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October 2013  •  Vol. 33 No. 10 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association


LACBA is joining with most of the Chief Judges of the nation’s 94 Federal District Courts in writing to Congress to express our grave concerns over the impact that flat funding, along with sequestration, is having on the judiciary’s ability to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities. While this is a national issue, it has a direct impact locally, where the Central District serves more than 18 million people–more than half the residents of California and more than any federal district court in the nation. To find out more and how you can help, click HERE.

Renew Your Membership for 2014 Today! 
LACBA members will receive their 2014 membership renewal statement in the next few weeks. Take advantage of new savings to join multiple sections: Join one section and pay $35, join two sections and pay $60, join three or more sections for $80. Joining more sections gives you access to more listserves, special rates on some section events, and expanded networking opportunities. Choose one of three easy ways to renew: Pay ONLINE, call Member Services at 800-456-0416, or mail your payment with your membership renewal statement when it arrives in the mail.    

County Courthouses Plan Evacuation Drills on October 17, 10:17 a.m.
The Superior Court will be conducting county-wide courthouse evacuation drills on Thursday, October 17, at 10:17 a.m. in conjunction with the Great California ShakeOut earthquake preparedness program. In anticipation of the drills, attorneys should plan their court calendars accordingly, as the mandatory evacuation exercises will be disruptive to business conducted at court. Please click on the following links to find helpful information about the drills and emergency preparedness: ShakeOut Global 2013, Emergency Survival Guide, and FEMA Checklist.    

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey Speaks to Domestic Violence Project Volunteers   
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey set the tone of LACBA's Domestic Violence Project's September 10 training seminar by describing a brutal case of domestic violence that ended in murder and changed the way the District Attorney's Office handles Criminal Protective Orders by tightening its rules and procedures. “When someone of Jackie Lacey’s stature and position volunteers to be our featured guest speaker, all of the attendees understand the importance of our training and the importance of volunteering for such crucial work,” said Debbie Kelly, Directing Attorney, LACBA Domestic Violence Project.   (more)   

Need More Paying Clients? Join LACBA's Lawyer Referral Service  
Successfully connecting with viable clients and building new business can be challenging. No matter which marketing methods you choose, all require your time and money, and you still need to practice law. The LACBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)—the nation's oldest and largest service in the nation—makes client sourcing easy by handling marketing, prescreening potential clients, and referring cases in 26 subject-matter areas (162 subpanels) to attorney panel members. Last year, LRS referred more than 20,000 cases, and panel members billed more than $10,000,000 in fees.    (more)   

New HIV Law and Policy Collaborative Launches in October   
The Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project (LA HLPP)—a new collaborative partnership of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC), Inner City Law Center (ICLC), and UCLA School of Law—will launch on October 2, 2013. The new initiative will provide access to legal services and policy research support for people in Los Angeles who are living with HIV/AIDS. LA HLPP is launching through a grant from the Ford Foundation, and the collaboration is designed to utilize the resources of pro bono attorneys from LACBA’s AIDS Legal Services Project, law students and public policy research from UCLA, and staff attorneys from DRLC and ICLC to create a new service resource for those with HIV and AIDS who are struggling to receive care. In addition to leveraging the resources of its primary partners, LA HLPP will also set up education and outreach programming and will engage local legal service providers, pro bono attorneys, and law student volunteers in a broad network of resources.    (more)   

Dialogues on Freedom: Judges, Lawyers Needed to Engage High School Students in Discussions about Freedom on October 23  
Join LACBA’s Dialogues on Freedom to help lead a discussion in a local high school on October 23, 2013, focusing on the meaning of freedom, and conflicts between freedom and security protections in a manner to which students can relate. The program, which began in 2002 in response to the September 11, 2001 events, takes place in October to accommodate the school calendar. Produced in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Superior Court, it is an opportunity for members of the legal community to impact students in high school classes throughout Los Angeles County.   (more)   

Nominations Sought for Outstanding Jurist Award  
LACBA encourages our members to submit a nomination for LACBA’s Outstanding Jurist Award. Each year, the Board of Trustees selects the recipient from a confidential list of nominees submitted by an award committee. Established in 1979, the Outstanding Jurist Award, one of LACBA’s most prestigious awards, is presented annually to a current or past member of the federal or state judiciary in Los Angeles County. The award is viewed as recognition of a distinguished career on the bench as well as for contributions to the community and the practice of law.   (more)   

Help the Foundation When You Shop at Ralphs Supermarkets  
As you may be aware, the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation is registered with Ralphs Community Rewards. Through this program, Ralphs Markets contributes back a percentage of your household's monthly purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. The Community Rewards Program runs from September 1 through August 31 each year, and participants must RE-REGISTER their card each year on or after September 1, even if they have previously registered for the program.   (more)   

California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year: Call for Nominees  
California Lawyer is seeking nominations for the 18th annual CLAY (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year) Awards. The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 1, 2013. Eligibility: The attorney must be an active member of the State Bar of California whose work was completed or resolved between November 2, 2012, and November 1, 2013. The lawyer's achievements during this time period have had a significant impact on: the law, the profession, a particular industry; or the general good of the public. Find the nomination form here.   (more)   

Should California Lawyers Have a Duty of

Lawyers familiar with basic rules of professional responsibility know that their duties to clients include the duty of competence. On first blush, the import of this duty seems clear. Lawyers must bring to bear that level of legal knowledge, skill, experience, and ability necessary to represent a client effectively. But in the digital world in which lawyers now practice, should that duty extend to competence in using computer, mobile, and cloud-based technology to carry out the representation? While it might seem unthinkable to many (particularly younger) lawyers, some lawyers might not have learned—or never got around to learning—how to efficiently create and work with electronic documents, locate facts through online research, or manage electronic document management systems with the facility and speed clients increasingly expect. Should the duty of competence encompass such skills?    (more)   

Keys to the Senses and Their Impact on Negotiation 
Although we generally communicate through words and recognize that body language, voice modulation, and choice of words can impact how another person receives the message, we seldom consider the impact of our other senses on the message. New negotiation research suggests that sight and touch can also significantly influence our decisions. And since those decisions come from us, we tend to believe they are correct even though we have made those decisions "under the influence" so to speak.   (more)   

Pay Attention to Your Fee Agreement
A robust fee agreement can serve as a cornerstone for a successful attorney-client relationship and, if the relationship should turn sour, be a valuable source of protection against unfounded malpractice allegations. The California statutory requirements regarding fee agreements are relatively straightforward. Beyond compliance with the statutory framework, there are scores of recommended best practices in connection with fee agreements that savvy firms implement, regardless of practice area or size of firm.    (more)   

Wealth Consulting Group Los Angeles: Financial Products and Services 
Wealth Consulting Group Los Angeles (WCGLA) can provide you with access to a variety of financial products and services to help you reach your goals. Its specialists have more than 250 years of combined experience in insurance planning, investments, annuities, retirement planning, estate analysis, and other financial services. Its associates draw on these comprehensive resources to develop recommendations that serve your objectives. WCGLA has established strategic alliances with banks, law firms, and accounting firms to give you access to a full range of financial services. WCGLA offers LACBA members discounts including up to 25% on individual and multi-life disability income insurance; up to 35% on multi-life long term care insurance (offer extends to direct family members); up to 20% on fee-based investment management; up to 20% on most qualified plan fees (including 401Ks); additional discounts on fee-based financial planning.   (more)   

LawPay Merchant Account 
LACBA members are able to obtain a LawPay Merchant Account through the LACBA Member Benefit Program. The LawPay Program is the only payment solution recommended by more than 80 state and local bar associations because it complies with ABA and state requirements for managing client funds. Unlike traditional merchant accounts, it correctly handles earned and unearned fees. Thus, you can accept credit and debit card payments from your clients for services rendered or retainers. LACBA members save up to 25% off processing fees by accepting credit cards through the LawPay Program. If you are considering accepting credit cards or want to confirm that you are processing credit card transactions correctly, contact LawPay.   (more)   

Clio Legal Practice Management System 
Clio is a 100% Web-based legal practice management system optimized to meet the needs of small- to medium-sized 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.   (more)   

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



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

October 10
10th Annual Healthcare Law Compliance Symposium 

With budgetary constraints at all levels and the effective date for the Medicaid expansion and other ACA provisions just months away, enforcement of federal and state laws, rules, and regulations will only intensify. This distinguished faculty will guide you through today's most important compliance issues in an ever-changing landscape.   
October 11
Minor's Counsel Training Program 

This program will provide the annual education and training required of all minor's counsel to remain eligible for appointment. Topics include evidentiary hearings, preparing the minor to testify, plus an overview of the law, education, and perspective from the Bench and experienced minor's counsel, and guidance from mental health professionals.

October 14
TAP: Witness Examination Skills Workshop 

This course provides introductory and advanced level instruction on how to examine a witness under oath. The first part of the program is lecture with question and answer, followed by the workshop where participants conduct direct examination and cross-examination of witnesses and receive constructive feedback.

October 14
TAP: Expert Witness Workshop 

This workshop provides introductory and advanced level instruction on how to use expert witnesses in civil and criminal actions, with special emphasis on expert instruction. Following the lecture, attendees will conduct direct and cross-examination of an expert witness.  

Begins October 18
Advanced Mediation Skills Practicum  

This interactive course includes extensive practice and coaching in advanced mediation skills and a minimum 10 hours of litigated case training, including 9 hours of lecture and 9 hours of role-playing, observation, coaching, and feedback.  

October 29
42nd Annual Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business  

Macro events are causing and will continue to cause significant paradigm shifts, including changes in fundamentals and many of the norms that impact real estate and to which the real estate market has become accustomed. What are those shifts? Are they permanent or transitory? The symposium will address some of these impacts and how they affect existing assets, future development, and real estate investments.  

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