California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog

Recently in CLE Category

Like you, the law is always changing. Sure, some things may stay the same. But every year, without fail, rules are tweaked, new precedent is set, and what you thought you knew no longer applies. Luckily for California lawyers, The Rutter Group has a spate of seminars coming up to help get you up to speed with the recent developments.

The Rutter Group's 2018 Update Programs: Family Law, Civil Procedure, Personal Injury and Insurance Litigation will provide instruction on what has changed in these areas of law over the past year, and what changes are right around the corner. Each subject is a separate seminar providing specific instruction for California practitioners, along with 3 MCLE credits each (including 0.5 credits toward the ethics requirement). (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

When it comes time to make sure you've got all your MCLE credits, realizing you forgot to satisfy your Elimination of Bias requirement can be frustrating. This one can be especially frustrating because the courses offered online can often be horribly outdated, not to mention overpriced, and pretty much worthless.

Fortunately, The Rutter Group has a worthwhile, in person, 1 hour course that actually focuses on current issues surrounding the elimination of bias in the legal profession. The program, Bias in the 21st Century: Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society, will teach you about the current issues surrounding "majority privilege," "white privilege," and "male privilege." (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

Not all family law cases are created equal, and no two are exactly alike. While it's nearly always emotional, some cases are charged with more than just the usual family drama that leads to divorce.

When child custody and domestic violence cases crossover, the stakes are higher. If you're not ready for it, the consequences could be all too real. Fortunately, for practitioners in California, The Rutter Group's Effective Strategies for Litigating Child Custody in Contested Domestic Violence Cases program can teach you some of the best practices and strategies for handling these matters. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

Whether you're still trying to get your first trial or have done hundreds, it's always good to learn new methods. The Rutter Group's The Evidence and Trial Wheels: Two Dynamic Devices for Trial Lawyers program can help participants develop those automatic trial reflexes and the confidence to resolve evidentiary issues at trial. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

Unlike other seminars where speakers talk at the classroom, participants will get first-hand experience spinning "The Wheels" and testing out methods as they are being taught. There's a reason why even experienced litigators keep "The Wheels" at counsel's table during trial, and even pre-trial hearings.

State Bar Law Sections Split Off

The California State Bar announced 'historic reforms' under a new fee bill, including an amicable separation from its practice sections.

The voluntary sections will spin off into a non-profit entity, side-stepping an issue that came up last year. The sections were considering a split then, partly because of new restrictions against spending on alcohol and contracting with resort-style venues for events.

For the disciplinary and regulatory arm of the California State Bar, the biggest change comes to the board of trustees. Lawyers will no longer be elected to the board.

If you have just hung your shingle out there as a California family lawyer, or are planning on doing so, The Rutter Group's CFLR is offering a three-day seminar that can teach you and your staff the ins and outs of California family practice: Basic Training: Family Law. Experienced practitioners and their support staff can benefit by learning the current best practices and procedures from leading experts in the field and the current Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles County Court Family Law Division. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

The course will walk participants through a divorce, from before it even starts to after it's finished. And like real cases, the course starts from the point of a client's first contact and ends with handling post-judgment matters. CFLR is offering the course in Costa Mesa, California, in October 2017 on the 6th, 7th, and 8th, at the Westin South Coast Plaza (just a short drive from Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, so bring the family).

From memos to moot court, law school students are trained in the art of persuasion. Unfortunately, much of that art goes to seed upon graduation, or is reserved only for the biggest case filings or court appearances. While some attorneys will find the argument in anything, many more lawyers think the only time they need to be persuasive is in front of a judge or jury.

As it turns out, you may need your powers of persuasion in your everyday practice, and there are ways to be more effective in your interactions with clients, opposing counsel, judges, mediators, arbitrators, regulators, and others and therefore be more successful in your legal practice. Here’s how.

Cal. Bar Results Plummet Along With the Rest of America

You may have heard about the plummeting bar passage rates for the July 2014 examination. If not, you're not reading our Greedy Associates blog frequently enough. The gist is this: lowest passage rates in recent memory have led to finger-pointing between schools and the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The debate is over whether the test was scored or designed poorly, or whether the students were simply less able.

It's not surprising then to see that California's bar rate has also plummeted. According to the California Bar Journal, the passage rate was the lowest it has been in nearly 10 years -- a startling 48.6 percent. The drop comes on the heels of multiple consecutive years of a rising passage rate and is the lowest since July 2004, when 48.2 percent passed.

Hey Look: State Bar is About to Make Recent Grads' Lives Worse

It's bad enough trying to pass the bar in this dear state. With a three-day exam, no reciprocity with anyone, and the exorbitant fees, plus the cost of bar review class, joining the California State bar is no picnic. Part and parcel of course is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which to be fair, is pretty much required everywhere, but it's still one more thing to add to the list.

But don't worry, current and future law students: things will get worse. The current word from the State Bar is that a few teaks to "training requirements" for incoming lawyers are on the way, ones that will make things more difficult for law schools, law students, and young cash-strapped lawyers looking to tap into the Golden State's job market.

MCLE Compliance Deadline Is Approaching: Free and Cheap Solutions

Anyone care to help a brotha out with some free or cheap MCLEs?

For us Californians with N-Z monikers, we have less than two weeks to stuff in 25 MCLE credits (less if you were admitted after 2/1/11 or inactive), which basically means we have another week before we'll actually get started on our CLE binging.

If you're like me, you (a) haven't started and (b) are not looking forward to paying hundreds of dollars in dues, plus student loan payments, plus the cost of MCLES.

Let's see what we can do about that, shall we?