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SB 351 Passed with Co-Sponsorship by the Nonprofit Organizations and the Corporations Committees.

SB 351, co-sponsored by the Nonprofit Organizations Committee and the Corporations Committee, has been signed by Governor Brown and will become effective January 1, 2016. The bill amends the Corporations Code to permit a wider range of titles for both for-profit and not-for-profit corporation officers and provide for authorization to act during emergencies for consumer cooperative corporations. You can read the chaptered bill filed with the Secretary of State by clicking HERE. Congratulations to the Nonprofit Organizations and Corporations Committees for co-sponsoring and helping get this important bill passed.

Class Is Now in Session: State Bar MCLE Classes Are Available on Demand.

The BLS maintains a catalog of over 109 MCLE classes, of which 25 can be downloaded to your MP3 player and listened to at any time. Instead of being drowned in airport music while enduring flight delays, you can be getting valuable MCLE credit and increasing your skills. Our "How To" Series in Ethics for In-House Counsel costs just $35 and can be downloaded HERE.

The catalog is also searchable by topic area. Other classes in which you might be interested include:

Cyberspace Law Committee Is Looking for a Few Good Members.

The Cyberspace Law Committee (CLC) will have a few vacancies for terms starting October 2015. CLC membership provides opportunities to speak at monthly MCLE seminars and other events, be published through E-Bulletins and the Business Law News, work on legislation and be part of other exciting developments in internet and technology law. If you’re interested in joining please contact the committee co-chairs Raffi Zeronian and Karl Kronenberger.

BLS Attorney Spotlight: 2014-2015 Business Law Section Chair, Robert Hawn.

Bob HawnEvery month, the BLS E-News recognizes one attorney from the BLS whose accomplishments stand out and this month we are recognizing the outstanding contribution to the BLS by its current Chair, Bob Hawn. Since taking the helm of the BLS in September 2014 Bob has deftly navigated the sometimes murky waters of managing budgets, sub-committees, and planning events and has set the BLS on a course towards further growth and expansion.

Bob started volunteering with the BLS when he joined the Cyberspace Law Committee, which he later chaired. In addition to his work for the BLS, Bob was appointed by State Bar President Craig Holden to the State Bar's Mentoring Task Force, helping to leverage the former joint BLS and California Young Lawyers Association mentoring program toward a state-wide effort.

Outside of his BLS responsibilities Bob is a partner with Strategy Law, LLP in San Jose. His practice focuses predominantly on working with emerging technology companies throughout their life cycle, including initial start-up formation and capitalization, angel and venture funding, technology development, distribution and transfer, and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, he counsels multinational companies in their U.S. market entry activities.

Bob maintains an active publishing and speaking schedule. He has published articles ranging from agreements concerning the Software as a Service, or SaaS, industry to recent high technology legislation. Bob even published a law review article in his law school's journal on renegotiating international debt in 1984! He has presented seminars ranging from technology and internet related legal concerns, to California's B corporations. You can hear Bob speak at the State Bar Annual Meeting on October 8, 2015 on "Basic Legal Skills Necessary for Advising Clients Doing Business Online".

Outside his practice Bob's interests illustrate his love of the outdoors and music. An avid skier, mountain biker and jazz pianist, he has performed at various local venues and the San Jose Jazz Festival and remains devoted to his Silicon Valley community, his wife, and daughter.

Bob believes the State Bar has provided an extraordinary platform to enable him to develop and improve his skills and service to clients, while providing a wonderful platform to share his knowledge with others. He strongly urges all lawyers in California to take advantage of the opportunites active membership in the BLS provides.

Agribusiness Committee Co-Sponsors Northern California Conference.

On June 25, 2015, the State Bar's Agribusiness Committee teamed up with the American Agricultural Law Association to present a well-balanced program addressing Emerging Topics in Agricultural Law. The program covered a broad range of areas including recently implemented laws focused on animal care, issues relating to data collection and data sources arising from an increase in high tech in the agricultural sector, and land-use and water issues. An overview of important topics in professional responsibility concluded the program. Leading agricultural law practitioners from California and in other states provided dynamic presentations to over 50 attendees. A mid-day visit from Karen Ross, California's Secretary of Agriculture, revealed the challenges and opportunities faced by the Administration, reinforcing the importance of the topic areas addressed by the program speakers.

With the program set in the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland, California, attendees also had the opportunity to admire rare examples of farm equipment and artifacts that tell the California agricultural story.

Leading Business Law Practice Publications on Sale Now.

You probably know that members of the BLS create extraordinary practice guides to assist you in your daily work for clients. One long-time publication, the Handbook for Incorporating a Business in California, is an essential source book for those clients that want to take advantage of the expanding economy and start their own business. Some practitioners even provide the book as a client gift! It is easily available for a mere $55 for BLS members by going to the State Bar website HERE.

Other great publications also available are as follows:

  • ABC (Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors) Desk Guide
  • Agricultural Law Sourcebook (68 business law contracts)
  • Guide to Organizing and Operating a Limited Liability Company in California
  • Handbook for Incorporating a Business in California
  • Uniform Commercial Code Committee 2005 Report

The BLS also offers several helpful reports from the Opinions Committee:

  • Report on Third-Party Remedies Opinions (2007 Edition)
  • Corporations Committee 2007 Opinions Report
  • California Opinions Report 2002

Prices for materials range from $35 - $85 for BLS members. Click HERE to purchase yours today!

Get Your Tickets Now for the BLS Breakfast at the State Bar Annual Meeting and Hear A Fascinating Update on Cybersecurity.

If you have never attended a State Bar Annual Meeting, then please mark your calendars for this year’s Annual Meeting to be held October 8-11, 2015, in Anaheim, California, and especially the Business Law Section Breakfast on Saturday morning, October 10. This year the Breakfast’s keynote speaker is Juval Aviv, a noted writer and speaker on counter terrorism and nation-state cyber-attacks. Mr. Aviv's work and comments have been featured in major magazines and newspapers worldwide, and the title of his discussion is "Cybersecurity Challenges and Issues for Business Lawyers and Their Clients." The BLS will also award its Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime BLS contributor Morris Hirsch during the event.

Check Your Mailbox for the Dedicated Health Care Issue of the Business Law News.

The BLS's Health Law Committee completed an enormous undertaking by contributing six outstanding articles for the Business Law News health care themed issue which arrived in your mailboxes earlier this month. Articles covered general topics like "Health Law Basics for Business Lawyers" to the complicated "Using Statistics to Determine Whether Causation is Adequately Proven in Medical Malpractice Actions Involving Multiple Events Preceding the Injury". A big thanks to authors: Amy Joseph, Ben Durie, Craig B. Garner, David D. Johnson, H. Thomas Watson, Leeann Habte, Peder K. Batalden, Rick Rifenbark, and Sandi Krul for their contributions to this issue of the BLN.

Are You Interested in a Specialty Area of Business Law? Join a Constituency List to Receive Regular E-Bulletins in Your Area of Interest.

The 15 BLS Standing Committees publish e-bulletins announcing developments in their area of law and upcoming events open to BLS members. As a BLS member, you can sign up to receive these e-bulletins from any BLS Standing Committee. If you are a BLS member already then please click HERE, log in, and follow the instructions to update your contact information and receive electronic communications from one or more BLS Standing Committees.

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 2004 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 issue -  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 submission deadline is September 30, 2015.

If you are interested in writing for BLN, please contact Editor-in-Chief Jerry Grossman. 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 if you have questions about joining the board. You can find the application to join the BLN  HERE.

Follow the BLS on Social Media and Contribute.

Did you know that the BLS maintains a presence on LinkedIn, 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!

Join a Standing Committee.

Standing Committees are now accepting applications to fill vacant seats and filling them with the best attorneys’ in the State. Practitioners and other legal professionals who are members of the BLS 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 August are listed HERE. A description of the required commitment and application process, along with a link to the application, can be found HERE.

Connect 15

You are invited to attend a regular monthly meeting of one of the BLS’s 15 Standing Committees (see below). These monthly meetings provide attendees an excellent opportunity to chat with committee members and other lawyers with a similar expertise. Some committees even offer free MCLE 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 Contact Email Next Meeting
Agribusiness Kathleen Abdallah August 4, 1:30 p.m.
Business Law News Jerry Grossman August 18, 12 noon
Business Litigation Peter Bronson No Meeting
Commercial Transactions Katherine Bell
John Engel
August 11, 12 noon
Consumer Financial Services Kristina Del Vecchio

August 20, 11:30 a.m.

Corporations Peter Menard
Michael Henry
No Meeting
Cyberspace Raffi Zerounian
Karl Kronenberger
August 11, 12:30 p.m.
Financial Institutions Mike Zandpour August 11, 9:30 a.m.
Franchise Law Tal Grinblat
Grant Nigolian
August 13, 9:30
Health Law Craig Garner August 7, 9 a.m.
Insolvency Law Monique Jewett-Brewster
Van Durrer
August 21, 10 a.m.
Insurance Law Armand Feliciano No Meeting
Nonprofits Carol Bradford August 27, 10 a.m.
Opinions James Fotenos
Rick Frasch
Peter Szurley
Carol Lucas
No meeting
Partnerships & LLCs Rachelle Cohen August 11, 12 noon

Contact Us

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