Today (April 13, 2021) the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on The 2021 Filing Season and 21st Century IRS.  The sole witness was IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.  There are three takeaways I want to share: 1. The IRS is Overburdened! I encourage you to at least skim Commissioner Rettig’s written testimony. He lays out numerous challenges that that IRS has faced for years and even more due to COVID-19 tax law changes. Consider the three rounds of Economic Impact Payments they had to issue while sheltering in place (each round went to about 160 million individuals), new…
I’m often contacted by producers, writers, software designers/engineers and other creative professionals concerned about the provisions of a media or IP company’s employment agreement they are considering.  Typically the company’s proposed employment offer letter or agreement and attached standard terms will aggressively provide that the company owns all of your creative work without making any distinction as to creative works and/or projects that you created or contributed to prior to your taking the position with the company.  Also, many creatives have ongoing obligations to other co-creators on pre-existing projects with respect to which they’ve already invested significant amounts of money…
A City municipal transit agency did not violate equal protection, substantive due process or state anti-age discrimination laws when it disfavored some taxi cab medallion holders from accessing lucrative airport pickups because, among other things, the law was rationally related to legitimate government interests. San Francisco Taxi Coal. v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 979 F.3d 1220 (9th Cir. 2020). Taxi cabs that operate in San Francisco and pick up riders from the San Francisco International Airport are regulated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Among other things, the SFMTA issues taxi cab medallions that allow the…
In the video update below, David Demurjian reviews legal implications of the recent Ninth Circuit decision in Tabares v. City of Huntington Beach.  The Court of Appeals questioned the application of force used by the officer when he shoots a suspect who he was attempting to detain.  Warning: there are graphic images contained in the video. CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE VIDEO: https://mastagniholstedt.sharefile.com/d-s0f84b42440684e5898e5b77d198979fb Mr. Demurjian’s legal updates (“Where Tactical & Practical Deploy with The Law”) will be featured on the California Public Safety Labor Blog every couple of weeks.  These short video presentations (7-9 minutes) review the latest rulings…
In a 5-4 per curiam opinion issued late Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that California’s restrictions on private gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely unconstitutional and should be enjoined, overturning the Ninth Circuit’s finding to the contrary at the end of last month. “This is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID restrictions on religious exercise,” the high court’s majority noted in the 6-page opinion. The case arises from a lawsuit brought by a pastor, a congressional candidate, and a group of business owners arguing that California’s restrictions on private…
When was the last time you read your engagement letter line by line, from beginning to end? No, really, when did you do this last? Do you recall the last time you updated your engagement letter? You can answer honestly, because you’re probably reading this in the comfort of your office. Maybe updating your engagement agreement has been at the top of your to-do list for a while. Well, now is as good a time as any. My general advice to clients and friends is to read your template engagement letter from beginning to end, line by line, at least…
After companies including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and others spent nearly $200 million campaigning for the addition of a ballot measure exempting them from the previously passed California AB5 ruling. They won, and so began Proposition 22.  The passing of Proposition 22 protects drivers’ preferences to remain classified as independent contractors with the flexibility to work when, where, and how long they want. A notable aspect of the passing of Prop 22 is that future reform is limited by preempting local laws and requiring that any tweaks by the state legislature comport with its intent and pass with a seven-eighths supermajority. …
Foreign nationals who want to start a life in the United States face a variety of challenges when certain visas suddenly became available. They suddenly face obstacles, if not outright barriers, in an immigration process that is complex and hard to navigate and understand. Business organizations were quick to express their opposition to last year’s ban on H-1B visas for skilled professionals in the technology industry, the initial focus of the ban. A controversial, pandemic-driven decision Good news finally came recently, thanks to President Biden’s decision to not renew the ban. A prior ban on foreign work visas ordered by…
Stay informed of the week’s notable events and shared resources with this curated list of Nonprofit Tweets of the Week. Notable Events of the Week: “On Wednesday, the Treasury Department released the details of Mr. Biden’s tax plan, which aims to raise as much as $2.5 trillion over 15 years to help finance the infrastructure proposal. That includes bumping the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, imposing a strict new minimum tax on global profits and cracking down on companies that try to move profits offshore.” NY Times “Amid steady progress with coronavirus vaccinations, the U.S.…
The Ninth Circuit held Thursday that the current version of a federal sentencing guideline isn’t the proper legal standard for motions criminal defendants file under the First Step Act, a 2018 law that among other criminal justice reforms expanded prison inmates’ opportunities to have their sentences reduced. The defendant in this case, Patricia Aruda, pled guilty to a drug charge in 2015 and was sentenced to 130 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In June 2020, Aruda filed a motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), which was amended by the First Step Act. She…