Solo and Small Firm Section

News from the Section

1. Section News

A. Your Solo and Small Firm Section Leadership in Action

Click to see larger versions of the photos on the Facebook pageGo to the Solo and Small Firm Sections Facebook page to see photos of your Section leadership in action at the 2014 Annual Meeting, as well as photos from the Myer Sankary Lawyer of the Year Award Reception.  See 2014 Annual Meeting Gallery.  

Photos include:

  • Outgoing chair Shirish Gupta, Incoming Chair Susan Share and Myer Sankary Award Winner Solange Ritchie
  • 2015-2016 Council of Sections Co-chairs Shirish Gupta and Matt Powelson 
  • 4 Solo & Small Firm Section Chairs: Nancy Goldstein (2011-2012), Shirish Gupta (2013-2014), Susan Share (2014-2015) and Marilyn Monahan (2009-2010)
  • 2014-2015 Solo & Small Firm Section leadership: Neal Chilingarian (Treasurer), Shirish Gupta (Immediate Past-chair), Susan Share (Chair) and Terry Szucsko (Chair-elect)
  • Outgoing chair Shirish Gupta, Incoming Chair Susan Share
  • Chair Susan Share and Board of Trustees Member Janet Brewer

B. Myer J. Sankary Award of Excellence 2014 Attorney of the Year Announced Awarded to Solange Ritchie

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 was presented on Friday evening, September 12, 2014, at the Section’s reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego during the State Bar Annual Meeting.

2. 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
  • Thomas Jefferson Law School - April 26, 2014 - 9:00 AM - noon Reception at noon

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

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

3. 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:

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 Smal l Firm Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from more than 50 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.


Webinar: Updated for 2015! Health Care Reform for Small & Large Employers

Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.

This program offers1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) keeps evolving, and important new mandates take effect January 1, 2015. Are you and your clients ready? This program will provide an overview of the ACA; discuss 2015 implementation challenges; and explain the impact of the law on you, employers, and employees.

Program highlights:

  • How the ACA affects individuals, small employers, and large employers
  • New 2015 IRS reporting requirements for large employers
  • 2015 shared responsibility penalties (play-or-pay) for large employers
  • Defining “full-time employee” under the law
  • Changes in coverage options for small employers
  • Covered California and subsidized premiums
  • Individual mandate and why it matters to employers
  • Implementation strategies

With speaker Marilyn A. Monahan.

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.

5. Continuing Member Benefits

2. Skill Builder Webinars:  Series II

Find 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.

Skill Builder graphicThese 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

3. 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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