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Buchanan Law Group January 5, 2009


Happy New Year! Now that we are all back from the holidays, it is time to focus on 2009. The new year brings several key changes for business owners.
In this and several follow up Law Notes we are sending out synopses of selected changes in California and federal law that affect California business owners. In this Law Note, we address select changes in California statutes which (unless otherwise noted) have gone into effect January 1, 2009. The changes in law addressed in this Law Note affect the following businesses or rights: · Insurance Brokers · Architects · Contractors · Exchange facilitators · Software industry · Motion picture industry · Winegrowers · Olive oil manufactures · Title insurers · Trademark rights · Nonprofits Business & Professions · Contractors - Certain changes in bonding requirements with respect to certain single-family dwellings. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §§7071.5, 7071.10, and 7071.11; amends Code of Civ. Proc. §116.220 · Architects - New coursework and notice requirements surrounding disability access are mandated under new rules. Also, the Construction-Related Accessibility Standards Compliance Act was enacted. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §5600; adds Civ. Code §§55.3, 55.51-55.54, and 55.55-55.57; amends Gov. Code §§4450 and 4459.5; adds Gov. Code §§8299-8299.11; and amends Health & Safety Code §18949.29 · Insurance Brokers (senior designation) - New restrictions on using implying special expertise with respect to persons 65 and older. Adds Ins. Code §787.1 · Exchange facilitators - Creates a statutory framework to protect consumers who entrust money or property to exchange facilitators, to ensure that persons acting as exchange facilitators adhere to specified rules with respect to like-kind exchanges. Adds Fin. Code §§51000-51015 · Real estate brokers, licensees and escrow agents - Changes affecting the maximum fine for acting/advertising as a real estate broker/salesperson without being licensed; requires a licensee to include an identification number on certain items; and expands background checks for escrow agents. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §10139; and Fin. Code §§17209, 17212.1, 17331, and 17414.1 General Business · Public premises - Certain changes except winegrowers' premises from being "public premises" and allow certain under age restaurant employees to serve alcoholic beverages. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §§23039, 23104.2, 25608, and 25663; adds Bus. & Prof. Code §23405.3; repeals Bus. & Prof. Code §25667 · Insurance brokers - A change in law modifies the definition of "insurance agent" and sets forth certain presumptions regarding status as an insurance broker. Amends Ins. Code §§1621, 1623, and 1732 · Labeling - A change in law affects labeling requirements for certain beer or alcoholic beverages which derive a portion of their alcohol content from distilled alcohol. Adds Bus. & Prof. Code §25205 · Promotions - A change in law affects the ability of certain manufacturers, winegrowers, rectifiers and distillers to provide free entertainment at certain invitation-only events. Adds and repeals (sunset provision) Bus. & Prof. Code §25600.5 · Mail solicitation - New disclosure requirements are imposed on mail solicitations in certain contexts, involving whether the recipients are on the national "do not call" list. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §17592 and adds Bus. & Prof. Code §17514 Employers and Employees · Overtime - Expands the overtime exemption to workers in the computer software field who earn an annual salary of not less than $75,000 paid in monthly installments. Amends Labor Code §515.5 · New crime for Employers - Under another change in law, it is now a misdemeanor for an employer to require an employee, as a condition of payment of wages, to sign a statement of hours worked that the employer knows is false. Amends Labor Code §206.5 Nonprofits · Fundraising - Under new rules, special temporary on-sale and off-sale alcohol licenses will be issued to nonprofits only three times per year; and, authority is granted for the issuance of temporary licenses for wine sales at certain events. Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §§24045.4 and 24045.6; adds Bus. & Prof. Code §§24045.19 and 25607.5 · Operations - A change in law repeals the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (UMIFA) and adds the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), which imposes restrictions on management of institutional fund. Amends Corp. Code §§5240 and 6518; adds Probate Code §§18501-18510; and repeals Probate Code §§18500-18509 Certain Business Practices · Mail solicitations - When soliciting, this change in law requires businesses who imply they are part of a government agency seeking to assist with compliance to make clear in the solicitation that they are not part of such an agency. [We have gotten numerous calls from clients solicited by such companies over the years.] Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §17533.6 · Medicare-related solicitations - Changes in law make cold lead advertising a new crime in the context of certain solicitations relating to health care service plans involving Medicare products. Adds Health & Safety Code §1361.1; adds Ins. Code §790.037 Consumer Law · Winegrowers - A new law expands the definition of "winegrower" to include much smaller producers and eliminates the need for a license for certain persons. [Effective June 6, 2008] Amends Bus. & Prof. Code §§23013 and 23356.2 · Food - Food is misbranded under this new law if labeling does not conform with certain US Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requirements, and repeals certain provisions of the Act which had related to the packaging, manufacture, or wholesale distribution of olive oil. Amends Health & Safety Code §112910, adds Health & Safety Code §110673, and repeals Health & Safety Code §§112885 and 112890 · Credit reports - A change in law permits certain consumers to put a security freeze on their credit report. Amends Civ. Code §§1785.11.2 and 1785.15 · Foreclosures - A new law allows cancellation of contracts with foreclosure consultants by homeowners and imposes new restrictions on such consultants. Amends Civ. Code §§1632, 2945.2, 2945.3, and 2945.4; adds and repeals Civ. Code §1161b, §§2923.5, 2923.6, 2924.8, and 2929.3; and adds Civ. Code §2945.45
The information in this Law Note constitutes just a summary of a selection of the many changes in California statutes which affect certain of our business clients. We don't pretend to cover all changes. If you would like more information about a certain change, a link to all the affected statutes referenced, or would like information on other changes in law not addressed in this Law Note, please do not hesitate to call us. Sincerely,
Robert Buchanan Buchanan Law Group
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