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Message from Jim Hill, Chair of the Business Law Section: Steps Closer to a New California Bar Sections Association

Jim Hill image

The BLS and other Sections of the State Bar are working on comments and recommendations to recently-drafted enabling legislation from the California State Senate that will achieve separation of all Sections from the public agency functions of the State Bar.  As important, the BLS and other Sections are collaborating with State Bar staff on transition plans to ensure that the new voluntary association will be set up, with sufficient funding, staff and volunteers, to ensure continuity of services for our approximately 66,000 members of 16 Sections.  

The BLS leadership and its advisors continue to champion provisions in the enabling legislation that empower and enhance the freedom and creativity  of the Sections as they make the transition from being part of a regulatory agency of the State of California to a professional association of California lawyers.  In conjunction with leaders of other Sections, the BLS has asked that the legislation grant the new entity the right to choose its own form of governance through bylaws and a charter adopted by the Sections, rather than through a statutory mandate.  The BLS is represented in these discussions by me and Rob Harris, the immediate past BLS Chair and Chair of a Council of State Bar Sections (CSBS) planning group.  We are further aided by a number of past BLS chairs, among other able advisors.


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 and 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 B. 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! August 18-19, 2017, All Sections–Bar Section Convention at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

Plan now to attend the All Sections—Bar Section Convention.  Join us on August 18-19, 2017, in San Diego, CA, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

Join us on August 18-19, 2017, in San Diego, CA, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina where you will have multiple opportunities to earn MCLE credits in informative live programs, attend networking events and receptions, hear the BLS Keynote speaker, and learn more about getting involved in one of the 16 Sections. Instead of the traditional State Bar Annual Meeting – this year all of the Sections of the State Bar are hosting a two-day Convention packed with educational programs, networking, and fun events! So mark your calendars for August 18th to 19th, 2017 at the San Diego Sheraton Marina Hotel. More details to follow.

Insolvency Law Committee to participate in California Bankruptcy Forum’s 29th Annual Insolvency Conference

ILC will again participate in the California Bankruptcy Forum’s Annual Insolvency Conference, to be held on May 19-21, 2017, at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Each year, the ILC hosts a Friday night business development reception at the CBF Annual Insolvency Conference, where the ILC promotes its eBulletins and other projects to insolvency professionals and judges from all over the State of California.  Look for more details soon.

BLS Attorney Spotlight: Bill Webb

William Webb founded the Webb Legal Group in San Francisco in 2008 in order to provide high-quality commercial litigation and trial services to businesses for reasonable rates. 

William Webb explains that he noticed that fewer meritorious cases were going to trial because, when paying big-firm rates, he believes that companies are more likely to settle rather than incur the cost of a trial.  “By leveraging our reasonable rates, our clients are able to afford to defend cases at trial that they might otherwise have settled, and that suits us, because we enjoy being in the courtroom.  We have successfully tried about a case a year over the last half dozen years, and litigate many more short of trial,” he notes.

Read more.

Corporations Law Committee Highlights Three California Court of Appeals Decisions

The Corporations Committee has circulated three e-Bulletins in recent weeks authored by Richard G. Burt, an advisor to the Corporations Law Committee, who practices in San Jose, California.

In recent weeks, the Corporations Committee has circulated three e-Bulletins authored by Richard G. Burt, an advisor to the Corporations Law Committee who practices in San Jose, California.  The first eBulletin was regarding a California court of appeal decision holding that a single promissory note, negotiated one-on-one, to fund an investment in real property was not a security under the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968. Read more.

Get Writer Credit! Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee seeking attorney for its Guide to Organizing and Operating a Limited Liability Company

The Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee is seeking attorneys who would like to draft and revise chapters of our Guide to Organizing and Operating a Limited Liability Company. The Committee is updating the old Guide (issued in 2001) to include the new LLC laws that were adopted in 2014, as well as to cover new information about formation, operation and tax issues. READ MORE

Selected Developments in Business Law — Financing and Protecting California Businesses

Courtesy of CEB, we are 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 February 2017 update to Financing and Protecting California Businesses.  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 since the last update include developments in such important topic areas as federal securities law (crowdfunding regulations, amendments to Rule 504, repeal of Rule 505, amendments to Rule 147, new Rule 147A, impact of the Omnicare decision on private placements), federal tax law (qualified small business stock, bonus depreciation, qualified improvement property), jury trial waivers, cybersecurity, and the new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.  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 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