December 2010 Issue





President's Message

By Louis R. Dienes, TroyGould PC

Season’s Greetings!

Holiday Networking Luncheon. Continuing a tradition of over 35 years, the Century City Bar Association hosted its annual Holiday Networking Luncheon with the Rotary Club of Century City and the Century City Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. We hope you were able to join us for our final program of 2010!

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Increased Focus on Employment Tax...Are You Ready?

by LaVonne Lawson

The Tax Gap and the National Research Program

This has been the first year of the IRS Employment Tax Audit Initiative; a program to be implemented over three years, with the conduct of 2000 employment tax audits per year for a total of 6000 audits. These in-depth employment tax audits will take place in addition to, not in lieu of, regularly occurring audits of employment tax issues. These are random, but they will occur predominantly with respect to small businesses. Small business is considered a leading area with respect to the Tax Gap, which is defined as the difference between estimates of tax due, and tax actually reported and paid.

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Ponzi Schemes

by Edward T. Swanson

Two years ago, Bernie Madoff was charged with securities fraud for perpetrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. This is believed to be the largest Ponzi scheme ever in the U.S., and had been operating for over 15 years. A few months later, Robert Allen Stanford was charged with securities fraud for allegedly conducting an $8 billion Ponzi scheme, allegedly the second largest such scheme in American history. So, just what is a Ponzi scheme?

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Public Company Option Repricing and Exchange Programs

by Zoila E. Davis

Although the stock market has partially recovered from the steep decline that began in early 2008, the market has yet to revisit the highs reached in late 2007. As a result, some public companies continue to have outstanding stock options with an exercise price that is higher than the price of the underlying stock – these options are commonly referred to as “underwater or “out-of-the-money” options.

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Century City After Hours

By Ed Swanson

The Mystery of Sky Rock

Earlier this year I wrote about some petroglyphs I saw north of Bishop. To me, there is something exciting about petroglyphs – symbols often thousands of years old that are as engaging, and mysterious, as ever.

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Photo Feature: The CCBA Got up to Speed on Weed

The Century City Bar Association got high on information about legal issues involved in the sale and use of medical marijuana with its “Get Up to Speed on Weed’ program at Lawry’s Prime Rib on October 26. Chair of the CCBA’s Criminal Law Section, Fay Arfa, moderated the panel of experts, which included LA’s “dopest attorney”, Allison Margolin; Dr. William Vicary, President of the Southern California Chapter of the American Psychiatry and the Law; and William Britt, founder/director of the Association of Patient Advocates.




Pictured (from left): Dr. William Vicary, Fay Arfa, William Britt, and Allison Margolin



There has never been a better time than now to be part of the CCBA! Our growing list of benefits and perks offers our members one of the finest amenities packages around. From special incentives with other organizations such as the LACBA, to discounts at your favorite Century City eateries, the CCBA is better than ever before!

To become a member, visit our membership page.