Attorneys Are “Debt Relief Agencies” Under Bankruptcy Code

On March 8, 2010, the United States Supreme Court in Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A. v. United States (2010) 559 U S ____, 2010 US Lexis 2206, 10 C.D.O.S. 2797 ruled that attorneys fall within the definition of “debt relief agencies” in Bankruptcy Code §101(12A). This means that advertising rules in Bankruptcy Code §528(a)(4) and limitations on advice to debtors in Bankruptcy Code §526(a)(4) apply to attorneys. Continue reading

Keeping Up With Politics On-Line

How fast is your life and practice changing because of new technology? According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, the following “technological marvels …reach[ed] 50 million users” in:

  • Radio — 38 years
  • Television — 13 years
  • Internet — 4 years

Profile in Practice: Mary C. Rupp

As part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, we will be posting a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys.

This week, we profile sole practitioner Mary C. Rupp:

CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?

Mary: I practice family law, which was a natural segue for me. My former career in the 1980’s was in speech/language pathology and I taught in special education classrooms for many years. My experiences in dealing with family issues, child development, schools, etc. enhance my law practice. Also, I chose family law when I first started my practice in 1994 because I needed to charge an hourly rate to pay my monthly bills! Continue reading

Will Toyota’s Woes Lead to Successful Suits?

Toyota’s vehicle recalls have been front-page news for some time now, and this spawned many lawsuits from Toyota owners. Some of these plaintiffs have been injured when their vehicles malfunctioned. But there are also many plaintiffs with recalled models who don’t have any personal injury or property damages to point to. 

To be successful, a plaintiff must show that the manufacture or design caused injury (Soule v General Motors Corp. (1994) 8 C4th 548, 560, 34 CR2d 607). So, the $64,000 question (more likely, $64 million) is whether the plaintiffs who have not been involved in an accident with their Toyota vehicle will be able to make the required showing of injury. Continue reading

State Bar Wants a Few Good Men and Women

There are five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors available.  To run for one, you need only (1) be an active member of the State Bar, and (2) have your law practice in a district where there’s a vacancy.  The five vacancies this year come from all over the state.

Voting for Board members will be easier than ever this year, with the bar conducting a “hybrid” election that offers voting both by mail and electronically.

For nominating petitions and other information, click here.

© The Regents of the University of California, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


FTC Guides Apply to Bloggers

Effective December 1, 2009, the FTC updated its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, including among the changes a requirement that “bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.” Continue reading

Focus on the Win-Win

When trying to settle a legal dispute, it is often helpful to move away from a discussion of who was right and who was wrong, either in relation to the law or the parties’ underlying conduct. Arguing about who is right and who is wrong is useless when there’s no judge or jury to declare a winner.  And, as a practical matter, it is extremely unlikely that one side will convince the other to accept its legal position wholesale—no matter how correct or persuasive that position is.

So, what do you focus on instead?  Continue reading

Red Flags Rule Now Effective June 1, 2010

Note: On May 28, the FTC postponed the effective date of these rules through December 31, 2010.  See updated blog post here.

Under the Federal Trade Commission’s “Red Flags Rule,” financial institutions and creditors with “covered accounts” must develop protocols to detect and prevent identity theft. The new deadline for complying with this Rule is June 1, 2010. This effective date has been postponed several times, most recently from November 1, 2009, because:

a number of industries and entities within the FTC’s jurisdiction expressed confusion and uncertainty about their coverage by and/or obligations under the rule. See the earlier FTC Statement and the FTC Red Flag website.

Continue reading

California Law Professor Is Court Nominee

President Obama nominated Goodwin Liu, a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Liu is a law professor and associate dean at the University of California at Berkeley.

Since this announcement on February 24, 2010, there has arisen a “vigorous debate over what Liu’s jurisprudence would look like if he were confirmed.” As discussed in detail on

Continue reading

Governor Wants Supreme Court To Decide on Furlough Authority NOW

On March 2, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger petitioned to consolidate the appeals in seven cases that challenged his right to order state employee furloughs. The petition also asks that the cases be transferred to the Supreme Court immediately. Since the furloughs were instituted last year, 27 cases have been filed, and there are currently ten appeals pending in those  cases.

As pointed out at Legal Pad:

…It’s not like the trial courts have been issuing consistent rulings. … All these lawsuits were probably headed to the Supreme Court anyway… But it’s also shaping up to be a big political headache for the judiciary.

What do you think?
© The Regents of the University of California, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.