Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CCBA 2012 Legislative Program Going Strong at Halfway Point

The first half of the current legislative year came to a close last Friday, and the 2012 CCBA Legislative Program is doing quite well.

Of 18 bills introduced new in 2012, 11 met the June 1 deadline for clearing their house of origin (i.e., introduction), and are now in the second house awaiting hearing.  Combined with four carry-over measures introduced in 2011 that stalled in the second house but are still alive, there is a chance that the CCBA could be the source of 16 or so new statutes when the new laws take effect next January.
Assm. Don Wagner

And there are even a couple of CCBA resolutions on their way to effective enactment, even though the legislation they were in has died. For instance, AB 1582 by Assemblymember Don Wagner, which proposed to clarify and expand the circumstances during which telephonic appearances are permitted, was permitted to die in policy committee without a hearing, so that a top-level working group established by the Judicial Council and including representatives of the CCBA, plaintiffs' bar, and defense bar, could study the problem in depth and develop a comprehensive solution.  Without CCBA Resolution 07-05-2010, this wouldn't have happened.

Assm. Mike Gatto
Two CCBA-sponsored bills now in the Senate were the focus of much effort on the CCBA's "Legislative Day" in March, and may prove particularly significant from a policy standpoint:
  • AB 1624 by Assemblymember Mike Gatto would protect California seniors - and others - from financial abuse by overturning the case of Lee v. Yang.  That case held that any person on a multi-party bank account could legally drain the account dry, even if he or she didn't contribute a dime to the money in the account, but had only been added to the account to assist the primary account holder in paying his or her bills.   The bill is based on CCBA Resolution 06-06-2010, sponsored by the Contra Costa County Bar Association.
  • AB 2025 by Assemblymember Jeff Gorell would require the California Law Revision Commission (CLRC) to study the impact that California's absolute confidentiality requirement with regard to mediation is having on public protection from dishonest or incompetent attorneys.  Under current statutory law, nothing relating to a mediation proceeding is admissible in a malpractice proceeding or State Bar disciplinary action - even evidence that an attorney lied to his or her client or provided the client with incompetent advice. The bill is based on CCBA Resolution 10-06-2011 by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. 
      Several of the other CCBA-sponsored and -supported measures have already been set for hearing next week in the Senate Judiciary, Public Safety, and Labor & Industrial Relations.  More on them in a future post.  

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