Business Law Section LinkedIn Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter. Follow our discussions on LinkedIn

Top News

Don't Forget to Renew your Section Membership!

State Bar Fee Statements are in the mail now, so this is the time to renew your Business Law Section membership for 2015. As you have seen in the past year, membership in the BLS has many benefits, including a free subscription to the quarterly Business Law News, now available electronically HERE, a free copy of the Section's Annual Review of recent developments in business law, a free subscription to the monthly E-News, substantial discounts on Section-sponsored MCLE programs and publications, timely information on cutting-edge legal developments delivered directly to your e-mail, and the opportunity to get involved in one of the Section's 15 Standing Committees. Renew your Section membership to retain these and other benefits.

You can renew your Section membership by regular mail, as always. You can also do so electronically by logging on to My State Bar Profile at the home page right top corner by clicking HERE.

Just review your fee statement, make changes, calculate your fees, and make a payment. The State Bar site accepts payment by VISA, Mastercard, or eCheck.

BLS Attorney Spotlight: Insurance Law Committee Recognizes Chair, Armand Feliciano

Every month, the BLS E-News recognizes one attorney whose accomplishments stand out. This month that person is Armand Feliciano, the current chair of the Insurance Law Committee. Armand is Vice President of Government Affairs with the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC). ACIC is part of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), representing more than 1,000 property casualty insurers nationwide.

The advent of the sharing economy has brought about numerous public policy issues for policymakers. In California, one of the public policy issues related to the sharing economy is the insurance gap in the commercial ride sharing world. In a nutshell, the business model allows any person to use their personal vehicle to pick up passengers for a fee via an app and a smart phone, much like a taxi but with an innovative approach. Transportation Network Companies (TNC's) like Uber and Lyft developed the app a couple of years ago, and such services have become popular in cities like San Francisco. One of the fundamental issues with commercial ride sharing is that personal auto insurance policies generally contain a livery exclusion, which excludes activities of TNCs. In 2013, the commercial ride sharing issue came to a head when a TNC driver hit a family crossing a street in San Francisco, killing a six year old girl. In 2014, ACIC co-sponsored a legislative measure, AB 2293, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (Concord), to address the TNC insurance gaps.

Armand led the legislative effort for ACIC, which included drafting the insurance provisions of AB 2293, testifying in policy committees, lobbying legislators, working with regulators like the California Department of Insurance and the California Public Utilities Commission, and providing insurance policy and technical expertise to Governor Brown's office. AB 2293 traveled a contentious legislative path as TNCs vigorously opposed the measure during the process. Nonetheless, Governor Brown signed AB 2293 this fall, establishing a comprehensive insurance system for TNCs, including prior disclosure to TNC drivers about the inapplicability of personal auto insurance when participating in TNC activities, establishment of reasonable liability limits, provision for insurance product innovation, and excess coverage for drivers provided by the TNCs. AB 2293 is an important public policy measure that is now being considered as a model for establishing a system of insurance for TNCs by other states.

Armand earned his juris doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California, Riverside. He is also an alumnus of the California Senate Fellow program. He resides in Sacramento with his wife Hilary, and daughters Sofia and Ella. Congratulations Armand!

2014 Business Law Section "How to" Webinar Series

How To: Update Your Environmental Due Diligence Practices – A Focus on Water Resources

Presented by the Business Litigation Committee

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Business lawyers and their clients must consider more than property contamination “superfund” issues when reviewing the environmental risks and viability of business transactions. Recent legislation and regulatory developments highlight the importance of covering the full range of water-related issues, from wastewater and stormwater to groundwater management and other water supply impacts. This program updates the issues business lawyers should place on due diligence checklists, also including trends relating to assessments relating to site contamination. With speaker Katharine E. Wagner.

How To: Best Practices for Collecting Unsecured Trade Debt

Presented by the Business Litigation Committee

Thursday, February 5, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Today's solid business partner is tomorrow's bankruptcy debtor. Attorneys working with trade creditors must act prudently to recover the maximum on a past due debt. This How-To Webinar will help you identify key solvency concerns, structure alternative payment arrangements, and protect your client against a possible bankruptcy filing. Key provisions of the UCC and the Bankruptcy Code will be discussed and explored. With speakers Phil Rhodes and Peter Isola.

How To: Choice of Entity: Tax, Liability, Flexibility and Other Implications

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

This program will review the types of business entities recognized under California law, the basics of their corporate law structures and address the relative tax and non-tax advantages and disadvantages of C-corporations, S-corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships under differing circumstances and in different types businesses. With speakers Layton Pace and Loryn Arkow.

BLS E-Bulletins Now Available on the Section Website.

BLS is proud to announce that the State Bar is now posting E-bulletins on the BLS website. BLS's goal is to accumulate a library of E-bulletins from each standing committee as a resource for Section members. To date, the Insolvency Law Committee and Consumer Financial Services Committee have each provided their top E-Bulletins from the last year. You can link to these posted E-Bulletins fromyour own website and on any social media platform. Do you have a favorite E-Bulletin that you think deserves to be up on the site? If so, just send to Member Services Committee Chair Robert Harris ( with a quick note as to why it is important in your field.

ILC's top 10 E-Bulletins of 2014, which are searchable by keywords of interest, are available HERE.

If you are not on ILC's constituency list already and want to get its E-Bulletins sent to your inbox, just click HERE, log in, and follow the instructions to indicate the standing committee(s) from which you want E-Bulletins. For more information about the ILC please feel free to contact either of ILC's Co-Chairs, Monique Jewett-Brewster or Van Durrer II.

CFSC's top E-Bulletins of 2013-2014 are available HERE.

If you are not on CFSC's constituency list already just click HERE and follow the instructions in the preceding paragraph.

For more information about CFSC please feel free to contact Chair Kristina Del Vecchio.

Please check back regularly as our E-Bulletin library continues to grow!

Revised Requirements: BLS looking for Annual Meeting Programs.

We are looking for live programs for presentation at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting taking place October 8-11, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  We invite proposals of interest to our collective constituencies and the state bar membership as a whole.  If you are interested, please contact April Frisby, Vice-Chair of Programs and Publications at Preference will be given to BLS Standing Committee presentations and Standing Committee members. The REVISED deadline is Friday, February 13, 2015, and the proposal should contain the following information:

1. Title: Clearly state the legal nature of the program in the title, i.e. indicate whether it is practical skills, advanced training or recent developments in the law. Please note that we are looking for new programs that have not been run before.

2. Description (100 words or less)

3. Duration: 1.5 hours

4. Proposed Speakers: Please include short bios and speaking experience

Please note that a maximum of eight programs from each Section may be selected by the State Bar for presentation at the Annual Meeting.   This year, programs co-sponsored with other Sections will count as half of a program toward the maximum.  Thus, we encourage our Standing Committees to reach out to other Sections of the bar for jointly sponsored programs. 

The Business Litigation Committee Celebrates Its Inaugural Year!

The Business Litigation Committee (BLC) is a newly-minted standing committee of the Business Law Section. Former BLS Chair Peter Bronson saw the need for a committee that could help bridge the knowledge gap between business litigators and non-litigator business lawyers, and formed an exploratory committee that ultimately resulted in official formation of the BLC in February 2014. BLC's mission is to analyze and communicate to its constituents important developments in the law that have widespread interest to both litigators and non-litigators involved in business disputes. The BLC offers programs and publications on issues of interest to the BLC constituency. The BLC also tracks and analyzes key legislative developments affecting business practitioners and litigators. The BLC updates its constituents regularly through E-Bulletins highlighting recent case law and legislative developments.

Some of the key topics the BLC covered this year included the significant, but often overlooked, risks of liability arising during business negotiations even though the deals never closed in its How To webinar. The BLC also presented a deep-dive webinar into the drafting and enforcement of contractual guaranties. In addition, the BLC published significant article and eBulletin content covering complex contract negotiation and drafting tips, and recent case law developments.

The BLC has planned an exciting and informative agenda for 2015. Sign up for its constituency list (via your State Bar profile on so you don't miss any of it!

Consumer Financial Services and Financial Institutions Committees Celebrate with End-of-Year Holiday Party.

On December 1, 2014, banking and financial services attorneys gathered at DLA Piper in San Francisco for a holiday party co-sponsored by the Consumer Financial Services Committee, Financial Institutions Committee, the San Francisco Bank Attorneys' Association and DLA Piper. The event featured a catered dinner, live music and excellent company. As announced at the holiday party, the Consumer Financial Services Committee is actively recruiting members. Anyone interested or seeking additional information should contact Kristina Del Vecchio.


Save the Dates: Upcoming Franchise Law Committee Activities.

The Franchise Law Committee (FLC) will meet with representatives of the Department of Business Oversight on January 8, 2015. The FLC plans to discuss with the Department the recent roll out of the DOCQNET database and filing system, as well as other topics pertaining to the Department's role in regulating franchises in California.

Also, on February 19, 2015, the FLC will present a Webinar on How to Litigate a Franchise Dispute.

For more information on these activities, contact Tal Grinblat at

Expand Your Member Profile on the State Bar's Website!

As bar dues come up for renewal, this is a great opportunity to review your State Bar member profile. After you make sure your contact information is accurate why not add some personality to your profile and market yourself? Upload picture and other interesting information, such as your practice area, languages you speak, and your law firm's website. To get started, log in to My State Bar Profile, and click on the "Expanded Profile" link.

Partnerships & Limited Liability Companies Committee Seeking New Members!

One of the main goals of the Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee (PLLC) this year is to finalize and publish an update to its 2001 report entitled "Guide to Organizing and Operating a Limited Liability Company in California". This publication became out of date with the enactment of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act at Cal. Corp. Code § 17701.01 et. seq. The PLLC is also planning to sponsor programs that are helpful to practitioners in this practice area. The PLLC maintains a dedicated core group of professionals working on these issues, but seeks additional members to assist with its goals. If you are interested, please contact the current Chair, Rachelle Cohen at or 310-820-3455.

The Agribusiness Committee Will Host its Annual Farm Bureau Issues Update Meeting on January 30, 2015!

Join BLS's Agribusiness Committee for its annual Farm Bureau Issues Update meeting on January 30, 2015. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this informative program California Farm Bureau Federation legal counsel will give their perspectives on recent judicial opinions, pending court cases and key legislative and regulatory developments affecting agricultural businesses and rural landowners throughout California. Lunch will be provided at this no-fee event. Anticipated speakers and their topics include:

Carl Borden - Labor/employment legislation, litigation and regulation; and State Water Resources Control Board's annual water right fee litigation;

Kari Fisher - Pre-condemnation entry for testing activities by the Dept. of Water Resources; and proposed rule defining "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act;

Jack Rice - Groundwater issues;

Karen Mills - Utility and energy issues; and

Chris Scheuring - Water issues.

The program will be held at the Farm Bureau Building at 2300 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento 95833. Please notify Carl Borden at by Wed., Jan. 21, 2015 if you plan to attend.

Don't Just Follow The Section on Social Media, Become a Contributor and Make Yourself Heard.

Perhaps you know that the BLS maintains a presence on Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook, on which it posts regular updates about new cases, new regulations, key legislative developments, and news and events from all of 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 itself! 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 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 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. It 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 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 HERE.

Get involved with the Business Law News!

The Business Law News ("BLN") has often been called the most significant membership benefit of the Section. 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 each issue is now available online. The current issue, plus all prior issues from 2013 on, are available HERE.

Now is your chance to participate! BLN is actively seeking submissions for its next issue - Issue 1, 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. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2014.

BLN is also seeking submissions from Standing Committees for its Annual Review issue. This year, BLN's goal is to get 100% participation from the Standing Committees. The Annual Review is an excellent chance to promote the hard work your Standing Committee has been doing in the past year and to weigh in on those issues most important to your Standing Committee's constituency. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2015.

If you are interested in writing for BLN, please contact Editor-in-Chief Jerry Grossman at See  Business Law News Submission Guidelines.

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

BLS Standing Committee

Twitter hashtag

Meeting Date


Person to Contact
for More Information




1:30 p.m.

Kathleen Abdallah

Business Law News -- Editorial Board




Jerome Grossman

Business Litigation



10:00 a.m.

Peter Bronson

Commercial Transactions (formerly UCC)



12:00 p.m.

John Engel

Katherine Bell

Consumer Financial Services



11:30 a.m.

Kristina Del Vecchio




9:30 a.m.

Peter Menard

Michael Henry
Cyberspace Law



9:30 a.m.

Raffi Zerounian

Karl Kronenberger
Financial Institutions



9:30 a.m.

Mike Zandpour
Franchise Law



9:30 a.m.

Tal Grinblat

Grant Nigolian
Health Law



9:00 a.m.

Craig Garner

Insolvency Law



10:00 a.m.

Monique Jewett-Brewster

Van Durrer
Insurance Law



12:00 p.m.

Armand Feliciano



10:30 a.m.

Carol Bradford




James F. Fotenos

Rick Frasch

Peter Szurley

Carol Lucas
Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies



12:00 p.m.

Rachelle Cohen


Contact Us

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