The California Senate Joint Resolution 21: What it’s Asking for

There exists a significant amount of legislation at the state level, as anyone would surmise. Many of the laws passed at the state level are, for the most part, known by residents. However, there are amendments and resolutions that slightly alter or add to those laws; including the Constitution which has been amended 27 times since its creation. These resolutions widely go unnoticed by the public and are often dismissed by the lawmakers themselves once an alteration is passed. These resolutions to state legislation offer little no actual enforcement and are, in essence, forms of recognition or a means to pacify constituents in times of ... Read More >

Origins of California’s paramedics

Anybody weaned on shows the likes of “ER” is familiar with Hollywood’s version of a hospital emergency room: A place where, at regular intervals, a cadre of professionals, along with a patient on a gurney, slams through a pair of swinging doors and rushes inside, all while paramedics shout rapid-fire bits of information to hospital staff. Medical professionals can tell us how, or even whether, the above scene squares with reality. We do know that in real life, if you have a medical emergency and 911 responds, you likely will first receive advanced medical care on the scene – long before you reach a hospital – from a paramedic or EMT. It’s ... Read More >

LIS looks at some failed and stalled bills

"Sacramento Capitol" by Sascha Brück - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons With the Legislature on its summer recess, now is a good time to look back at some of the proposals that have died or stalled this legislative session. AB 213 was all about LED bulbs. It would have prohibited the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission from adopting a color rendering index value greater than that set by the federal EPA’s Energy Star Program. As the Lighting Research Center tells us, the color rendering index, or the CRI, is “a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors ... Read More >

California Considers End of Life Bill

CA State Senator Lois Wolk introduced Senate Bill 128 on January 20, 2015, as lead author, to add new statutes to California’s Health and Safety Code relating to end of life.  Senate Bill 128 proposes to add new Part 1.85 of Division 1 of the Health and Safety Code, entitled “End of Life Option Act,” to be comprised of new Health and Safety Code sections 443 through 443.18.  According to Senator Wolk’s press release  [], Senate Bill 128 is modeled after Oregon legislation and other states where aid-in-dying has been proven to ... Read More >

Lawmakers eye University of California fees

Late last month, news that the University of California planned to increase tuition by up to 28 percent over the next five years sparked waves of walkouts and protests throughout the UC system. At the time, the California Legislature was in recess. However, when lawmakers returned on December 1 to start the 2015-2016 session, they wasted no time penning legislation addressing the issue. As of this writing, there are at least four proposals aimed at curbing the fee hikes. All four of them attack the issue from different angles. Senate Bill 15 takes one approach by taking money from the middle class scholarship program and using ... Read More >

Retroactive v. Prospective Application of New Laws

Our California clients ask us about retroactive application of enactments or amendments in bills that affect their statutes of interest and which could adversely affect their claims or litigation strategy.  We understand their concerns and as we review the legislative history materials or the bill itself, we look for any indication that there was legislative intent for retroactive application of the proposals in the bill. When there is no express statement or declaration concerning retroactivity in any bill, this can make it difficult to make any absolute determination as to the retroactivity of the provisions of that bill.  The general ... Read More >

New California Laws Effective July 1, 2014

A number of new laws became effective on July 1st.  For the most part, when a bill is enacted into law in California, its effective date is governed by Government Code § 9600, which sets forth when an enactment takes effect.  Since 1974, the general rule regarding a legislative action’s effective date is that it becomes effective on January 1, of the year following the enactment.  Prior to 1974, from the years 1967 through 1972, the legislature addressed legislation substantively annually.  Prior to 1965, the legislature met every year, but legislation was substantively considered only in odd-numbered year, with even-numbered reserved for ... Read More >


The attorneys and staff at LIS attended the February 11, 2014 reopening ceremony commemorating the California State Library moving back into the newly renovated Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building.  The library is located across the street from the state’s historic State Capitol.  Enjoy the photos below -- sorry about the stamped date on my camera being 12 hours behind!  Maria   The renovations took four years of dedicated hard work by master architects, engineers, and technology experts to bring the 1928 neo-classical library building up to the 21st Century.  The building now showcases murals and intricately painted ... Read More >


In 2014, California legislators will be introducing legislative measures to overhaul California’s residential care facilities for the elderly [“RCFEs”] following an investigative series published in September of 2013 by the U-T San Diego regarding fatalities in San Diego County caused by neglect and state regulatory issues. Some of the legislated solutions proposed in these 14 bills, which are sponsored by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform [“CANHR”], are summarized at the CANHR website. If these California bills progress successfully through their legislative process, we will be including them in our annual Compendium of ... Read More >

California AB 140 of 2013 Expands Elder Financial Abuse Protection

Assembly Bill 140 would modernize the definition of undue influence for elder financial abuse and related probate matters, a definition that has not been revised since 1872.  As enacted in 1872, Civil Code § 1575 defined “undue influence” as using the confidence of or real or apparent authority over another, taking an unfair advantage over another person's weakness of mind, or taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another person's necessities or distress.  The new definition that AB 140 would create defines undue influence as excessive persuasion that causes an elder to act or refrain from acting and that results in ... Read More >