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December 2012  •  Vol. 32 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association


  Armed Forces Ball Supports Veterans' Pro Bono Legal Services
  New Joint Pro Bono Legal Project to Assist Veterans
  Court Announces Additional Staff Reductions, Reorganization
  LA Lawyers Phil: December 14 Concert, Ongoing Auditions
  Direct Access to Free Online Expert Witness Directory
  Los Angeles County Bar Foundation: Year-End Giving Is Easy
  Conference of Delegates: Nine LACBA Resolutions Pass
  Pre-Litigation Demand Letters: Zealous Advocacy v. Extortion
  Negotiation Tips: Good News/Bad News
  Check Out This Month's Bargains
  Member Perks: Clio
  Member Perks: GoToMeeting
  Member Perks: Hewlett-Packard
  Member Perks: OfficeMax
  Member Perks: LA Law Library
LACBA Full-Military-Dress Armed Forces Ball Supports New Pro Bono Legal Services for Veterans 
Nearly 250 military personnel, veterans, federal and state judiciary, civic and community leaders, and attorneys filled the Biltmore Bowl of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for an elegant evening of dining and dancing at the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s First Annual Armed Forces Ball “Honoring America’s Veterans” to support LACBA’s veteran-specific legal programs. The ball began with an elegant reception where guests greeted colleagues and friends, and had an opportunity to meet and thank active duty personnel and veterans for their service to our country. Each of the services was represented by personnel on active duty and veterans, many of whom served overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, or World War II.   (more)  

LACBA and Public Counsel Announce New Joint Pro Bono Veterans Project to Provide Free Legal Assistance to Our Veterans 
LACBA's Armed Forces Ball “Honoring America’s Veterans” on November 17, 2012, raised funds to support LACBA’s veteran-specific legal service programs, including the training and deployment of pro bono attorneys to assist veterans with their VA benefits, family law matters, criminal defense, tax, housing, outstanding ticket and warrant resolution, and other financial issues. One of these early programs is a new partnership between LACBA and Public Counsel, LACBA’s public interest law firm—the Public Counsel/LACBA Veterans Pro Bono Project.   (more)  

Los Angeles Superior Court Announces Additional Staff Reductions and Major Reorganization of Operations  
The Los Angeles Superior Court approved plans to further reduce staff and reorganize operations in an effort to trim an additional $54 million in spending required by budget cuts already imposed. The court plans to begin the process of making the cuts soon and to have them completed by June 30, 2013.   (more)  

Musical Lawyers Wanted! And on a Different Note, Don't Miss the Gala Concert on December 14 
The Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, Legal Voices, and the Big Band of Barristers are looking for advanced musicians and singers who are lawyers, judges, legal assistants, and law students. On a different note, the LA Lawyers Phil and its chorus, Legal Voices, will present a festive program from Bach to "Babes in Toyland" and "Fiddler on the Roof," Mozart’s "Piano Concerto No. 20" (3rd movement), Tchaikovsky’s "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "Nutcracker Suite," plus Christmas and Chanukah favorites on December 14 at the Wilshire United Methodist Church in Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m.   (more)  

Direct Access to Free Online Expert Witness Directory, LACBA's online directory for expert witnesses, legal consultants, litigation support, lawyer-to-lawyer referrals, and dispute resolution providers, draws from its comprehensive database to supply users with information about qualified experts in five major areas: expert witnesses and consultants, dispute resolution professionals, lawyer-to-lawyer referrals, litigation/legal services, and expert witness referral services. Within these five areas, the listings are further classified into hundreds of categories and subcategories for browsing and searching.   (more)  

Los Angeles County Bar Foundation:
Year-End Giving Is Easy
During this holiday season, we urge you to consider making a financial gift to the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation (LACBF) as part of your year-end charitable contributions. Your gift will go toward helping the Foundation continue its mission of providing access to justice for victims of domestic violence, delivering pro bono legal services to veterans in need, assisting individuals facing discrimination because of their HIV/AIDS status, and helping immigrants legally reside in the United States. Please make a contribution today through our online DONATE NOW option at And, if your firm matches charitable gifts, please inform it about your support of LACBF! Please contact us at (213) 896-6409 or if you have questions. Thanks to those of you who have supported—and continue to support—the Foundation. With your help and dedication, we have distributed more than $8 million to disadvantaged and legally underserved members of our community. We wish you Happy Holidays!  

Conference of California Bar Associations Passes Nine LACBA Resolutions 
Nine LACBA resolutions were passed by the Conference of California Bar Associations (still informally referred to as the Conference of Delegates) at its annual conference held last October at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. All were approved in principle without amendments. If you are interested in making improvements to code sections that affect your clients and practice, consider writing resolutions (with statements of reasons) that the LACBA Delegation may submit to the statewide conference in 2013. What happens at the conference? Read one LACBA delegate's first glimpse.   (more)  
Pre-Litigation Demand Letters: Assessing the Thin Line between Zealous Advocacy and Extortion 
As attorneys, we are called to fight fervently for our clients. However, our advocacy must be tempered by our legal and ethical duties. Indeed, the duty of a lawyer both to the client and to the legal system, is to represent his or her client zealously but always within the bounds of the law. In this article we examine the limits of zealous advocacy in the context of pre-litigation demand letters.   (more)  

Negotiation Tips: Good News/Bad News 
Psychological studies suggest that when a person receives all of the good news at one time, he or she is not as happy as when receiving it a little at a time. On the other hand, when bad news is received all at once, it is less depressing than the "drip, drip, drip" of receiving it in small amounts over time. So how do you use this to your benefit in a negotiation and to best structure your delivery?   (more)  

From Now Until December 31, 2012, LACBA Members Can Receive Additional Product Savings from 11%-85% Off Already Discounted Pricing from OfficeMax 
OfficeMax offers discounted pricing on more than 12,000 items to LACBA members, including free delivery on in-stock orders over $50. Save on office supplies, office equipment, office furniture, and more with the OfficeMax Partner Advantage Program. From now until December 31, 2012, LACBA members can receive additional product savings from 11%-85% off already discounted pricing. Click here for products and details. Set up an account today to enjoy these savings. Call (800) 248-6343 or e-mail Already have an account? Please visit and start saving.    

2013 CLE-in-a-Box Features Lower Price Plus Free Limited Time Offer with Purchase  
LACBA's 2013 CLE-in-a-Box, our 25-hour CLE audio pack, is priced $50 lower than last year's offering. What's more, the first 100 attorneys who purchase CLE-in-a-Box right now will be eligible to receive a special limited time offer: a FREE flash drive just for buying the box, courtesy of Verizon Wireless.   (more)  

Remember to Visit LACBA's Virtual Holiday Open House 
LACBA is opening our doors to products that are typically exclusive to members only and including many FREE trials during the month of December. Even if you are already a member, you might be surprised to discover all the products and services that LACBA provides to the legal community.   (more)  

Clio is a 100% Web-based legal practice management system optimized to meet the needs of sole practitioners and small firms. Secure and easy to use, Clio overcomes many of the technical hurdles offered by conventional practice management solutions, allowing lawyers to simplify their workflow and focus valuable time on building their practice. Intuitive in its design, Clio’s clean user interface allows users of any device (Mac, PC, iPad, or smartphone) to access their practice data securely through an encrypted Web browser. All LACBA members receive a 10% lifetime discount on Clio in addition to a free 30-day trial, a free data migration, and unlimited access to live customer support and training. Available at $44.10 per month for attorneys and $22.50 per month for nonattorney support staff, Clio alleviates the costly need for servers, maintenance contracts, and constant upgrades to new versions. Call (888) 858-CLIO or click here.   (more)  

LACBA members can take advantage of special pricing for GoToMeeting—the simple way for people to collaborate online. GoToMeeting comes with HDFaces high-definition video conferencing, unlimited meetings with up to 15 participants per session, and integrated audio conferencing via VoIP and phone. LACBA members receive one month free and 15% off of the standard monthly rate—and can save even more if you prepay for an annual plan. This offer is available for both individual and multiple user accounts, so you can sign up your entire office. Call (888) 646-0014 or click here.   (more)  

LACBA members can enjoy special pricing on a wide range of HP business products, including printers, notebooks, desktops, tablets, servers, storage, networking, and much more. Get FREE U.S. ground shipping (does not include U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam, weight restrictions apply), flexible financing and leasing options, assistance from solutions specialists, and award-winning service and support. Call (888) 202-4465 or click here and use Code: LACBA.   (more)  

LACBA members can use the OfficeMax Partner Advantage Program to enjoy substantial savings from 31% to 88% off of the manufacturers’ list price on your most frequently purchased items. Whether you order online, via phone, fax, or visit an OfficeMax Store, your exclusive LACBA member discounts apply. This program offers exclusive member pricing, award-winning customer service, no-hassle returns, and free delivery on in-stock orders over $50.   (more)  

LA Law Library 
LACBA members are now new borrowers of the LA Law Library and receive a free LA Law Library borrower card. As an LA Law Library borrower, you have access to over one million volumes in digital and print formats, public computers with access to the most sought-after legal databases, including Lexis and Westlaw, E-Delivery service where the library’s reference staff can e-mail information to you, and access to conference rooms, office space, and an enhanced technology training center. Registration is free, and the associated $140 deposit is waived. (This offer is available to new borrowers only and not current cardholders.) The LA Law Library is located at 301 West First Street on the corner of First and Broadway in the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center. Call (213) 78-LALAW (213-785-2529) or click here.     (more)  

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



The December issue of
Los Angeles Lawyer 
will be available online
by December 7.

December 5
Let the Sun Shine...on Rooftop Revenue Opportunities  

Two masters in the field explain how sustainability and profits can go hand in hand during this discussion of the ins and outs of rooftop leasing opportunities. 

December 6
2012 Legislative Update and How to Avoid the Top 10 Probate Notes in 2012  

Find out what you need to know about the 2012 California Legislative Updates, and learn about the top 10 probate notes and how you can avoid them. Get the information you need to have your petition recommended for approval the first time around. 

December 8
Divide and Conquer: Characterization, Valuation, and Division of Complex Assets  

Panelists will address, among other questions, to what extent do life insurance policies have divisible value in excess of a cash surrender value? How should an unfinished or unexploited script or invention be handled in a stipulated judgment? What is the proper way to value and divide stock options and/or shares for which there is no fair market value?  
December 8
Crossing the Street: Litigating in Federal Court  

Discussion includes how to reverse negative credibility findings in asylum cases before the Ninth Circuit, issues of jurisdiction when writing appeals to denials of motions to reopen, and citizenship issues in the federal courts. 

December 12
Drafting and Interpreting Easements    

Recorded easements encumber many parcels of real property and can constitute a minor or significant property right. Ambiguities in the recorded document often lead to uncertainty and disputes. New easements are often necessary to fully use existing parcels or to allow for a changed use of a parcel. Case law is often conflicting. Learn the nuts and bolts of drafting new and effective easements and interpretive strategies for existing easements. 

December 12
Is Injunctive Relief Still Available in Patent Cases? Top Lawyers Speak Out    

The availability of injunctions in patent cases has been a hot topic ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's eBay decision. In recent months, the Federal Circuit has articulated standards for injunction requests in today's world of technology-based products, where hundreds or even thousands of patented features may be involved. The implications of these and other decisions may delineate the very value of patents and patent litigation, since injunctions often have a greater impact and can be more highly prized than money damages in fights between competitors.  
December 13
Fee Arbitration Refresher Training  

This refresher is for current volunteer panelists. Highlights include updates on recent cases and their impact on fee agreements for attorney fees, including hourly and contingency fees; interpretation of billing issues (bill padding and block billing); and problem areas related to writing awards. 

Emerging Economic Development Tools Post-Redevelopment: Review of Statutes 

California's New Commodity: Greenhouse Gas Emission Credits 

Underwriting Construction Loans: Title Insurance in the Age of Economic Uncertainty 

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