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July News From Around the State


Gov. Brown approved a new sales tax on July 7, 2011 that requires out-of-state companies to collect California state sales tax on purchases made online. California is one of many states implementing the new sales tax, and some online retailers are fighting back. For example, just hours after the bill was passed, Amazon terminated nearly 25,000 affiliate contracts in direct response to the bill.

The affiliate program allows small business owners to refer consumers to online retailers in exchange for a percentage of what particular online shoppers purchase. The new tax charges the online retailer for any purchases made from a referring site based in California – even if the actual retailer is located outside of the state, according to one online retailer.

The government expects the online sales tax portion of the legislation to generate $200 million per year. However, similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue, according to one online retailer.

Judicial Council Forms Revisions

It’s a good idea to add the dates January 3 and July 3 to your office calendar each year to have your paralegal check the Judicial Council website. This is typically the time when Judicial Council Forms changes are announced. You can see the list of revised and new forms by going to and look for the link called “Publisher’s List 7/1/11 and 7/1/2012”. Quite a few forms changed on July 1. And, yes, there is even a form revised for use after July 1, 2012. The Court will accept an obsolete form for only a short time after the revised form is available, so it’s best to use the most current form when you are getting ready to file at the Court to avoid rejection: it could be an important filing deadline.

Cal Rule of Court 3.1113(i) Revision

Effective July 1, 2011, this rule was amended to provide that parties must lodge paper copies of non-California authorities and California authorities not yet in the Official Reports only if directed to do so by a judge.

Leslie Donahue Ellen J. Sheffer