Board of Trustees Approves Scaling Plan for Fee Increase: The State Bar Board of Trustees met on May 17th and, among other actions, the Board authorized restructured fee-scaling options to expand reduced or waived licensing fee increases among attorneys whose incomes fall below certain thresholds. Read more
Last year, the California legislature passed S.B. 1343, which changed the rules on which employers in California have to provide sexual harassment training, and which employees have to receive that training. The changes mean that many small firms (those with 5 or more employees) will have to start providing sexual harassment training to their employees, and it must be provided by January 1, 2020. Cal. Govt. Code § 12950.1(a). Read more
Paying yourself from an IOLTA account is an important concept in law office management. An IOLTA account is a trust account used to hold money paid to you by a client until that money is earned. One of the most common reasons ethics complaints are filed against lawyers is mismanagement of an IOLTA account. Every jurisdiction has their own rules related to when (and how) an IOLTA should be opened, how it must be managed, and when you may pay yourself from that account. Some jurisdictions, including California, require lawyers to use an IOLTA even for flat fee services. Read more
A court may sanction attorneys for engaging in meritless actions or tactics with the intent to harass or cause unnecessary delay. CCP §128.5. But what is meritless to one person may be a rational extension of the law to another. Luckily, there’s a safe harbor provision in the statute for that. Read more
It's June already and this year is flying by. June means different things to different people; the start of summer vacation, the start of juggling work and kids on summer vacation, and mid-year business evaluations, to name a few. June is also celebrated as Pride month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of those riots, which many credit as the impetus for the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights movement (despite the formation of equality groups in the 1950s). Read more
In 2012, the California Legislature passed the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act, which created the “CalSavers Retirement Savings Program” (Cal. Govt. Code §§ 100,000 – 100,050; Cal. Code Regs. tit. 10, §§ 10000 – 10007). CalSavers is a government run retirement savings plan for employees of employers with 5 or more employees. Read more
I have been giving a lot of thought regarding what technology to share this month. I decided this month, May, the month with the fewest letters, is a good month to reflect on taking days away, or at least one day away, from technology.
Have you ever walked down a street and noticed how many people are looking at their phone, or talking on their phone, or simply listening to something on their phone? Or, how often have you walked into a bar or restaurant and seen a group of people “sitting together,” and at the same time, not talking to one another. Rather they are together, yet each is alone and focused on their cell phones. Yes, this is the current state of our society. People feel like they’re connected but studies show there is disconnect, and other logical neurological changes taking place, with so much screen time. Read more
The State Bar’s Board of Trustees is recommending a fee increase for California lawyers in 2020 and in future years. In fact, the Board “set the fee increase as the agency’s number one legislative priority.” Under the proposal, licensing fees will increase approximately $430 for 2020. Read more
A Luddite attorney is not a competent attorney, at least according to the ethical rules. But how much and what type of technology do you need to understand?
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, Comment 8 specifically states that an attorney’s duty of competence includes keeping “abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” Read more
It’s May and that means its already time for The New Normal: Mastering Modern Day Business Law Communication, an in-person program we’re putting on with the Business Law Section. It’s going to be an incredible opportunity to work or travel in the morning, learn about the impact of emojis, how to make your website ADA compliant, and get an hour of competence credit. Bring the family and stay for the weekend enjoying all Santa Barbara has to offer. Can’t make it in person? We’ll live stream it to wherever you are, so make sure to sign up. Read more