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Message from Jim Hill, Chair of the Business Law Section: Exciting New Developments for the Future of the Business Law Section

Jim Hill image

The Business Law Section along with the other 15 Sections of the State Bar of California are about to enter a new realm in the coming year—to become a new standalone bar association entity complementary to what will become the surviving public agency State Bar of California.  While the final decision to separate the Sections and the public agency State Bar remains one for the State Legislature, the momentum is there and getting stronger every day.

The opportunity for a new beginning for the Sections comes as the State Bar, under the leadership of President Jim Fox, dedicates itself to reforming and restructuring the discipline systems and other core public protection functions that will remain with the public agency bar.  With active support from the Bar’s Board of Trustees and its executive team, the Sections have been studying structure and operational plans for the Sections in what will become their new independent business form.


Webinar: Trends in Telemarketing: An Overview of the TCPA and the Telemarketing Sales Rule

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

Modern technologies make it possible to reach out to millions of consumers seamlessly to promote goods or services. However, the opportunities associated with call centers and telemarketing come with risks. A competent attorney must be able to navigate the complex legal landscape governs call center operations. In order to advise your clients that engage in telemarketing and any business selling goods or services through the use of a third party telemarketer, you must be aware of these laws, most significantly, the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. §227 (“TCPA”) and the Rules to the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (“TCFPA”), 15 U.S.C. §87, and specifically the Telemarketing Sales Rule, 16 C.F.R. §310 (“TSR”). This presentation will provide an overview of these laws.

Speakers: Liana Chen, Karl S. Kronenberger and Jeff Rosenfeld.

Webinar: How to Root Out Unconscious Bias in Hiring and Retaining Diverse Attorneys

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Elimination of Bias in the Legal Professiona nd Society. You must register in advance to participate.

Numerous studies demonstrate that a diverse and inclusive workforce is more collaborative and generates higher levels of creativity and productivity.  Yet, many of today’s diversity and inclusion initiatives fail to increase and retain diversity in the workplace. Why?

We all have unconscious thought patterns that impact how we make decisions.  Unconscious thought patterns can impede diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Unconscious thought patterns can negatively impact our judgment and influence our decisions.  The purpose of this webinar to gain a better understanding of these challenging thought patterns and to learn the extent to which they impact individual decision-making, hiring, and retention.

Through this webinar participants will:

  • Learn to recognize their own unconscious biases;
  • Understand the impact those biases have on their self and others;
  • Develop strategies to be able to identify when unconscious bias can impact decision making
  • Develop tools to minimize the impact of unconscious bias.

Speaker: Michael Thomas

Webinar: Killing HIPAA. It’s About Time

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

The same year Amazon celebrated its first birthday, Google was born and Hotmail was launched, Congress passed the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act (“HIPAA”). Twenty-one years later, federal and state legislators still struggle to comport the tenets of HIPAA and its progeny with modern-day technology while advancing the national push toward that elusive electronic health record. Whether HIPAA can survive remains to be seen, but with its marked inflexibility, unnecessary complexity, inherent disparity and a cadre of draconian punishments for even the slightest transgressions, the real question is whether or not HIPAA should remain. This program will explore the evolution of HIPAA over the past 21 years and the issues that question the effectiveness of patient privacy laws today.

Speakers: Craig G. Garner and Grant Gelberg

Webinar: Enforcement of Noncompetition, Confidentiality and Related Agreements in California

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

This program will include a survey of the statutory restrictions and recent case law surrounding enforecement of noncompetition, confidentiality and related agreements in California. Our panel of experienced franchise attorneys will also include practical tips for drafting franchise agreements and related agreements, as well as litigation strategies.

This program will cover the following specific topics:

  • In-term vs. post-term covenants;
  • Partial vs. full restraints;
  • Related covenants, such as non-solicitation of employees, assignment of telephone numbers, customer list ownership and other trade secret issues;
  • Scope of covered parties, including owners, managers and employees;
  • Implications under the CFRA;
  • Enforceability issues, including injunctive relief and arbitration issues;
  • Use of collateral assignment of leases, security interest and buy-back clauses to address the limitations imposed by B&P Code, Section 16600;
  • Choice of law provisions; and
  • Practical tips in drafting franchise agreements.

Speakers: Kevin Adams, Gerard Davey and Elizabeth M. Weldon.

Save the Date! Non Profit Organizations Hosts Program on “Philanthrocapitalism” on March 16, 2017

Attorneys David Levitt of Adler & Colvin and Will Fitzpatrick, general counsel to the Omidyar Network and related high net worth families and foundations, will provide an overview of philanthropy structures used by large donors as an alternative to traditional private foundations. The structures include the use of LLCs and non-charitable tax-exempt entities.

The talk will review some of the pros and cons of using alternative structures in the context of corporate and tax law.  It will address political impacts, mission-related investing, and charitable oversight by the Attorney General.  (Note: MCLE credit is not offered by the State Bar, but is available through a participating law firm.)

Save the date for this important presentation: March 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Participants may join either in person at the State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco 94105 (room to be announced) or via teleconference using the following numbers:

Call-in number:  855-520-7605
Passcode: 7547908615#

If you plan on attending in person, please RSVP for building security purposes no later than Friday, March 10, 2017.

Consumer Financial Services Committee Draws Lessons from Wells Fargo Account Scandal

The Consumer Financial Services Committee hosts a Lunchtime Lecture Series program on the third Thursday of every month addressing topics of interest to consumer financial services attorneys. READ MORE

Financial Institutions Committee Co-sponsors February Program on Challenges in the Financial Services Industry

On the morning of February 14, 2017, the Financial Institutions Committee, together with the San Francisco Bank Attorneys Association and the Financial Women of San Francisco, presented a program on "Challenges in the Financial Services Industry: Legal and Regulatory Developments and the Road Ahead." READ MORE

Legislature Day Is March 22, 2017

The Financial Institutions Committee and the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section are pleased to present Legislature Day in Sacramento on March 22, 2017. READ MORE

BLS Attorney Spotlight: Teri Shugart

image of Teri Shugart

Teri Shugart is a business and tax attorney in San Carlos, California, and is the Chair of the Partnerships and LLCs Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar. READ MORE

Health Law Committee April 5, 2017, Outreach Update

Members of the BLS Health Law Committee will meet with University of San Diego Law School students and faculty on April 5, 2017 to engage students in a forum discussion regarding health law areas to watch in 2017. The event will be held at the USD School of Law from Noon to 2:00 p.m. Initially set for March 30, 2017, the date has been moved one week to accommodate speaker schedules. READ MORE

Consumer Financial Services Committee and Financial Institutions Committee Co-host Data Privacy in Financial Services Workshop

Data privacy is a growing concern to most attorneys, but consumer financial services providers face particular regulatory and logistical challenges. On January 26, 2017, the Consumer Financial Services and Financial Institutions Committees co-hosted a program to provide the tools that attorneys need to reduce risk. READ MORE

Selected Developments in Business Law — Secured Transactions in California Commercial Law Practice

Courtesy of CEB, BLS is bringing you selected legal developments in areas of California business law that are covered by CEB’s publications.  This month’s feature is from the January 2017 update to Secured Transactions in California Commercial Law Practice.  References are to the book’s section numbers.  See CEB’s BLS Landing Page for special discounts for Business Law Section members.  The most significant legal developments affecting secured transactions practice in California since the last update include developments in such important topic areas as assignments of receivables, licensees of general intangibles, surcharges of collateral in bankruptcy, preferences in bankruptcy, voidable transactions, default interest in bankruptcy, the absolute priority rule, bankruptcy preemption of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, PACA trusts, and more. READ MORE

Agribusiness Committee Hosts 2017 Agricultural Issues Update

Employment, energy, endangered species and water were addressed by the legal staff of the California Farm Bureau Federation at its 2017 Issues Update on February 3, 2017.  There were approximately 20 in attendance at the update, which began with Kari Fisher’s thorough review of updates on California’s Irrigated Lands Regulatory Programs.  Her review included a discussion of the governing laws and regulations, in addition to the Boards which oversee the programs. She highlighted the new regulations and reporting requirements for growers currently underway. READ MORE

CEB Offers Discounts to BLS Members

CEB is currently offering discounts to BLS Members, including 10% off the price of a wide selection of CEB print and OnLAW publications as well as savings on section dues.  For more information on these and other CEB discounts, click HERE. 

Reach a State-Wide Audience by Publishing in the Business Law News

The Business Law News (BLN) is seeking articles of general interest to business law practitioners for its next publication.  With approximately 8,200 members, the BLS has a wide-ranging audience.  The BLN is not only circulated to BLS members in print every quarter, it is also available to BLS members on the internet at  Please submit your articles to the new editor-in-chief, Kenneth Minesinger (  READ MORE

Keep Up With Current Legal Developments by Receiving eBulletins Specifically Tailored for Your Field

The 15 BLS Standing Committees publish eBulletins announcing developments in their area of law and upcoming events open to BLS members. Click HERE to sign up to receive these eBulletins from any BLS Standing Committee completely free of charge

Showcase Your Knowledge:  Follow the BLS on Social Media and Contribute to Discussions

We all know that social media can help drive new business.  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 Coordinator, Dennis J. Wickham (; BLS Vice-Chair of Member Services, Uzzi O. Raanan (; or BLS Chair, James P. Hill (, and join the ever expanding discussion!

Amplify Your Professional Reputation by Joining a Standing Committee

Standing Committees continue to accept applications to fill vacant seats.  Practitioners and other legal professionals who are members of the BLS and who have at least five 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 January are listed below.  A description of the required commitment and application process, along with a link to the application, can be found HERE.

Attend a Standing Committee Meeting and Participate in Your BLS

The BLS achieves its goals through the work of its 15 Standing Committees.  You are invited to attend the regular monthly meeting of any BLS Standing Committees (see below for meeting dates).  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 for March

For a list of upcoming meeting dates and contact persons, see Standing Committee Meetings HERE.

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Contact Us

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