Executive Committee: Message from the Chair

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Executive Committee: Message from the Chair

Charles E. McKee

The State Bar year is coming to a close, and with it my term as the Chair comes to an end. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as the Chair of the Business Law Section. I have been blessed with so many hardworking and talented people serving on the Section’s Standing Committees and the Executive Committee who have accomplished so much during the year. What have we done this year? Well, I’m glad you asked.

After several years’ gestation, we now have a brand new Standing Committee: the Business Litigation Committee, which is aimed at serving the needs of attorneys who litigate business-related issues. Congratulations to those whose efforts turned this dream into a reality! We wish this committee future success.

The Business Law News, which you are reading, published five outstanding issues this year, and changed its format with an exciting, brand new design. At the beginning of the year, we updated the design of the E-Bulletins to have a fresher yet still professional look. Meanwhile, the Standing Committees have been producing an ever greater number of E-Bulletins, providing their constituents with timely information about the latest cases and regulations to come down, and other useful information for practitioners. By the end of the year, we hope to reach the 400 mark for E-Bulletins. If you are not receiving any, go to your State Bar account and sign up.

This year saw two major works published by the Business Law Section. The Insolvency Law Committee produced the California Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors Desk Guide, which brings together in one place relevant statute and case authority. The Opinions Committee completed the Sample California Third-Party Legal Opinion for Venture Capital Financing Transactions, which has been (or is being) published in Business Lawyer. Other publications now available online, through the heroic remediation efforts of State Bar staff, include seven opinion reports from the Opinions Committee regarding a wide array of legal opinions in business transactions, and the Annual Review issues of the Business Law News from 2003 to present.

The Section has also been very active in providing educational opportunities to members of the Section. In the fall and winter, we presented eleven webinars in our "How To: Beyond the Basics" series designed for the new business attorney, with subjects ranging from buy-sell agreements and trade secrets to partnership taxation. This spring, we continued our highly successful "Hot Topics" webinar series, with ten programs on the latest legal developments in such areas as accidental franchises, letters of intent, branding of wine labels, and generic top-level domain names. We also presented four seminars at the State Bar’s annual Solo Summit, and we are scheduled to present thirteen programs at the State Bar Annual Meeting, including seven for bankruptcy law specialization and other programs on LLC operating agreements, unauthorized dealerships, and recent developments in both securities law and cyberspace law. Add to that the programs that many Standing Committee have at their monthly meetings, and you can see that the Business Law Section has been busy providing information and legal education to business lawyers.

In the legislative area, the Section has four Affirmative Legislative Proposals, or ALPs, pending before the California legislature, which are proposed new laws prepared by the Standing Committees. For this year, we are working on five more, which we hope to have introduced in the legislature next year. And as a recognition of the expertise of our Standing Committees within their fields, a number of committees of the California legislature as well as regulatory agencies have been reaching out to the Standing Committees to ask for their views as to pending legislation.

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The Section continued its successful Careers in Business Law programs, aka Road Shows, where we visited twenty law schools and presented our program to 450 law students about matters to consider when choosing a career in business, as well as discussion about the actual business law careers of the panelists. We also continued our mentoring program, where with the help of the California Young Lawyers Association, we matched experienced practitioners with beginning lawyers who can mentor them and provide guidance at the start of their careers.

The Section continues to be at the forefront of the use of social media by the State Bar. In addition to being on Facebook and Twitter, we added our own LinkedIn group this year. The group has over 400 members, with active discussions about some of the latest cases and legal developments. Join the Business Law Section group and participate! As an additional member benefit, we are providing Lexology to our members. This is a daily list of articles from law firms in California and around the country on recent cases, laws, and regulations in all areas of the law, and you can tailor your use to receive articles only in the areas that are of interest to you.

At the close of this year, I would like to thank the officers and members of the Section’s Standing Committees for their hard work and dedication. They are the people who do the work of the Section and produce all of the results that I have been discussing. I would also like to thank the members and advisors of the Executive Committee for their efforts to guide the Section through the year. Finally, I would like to thank the State Bar Director of Education, our Section Coordinator, and members of the State Bar staff who have provided us with wonderful support throughout the year.

It has been an honor to serve as the Chair, and I have enjoyed every minute. I know that my successor, Bob Hawn, will be a fantastic Chair, and I am looking forward to great things from his team next year.

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