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May 2014  •  Vol. 34 No. 5 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association


Proposed LACBA Personal Injury Law Section
LACBA would like to understand the interest level in forming a new practice area section for personal injury law. Would you be interested in joining such a section? Would you be more inclined to join if the section was organized as a single section with two subsections for defense and plaintiff counsel? A single section with defense and plaintiff counsel together? Two totally separate sections for defense and plaintiff counsel? Please answer the questions here.   (more)

Trustees Urge Congress to Oppose Accrual Accounting Requirement in Draft Legislation
On the recommendation of the Family Law Section, Healthcare Law Section, and Litigation Section, the LACBA Board of Trustees voted to urge Congress to oppose an accrual accounting requirement under consideration in tax reform legislation pending in both houses of Congress that would negatively affect attorneys. In letters sent to members of the California congressional delegation, LACBA President Patricia Egan Daehnke explained that the proposed provision "would require all law firms...with annual gross receipts over $10 million to use the accrual method of accounting rather than the traditional cash receipts and disbursement method of accounting. As a result, many law firms would be forced to pay taxes on income long before it is actually received." (emphasis added) Under current law, law firms are allowed to use the cash method of accounting regardless of their annual revenue. Read the text of the letter sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others here.   (more)

Attention: Gmail Users, You May Not Be Receiving All of Your LACBA E-Mail
As you may have noticed, Gmail has changed the way your inbox looks and functions. Rather than having one primary inbox that you’ve been accustomed to, Gmail now divides your incoming e-mail into five separate inboxes known as “tabs.” Your LACBA e-mail can get lost among those tabs unless you change your settings to ensure that LACBA e-mails are sent to your primary inbox. Please click here for options and instructions.    (more)   

Celebrating New Attorneys and Members
Each year, LACBA celebrates attorneys newly admitted to the bar by giving them a complimentary membership and hosting a reception that showcases LACBA's magnitude and reach in the Los Angeles legal community. This year, more than 600 attorneys came to the New Admittee/New Member Reception, finding career information and networking tables that included: practice area sections, employment, pro bono opportunities, CLE headquarters, publications, LACBA public service projects, and the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation. In addition to receiving free membership, new admittees received free section memberships and free professional headshots plus lots of fun giveaways. LACBA Barristers capped off the evening by hosting an after-party to celebrate passing the bar. We thank our event sponsors and our volunteers for welcoming our newest members into the LACBA community and inviting them into your sections and projects. See pictures of the event and a list of reception sponsors here.    (more)   

Lawyers and Judges in Harmony: LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices to Perform at Disney Hall on June 14  
From Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 to Mary Poppins, the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic and the 100-plus-member Legal Voices will present their 5th Annual Concert Extraordinaire at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. In addition to the glorious Symphony No. 8, the evening will feature some of the greatest motion picture film scores of all time, including selections from Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Star Trek, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Frozen, and more. A portion of the evening's net proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.    (more)   

COPRAC and PREC Opinions on Attorneys' Use of Technology Lead the Way
The ways in which lawyers communicate and handle their cases has dramatically changed. Fifteen years ago, e-mails were an occasional adjunct to letters and faxes. “The cloud” referred to weather. Attorneys brought documents home on discs or e-mailed the documents to their personal e-mail address. The widespread adoption of increasingly inexpensive and powerful technology has changed all of that, and now there probably isn't a lawyer in the nation who doesn't use the Internet daily. But are these innovative uses of technology ethical?   (more)  

Avoiding Fee Disputes 
Malpractice is an affirmative defense to an obligation to pay a legal bill. Thus, it is common practice to see a malpractice suit filed in response to an attorney's collection efforts on an unpaid bill. If a lawsuit is filed against the client for collection, the client often has nothing to lose by dissecting the attorney's file for some aspect of the attorney's representation that was arguably not within the standard of care. Any result that leaves the client not fully satisfied, including a settlement of the client's claim, can be turned into a potential legal malpractice claim. Thus, avoiding a fee dispute is a healthy way to avoid a legal malpractice claim that would otherwise never be filed. So, how can attorneys avoid a fee dispute?   (more)

One-Step Express through Insurance Specialists, Inc.
One-Step Express Term Life Insurance offer available exclusively for LACBA members and their spouse/domestic partner. No medical exams or tests. Only five health questions. A cost-effective way to provide life insurance benefits at a reasonable cost. Look for the offer coming soon in the mail as well as here.    (more)  

Auto and Home Owner Insurance from Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance offers LACBA members up to a 10% rate discount on top of Mercury’s already low auto insurance rates. Mercury offers its customers up to 15% when you combine your auto policy with your homeowner policy. California drivers save an average of $473 a year with Mercury. (Savings information based on 2011 CA Department of Insurance rate comparison profile 38A. Individual savings may vary.) Discounts (subject to qualification requirements) on good driver, good student, multicar, auto+home; repairs guaranteed for life (repairs completed by Mercury-authorized repair facility guaranteed as long as you own the vehicle), 24/7 claims reporting, online repair tracking, roadside assistance, A+ rating from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.    (more)   

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



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

May 10
46th Annual Family Law Symposium: The RFO
The symposium will cover the many elements of the RFO (Request for Order), including tactics and strategy, custody, support, advanced motion practice, fees and case management, and modification.

May 14
Criminal Justice Awards Dinner

The Criminal Justice Section will honor the best in our profession in the following categories: Judge of the Year, Prosecutors of the Year, Defense Attorney of the Year, and Career Achievement.

Begins May 16
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.

May 22
2014 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award Dinner

This year, the Corporate Law Departments Section is pleased to present the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award to Larry Hunter, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, DIRECTV. He exemplifies excellence, not only within the DIRECTV legal department but in the legal profession as a whole. 

May 29
16th Annual Real Property Section Installation and Awards Dinner  

The section will honor Peter S. Lowy, recipient of the Outstanding Real Estate Industry Award; Ira Waldman, recipient of the Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer Award; Eve A. Brackmann and Brandon K. Chock, recipients of the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award; and the incoming and outgoing Real Property Section officers. 

Negotiating Letters of Intent: Setting the Stage for a Successful Lease Negotiation 

The Top 10 Real Estate Cases of 2013 

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