LPMT eNews
Annual Meeting Issue
September/October 2015

  1. Chair's Message
  2. Annual Meeting -- October 2015
  3. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?
    1. Windows 10
    2. Networking on LinkedIn
  4. Did You Know ....Articles?
    1. Legal Marketing
    2. Stand-Up Work Stations
    3. Summary Judgment
    4. Crowdfunding
  5. State Bar News
  6. The Bottom Line/eTBL
  7. Educational Opportunities
  8. Executive Committee News
  9. Future State Bar Annual Meetings
  10. Member Benefits

1. From the Chair

Nyanza Shaw, Chair, LPMTWelcome to the September/October issue of LPMT's eNEWS

As I come to the end of my tenure as the Chair of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section Executive Committee, I want to first thank a few people who have really stepped up and contributed to this being a successful and productive year. Special kudos to Cynthia Mascio and Mike Fenger (Co-Chairs of The Bottom Line sub-committee) and Patty Miller (Executive Committee Secretary and Chair of the eNews sub-committee) who have worked tirelessly to gather, edit, and organize all of the information and articles that we present to you in our publications. Also, thank you to all of you have submitted articles, some of you multiple articles, to be published for our members' benefit. Finally, I want to thank Kristina Robledo, our State Bar Section Coordinator, who has been helpful, responsive, and gone above and beyond the call of duty whenever I have reached out to her for assistance.

The State Bar Sections are here to serve their members. All that we do is for you. We try our best to present articles, information, and programs that we feel have value to you, the members of LPMT, and are committed to continuing to do so under our incoming Chair, Kurt Obermeyer. I hope that during the past year that you have learned something from our publications or programs that can help you manage or even enhance your law practice.

Finally, as always, we want to hear from you!! If you want to write an article, submit a tech tip, or have questions, please contact us!!! Feel free to email me at Nyanza@shawesquire.com; I will continue to serve on the Executive Committee in the upcoming year as Past Chair.

Thank you,
Nyanza Shaw, Chair, LPMT

2. Annual Meeting -- October 2015

The State Bar Annual Meeting will be held in Anaheim on October 8 to 11, 2015. Stay connected at the Annual Meeting on Twitter #CalBarAM15.

The programs set forth below will be presented by the LPMT Section. The speakers for each program have provided their own comments why you should attend and how you will benefit from their presentations. Take advantage of the networking opportunities and educational programs being presented at the Annual Meeting.

Session 20
Competency and Consciousness Through Mindfulness

Thursday, Oct. 8 | 4 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.- Basic/Practical Skills Course
This program will focus on how to practice mindfulness to become more focused and increase competence. When attorneys practice mindfulness they are more present and better equipped to handle professional and personal stressors. Learn how to be more mindful, relieve stress, enhance memory, and manage emotions to better manage your practice.

Speakers: Nyanza Shaw and Mari Frank

MCLE: 1.5 Hours Competence Issues

Speakers' comments: This highly interactive program will teach attorneys how to practice mindfulness to become more focused and aware to increase their competence. When attorneys practice mindfulness they are more actively present in all situations and better equipped to handle professional and personal stressors. This lively program will show attorneys how to use emotional intelligence to relieve stress, enhance memory, and manage their mind to increase lawyer competency and better manage their practice. Join Mari Frank, Esq. and Nyanza Shaw, Esq. for this exciting program. You won't want to miss the door prizes!

Session 87
Honing Your Client Intake Skills to Avoid Practice Challenges

Saturday, Oct. 10 | 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon - Basic/Practical Skills Course
Through video clips of mock intake interviews, this program will focus on identifying the most common causes of attorney-client discord and how to deal with them before problems erupt. Panelists also cover how to recognize and adjust unreasonable client expectations, and how to identify troubling client characteristics and address them.

Speakers: Neil Pedersen and Teresa McQueen

MCLE: 1.5 Hours; Legal Specialization: Legal Malpractice

Speakers' comments: "Honing Your Client Intake Skills to Avoid Practice Challenges" is a program that uses several fun and instructive short video vignettes to interactively demonstrate common kinds of client personalities and issues and the red flag warning signs that can be and should be discovered before a problem client becomes a disgruntled former client, an unpaid invoice, or a malpractice case. This program is primarily intended to be helpful for the relatively new attorney, but even long-term veteran attorneys will find the presentation fun and edifying at the same time.

Session 97
How to Find and Use Evidence Among Large E-discovery Projects

Saturday, Oct. 10 | 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Advanced Course
Gathering electronically stored information, processing it for production and reviewing it for hot documents is only useful if the attorney has a system for using the relevant documents in depositions, motion exhibits, or trial. This program will cover best practices for organizing and using documents from large e-discovery productions.

Speaker: Jeff Bennion
MCLE: 1.5 Hours

Speaker's comments: My program will be about the problems faced with organizing and using mass amounts of electronic data in e-discovery cases. E-discovery in large cases is like putting together a 3 million piece puzzle. It's difficult to know where to begin and it's hard to see the big picture until you have completed a substantial amount of the work, which often means late in the discovery phase. We are going to look at strategies and tools to get a better grasp on the evidence, how to find, organize, and use millions of pages of evidence in a short amount of time using tools that are accessible to most lawyers already.

Session 107
In My Opinion: A Review of the Latest Technology Rules to Protect Attorney & Client Confidentiality

Saturday, Oct. 10 | 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Recent Developments Course

This program will review recent State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) opinions regarding an attorney's use of technology, and help to ensure that you are meeting the standards of competence to protect both the privacy and confidentiality of your law practice and your clients' information.

Speaker: Perry Segal
MCLE: 1.5 Hours of Which 1.0 Hour Applies to Legal Ethics; Legal Specialization: Legal Malpractice

Speaker's comments: In the past five years, the Committee on Personal Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) has published multiple opinions, specifically addressing the proper handling of technology in the areas of networking, the virtual office, social media, evidence and more. For those who don't consider themselves technologically-savvy, it can be a daunting experience to comprehend what all of the terms and phrases mean and how they apply to the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of attorneys. This program endeavors to remove the mystery and fear that inevitably arises and distill the subject matter down to more easily understood components while hopefully alleviating the intimidation-factor.

Session 123
Management Tools to Create Effective Law Office Employees

Sunday, Oct. 11 | 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Basic/Practical Skills Course

This program will cover the various approaches available to law firm management, large or small, to encourage, train and provide powerful experience to law firm personnel to grow the firm's most critical asset-- its people. Learn about the use of effective performance evaluations, training techniques and compensation models to establish long-term retention of high quality law firm personnel.

Speakers: Neil Pedersen and Donna Low
MCLE: 1.5 Hours

Speakers' comments: Whether you run a small office with just one support staff member, or a large firm with many attorneys and administrative personnel, hiring, retaining and developing your employees is an important part of the management of your practice. Turnover and non-productive or unmotivated personnel act as a serious drain on you and your business. This presentation by two experienced law office principals is intended to give the attendee solid guidance on how to hire, manage, train, mentor, compensate and discipline law office personnel in a way that will produce highly effective, productive assets for your firm.

3. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?

a. Windows 10

Test-Driving Windows 10: What You Need to Know Before You Upgrade [...and what to do if you've already upgraded]

By Perry L. Segal -- September 2, 2015

Windows 10 was released in late July to a lot of fanfare. Even as a 'tech-guy', my rule of thumb is to never install an upgrade to a Windows operating system until Service Pack 1 is released.

But, as is true with many other users, Windows 8.1 (and Windows 8.0 before it) was a big disappointment to me and I figured anything would be better than standing pat. So, under the dual-philosophies of, "Tech, Heal Thy PC" and "Document it for our readers", I installed Windows 10 as soon as it became available

Good thing I know how to fix my technology. On the plus side, you get to learn from my pain.

Looking Under The Hood

Do I regret doing it? No. Was it a successful upgrade? Yes and no. First of all, there are a lot of tweaks that must be dealt with, but other than being time-consuming, they weren't particularly difficult.

What was difficult was that Bluetooth support disappeared. What do I mean by disappeared? I mean that, not only did it not work, the entire module was missing as if that feature didn't exist on my PC. It can be blamed on both Microsoft and Toshiba, my PC manufacturer. As I found out later, Toshiba didn't release Windows 10 compatible drivers until about a week after the upgrade was available (which strengthens my advice never to rush to upgrade).

But that was a week later. I had a problem to address now. I dug out my old usb mouse (my current mouse is Bluetooth) and got to work figuring it out. When it comes to troubleshooting these types of problems, patience is a virtue. There's always an answer, but it may take time to find it. In this case, the answer was simple: my driver didn't work and I had to find one that did work. The fix, on the other hand took time. I visited both the Toshiba and Intel sites for support, but being unable to find drivers that specifically identified as being compatible with Windows 10 (or my PC model), I simply started with the next version up from my driver and continued a pattern of install/reboot/remove/reboot, install/reboot/remove/reboot until finally, Bluetooth miraculously reappeared!

Of course, I had to try a lot of drivers -- and had a lot of other work to do -- so that process took two days. Not that bad; but the real reason I needed to repair it was that I connect to my smartphone via Bluetooth for other purposes.

Remember, I was willing to take the risk, so I'm fine with the results. Are you?

Locking Your Doors

As you're already aware, some very talented people all over the Internet have written articles about functionality and features, but I want to focus on what attorneys need to know, and the most important item is that Windows 10 poses serious risks to your privacy -- and the confidentiality of your client information.

You'll want to start with the privacy settings (which can be located -- predictably -- under Settings > Privacy) but be warned, depending on your configuration, there will be approximately thirteen separate modules of privacy that you must review, and you'll have to spend some time in each one (see below).

Subscribe to a social networking blog or legal industry RSS feed to receive legal industry social networking, marketing and PR updates daily or weekly.

In short, you're going to find yourself turning a lot of features off. For most users, this will be sufficient.

For those who wish to go a step further, there are other settings referred to as Telemetry, which Windows 10 has embedded in the software. It automatically sends your information to them -- and it doesn't provide a means to turn itself off. I know what you're thinking. "I'm staying with my current version!" That's not going to work, because just recently, Microsoft began backporting its telemetry software to both Windows 7 and 8.

All is not lost, however. There are tools available that will mitigate the problem. Personally, I recommend the aptly-named, "Windows Tracking Disable Tool", which does exactly what it says. This is a third-party program so as always, practice due diligence and be sure you understand what you're doing as you'll be installing it at your own risk.


There's a lot of debate about installing various patches provided by Microsoft. I fall squarely in the camp of installing them. Over the past month, there have been several patches to Windows 10 and I can honestly say that just over a month out, it's working much better than on day one. And that brings us full circle around the track to where we began: Service Pack 1.

Did I say service pack? That's the old nomenclature. It's not called a Service Release anymore -- it's called Threshold 2. The best estimates say it'll likely be available sometime in October. That's a fairly rapid turnaround for a service release, compared to the old days.

For those who 'do as I say; not as I do', I guess you'll be idling at the red light a few weeks longer.

About the Author:
Perry L. SegalPerry L. Segal is an attorney with Charon Law in Redwood City, Co-Chair of the State Bar of California Council of State Bar Sections (CSBS) and member of the Cyberspace Law Committee. Perry is also a special advisor and Past Chair of the LPMT Executive Committee.

b. Networking on LinkedIn

The Two Strategies for Networking on LinkedIn -- And Why They Matter

Image Credit: Janne Moren | Flickr | Enhanced by Entrepreneur

In his book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, search engine optimization and online marketing expert consultant Ted Prodromou explains how you can use LinkedIn to quickly engage with ideal customers, partners, and employees, showcase your company and attract new opportunities. In this edited excerpt, the author explains two different strategies for networking on LinkedIn.

How many connections should you have on LinkedIn? There isn't a magic number that works for everyone. LinkedIn isn't a popularity contest where the person with the most connections wins. LinkedIn is about building relationships and connecting with others, which is very different than the monologue communication of something like Twitter.

There are two distinct approaches to networking on LinkedIn. The first, which is used by most LinkedIn members, is called "strategic networking," where you focus on quality, not quantity. Strategic networkers usually have fewer than 500 people in their network and keep in touch with about 100 to 150 people in their network. They have deep connections with a small number of people.

The other approach is called "open networking"; this is where you cast a very wide net. Open networkers often have thousands of connections in their network because their business is a numbers game. The more people in your network, the easier it is to find someone to fill an open position or outreach customers for a sale. As an open networker, you have a limited connection with a lot of people.

How many people are in your professional network now? Most people know hundreds of people and often have more than 500 contacts in their online address book. According to a Nielsen study, the average number of connections for LinkedIn members is around 60 people. But I see many members with more than 500 connections. Once you're connected with that person, you can connect with anyone on their list because you have a second-degree relationship with them. A great way to expand your network is by connecting with appropriate second-degree relationships. Use your invitations wisely because LinkedIn gives you 3,000 invitations, after which you have to request more. It shouldn't be a problem, since you're trying to keep your network manageable.

Open Networking

Open networkers on LinkedIn are often called LIONs (an acronym for "LinkedIn Open Networkers"). LIONs seek to actively increase their connections by sending out and accepting connection invitations. LIONs, in general, accept invites from anyone, so it's relatively risk-free to invite a LION into your network.

Most LIONs take pride in touting their specific number of connections; it's similar to the way celebrities compete to have the most Twitter followers. The majority of LIONs believe bigger is better and that large networks lead to more opportunity.

So how can you become a LION? There's no official LinkedIn designation for a LinkedIn open networker. It's an unofficial designation coined by people willing to connect with anyone to grow their network as large as possible. If you want to be recognized as a LinkedIn LION, you can add LION to the end of your name in your profile or in your profile headline.

Being a LION can have its drawbacks. Unfortunately, with any website or online tool that gets popular, people start abusing its popularity. We're seeing it on Twitter with people automating their tweets, so they send an endless stream of tweets 24/7. We're also starting to see a steady stream of tweet spam where people are creating thousands of fake Twitter profiles that automatically re-tweet tweets from popular tweeters.

We're now seeing similar tricks on LinkedIn with fake LinkedIn profiles. Be careful if you receive an invitation from:

  • Someone who has no LinkedIn connections; LinkedIn now warns those who don't have connections or if they are new to LinkedIn
  • Profiles with no profile picture—one of my pet peeves, the incomplete profile
  • Profiles with company logos as their profile picture, which is a violation of the LinkedIn Terms of Service
  • Profiles with company names instead of a person's name; we connect with people, not companies, on LinkedIn!
  • Profiles that use partial names or symbols in their names so it looks machine generated
  • Profiles that have an SEO-optimized name, a phone number, email address, or their website URL
  • Keyword-stuffed title or summary

Do not connect with these people because it's probably a machine-generated profile or someone who is not on LinkedIn for the right reasons. If someone isn't willing to provide a complete name and fill out a complete profile properly, they're not fit for your network.

This article is being reprinted with permission

About the Author:

Ted ProdromouTed Prodromou is a speaker, author and online advertising consultant, generating leads for his clients using Google AdWords, Facebook ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. He also teaches online and in-person classes on LinkedIn, Twitter, and online advertising.

Ted Prodromou is the best selling, award-winning author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. In his past life, Ted worked for high tech companies IBM, DEC and Cellular One before starting his own consulting firm in 1999. You can learn more about Ted at tedprodromou.com.

4. Did You Know ....Articles?

(a) Legal Marketing

Legal Marketing - Have Your Elevator Speech Ready!

By Neil Pedersen

Most legal marketing and business development experts will agree that one of the most important things you can do to establish and build your business is to clearly and regularly communicate your practice area to all of your potential clients and referral sources. The industry term is "branding." The textbook definition of branding is "the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, design or reputation that identifies and differentiates one product or person from other products or persons."

Branding can take many forms for an attorney, including the most basic tools like business cards and letterhead that include practice areas prominently displayed on them. However, the most fundamental way you brand yourself is what you say about yourself to others. Interestingly, while most attorneys will spend substantial time, money and effort to develop logos, slogans, letterhead, business cards and other forms of marketing materials, very few attorneys spend any quality time developing and practicing the most important aspect of their marketing efforts - their elevator speech.

An elevator speech is a fifteen to twenty-second prepared remark that answers the most basic of questions: "So, what do you do?" The strange title comes from the idea that the answer should be short enough to convey your answer in the time it takes to meet someone in an elevator and compete it before the elevator ride is over.

The basic rules of an effective elevator speech are that they must be short, they must communicate your practice area effectively, and they should be memorable.

Short because many situations give you a small window period of time to convey your message. You can always add content in longer situations. However, be ready with no more than 15 to 20 seconds of content for your basic message. In that time, you must effectively communicate your practice area, but not simply a label. Your short opportunity should not be wasted on a simple generalization. If possible be specific about one or two things you do well within your practice area. Family law is a practice area. Helping mothers or fathers gain custody of their children is more specific - and more memorable. There are way too many attorneys out there doing the same thing you do. Telling someone you are a family law attorney, or a business litigator, does nothing to separate you from the pack. Being memorable may take the form of humor, or specific examples woven into your comment, or simply a different way to characterize what you do. Find a way to be memorable.

Once you have prepared the speech, memorize it. Put it on an index card and have it in your desk, briefcase or purse to pull out and refresh your memory before you go to an event where you might expect to use it. Invest time in this and you will be far more effective at branding yourself.

About the Author:
Neil PedersenNeil Pedersen teaches Law Practice Management and Technology at Western State College of Law in Fullerton, and he is the principal of Pedersen McQueen APLC, an Irvine, California law firm primarily dedicated to assisting employees against their employers in matters of discrimination, harassment, termination, wage and hour, and leave issues. Neil is also a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section. He can be reached at npedersen@pedersenlaw.com.

(b) Stand-Up Work Stations

Get Up, Stand Up, Stand for your...Health!

By Peter N. Brewer

It is pretty well beyond dispute that humans were not designed to sit most of the day. Yet for many of us our jobs fairly well demand it. Well, it's time for a revolution. Paraphrasing Bob Marley, Get Up, Stand Up! Stand up for your HEALTH.

I recommend that you experience the pleasure of a stand-up desk. I have been using a stand-up desk in my office for around ten years or so, pictured right. It is not my only desk -- I still sit to use the computer. But I put my phone on the stand-up desk, and positioned the stand-up desk facing the window with the nicest view, and now whenever I take or receive a phone call, I stand up. I keep a notepad on the stand-up desk so I am instantly ready to field a call and take notes.

Many of us have smart phones, and in recent years there has been an epidemic of health-oriented apps. Some or most of them have a feature that will ping you at certain intervals to get up and move around. The Apple Watch incorporates such a feature, and prompts you with a mild thud on your wrist, perhaps a toned down version of being whacked by your teacher in grade school. The app will ask a few preliminary questions about your sex, size, and activity level, and will then prompt you to move, stand up, and exercise. I enjoy getting up to my stand-up desk. The story of my acquisition of my stand-up desk is interesting. Back when I bought it the Internet was not yet as ubiquitous as it has become. But I turned to a search engine and searched for stand-up desks. Well one of the first search returns was, duh, "StandUpDesks.com."

Turns out these desks are pretty-much custom-made to your specifications by the Amish, who, as you probably know, make pretty nice furniture. If you saw the movie, The Witness, a number of years ago, you also know that the Amish do not use electrical appliances. So, how does one place an order? Well, there is a liaison who takes the orders and then I envision rides to the factory on his horse or whatever. Anyway, the result is that you get a really nice desk built according to your specifications of height, degree of slant, number of drawers, side-boards, and many, many more choices of specifications and accessories.

The idea has caught on around our office, although I am the only person who has a more old-fashioned desk. Others have found various contraptions that accommodate their computer keyboard and monitor, thus allowing them to use their computers while standing up. These contraptions have the capability to move the entire assembly up and down, so that one can vary between sitting and standing. One of the attorneys uses this device, the Ergotron WorkFit-T, pictured left. This device seems fairly portable as the attorney has been known to take it home and back to the office at will.

Yet another attorney uses the device at right, made by VariDesk at, of course, VariDesk.com. This unit also slides up and down, to accommodate either a seated or a standing position, and differs from the Ergotron in that it clamps to the desk. One can find a comparison write-up on the StandModern.com blog, "Is the ErgoTron Workfit-T an Ideal VariDesk Alternative."

While these newer devices certainly provide the stand-up capability, I am fond of my lovely, hand-crafted oak stand-up desk.

Regardless of which alternative you choose, Bob Marley would again ring in and advise you, "Don't give up the fight."

Give your anatomy a break, and find a way to do some of your work standing up.

About the Author:

Peter N. Brewer has been a lawyer for over 35 years, and is also licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate as a real estate broker. Peter started his own firm in 1995. The firm has grown to five attorneys, practicing real estate and lending law. The firm serves the legal needs of homeowners, purchasers and sellers, real estate and mortgage brokers, agents, brokerages, title companies, investors, other real estate professionals and their clients. Peter and his firm also represent clients in debt collection, creditor representation in bankruptcy, breach of contract matters, and other litigation and transactional work.

Peter obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Santa Clara Law School in 1979 and is also licensed to practice law in all State and Federal Courts in Idaho and certain Federal Courts in Michigan and Iowa (and probably in other states he no longer recalls). He loves dogs, hates kids, and is generally considered to have an insufferable disposition.

Peter N. Brewer, Esq.
Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer
2501 Park Blvd, 2nd Flr.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 327-2900 x 12
Cartoon Picture of Peter N. Brewer, Esq

Real Estate Law -- From the Ground Up®

(c) Summary Judgment

Perry Segal has alerted us to Senate Bill 470 which was signed into law on August 10, 2015, by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill will allow courts weighing requests for summary judgment to only consider objections to evidence they deem material to the motions. Objections not ruled on by a judge will be preserved for appellate review. The change is effective January 1, 2016.

Judges Catch a Break on Summary Judgment

by Cheryl Miller, The Recorder
August 10, 2015

SACRAMENTO — Judges should be able to dispose of summary-judgment motions more quickly under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 470 will allow courts weighing requests for summary judgment to only consider objections to evidence they deem material to the motion. Objections not ruled on by a judge will be preserved for appellate review.

The legislation, sponsored by the Judicial Council and the California Judges Association, is aimed at reducing the workload for judges bombarded with affidavits, declarations, requests for judicial notice and other submissions in certain civil matters. In one case identified by the Judicial Council, the defendants submitted 1,056 pages in moving papers supporting summary judgment. The plaintiff's opposition was nearly three times as long and included 47 objections. The defendants' reply included 764 objections of their own.

Although the Judicial Council does not keep statistics on the number of evidentiary objections filed, the California Supreme Court noted in its 2010 ruling in Reid v. Google "that it has become common practice for litigants to flood the trial courts with inconsequential written evidentiary objections, without focusing on those that are critical."

"It could be that only a half-dozen objections in any case are relevant," said California Judges Association lobbyist Michael Belote.

In Reid, an age discrimination complaint against the search company, the high court clarified that when a trial court does not rule on a specific evidentiary objection, that objection is deemed overruled and preserved on appeal.

In the wake of the ruling, "it is not entirely clear whether a trial judge has an obligation to address every objection or not," Belote said. The new law specifies that judges need only consider key objections while codifying the Reid holding that unheard objections remain subject to appeal.

The bill is part of a package of so-called efficiency measures backed by judges in the current legislative season. AB 555 would expand the state's expedited jury trial program, now used in only 14 counties, to make the system of limited argument time and smaller-sized juries mandatory in certain limited civil cases. SB 383 would attempt to streamline the demurrer process by, in part, requiring parties to meet and confer at least five days before a responsive pleading is due.

Contact the reporter at cmiller@alm.com.

(d) Crowdfunding

Strapped for cash to start a law firm? Crowdfunding may be permissible, ethics opinion says


(Photo from Shutterstock)

Lawyers who want to start a law firm but are short on cash may be able to use some types of crowdfunding, according to an ethics opinion.

Lawyers may not use any funding, however, that gives the investor an interest in a law firm or a share of its revenue, according to the June 29 opinion by the New York State Bar Association. The ABA BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct has a story.

The opinion responds to an inquiry by recent law school graduates who need to raise capital to cover the start-up expenses of a new law firm. The recent grads have substantial student loan debt and want to avoid further borrowing. But they need money to cover costs such as rent, website development, professional liability insurance and office supplies.

The opinion notes five approaches to crowfunding. Two approaches that would "clearly violate" ethics rules are the royalty model, which rewards investors with a percentage of revenues, and the equity model, which provides investors an ownership interest in the venture.

The lending model of crowdfunding is similar to a traditional loan and would not meet the law grads' goal of not incurring more debt, the opinion says.

Two other models—the donation model and the reward model—may be allowed under ethics rules, the opinion says.

Under the donation model, donors get nothing in return. The opinion noted that donors may be reluctant to give away money for a startup law firm. "But we see no ethical issues with the donation model," the opinion said, "as long as the lawyers make clear that donors will receive nothing in return and that the law firm is designed to be a profit-making enterprise."

The reward model may also be permissible. The recent law grads had suggested rewarding donors with informational pamphlets, reports on the firm's progress, or pro bono work for a third-party nonprofit legal organization.

The ethics opinion said informational pamphlets and progress reports would have to comport with advertising rules, if they are applicable. Reports with topical news designed to educate recipients about new developments in the law would not be considered advertising. The lawyers should take care that their writings don't give individual advice, the opinion added.

If the reward consists of pro bono service for an outside organization, the lawyers would have to make sure they are competent to handle the legal work and have no conflicts of interest.


About the Author:
Debra Cassens Weiss, a senior writer/online, joined the ABA Journal staff in 1986. She had worked as a news researcher for WMAQ-TV in Chicago, as a reporter and editor at the City News Bureau of Chicago, and as a newscaster at WMRO and WAUR radio (Aurora, Ill.). Deb holds a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois

5. News from The State Bar

Public Comment

The State Bar of California currently has no new items out for public comment. Do check the Public Comment section on The State Bar's website for new postings.

If you feel that the LPMT Executive Committee should submit comments on behalf of the LPMT Section members to a particular item out for public comment, please contact Amy Williams, Chair of the Rules Subcommittee at aawlaw@earthlink.net are also cited.

PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be, construed as a recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published.

6. The Bottom Line/eTBL

October Issue

We hope you found the August issue informative. The Editorial Committee continues to gather articles for the October 2015 issue. To date, the following articles are scheduled to be in the October issue:

MCLE Self-Study Credit-1 hour: Going Digital: A Step-by-Step Approach on How to Make the Change, Part Two, by Neil Pedersen

Report on the ILTACON (International Legal Technology Association Convention, which was held in Las Vegas August 30 through September 3, 2015), by Jeffrey Bennion

The following articles are from The Bottom Line archives, but are worthy of republishing due to their timely and informative content:

Business Travel Security Holes, by Robert Brownstone (The Bottom Line, Volume 32, Number 5, October 2011)

Burying the Billable Hour: Eight Steps to Implementing Value Pricing in Your Firm, by Ronald J. Baker (The Bottom Line, Volume 33, Number 4, August 2012)

Articles for publication are welcome. Send them to mike.fenger@ceb.ucla.edu or to Section Coordinator, Kristina Robledo (kristina.robledo@calbar.ca.gov), to be reviewed by the editorial committee. Obtain the Guidelines for submitting articles from the Section Coordinator

Archived Articles: Archived issues of The Bottom Line can be found in the Members' Only section of the LPMT website going back to October 2011. Prior to that date, you will find only a table of contents for past issues. Some past issues may still be available. Contact Section Coordinator, Kristina Robledo (kristina.robledo@calbar.ca.gov).

7. Educational Opportunities

(a) Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics for Members of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section

As a benefit of Section membership, The State Bar is pleased to offer four hours of MCLE credit in Legal Ethics -- enough to fulfill your requirements in this subfield! Just watch the selected programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you are audited for MCLE compliance.

(b) CYLA 10-Minute Mentor

The California Young Lawyers Association has assembled a series of mentoring videos which are posted at: HERE. New videos are being added all the time.

Videos by LPMT Executive Committee members/advisors are set forth below.

The hash tag for the CYLA Mentoring Videos is, #10MinuteMentor, should you wish to retweet any of the videos.

(c) Online CLE

View the Online CLE catalog to find webinars and programs presented by the LPMT Section or which contain practice management topics. Also find articles from Section publications, including The Bottom Line, to obtain self-study MCLE credit.

Please provide your thoughts and suggestions to the Chair of the Education Committee, Kurt Obermeyer or LPMT@calbar.ca.gov. Let Kurt hear from you with suggested topics or a proposal to present a webinar or program.

8. Executive Committee News

(a) 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Ends -- Thank You

The eNewsletter Editorial Team wishes to acknowledge and thank the following members of the Executive Committee who are completing their terms on the Executive Committee this year:

Voting Members: Kurt Obermeyer, Neil Pedersen, Nyanza Shaw and Amy Williams.

Special Advisors: Mari Frank, Cynthia Mascio, Larry Meyer, Patty Miller, Derick Roselli and Perry Segal.

These voting members and special advisors have contributed to the Section by writing articles and providing content for the Section's publications, as well as presenting workshops at the Annual Meeting and Solo and Small Firm Summit. The Section is extremely grateful to these members for their many contributions and guidance. Several of the outgoing voting members and special advisors are returning to serve as Special Advisors for 2015-2016 (see below), and Kurt Obermeyer will be serving as Chair.

Liaisons from the following professional organizations have also contributed to the Section this year, keeping their members informed of the activities of the LPMT Section:

Michael Fenger, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
Anne Bernardo, Law Libraries
Mary Rocca, Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI)

The eNewsletter Editorial Team would also like to express its appreciation to Sections Internet Coordinator, Michael Mullen, and his team for their assistance in producing the eNewsletter. The latest format for the eNewsletter makes it easily read on mobile devices. Thanks also go out to our Section Coordinator, Kristina Robledo, and her assistant, Raven Ogden, who are always available to answer questions, provide guidance and keep us organized!

(b) 2015-2016 Brings a New Year for the Executive Committee -- New Officers and Voting Members

In 2015-2016, the LPMT Section will be lead by the following officers of the Executive Committee:


Chair: Kurt Obermeyer, El Segundo
Vice Chair: Peter Brewer, Palo Alto
Secretary: Patricia Miller, Watsonville
Treasurer: Cynthia Mascio, Cerritos

The newly-elected officers will assume their duties at the conclusion of The State Bar Annual Meeting.

Executive Committee

Joining the LPMT Executive Committee are the following newly-appointed voting members who will begin their terms at the conclusion of The State Bar Annual Meeting:

Term Expires 9-16-18

  1. Cynthia Mascio, public member (paralegal), Cerritos
  2. Christi McGowan, public member (paralegal), San Clemente
  3. George Seide, attorney, Calabasas

Term Expires 10-2-16

  1. Araceli Almazan, attorney, Burbank
  2. Jack Kenefick, public member, Laguna Hills

The following members will continue serving on the LPMT Executive Committee:

Voting members: Jeffrey Bennion, Peter Brewer, Eri Burns, Martin Dean, Michael Fenger, Prashant Kumar, Donna Low, and Annie Parrish.

Special Advisors (2015-2016): Mari Frank, Larry Meyer, Patty Miller, Neil Pedersen, Perry Segal, Amy Williams, and Nyanza Shaw (Immediate Past Chair).

Liaisons: The Executive Committee also includes liaisons from the following professional organizations: California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA); Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB); California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA); Law Libraries; and Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI). The individual representatives from these organizations for 2015-2016 will be introduced in a future eNews.

The Executive Committee will meet at The State Bar Annual Meeting to develop plans for 2015-2016. The Executive Committee members want to know what you want from your membership in the LPMT Section. Do let them hear from you. You can communicate via email, Facebook or Twitter. Send your thoughts, suggestions, and comments via LPMT@calbar.ca.gov.

(c) News from LPMT Section Members:

Members, let us know what you are doing so we can include your activities and accomplishments in our next eNewsletter. Let us hear from you (LPMT@calbar.ca.gov).

(d) Opening, Growing and Managing a Law Office.

Purchase the State Bar's two publications, The California Guide to Opening a Law Office and The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office (official hash tag #GrowLaw) to assist you in running and growing your law practice. Your Executive Committee members are contributing authors.

9. Future State Bar Annual Meetings

2015: October 8-11, Anaheim
2016: September 29-October 2, San Diego
2017: August 24-27, Anaheim
2018: September 13-16, San Diego

10. Member Benefits

The September/Ocober eNews included detailed information about how members of the LPMT can take advantage of discounts.

  • Time59
  • AB Unlimited
  • Lexology®
  • TechnoLawyer®
  • LawBiz®
  • ShareFile
  • JumpStart Genius®
  • CEB®
  • Inventus

For detailed information about vendor benefits, go to the Members Only Section under Special Offers and Discounts.


Special thanks to those who have contributed content to the September/October 2015 issue of the eNews -- Perry Segal, Neil Pedersen, Peter Brewer, Patty Miller, Annie Parrish, and Nyanza Shaw.

Members of the eNewsletter Subcommittee are to be acknowledged and thanked for their contributions and efforts in producing 6 issues of the LPMT eNews this fiscal year. They are: Peter Brewer, Eri Burns, Prashant Kumar, Annie Parrish, and Patty Miller.