Avoid Getting Your Mother or Your Business Sued

Are you being smart in protecting your business against lawsuits and liability? One lawyer and owner of a custom integration firm highlights tips, loopholes, and laws you should be aware of.  Read more . . .

(Tongue-in-cheek rendering by Robert Alan Fine)

Used by permission:

About the author
Robert Alan Fine is an attorney practicing in Los Angles and the owner of Finepoint Electric, Inc., a custom integration firm in operation since 1993. He can be contacted at robert.raflaw@gmail.com.

View all posts by Robert Alan Fine


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USDC – Changes to Local Rules Proposed to Become Effective June 1, 2015

United States District Court – Central District of California

Changes to Local Rules Proposed to Become Effective June 1, 2015

The Court has preliminarily approved amendments to the Local Civil Rules listed below. Their proposed effective date is June 1, 2015.  A redline of the proposed changes accompanies the electronic version of this notice and may also be found on the Court’s website.  The proposed amended rules are the following:

Local Civil Rules:

  • 5-4.2(b)(1) [(Documents Excluded from Electronic Filing) Non-paper or Other Unusual Exhibits]
  • 5-4.2(b)(4) [(Documents Excluded from Electronic Filing) Records for Bankruptcy Appeals and Administrative Review Cases]
  • 5-4.3.1 [(Format of Electronically Filed Documents) Technical Requirements (File Format and Size Limitations)]
  • 83-17.3 [(Special Requirements for Habeas Corpus Petitions Involving the Death Penalty) Initial Filings and Petitions]
  • 83-17.7 [(Special Requirements for Habeas Corpus Petitions Involving the Death Penalty) Procedures for Considering the Petition]

Members of the public are invited to submit comments on these changes to the rules. Comments may be submitted to <lr_publiccomments@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail)> or in hard copy to Terry Nafisi, District Court Executive and Clerk of Court, 312 N. Spring Street, Room G-11, Los Angeles, California 90012. No facsimile transmissions will be considered.

All comments must be submitted no later than March 20, 2015. All timely received comments will be considered by the Court before final adoption of the rules.

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Effective March 2, 2015, San Bernardino Superior Court will implement a change in its process for litigants to appear in court for the following matters:

  • Misdemeanor cases with outstanding warrants.

Currently, these matters are heard the same day as a walk-in court appearance.

Beginning March 2, 2015, to appear before a judicial officer to have the warrant recalled on a misdemeanor case, you will first reserve your court date. In order to reserve a court date you must come into the court location or call by telephone.
Once the date has been calendared, you will be able to bypass the clerk’s office and report directly to the courtroom on the date and time of the hearing.

Scheduling a court appearance does not extend or alter any statutory or court-ordered deadline. Only cases which are infractions can be scheduled on-line or via kiosks.
NOTE: The warrant will remain outstanding until you appear on the court date and are seen by a judge.

This notice has been posted on the Court’s website at www.sb-court.org

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Please join us on March 10th.  Our speaker Michele L. Levinson, Esq. Deputy City Attorney for the City of Long Beach will be discussing At-Will Employees.

Dinner and program are just $27.00 at the beautiful Grand Event Center conveniently located at the 405 and Lakewood Blvd. on Willow in Long Beach.

To reserve your spot now simply click here and we will see you on March 10th!

MCLE and CCLS credit available!

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As part of the ongoing implementation of a new telephone system, on February 4th Santa Monica Courthouse changed their phone numbers and now three more Los Angeles Superior Court locations are implementing new telephone numbers.

The Compton Courthouse, located at 200 W. Compton Blvd., Compton 90220, began using new telephone numbers on Feb. 13, 2015.

The Pomona South Courthouse, located at 400 Civic Center Way, Pomona 91766, will begin using new telephone numbers on Feb.18, 2015.

The Torrance Courthouse, located at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance 90503, will begin using new telephone numbers on Feb. 20, 2015.

Over the next several months, the Los Angeles Superior Court will continue the installation of a new telephone system and new telephone numbers will be assigned to 35 courthouses. The transition will occur courthouse-by-courthouse.

Telephone numbers at the Downey Courthouse, East Los Angeles Courthouse, and the Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach will remain the same as will the ‘800’ number for Juror Services and the automated numbers for general traffic inquiries.

As each courthouse transitions into the new telephone system, its new telephone numbers will be available in the courthouse Clerk’s Office and on the Court’s website at www.lacourt.org. The Daily Journal publishes their court directory every month – keep an eye out for it as well.

Interested persons may also follow LASC on its Twitter account @lasuperiorcourt for updates.

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A “CCLS” is a California Certified Legal Secretary.

Established by LSI, the CCLS program offers legal professionals an opportunity to gain professional, personal, and economic excellence in the legal field.

Certification is achieved by passing a comprehensive examination.  Candidates are tested in California legal procedures, legal terminology, performance skills, reasoning and ethics, law office administration, communications, and legal computations. A minimum of two years experience is required.  Continuing legal education requirements must be met for recertification.

The CCLS exam is given twice a year — March and October — through LSI.

pdf CCLS Information Kit
CCLS Study Group Online Registration Form
CCLS Study Group Registration Form (PDF Version)
Application for the test

Benefits of Certification

  • Qualify for professional, personal and economic reward
  • Improve your knowledge of California legal practice and procedure
  • Broaden your opportunities for job advancement
  • Enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Gain further recognition and respect within the legal environment

For more information regarding the CCLS exam, registration, or recertification, please visit www.lsi.org.

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What You Need to Know About eService in California Superior Courts


Have you ever wanted to eServe your documents but worried that you might not be doing it correctly? eService can be much more efficient and save you time and money, but it is imperative that you comply with the California Rules of Court. Many people don’t know that you can actually eServe documents in all 58 California counties, even if the court does not permit eFiling. You can expect another Instant Expert guide on this very topic soon, but in the meantime we have compiled a list of things you absolutely need to know about eService in California.

  • eService is permitted if you can overnight, fax or mail your document. Pursuant to CRC 2.251 (a), anything that requires personal service is not allowed to be eServed.
  • You can consent to eService by doing one of two things: either filing and serving a notice of such, like a Stipulation or a Consent to eService, or by eFiling any document with the court. It is case specific, so when you eFile a document in a particular case you are consenting to eService in that case only.
  • You must eServe if eFiling is mandated, pursuant to CRC 2.251 (c)(2), unless personal service is required by statute, the court orders otherwise or the case involves self-represented litigants. Self-represented litigants do have the option to consent to eService.
  • Service is complete at the time of transmission. Once you hit “send” or “submit”, you have done your due diligence.
  • Any period of response time is extended by two court days.
  • Electronic Proofs of Service need to be included along with the documents being eFiled, eServed, or both. The Proof of Service can be on pleading or on a Judicial Council form. It can also be attached to the document or submitted as its own document.

If you are interested in learning more about eService in California, sign up for One Legal’s eService webinar held on the third Tuesday of every month! You can also read more about the California Rules of Court on eService here.

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At our meeting last night we learned about a wonderful and effective non-profit – For the Child.

For the Child (fka – Cedar House and Sarah Center) has been doing good work for over 40 years in Long Beach.  They have several programs that help counsel and provide support for children and parents.  Here is a snapshot of their services:

  • Therapists have provided counseling for over 9030 children and parents in 2013-14 with 0-5 and school-age programs at three Long Beach locations and a mobile treatment vehicle that goes to different schools.
  • Mental Health assessments for children entering or at-risk of entering foster care.
  • Parent education for those in the welfare system and age specific parenting education for at-risk parents of babies, toddlers or preschoolers.
  • Kids’ Place – fun drop-in childcare centers in 9 LA County Courthouses.
  • Child Abuse Response Team – volunteers response 24/7 to hospitals in Long Beach, San Pedro and Torrance when law enforcement believes a child has been recently sexually molested and a forensic medical exam is needed.  These child advocates provided comfort and information for 116 children.
  • For the Child has over 20 parent support groups.
  • Concrete Support for Families – helps families with backpacks, school supplies, Thanksgiving dinner baskets, holiday & birthday toys, and emergency needs.

The statistics on children abused every second of every day is horrifying, but there are things you can do to help.  Please go to forthechild.org to find out how you can individually make a difference in this epidemic.  We as an association will be on their emailing blast list when something comes up for a family in need of household, clothes or food items.  Periodically, we will send out these emails to our membership in hopes of helping these families in need.

Remember – those abused are scared for life and have a higher rate of abusing their children.  Through education and support, we can help change this pattern.

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There have been changes to the law – make sure you are compliant!

Two notary-related laws took effect January 1, 2015. Here is a brief overview of the new laws.

  • California Government Code section 8214.15 was amended to add the willful violation of section 8214.1(d) as cause for discipline. The violation is punishable by a civil penalty up to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).
  • California Civil Code sections 1189 and 1195 and California Government Code section 8202 requires a specific notice to be included at the top of every acknowledgment, proof of execution of an instrument, and affidavit sworn to before a notary public within California.

See the attached for specific new language and requirements.

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Change in Hours of Operation for Service of Process Dept.

Effective Tuesday February 17th 2015
New Hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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