California has long received an A+ rating on "choice-related laws" from NARAL Pro-Choice America. So it was a surprise to contributing writer Pamela A. MacLean
to discover that California's Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates HMOs, approved a plan in 2008 that eliminated coverage for elective abortions. Anthem Blue Cross offered the amended plan for a large-group client affiliated with the Catholic church, to be marketed to employers with similar religious affiliations.
"California has a long history of fairly open acceptance of treating abortion coverage the same as pregnancy care," notes MacLean, who interviewed more than 30 people for her cover feature ("Uncovered"). "The decision by the Department of Managed Health Care to approve this plan seems to be part of an extremely closed process that's not open to public scrutiny." Her story raises the question: Does California law require group health plans offered by religious-affiliated schools to provide comprehensive coverage for abortions?
Also this month, Tom McNichol
writes about Charley Moore, the attorney and entrepreneur behind Rocket Lawyer, an online legal services company ("Rocket Man"). That market has grown dramatically since McNichol wrote a feature on LegalZoom for us ("Is LegalZoom's Gain Your Loss?" September 2010). "There's a lot of venture capital in it now," says McNichol. "And the unauthorized practice of law issue has a lot less steam than it did four years ago."
McNichol thinks both companies have staying power. "I could see Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom being the Burger King and McDonald's of online law."
You may notice in these pages that California Lawyer
has a new look. For the past six months our design director Jeffrey Nemeroff
has been collaborating with art director Marsha Sessa
to redesign the print and digital editions. "The idea was to freshen up and streamline the design," says Nemeroff. "We wanted to retain the identity of the brand, but also update it."
To view the new look in the digital edition, visit our website (callawyer.com
). You can also download the California Lawyer
iPad app from the Apple store. We hope you like it. Next on Jeff's plate: redesigning our website.
And finally, I'm proud to announce that our magazine has won four Maggie Awards from the Western Publishing Association: best feature ("Headstrong
" by Thomas Peele
, July 2013, on Lance Armstrong's legal troubles), best news story ("All Fracked Up
" by contributing writer Glen Martin
, November), best regularly featured department ("Legally Speaking
," edited by Martin Lasden
), and best cover (Nemeroff's "Eyes in the Sky
I look forward to hearing from you about this issue and our redesign (CL_Editor@dailyjournal.com