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January 2010 • Vol. 30 No. 1 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association



  CLE Countdown: Ways to Earn Credit before Your Deadline
  Directory of Experts & Consultants Arriving Later This Month 
  How are Changes to Superior Court Local Rules Adopted?
  'Dreamgirls' Highlights Foundation Fundraiser on March 25
  Petition for Review: Disputed Transcript Fees
  Petition for Review: Recovery for Time Defending Fee Award
  Proposal: Uniform Filing Timeframe: Peremptory Challenges
  Immigration Pro Bono Representation Panel Seeks Volunteers
  Ethics: A Flat Fee Future?
  Member Benefit: CounselAssure
  Member Benefit: T-Mobile
CLE Countdown: Compliance Period for Group A-G Ends January 31
LACBA is your one stop for all your CLE needs, including CLE In-a-Box and CLE In-an-iPod, live programs, online courses, CDs/DVDs, and self-study articles and CLE tests.   (more)  

Annual Southern California Directory of Experts & Consultants Arrives Later This Month as a Free Benefit to LACBA Members
The directory comprises the most comprehensive registry of legal expertise in the region with hundreds of pages of medical, technical, scientific, and forensic witnesses. Watch for it in your mailbox. In the meantime, visit to find experts, consultants, and dispute resolution professionals.   (more)   

How are Changes to Los Angeles Superior Court Local Rules Adopted?
To keep you better informed about developments at the Los Angeles Superior Court, LACBA maintains an archive of proposed and adopted changes to the superior court's local rules. In addition, when rules have recently been proposed or spotlighted, they are noted in the News section on LACBA's home page. How are changes to the local rules adopted?   (more)   

'Dreamgirls' at the Ahmanson Will Highlight Foundation's Theatre Fundraiser on March 25
The Los Angeles County Bar Foundation has acquired 80 Rear Orchestra tickets (Rows R through W) for its 3rd Annual Theatre Fundraiser at the Music Center's Ahmanson Theatre on March 25 featuring the musical, "Dreamgirls." The tickets include admission to a reception prior to the performance and are available for purchase now on a first-come, first-served basis.   (more)   

Must the Court Clerk Refund Excess Deposits When Transcript Fee Amounts are Disputed?
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify a consent item granting approval by the LACBA Executive Committee to file an amicus brief in support of petition for review in Gomez v. City of San Diego. The issue poses the question: When a court clerk holds funds deposited by an appellate litigant as projected reporter's transcript fees, must the clerk refund any amount above the statutory rate the reporter is allowed to charge? Or may the clerk tell the litigant to take it up with the reporter?   (more)  

Attorney Fees in Civil Rights and Public Interest Cases Should Include Recovery for Time Spent on the Fee Issue Itself
LACBA trustees voted unanimously to ratify a consent item granting approval by the LACBA Executive Committee to file an amicus brief in support of petition for review in Maldonado v. Club Fresh, reaffirming a position the board took nearly 30 years ago--that attorney fees in civil rights and public interest cases should include compensation for time spent solely on the fee issue iteself.   (more)  

Board Supports Proposal to Make Peremptory Challenge Timeframes Consistent
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to lend its support to two legislative proposals that would make consistent the timeframes under which peremptory challenges may be filed, allowing 15 days in all cases.   (more)  

Volunteer Immigration Attorneys Needed for Immigration Court Pro Bono Representation Panel
Many clients in the immigration court are often misrepresented by "notaries" and legal consultants who deprive persons of their legal rights and benefits under the immigration law. Volunteer immigration attorneys can make a difference by providing their services for the Immigration Court Pro Bono Representation Panel and offering legitimate assistance to clients and their families.   (more)   
A Flat Fee Future?
Calls to abolish the hourly rate and implement alternative billing arrangements are hardly new. There was great interest in the topic in the mid-to-late 1980s. At that time, the popular catchphrase was "value billing." The general idea was that the lawyer would get a bonus for a job well done and "take a haircut" if the result was poor. Many of the proposed deals didn't appear to have much of an upside potential, and the popularity of the topic has ebbed and flowed for many decades. Lawyers today do have considerable flexibility to negotiate alternative fee arrangements, however, and should keep in mind several basic rules when structuring them.   (more)   

CounselAssure helps LACBA members accumulate, protect, and preserve retirement assets while assuring lifestyle continuity in retirement through retirement plans, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance. Special member discounts and services are available.   (more)  

T-Mobile’s Premiere Discount Program for LACBA members offers substantial discounts on monthly recurring charges. For new service activations, call 1-866-464-8662, select option 3, and use promotional code "LACBA" to obtain free activation, LACBA’s 12% discount on monthly recurring charges, and promotional discounted hardware.  

Find a complete list of member benefits here.   (more)   


The January issue
of Los Angeles Lawyer
will be available online
by January 8.

Begins January 5
Introductory TAP: Trial Advocacy Project

Course provides introductory trial advocacy instruction emphasizing participant mock trial performance and constructive feedback. Learn to mark exhibits, lay evidentiary foundation, deliver opening statements, conduct witness direct and cross exam, and deliver closing arguments.

January 9
Ethics 2010: Keeping Current in a World of Change

Program includes a year-end review of ethics highlights plus what to do when the attorney-client relationship ends, legal fees, and conflicts of interest.

January 12
It's Your Money! Personal Financial Planning for the New Year

Explore the realm of personal financial planning with leading tax, legal, and accounting professionals in a fast-paced, case-study-driven panel presentation. Learn about tax strategies and investment techniques to jumpstart the year and turn financial challenges into wealth management opportunities.

January 14
An Evening about Substance Abuse and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession

A discussion about addiction and the legal profession, plus elimination of bias.

January 16
Ethics and Substance Abuse: New Rules and Approaches

This program will cover revisions to the California Rules of Professional Conduct that have the greatest impact on criminal law practitioners, plus additional proposed revisions. The prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse within the profession will be discussed along with methods of coping with and preventing substance abuse.

January 20
Persuasive Legal Writing

The course shows how to persuade a skeptical judge by creating headings, paragraphs, and sentences that embody brevity, simplicity, and clarity, plus key steps for easy drafting and effective editing.

January 26
Getting Clients into Your Law Practice from Google

Learn about search engine optimization fundamentals as well as the benefits of search engine marketing, the elements of a successful law office Web site, what you need to do to be favorably included in Google's index, and how to set up a Google AdWords account in-house.

January 26
Forming and Representing Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organizations

This seminar covers the following topics: what is a nonprofit corporation, formation of a California nonprofit, applying for tax-exemption federal and state, and compliance issues: maintaining tax-exempt status.

January 28-29
Nuts & Bolts: Basic Litigation Skills--Essential Tools for Lawyers

Program covers drafting complaints and responsive pleadings, class actions, written discovery and motions, advanced deposition techniques, law and motion, professional responsibility and ethics, and mastering the art of trial advocacy.

January 29
2010 Trusts and Estates Symposium: Trust Administration and Funding Sub-Trusts Upon the Death of the First Spouse

Panelists explore strategic planning at the first death and avoiding potential pitfalls: funding the sub-trusts, litigation issues in trust funding, and trust administration guidelines at death of first spouse.

February 3
Asset Protection in a Troubled Economy

The seminar will cover how to protect specific assets common to all clients: houses, bank and brokerage accounts, rental real estate, businesses and professional practices, and retirement plans. Specific planning strategies and solutions will be addressed, including planning with community property, business entities, and domestic and foreign trusts, plus protection from lenders holding personal guarantees.

February 6 (part two on March 6)
California Rules of Evidence: TAP Seminar Series

This course provides a practical seven-step method for analyzing the admissibility of potential evidence. Participants receive a written summary of key rules of evidence, including key definitions and evidentiary presumptions, a user-friendly outline for raising and responding to hearsay objections, and a clear and concise summary of the complex rules regarding the admissibility of character evidence and 1101(b) evidence of specific instances of conduct.

February 12
TAP: Courtroom Skills Workshop: Trial Advocacy Project

The workshop provides instruction on basic courtroom skills for civil and criminal cases, including how to call and excuse witnesses, mark exhibits, lay evidentiary foundations, make and respond to evidentiary objections, use demonstrative evidence, impeach witnesses, and move exhibits into evidence. Participants practice skills and receive constructive feedback on their performance.

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