Business Law

From the Chair

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Business Law Section (BLS) Members: Welcome to September and to the new BLS Term!

As we enter autumn, the California Lawyers Association closes the 2020-2021 term and with it, BLS welcomes its new leadership slate. Our incoming class of Executive Committee members and Standing Committee leadership Chairs are poised to take up the mantle to support our business law community. BLS recently increased its executive committee class from five to eight because of the breadth and depth of our activities. We invest in creating better engagement, from events to operations and systems, so our list of initiatives keeps growing! Fortunately, our interest in improvement also keeps us agile. For example, this was the year to hold virtual meetings but we also experimented by offering viewing parties, office hours, and an online symposium. We also implemented a shared calendar, an online document management system and made steps towards developing a more robust online presence.

In addition to the excellent work of maintaining BLS operations and activities, some additional highlights include:

  • BLS Standing Committees contributed content towards CLA’s Navigating Covid-19 series, which won the National Conference Of Bar Foundations 2020 Lexis Nexis Partnership Award.
  • BLS articles placed first and had three among the Top 10 most visited CLA online articles. These articles were those that drew the most traffic of all CLA eBulletins, as measured through Google search results.
  • Affirmative Legislative Proposals on clarifying governance issues during a state of emergency.
  • The creation of the BLS Sustainability Working Group to investigate ways in which practitioners have been tasked with implementing change.
  • A virtual symposium on Insurance Law and Regulation
  • BLS Breakout Session during CLA’s Legislative Day
  • Instrumental participation in the creation of a Legal Specialization in Privacy Law, the most recent proposal after many years and the first since CLA was established.

BLS is part of a much larger legal community, and continued our collaboration with the California State Bar, CLA governance, CLA Committees including the DEI, Diversity Outreach, Racial Justice, and Finance committees, and CLA sections, including the Solo and Small Firm Section and the Antitrust, Litigation, Intellectual Property, International, Privacy, and Tax sections.

Similarly, BLS co-hosted events with local and affinity bar associations, including the Los Angeles Bar Association, California Latino Judges Association, California Minority Counsel Program, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, BALIF, LGBTQI bar association, Black Women Lawyers, thirteen state-wide Latino and Hispanic bar associations, the International Association of Privacy Professionals; sponsored the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society and provided input on the California Tax & Budget Research Project, for tax on services.

BLS also supported the next generation of professionals by working with schools and students. BLS established a publishing partnership with the Santa Clara University School of Law’s Privacy Law Initiative. By establishing this partnership, BLS provides a platform for students to satisfy one of several requirements to graduate with a Privacy Law Certificate.

Our BLS Roadshow continued its many visits during the academic year, and we worked with UC Davis School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, the Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara Law & Business Society, Women in Law, California State University at Fullerton.

With the new term, Everett Green moves BLS forward in the 2021-2022 year. Everett has already taken the initiative to meet with members. Please reciprocate his efforts and be sure to contact Everett!

Look for update email messages to register for the Business Law Section Lunch at the CLA Annual Meeting on September 24, 2021 at noon! We will celebrate our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mark Moore. The program also includes Crypto Assets and Technology with featured speakers Damier Xandrine and Eric Weingarten. There is no registration fee and a Q&A session follows immediately.

BLS Leadership should look forward to updates, including BLS fall orientation events currently tentatively scheduled for November 6-7.

It has been an honor to serve as BLS Chair. This year was definitely not business as usual, as we grappled with the impact of personal, political, and philosophical issues. There were many times when clear guidance was in short supply but we found leadership among ourselves. BLS is a large network of practitioners who are thoughtful, responsive, and supportive leaders. No matter the venue or changes in technology, BLS members stay connected. From short check-in calls, to protracted meetings on nuanced matters, we tackled issues early and often, for the betterment of the organization and to manage our own matters. Thank you to everyone who picked up the phone. This year was a group effort, and I not only highly recommend BLS membership but active engagement with this community.

Thank you and be well.

Soyeun D. Choi
BLS Chair

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