) to
undertake the mandated study and report its findings to the Board. The following information about
the work of the MIWG to date can be found on the State Bar’s website:
• MIWG Charter and Roster
• Agendas and materials from past meetings:
• Video recordings from past meetings
Additional meetings of the MIWG are scheduled as follows:
August 27, 2018180 Howard Street, San Francisco10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
November 13, 2018845 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
January 14, 2019180 Howard Street, San Francisco10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
An agenda will be posted on the State Bar’s website ten days in advance of each meeting. Members
of the public who are interested in this topic are encouraged to attend these meetings, which provide
an opportunity for public comment.
The public is also invited to participate in conference calls during which MIWG subcommittees discuss
specific topics. Agendas for these calls, as well as information about calling in, can be found on the
State Bar’s website.
Comments can also be sent via email to email@example.com.
By Lawrence E. Biegel
My love affair with the British legal
system began one afternoon in
1999. My family was returning to
the States from a wedding in Scotland and
had a long day to kill in London before our flight home. My wife and son made the decision to tour the Tower of London. For me, I
had always wanted to visit the Old Bailey; a
fascination borne of watching the memorable
movie, “Witness for the Prosecution.” It was
an afternoon well spent; watching a murder
trial, observing that counsel and judge wore
wigs, attorneys spoke with incredible erudi-
tion and precise diction, and jurors
appeared to be a mélange of homegrown
Brits and immigrants. Suffice to say, I was
smitten with what I saw.
In 2004, I registered for the Litigation
Section’s A Week in Legal London (WILL)
program to get a more in-depth view of the
British legal system. Boy, did I ever get up
close and personal. WILL has a protocol
where groups rotate between the various
courts in London, e.g. the Royal Courts of
Justice, the Old Bailey, the various Crown
Courts and the Supreme Court. On the day
my group visited “the Bailey,” after watching
a dramatic murder case being tried in the
morning, I had lunch in the “Barristers’ Mess”,
a dining hall for lawyers with business in the
building. During that lunch, I met Andrew
Bright, a barrister defending another murder
case. Before I knew what had happened, that
innocent lunchtime conversation morphed
into an invitation from HHJ (His Honour
Judge) Brian Barker to sit at counsel table
with Andrew as he defended a man accused
of running over his girlfriend with her own
vehicle. I came to regard that case as “Murder
Based on the amazing experiences I had in
2004, I volunteered to become a part of the
steering committee of the WILL program.
The Week in Legal London program orga-
nizers divide up the delegates into smaller
groups of ten each. One of the organizing
committee members serves as the group
leader or guide to the various venues and pro-
grams during the week. The groups attend
court sessions, commencing with an opening
session where The Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales gives a
welcoming speech and explains some of the
differences between our two systems. Besides
the court visits, the groups dine at the four
Inns of Court (Inner Temple, Middle Temple,
Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn) and are treated
to a series of educational MCLE programs
which, in total, supply almost three full years
of credit for compliance with State Bar
requirements. In addition, there is a Guest
Program for the spouses and other non-
Simply said, the 2017 program was the best
I have seen and bodes well for future pro-
grams, particularly for the upcoming 2019
program. Here’s why.
Our steering committee had long ago tried
to arrange with one of the Inns of Court to
hold a moot where a British team would chal-
lenge their American counterparts in arguing
an interesting appellate issue. In 2017, not
only were we finally able to arrange such a
competition, but the subject matter was
We selected the fact pattern in Lee v.
Ashers Bakery Company, Ltd.
, a case arising
in Belfast, involving a bakery that refused to
bake a cake for a gay customer requesting
a “gay pride” slogan be made as part of the
decoration. The bakery clerk accepted the
order, but the owners declined to provide
the cake and politely told the customer to
return to the shop for a refund of his
money. The owners claimed it was against
their religious beliefs to make any
affirmations as to gay pride.
The case’s argument was held in Belfast
in the Supreme Court of England and
Wales on May 1st and 2nd and the decision,
like the one in our United States Supreme
Court, is pending.
Ashers Bakery was the
apparent precursor to the Masterpiece
Cakeshop case argued before the United
States Supreme Court in December 2017
In planning this program, our committee
worked with the Bar Council of England
and Wales, the governing authority for
barristers in the United Kingdom. They co-
the event along with Inner Temple. The
ornate Inner Temple Hall was filled almost to
capacity. We were lucky enough to have one
of the actual lawyers for Ashers Bakery argue
the case for the appellants along with an out
standing appellate specialist from the London
Bar. Thomas Greene, a San Francisco attorney
with the Antitrust Division of the United
States Department of Justice argued for the
respondents. Tom was joined by Westlake
Village litigator, Michael Justice. Pictures of
the event show both the British and American
attendees totally absorbed in the arguments.
The 2017 edition of WILL saw the debut of
a new element of the program, “Barrister for a
Day.” Much like my “up close and personal”
experience in 2004 with Judge Barker and
Andrew Bright, our organizing committee
tried to pair some of our delegates with barristers who practice in the same general area.
The idea was for our members to meet up
with the selected barrister at his or her chambers in the early morning, get briefed on the
court cases for the day, and follow the barrister into the court proceedings.
Because our organizing committee has,
over the years, made contacts with prominent
members of the British legal community, each
trip has opened up new venues and opportunities. Andrew Bright, the barrister I met in
2004, was elevated to the bench as a Circuit
Judge (analogous to a Superior Court judge
in California) and later became the presiding
judge at the Crown Court in St. Albans, a
town dating back to the Romans and located
25 miles from London. Since 2011, Judge
Bright has invited our attendees to visit his
court and have the experience of sitting on
the bench during court proceedings. From
that unique vantage point, we enjoy the closest look at criminal justice in the United
Kingdom that anyone could possibly have.
The Central Criminal Court, called by its
popular name as the “Old Bailey” is, in
British judicial hierarchy, just another of the
Crown Courts like St. Albans. That categorization is like saying the Super Bowl is just
another football game.
Passing through the Lord Mayor’s Gate in
the rear of the courthouse, we were ushered
upstairs to the chambers of Judge Michael
Topalski. Judge Topalski was presiding over
a trial where a husband was charged with
the murder of his soon-to-be ex-wife.
According to the prosecution’s theory, the defendant cut the victim’s throat while holding her tightly from behind. The defense
claimed that the defendant was only acting
out of self-defense after the victim attacked
him and their nine-year-old daughter with a
knife. We were escorted into the courtroom
and sat in a box directly opposite the jury box
and witness stand. The ensuing defendant
and medical examiner testimony and cross
examination was riveting and highly instructional for our litigator attendees.
On the Wednesday of each WILL trip, it
has become a tradition to visit the Supreme
Court, on Parliament Square, across from
Westminster Abbey. The concept of a
supreme court in the United Kingdom is relatively new. Before 2009, the highest judicial
tribunal had resided in a committee in the
House of Lords. But with the Constitutional
Reform Act of 2005, this new high court was
created with 12 judges, one of whom was designated as President and one of whom was
designated as Deputy President.
After proceeding to the main courtroom, where a local photographer took a group
portrait, we were ushered to a large
conference room where we were treated
to a Q&A session with the then-Deputy
President of the Court, Lady Brenda Hale,
the Baroness of Richmond. She spoke
candidly about the issues of the day.
Later in 2017, Lady Hale assumed the
position of President of the Supreme
Court, the first female to hold that office.
The organizing committee, working
with the State Bar, offers MCLE programs
to the attendees during the week in
Perhaps the most interesting and
well received MCLE program in the 2017
trip was “Bringing Technology to
the Courtroom.” For that program, the
organizing committee partnered with the
Bar Council and
of the United
assembled a panel including
Phillips, a prominent judge in
the London Commercial
Court, and two
Sullivan and David Quest, to
discuss how to
volume of workflow that accompanies major
We were also lucky to partner with
Opus 2 International, the company that pioneered the technology behind “Live Note”
(sold to Thompson-Reuters) and which had developed a new software package titled
“Magnum,” created to bring together all the
components involved in case preparation
and presentation, facilitating paperless
court hearings for the first time. Magnum
enables legal teams to work collaboratively
on document sets regardless of their physical location, delivering efficiencies and cost
savings. In the U.S., the technology is
licensed to law firms and used for deposition preparation as well as trial preparation
and is being rapidly adopted by the AM Law
200 as firms increasingly look to embrace
collaborative, cloud-based technologies.
Through a friend of a friend, one of the
members of our organizing committee was
introduced to James Wallace, more formally
known as Baron Wallace of Tankerness, a
member of the House of Lords. Jim Wallace
is a proud Scot and formerly was an MP in
both the U.K. and Scottish Parliaments. In
2007, he was made a life peer and ascended
to the House of Lords. Jim agreed to host
our 2013 delegation at a gala dinner at the
Peers Dining Hall inside the Palace of
Westminster. That tradition continued in
both 2015 and 2017.
To say these dinners are spectacular
would be a vast understatement. After
entering the vast Westminster Hall, we are
given a tour of the House of Commons and
House of Lords, then led to a large salon for
a pre-dinner reception. Invitations to this
gala event are not limited to just WILL participants. We invite many colleagues in the
British legal community who we have met
during the week and who helped put on our
MCLE programs or who hosted events at
their chambers. Dinner is a multi-course
meal, with a brief address by Lord Wallace
and a respectful toast “to the Queen.”
Our steering committee is already hard
at work planning the next edition of the
WILL program. It is scheduled to take
place, not in the usual Spring time slot, but
commencing on September 29, 2019, so
that our participants can take part in the
many events commemorating the Opening
of the Legal Year in London. This change
will allow both past and new attendees a
chance to see the pageantry surrounding
this once-a-year event.
Lawrence E. Biegel, Managing Partner of the
Biegel Law Firm in Monterey, is an experienced litigator who practices both civil and
criminal law in State and Federal Courts.
He has been a past president of the Monterey
County Bar Association and a member of the
American Board of Trial Advocates
(ABOTA). He is a member of the organizing
committee of A Week in Legal London.
California Lawyers Association (CLA) today announced the addition of Ellen Miller-Sharp as the organization’s new Director of Bar Collaborations and Special Projects.
Miller-Sharp currently serves as Executive Director and CEO of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA). Before her 11-year tenure at SDCBA, Miller-Sharp worked at the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California, gaining valuable insight and experience in the effective administration of bar associations.
“CLA is so fortunate to welcome Ellen to its executive team,” said CLA President Heather Rosing. “She recently earned the National Association of Bar Executives’ 2018 President's Award of Excellence. Ellen simply knows how to get things done, and we couldn’t be more fortunate to have her skills, talents and connections joining CLA.”
In her new role, Miller-Sharp will be forging connections between CLA and other bar associations across California with the express goal of developing joint opportunities for educational programming, networking events, and more. Miller-Sharp will also help promote CLA’s commitments to diversity, fairness, and civic engagement, utilizing her experience from similar projects with the San Diego County Bar Association.
“I am excited to build on the historic work and numerous accomplishments of the Sections,” added Miller-Sharp. “The CLA leadership is working hard to give a voice to all lawyers in California, and I am excited to be a part of the drive to establish CLA as the nation’s preeminent bar association.”
Miller-Sharp will begin her new role with CLA in November 2018, while helping the San Diego County Bar Association transition to a new CEO.
CLA is one of the nation's largest nonprofit, voluntary organizations for lawyers. It is the new home of the Sections of the State Bar of California, as well the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA). CLA’s mission is to promote excellence and diversity in the legal profession and the administration of justice.