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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!


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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.


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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.


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Special Event at the Law Library June 7

Senior United States District Court Judge Thelton Henderson
Talks about his career, serving justice and community

PDF iconWednesday, June 7, 2017, Noon to 1:00pm

TheltonBookCoverpostcard_09.30.16

Judge Thelton Henderson, joined by Breaking New Ground author Richard B. Kuhns, will celebrate and look back at impactful decisions from the judge’s career — a career that includes notable decisions on veterans’ affairs, educational and prison reform, and the environment. They will also look back at Judge Henderson’s role as a local community activist as a young attorney and what it means to today’s lawyers who want to serve justice and community.

For more information on this and other programs, see our events LibGuide.


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Book Review: A Guide to Pesticide Regulation in California—2017 Update

SFLL May Book ReviewSpring is here and Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with the bountiful harvest of California produce and foods. We are fortunate to live in a state that places high value on healthy food and environmental safety, but what exactly is all this talk of pesticides and how are they controlled? The California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation has an updated guide to help you understand pesticides and how they are regulated in our state. A Guide to Pesticide Regulation in California—2017 Update begins with a review of the department and the role it plays in ensuring safe pesticide use through federal, state, and local agencies. Further chapters explain and define pesticide registration; assessing pesticide risks to human health; risk management; protecting workers and the public; and protecting the environment. Handy appendices provide simple guides to code sections, acronyms, and the history of pesticide regulation in California. Written in plain English, this guide is useful to both attorneys working on a pesticide matter and California citizens wanting to understand pesticide regulation in our state. This resource is available both in print in our library and free online.


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San Francisco Law Library May Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of May. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

NCLC Fair Debt Collection

Fair Debt Collection
8th ed., 2014
Written by National Consumer Law Center
$150, Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-60248-147-3

SFLL Book Drive Donation

Thank you to Shannon Mauer of Duane Morris LLP!

The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet
4th ed., 2017
Written by Gregory H. Siskind and Deborah McMurray

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Book Drive Donations

Thank you to John T. Hendricks for generously donating Out and About: The LGBT Experience in the Legal Profession, part of our September Book Drive.

Thank you to James Michel for generously donating The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution, part of our September Book Drive.

Thank you to Taylor Poynter for generously donating Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation, part of our November Book Drive.

Thank you to Shannon Miller at Duane Morris LLP for generously donating Point Taken, part of our January Book Drive.

Thank you to Vincent O’Gara for generously contributing toward the purchase of the Attorney’s Handbook of Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting, part of our February Book Drive.

Thank you to Shannon Mauer at Duane Morris LLP for generously donating The Music Copyright Manual: The Definitive Guide to Music Copyright Law in the Digital Age, part of our March Book Drive.

Thank you for your support!