By Sarah Drinkwater, Supervising Attorney, Tax Project - originally published in The BASF Bulletin, February 2014.

The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) is pleased to recognize Coblentz partner Jeffry Bernstein as their volunteer of the month for his work with JDC’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). Jeff has volunteered with JDC since 2000, and since 2009 has represented or advised taxpayers on over 30 cases. He is driven to volunteer because he enjoys helping individuals navigate the complexities of the United States tax system and providing them comfort during such a stressful time. For example, Jeff represented a low-income taxpayer who routinely had to travel to Alaska for work. The IRS had disallowed his business expenses, resulting in a large tax liability and the taxpayer had petitioned the tax court to dispute the assessment. As a result of Jeff’s representation, the IRS allowed the deductions, resolving 100 percent of the tax liability.

Jeff chairs Coblentz’s tax department and through his leadership, the firm regularly accepts full-scope cases on behalf of low income taxpayers. Coblentz is also a strong supporter of other JDC projects and the Right to Civil Counsel Pilot Program.  Jeff is a native of Queens, New York, but has lived in the Bay Area since 1977. When not practicing law, he “loves being outdoors, even though lawyers spend so much time inside.”

Read the full article here.

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Coblentz is pleased to announce the promotion of Rees Morgan and Charmaine Yu to partnership, effective January 09, 2014.  Charmaine and Rees are talented attorneys who have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to our clients and to our firm. We are extremely proud of what they have accomplished in their careers.

Click here to read the press release.

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Paul Tauber, chair of Coblentz’s Business group, has been appointed to the Advisory Board of TAGLaw®, the esteemed international alliance of independent law firms. Paul is one of three recently appointed new board members, joining attorneys from around the world on TAGLaw’s Advisory Board. The charge of the Advisory Board includes assisting TAGLaw’s management in reviewing prospective new members, offering feedback for the planning of international conferences and providing valuable guidance on future plans and initiatives.

“I’m honored to serve on the Advisory Board of TAGLaw, one of the most prestigious global alliances of law firms, said Mr. Tauber. “I’m looking forward to working with the other members of the Advisory Board to further TAGLaw’s mission of enhancing the delivery of exceptional client service and legal expertise by the TAGLaw firms to their respective clients around the world.”

“Board members have to be experienced in the practice of law, knowledgeable about TAGLaw and sophisticated in their understanding of the global economy, said Robert Sattin, President of TAGLaw. We’re thrilled to have Paul lending his insight and perspective.”

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Congratulations to Family Wealth lawyer, Jaime Mannon, on becoming a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council (SFEPC) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). SFEPC is a highly recognized interdisciplinary organization established in 1953 for San Francisco professionals involved in estate planning. STEP is an international organization for professionals dealing with family inheritance and succession planning, with 18,500 members across 80 jurisdictions.

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Paul Tauber represented Rentmatic LLC in the purchase of its assets by Discover Home Network, Inc. (“Lovely”).  Founded over eight years ago, Rentmatic is an online secure software company that enables landlords to automate rent payments for reliable and consistent monthly cash flow, making it easier for landlords and tenants to work together.  Rentmatic connected with rental platform and marketplace, Lovely, earlier this year – both on a similar quest to offer landlords and tenants the best technology.  By combining forces, Rentmatic and Lovely close the loop and offer landlords the best vacancy marketing, tenant screening, and rent payment technologies.

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Paul Tauber represented HKI Systems and Service, LLC (“HKI”) in the purchase of the assets of the Systems Group of PACECO Corp.  HKI manufactures and supports electronic and software products in the port, rail, shipping, and industrial environments.  Utilizing the latest technology, HKI offers unique custom solutions for improving processes and information management in terminal and rail yard operations.  Many of the HKI systems are cloud-based, and utilize cameras and analog and digital sensors connected via wireless networks to allow for streamlined solutions to increase productivity and scalability of business processes.  Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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The Bar Association of San Francisco will honor partner Fred Fields with an Award of Merit at 2013 Annual Membership Luncheon & Installation of Officers on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. 

Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP has been included in BTI Consulting Group’s annual Client Service A-Team 2014: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance. The San Francisco-based law firm is just one of a few mid-sized law firms in the region ranked as a top firm for overall client satisfaction.

Highlighted among 650 firms nationally, Coblentz was ranked for consistency in meeting core scope, handling client problems, dealing with unexpected changes, the quality of their legal skills, advise on businesses and their innovative approach.

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"Coblentz Attorneys Protect Low-Income Consumers," BASF Bulletin, November 2013

The Justice & Diversity Center thanks Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass for its recent exceptional volunteer efforts on behalf of low income consumers. By mid-August 2013, led by partner Fred Fields, the firm had taken, and resolved, three full scope representation collection defense cases. The Coblentz team accepted one case that was scheduled for trial within the month. Thanks to the firm's work, each case resolved before trial with a mutual release that included an agreement by the third party debt-buyer plaintiff not to report the alleged debt to credit reporting agencies. 

Continuing "the excellent work of Coblenz, Fields just took on another full-scope collection defense case that is set for trial in mid-December. Field's noted, "Often these credit, card debt accumulators take unfair advantage of [unrepresented consumers], such as taking liberties with the requirements of personal service of process, or improperly using affidavits in lieu of personal testimony."

Because of the Coblentz firm's assistance, the low income consumers avoided the downward economic spiral caused by having a money judgment on their credit report, they were protected from a wage garnishment or levy, further impact on their credit reports and scores were minimized, and they avoided tax consequences on the settlement of disputed debts.

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Phil Feldman has been selected as the 2014 San Francisco Litigation - Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. The “Lawyer of the Year” honor is awarded to a single lawyer in 16 high-profile legal specialties. Phil has continually been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2005 in both Litigation - Trusts and Estates and the Trusts and Estates categories.

“We continue to believe – as we have believed for more than 25 years – that recognition by one’s peers is the most meaningful form of praise in the profession,” said Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers. “We would like to congratulate Phil Feldman on being selected as the ‘San Francisco Best Lawyers Litigation - Trusts & Estates Lawyer of the Year’ for 2014.”

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