Kahn, Soares & Conway honored as the 2015 Ag Supporter of the Year.

The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce has selected Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP as its 2015 Ag Supporter of the Year, in recognition of KSC’s efforts in Kings County and in the State Capitol to support Kings County Agriculture. KSC will be honored at the Kings County Salute to Agriculture Banquet on September 11, 2015.

Richard C. Conway honored as a Super Lawyer for 2015.

Rick Conway has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer by Super Lawyer Magazine for 2015. Mr. Conway has been selected as one of Northern California’s top attorneys for four consecutive years.

KSC Selected as one of California’s top ranked law firms

Martindale Hubbell recently identified Kahn, Soares & Conway as one of California’s top ranked law firms.

Western Farm Press interview KSC attorneys on the impact of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

KSC Attorneys Louie Brown and Lauren Hajik were interviewed by Western Farm Press on the issue of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act signed by Governor Brown in 2014.  KSC is actively engaged on the implementation of this act.

KSC and Kings County Farm Bureau team up for Groundwater Legislation Workshop

More than 125 farmers, business leaders, water managers, elected officials and concerned citizens packed the Kings County Board of Supervisors Chambers on September 25, 2014 to discuss California’s Sustainable Groundwater Act recently signed into law by Governor Brown. Louie Brown, David Kahn and Lauren Noland provided a summary of the new legislation and discussed next steps including “cleanup legislation,” litigation, and groundwater basin adjudications. The KSC team also provided the attendees with a memorandum on the subject.

George Soares Interviewed in Profile of California’s “Environmental Crop”

George Soares was interviewed in the December 2013 issue of Western Farm Press magazine, for its article on the innovation and growth of the California Rice Commission. With Mr. Soares’ help, the commission has developed positive relationships with regulators and the public through collaborative problem-solving and programs like the “Capitol Roller Competition,” a sushi rolling event promoting awareness and recognition of California rice. Click here to read the full article.

George Soares to Co-Chair Fresno State’s Presidential Commission

George Soares will co-chair Fresno State’s new Presidential Commission on the Future of Agriculture with Fresno State Interim Provost Andrew Hoff.  The commission will consist of agribusiness and industry leaders from throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and university representatives.
Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro has asked members to assess industry needs and make recommendations to him regarding how the university’s agricultural programs can be among the best in the nation and world. View article

George Soares Receives Distinguished Service Award

George Soares recently received the Cal Poly Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award during the Homecoming festivities. The award recognizes an alumnus who has demonstrated exceptional service to Cal Poly.

California FFA Foundation Appoints Louie Brown as Chairman

Louie Brown was recently appointed Chairman of the California FFA Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to promote, aid and assist financially or otherwise the California FFA to ensure success of agriculture education by preparing tomorrow’s agricultural leaders today.  The Foundation is governed by a 29 member board of trustees comprised of educators, business lenders, and alumni.  Louie has a long history of activity in the FFA.  He served on the State FFA Adult Advisory Board in 2001 through 2007 and, in 1991, he was elected to serve the National FFA Organization as its Western Region Vice President.

California Grape Rootstock Improvement Commission Affirmed in Court’s Ruling

In June 2012, Sacramento associate Ann M. Grottveit obtained a successful verdict from the Sacramento County Superior Court affirming the validity of the California Grape Rootstock Improvement Commission.  Previously, in November 2010 the Commission had won summary judgment on Plaintiff’s free speech claim.  The remaining due process claims were tried in August 2011 and the Court found that “the statutes authorizing establishment of the Commission and its operations represent a valid exercise of the police power and that the ongoing activities of the Commission also have a real and substantial relationship to the public interest.”

The Commission’s mission is “to fund and support grape rootstock research for the enhancement of the California viticulture and grape nursery industry.”

Soares Featured In McGeorge Law School Periodical

Like a lot of farm boys, George Soares, ’73, left the fields to make his way in the city.  But unlike most, Soares found a way to keep the farm with him every step of the way.

View article

Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Brinker

Brinker Restaurant Corp. v Superior Court (Hohnbum) No. S166350 (California April 12, 2012).

The long-awaited Supreme Court ruling in Brinker was issued on April 12, 2012. It is welcome news for California employers, especially those subjected to wage and hour litigation seeking monetary damages for alleged denial of meal and rest breaks. The most significant general holding of Brinker is that employers need not ensure that their employees take meal and rest periods which are required by California law. Employers need only ensure that workers are provided the meal and rest period. Specifically, the court held “an employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period, but need not ensure that the employee does no work.”

Based on the foregoing, employers should continue the practice of providing meal and rest breaks as required by law, posting the company policy related to meal and rest breaks in a visible location at the workplace and including provisions for meals and rest breaks in the Employee Handbook. However, employers no longer need to police employees to ensure meal and rest breaks are taken.

Because Brinker came before the Supreme Court as a class certification case, there are many issues which were not determined or which may arise from this decision. Please call us if you have questions or need further information related to this decision and how it may impact your business.

- Provided by Rissa A. Stuart

California Cut Flower Commission Affirmed in Court’s Ruling

In November 2010, KSC obtained a summary judgment ruling that the Commission law did not violate Plaintiff’s state and federal constitutional rights of free speech and free association.  The Sacramento County Superior Court affirmed the California Cut Flower Commission’s status as a government agency, authorized by law and properly overseen and supervised by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to carry out the duties and obligations for which it was formed, and dismissed Plaintiff’s remaining claims.

Soares is Keynote Speaker at Industry Event

In February, 2012, Zenith Insurance Company, a major provider of workers’ compensation insurance in California, held a daylong seminar in Fresno, California for its policy holders.  Soares was the keynote speaker.  He explained the current challenging fiscal condition of California and gave examples of the increasingly intrusive actions of state government.  He also stressed to attendees that they should rely less on government and embrace self-help which requires a fundamental understanding of the workings of the political process in California.

The seminar focused on key issues impacting agricultural businesses including rural crime, sustainability, food safety, trends in workers’ compensation and immigration.

Soares Joins State Leaders to Talk on State Economy

Recently, George Soares was one of five speakers to share their outlook on California’s economy at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural State of the State event.  Other speakers in the February, 2012 gathering included Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, State Controller John Chiang, State Senator Sam Blakeslee and Fred Keeley of California Forward.

An audience of approximately 300 participated in a lively discussion of such topics as the Governor’s tax initiative, funding for education and the influence of special interest groups on state politics.  Among his comments, Soares told the audience that “without the fiscal crisis, California would have continued to spend money it doesn’t have and the state now has an opportunity to solve the (fiscal) problem.”

Soares Addresses Cal Poly Leadership Council

Past and present student leaders gathered on the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus in February, 2012 to discuss and update on program and infrastructure developments at the University.

George Soares, a former Cal Poly student body president, told the group that “self-help is our present and our future.  Government support of higher education has substantially declined and this situation will not be significantly reversed.  So, we must pursue a new model that secures the University financially while remaining focused on providing top rate educational opportunities for its students.”

Appellate Court Victory – January 2012

A north valley car dealer was sued by his former partner regarding a dispute in connection with a partnership buyout.  The trial court ruled in favor of the car dealer’s partner and ordered the car dealer to pay his former partner $1,300,000.  Kahn, Soares & Conway, through Richard C. Conway, represented the car dealer on appeal.  In January 2012, First Appellate District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the car dealer and set aside in its entirety, the adverse judgment against him.

KSC Settles Commercial Litigation On Behalf of Fresno Developer – December 2011

Kahn, Soares & Conway, through Richard C. Conway, represented a commercial developer in the Fresno area against a tenant that had entered into a leasing agreement to lease space in the developer’s complex.  The tenant, a national company, alleged the developer breached its obligation to the tenant by failing to develop the project appropriately and deliver the premises to the tenant in a timely fashion.  The matter was resolved shortly before trial by the tenant paying the commercial landlord $1,950,000.

Stuart elected Secretary of San Joaquin Valley Association of Business Trial Lawyers

Partner, Rissa A. Stuart was recently elected to serve as the Secretary of the San Joaquin Valley Association of Business Trial Lawyers. The ABTL was founded to develop a better forum for the discussion of business trials and to promote and enhance communications between the bar and the federal and state benches. Each chapter provides top quality legal education and programs in an atmosphere where there can be a frank exchange between bench and bar There are thriving ABTL chapters in the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, Northern California, San Diego, and Orange County.

Personal Injury Settlement

Kahn, Soares & Conway, through Richard C. Conway and Rissa A. Stuart, represented a Kings County Dairyman involved in a tractor/automobile accident in Kings County.  The dairyman sustained pelvic and rib fractures which resulted in medical expenses of slightly less than $50,000.  The dairyman had no quantifiable wage loss.  The matter settled, shortly before arbitration, for $475,000.

Valley Air District’s Former Chief Counsel Joins Kahn, Soares & Conway

Phil Jay to Provide Clients with Vast Expertise in Environmental Laws & Regulations

Hanford, Calif.  (Sept. 7, 2011) – In a move that elevates its rapidly growing environmental practice, the law firm of Kahn, Soares & Conway (KSC) today announced that Phil Jay, former chief counsel for the eight county San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District from 1993 to 2011, has become of counsel to the firm.

“We are very pleased that Phil has become part of our team,” said managing partner George Soares. “Phil brings an outstanding reputation and first rate expertise that will greatly enhance our service to clients located in California and nationally.”

“In his new role, Phil will assist clients in navigating the legal and government complexities associated with air quality, land use and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and much more,” Soares said.  “We also expect Phil to benefit clients in government related litigation, labor law, civil rights violations and civil litigation, using experience he gained as legal counsel for Fresno and Madera counties before joining the Valley Air District,” Soares added.

“Our clients are increasingly requiring assistance in the evolving world of environmental law. Phil’s addition to the firm complements our existing strengths and commitment to this important area,” said Jan Kahn, a founding member of the firm.

In 2003, KSC, in partnership with Jim Wells, former director for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, formed Environmental Solutions Group to assist clients in address pesticide, and air and water quality issues.

KSC Featured as one of the Valley’s Largest Firms.

The Hanford Sentinel recently featured Kahn, Soares & Conway as the 12th largest firm in the San Joaquin Valley, and the largest law firm outside of Fresno.  The article highlighted KSC’s unique business model involving a lobbying element in Sacramento and its general law practice in Hanford.  The two offices are able to provide clients with services, expertise and influence that no other firm in the Valley can deliver.  Read more here. (http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/article_9f426d94-9dab-11e0-bbc8-001cc4c03286.html)

Soares Receives Ginners Distinguished Service Award

George Soares, KSC’s managing partner, was recognized for more than 30 years of service to the California Cotton Ginners Association in Pismo at the Ginners Annual Industry Meeting as the 2010 recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. The Ginners Association was one of KSC’s first clients. “We could not have chosen a more effective legal counsel and government affairs advocate to represent us over the years than George Soares. It’s like we grew up together, KSC and the Ginners Association”, said Earl Williams, president and CEO of the Ginners and a charter board member of the Ginners group.

David Kahn Appointed as Kings Regional Health Foundation Executive Officer

KSC attorney, David Kahn was recently appointed as the First Vice Chair of the Kings Regional Health Foundation.  The Foundation is a charitable organization that raises money for the Adventist Health medical network throughout the Central Valley.  To date the Foundation has contributed more than $3,000,000.00 towards the construction of the new hospital in Hanford and continues to contribute to the advancement of healthcare in the Central Valley of California

George Soares is Ranked Number Nine in Sacramento Power and Influence

Capitol Weekly, April 2010 Top 100 List
“Soares is the premier agricultural lobbyist in California, and in a state with the nation’s highest farm receipts, that’s saying something. Soares is at or near the center of every substantive water discussion in the state.” To view the complete list, click here.

“Soares is Down with California…and Rightly!”

George Soares with Kahn, Soares and Conway, a Sacramento firm, discussed the severe problems of California. “We are often proud to say that agriculture is the #1 industry in California. But in reality the #1 industry, if you want to call it that, is government.

To view the complete article in PDF, click here.