Business Law

Message from the Chair

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As the calendar advances another month, the Business Law Section (BLS) standing committees and Business Law News continue to produce updates, events and networking opportunities. Whether as a new or seasoned professional, engagement with a standing committee benefits your practice by honing legal knowledge, improving management skills and expanding networks. These opportunities are made available by talented, patient colleagues who have contributed substantial time and expertise to the betterment of the legal profession.

BLS is pleased to welcome the 2020-21 Standing Committee leadership slate:


Joseph Welch, Chair
Alanna Lungren, Vice Chair
Kari Fisher, Vice Chair Publications
Jenny Jackson, Vice Chair Programs

BLN Editorial Board

Daniel Lev, Editor-in-Chief
Zev Schechtman, Vice Chair

Business Litigation

Kathleen (“Kat”) Gallagher, Co-Chair
Michael Shklovsky, Co-Chair
Brandon Schantz, Secretary

Consumer Financial Services

Mike Cardoza, Co-Chair
John Kimble, Co-Chair
Paul Grammatico, Vice Chair of Publications
Michael Guerrero, Vice Chair of Legislation

Commercial Transactions

Walter Oetzel, Co-Chair
Loren Kessler Higgins, Co-Chair
Paul Barkes, Vice Chair
Victor Liang, Secretary
David Chang, Assistant Secretary

Corporations Committee

Rachelle Cohen, Co-Chair
Emily J. Yukrich, Co-Chair
Darren L Nunn, Vice Chair Legislation
David B Sikes, Vice Chair Membership
Curt C Barwick, Vice Chair Programs
Marek J. Adamo, Vice Chair Publications

Financial Institutions

Erika Gasaway, Co-Chair
Ken Miller, Co-Chair

Franchise Law

Taylor Vernon, Chair
Filemon Carrillo, Vice Chair
Matt Soroky, Publications/Social Media
Sandra Gibbs, Case Reporter
Pati Stoop, Secretary

Health Law

John Whittaker, Chair
Rick Rifenbark, Vice Chair

Insolvency Law

Michael Davis, Co-Chair
Michael Gomez, Co-Chair
Christopher Hughes, Co-Vice Chair
Cathy Ta, Co-Vice Chair
Kit Gardner, Secretary

Insurance Law

Nicole Zayac, Chair
Sharon huerta, Vice Chair
Beverly Brand, Secretary
Tamiko Dunham, Vice Chair Publications
Charles Crouch, Vice Chair Programs

Internet and Privacy Law

Marina Lewis, Chair
Bennet Kelley, Co-Vice Chair
Alicia Petrarca, Co-Vice Chair
Aika Dyussenova, Education Chair

Nonprofit Organizations

Corrine Gartner, Chair
Louis Michaelson, Vice Chair


Doug Landrum, Co-Chair
Kimberly Chi, Co-Chair

Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies

Reza Gharakhani, Chair
Katie O’Neil Tran, Vice Chair

Each of the BLS standing committee officers are familiar with substantive legal developments as well as opportunities to become involved. Visit the BLS page to learn more. To sign up for direct email updates, click here.

BLS serves the public by monitoring emerging initiatives and, as November 3, 2020 nears, tracks various propositions. Additionally, BLS provides its perspective to agencies throughout the year. For example, the Commercial Transactions Committee (the “CTC”) monitors, participates and reports on a joint project between the Uniform Law Commission and the American Law Institute, in the exploration of potential revisions to commercial law to address the emergence of new technologies. This review extends to a range of businesses, from agriculture to banking, financial products, and consumer services. The CTC has also monitored and provided updates on the AB 2658 establishment of a California legislative Blockchain Working Group.

Within the California Lawyers Association (“CLA”), the Internet and Privacy Law Committee (“IPLC”) has participated in various research projects in anticipation of growth in the practice of privacy law. One such project studies the requirements for establishing certification as a California Privacy Law Specialist. Also, through liaising with CLA’s Privacy Working Group, the IPLC has been monitoring the initiative towards the creation of a separate Privacy Section. CLA has since confirmed the new Privacy Section and IPLC continues to collaborate with CLA leadership and other sections to help with the transition.

In addition to supporting CLA initiatives on diversity and inclusion by active participation in the Diversity Outreach Committee, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, and the Racial Justice Committee, BLS has been pleased to continue its roadshows, school visits for attorneys to meet and share experiences with students. These visits are now conducted remotely and on November 12, 2020, a panel of volunteers will meet undergraduate students at the California State University at Fullerton. Law school visits are also planned. If interested in volunteering on a panel or would like to suggest a school, please contact me directly.

BLS Roadshow, Nov 12, 2020 at 4pm

Be sure to also peruse each eNews update and issues of Business Law News, for valuable information. One such example is the announcement of the CEB September updates to the Sales and Mergers of California Businesses practice guide. The announcement includes summaries of the updates.

Remember also that, in response to the pandemic, wildfires, and social justice issues, BLS provided content, “Small Business Crisis Management,” “Essential Insolvency Questions and Concerns,” and “Cyber Security Basics for the Work from Home Economy,” all publicly available at no cost.

Once again, it is with profound gratitude that we welcome our standing committee leadership slate. All BLS leadership has served on standing committees and appreciate first-hand the time and attention necessary to provide high quality content and sustain member engagement. If you are a BLS member who would like more information and eventually join our esteemed leadership roster, please visit our website, contact a BLS representative, or contact me at, on social media at Soyeun Choi.

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