Solo and Small Firm Section

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News from the Section

Message From The Chair

Terry SzucskoBy Terry A. Szucsko

As Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section, I feel it's my duty to let you know what your membership in the section means. Your membership provides you the resources to grow your law firm and to accomplish your goals by providing what you want most: networking, education, and practice and skills development.

We meet that need through our many membership benefits, including (1) complimentary subscriptions to Big News for Solo & Small Firms, along with the monthly e-newsletter; (2) numerous in-person MCLE programs and webinars throughout the state as well as in-person events for members to network and develop business; (3) the opportunity to write an article for either the e-newsletter and/or the Big News; (4) the opportunity to speak or create a program to speak to our members; and (5) 6 hours of free MCLE credits and discounts with CEB.

We invite all our members to take advantage of these benefits and everything else the section as to offer.

Webinar: What to Do When the State Bar Calls

Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

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

When the State Bar receives an ethics complaint against a lawyer, it sends out an investigation letter to which the Member has an obligation to respond.  This program discusses the steps an attorneys should take in responding to the State Bar and common mistakes attorneys make in responding.

Speaker: Megan Zavieh

Webinar: Attorney-Client Privilege & Work Product Doctrine -- Refresher

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

Dedicate an hour to a refresher discussing attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine, including practice tips to preserve these protections for your clients. Not just for litigators.

Speaker: Carolyn M. Lee

Congratulations to the 2016 Lawyer of the Year Neil Pedersen

Neal PedersenThe State Bar Solo and Small Firm Section is pleased to announce that Orange County (Irvine, CA) attorney Neil Pedersen is the honored recipient of the 2016 Attorney of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the Myer J. Sankary Reception at the Solo and Small Firm Summit held on June 17, 2016 at 5 p.m. at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa.

Neil is deserving of this recognition as his achievements and philosophy towards the practice of law exemplifies the ideals that the Award is meant to recognize. Read a profile of his accomplishments.

In The Know

California Court of Appeals

Civil Procedure (Anti-SLAPP, Discovery, Mental Exams, Motion to Intervene, Motion to Vacate Default Judgment, Nonsuits)

Garibotti v. Hinkle (2015) _ Cal.App.4th _ , 2015 WL 9484138: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion to vacate a default judgment. The Court of Appeal concluded that Code of Civil Procedure section 663a’s 60-day time frame for ruling on a motion to vacate a default judgment is mandatory and jurisdictional. Any order purporting to rule on the motion after the period lapses is beyond the court’s jurisdiction and void. (C.A. 4th, December 29, 2015.) Read more.

Up To Date

Notice Regarding California Public Records Act, State Bar Membership No. 283168

Effective January 1, 2016, the State Bar of California is subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). (Gov. Code sections 6250, et seq.)  The State Bar roll of attorneys, including official membership information, has always been and remains public; however, this information will now be subject to public records requests pursuant to CPRA.

Business and Professions Code section 6002.1 requires State Bar members to maintain a “current office address and telephone number or, if no office is maintained, the address to be used for State Bar purposes.”  Please note, California Rules of Court, rule 9.7 requires members to provide a confidential email address for State Bar communications; you also have the option to provide an email address and a fax number for public disclosure on the State Bar website. Read more.

Section Publications

Big News for Solo and Small Firms

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:

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.

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.

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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