Tom Umberg Featured in Daily Journal Article: Umberg Appointed New State Senate Judiciary Chair

Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) co-founding partner, California State Senator and newly appointed Chair of the California Senate Judiciary Committee Thomas J. Umberg was featured in a Daily Journal article titled, “New State Senate Judiciary Chair Likes to Get into the Weeds” published on December 16, 2020.

The article highlights Tom’s significant impact as a California State senator and explains that a goal of the California Senate Judiciary Committee will be to address the impact of COVID on California’s civil justice system.

“The cost and the time consumed in discovery are overwhelming the civil litigation process,” Umberg said. “One of the things I will focus on and have focused on is reducing the gamesmanship and the costs that are currently part and parcel of discovery.”

The Judiciary Committee has the broadest jurisdiction of the Senate policy committees. Legislation in the following categories are within its jurisdiction: bills amending the Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Evidence Code, Family Code, and Probate Code; bills relating to courts, judges, and court personnel; bills relating to liens, claims, and unclaimed property; and, bills relating to privacy and consumer protection.

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Tom Umberg Authors Daily Journal Article: Document Production Games Run Amok

Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) co-founding partner, and California State Senator Thomas J. Umberg authored an article for the Daily Journal titled, “Document Production Games Run Amok” which was published on September 30, 2019.

In the article, Tom explains that he authored California Senate Bill 17 in reaction to the firm’s recent experience of gamesmanship after a relatively routine request for production of documents in a business litigation matter. Discovery gamesmanship delays litigation, ties up the courts, and strains the ability of parties to access justice in civil disputes.

Senate Bill 17 was approved by the Governor on October 12. In the article Tom writes, “The measure encourages that initial disclosure of information and discovery materials, further discourages gamesmanship by imposing a $250 sanction on a party, person, or attorney who fails to act in good faith in response to a request for documents, and authorizes the court to require the offending attorney to report the sanction to the State Bar.”

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Scott Garner Selected for New Ethics Committee

Umberg/Zipser partner Scott Garner has been appointed as a member of the California Lawyers Association’s newly formed ethics committee. The California Lawyers Association itself was formed in 2018 after the California State Bar was split into a mandatory bar and a voluntary bar association, with the CLA quickly becoming the second largest voluntary bar association in the nation (behind only the ABA).  The Ethics Committee intends to issue advisory opinions, comment on a variety of legal ethics issues and offer educational programming.  The Daily Journal’s recent article “California Lawyers Group Forms Own Ethics Committee,” discussed the committee and noted Scott’s selection.