Category Archives: Ninth Circuit

CA CLE: California MCLE Deadline is February 1

Don’t worry, there’s is still plenty of time to get your California MCLE done! If you’re an attorney whose last name states with H-M, you still have a few months left to get your required California MCLE done! The deadline is not until February 1, 2018.

25 California MCLEs

If you are a Group 2 (H-M) California attorney you must complete the 25 required MCLE hours by February 1.

Of the 25 required CA MCLE hours, you must complete 4 hours of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Competence Issues and 1 hour of Elimination of Bias. And you must complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory CA CLE credit. For more information about the mandatory CA CLE requirement please click here: CA CLE.

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New CLE: The Nuts and Bolts Appellate Oral Arguments

Your oral argument is not a speech at the local Toastmasters where you will be handed ten minutes of interrupted speaking time. Rather, it’s dynamic, rapid shifting and can require extreme responsiveness if you get that judge that likes to pepper you with questions. Since oral argument is much more fluid process than regurgitating a written response, you need a more dynamic approach when you prepare and present your argument.

When you prepare for oral argument do you find yourself writing out a convoluted outline and rehearsing in front of the mirror like you are going to be speaking at the local Toastmasters?

In this incredibly entertaining and practical CLE course, Peter R. Afrasiabi covers what to do, what NOT to do and how to be prepared when you stand at the podium to argue your appeal. Peter mainly discusses the hallmarks of an effective oral argument, winning preparation strategies and practical points when making your argument in front of the judges (or justices). To access the course please click here: Appellate Oral Arguments: Nuts and Bolts and Do’s and Don’ts.

Peter also addresses the following:

  • Using a conversation dialogue
  • Knowing your audience & goals
  • Crafting a compelling argument
  • Establishing credibility
  • The kitchen sink approach
  • Briefs & the record review process
  • Facts & law review
  • Your podium materials
  • Mooting
  • Your first words
  • Staying cool under pressure
  • Possible outcomes
  • Amicus briefs
  • 7 Golden Rules

From battles with Madonna over the “Material Girl” brand to fair use disputes with the Eagles’ Don Henley to protecting such iconic brands as Bettie Page in trademark and trade dress disputes, Peter R. Afrasiabi primarily handles copyright, trademark, and entertainment disputes. He is also the Chair of the Appellate Practice Group for One LLP and co-director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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CLE Course: Issue Spotting in Criminal Law Cases

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There is a great deal at risk when a person is accused of a crime. Your client’s life and liberty are at stake, and there is a lot of information you need to be able to recognize to ensure that your client’s rights are properly protected. Whether you are a civil attorney that needs a refresher on criminal law or you are an attorney that’s just starting out in criminal practice, this CLE program will cover the basics of criminal defense and issue spotting in criminal cases.

Common issues in criminal law courses:

  • Whether the questioning of the defendant was legal
  • Did the police have a legal reason to stop the defendant
  • Whether the police unlawfully seized evidence

In this Criminal Law 101 course, attorney Paul Ghanouni mainly discusses constitutional issues, police-citizen encounters, statements to police and search & seizure law. Attorneys that take this course will be able to: recognize key issues in criminal case, discuss common criminal law issues, identify key facts and conduct research on criminal topics. While this course does discuss key criminal topics & issues, it does not discuss the specific elements of criminal offenses because this information is specific to each jurisdiction. To access the course please click here: Criminal Law: Issue Spotting 101.

Further issues addressed in this CLE course:[1]

  • The exclusionary rule
  • The right to counsel
  • The right to silence
  • Voluntary statements
  • Searches of persons & motor vehicles
  • The plain view doctrine
  • The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine
  • Key practice points

Paul Ghanouni is a criminal defense attorney based in Woodstock, Georgia. After beginning his career at a small firm, he founded his own law practice in 2007 and now specializes in teen and young adult defense. He is a regular presenter on legal issues before legal and community groups. Outside of his practice he is active with the Blue Ridge Bar Association, having served as vice president and president. He is a member of the Woodstock Optimist Club.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] Case law discussed in this CLE course includes: Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89 (1964), Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412 (1986), Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 (1994), Miller v. Fenton, 474 U.S. 104 (1985), Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385, Lynumn v. Illinois, 372 U.S. 528 (1963), Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969), United States v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675 (1985), Arizona v. Gant, 556 US 332 (2009), South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364 (1976), Pennsylvania v. Labron, 518 U.S. 938 (1996) and Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990).

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CLE Course on The Duty of Confidentiality and The Attorney-Client Privilege

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Attorneys must have a firm understanding of the full scope of the attorney-client privilege in order to protect themselves and their clients from improperly disclosing confidential client information in violation of Rule 1.6. However, the attorney-client privilege is often confused with an attorney’s ethical duty of confidentiality – but you must realize that these are two very different legal and ethical principles. The ethical duty of confidentiality provides broader protection than the attorney-client privilege and applies to all information relating to the representation of the client, even the identity of the client in some cases. Unfortunately, many attorneys and even some judges still get tripped up by these two principles.

The attorney-client privilege is an evidentiary rule that protects certain communications between the attorney and client from a third party’s efforts to discover the content of the communications.

It is extremely important that you know the scope and coverage of both principles because an unintended waiver of confidentiality or privilege can be the difference between winning and losing your case – and could even result in a serious ethics violation. To learn more, join trial attorney Paul Marks as he discusses how to recognize and avoid unintended waivers of confidentiality and privilege. The main topics covered in this legal ethics CLE course include ethically naming your client, malpractice lawsuits & client confidences, the attorney-client privilege & third party disclosure and the attorney-client privilege in international discovery. To access the course please click here: Privileged and Confidential: Legal Ethics and The Attorney-Client Relationship.

The following topics are also addressed in this legal ethics CLE course:

  • Listing clients & businesses that you’ve represented on your website
  • Press releases & confidentiality clauses
  • Revealing information about clients to third parties
  • Writing books about former clients
  • Designating an in-house ethics counsel inside your firm
  • Billing, interpreters & experts
  • Furthering the interests of the client
  • The “reasonably related to the representation” standard
  • The Martha Stewart case
  • The attorney-client privilege & international litigation
  • The attorney-client privilege in civil law countries

Paul S. Marks has practiced civil and commercial litigation in California for over twenty years. Mr. Marks has served as first chair trial counsel in over thirty cases that have reached verdict, about half of them being jury trials. He recently served as a Delegate to the policy-making arm of the American Bar Association, the ABA’s House of Delegates. In July 2011, Mr. Marks was appointed to a three-year term as a Commissioner on the California Commission on Access to Justice, a State agency comprised of trial court and appellate judges and practicing lawyers and he also serves as an adviser on the Executive Committee of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the California Bar. Previously, Mr. Marks served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar’s Litigation Section, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, and the Litigation Section’s Committee on Civil Jury Instructions. In addition to being a member of the Board of Editors of Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, Mr. Marks was honored as “Advocate of the Year” in 2008 by Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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Texas CLE: How do I report CLE compliance?

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Attorneys licensed to practice in Texas must complete at least 15 Texas CLE credit hours each annual TX MCLE compliance period as part of the mandatory CLE requirement in Texas.  Texas attorneys must also complete at least 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility to properly fulfill the mandatory 15 credit hour TX CLE requirement.  But how do you report your TX MCLE compliance to the State Bar of Texas?

Texas MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month preceding birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: First day of attorney’s birth month

You will report your annual TX MCLE compliance on the Annual MCLE Verification Report.  Your Annual MCLE Verification Report will be mailed to you by the State Bar of Texas eight weeks before the month that you were born.  It is your duty to review this report carefully to ensure that it is both accurate and complete.

If the Verification Report indicates that you have completed the requisite number of TX MCLE hours, then no further action is required.

If you have NOT completed or reported the minimum 15 TX credit hours by the last day of your compliance year, a reminder Notice will be emailed and mailed to you by the State Bar of Texas at the beginning of your birth month.[1]  If you do not complete and report at least 15 hours of Texas CLE by the last day of your birth month grace period then you will be in non-compliance and subject to a penalty.  Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: TX CLE.

 [1] This period is considered a grace period and you will be given this period in order to comply with the TX CLE requirements without a penalty.

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Mississippi CLE: 12 Credit Hours by July 31

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Mississippi attorneys must complete at least 12 CLE units every annual MS CLE compliance period.  As part of the annual 12 credit hour MS CLE requirement, Mississippi attorneys must complete at least one (1) required hour of ethics/professionalism.  Mississippi attorneys can fulfill up to six (6) hours of CLE credit each compliance period by completing online and downloadable MS CLE courses.

Mississippi CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: July 31
  • Reporting Deadline: August 15

Mississippi attorneys must complete the 12 required MS CLE credit hours by July 31.  On or before August 15 each Mississippi attorney must also submit a report on a form provided by the MS CLE Commission.  The CLE report must detail the attorney’s completion of, exemption from or approved substitute for the minimum hours of MS CLE instruction.[1]

Each attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Mississippi shall attend, or complete an approved substitute for attendance, a minimum or twelve (12) actual hours of approved Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) during each successive twelve (12) month period (the “CLE year”) from and after August 1 of each year, of which one hour shall be in the area of legal ethics, professional responsibility, professionalism, malpractice prevention, substance abuse or mental health (the “ethics/professionalism hour”).[2]

Each Mississippi attorney that fails to timely submit the report of CLE compliance must pay a $25.00 late fee to the MS CLE Commission when they do finally submit their MCLE report.[3]  Failing to complete the MS CLE requirement can lead to the attorney’s license to practice law be suspended.  For more information about CLE please click here: MS CLE.


[1] The report must reference the MS CLE hours earned during that CLE compliance period and CLE hours to be carried forward to the next MS CLE year.

[2] Mississippi CLE Rules and Regulations

http://courts.ms.gov/rules/msrulesofcourt/continuing_legal_education.pdf

[3] The Commission will treat all delinquently filed reports not accompanied by the late fee as not having been filed.

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Basics of Appellate Advocacy

Are you considering moving into appellate practice?

Do you need to familiarize yourself with how to handle a civil appeal?

Are you a trial attorney that needs to know the best way to preserve the record for appeal?

If so, we have just added an excellent new course on the Basics of Appellate Advocacy.  The goal of this course is to introduce attorneys to the basics of handling civil appeals, with an emphasis on the mechanics of an appeal.  It will cover relevant rules, filing requirements, deadlines, and important considerations, including crucial steps that must be taken by both trial and appellate counsels.  The course will focus on the laws of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but it includes numerous practice points and techniques that can be adopted by practitioners around the country.

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This course is intended for new attorneys or those attorneys that are new to appellate practice that want to familiarize themselves with how to handle a civil appeal.  This course will briefly touch upon and cover the following topics: what needs to be done during various proceedings and trial to preserve a future appeal, when to file an appeal, how to file an appeal (with a special emphasis on what to do you if you were not the trial counsel), the appellate brief and tips for oral argument.

Further topics discussed include:

  • Appeals based on the exclusion/erroneous admission of evidence
  • Jury instructions
  • Appeals based on verdict
  • Preserving the record
  • The final judgment rule
  • Immediately appealable matters
  • Calculating the correct Federal appeals deadline
  • Appeals deadlines in California
  • Extending the time to file
  • Considerations when planning to file and appeal
  • The standard of review

Amy Ghosh started out doing insurance defense and intellectual property work, but eventually found her niche in immigration. She has years of success conducting deportation defense and asylum cases before the Immigration Court, and also handles H1B visa, Labor Certification, Naturalization, Citizenship, and other immigration processes. She also has trial and appellate experience in civil and family law cases. Joanna Ghosh’s experience includes working in-house for large national and international organizations, and doing policy work in our Washington, D.C. and abroad. Although recently admitted to practice, Joanna has handled complex legal issues and civil litigation, having conducted trials and undertaken appeals on behalf of both businesses and individuals.

This CLE course on persuasion techniques for attorneys is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York (NY) and around the country.  For more information about continuing legal education (CLE) in New York, please click the following link: New York CLE.

Tasered For A Seatbelt Violation: Excessive Force?

A Sunday morning traffic stop that ended with a tasering – I would rather have a cup of coffee for breakfast. But that’s just how 21-year-old Carl Bryan started his day early one summer morning in 2005. And according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Coronado police officer who zapped the young man with a Taser during that stop – for a seatbelt infraction – is not entitled to qualified immunity.

A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court ruled Monday that the intermediate level of force used by Officer Brian McPherson on Carl Bryan was excessive under the circumstances. The ruling upholds a decision by San Diego-based U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns that allows Bryan to pursue damages against McPherson at trial under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw penned the decision so eloquently here are her version of the facts:

“Carl Bryan’s California Sunday was off to a bad start. The twenty-one year old, having stayed the night with his younger brother and some cousins in Camarillo, which is in Ventura County, planned to drive his brother back to his parents’ home in Coronado, which is in San Diego County. However, Bryan’s cousin’s girlfriend had accidently taken Bryan’s keys to Los Angeles the previous day. Wearing the t-shirt and boxer shorts in which he had slept, Bryan rose early, traveled east with his cousins to Los Angeles, picked up his keys and returned to Camarillo to get his car and brother. He then began driving south towards his parents’ home. While traveling on the 405 highway, Bryan and his brother were stopped by a California Highway Patrolman who issued Bryan a speeding ticket. This upset him greatly. He began crying and moping, ultimately removing his t-shirt to wipe his face. Continuing south without further incident, the two finally crossed the Coronado Bridge at about seven-thirty in the morning.

At that point, an already bad morning for Bryan took a turn for the worse. Bryan was stopped at an intersection when Officer McPherson, who was stationed there to enforce seatbelt regulations, stepped in front of his car and signaled to Bryan that he was not to proceed. Bryan immediately realized that he had mistakenly failed to buckle his seatbelt after his earlier encounter with the police. Officer McPherson approached the passenger window and asked Bryan whether he knew why he had been stopped. Bryan, knowing full well why and becoming increasingly angry at himself, simply stared straight ahead. Officer McPherson requested that Bryan turn down his radio and pull over to the curb. Bryan complied with both requests, but as he pulled his car to the curb, angry with himself over the prospects of another citation, he hit his steering wheel and yelled expletives to himself. Having pulled his car over and placed it in park, Bryan stepped out of his car.

There is no dispute that Bryan was agitated, standing outside his car, yelling gibberish and hitting his thighs, clad only in his boxer shorts and tennis shoes. It is also undisputed that Bryan did not verbally threaten Officer McPherson and, according to Officer McPherson, was standing twenty to twenty-five feet away and not attempting to flee. Officer McPherson testified that he told Bryan to remain in the car, while Bryan testified that he did not hear Officer McPherson tell him to do so. The one material dispute concerns whether Bryan made any movement toward the officer. Officer McPherson testified that Bryan took “one step” toward him, but Bryan says he did not take any step, and the physical evidence indicates that Bryan was actually facing away from Officer McPherson. Without giving any warning, Officer McPherson shot Bryan with his taser gun. One of the taser probes embedded in the side of Bryan’s upper left arm. The electrical current immobilized him whereupon he fell face first into the ground, fracturing four teeth and suffering facial contusions. Bryan’s morning ended with his arrest and yet another drive—this time by ambulance and to a hospital for treatment.”

Bryn filed a federal lawsuit against Officer McPherson, the Coronado Police Department, its police chief and the city of Coronado, claiming excessive force and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district court dismissed the city of Coronado and the police department, but found that McPherson was not entitled to qualified immunity. The district court further concluded that a reasonable jury could find that Bryan “presented no immediate danger to (McPherson) and no use of force was necessary.”

Judge Wardlaw said it should have been apparent that Bryan was unarmed because he was dressed only in boxer shorts and tennis shoes and never threatened the officer. And from a common sense perspective, it seems excessive to taser a guy standing in his boxers 25 feet away, unarmed, and not trying to flee or attack.