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Special Offer: Cal Bar Business Law Section Members May Attend ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting at Discounted Rate.

The American Bar Association Business Law Section will be holding its Spring Meeting on April 16-18 in San Francisco. California State Bar Business Law Section members who are not otherwise members of the ABA can attend the meeting at a substantial discount. Although the regular rate for non-ABA members is $875, California State Bar Business Law Section members who are not members of the ABA can pay the ABA member's rate of $725. Even better, first-time Spring Meeting attendees can attend for the substantially reduced price of $425.

If you're interested, go to A tentative schedule of events and registration link can be found HERE.

BLS Attorney Spotlight: Insolvency Law Committee Recognizes Uzzi Raanan.

The Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) of the BLS congratulates Uzzi Raanan, partner with the law firm Danning, Gill, Diamond and Kollitz, LLP, on his firm's recent settlement of a high-profile class action lawsuit filed against the California State Controller, in the chapter 7 consolidated bankruptcy cases of entertainment artist Marion "Suge" Knight, Jr. and label Death Row Records. Danning-Gill filed suit over four years ago on behalf of bankruptcy trustees whose claims to debtor funds that escheated to the State of California prepetition had been denied based on the argument that the trustees lacked standing to assert such claims. Among other arguments, Danning Gill asserted that the Controller's failure to return such funds at the trustees' request violated the automatic stay established by 11 U.S.C. section 362(a)(3), constituting an improper exercise of control over property of the estate. The bankruptcy court approved a settlement that provides, among other things, the Controller will no longer refuse to return such escheated funds to bankruptcy trustees. The ILC is proud to recognize Uzzi Raanan, former Co-Chair of the ILC and current BLS' Executive Committee Liaison to the ILC for this noteworthy accomplishment.

Agribusiness Committee Hosts Annual Agriculture Issues Update Program.

The Agribusiness Committee's annual Agriculture Issues Update Program, conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF), was held at the Farm Bureau Building in Sacramento on January 30, 2015. The speakers updated the attendees on several issues that relate to the business of agriculture. CFBF Associate Counsel Kari Fisher reported on land and water issues including pre-condemnation entry onto private lands for governmental testing, a proposed rule defining waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act, and issues arising out of the current drought conditions in California. CFBF Associate Counsel Chris Scheuring addressed groundwater regulation. CFBF Associate Counsel Karen Mills covered the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Authority, Government Code section 4215 et seq. Ms. Mills focused on the issues raised by the Authority's definition of excavation and the reach of that definition, along with the use of energy and the increase in the amount of energy expected to be used by agriculture in the future due to limited water availability. Finally, CFBF Associate Counsel Carl Borden provided an update of CFBF's litigation challenging the validity of the annual "fee" imposed on holders of water right licenses and permits.

If you are interested in participating in the Agribusiness Committee, the next meeting will be held on March 3rd at 1:30. See Connect 15 below for contact information.

Franchise Law Committee Seeking New Members.

Franchise Lawyers, the Franchise Law Committee of the State Bar of California is seeking new members. If you represent franchisors, franchisees, or otherwise work in the field of franchise law, please join us to improve the franchise laws in California and be engaged in advanced discussions involving franchise law. If interested, please complete the application in the attached link and email to Elizabeth Weldon, Vice Chair of Membership at, along with your bio: or call Ms. Weldon at 714.427.7461 for more information.

Submit a Proposal to Speak at the State Bar Solo and Small Firm Summit.

The 2015 State Bar of California Solo and Small Firm Summit (Summit) will take place June 18-20 at the Marriott Newport Beach, 900 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA. This year's theme is "Strategic Solutions for Lawyering and Business Management." Designed for legal professionals who work in a solo or small firm practice, the Summit will feature power networking events, mentoring circles, legal education classes, business management courses. The Summit will also showcase products and services unique to the solo or small firm practitioner. Its overall objective is to offer strategies and tools that promote a thriving law practice.

The State Bar invites you to submit a proposal to present a seminar at the Summit. Programs must be one hour in length, and MCLE credit is optional. Program materials are required for all Summit education sessions. Proposals may be accepted if they address one of the topic areas noted below, and are tailored for an audience of solo or small law firm practitioners and/or their staff:

  1. Practice Management (i.e., decision-making, business development/strategies, ethics, working capital, case load management, personnel management/training, building a referral-based business, succession planning, work/life balance, stress management, transitioning careers, and other topics pivotal to the successful management of a law practice);

  2. Economy: Emerging Practice Areas (i.e., courses addressing "up and coming" practice areas in which solos may or should focus their practice);

  3. Substantive (i.e., courses addressing a substantive law area common in a solo practice (both fundamental and advanced level), such as Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Family, Tax, Real Estate, or another topic especially suited to a solo practitioner); or

  4. Technology (i.e., encompassing computer application training, technology that supports the day-to-day running of a practice, e-filings, or other electronic legal research).

Please contact April Frisby, Vice-Chair of Programs and Publications for the BLS, at by February 27, 2015 if you are interested submitting a proposal.

Department of Insurance General Counsel to Meet with Insurance Law Committee.

On February 27, 2015, the California State Bar Insurance Committee will hear from Adam Cole, General Counsel for the Department of Insurance. Mr. Cole will discuss with committee members the Department's 2015 priorities, the sharing economy and its insurance implications, as well as recent regulations and relevant insurance case law. The meeting will be held at the University of Santa Clara Law School. If you are interested in learning more about insurance law or the Insurance Law Committee, please join them at their next meeting on March 19, 2015.

Are You Getting E-Bulletins From The Business Litigation Committee? Don't Miss Out!

The Business Litigation Committee is the newest standing committee of the Business Law Section. The principal purpose of the Business Litigation Committee is to help bridge the gap between business litigators and transactional lawyers. Through its meetings, programs, publications, and communications, the Business Litigation Committee provides a forum for business litigators and non-litigators to exchange information and learn from each other. Because it focuses on disputes that concern business relationships and transactions, the Committee is committed to the exploration and development of state of the art methods to avoid disputes and to more effectively handle those disputes that cannot be resolved.

By joining the Business Litigation Committee's constituency list you will be able to track legislative and case law developments, and receive timely notification of the Business Litigation Committee's meetings and programs. To join the constituency list, take the following steps:

Members of the State Bar: If you are a current member of the State Bar, all you need to do is log into My State Bar Profile on the State Bar website; then proceed to choose the "Membership Record" tab, after which you will need to click on "Change my email addresses and list subscriptions." To subscribe, check the box next to the name, "Bus. Law Business Litigation Constituency (sec-bus-litigation2)", and select Update Email Information. Please note that all subscriptions are linked to your private email address.

Non-Members: Non-Members are welcome as well. You do not need to be a member of the BLS to be added to our constituency list. All you need to do is submit an email of your desire to join the list to any of the following people:

Peter Bronson: Business Litigation Committee Chair @

Peter Isola: Business Litigation Committee Secretary @

George Rudolph:  Business Litigation Committee, Communications Subcommittee Chair @

Financial Institutions Committee Hosts Annual Dodd-Frank Program at San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.

On Tuesday, February 10th, the Financial Institutions Committee held a Dodd-Frank program at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Maureen A. Young, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at MUFG Union Bank, moderated a distinguished panel of experts.

Gerald Tsai of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco provided a view of the last 5 years since the enactment of Dodd-Frank, including the rulemakings released and their impact thus far. William Kroener III, counsel to Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, provided an overview of domestic Enhanced Prudential Standards (EPS) developments, including capital developments and living wills. Walter Mix, Managing Director for Berkeley Research Group, provided an overview of foreign banking organization EPS developments including intermediary holding company issues, and provided commentary on the exam and implementation process. William Harvey, head of MUFG Union Bank's Capital Markets and Corporate Banking Compliance group, provided an overview of Volcker Rule developments and compliance challenges, including an overview of swap/derivatives developments. John Bowman, a partner at Venable LLP, reviewed pending rules and discussed challenges for regulators in completing the rules, and commented on legislative activity and the legislative outlook. Finally, John Wright, Chief Regulatory Counsel at Wells Fargo, provided perspectives on compliance and implementation challenges at Wells Fargo. The program was well received with over 110 attendees.

Consumer Financial Services Committee Hosts Successful January Meeting.

The Consumer Financial Services Committee (CFSC) held its January meeting in person in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. The well- attended meeting featured a presentation entitled "CSI: Your Client: How and When to Partner with Law Enforcement." Speakers included Gerald ("Gerry") Sachs and Gerrard ("Jerry") Comizio. Messrs. Sachs and Comizio hail from Paul Hastings' Global Banking Practice in Washington D.C. Both speakers were former federal law enforcement officers with extensive experience in guiding businesses in building an effective partnership with law enforcement and regulators when a crime has been committed against the businesses. The speakers addressed how businesses can be proactive so that when the inevitable happens, reporting and management of the incident can proceed smoothly. The speakers emphasized that it is of particular importance for a business to have a good compliance management system, clearly written policies and procedures, established audit mechanisms, and a firm knowledge of state laws and their attendant reporting obligations. Don't miss out on another informative, free presentation from the CFSC! The next meeting will be held on March 19th at 11:30. MCLE will be provided.

Cyberspace Law Committee Offers FREE MCLE Presentations.

Did you know that every month the Cyberspace Law Committee provides the opportunity to earn .5 credits of free MCLE on internet and technology law topics? On the second Tuesday of every month at 12:30 p.m. you can call-in and listen to the free presentation by dialing: 1-855-520-7605, ID: 217-637-1436. Call -in on March 10, 2015 for the next presentation. To receive notices of upcoming presentation topics and updates on developments in internet law, join the Cyberspace Law Committee constituency list.

To add yourself to the Cyberspace Law Committee's constituency list, all you need to do is log into My State Bar Profile on the State Bar website; then proceed to choose the "Membership Record" tab, after which you will need to click on "Change my email addresses and list subscriptions." To subscribe, check the box next to the name, "Cyperspace Law Committee Constituency (sec-bus-cyber)", and select Update Email Information. Please note that all subscriptions are linked to your private email address.

Want to Make Yourself Heard? Follow The Business Law Section on Social Media and Become a Contributor!

Did you know that the BLS maintains a presence on Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook where it posts regular updates about new cases, new regulations, key legislative developments, and news and events from the BLS's Standing Committees? What you may not know is that you can not only send items to the BLS to post or tweet, but also suggest items from your own social media pages for the BLS to re-post, re-tweet, or like. Doing so expands the reach of what you have to say to everyone who likes or follows the BLS on its various social media platforms and may result in the BLS following you! Please submit your suggested items for consideration or direct any questions to BLS Social Media Subcommittee Chair Sarah de Diego, BLS Vice-Chair of Member Services Robert Harris, or Tom Phinney and join the fray!

Interested in Joining a Standing Committee?

Standing Committees continue to accept applications to fill vacant seats. Practitioners and other legal professionals who are members of the Business Law Section of the State Bar and who have at least five (5) years of experience are eligible to apply. Membership on a committee affords unique opportunities to participate in the creation of law in your practice area, to get to know and be known by other practitioners, to work with the recognized leaders in your field, and to stay on the cutting edge of developments and practice techniques. Membership is a rewarding experience that keeps one ahead of, and in touch with, business law developments. Most committees meet once a month, often by phone; a full list of the Standing Committee Meeting dates for February are listed HERE. A description of the required commitment and application process, along with a link to the application, can be found at the following link at the State Bar Website.

Get involved with the Business Law News.

A subscription to the Business Law News (BLN) has often been called the most significant membership benefit of the BLS. Published quarterly, BLN reaches the entire section, over 8,500 members. Publishing in BLN is a terrific opportunity, both to influence the discourse in the areas in which you practice and to market yourself and your practice.

What's more, BLN is now more accessible than ever. BLN is pleased to announce that selected issues are now available online. BLN members can click HERE. Complete issues from 2013 Issue 1 to 2014 Issue 2, and Annual Reviews from 20014 through 2014, are now posted on the members only section of the Section website.

Now is your chance to participate! BLN is actively seeking submissions for its next regular issues - Issue 3, 2015 and Issue 4, 2015 - on any topic of interest to the business law community. Articles addressing issues that you regularly (or even unexpectedly) encounter in your practice would likely be helpful to the membership at large. BLN is especially interested in articles of general interest which would readily lend themselves to conversion into an MCLE article. All that is required to turn a regular article into an MCLE article is 20 true or false questions together with a list of the answers and justifications for the answers. The deadlines are June 30, 2015 and September 30, 2015, respectively.

If you are interested in writing for BLN, please contact Editor-in-Chief Jerry Grossman at You can find BLN's submission guidelines HERE.

Finally, have you been interested in getting involved in the section but don't know where to start? BLN is now seeking enthusiastic section members to join its Editorial Board. BLN is a great entry point. The Editorial Board is unique in that it regularly accepts members that have less than five years of practice experience. Contact Editor-in-Chief Jerry Grossman at if you have questions about joining the board. You can find the application to join BLN HERE.

Connect 15

You are invited to attend a January meeting of one of the fourteen Standing Committees, many of which will be held at the State Bar's annual meeting in San Diego (see below). Meet committee members in person and some meetings even offer CLE credit! Please see the contact person listed below to rsvp or request more information. Follow us on Twitter @calbarbuslaw. Use a Standing Committee's hashtag to search for tweets by that committee in its designated field and to re-tweet.

Standing Committee meeting dates

Standing Committee



Next Meeting


Kathleen Abdallah

March 3rd, 1:30


Jerry Grossman


Business Litigation

Peter Bronson

March 4th, 9:30

Commercial Transactions

Katherine Bell
John Engel

March 10th, noon


Kristina Del Vecchio

March 19th, 11:30


Peter Menard
Michael Henry

March 6th, 9:30


Raffi Zerounian
Karl Kronenberger

March 10th, 12:30


Mike Zandpour

March 10th, 9:30

Franchise Law

Tal Grinblat
Grant Nigolian

March 12th, 9:30

Health Law

Craig Garner

March 6th, 9:00


Monique Jewett-Brewster
Van Durrer 

March 20th, 10:00

Insurance Law

Armand Feliciano

March 19th, noon


Carol Bradford

February 12th, 10:30

James Fotenos
Rick Frasch
Peter Szurley
Carol Lucas 


Partnerships & LLCs

Rachelle Cohen

March 10th, noon

Contact Us

Business Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368