The February 2015 issue of California Lawyer magazine's roundtable discussion on White Collar Defense featured a panel of experts, including Coblentz partner Tim Crudo. The topics discussed on the panel included the "latest developments in white-collar criminal law including a game-changing decision on insider trading, new sentencing guidelines for fraud convictions, more options for filing charges under the bank fraud statutes, and a big heads-up from the Department of Justice on health care billing," and long-term trends that "are producing more administrative hearings from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the virtual death of joint defense for corporations and their insiders." 

Read a transcript of the panel discussion here.

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Coblentz partner Paul Tauber represented bank note printing technology company KBA-NotaSys, based in Switzerland, on a new joint venture formed with Lumenco Inc. The joint venture, LenSys Sarl, will focus on the development, sales and marketing, of a new range of novel bank note security features, combining Lumenco’s patented micro lens optics with KBA-NotaSys’ precise multi-color offset elements.

Click here to read the press release from KBA-NotaSys.

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Partner Tim Crudo is quoted in “Attorneys React To 2nd Circ.'s Insider Trading Ruling," Law360
December 10, 2014

Law360, New York - "In a landmark insider trading ruling Wednesday, the Second Circuit set a stricter standard for prosecuting people who are one or more layers removed from sources of confidential information, overturning the convictions of hedge fund managers." Tim Crudo offers his opinion on why this ruling is significant:

' “This will make it more difficult for the DOJ to go after remote tippees. Insider trading cases already rely heavily on indirect evidence, but proof a tippee knew the insider got a benefit should be tougher to find than the usual evidence proving he knew the information was material, nonpublic and provided in breach of a duty. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the SEC, which has a lower burden of proof at trial. You may see the SEC trying to pick up the slack in remote tippee cases.” '

Read Tim's quote here.

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Coblentz partners Philip Feldman and Jeffry Bernstein will speak at the Jewish Community Federation’s annual Day of Philanthropy seminar. Feldman will moderate the Ask The Experts Panel, featuring Bernstein as a panelist.

The agenda included the following:

  • Current state of Estate and Gift Taxes
  • IRA Charitable Rollover
  • Current Cases
  • Donor Advised Fund v. Private Foundation
  • Brief primer on Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Nontax Charitable Planning Issues

View the presentation material.

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Congratulations to Pam Duffy for being recognized as one of California’s Top 50 Development Lawyers by the Daily Journal. The Daily Journal article highlights Pam's involvement as lead counsel for California Pacific Medical Center and the development of its $2.7 billion, five-campus project extending across San Francisco. Of the project, Pam says, "Land use lawyers get an incredible opportunity to undertake projects that have significant effects on the long-term future of communities. I've never been so challenged with something that is so important."

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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP persuaded a Colorado federal district judge to reject a request to certify a class of individuals allegedly "robocalled" by DISH Network LLC, the premier satellite TV and internet provider.  The complaint was filed in July 26, 2012.  Plaintiff Seth Warnick alleged that DISH called his cell phone without his consent, using an automatic dialing system in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA").  He sought injunctive relief and statutory damages of $500 for each call made, plus an additional $1500 per violation in punitive damages on behalf of himself and all class members.

The Honorable Wiley Y. Daniel of the United States District Court of Colorado found that Warnick's proposed class was overbroad, was not ascertainable, and that attempting to identify the members would render the case unmanageable. DISH had made a handful of non-solicitation calls to Warnick’s phone by mistake when it was trying to contact one of its customers. 

DISH argued that the class was a fail-safe class, and it was overbroad and that it was not ascertainable because the only way to find the calls made by mistake was to make individualized, case-by-case investigations.  Coblentz partners Richard Patch and Zuzana Ikels represented DISH at a two day evidentiary hearing in March 2014.  At the hearing, the Court indicated it would provisionally certify a smaller, sub-class and invited Plaintiff to propose a more narrow class definition.  Several rounds of briefing then followed over the next few months.  Plaintiff submitted a proposed definition that continued to require the review and production of records from millions of customers who were not in the class. 

The June 26, 2014 order found that "the proposed class is not administratively feasible because identifying the class members is not a manageable process and would require extensive individual factual inquiry. See Carrera, 727 F.3d at 307-08. The inquiry into factual records to determine class members is so daunting as to make the class definition insufficient. Agne, 286 F.R.D. at 566."

This is one of the first decisions to address the propriety of certifying a TCPA class in the context of non-solicitation calls made to cellular telephones.  In light of the rising tide of TCPA class actions filed around the country, it should be useful for companies facing claims that calls made to a wrong number, when trying reach their own customers, could subject them to TCPA liability.

The Coblentz Team included Richard Patch, Susan Jamison, Zuzana Ikels, Jeremiah Burke, Sean Kiley and David Mehretu.

See the full press release here.

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Congratulations to the Exploratorium and its new home at Piers 15-17 for being named a finalist for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2014 Global Awards for Excellence, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program. The Exploratorium was selected as one of 23 outstanding development projects from around the globe. From this select group, a jury representing the many fields of real estate development expertise will choose a group of winners that will be announced in October at ULI’s 2014 Fall Meeting in New York City.

“The 2014 Global Awards for Excellence finalists demonstrate high-quality, innovative land use and building design. In addition, many involve historic preservation, public-private partnerships, environmental sustainability, and creative financing,” said jury chair M. Leanne Lachman, president of real estate consulting firm Lachman Associates in New York, N.Y. “This group of diverse projects is a timely reminder of how thoughtful design plays a central role in community health and longevity."

Congratulations to the Exploratorium and all of the finalists.

Read more about the Exploratorium here.

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Coblentz is pleased to announce Maggie Callicrate has joined the firm as Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Maggie will lead the firm's business operations and will work closely with the firm's Managing Partners on strategic growth initiatives. She will also work closely with the firm's functional area managers on business practices and systems integral to the legal services provided by the firm.

Maggie brings substantive skills in leadership development, strategy execution and management of functional area teams including finance, marketing and business development, technology, human resources, facilities and information systems. She has more than 25 years of experience in working with law firms to improve operational effectiveness, build teamwork and advance strategic growth.

"The firm couldn’t be more delighted to have Maggie joining the management team," says Co-Managing Partner, Jeff Knowles. "She brings a wealth of experience and the demonstrated ability to apply it. She is also the kind of person who both inspires confidence and is a pleasure to be around. Professionally and personally, Maggie is a perfect fit."

Prior to joining Coblentz, Maggie was the COO of New England-based Pierce Atwood LLP. She was also previously a partner in a global consulting firm, advising law firm clients on strategic, competitive and leadership issues; and served as the Chief Executive of a leading law firm in New Zealand. Maggie is currently President-Elect of the College of Law Practice Management.

Read the press realease here.

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Coblentz partner Tim Crudo has been selected as the Governance and Insider Trading Expert for emtrain, a leader in corporate compliance education and training. As a resident expert for emtrain, "Tim regularly advises corporate boards and executives on topics such as: insider trading, securities violations, accounting fraud, and other corporate crimes."

Read Tim's emtrain profile here.

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Coblentz has been selected as one of 20 firms named on the National Law Journal's 2014 Midsize Hot List. According to the NLJ, the exclusive list from across the country highlights firms that "are succeeding at a time when many of their bigger competitors are struggling amid high headcounts and overhead. These midsize firms, ranging from 51 to 150 lawyers, know they can beat the bigger players on price — but they understand that it takes more than lower fees to bring in and retain business. They've got to offer great lawyering."

In its profile of Coblentz, the National Law Journal makes note of the firm's "forward-thinking approach," with focus on diversity, community and top talent. As managing partner Danna Kozerski told the National Law Journal, "The way we retain and promote young attorneys is with a collaborative and interesting practice."

The article notes that 40 percent of Coblentz's partners and 50 percent of the firm's associates are women, and highlights the firm's attorneys as pro bono and volunteer champions, including mention of Coblentz's 2013 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award from the San Francisco Bar Association's Justice and Diversity Center.

Read the full article here.

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