sflawlibraryblog


Leave a comment

June 13 Local Event: Better Know A Circuit

The majority of the time the final say on Federal Law is rendered in your area by the U.S. Court of Appeals in your part of the country (or circuit).  The U.S. Supreme Court only rules on a handful of cases, leaving these circuit courts to do a lot of the heavy lifting.  But what do you actually know about your Circuit Court of Appeals?

If you live in the Bay Area, you are in luck!  On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, the first of Above the Law‘s Better Know A Circuit Court event series starts with our very own Ninth Circuit.  The event will be held at Hastings College of the Law from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at 200 McAllister Street.  You can request your RSVP here.

The Ninth Circuit is the largest circuit in the country, comprised of nine states and two Federal territories.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also has jurisdiction over the District and Bankruptcy Courts within the district, including the territorial courts of the District of Guam and District of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Ninth Circuit has a reputation for being progressive, even though its chief, Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, is a well-known conservative.  The President and many other Republican leaders have called for the dismantling of this largest of the Court Circuits into two distinct circuits.

What better time to learn more about this interesting and influential Circuit Court?  A panel will discuss how the court functions, some of the key judges on the circuit, and which cases the Ninth Circuit is deciding today that the Supreme Court might take a look at tomorrow.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn in detail about your Ninth Circuit Court on June 13!


Leave a comment

San Francisco on the Cutting Edge of Robot Legislation: How Will We Handle Robots?

San Francisco Law Library - How Will We Handle Robots?

Image adapted from “Dr Who Cybermen” by Chad Kainz which is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Two of the Supervisors on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are looking at local robot legislation. Supervisor Jane Kim has recently proposed a type of automation tax on companies that use robots. Supervisor Kim says she was inspired for this new possible tax by an interview of Bill Gates in Quartz Magazine where he proposed a robot tax. The thinking: If you make robots more expensive, there will be more public funds to help retrain workers, and the higher cost might keep some companies from buying robots and quickly tanking the employment rate. Kim is wondering after reading the Gates article if a robot tax would help the city deal with inequality. According to a Fast Company article, Kim believes we “need to think about investments in our society that don’t exacerbate the wealth and income gaps that we already see today.”

Supervisor Kim is now setting up a working group to see how an automation or robot tax would be implemented. She hopes to have wide raging representatives from academia, unions, tech companies and manufactures. Supervisor Kim hopes the monies raised could be dedicated to education expenses and even slow things down enough so that government and businesses could enact policies that help people with the transition.

sanfranciscolawlibrary_c3po

Yee’s legislation was sparked by seeing robots around the city. PS-C3PO in his footsteps” by Gordon Tarpley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Meanwhile Supervisor Norman Yee is proposing a total ban on a certain type of robot. Autonomous robots would be banned from roaming the sidewalks and public right-of-ways around San Francisco under new legislation introduced by Supervisor Yee. Supervisor Yee, who represents San Francisco’s District 7, said his legislation was sparked by seeing robots around the city and realizing there’s not a way to regulate them for pedestrian safety, especially for seniors and the mobility challenged. An article in the San Francisco Business Times states that Yee “initially wanted to explore a way to craft regulations that would help keep pedestrians safe as they increasingly share the sidewalks with autonomous robots,” but after talking with several city departments he “didn’t see any viable ways to enforce that.”

The legislation would allow for criminal, civil and administrative penalties for violating the ban. The administrative penalty would be capped at $1,000 per day. If the proposal is approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed by the mayor, it would take effect 30 days later. Supervisor Yee says he does not want to stifle innovation but the safety of people on the sidewalks is of overwhelming concern.

Once again, the City of San Francisco is on the cutting edge of legislating the future.


Leave a comment

Free MCLE Program June 14

PDF iconWednesday, June 14, Noon to 1:00pm, Choosing a Retirement Solution For Your Small Business Client

Presented by Christine Kerley, J.D.
Benefit Advisor with the U.S. Department of Labor
1 Hour free Participatory MCLE Credit

DOL Seal ImageThe U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, developed this presentation to assist attendees in choosing a retirement plan for small businesses.  The program provides an overview of different retirement plans and their features.  This presentation is part both agencies’ ongoing efforts to help small employers and their service providers to understand and comply with federal retirement plan tax reporting and fiduciary law by providing publications, websites, outreach and telephone assistance.

Christine Kerley has worked with EBSA since 2006, during which time she has held positions as Investigator and Benefit Advisor.  She has conducted investigations and informal reviews dealing with a wide range of ERISA compliance issues.  Ms. Kerley is a member of the California State Bar, and holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

This is the first in a series on employment benefits presented by the U.S. Department of Labor and the San Francisco Law Library. MCLE materials will be provided at the program. For more information, check out our events LibGuide.