Solo and Small Firm Section

Myer J. Sankary Award of Excellence
2014 Attorney of the Year Announced!

The State Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Section is pleased to give Orange County’s Solange Ritchie the 2014 Myer J. Sankary Attorney of the Year Award. The Section presents the Award each year to someone who has shown dedication to public service, given her time and energies to promote access to justice, and demonstrated leadership to the legal community. Ms. Ritchie is a model of those ideals. The award will be presented on Friday evening, September 12, 2014, at the Section’s reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, the site of this year’s State Bar Annual Meeting.

News from the Section

From the Big eNewsletter -- April 2014 Edition

    1. Ready to Market. A 5 part series
    2. Eeny, Meeny...Who Should I Depose?
    3. New IRS Rule for Home-Based Businesses
    1. Completed Programs
    2. Programs Currently Scheduled
    3. Request a Program
    1. So You Think You Have Seen All the Crazies?
    2. Free Houses?!?
    3. Wrong Venue Causes Overturn of Conviction - Freeing Hacker
    1. HeartBleed Hit List - Change your passwords now.
    2. Are you backing up your client data?
    3. Is Cloud Based Accounting for you?
    1. Big News for Smaller Firms
    2. Practice Book Available for Purchase
    1. Webinars Available for Participatory Credit
      1. Webinar: Closing a Solo or Small Firm Practice, Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 12 noon 1 p.m. (Pacific)
    2. Myer Sankary Award: Nominate an Attorney you know to be Attorney of the Year
    3. Registration is now open for The State Bar of California 2014 Annual Meeting      

Continuing Member Benefits

  1. Sally Elkington is this Year's Meyer Sankary Award Recipient
  2. Recent Online Programs from the Solo and Small Firm Section for Participatory CLE Credit
  3. Skill Builder Webinar Series in our Catalog
  4. Save Money with CEB: Discounts for Section Members

1. Message from the Chair

Our Section's goal is to help you, the solo and small firm attorneys in California. If I or another member of the Executive Committee can help you in any way, please call me or email me. We're here to serve you.

Flashpoint Law
Attorney and Mediator
650- 539-4019 and 714-759-4019

2. In the Know

A. Ready to Market?

A 5-part series.
Marketing your firm: basic concepts to plan execution.
By: Erin M. Wildman [Marketing Strategist, ]

Article 5: Digital Marketing for Beginners

If you've been followed this series, you've done a lot in the last few months: you've learned the difference between marketing and advertising; you've meditated on and identified your unique "it/wow/x factor", the thing that makes you different from other attorneys in your field; you've learned who you should be looking to in order to find clients and to make your tactics and marketing dollars most effective; and you've learned the basic channels and touchpoints where you could have the greatest effect on your target market. For this final article I want to go a little further into one channel in particular because of it's new relevance to all small businesses: digital

As an effective way to get your name out there, digital is great for bootstrap budgets and big budgets alike. It has a lot of moving parts and can seem intimidating, but if you break it down into its primary functions and just use the channels you are A) interested in and B) find useful as a tool to better demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and niche interest as a law practitioner, it can be quite powerful as a tool in your marketing arsenal.

As with every channel, there are general uses and etiquette you need to understand before forging full speed ahead. So here is your "How To" Guide.

Social (Organic Only)

Facebook: Used for posting stories using text, pictures, and video to stimulate engagement from fans who have "Like"d your business or professional page

Twitter: Used for news and short announcements. You can post anything with an expiration date, start a conversation by mentioning other users, or add your own thoughts to another users conversation.

Instagram: (photo/video) Used to tell stories with images that capture experiences. As an attorney you may photograph anything that is in the public domain.

YouTube/Vimeo: Used to upload and share videos to be shared with your community. This a good way to prove your knowledge and understanding of your profession. A major plus side of using one of these sites is that the content that can be shared or linked to on every other social site.

LinkedIn: Used to connect to professional contacts to give and receive recommendations and referrals. You can also share information and stories between peers of your profession and others you are connected with.

Email: Building and maintaining a list of "subscribers" or clients who give their permission to be contacted can be a great way to create a continuous, fully branded (and controlled) touch point to your sphere of influence. Email Marketing apps like MailChimp and Constant Contact can make the process of staying in contact with your sphere of influence simple and affordable (probably even free).

Website: Your website is the one place where YOU control all the content. It should be the place all your social channels funnel to. You may never get a potential client to fill in a contact form or sign up for your newsletter, but you can be sure lots of people will search your name or reference your website when checking you out as potential counsel. Make sure you embed Google Analytics (or your preferred analytics provider) to find out how many people visit and where they're coming from.

Blogging: Many professionals have blogs on their sites to talk about the issues and challenges, and of course the successes, that happen at work and in their industries. Successful bloggers get into the habit of posting regularly scheduled original content. Blogging can be a great way to infer topical knowledge and boost your website's SEO (in layman's terms how your site will rank according to certain factors in organic search results on high traffic search engines like Google and Bing).

Search: Search Engine Marketing breaks into 2 categories: Organic (SEO) and Marketing (SEM).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - SEO is all about how you organically rank in search engine results. Each search engine has a slightly different algorithm that determines the results but they all work off of the structures to determine the content of websites. Google's latest algorithm update, Hummingbird, uses pieces like keywords, amount of original content, how often your website is update, how active you are on the linked social media sites media, and more to determine the rank your site. It is extremely difficult to get first page results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - SEM should be know as SEA because it's more advertising than marketing. Ever seen the advertisements on the side of the search engine results? Those are all paid for by companies through the search engine. They are bid for depending on the keywords that make them appear and are paid for by PPC or Pay Per Click.

These are the basic building blocks of a digital presence. You do NOT need every piece, you only need the ones that can be leveraged most effectively for you and your practice. If you understand your own story, where your customers are, and make sure you are accessible to them, you won't need a huge marketing plan or a big budget. With a little research you can be your own marketing team.

If you have questions or comments about this, or any of the other articles inthe series, please email I'd love to hear your thoughts.

B. Eeny, Meeny...Who Should I Depose?

 Posted on April 7, 2014 by Julie Brook, Esq. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION

When limited resources means you can't take as many depositions as you'd like, how do you decide which depo(s) to take? Here's a priority order to help you triage depositions.

#1: Adverse Party

If unavailability at trial isn't a consideration and financial constraints mean that you can only do one deposition in the case, most often you should depose the adverse party. No other discovery device will give you the opportunity to assess the opponent's credibility and demeanor, explore the party's contentions in detail, and probe for weaknesses that may be exploited at trial through cross-examination. And the deposition also may provide insight into the plaintiff's or defendant's feelings about the case, which in turn may foster realistic settlement negotiations.

Although you should consider the risk of unnecessarily educating the opponent by deposing him or her, it rarely justifies forgoing the deposition altogether. When you're assessing the scope of examination, weigh the risk of giving the adversary a dress rehearsal of the trial against the benefit of using the deposition to discover facts and to lay a foundation. CCP §2025.620(a).

#2: Adverse Nonparty Witness

If you're able to take a second deposition, taking the deposition of an adverse nonparty witness will usually be a helpful prelude to realistic settlement negotiations and for planning a counterattack at trial (or both!).

Moreover, deposing nonparty witnesses, including a custodian of records, is the only sure way of preserving his or her testimony for trial. See Amoco Chem. Co. v Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London (1995) 34 Cal. App. 4th 554, 561, 40 Cal. Rptr 2d 80.

Don't be lulled by cooperation. Nonparties may work with you and voluntarily relate information about the case, but they're not required to do so, and deposition is the only authorized discovery method for compelling a nonparty's testimony. CCP §2020.010(b).

The downside of deposing an adverse nonparty witness is that it may preserve harmful testimony, but you need to know the weaknesses in your case. You can use an investigator's interview of the adverse nonparty witness instead of a deposition. This approach allows you to preview potentially harmful testimony before deciding whether to go for a deposition. If the information is more favorable than anticipated, the investigator should try to get a recorded statement to use for impeachment purposes if the witness later changes his or her story, but don't count on a hostile witness agreeing to this.

#3: Friendly Nonparty Witness

Attorneys ordinarily avoid deposing witnesses who support their client's position because such witnesses will usually provide a recorded statement to an investigator. But if they refuse, or in any other way cast doubt on their status as "friendly," reconsider the decision to forgo a deposition. And if an individual's testimony is critical to the case or he or she is likely to be unavailable at trial, take a deposition anyway. CCP§2025.620(c)(2)(D). If you decide to depose a friendly witness, serve a subpoena on the witness. CCP §2020.010(b).

We hope this priority order will help you determine whom to depose when resources are tight. For help in every aspect of deposition procedure in California, turn to CEB's California Civil Discovery Practice, chapter 5. And for step-by-step guidance through deposition procedure, check out CEB's Handling Depositions.

C. News IRS Rule for Home-Based Businesses

Marilyn MonahanBy: Marilyn Monahan and Neal Chilingirian

If you practice law from your home, either as a business owner or an employee, you may be able to deduct expenses related to the business use of part of your home if you satisfy certain specific requirements. If you qualify for the deduction, for the 2013 tax year you have two options for determining the amount you can deduct: either you can deduct your actual expenses, or you can use a new simplified method now allowed by the IRS.

If you intend to base your deduction on your actual expenses, you must complete and file Form 8829. Calculating, allocating, and substantiating actual expenses can be a time consuming process.

Beginning with the 2013 tax year, as an alternative to deducting actual expenses, you may use the IRS's simplified method for claiming the deduction for business use of a home. Under this method, you multiply the square footage of the portion of your home used exclusively for a qualified business use (not to exceed 300 square feet) by the prescribed rate (which is $5.00 for 2013). This results in a cap of $1,500 for the deduction.

A taxpayer may elect from tax year to tax year whether to substantiate actual expenses or to use the simplified method.

The IRS estimates that using the simplified method will reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on small businesses by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually. We recommend that you consult with a professional tax advisor about your eligibility for the home office deductions and the advisability of either method of calculation.

More details are available in IRS Newswire No. IR-2014-24 (3/7/14), IRS Publication 587, and IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-13, 2013-06 I.R.B. 478.

3. Outreach

The Solo and Small Firm Section is ready to bring programs to you!

A. Completed Programs

San Joaquin County Bar Association - May 23, 2013
Program: How to Offer Big Firm Services on A solo or Small Firm Budget.

Santa Cruz Bar Association - June 12, 2013
Program: Time Management for Attorneys Who Have No TIme;

Humboldt County Bar Association - November 1, 2013
Dealing with the Difficult Client in Criminal Matters

Yuba City Bar Association - November 19, 2013
NO YOU DIDN'T: recognizing the difference between a mistake and malpractice

Santa Clara Law School - December 6, 2013
Starting Your Own Solo Practice

Imperial County Car Association - January 22, 2014 - noon in El Centro
Program: Demystifying Social Networking and It's Ethical Implication for Lawyers.

San Joaquin County - Stockton - January 23, 2014
Program: Negotiations

Lake County Bar - January 30, 2014 - noon in Lakeport
Program: "What Do You Mean That's Malpractice?"

Chapman Law School - February 28, 2014 - 8:30 AM - noon
Reception at noon free to section members

Riverside County Bar Association - March 20, 2014 - noon
To Post or Not: the Social Media Ethical Dilemma

UCLA Law School - March 20, 2014

B. Programs Currently Scheduled

Thomas Jefferson Law School - April 26, 2014 - 9:00 AM - noon Reception at noon

Bakersfield Bar Association -tba

Additional 2014 programs currently being confirmed. We hope to see you in your locale soon!

C. Request a Program

Susan Share If you missed us at one of our prior programs, invite us back.

If you are having trouble finding ways to meet your MCLE requirements because programs are not offered in your local area, then let us know!

The Solo and Small Firm Section has an extensive program library. A representative from our Section can come out to your local bar association and give a program which will count toward your live program requirement hours.

Contact your local bar and have them request a program from us!

Susan Share, Outreach Committee Chair

4. Up to Date

A. So You Think You Have Seen All the Crazies?

 Business for smaller firms can occasionally require accepting clients that some might seek to avoid: the challenging matters; the difficult to handle clients; and the crazies. But when is crazy too crazy?

Pray that you never come across one of these crazies: a San Diego area lady who lost a bid to buy a house harassed the new owners (successful bidders) by: (1) listing the victim's home for sale; (2) putting a hold on the victim's and the victim's husband's mail; (3) having over a $1,000 worth of unsolicited magazines, books, and junk mail sent to the victim's home; (4) sending Valentine's Day cards from the victim's husband to the wives of the victim's neighbors; (5) having a county assessor's office employee contact the victim and the victim's husband about reassessing their home; (6) having members of religious groups visit the victim's home; (7) posting an online announcement for a high school New Year's Eve party at the victim's home; and (8) posting an online announcement for a free Mexican fireworks giveaway at the victim's home on Independence Day. And it got MUCH MUCH worse from there.

The defendant, stalker, went into internet chat rooms pretending to be the homeowner wife and invited men to come to the house and rape her saying she was into that. Though the wife was not raped, two men did go to the house looking for sex as advertised. The court of appeal wrestled with the technical aspects of whether the defendants could be charged with a crime for what she characterized as a prank and decided, by a split decision, that the women should be bound over. See, People v. Rowe, 14 C.D.O.S. 3763 (No. D063847, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, (Super. Ct. No. CD2438884).

B. Free Houses?!?

How could this be possible you ask. See, "Squat to Own", below. While possible, the editor questions whether the risks are worth the potential benefits. Readers who want to be heard on this issue should send their comments to

Squat to Own

Posted on March 12, 2014 by Julie Brook, Esq.

There's a new breed of squatter--White Hat Squatters, if you will--who are saving depressed neighborhoods from the blight of abandoned properties and gaining ownership though adverse possession.

In what it calls "a grey area of the law," the KALW blog [link:] profiles an example of this new type of squatter working on a house in Oakland. The squatter has done extensive repair work on a dilapidated house with a deceased owner and no one else showing interest in it. The local neighborhood association appears to welcome the squatter and his improvements.

When memorized in first-year law school property class, the elements of adverse possession may have felt abstract and academic; but for squatters taking over abandoned properties, they are the roadmap to a free house.

In California, adverse possession is a statutory scheme that follows the common law process of clarifying title by taking it away from those who "sleep on their rights." Basically, it's a "you snooze, you lose" rule with clear requirements on the squatter. To successfully assert adverse possession, the squatter must prove that:

  • The possession is held under claim of right or color of title;
  • The possession is an actual, open, and notorious occupation that constitutes reasonable notice to the record owner;
  • The occupation is exclusive and hostile;
  • The occupation is uninterrupted and continuous for at least 5 years; and
  • The possessor timely paid all of the property taxes for the same period.

A "sleeping" owner of record who wakes up and wants to recover the property must bring an action within 5 years of the end of his or her (or his or her predecessor's) possession of the property (i.e., the time at which the adverse possession began). Robertson v Superior Court (2001) 90 CA4th 1319. Essentially, the running of the 5-year limitations period for bringing an action to recover real property is the same as the 5-year period of use and occupancy required to establish title by adverse possession.

If the squatter successfully claims adverse possession, he or she gets permanent title to the property along with the right to exclusive occupancy and possession without owing any compensation to the original record owner. Warsaw v Chicago Metallic Ceilings, Inc. (1984) 35 C3d 564, 574.

Squat to own has been used in the very depressed housing markets of Detroit for years. What do you think of this use of adverse possession? Are White Hat Squatters a good way to kickstart gentrification of a neighborhood?

Anyone practicing in this area of law should check out CEB's Neighbor Disputes: Law and Litigation, chapter 2 (on Encroachments and Boundaries). Squatter issues are discussed in chapter 9.

C. Wrong Venue Causes Overturn of Conviction - Freeing Hacker

The conviction of an email hacker was vacated by a federal appeals court because Andrew Auernheimer was tried and convicted in the wrong venue. [USA v Andrew Auernheimer, Case No. 13-1816 (USDC for the District of New Jersey).] The reversal surprised many because it was unrelated to issues with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Auernheimer was from a federal prison in Allenwood, Penn., where he was serving a 41-month sentence imposed in 2013, the Associated Press reports. He was convicted in 2012 by a federal jury in Newark, N.J., of identity theft and conspiring with others to illegally access AT&T servers. The hackers obtained email addresses for more than 100,000 iPad users, including then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who is now Chicago's mayor.

While the case raised "complex and novel" issues under CFAA, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained in its Friday written opinion (PDF) that Auernheimer's conviction had to be reversed because the case was tried in the wrong venue. That violated constitutional protections intended to prevent defendants from being tried in a distant or unfriendly forum selected by the prosecution.

"As we progress technologically, we must remain mindful that cybercrimes do not happen in some metaphysical location that justifies disregarding constitutional limits on venue," the appellate panel wrote. "People and computers still exist in identifiable places in the physical world. When people commit crimes, we have the ability and obligation to ensure that they do not stand to account for those crimes in forums in which they performed no 'essential conduct element' of the crimes charged."

New Jersey, the state in which Auernheimer was tried, is the residence of thousands of individuals whose email addresses were obtained. However, Auernheimer lived in Fayetteville, Ark.; a claimed co-conspirator was in San Francisco; and AT&T's hacked computer servers were located in Atlanta and Dallas. The Gawker reporter with whom the hackers shared their findings was also not located in New Jersey, the court noted.

The three-judge appellate panel, which sits in Philadelphia, rejected that argument. It also stressed that proper venue is not a technicality, but a basic constitutional right established at a time when the Founding Fathers worried about colonists being hauled back to Britain for trial.

5. Tips on Tech

A. HeartBleed Hit List - Change your passwords now.

HeartBleed has been everywhere in the news lately as it effects nearly everyone who uses a computer. Are your passwords safe? Check out this list of affected sites and find out.

B. Are you backing up your client data?

As more and more offices go paperless to cut down on costs, file archive requirements remain. There are many options to save your data whether it is in the cloud via a service

C. Online Databases for Legal Research

You probably think being able to link all your business assets, expenses, liabilities, and to view your business' financial situation at a glance, all without calling your accountant, is very appealing. So have you ever though about Cloud Accounting? A new service, offered by several different start ups, have become a popular and convenient way to take control of office finances without a massive headache. Services like Xero, FreshBooks, and Kashoo are becoming popular resources for small businesses in order to stay on top of their finances around the clock. An appealing feature of these services is their capability to integrate with other online business services like CRM systems and that makes them easy to share with your accountant!

6. Section Publications

Henry DavidA. Big News for Solo and Small Firms

Our Section Magazine, Big News for Solo and Small Firms, is back as a quarterly publication. If you are a Section member, you should have received Big Meeting [2013 AnnualMeeting] edition in early October and our new and improved magazine for the first quarter of 2014. We are currently accepting articles. Please contact our new editor, Henry S. David at:

B. Practice Book Available for Purchase

The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office addresses what can be both a lawyer's most rewarding and challenging professional experience. The goal of this book, is to make it less challenging and more rewarding. It picks up where book one, "The California Guide to Opening a Law Office",left off, exploring challenges of growing a law practice in detail.

California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law OfficeChapters include:

  • Introduction and Road Map to Using the Book
  • Managing a Law Office
  • The Financial Dimension of Growth: Increasing Revenue and Profits
  • The Human Dimension of Growth: Increasing the number of lawyers, professionals, and staff
  • The Client Dimension of Growth: Increasing the number and type of clients
  • The Geographic Dimension of Growth: Marshaling physical resources
  • The Technology Dimension of Growth
  • Planning for the Unexpected

    Cost: $99 Available in State Bar Sections Bookstore:

7. In Person

A. Webinars Available for Participatory Credit

Get Online Participatory MCLE Credit from the Solo and Small Firm Section

Get your MCLEs online! View Solo and Small Firm Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from more than 50 Solo and Small Firm Section programs in our online catalog.

Webinar Replays

Webinar: Closing a Solo or Small Firm Practice

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 12 noon 1 p.m. (Pacific)

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit including 1 hour in Legal Ethics. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Steps a lawyer needs to take to close a law practice and the ethical issues that arise when closing down a legal practice will be discussed. You will receive practical advice about how to prepare for and execute this end of practice event. The program is aimed at both people retiring from the practice of law or joining another law firm or going in-house.

Program Highlights:

  • Rules of Professional Conduct and B&P Codes
  • Timeline
  • Informing clients, courts and the State Bar
  • Protecting confidential information
  • Employees
  • Client trust accounts and other bank accounts
  • Assessing the status of cases and what to do afterwards
  • What to do with the physical items such as files, furniture, etc.
  • Insurance
  • Accounts receivable/payable, mail
  • Rent, mortgage
  • Digital assets such as e-mail accounts, website, social media accounts
  • And more...

Speaker: Shirish Gupta is a mediator and attorney with Flashpoint Law. He conducts mediations throughout the state from his offices in Orange County and Silicon Valley. He serves as the Chair on the State Bar Solo and Small Firm Section Executive Committee.

B. Myer Sankary Award: Nominate an Attorney you know to be Attorney of the Year

The Myer J. Sankary Attorney of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has exercised notable leadership or contributed to the development of greater justice in a field of law. The award is presented annually to an individual who is a sole practitioner or a member of a small firm and who has devoted years of faithful service and leadership to the community or his or her fellow attorneys. To be eligible, the individual must be a member of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of California.

If you know of someone who merits this award, please send in a Nomination Form or ccontact Michael Sohigian at or 310-914-2494.

C. Registration Is Open for The State Bar of California Annual Meeting!

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting, September 11-14, 2014, Grand Hyatt San Diego

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting
September 11-14, 2014
San Diego, California

Annual Meeting PreviewYou can now REGISTER ONLINE for the Annual Meeting.
Early-bird Pre-Registration Deadline (Save $100): August 13

The State Bar of California returns to San Diego for the 2014 Annual Meeting. The new meeting logo “My Annual Meeting” simply states that this is your annual meeting: an event for legal professionals that blends business, education, entertainment and the opportunity to meet and engage with law professionals from throughout California.

The four-day meeting will showcase an education agenda consisting of 143 MCLE seminars covering a variety of substantive topics, legal technology, access to justice, UPL, attorney advertising, and other key areas of interest.

The Annual Meeting Preview is now online! Be sure to see Special Events for information about luncheons, social events, the California Women Lawyers Annual DinnerAnnual Exhibit Show62st Annual Bench & Bar Art ExhibitConference of California Bar Associations (CCBA), and Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities. See Hotel and Travel for information about the Annual Meeting hotels, airline and rental car discounts.See the schedules for individual days for a chronological list of all programs, with descriptions: Schedule for ThursdaySchedule for FridaySchedule for SaturdaySchedule for Sunday.

The Section is presenting:

Program 11

Explaining Punitive Damages to Your Client

Program 19

The Ethics of Unbundling Your Legal Services

Program 31

Leveraging Technology to Win the Discovery Game

Program 42

Introducing Evidence in Litigation

Program 52

Best Practice Concerning Data Collection and Production of Evidence

Program 88

Pros and Cons of Limited Scope Representation in Family Law

Program 97

Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession

Program 117

BITCOIN: Legal Fee or Foe?

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

Continuing Member Benefits

1. Sally Elkington is this Year's Meyer Sankary Award Recipient

The State Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Section was pleased to give Alameda County’s Sally Elkington the 2013 Myer J. Sankary Attorney of the Year Award.  The Section presents the Award each year to someone who has shown dedication to public service, given her time and energies to promote access to justice, and demonstrated leadership to the legal community. Ms. Elkington exemplifies these ideals. The award was given on Friday, October 11, 2013 at a reception at the State Bar Annual Meeting in San Jose. 

2. Recent Online Programs from the Solo and Small Firm Section for Participatory CLE Credit

WebinarSome of the programs in our recent series are now in our selection of  Solo and Small Firm Section programs in the online catalog.  The online catalog is a great resource for getting participatory CLE credit in the area you need, when you need it.

3. Skill Builder Webinars:  Series II

Skill Builder graphicFind out what they didn't teach you in law school.  The Solo and Small Firm Section has developed a series of webinars with new lawyers in mind (but anyone will benefit from these great programs).  Whether you are hanging out your own shingle or working in a firm, learn tips and techniques that will help you tackle your next project and bring more value to your clients.

These programs are available in our online catalog.

Your Client's Deposition: Preparation Tips and Strategies
Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
All litigators know that the client deposition is key events of the case. This webinar will discuss methods to develop confident and knowledgeable clients and attorneys who will be able to competently perform in deposition.
Speakers: Teresa McQueen, Pedersen Law & Dispute Resolution; Neil Pedersen, Pedersen Law & Dispute Resolution Corp.
Online CLE / Podcast

Attorney Communication and the 1st Amendment
Originally presented Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits, all of which may be applied toward  Ethics
Explores the overlap between the Rules of Professional Conduct and the First Amendment freedoms for the attorneys.
Speaker: B. Austin Baillio, Associate, Marcin Lambirth, LLP
Online CLE / Podcast

Mediation Strategies
Originally presented Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
This course will take you through the steps that lead to a successful mediation: deciding whether and when to mediate, selecting a mediator, preparing your client and your case, and what to expect during mediation.
Speaker: Steven Mehta, Mediation Offices of Steven G. Mehta
Online CLE / Podcast

Judgment Debtor Exams
Originally presented Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
How-to-Guide to Uncovering Assets  
Speakers: Price K. Kent, Marcin Lambirth, LLP; John R. Greenwall, Marcin Lambirth, LLP
Online CLE / Podcast

Presentation Skills in the Courtroom
Originally presented Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
Learn effective skills for presenting your client’s case at each step in the litigation process, from law and motion to trial. Learn what judges, mediators, and juries want and need to hear from you, whether you are arguing points of law or presenting the story of the case.
Speakers: Steve Mehta, Mediation Offices of Steven G. Mehta; Patricia McCabe
Online CLE / Podcast

Bias in the Legal Profession
Originally presented Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits, 1 of which may be applied toward Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession (No Ethics)
This webinar covers the basics of discrimination/harassment law focusing on spotting and avoiding such issues in the legal profession, complete with vignettes, cases, and time for questions.
Speaker: Beth K. Whittenbury, Beth K. Whittenbury and Associates
Online CLE / Podcast

Drafting Savvy Arbitration Clauses
Originally presented Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
Assessing the options and considerations when drafting arbitration clauses and agreements.
Speakers: Lisa Miller, Miller Consulting; John Marcin, Marcin Lambirth, LLP
Online CLE / Podcast

From First Amendment to Facebook and Beyond: Social Media and the Employment Relationship
Originally presented Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
1 Total Participatory MCLE Credits (No Ethics)
The developing jurisprudence in the area of employee discipline for social media activity.  
Speaker: Lisa Miller, Miller Consulting
Online CLE / Podcast

Other programs available:

Contract Drafting Techniques
In law school you learned the basic principles of contract law, but not how to draft a contract.  Learn tips and techniques that will help you write and negotiate a better contract for your client, and hear about some common pitfalls to avoid. With speakers Marilyn Monahan and Richard McDerby.
Online CLE / Podcast

Attorney-Client Fee Disputes: Getting the Best Results
You performed the work, and you want to get paid.  Learn how to get the best results before, during and after the mandatory fee arbitration process.  This course will discuss the details of the arbitration process, including when notice must be given, how to prepare for the arbitration, and the effect of the award. With speaker Myer J. Sankary.
Online CLE / Podcast

What Did He Just Say? Reinforcing Your Hearsay Rule Skills
Explores the developing law applying traditional First Amendment and other protections to employee conduct on social media, including litigation considerations. With speakers Lisa Miller and Price Kent.
Online Program / Podcast

Cross-Examination: How to Start, How to Proceed, How to Finish (Big!)
Many newer attorneys don`t know how to get started developing cross-examination questions for trial, and then might not be confident about where to take the examination. This seminar offers practical advice and guidance.With speaker Lisa Miller.
Online Porgram / Podcast

Starting Up a Law Practice – Incorporation vs. Sole Proprietorship
One of the first issues lawyers have to decide when starting up a solo practice is under what legal entity they want to practice – sole proprietorship or corporation.  Find out how this decision can affect your personal liability, taxes, and even retirement. With speaker Shirish Gupta.
Online CLE / Podcast

4. Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Solo and Small Firm Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Solo and Small Firm Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368

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