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Posts on Jan 1970

Documenting Online Personae at First Meeting with a Client

When you and your paralegal first meet with a potential client, you should consider gathering information about your clients’ online personae on your intake forms.  This may prove valuable in the investigation phase of their matters, whether it is criminal, a civil lawsuit, a family law dispute, or trust and estate matters.  It can also serve to impress upon the client the importance of designating a trusted colleague or family member to keep up with any commerce that may be taking place over the Internet.

Reflecting on the Central Coast Paralegal Association’s well-attended October MCLE presentation on Digital Afterlife (and noting that our local free paper recently did an article on the same topic), it occurred to me that this subject touches almost all our lives, if we own and operate a computer or a smart phone.

It is good practice to query a potential client about his or her online activities, including artistic works in progress.  My son worked on a screenplay for several years on a school-owned computer (in his free time).  When his term ended and he handed back the computer, his intellectual property went with it – gone forever for failure to back up the hard drive.

Assets and activities in online video games and virtual worlds can have value too.  It pays to ask.  Even if clients are not comfortable handing over all this personal information to the attorney, it’s good advice to tell them to store their passwords somewhere safe – online or in printed form.  Perhaps in a home safe or a safe deposit box so family members or a designated representative can carry on for them.  It’s just good practice.  If the information is stored only online, it will be important that someone have the necessary login information and password to access the computer.

As our clients’ lives become more complicated as a result of the ever increasing role of technology, it is important that paralegals and attorneys be aware of how to assist and advise them regarding how best to handle their digital presence.

Ellen Sheffer                                  Leslie Donahue    

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California Veterinary Premises Licensees –Are you ready to be “wholly responsible”?

The California Veterinary Medical Board (“Board”) is in the process of adopting a new regulation to establish “minimum standards” for a managing licensee of a veterinary hospital premise. Under the current regulations, it is the responsibility of the managing veterinarian to ensure that the premises comply with minimum standards of veterinary practice.  However, the Board does not articulate what that obligation entails.  If the Board’s new regulation makes it through the adoption process, the managing licensee will have more clearly defined and additional obligations.

Proposed Board Regulation 2030.5 provides:

(a)          A Licensee Manager is the California licensed veterinarian named as the Managing Licensee on a facility’s premise permit.

(b)          The Licensee Manager is responsible for ensuring that the premise for which he/she is manager complies with specified requirements of the Veterinary Practice Act and is responsible for ensuring that the physical and operational components of a premise meet the minimum standards of practice as set forth in the Board’s regulations.

(c)          The Licensee Manager is responsible for ensuring that no unlicensed activity is occurring within the premise or in any location where any function of veterinary medicine, veterinary surgery or veterinary dentistry is being conducted off the premises under the auspices of this premise license.

(d)          The Licensee Manager shall maintain whatever physical presence is reasonable within the facility to ensure that the requirements in (a) – (c) are met.

(e)          Each licensed veterinarian shall be responsible for their individual violations of the practice act or any regulation adopted thereunder.

In case there is any doubt regarding the Board’s mission in adopting this new regulation, the regulation adoption process requires a licensing Board to state its “reasons” for the regulation, which the Board has articulated as follows:

The proposed regulation establishes the minimum standards for a California licensed veterinarian who is the managing licensee of a veterinary hospital premise. It establishes that the managing licensee is wholly responsible for insuring the minimum standards are followed regardless of the number of hospital premises managed by the managing licensee and it requires the manager to maintain whatever physical presence is necessary to ensure such requirements are met. (Emphasis added).

Many veterinary premises licensees will have to examine and change the way they run their hospitals and clinics. Are you ready to be “wholly responsible”?  If you need advice regarding the current Board regulation or the proposed Board regulations, attorneys at Carmel & Naccasha, LLP are ready to provide assistance. They can be reached at (805) 546-8785.

Steven L. Simas

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Managing Multiple Beneficiaries on Trust Deeds

Nearly all real estate loans in California are secured by a trust deed. A trust deed is a device wherein a borrower transfers legal title to property to a trustee which holds it as security for a debt between a borrower and a lender. Most real estate loans have only one lender (at any given time) such as a bank, however, some real estate financing arrangements have multiple lenders (or beneficiaries) for a single trust deed. Often, these beneficiaries will be several private individuals who come together and lend on a single loan. When things are going well and everyone is getting paid, ownership and management of the trust deed is a simple from the beneficiaries’ end…they sit back and get paid in accordance with the terms of the loan. However, if the loan is in default, the different beneficiaries may not agree on how best to move forward.

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Red Lights and Cell Phones

Many of us have talked on our cell phone while driving even though we know it is a violation of the Vehicle Code. Vehicle Code section 23123 pertains to driving while using a cell phone without the use of a hands free device. Many of us have made or taken that occasional call while driving. Recently, I accepted such a call and quickly pulled over to the side of the road. As I spoke on the phone with my car idling I wondered if my actions constituted using a cell phone while “driving.” A recent case doesn’t answer that specific question; however, it does analyze similar issues.

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