Daily Commerce
Friday, June 21, 2024
GUEST COLUMNS

Friday, June 21, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a bump stock modification of a semi-automatic rifle did not convert it to an illegal machinegun, and that the ATF exceeded its statutory authority under Section 5845 (b).
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has seen record highs in False Claims Act enforcement in 2023, with a focus on healthcare fraud, pandemic-related fraud, and increased scrutiny of private equity and venture capital firms alongside their portfolio companies.
Few can challenge the wisdom of prescribing medications for life-threatening health conditions. Yet many would balk at the suggestion of "prescribing" housing, even though research and lived experience show us that homelessness is a life-threatening condition in the U.S.
It's no surprise that California health care workers have questions about a new state law that will give them a higher minimum wage. It has different pay scales based on where they work and who they work for. And, Gov. Gavin Newsom has turned its start date into a moving target, confusing both workers and employers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Thinking out loud about revised Civil Code 2924m, which allows more time for bidding and may permit a bankruptcy filing after the foreclosure auction.
The Supreme Court did not address the merits of the plaintiffs' claims, left open the possibility of future lawsuits or policy changes, and deferred to the legislative and executive branches to amend the FDA's authority if they deem it appropriate.
A first-of-its-kind orientation inside the San Quentin Rehabilitation Center last month helped illuminate what California can do to keep its prison population decreasing if lawmakers approve a budget cut that would close dozens of housing blocks statewide.
Several members of California's Legislative Black Caucus launched a statewide tour in San Diego Saturday to promote a slate of 14 reparations bills, including a measure that could change the state constitution to end forced prison labor.
When a judge ruled recently that a controversial state housing law did not apply to a handful of southern California cities, Julie Testa saw it as an invitation.
Within the next week and change, Democrats who control the Legislature and fellow Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom will need to reconcile their competing budget plans for higher education in California, with huge implications for student financial aid and the short-term fiscal health of the state's public universities.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The problem method involves handing out a short story that poses several legal issues related to the cases assigned for the week, and asking students to prepare and discuss an outline of the issues in class. This method helps students remember the rules, practice exam-writing, apply the law to complex situations, and have fun playing lawyer.
Shippers and carriers may face huge losses or disputes if they neglect or omit the details of their contracts, such as the value, nature and package of the goods, the scope and limits of liability, and the extension of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act to off-vessel periods.
California's nonprofits have been dragged into a bitter legislative battle with some of the state's most powerful labor organizations over local government contracts with non-union workers.
Within the next week and change, Democrats who control the Legislature and fellow Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom will need to reconcile their competing budget plans for higher education in California, with huge implications for student financial aid and the short-term fiscal health of the state's public universities.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Contributing to charity can diminish tax obligations, yet it can also entail pitfalls like quid pro quo donations, valuation challenges, and compliance with reporting mandates.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Fearless Fund's Strivers Grant Contest, which provides $20,000 to businesses owned by Black women, violates a civil rights law that prohibits racial discrimination in contracts.
After legislative leaders failed to reach an agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom about how to close California's projected multibillion-dollar deficit, the Legislature passed a placeholder state budget Thursday, just ahead of a mandatory deadline.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The jury in New York made clear that no one, not even a former president, is above the law.
Uber on Monday lost its long-running attempt to overturn a California law that would require it to provide employment rights to its drivers and delivery workers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

In "1984," George Orwell's novel about a dystopian future, he describes "newspeak," a propagandistic language of euphemisms and inversions used by officialdom to mask the reality of their meaning.
California has a rich and complex history. With that, comes a responsibility to acknowledge and address the painful legacy of slavery.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The report fails to provide verifiable data or specific analysis to justify its proposals, and in some cases, contradicts its own facts and findings.
Imagine growing up in a home where tap water consistently runs a stomach-churning brown, sometimes with an odor.
As many as 300,000 Californians have until June 30 to take advantage of a one-time offer to qualify for faster student loan forgiveness, lower monthly payments or outright forgiveness for federal loans borrowed before 2010.
One year after Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed changing the U.S. Constitution to place new restrictions on gun ownership, no other states have joined his campaign for a 28th amendment.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Tax professionals can play a vital role in clarifying the taxation of damages and legal fees, assessing tax gross-up assertions, unraveling complexities in tax-related investments, and pinpointing tax reporting inaccuracies.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Every tax season hundreds of thousands of Californians are hit with an unexpected bill: They owe hundreds of dollars or more to the IRS because they accepted more money in subsidies for health insurance than they were allowed.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

When La Prensa publisher and longtime Chula Vista resident Art Castañares first filed a public records request in 2021 to review video footage from police department drones, he wanted "to see how police use the new drones and whether they may be violating people's privacy rights as they fly over thousands of homes around the city."

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

California is facing a crisis as insurance companies are leaving the state due to the increasing frequency and severity of climate-related disasters. The insurance industry must be allowed to use "forward-looking" models to calculate premiums and spread the risk of disasters without encouraging risky behavior.
The Court ruled that challenges to a re-districting map must establish that "race was the predominant factor motivating the legislature's decision to place a significant number of voters within or without a particular district." The Court further noted that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from engaging in racial gerrymandering unless it satisfies strict scrutiny.
The man who would finally break up California is a real estate developer from Rancho Cucamonga.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Self-regulation is a messy business. In politics, it can seem elusive.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Seven years ago, California's Supreme Court declared broad support for the historic right of voters to make law through the initiative process.
In March 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom stood before a crowd in Sacramento's Cal Expo event center and made a promise: He'd send 1,200 tiny homes to shelter homeless residents in the capital city and three other places throughout the state.

Friday, May 24, 2024

When Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a much-revised 2024-25 state budget this month, he became visibly irritated when reporters pressed him about raising taxes to cover a $44.9 billion deficit, particularly the corporate tax hikes that left-leaning groups have suggested to avoid spending cuts in health, welfare and education programs.
Based on their line of questioning, California Supreme Court justices seemed to be reaching for a compromise as they heard oral arguments Tuesday in the long-running legal saga over whether gig workers should be considered independent contractors or employees.
Special interest groups spent more than $114 million to lobby California officials and legislators in the first quarter of this year, matching the pace last year when a record $480 million was spent to influence state policy decisions.
Few places in California are as unforgiving for driving an electric car as the remote and sparsely populated Imperial Valley.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Homelessness gets top billing in a measure likely to make it onto your November ballot. Whether the measure has anything to do with homelessness is debatable.
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