• The State of Insider Trading

    On November 20, 2019, Tim Crudo will be moderating the Bar Association of San Francisco Criminal Law Section’s panel “The State of Insider Trading.”

    Topics will include:

    • Recent legislative proposals: a fix in search of a problem?
    • Is the personal benefit requirement any clearer after Salman?
    • How gray is gray: materiality and the art of information.
    • Duty, what duty? Is the breach of duty requirement obsolete?
    • 10b5-1 plans: safe harbor or side door?

    Registration is required. Click here for full event information and registration. MCLE credit is available.

    Categories: Events
  • Legal Considerations for New Zealand Growth Companies Entering the U.S. Market

    On November 8, 2019, Coblentz partner Paul Tauber will present “Legal Considerations for New Zealand Growth Companies Entering the U.S. Market.” Paul will be joined by Bruno Bordignon and David Clarke, Directors at Avid Legal. The workshop is being presented in partnership with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Avid Legal.

    Topics include:

    • Typical U.S. structures and selecting company type
    • U.S. Flip considerations
    • Recent developments regarding privacy
    • Recruitment and equity compensation schemes
    • Classification of personnel (employee vs contractor)
    • How U.S. investors (specifically VC’s) are treating global investments

    Date and Time

    Friday, November 8, 2019
    10:00am to 12:00pm


    New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
    Majestic Centre
    100 Willis Street
    Wellington, New Zealand

    Categories: Events
  • Coblentz Hosts Ninth Women in Conversation with Dominique Crenn

    On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, Coblentz hosted its ninth Women in Conversation program. This year’s event featured Dominique Crenn, celebrated chef and restaurateur, in conversation with Coblentz partner Tay Via.

    Recognized as a leader in molecular gastronomy and one of the most accomplished chefs in the world, Dominique Crenn is the first and only female chef in the United States to have been awarded three Michelin stars by the Michelin Guide. In 2018, she was awarded the title of “Best Chef: West” by the James Beard Foundation. Dominique is an advocate for equality, humanity, and the planet. She is the chef-owner of San Francisco restaurants Atelier Crenn (awarded three Michelin stars), Bar Crenn (awarded one Michelin star), and Petit Crenn. Her latest concept, Boutique Crenn, opens soon in the Salesforce Tower.

    Coblentz’s women attorneys created Women in Conversation in 2009 as an event to bring together talented, inspiring, and influential women leaders in business, science, the arts, sports, politics, and the community. Women in Conversation allows us to share the stories of celebrated women with our firm clients, colleagues, and friends – women who are themselves at the highest levels in their own fields – in a conversational format.

    Our past speakers include television writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell; President of the National Academy of Sciences Marcia McNutt; President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano; legendary artist Linda Ronstadt; ODC Founder and Artistic Director Brenda Way; Olympic athlete and sports broadcaster Jessica Mendoza; entrepreneur and philanthropist Elinor “Nell” Newman; and film and theater actor Patricia Clarkson.

    Categories: Events
  • California Passes Rent Cap and Eviction Protections with AB 1482

    In September, the California Legislature approved AB 1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Governor Newsom signed the bill on October 8, making California the third state this year to impose statewide residential rent control, behind Oregon and New York. The legislation also includes “just cause” eviction provisions.

    Until its repeal date of January 1, 2030, AB 1482 limits rent increases for many residential buildings. For covered buildings, during any 12-month period, the bill prohibits a landlord from increasing a tenant’s rent by an amount that is the lesser of: (a) 5% plus the percentage increase in the cost of living based on the regional CPI (for the Bay Area, roughly 4% or a total of about a 9% increase based on the 2019 CPI), or (b) 10%. The cap applies to rent increases imposed after March 15, 2019, and for existing tenants, a landlord may not increase the rent more than twice in a 12-month period.

    In an effort to address the impacts of the rent cap on new construction, the Legislature included an exemption for housing constructed in the past 15 years. AB 1482 also exempts certain affordable housing, college dormitories, single-family homes, and owner-occupied duplexes and condominiums (except where the owner is a REIT, corporation or limited liability company where at least one member is a corporation). The bill does not apply to housing that is already subject to local rent control measures. The City of San Francisco currently imposes rent control on buildings constructed before June 13, 1979. The San Francisco Rent Ordinance caps annual increases in residential rents based on a specific formula tied to the regional CPI. Since the 1980s, the effective rate cap has ranged from 0.1% to 7.0%, and the current cap in effect through February 29, 2020 is 2.6%. These protections will continue to apply. The AB 1482 rent cap provisions will apply to buildings that received certificates of occupancy between June 13, 1979 and December 31, 2004. A building constructed in or after 2005 will not be subject to the new AB 1482 rent caps until the building is at least 15 years old.

    The legislation also imposes “just cause” eviction procedures, which apply to tenants who have continuously and lawfully occupied a residential property for at least 12 months (or at least 24 months in the case of one or more new adult tenants), unless the eviction results from an “at-fault” or “no-fault” just cause, as defined in the bill. For a “no-fault” eviction, such as an owner move-in or substantial renovation, the landlord must provide tenants with relocation assistance or a rent waiver in the amount of one month’s rent. The exemptions are similar to those for rent caps, and also include dormitories for K-12 schools, housing associated with a nonprofit hospital, religious facilities, extended care or licensed residential care facilities, hotels, and individual rooms or accessory dwelling units rented out by a homeowner. Local just cause ordinances such as San Francisco’s prevail, provided they were either in effect on or before September 1, 2019, or are adopted thereafter but are more protective than the state legislation.

    The bill faced substantial opposition, led by the California Apartment Association – which ultimately dropped its opposition – and the California Association of Realtors. Opponents raised concerns that the bill would chill housing production, curtail economic development, and complicate the eviction process.

    While many tenants’ rights groups supported the legislation, others remain critical of certain provisions, including the lack of vacancy control and longer-term tenant protections. Bay Area Mayors London Breed, Libby Schaaf and Sam Liccardo endorsed the measure.

  • California Consumer Privacy Act Update: Less Than Three Months To Go For Compliance

    Recent Amendments and Regulations Set the Stage for the Statute’s Scope and Enforcement

    October has been an exciting time for anyone keeping an eye on developments involving the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020. On October 10, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a draft of the long-awaited CCPA regulations, and the very next day Governor Gavin Newsom signed seven CCPA amendments into law. Although the draft regulations are subject to upcoming public comment and further revisions, the proposed regulations and amendments provide a near-final view of what the CCPA will ultimately require of businesses when it goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and when it is enforced by the Attorney General’s office starting July 1, 2020. You can read our previous overview of the duties and obligations businesses have under the CCPA here.

    CCPA Amendments

    Governor Newsom signed seven amendments that clarify various provisions and requirements of the CCPA: 

    • AB 25 – Excludes personal information collected from employees, job applicants, owners, directors, officers, or contractors to the extent the information is used solely within the employment context. However, employees must still be provided certain notice regarding the collection of personal information, and the employment exception to the CCPA only lasts until January 1, 2021, at which time the legislature is expected to have enacted a more comprehensive law regarding employee privacy rights.
    • AB 874 – Redefines “personal information” to mean information that is “reasonably capable of being associated with a particular consumer or household.” Excludes deidentified or aggregate consumer information from the definition of “personal information.” Clarifies exclusion of “publicly available information.”
    • AB 1130 – Expands categories of personal information that trigger data breach notification obligations to include unique biometric data (fingerprint, retina, iris, facial recognition, etc.), tax identification numbers, passport numbers, military identification numbers, and unique identification numbers on government documents.
    • AB 1146 – Exempts personal information necessary to fulfill the terms of a warranty or product recall, or personal information shared between a new car dealer and a vehicle manufacturer for repairs related to warranty or recall, from consumers’ rights to request deletion or opt-out of the sale of such information, as long as the information is not used for any other purpose.
    • AB 1202 – Requires data brokers to register with and provide certain information to the Attorney General. Data brokers are businesses “that knowingly collect and sell to third parties the personal information of a consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.”
    • AB 1355 – Makes various corrections to the statute. Prohibits discrimination against consumers for exercising rights under the statute except if the differential treatment is “reasonably related” to value provided to the business by the consumer’s data. Clarifies that a consumer’s right of private action for a data breach requires that the information accessed be nonencrypted and  Exempts, for one year, personal information in connection with communications or transactions between a business and a consumer where the consumer is acting on behalf of a company or agency in the context of due diligence or providing or receiving a product or service (the “B2B” exemption).
    • AB 1564 – Clarifies that businesses that operate exclusively online and have a direct relationship with customers from whom they collect personal information are required only to provide an email address for submission of consumer requests. All other businesses must have two methods for requests, one of which must be a toll-free phone number and, if the business maintains a website, the business is also required to make their internet website address available to consumers to submit requests.

    Proposed CCPA Regulations

    Attorney General Becerra released proposed draft regulations under the following categories:

    • Notices to Consumers– The proposed regulations identify four different “notices” to be provided to consumers, including: (1) notice at collection; (2) notice of the right to opt-out of sale of personal information; (3) notice of financial incentive; and (4) the privacy policy. The proposed regulations detail the purpose of each notice and describe the general format and content for the notices, including that they must all be easy for consumers to access, read, and understand.

      The notice at collection is more limited than the privacy policy but must take into account the way a business interacts with consumers, including that, if the business collects personal information offline, it may need to use printed forms to provide notice or use posted signage directing consumers to the notice.

      A business need not provide a notice of the right to opt-out of the sale of personal information if it does not and will not sell personal information and so states in its privacy policy.

      The notice of financial incentive must explain to consumers the reason for any incentive or price or service differential offered in exchange for the retention or sale of consumers’ personal information, including that the business must provide a good faith estimate of the value of the consumers’ data that forms the basis for the incentive or price or service differential.

    • Consumer Requests – The proposed regulations provide guidance to businesses for handling the various types of consumer requests under the statute, namely: (1) Requests to Know; (2) Requests to Delete; and (3) Requests to Opt-Out. In general, businesses must provide two or more methods for submitting requests, including, at a minimum, a toll-free telephone number and, if the business maintains a website, an interactive web form accessible through their website or mobile application. Businesses are instructed to consider additional methods that reflect the way the business primarily interacts with consumers.

      Businesses must confirm receipt of Requests to Know or Requests to Delete within ten days and respond substantively within 45 days. Requests to Opt-Out must be acted upon within 15 days, and businesses are required to notify all third parties with whom they have shared the consumer’s personal information within the 90 days prior to the opt-out request.

      Businesses must also keep documentation of consumer requests and the response to those requests for 24 months and ensure that all personnel handling consumer requests are informed of all CCPA rights and how to direct consumers to exercise those rights.

    • Verification of Consumer Requests – The proposed regulations provide guidance regarding how businesses should attempt to verify consumer requests, noting that businesses should avoid, if possible, requesting or collecting new or additional personal information in order to verify a consumer. In general, businesses are instructed to consider the sensitivity of the data and the risk of fraud or harm to the consumer in determining how stringent the verification process for any request should be. The more sensitive the data, the more stringent the process should be. The proposed regulations state that, in no event, should a business disclose sensitive personal information such as social security number, driver’s license number, financial account number, health information, account password, or security questions and answers.

      Where a business maintains a password-protected account with its consumers, the business may verify a consumer’s identity through the existing authentication practices for that account. Where a business or consumer does not have a password-protected account, the business must verify the consumer’s identity to a “reasonable degree of certainty” or a “reasonably high degree of certainty,” depending on the type of data involved, which may require matching up at least 2 or 3 pieces of personal data provided by the consumer with information maintained by the business. If the business cannot verify the consumer’s identity to the required level of certainty, it must deny the request and inform the consumer why the request was denied.

    • Rules Regarding Minors – The proposed regulations provide certain additional requirements for businesses that have actual knowledge that they are collecting or maintaining the personal information of minors, including affirmative authorization for any sale of such information by the minor (if between ages 13-16) or by the parent or guardian (if under age 13).
    • Non-Discrimination – The proposed regulations provide further details and guidance regarding when financial incentives or price or service differences violate or do not violate the statute, and also provide various methods by which businesses can estimate the value of consumers’ data for purposes of the financial incentive notice. Businesses can use any of the enumerated methods or any other “practical and reliable” method of calculation used in good faith.

    Prepare Now

    Although the proposed regulations are subject to further revision following public comment, the current draft provides enough guidance for businesses to take necessary steps now to be in compliance by January 1, 2020. Please contact Litigation and Data Privacy partner Scott Hall at shall@coblentzlaw.com or 415.772.5798 to discuss the CCPA’s requirements in greater detail and how we can help your business comply.

    The information provided herein is informative only and not intended to be relied on as legal advice. Please contact us to discuss specific legal or compliance questions or concerns.

    Categories: Publications
  • Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Coblentz as a Recommended Firm in California

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass was named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2020 list of “Recommended Firms” in California and the firm ranked in Tier 1 for San Francisco. These rankings are the result of Benchmark’s interviews with the nation’s leading private practice lawyers and in-house counsel.

    In its analysis, Benchmark notes the firm’s growth and representation of DISH Networks, the Forty Niners SC Stadium Company, and its independent federal monitorship of the Utah Transit Authority. A peer notes that “Coblentz is a very successful boutique…and their ethos is a very civic-minded one.”

    A number of Coblentz partners are listed as California State Litigation Stars by Benchmark: Richard Patch is listed for Antitrust, Class Action, General Commercial, and Telecommunications litigation; Jon Bass is listed for Antitrust, Appellate, and General Commercial Litigation; and Tim Crudo and Rees Morgan are listed for the White Collar Crime category. Cliff Yin is also listed as a California Future Star in the Labor & Employment and Real Estate litigation categories.

    Categories: News