Governor Jerry Brown Monday (June 24) signed into law the first of what hopefully will be many bills from the Conference of California Bar Associations' (CCBA) 2013 Legislative Program.
AB 1183, by Assemblymember Brian Jones of Santee, specifies in statute that the clock does not begin to run on the deadline for filing motions to compel further response to discovery requests until verified responses to the requests are received. This simple clarification in the law will help decrease litigation games-playing and abuse of the discovery process, to the benefit of practitioners, clients and the courts.
The bill, now Chapter 18 of the Statutes of 2013, will take effect January 1, 2014. It is based on CCBA Resolutions 02-06-2011, 02-08-2011, and 02-09-2011, by former CCBA Chair Lilys McCoy of the San Diego County Bar Association delegation. The measure passed both houses of the Legislature without opposition or ‘No’ votes.
Two other CCBA-sponsored bills are already poised to join AB 1183 on the roll of laws-to-be. AB 434, a largely technical bill by Assemblymember Curt Hagman relating to the issuance of dividends and redemption of shares by California corporations, is currently on the Governor's desk awaiting signature. The bill is based on CCBA Resolution 10-02-2012, developed by Trevor Carson of the Sacramento County Bar Association.
In addition, AB 824, also authored by Jones, has been approved by both houses of the Legislature and is currently in Engrossing and Enrollment, the ministerial process immediately prior to submission to the Governor. The bill, based on Resolution 04-11-2012 developed by Randall Spencer of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, would amend Code of Civil Procedure §1856 to confirm that trust instruments are agreements subject to the parol evidence rule, as has been held in numerous court decisions.
The three bills are the vanguard of fourteen bills (out of 21) sponsored or supported by the CCBA which are still moving through the legislative process this year.