Kenneth Masters is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Kenneth Masters from Masters Law Group PLLC!

One of our favorite speakers, Kenneth will be returning to speak at our upcoming 3rd Annual Advanced Appellate Conference on September 14, 2018 in Seattle! This will be the third year in a row that Kenneth has spoken at our Annual Advanced Appellate Conferences in Seattle. He has also spoken at every other appellate seminar we have held in Washington over the past ten years. Yes, Ken is that fabulous! Past seminar attendees have said he offers a wealth of information, and that his presentations are at a “masterful guru” level with well-prepared content. We appreciate how engaging he is with our attendees and can’t wait to have him back!

Ken Masters celebrates 26 years of litigating civil appeals in 2018. Ken currently is a Trustee of the Washington State Bar Foundation, and recently substantially revised the Brief Writing chapter in the Appellate Practice Deskbook (WSBA 2017). He previously served as Treasurer and Governor for the Washington State Bar, and has chaired and served on numerous committees for various bar associations, as well as dozens of CLEs on appellate practice, writing, and other areas. Ken is honored to have been listed as a “Top 10” Super Lawyer® Honoree in 2017, and to have received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from America’s Top 100 Attorneys®. He is a Fellow both of the American Bar Foundation and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Foster a Pet for the 4th of July and Save a Life!


An important 4th of July message from LA Animal Services:

Every year around the 4th of July, LA Animal Services Centers fill beyond capacity with terrified lost pets. This means that available shelter space can be the difference between life and death for our shelter guests who have been with us past the required hold period. YOU can make that life-saving difference by fostering for four days or more or adopting. 

In Los Angeles, daily dog and cat admissions at the six LA Animal Services Centers increased by 5.1% from July 2 to July 6 in comparison to the average daily intake in 2017. The loud sounds of July 4th fireworks frighten dogs and cats. If they get out of the house or yard, they run in fear. Then these frightened dogs and cats can’t find their way home and end up at our city shelters. These pets are counting on us to help reunite them with their families. 

We need YOUR help right now to create life-saving space in our crowded city shelters.

“While many people are out celebrating, the shelters will be flooded with scared pets,” said Brenda Barnette, LA Animal Services General Manager. “Our hope is that animal lovers in Los Angeles will open their home and hearts to help orphaned pets. If you aren’t ready to adopt, fostering is a great way to see what it’s like to have a four-legged addition to your family.”

We have hundreds of wonderful dogs and cats of all ages, breeds and sizes waiting to be your temporary companion or best friend forever. Adopt or foster a shelter pet today. By giving an abandoned pet a new home or letting them stay with you for a short time, you are saving two lives, the one you are caring for and the one who now has room at the shelter. 

Every pet is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and ready to be placed in a good home. Additionally, to help maximize space during this critical time, the Pet Care Foundation is helping us reduce $50 on our adoption fees this weekend, June 23rd and 24th, during their biannual CHI-PITTY-KITTY adoption event. Cat and kitten adoption fees are $26.00 and pit bull terriers and chihuahua adoption fees are $72.00 (includes $20 city license). Click here to view our adoptable pets.

To volunteer to foster, print your application at LAASFostering or go to your nearest animal services center and ask for a Foster Volunteer Application. Please drop off your completed form to your nearest center as soon as possible so we know we have you as a resource during our busiest time. You can pick up a pet to foster right away or we can reach out when we need the most help.

The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed on Mondays and the 4th of July. To find the shelter nearest you, visit LAASlocator or call (888) 452-7381.

Together, we can save more lives in the City of Angels! Our heartfelt thanks will be nothing compared to the lifetime of memories and unconditional love you will get from your furry friend.

Donate to help animals in the city of Los Angeles!

Sean Matsler is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Sean Matsler from Cox Castle Nicholson!

We are excited to have Sean on the faculty panel for our upcoming Recreational and Medical Marijuana Law in California conference on November 1-2 in Los Angeles! Sean is a land use partner who focuses on securing entitlements for controversial and complex real estate development projects, and we know our attendees will benefit from the knowledge he has to share!

Sean advises clients on compliance with the myriad local, state and federal laws and regulations that govern the development of real property, including local planning and zoning regulations, the California Coastal Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. Sean guides his clients through the entitlement process, from site selection to project approval, and regularly appears before both state and local administrative bodies to secure approvals on behalf of clients.

LaVonne Lawson is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest Featured Speaker is LaVonne Lawson from the Law Office of LaVonne Lawson!

We are pleased to have LaVonne on the faculty panel for our upcoming Practical Tax Planning Under the 2017 Tax Act: How to Take Advantage of the Good and Minimize the Bad seminar on July 20th in Los Angeles! LaVonne is an experienced tax attorney, representing individuals and entities in federal and California state tax matters, and we know our attendees will benefit from the knowledge she has to share.

In addition to operating her own practice in Los Angeles, LaVonne is Of Counsel with the law firm, Albrecht & Barney, in Irvine.

She is a former Senior Attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, where she litigated federal tax cases in the United States Tax Court, worked with Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Department of Justice attorneys in tax cases outside of the Tax Court, and advised revenue agents and revenue officers. She also previously worked with the law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop, where she focused on tax issues involving start-up companies.

LaVonne is the Second Vice-President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and is a member of Black Women Lawyers Los Angeles. She previously served on the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Taxation Section and is a former Chair of the Taxation Section’s Tax Procedure and Litigation Committee.

Raised in Southern California, LaVonne holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and English from Stanford University and a JD/MBA from Duke University.

Cannabis Legal Expert & Pincus Seminar Speaker Expands Law Firm to NorCal


Ariel Clark’s law firm are experts in Cannabis law – in Washington, California and elsewhere. She spoke at our June 2017 Marijuana Law 101 seminar (where she received great evaluations) and is expanding her practice to Northern California!

We wanted to pass on the Recorder’s article about her firm’s expansion, Women-Owned Cannabis Law Firm Expands in Northern California by Xiumei Dong.

After hiring three new associates to accommodate increased demand for legal services in the recreational cannabis businesses, Clark Neubert has opened offices in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Congratulations Ariel!

Associate Joanna Hossack will head the firm’s office in Sacramento, while senior associate Nicole Laggner will head the firm’s Santa Cruz office.

Hossack specializes in the recently-passed Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and California’s evolving regulatory processes for cannabis. Laggner’s expertise is on cannabis business formation and compliance.

“Demand for legal services is skyrocketing as cannabis businesses get licensed and enter the adult use market,” said Ariel Clark. “This is an exciting but complex time for business owners. We’re growing to ensure our clients have every resource they need.”

We will be diving into the laws on the Marijuana business at our upcoming two-day conference on November 1st and 2nd in Los Angeles.

Howard Goodfriend is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest Featured Speaker is Howard Goodfriend from Smith Goodfriend!

We are pleased to have Howard back for our upcoming 3rd Annual Advanced Appellate Conference in Seattle on September 14, 2018! Howard has previously spoken at our Advanced Appellate Roundtable in 2013, where seminar attendees raved about his knowledgeability, interesting comments, and respectful demeanor. We look forward to having him speak!

Howard M. Goodfriend is a principal in the Seattle firm of Smith Goodfriend, P.S., Seattle’s oldest appellate boutique.  Howard has argued hundreds of civil appeals in almost every substantive area of the law, representing individuals, publicly traded companies, small businesses, professionals, hospitals, state and local governments. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Washington State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Deskbook and author of the Appellate Practice chapter of the King County Bar Association Young Lawyer Division’s Washington Lawyers Practice Manual.  Howard is a Fellow and a director of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is a founding member and past president of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association, and has been repeatedly recognized by his peers as one of Washington’s top ten appellate lawyers and top 100 lawyers.

Social Justice Collaborative’s 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner

social justice

Social Justice Collaborative (SJC) will be hosting its 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner at Piedmont Veterans’ Memorial Building on October 21, 2018.

This evening event includes catered dinner, beverages, and passionate individuals speaking on behalf of immigrant families.

Save the date and join SJC for a night of celebration and honoring the work of pro bono collaborators.

To avoid fees, you can mail a check (with an email address) to:

Social Justice Collaborative
420 3rd Street, Suite 130
Oakland, CA 94607

Hot Weather and Pet Safety


LA Animal Services Offers Tips to Help Keep Your Pets Safe in the Hot Weather

Remember when it is hot for you, it is even hotter for your four-legged friends. Dogs and cats do not sweat through their skin. They cool themselves by panting or rapid breathing, which means dogs and cats must work extra hard to stay cool.

Too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal for companion animals. LA Animal Services reminds pet owners about the hazards of hot weather and how to keep your furry loved ones healthy and comfortable. Here are some pet safety tips:

Never leave your pet alone inside a vehicle

If your pet cannot go inside at every stop with you, they are safer at home on hot days. Car interiors heat very quickly, even with the windows open. If it is 90 degrees out, temperatures can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block. In fact, it’s against the law to leave an animal in a vehicle if doing so endangers the health or well-being of the animal.

Give your pet extra water

Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink. A bucket that holds a gallon or more of water will stay cool longer than water in a shallow pan. Some dogs consider ice cubes a treat, and you can add a few to the water bowl.

Care for your pet’s coat

Longer coated dogs and cats who are brushed regularly have natural insulation from the heat. However, if the coat has gotten matted, a clip will make your buddy much more comfortable. Newly clipped and lighter coated pets, especially white ones, are at higher risk for skin cancer and they are more susceptible to sunburn.

Don’t leave your pet outdoors for a long time

If your dog has to be left outdoors for awhile, make sure they have plenty of access to shade such as trees, a covered patio or cool spot under the porch. Apply a pet specific or hypoallergenic sunscreen on sensitive areas like the nose, tips of ears and belly especially if they have light or thin fur.

Avoid hot ground surfaces

While walking your dog outdoors, play particular attention to the pavement, sidewalks or sand. Check the temperature with your hand, if it’s too hot to touch then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Know the signs of overheating

If your dog or cat begins very rapid, noisy breathing, has trouble swallowing and looks very distressed, they could be having a heatstroke. Get the animal out of the heat. Apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head. Place cold packs wrapped in towels or plain wet towels between the back legs and on the belly. Cool off your pet and take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Remember, companion animals want to be with you. They will be safer and cooler inside with you, where they can spend their time doing what they do best: being your best friend.

CA Attorney Re-Fingerprinting


Reported on the State Bar of California’s website, the Supreme Court issued a new California Rule of Court effective on June 1st, which will require re-fingerprinting most active California attorneys.

Starting June 1, 2018:

  • The State Bar will issue instructions, FAQs, mandatory re-fingerprinting forms, a schedule, and other relevant information
  • Email notifications with more detailed instructions will be sent on a rolling basis until early August
  • Any attorney can begin the re-fingerprinting process by logging into their My State Bar Profile even if they have not received an email
  • Attorneys should not undergo re-fingerprinting until this information is released

The deadline to submit new fingerprints without penalty will be April 30th of next year.