Solo and Small Firm Section

News from the Section

  1. Message from the Chair
  2. In The Know
    1. Changes In The Courts
  3. Up To Date
  4. Tips on Tech
  5. Section Publications
    1. Big News for Smaller Firms
    2. Practice Books Available for Purchase
    3. Webinars
    4. Ongoing Opportunities for Self-Study & Participatory MCLE Credit

1. Message From The Chair

Susan ShareExciting news! Solo and Small Firm welcomes four new committee members as well as our new 2015-2016 Chair, Terry Szucsko.

Membership numbers are up which means more networking opportunities! I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming Annual Meeting in Anaheim!

2. In The Know

Changes in the Courts

  • LA Superior Court will not accept Posting of Jury Fees without a Civil Deposit Form. Here's a link to a digital, fillable, .PDF form

  • Los Angeles Superior Court now requires that process servers to provide the filing clerk with the date that first appearance fees were paid for the filing party. If the process server is unable to provide a date, they will require the party to pay the first appearance fee AGAIN! The clerk will NOT look up the date for the runner.

  • Ventura Superior Court no longer processes new complaints at the filing counter. They now require that a complaint be dropped off. Processing time for this document is roughly 1-2 weeks.

  • Stanislaus Superior Court plans to relocate unlawful detainer and small claims matters – effective January 4, 2016, unlawful detainer and small claims matters will be transferred to the Turlock Courthouse located at 300 Starr Avenue in Turlock, CA.

  • Beginning this September, the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District will make all filings mandatory eFiling through ImageSoft's TrueFiling system.

  • Effective August 31, the public window hours of the Yolo Superior Court will be 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Family Law Facilitator and Self-Help window hours will be 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. until noon on Friday.

  • The Riverside Superior Court will be building anew mid-county courthouse in the Menifee Town Center. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2018.

  • Due to earthquake damage, portions of the Historic Courthouse at the Napa Superior Court remain closed. Civil and Family Clerks Office and Civil courtroom proceedings will be held in the Criminal Courts Building located at 1111 Third Street.


3. Up To Date

A. Ethics of E-Discovery

by Megan Zavieh

California's Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct recently issued Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, finalizing its proposed opinion from 2011 on lawyers' duties with respect to discovery of electronically stored information. Before you begin discovery in your next litigation, be sure to read the final opinion and know your obligations. Read the full opinion.

B. The Court of Appeal saves an attorney from a malpractice claim

by Henry David

In Epic Communications v. Richwave Techn., -- Cal. App. 4th --, 2015 S.O.S. 3167, (June 23, 2015), defendants moved for summary judgment based on a very broad release in a settlement between plaintiff and another party. Even though the settling defendant's "former employees" were expressly released, the Court of Appeal concluded that a defendant who was, in fact, a former employee of the settling defendant was not "intended" to be covered. Lesson to be learned? Don't just use boilerplate or an old agreement; think through the language carefully.

4. Tips on Tech

By: Renee Galante

"Is a .law Domain a Viable Option?"

If you haven't heard, there is a new domain name player in the game. Instead of ".com, .net," and so forth, there's now ".law." As of April this year, if you wanted in on this new domain name, you had to file an "expression of interest" certifying that you are a lawyer and submit to a verification process. (See the ABA journal article Legal Markets Get an Early Crack at Law Domain Names.) And, it's catching on! Just last week, DLA Piper and Skadden, Arps, became two of the first firms to adopt the ".law" domain name. (See the Legal Intelligencer's article on Adopting a Law URL for Legal Marketing.) What do you think? Will you adopt a ".law" domain name? Share your thoughts with us by emailing

5. Section Publications

A. Big News for Solo and Small Firma

Henry S. DavidOur Section Magazine, Big News for Solo and Small Firms, is back as a quarterly publication. If you are a Section member, you should have been receiving our new and improved magazine.

We are currently accepting articles for our Annual Meeting edition. Please contact our editor, Henry S. David at:

B. Practice Books Available for Purchase

As a sole practitioner or the head of a small firm, you must act as so much more than just CEO; you also must also wear the hats of Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director, Chief Technology Officer, and more. The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office is your personal executive team.

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 the challenges of growing a law practice in detail.

Available in State Bar Sections Bookstore.

C. Webinars

Webinars offer participatoCalendarry credit and can be heard after their live air date -- at your convenience.

A good source for webinars it the CLE Calendar in the Califonira Bar Journal, showing all of the upcoming webinars from all of the Sections, as well as in-person programs.

D. Ongoing Opportunities for Self-Study & Participatory MCLE Credit

Online CLE for Participatory Credit

Online CLEView Solo and Small Firm Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. to see all the programs put on by the Solo and Small Firm Section, see Solo programs. To explore the catalog at large, see

Self-Study CLE

Self-Study TestsOnline articles from Section publications are available for self-study MCLE credit. Each article is worth 1 hour of self-study credit. It's easy ... read an article and then take a 20 question quiz. The answers and justifications are available immediately upon submitting the quiz. You can earn up to 12.5 hours of self-study credit per reporting period. For more information, see our online catalog of articles.

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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