Solo and Small Firm Section

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News from the Section

Message from the Chair

By Megan Zavieh

As we begin the New Year, there are a lot of good things happening in the Solo and Small Firm Section.  Watch your email inbox for information on our new member benefit – a personalized email update from the Section powered by Lexology. You will be able to customize the legal news you get from around the globe, including choosing how frequently you get the news and for which substantive practice areas you receive articles.  We welcome your feedback once the new system is up and running! Read more.

In the Know: Updates in the Law

McIntyre's Civil Alert
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq. | Relentless Optimist®
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
Publisher: McIntyre's Civil Alert 
McIntyre’s Civil Alert.™ California cases: 12-5-16 to 12-16-16

California Supreme Court

Consumer Protection

Raceway Ford Cases (2016) _ Cal.5th _ , 2016 WL 7241420: The California Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the ruling of the Court of Appeal and disapproved Nelson v. Pearson Ford Co. (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 983 to the extent it is inconsistent with this decision. The Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA), also known as the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act (Civil Code, section 2981 et seq.) is a consumer protection statute that governs the sale of vehicles where the buyer finances all or part of the car‘s purchase price. The Supreme Court ruled that defendant did not violate ASFA when, after agreeing to an initial finance contract, it would enter into a subsequent finance contract with a buyer and backdate the second contract to the date of the first contract.  Raceway did violate ASFA when it disclosed inaccurate smog fees, but plaintiffs were not entitled to a remedy under ASFA because the violation was due to an accidental or bona fide error in computation. (Civil Code section 2983(a).) (December 15, 2016.) Read more.

Update on Ethics

From Ethics Lawyer David Cameron Carr: Experienced Counsel and Representation In Legal Ethics and State Bar Matters.  His monthly newsletter is published once per month. Welcome to the Lawyer Ethics Newsletter for December 2016!

Legislature Adjourns Without Passing State Bar Fee Bill

The California Legislature adjourned on August 31, 2016, without passing a bill authorizing the State Bar of California to assess its fees from members for 2017.  The Assembly and the State Senate disagreed on reform measures in the Assembly Bill that were also opposed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Those reform measures would have changed the governance of the State Bar Board of Trustees to a majority of non-lawyer public members and created a task force to study so called “disunification” of the State Bar, separating its mandatory government regulatory functions from its voluntary trade association functions.  Following the adjournment, the State Bar announced that it would be asking the California Supreme Court to order an special assessment of fees from members to keep State Bar operations going. Read more.

Tip on Marketing and Writing

Someone once said, utilize your skill set to grow your law practice influence and clientele. Writing for blogs, journals, and websites will absolutely grow your influence, exposure, and clientele. If you can write, find ways to get your thoughts, legal insights, and words into the public sphere. Make the time and use that time to practice writing to grow your knowledge, exposure, and clientele.

Section Publications

The Practitioner (formerly known as Big News for Solo & Small Firms)

Dear Members: Our Section Magazine, The Practitioner (formerly known as Big News for Solo & 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. Please contact our new Editor-in-Chief Jeremy M. Evans at:

Jeremy M. Evans

Practice Books Available for Purchase

The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office

The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law OfficePublished by The State Bar of California

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. READ MORE

The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office

The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law OfficePublished by The State Bar of California

Growing a law practice can be a lawyer’s most rewarding and challenging professional experience. The goal of this book, is to make it less challenging and more rewarding. READ MORE

Ongoing Opportunities for Self-Study and Participatory MCLE Credit

CLE CalendarCalendar of Upcoming Events

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

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

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 Solo and Small Firm Section programs.

Self-Study CLE

Self-Study ArticlesOnline 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. See Solo and Small Firm Section self-study articles.

On-line Billing and Payment for 2017 Fees

The State Bar will be launching  a new on-line billing and payment application for 2017 fees.  Paper billing statements will not be sent to members. Instead, statements will be available online through My State Bar Profile. Individual members will continue to be able to make payments online through My State Bar Profile. Attorneys should make sure that the email they have provided for State Bar communications is up to date.

Law firms and agencies will be able to use the State Bar’s new Agency Billing system where they can calculate billing costs and make payments for a group of attorneys.

Please be sure your Section Membership Fees are included in your payment.

Once an attorney’s fees are paid, a paper bar card will be conveniently available for download through My State Bar Profile. Plastic bar cards will still be made available, but only upon request and can also be ordered through My State Bar Profile.

The online billing system makes it easier than ever for individual attorneys and agencies to help make the justice system available to everyone.  When paying your bill, please consider making a contribution in support of legal services for low income Californians.  Your support is a lifeline that can help prevent homelessness, keep kids in school, protect elders from fraud and abuse, and connect veterans to services, among other critical legal assistance.

It is anticipated that the on-line agency and billing application will be available through the State Bar’s website by mid-December.

Go to for more information, or contact Member Records and Compliance at 1-888-800-3400.

Section Member Benefits from CEB!

As dues-paying members of the Solo & Small Firm Section, you are entitled to some special benefits from CEB. They include: READ MORE

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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