Contra Costa Lawyer, September 2016 Issue, ELECTIONS & POLITICS

Page 1

Contra Costa

Lawyer Elections & Politics

Volume 29, Number 5 | September 2016

YOU BET #ImWithHer page 8

A Bernie Sanders Supporter Asks, “Now What?” page 13

Why I’m Voting Trump/Pence page 17



Contra Costa  2016 BOARD of DIRECTORS Elva Harding President Philip Andersen President-Elect James Wu Secretary Michelle Ferber Treasurer Nicholas Casper Ex Officio Ericka Ackeret Dean Barbieri Mary Carey Steven Derby Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston

David Marchiano Wendy McGuire Coats Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck Katherine Wenger

CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley | 925.370.2548 | CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |

Barbara Arsedo Emily Day

LRIS Coordinator Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator

Carole Lucido

Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Comages

Membership Coordinator

Anne K. Wolf

Education and Programs Coordinator

Lawyer Volume 29, Number 5 | September 2016

The official publication of the

B   A   R        A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T   I   O   N

features By Jerome C. Pandell, Esq.

A Bernie Sanders Supporter Asks, “Now What?” By Jeremy Forsyth, Esq.

Why I’m voting Trump/Pence By David J. Chapman, Esq.

Freedom By Paul Schroeder, Esq.

Thinking About Running for Office? Contra Costa Lawyer CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Nicole Mills Suzanne Boucher 925.351.3171 925.933.1500

David Pearson Marcus Brown 925.287.0051 925.482.8950


YOU BET #ImWithHer

13 17 19 23

By Courtney O’Brien, Esq.

Unpleasant Surprises? The Limits of Public Comment on Proposed Ballot Initiatives


By Matt J. Malone, Esq.

Patricia Kelly BOARD LIAISON 925.818.3305 James Wu 925.658.0300 Inga Miller 925.402.2192

COURT LIAISON Novak Stephen Nash Perry 925.746.0245 925.957.5600

DESIGN/ADVERTISING 925.287.3540 Carole Lucido Candice Stoddard 925.370.2542

PRINTING Steven’s Printing


Samantha Sepehr



The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published 12 times a year - six times online-only - by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to The CCCBA reserves the right to edit articles and letters sent in for publication. All editorial material, including editorial comment, appearing herein represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the CCCBA or the Board of Directors. Likewise, the publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.

4 Inside by Wendy McGuire Coats 6 MCLE Spectacular, Friday November 18 7 President’s Message | by Elva Harding 11

Employers: Get Prepared for Time-Off Requests for Election Day | by James Wu


Cuba MCLE Trip 2017


Summer Soiree with the Family Law Section | Photos


Bar Fund Benefit, october 6

29 PRO BONO: Help Ensure the Integrity of Our Elections | By Ellen Swensen 32 Pro Bono EXPO: November 3 34







My Vote. My Voice. by Wendy McGuire Coats

Welcome to the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine’s Election & Politics edition. While looking back at the 2008 Elections edition and President Robin Pearson’s article on our country’s history of close Presidential Elections, I was reminded again that the primary way we participate in our democracy is to vote. Moving to the 2012 Election & Politics edition, Guest-Editor Stephen Steinberg recounted his experience as a high school senior after a failed bond measure that would have constructed new school facilities. Nobody understood the need for new school facilities better than the students. The measure missed passing by seven or eight votes. One of his school’s civic teachers surveyed her students and found eight students who were already 18 and would have voted for the bond measure had they known about it. They hadn’t voted. Lesson learned — not voting is a vote. Directly out of law school, I had the privilege of clerking for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew of the Central District of California, the son of Chinese immigrants who came to Los Angeles in the 1920s. One of my favorite memories was watching Judge Lew administer the oath of citizenship to hundreds of families at the court’s Naturalization Swearing in Ceremony, where this one moment changed lives for generations. For many, their first act of citizenship was registering to vote and they completed it before leaving to celebrate. In the last six years, close to 4.3 million naturalization tests have been given with 91% of the test takers passing the first time. Admittedly, before this experience I was not familiar with our Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America:



“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” These words felt especially poignant, during the smaller citizenship ceremonies Judge Lew held in the courtroom for our Armed Forces, usually six to eight military servicemembers, dressed in uniform, who were becoming citizens prior to their overseas deployment. It was humbling to witness the raised hands of these men and women, who had already volunteered to place themselves in harm’s way to serve and defend our country and its ideals without having the benefits and privileges of citizenship that I have enjoyed since birth. Under special provisions in Section 329 of the INA, President Bush signed an executive order on July 3, 2002, authorizing all noncitizens who have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces on or after Sept. 11, 2001, to immediately file for citizenship. This order also covers veterans of certain designated past wars and conflicts. This authorization remains in effect. Since Oct. 1, 2001, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has naturalized 109,321 members of the military, with 11,069 of those service members becoming citizens while serving abroad.

I hear the twittering refrain that voting doesn’t matter or that a vote doesn’t count. And while that debate may rage on, the arguments fail to reach the heart of why I vote. I vote because I am the great-great granddaughter of a woman who fought for my right as a woman to vote and for the right of my daughter. I exercise my right to vote as an act that honors the brave men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces and the families who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the act of preserving, protecting, and defending the freedoms I enjoy. I vote because our democracy depends on our individual participation. For me, voting is the embodiment of our “out of many, one” motto. One vote may not be decisive but when our many voices speak in local, state, and national elections, we decide our path together, collectively as one. I feel most connected to what I sense it means to be an American when I vote. And I take my daughter to vote with me. After voting in this year’s primary, I posted the following: “We raise voters by being voters. Please vote and take your kids with you. Talk about who and what you’re voting for and why. And please, profusely thank the volunteers, who make the process work. I am grateful that even with hotly contested elections, I walk safely into a school gymnasium and vote with my child in hand.” Each time I vote with her, we talk about the importance of having a say in who runs our government and who makes the laws governing our lives.

We talk about how voting is sacred, private, and cherished – it is not to be wasted. Before we arrive, we’ve discussed who I’m voting for and why, but as we huddle together in the voting booth, I still read aloud the position and each name listed on the ballot before we color in the bubble for my vote. When we leave, we thank the poll workers again for their service. I am grateful. In this edition, you will find several articles reflecting a variety of perspectives on the upcoming election. You will also find articles discussing voting procedures and the pathways that impact ballot initiatives. Finally, if you’re feeling the call to serve as an elected offi-

cial, you’ll find an article to help get you started and encouraging you to run. Most of all, in this 2016 Elections & Politics edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, we hope you find inspiration to vote. Wendy McGuire Coats is Appellate Counsel at Fisher & Phillips LLP in San Francisco, where she leads the firm’s California Appellate Practice. She serves on the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers’s publications committee, the California Women Lawyers amicus committee, and the Contra Costa County Bar Association Board of Directors.

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president’s message Why Women Are Leaving Big Law They questioned 400 lawyers, then they focused on the responses from women (about 84% of the respondents), to try to get some understanding of what drives these departures. The results, while not entirely scientific, are interesting nonetheless.

Elva Harding CCCBA Board President


elcome Back! The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and it is back to the shop. But not for all of us. Although women make up about 50% of law students, it’s common knowledge that as the years pass, the numbers of women practicing law in traditional firms dwindle. Often the decline is in numbers is attributed to desire to raise a family. However, the ABA recently reported ALM Intelligence findings that contradict that commonly held belief. Women comprise 45 percent of 30-year-old lawyers at law firms, 41 percent of 40-year-old lawyers, and 27 percent of 50-year-old lawyers. Clearly, childrearing is not the only reason women opt out of the traditional law firms. The founders of Montage Legal Group, one of the first networks of freelance attorneys, decided to survey lawyer applicants to learn why they were leaving Big Law.

The top three reasons respondents gave for leaving Big Law were: (1) wanting to spend more time with family; (2) the toxic culture; and (3). the job demanded too much time. The respondents were then asked what changes might have led them to remain. Not surprisingly, they said (1) Policies that would have allowed them to work on a freelance basis; (2) systems that ensured that part-time positions stayed within part-time hours; and (3) changes to the work culture to eliminate the stigma of reduced hour schedules. Only a small portion of respondents had given up work to be stayat-home mothers. Most were still working in law or related fields. So it isn’t that hard to see what is going on.

The Big Law culture, with its long hours and billable hours, just isn’t so appealing. Women are looking for more control over their projects, their work environment and their schedules.

I have heard from many of you that it is difficult to find qualified lawyers to fill your ranks. But it needn’t be so difficult. Firms that break from the traditional law firm model to develop effective part-time or job sharing opportunities will thrive in this environment. They will not only attract skilled women lawyers, but millennials too, who also tend to value flexibility over compensation. It is a means of building a satisfied group of employees, while potentially controlling costs. For the full story, I urge you to check out the Orange County Lawyer article: “Survey Results: Why Women Are Really Leaving Firms” at http://www.virtualonlineeditions .com/publication/?i=291750 Elva D. Harding is a real estate and business attorney and founder of Harding Legal, dedicated to providing efficient and effective legal service to individuals and small, mid-sized and family-owned businesses. Elva currently serves as CCCBA’s Board President. Contact Elva Harding at (925) 215-4577, or visit



YOU BET #ImWithHer By Jerome C. Pandell, Esq. But not because I believe electing Donald J. Trump represents a grievous danger to our country and the United States Constitution. (Though, Trump does represent that.) Not because I’ve consistently identified as a loyal member of the Democratic Party dating back to the 1992 victory celebration at The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi. (Thanks, Mom.) And not because I tweeted #FeelTheBern during the long slog of a primary and now feel resigned to vote for whomever my party nominates. (Donated $20.16 to Hillary for America the day of her announcement and every month thereafter.) I will vote for Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, because there’s no doubt in my mind that the Hillary Clinton–Tim Kaine ticket represents the best choice for these United States to remain stronger together and to continue to make our lives better here at home. Candidly, whether a Democrat or a Republican or someone who wishes a pox on both parties, you should vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine too. I may not represent the “stereotypical” demographic for a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. I’m male and I’m white and I grew up and live in Danville, California and I work as a business litigator. Additionally, I vociferously supported Barack Obama in 2008 when he ran against her. Since 2007, I’ve worked tirelessly to support Barack Obama—as a candidate, as president, and during his reelection in 2012. His policy achievements are perhaps only second to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in terms of their breadth and depth in ensuring more Americans possess the right to access affordable healthcare, access the benefits of a higher education, breathe clean air, and need not fear the economic floor from falling out from under them.



CCCBA member Jerome Pandell represented California’s 11th Congressional District –located entirely in Contra Costa County – as an elected Delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

When I sat down in 2015 to consider the options for president, a diverse array of choices was available for me and other Democrats to consider. Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s first term, as a United States Senator from New York for eight years, and as First Lady of the United States when her husband Bill Clinton served as President – an unparalleled amount of experience in government and public life. Martin O’Malley served as Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015 and Mayor of Baltimore before that – earning a reputation as a forward thinking progressive exuding a positive, can-do attitude. United States Senator Bernie Sanders – who caucused with Democrats in Congress since his election to represent Vermont– offered a passionate vision for even more far-reaching progressive change than that offered by Barack Obama in 2008. Through all the back-and-forth during the primary and despite many invitations from my friend and fellow attorney U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-San Ramon) to support Governor O’Malley, I remained steadfast in my support for Hillary Clinton

#ImwithHer Continued from page 8

because her service to President Obama and the country – after an arduous primary election in 2008 – demonstrated to me a real resolve to work toward progressive goals in partnership with others. (Congressman Swalwell – a millennial leader– enthusiastically said #ImWithHer after the Iowa Caucuses because he learned while campaigning with Governor O’Malley in Iowa that Hillary Clinton represented the best option to move our country forward, especially on issues that matter to young people.) Yet, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine do not simply represent more of the same after eight years of President Barack Obama. Rather, they represent the natural progression in making forward progress on the issues that matter to so many Americans: restoring and expanding voting rights, ensuring equal pay for equal work, rebuilding and reinvesting in America’s infrastructure, ensuring justice delayed is not justice denied by fully staffing our federal courts at all levels, fighting terrorism by building alliances at home and abroad, and expanding debt-free college to all Americans represent just a small sample of the progress we will make with Hillary Clinton as our 45th President. To me, those goals sound a lot better than reneging on treaties, debt doubling tax cuts, and divisive rhetoric that divides communities here in the U.S. as well as in other countries. Tim Kaine said it best: in the next president, Americans should vote for a “You’re Hired!” leader – not one famous for saying, “You’re fired!” and not one who is the most litigious presidential candidate ever (especially for

stiffing workers and businesses). Americans should vote for a leader with a record as an experienced bridge-builder, not a trash-talker. Americans should vote for a leader who puts families and kids first, not someone who puts himself first. Who is that leader? Hillary Clinton.

sented California’s 11th Congressional District—located entirely in Contra Costa County—as an elected Delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Email him at for more information about how to become involved in Democratic Party campaigns locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally.

Jerome C. Pandell, Esq., is a senior associate at the womanowned Pandell Law Firm, Inc., in Walnut Creek and serves on the U.C. Hastings College of the Law Board of Governors. Jerome also repre-

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to CCCBA’s Free Legal Workshop Volunteers The CCCBA offers many different free legal workshops to the public every month, everything from bankruptcy to family law, wills, trusts and conservatorships to immigration and more. We are only able to offer this wonderful public service because of the many attorney volunteers who generously give their time and talent to the residents of Contra Costa. We would like to express our gratitude to these volunteers: • Amy Alvis

• Michael LaMay

• Peggy Bristol

• David Lederman

• Kosta Demiris

• Leonard Marquez

• Lisa Edgar-Dickman

• Joseph Morrill

• Hermine Dowe

• Bill Rubendall

• Vahishta Falahati

• Ivette Santaella

• Jorge Guardado

• Geoffrey Steele

• Douglas Housman

• Katherine Threlfall

• Sarah Jebrock

• Cyndi Tyler

Interested in volunteering for a Free Legal Workshop? Contact Anne K. Wolf at or (925) 370-2540 for more information.

• David Katzen






Employers: Get Prepared for Time-Off Requests for Election Day by James Wu Election day is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Employers, including law firms, must comply with applicable laws regarding providing employees time off to vote or to serve as an election official. Here is a summary of those requirements in California:

TIME OFF FOR VOTING: Code 14000-14003)

(California Elections

What do employers need to provide (what are employees entitled to) regarding time off to vote? In California, the polls on election days are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote, then the employee is allowed to take time off to vote. Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the time off for voting can only be used at the beginning or end of the employee’s regular work shift (whichever provides the most free time for voting and the least time off from work). Is the time off to vote paid or unpaid? California employees are entitled to take as much time off as needed to vote. Only up to two hours of that time off, however, must be paid. The employer can, but is not required to, pay for any time off to vote beyond two hours. What notice must employers provide to employees? Every California employer must post an elections notice not less than 10 days before election day (this year, by Saturday, October 29). The California Secre-

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tary of State has “Time Off To Vote” notices available in several different languages. It is also a common practice to include this information in an Employee Handbook. What notice must employees provide to employers? If an employee believes time off to vote will be needed, the employee must notify the employer at least two working days before the election. TIME OFF TO SERVE AS AN ELECTION OFFICIAL: (California Elections Code 12312) California employers must allow employees time off if they serve as an Election Official. This time off can be unpaid, and there is no limitation on the length of time off to serve. Note: These requirements are for California employers and employees. If you have employees (or are employed) in a different state, the law may be different. Information provided in this article is not legal advice, nor should you act on anything stated in this article without conferring with the Author or other legal counsel regarding your specific situation. No attorney-client relationship is created via this article. For two decades, James Y. Wu has provided employment law advice and counsel, and litigation representation, to employers of all sizes. James is a member of the Executive Committee of the CCCBA Board of Directors, and former President of the CCCBA Employment Law Section. Learn more at and http://www.linkedin. com/in/jamesywu/.





A Bernie Sanders Supporter Asks,

“Now What?” by Jeremy Forsyth, Esq.

could meaningfully contribute to a winning campaign.

I am one of the millions of change-hungry progressive Democrat voters who were inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Mr. Sanders promised the impossible – large-scale systemic changes like reforming the corrupt federal election process and shifting spending away from the military to fund education for the masses. The miraculous thing about the Sanders campaign is that 60% of donations were small individual contributions, compared to 20% for Clinton. This gave the individual voter the feeling that he or she

As the spunky veteran senator from Vermont condemned the post-Citizens United federal election process and rejected donations from powerful corporations, people began to “feel the Bern.” The funding was ultimately short of Clinton’s, and so too were the votes. Bernie Sanders ran a remarkable and inspiring campaign, but his millions of inspired supporters now have an important choice to make. 1. Vote for Hillary Clinton: Vote Against Donald Trump Sanders endorsed Clinton to ensure a Clinton presidency and a July Pew Research Center poll reported 90% of Bernie Sanders supporters planning to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The general feeling about Clinton seems lukewarm and to a typical Bernie supporter, the feeling is probably chilly at best. Polling shows 50% of Democratic voters view their vote more against Trump than for Clinton, as compared with 48% saying their vote is for Clinton. Thus, perhaps former Sanders supporters will be most motivated by a negative – the non-election of Donald Trump. Or, more positively, progressive Democrats could take the bad (aggressive international approach, lack of relatability, hands tied by big money interests) with the good (victory for gender equality, avoiding a Trump presidency, experienced politician). There are many reasons for a former Sanders supporter to vote Hillary Clinton, but Trump (or lack thereof) will probably be the biggest. continued on page 14



Sanders Supporter Continued from page 13 2.

Vote Jill Stein: Idealism Trumps Winning

We have not forgotten Gore’s 2000 election loss. Many blame Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for the eightyear Bush presidency even though other factors like the majority-Republican Supreme Court’s decision to halt Florida’s ballot recount, a number of suspicious election administration incidents in Florida, and the fact that the electoral colleges collectively chose in favor of Bush even though Gore won the popular vote 48.38% to 47.87%. While maybe not the actual cause, Nader (or, more rightly, his voters) may own the greatest shares of blame in terms of the proximate cause of Gore’s demise. As Bill Yue of the Washington Post pointed out, Nader won 97,488 votes in Florida, which could have swung the election to give Gore the state’s 25 electoral votes, rendering a recount unnecessary. Nader won enough votes in two states – Florida and New Hampshire – to put either of them in Gore’s column. Even without Florida, adding Nader’s 4% of the New Hampshire vote to Gore’s 47% would have given Gore a 270 to 267 victory in the Electoral College. 1 For those of us who lean left, now might not be the time to lean harder, but to attempt damage control. Today, the cost for incremental progress toward a third party candidate may be in vain. 3. Vote Donald Trump: He Vaguely Resembles Bernie Sanders

I understand how some might make the leap. Many Bernie supporters are dissatisfied with the political system and perceive a two-facedness of the typical candidates from the major parties. Trump and Sanders are both atypical of their respective parties. They share a common id, a feeling that what they say is genuine, that it comes from the gut. Below the surface, however, there lay two very distinct sets of beliefs and values when it comes to civil rights, criminal justice, the environment, economic inequality, education (Trump University versus free college!), foreign policy, government regulation, immigration, the social safety net, and, perhaps most undeniably, racial justice. Regardless of the outcome of the primary or general elections, Bernie Sanders left his mark on the nation with a courageous and inspiring campaign. His political values and ideology have reached millions of young people who will fight for his vision regardless of who wins the election in November. Jeremy Forsyth is a criminal defense practitioner based in San Francisco and serving the greater Bay Area. He handles a variety of California criminal charges at all stages of litigation, and also handles cases involving allegations of domestic violence, both in civil and criminal court, on either side of the dispute. You can reach Jeremy at (415) 702-1278, or on the web at Bill Yue, Washington Post ( opinions/how-nader-cost-gore-an-election/2015/02/05). 1.

Some see a paradoxical similarity between Sanders and Trump, and plan to jump party lines to vote Trump.

CCCBA MCLE Ethics Series The CCCBA MCLE Ethics Series that began in August continues with two more sessions to be held at the CCCBA 5th floor conference room in Concord. Wednesday, September 28, 5:00 - 6:30 pm

The Jenga of Client Relationships: Red Flags and When you Should Release a Client Speakers: Suzanne Boucher, Esq. Cary D. McReynolds, Esq. Gregory Harper, Esq. Erica Portillo, Esq. Rebecca Harris, Esq. Navigating the ethical rules of the attorney-client relationship can be tricky whether getting in or getting out. Identify red flags to avoid future problems and explore avenues for ethically terminating a client relationship.



MCLE Credit Per Program: 1 hr. legal ethics & 0.25 hr. general Cost Per Program: $15 law students; $25 members; $35 non-members Register online at or contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540.

Wednesday, October 26, 5:00 - 6:30 pm Your Practice and the Internet: Marketing, Social Media and Your Legal Ethics Speakers: Gretchen Sweet – Findlaw Jeremy Seymour, Esq. John Steele, Esq. This program will examine internet marketing, social media and your ethical duty.

Need a Place for a Meeting? Rent the CCCBA Conference Room. For information, contact Barbara Arsedo at the CCCBA, 925-370-2544.


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Experience the Culture of Cuba The Contra Costa County Bar Association, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Alameda County Bar, invite you to visit Cuba, learn about the local culture and earn MCLE credit at the same time! The dates for this trip are set for Saturday, February 18 – Friday, February 24, 2017. Join the CCCBA and the Alameda County Bar for a MCLE trip to Cuba in February 2017.

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auspices of Cuba Cultural Travel, an organization that has specialized in travel to Cuba since 1998. Our journey will take us to Havana, the capital of the country and its commercial and cultural center since colonial times. You will experience the wonderful rustic charm of a city that has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years. You will learn about daily life in this amazing, complex city. During our stay, we will be hosted by a variety of local scholars, attorneys and artists who will offer in-depth commentary on the Cuban legal system, art, history, architecture, and religion. We will meet many leading artists in their studios, attend private dance and music performances and enjoy the company of students, professors, and historians. This private journey will include: • Thought-provoking lectures by renowned intellectuals, scholars and legal experts. NOTE: Many of our lectures will qualify for MCLE credit. • Private performances and reception by prominent dance companies and musicians • Exploration of the fascinating neighborhoods of Havana in the company of an architect and historian • Day trip to the stunning Viñales Valley known for the finest tobacco produced in the world This trip will not only bring us together with the people of Cuba, but will enable us to develop friendships and a new understanding of the rich and varied cultural fabric of this unique island nation. A true people-to-people exchange! Space is limited. For further information, visit or contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548. A deposit to hold your place(s), must be received by October 21, 2016.

Why I’m Voting Trump/Pence By: David J. Chapman

Why do I support Donald J. Trump for President of the United States? Growing up in Canada, I watched as Ronald Reagan rebuilt a nation from one which was ineffective on the international stage and economically broken at home into one that took pride in the achievements that carried it to the heights it had achieved. Donald Trump is plotting the same course. I want a leader in charge who will not apologize for America. I want a leader who is blunt, forthright and confident in himself, in the American People and in over 225 years of American history and values. In the History Channel’s documentary, The Men Who Built America, Donald Trump commented on how these entrepreneurs took tremendous personal risk to build an America that rose to great heights. Say what you will about the affluent, but without the affluent there would be no companies, no jobs, no prosperity and none of the social programs that those on the left cling to so dearly. And yet Hillary Clinton wants to wage economic war on the affluent by making them feel dirty and greedy for having achieved. Democrats have made them the target of their ire and the apparent cause of want and distress for other Americans. Donald Trump knows how the economy works and knows you get nowhere by waging a social and verbal war on the affluent.

Donald Trump will stop the war on our working class in West Virginia and Kentucky by reviving a coal industry that has been decimated by Obama environmental policies. No one wants pollution, but sensible policy is required and destroying the livelihood of working class families in favor of radical, immediate and rapid climate change policy is just plain wrong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 11,000 coal miners lost their jobs in the last year. The Bureau also estimates a loss of almost 191,000 coal jobs since September of 2014. This is an economic disaster for many in our country and yet the current administration stands steadfastly to their hard line of immediate change no matter what the cost. This has to stop and alternatives need to be explored. Donald Trump has stated that he will negotiate only trade deals that make sense for the United States and would take aim at practices such as intellectual property infringement and currency manipulation. When China joined the World Trade Organization it was billed as great for the United States, but instead it has hit workers hard and closed factories. We should not negotiate deals that encourage offshore outsourcing of U.S. jobs to low wage countries like Vietnam. Other trade agreements such as the expansion of the

Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement to include Mexico in the NAFTA have devastated the manufacturing sector. We need to reexamine these deals. Through the years our industries have been hammered through unscrupulous trade practices on the part of foreign governments. Our steel industry in the 1980’s, already overburdened by top heavy, vertical integration of their operations, was pummeled by the influx of cheap steel from foreign countries just as it was trying to adapt to new methods of operation. To combat this, the Reagan Administration negotiated a series of Voluntary Restraint Agreements to give the industry breathing space, but it was not enough and relief was temporary. Adaptation was hindered with a resulting loss of jobs and the bankruptcy of many historical companies that had built America. In the early 1990’s, Canadian softwood lumber poured into the U.S. and harmed our softwood lumber industry. Canadian firms benefited from lower stumpage costs and silviculture subsidies from provincial governments. U.S. companies struggled to survive under this onslaught. Such practices cannot be permitted. continued on page 18



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I’m Voting for Trump Continued from page 17 On the international stage, we need to hit ISIS and other factions whose sole goal is to destroy us. We should not be on an international apology tour. We should not abandon international affairs. We should not negotiate any deal that leaves the Islamic Republic of Iran as a possible nuclear power. Finally, we need to recognize our enemy and it is Islamic Extremism—not Islam, but Islamic Extremism. We cannot simply use airstrikes and local military forces or call for some mythical intelligence surge. We must employ all available resources to destroy Islamic Extremism wherever it exists. We cannot ignore, appease or negotiate it away.


David Chapman is an attorney with DJ Chapman Law, P.C., in Fargo, N.D. He has 19 years of experience practicing immigration law. He graduated from the University of Manitoba and the University of North Dakota School of Law. An immigrant from Canada and a naturalized citizen, David has written, taught seminars and appeared on radio on issues related to U.S. immigration law in both the U.S. and Canada. He resides in West Fargo, ND, with his wife, son and their golden retrievers and one guinea pig.


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Freedom By Paul Schroeder

I have a confession to make. I am a registered Republican. I am not voting for Donald Trump. I am not voting for Hillary Clinton. I am voting for the Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. I turned 18 in 1988. I grew up in the era of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. When it came to register to vote, it seemed an easy choice. Republicans stood for personal freedom, personal responsibility, and a chance to use that freedom and responsibility to be successful. Democrats stood for transferring the responsibility for my success to the government. Even at 18, I knew the government was not going to make me successful, and was more likely to hinder that success. Over the past 25 years, the Democrats have behaved as expected and the Republican Party has been hijacked by people more concerned with restricting the right to an abortion, restricting the rights of the gay community, and telling people where to go to the bathroom. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.

government should stay out of. He also believes women who choose to have an abortion should be free from persecution. 2. Governor Johnson knows the war on drugs has been a failure. He supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana and believes that providing treatment and education is a much more effective way to curb drug use than is incarceration. 3. Governor Johnson decries the tax code as “…a weapon with which to manipulate our behavior, create and destroy industries and fulfill politicians’ dreams of social engineering.” He believes in its elimination (along with the IRS) and its replacement with a consumption tax, allowing each individual to decide how much they want to consume. There would be no tax on essentials. He would not regulate or tax the internet. continued on page 22

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The question then is why Gary Johnson? Why the Libertarians? The answer is easy. Gary Johnson supports freedom for everyone and sane spending and law enforcement policies. Moreover, as a former Governor, he understands what it takes to be a chief executive and work with an oftenhostile legislature to achieve his goals. For example: 1. While personally pro-life, Governor Johnson believes abortion is a personal decision, which the

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Family Law Section Summer Soiree The Family Law Section hosted its Summer Soiree at Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill on July 21. Pictured left, Hon. Ed Weil receives a book in appreciation of his service to the Family Law Court from Family Law Section Leader Dan Harkins.

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Freedom Continued from page 19 4. Governor Johnson would return control of public education to states and local districts, eliminating the Department of Education. 5. Governor Johnson also supports a rational immigration policy, which allows for the flow of needed workers into the United

States. He does not support a taller fence, which, as puts it, “will only produce taller ladders and deeper tunnels.” 6. Most importantly, Governor Johnson would balance the federal budget. As he explains, “No gimmicks, no imaginary cuts in the distant future. Real reductions to bring spending into line with revenues, without tax

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increases. No line in the budget will be immune from scrutiny and reduction. And he pledges to veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending, forcing Congress to override his veto in order to spend money we don’t have.” These principles are why I became a Republican, and why I am voting for Gary Johnson. While some will say I am wasting my vote, I disagree. It is well known that California will vote (likely overwhelmingly) for Hillary Clinton in November. According to polling results reported on the smallest lead Clinton has over Trump in California is twelve points (CBS news). The Republican Presidential candidate has not carried California since 1988 and Democrats outnumber Republicans in California 45% to 27%. My vote for either Clinton or Trump would be wasted, as that outcome is already determined. By voting for Johnson I can help the rise of a third party and try and send a message to the Republicans and the Democrats that there are many of us for whom neither major party speaks. There are those of us who want freedom not only for ourselves, but for all Americans, and neither major party offers that, but Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party do. Paul Schroeder is a solo practitioner in Walnut Creek with a worldwide practice specializing in commercial litigation, products liability litigation and, on good days, keeping his clients free from litigation. Many of his clients hire him as outside general counsel to orchestrate their legal needs across a diverse array of legal specialties and professions. When not practicing law, he enjoys the personal freedom of riding his bike, cooking and travelling.

Thinking About Running for Office? by Courtney Masella-O’Brien Grass Roots Support Lawyers often possess the skills needed to be effective civic leaders. More than half of United States Presidents have been lawyers. Attorneys are educated and trained to solve problems, apply laws, communicate difficult concepts, collaborate with others to reach agreement, justify, and defend positions. As an advocate, the attorney’s role is to obtain the best outcome for his client. Similarly, elected officials take a stand on a particular issue and negotiate with other politicians in an attempt to bring about the change being advocated to benefit their constituent. Despite the similar skill sets, running for office can be a daunting task, even for attorneys. Campaigning for and holding public office can be time consuming and stressful. Prior to officially launching a campaign, Contra Costa County District II County Supervisor, and attorney, Candace Andersen counsels that it is crucial for potential candidates to identify their grass roots support, create a marketing plan, establish an internet presence, and write a solid ballot statement.

To start, Supervisor Andersen suggests identifying community leaders, friends, and trusted colleagues to discuss a potential run for office. Potential candidates should use these community members to gain a better understanding of important issues. These grass roots supporters will be essential for generating campaign donations, helping canvass neighborhoods, placing yard signs, writing supportive letters to the editor, and serving as a support system through the campaign. If a candidate’s supporters are involved in the community, other community members will look to them for ideas on who to support. Orinda Mayor and attorney Victoria Smith agreed: Local endorsements are key for a successful run for local office. Martinez Vice Mayor and County Supervisor candidate Anamarie Avila Farias echoed that grass roots support is critical. First and foremost, Vice Mayor Avila Farias advised that a potential candidate should determine how her candidacy will affect her family and her career. Most elected offices at the local level are not full time jobs, but they

are time consuming. Campaigning is time consuming and it is essential to garner the moral support of a candidate’s family and employer. She emphasized that potential candidates must find their voice and identify their “kitchen cabinet.”

Finding Your Own Voice

Before entering a race, its important for the candidate to identify her point of view and influence in order to answer key foundational questions: What issues are important to you and why? What do you hope to change in your community? Why will you and your ideas be a benefit to your community? The concept of a “kitchen cabinet,” is to help recruit and organize volunteers, create positive chatter, help with door-to-door canvassing, and assist with small fundraising tasks. Ideally, candidates should identify a core team of five, advises Vice Mayor Avila Farias. But while a kitchen cabinet will be a huge help, it should not make important strategic and issue decisions for a candidate’s campaign, advises Supervisor Andersen. Ultimately, those decisions are the candidate’s alone. As a candidate finds her voice and creates a campaign platform, it will continued on page 24



Running for Office Continued from page 23 be important to keep her grass roots supporters and kitchen cabinet in mind as they must embrace her platform.

Marketing Plan

The internet is a key and inexpensive marketing resource. All candidates should assess and establish their internet presence early, according to Supervisor Andersen. In marketing, branding yourself is important. Simply put, a candidate’s brand is the immediate image, message or emotion that voters will receive and remember about the candidate. Therefore, candidates should determine their brand early and must be consistent through the campaign. First, candidates should conduct Google searches on themselves to

determine what comes up in the search results. There are some simple ways to increase how and where a candidate appears in Google search results such as, letters to the editor, and opinion editorial pieces. Candidates must set up a Facebook page and secure a domain name. Domain names can be set up fairly inexpensively at sites like If a candidate does not want to or cannot pay for a website designer, free resources can be found at sites such as and the Smart Voter Guide from the League of Women Voters. Candidates should also use social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter because many voters will look to these sites when deciding their vote. Print marketing costs money, but is also essential, advises Supervisor Andersen. Candidates will need

lawn signs, door hangers, post cards, and newspaper advertisements. Depending on the size of the race, costly slate mailers may be essential. A slate mailer is a publication created by a campaign or for-profit consulting service that is mailed to voters and contains lists of candidates or ballot measures, along with recommendations and endorsements. It is not unusual for candidates even at the local level to hire campaign consultants to aid with a marketing plan and the crucial ballot statement. Depending on the community’s size and whether groups will likely oppose one’s candidacy, a consultant may not be necessary.

Ballot Statement

Having a good ballot statement is crucial, advises Martinez City Councilwoman Debbie McKillop. Many people throw away door hangers and mailers but will look to the

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Running for Office Continued from page 24 ballot statements when deciding for whom to vote. For this reason, the ballot statement must reflect a candidate’s values, qualifications, ability to represent the constituents, an understanding of the community’s needs and concerns, and the candidate’s vision for the community’s future. The ballot statement should never bring a candidate’s credibility into question. A candidate’s list of occupations and accomplishments should carefully and truthfully layout why the candidate is qualified for the position. Candidates should establish a focus group to read and re-read the ballot statement several times. Proofread, proofread, proofread, and avoid typos.

So What’s Next?

Once a candidate files the necessary paper work to run, opens a campaign bank account, and perfects the ballot statement, it is time to get out in the community to meet voters, attend community events, locate potential donors, and network, network, network. Candidates will walk the precincts and give potential voters campaign literature. If they are not home, candidates will leave a door hanger, which will be a crucial way to garner support and get out the vote. Candidates will do a lot of walking in the months leading up to their election. This face-to-face contact in the community provides the candidate an opportunity to show one’s commitment to the community and explain the candidate’s platform, concerns, and vision if elected. Lastly, and very importantly, candidates must have a thick skin.

Not everyone will be receptive. A candidate must be ready to accept that not everyone will like them Candidates must expect that some people will tell them so and may say other unfavorable things. “Don’t waste your energy on the naysayers; embrace the people who believe in you,” says Vice Mayor Avila Farias.

A Note on Female Candidates

In a year in which the United States will have its first major party female nominee for President, the number of women who hold public office is still surprisingly low. According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), in 2016, only 19.4 percent of the U.S. Congress is female. This breaks down to 104 women in the House of Representatives, and 20 female senators. And only 24.4 percent of state executives are female. In 2016, the U.S. has six women governors, 12 lieutenant governors and 58 other statewide female-elected officials. Clearly, there is progress to be made in gender parity in elected office. Attorneys can bring indispensable skills to elected office, and so too can women in all fields of employment. Women have different life experiences than men, and so bring new perspectives into policy making. Women also tend to bring a more collaborative approach to policy making, and consider average citizens in decision making. The CAWP’s book, The Impact of Women in Public Office: Findings at a Glance reported that female legislators were more likely to cite citizens as helpful sources in working on top-priority bills. The same report showed that 57 percent of female legislators were more likely to opt for government in public view rather than government behind closed doors, compared to 32 percent of men.

Women policymakers are also more likely to prioritize women’s issues that might otherwise be overlooked, such as reproductive rights, maternity leave, and equal pay. This is likely also due to the different life experiences of men and women. Regardless of gender, if you feel your voice or perspective could effectuate positive change and benefit your community, public office might be for you. It will likely involve a lot of hard work, but once you establish your grass roots support, your effective marketing plan, and stellar ballot statement, you will be well on your way to success at the polls.

Additional Resources

If you are considering a run for public office, you may find the following resources helpful: (Emerge California) California List (search for “Elect to Run”)

Courtney Masella-O’Brien is an attorney at Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, LLP. She represents small and midsize businesses in general liability, wrongful death, premises liability and construction defect defense. She is a mother and board member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association Women’s Section and Vice President of the Martinez Community Swim Team. Courtney is a candidate for City Council in Martinez.



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ethics corner Unpleasant Surprises? The Limits of Public Comment on Proposed Ballot Initiatives

by: Matt J. Malone

As of 2014, Elections Code section 9002 allows for a 30-day public comment period on proposed ballot initiatives, which occurs before the Attorney General prepares the official summary and estimate of the initiative’s fiscal impact. This public comment period also occurs before the petition is submitted to the general public for solicitation of signatures to get on the ballot. During that public comment period, or up to five days after it closes, the initiative’s proponents may submit amendments to the Attorney General that are “reasonably germane to the theme, purpose, or subject of the initiative as originally proposed.”1 But it had been unclear exactly how much an initiative could change after public comment. After the California Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Superior Court 2 the answer is: quite a bit. In fact, the initiative on which the public commented could turn into something completely different by the time it is distributed for signatures and appears on the ballot.

As proposed, the Justice and Rehabilitation Act sought to make significant changes to the juvenile and criminal justice system. It would have abolished the requirement that minors 14 or over be tried as adults for certain crimes, eliminated prohibitions on sealing juvenile records, and altered parole suitability review for those who were under 23 when they committed their crimes. The proponents received no comments during the 30-day period, but they did consult with individuals interested in justice reform including the Governor’s staff. After the public comment period closed but within the five-day window, the proponents amended their initiative and replaced the parole modification for those under 23 with a much broader parole modification that would apply to all prisoners convicted of non-violent felonies. The revised initiative was renamed the “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act.” Challengers, including the California District Attorneys Association, sought a writ compelling the Attorney General to reject the amended initiative, which would have prevented signature collection and its qualification for the ballot. They argued that the modifications fundamentally rewrote the initiative and that the changes were not “reasonably germane” to what was

originally proposed. Essentially, the amendment converted an initiative about juvenile offenders into a complete rewrite of parole rules for offenders of any age who committed non-violent felonies. And because it was so much broader, the fiscal impact would be completely different than what had been initially presented for public comment. The trial court agreed and granted the writ. The initiative’s proponents sought immediate relief in the California Supreme Court given the shortness of time left to gather signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The Supreme Court reversed, directing the trial court to enter an order denying writ relief to the challengers. Reviewing the Legislative history, the Court concluded that the public comment period was not meant to “establish a public forum for comments or provide a broadly transparent amendment process.”3 Rather, the Legislature intended the public comment period comments to be “for the benefit of the proponents, not for the purpose of fostering public discussion…the avenue for public comment laid out by the Legislature runs only one way, and for only one round of suggestions.”4 After all, public comments submitted to the Attorney General are not posted or disseminated publicly, but instead are sent solely to the initiative’s continued on page 28



Public Comment Continued from page 27

proponents. And the statute did not require proponents to respond to the comments or post amendments for a second round of comment. The Court also gave an expansive definition to “reasonably germane.” This term of art appears in much of the Court’s jurisprudence concerning the single-subject rule – a Constitutional provision prohibiting an initiative from embracing more than one subject. The singlesubject rule is satisfied so long as the challenged provisions are “reasonably germane” to a common theme, purpose, or subject. The term “reasonably germane” is typically applied in an “accommodating and lenient manner,” and the Court found no reason to give it more restrictive meaning in the context of Section 9002.5 On one hand, the decision may not have much practical effect. Generally, public comment on proposed initiatives is rare and the public has plenty of time to comment during signature-gathering or once the initiative makes the ballot. Such will be the case for the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act, which will appear on the November ballot presuming verification of the estimated one million signatures already obtained. But as Justice Chin pointed out in his dissenting opinion in Brown, the early public comment period is still important to clean up drafting problems, such as the missing definitions of important terms like “non-violent felony offense” and “full term for the primary offense.” Allowing fundamental changes to the initiative after the public comment period hardly incentivizes public comment in the first place, and it minimizes the chance



of correcting these kinds of oversights. Presuming signature verification, the initiative before the voters in November would make numerous, substantive changes to the parole and sentencing procedures for non-violent offenders. That it is supported by Governor Brown – who himself shepherded through the tough determinate sentencing laws which this initiative would change – is interesting in itself, and follows the Governor’s own public statement of his belief that those laws have failed. Responding to concerns of prison overcrowding and the risk of releasing certain offenders arbitrarily to satisfy court-imposed population control, the initiative would permit parole consideration for non-violent inmates once they complete the full sentence for their primary offenses. It would remove a prosecutor’s authority to decide whether to try certain juvenile offenders as adults, transferring that power to the judge. It would also enhance the ability of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award credit for good behavior as well as for education and rehabilitation achievements. This would enable earlier release for many prisoners and encourage their participation in rehabilitation activities.

since the initiative has not officially qualified for the ballot. Once it is certified, voters should expect to see an active campaign against these proposed changes to California’s determinate sentencing structure. But as to the narrow issue of public comment, Brown v. Superior Court clarifies that Elections Code section 9002 does not dramatically limit the ability of initiative proponents to significantly and substantially amend their proposed initiative even after the comment period closes. “The proponents of an initiative are captains of the ship when it comes to deciding which provisions to take on board.” 6 In all likelihood, whether that ship sinks or floats will now be up to the California electorate.

Matt J. Malone is a partner in the law firm of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski. His practice focuses on construction defect and real estate litigation, consumer class actions, and appellate advocacy. He is also a contract legal research attorney for the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Elec. Code § 9002(b). (2016) 63 Cal.4th 335. 3. Id. at 347. 4. Id. at 348. 5. See id. 6. Id. at 351.



Opponents express concern that the initiative would allow release of violent offenders merely because their most recent crime was nonviolent. Victims would also have far less assurance that an offender’s actual prison sentence would be anywhere near that originally issued, compromising trust in the criminal justice system. Yet much of the opposition has not yet coalesced,

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Help Ensure the Integrity of our


by Ellen Swensen With November approaching, everyday citizens are working to ensure the integrity of the Presidential election. Volunteers with California’s Election Integrity Project (EIP) and True the Vote (TTV) are part of a non-partisan, grass roots movement to ensure that election results reflect the will of lawful voters. With trust in the system, citizens will gain confidence that their votes count and will hopefully participate more fully.

The Law is Central to Election Integrity Critical to election integrity is a solid understanding of national and state election statutes. Integrity groups observe election activities and compare them to statutory

requirements. When discrepancies are detected, the findings are reported to state and local election officials for investigation and resolution. Volunteers participate in three key activities:

1) Observing Polling Place Voting In California, EIP trains volunteers on key laws and deploys them to polling places to watch the activities and to ask clarifying questions when they observe practices inconsistent with the statutory requirements. Volunteers document areas needing improvement by completing and submitting Incident Reports. These reports are databased and used to generate statistical reports to assist election officials.

2) Observing Vote by Mail & Provisional Ballot Processing Mailed and provisional ballots require careful processing. Over half of Californians vote by mail (VBM). The state’s provisional ballots (ballots provided when a registered voter is mistakenly omitted from the roster) represent about 40% of the nation’s provisional ballots. Volunteers are trained to observe the validation of signatures on the VBM and provisional ballot envelopes to help ensure the integrity of the process.

3) Inspecting Voter Registration Lists States are required to maintain accurate and timely voter lists continued on page 30



EIP has observed voting activity and analyzed voter lists in counties representing over half of California’s electorate. Findings from 2012-2015 show that the state has many areas in need of significant improvement, including: l To comply with California Election Code §14216, a voter is required to state his name and address audibly and the poll worker to repeat the name and address. This requirement is not consistently practiced in all counties observed. l HAVA section 302(a)(2) and Election Code §14310(a)(2) require provisional voters to attest in writing that they are registered in the county, yet many coun-

l Despite HAVA section 303’s requirement, California has yet to fully implement a computerized statewide voter registration database. A compliant database, VoteCal, is finally slated for completion and certification in late 2016. Pending its completion, each county has been maintaining its own voter list and many irregularities have been reported, including over 53,000 that appear to be registered twice, 18,000 deceased on the active rolls, and 16,000 registered in two counties. For additional findings, go to http:// The-Doors-Are-Wide-Open-For-California-Election-Corruption.pdf.


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Ellen Swensen (ellen@ is a co-founder and former Chief Analyst for California’s Election Integrity Project. She is currently on the Research Team at True the Vote, the nation’s leading voter rights and election integrity organization. For more information, please visit www.truethevote. org or

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Personal Injury Real Estate Litigation Trust and Estate Disputes Mediation

To get involved with the county, contact the Contra Costa County Elections Division at 925-335-7800 and sign up to be an Election Day observer or poll worker. Also check out their Facebook page “Engage Contra Costa” for other volunteer opportunities.


Candice E. Stoddard

Everyday citizens are stepping up to help assure the integrity of our elections but more is needed. EIP is not currently active in Contra Costa County, but if you are interested in getting involved there is always a need for attorneys and paralegals that can research and understand election laws and report findings. For example, EIP testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about California’s HAVA violations. You can also volunteer to counsel citizens groups about developing local ballot initiatives, “adopt” a polling place, or lobby the legislature on election-related bills.

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How is California’s Election Integrity?

l California EC §12309.5 outlines the training requirements for poll workers. HAVA sections 101(b)(1) (D) and 241(b)(8) provide funding for election official training and require periodic studies on improving poll worker training. Yet Incident Reports reflect insufficient training, resulting in mistakes and delays at many polling stations throughout the state.

How Can You Help?


because of the statutory requirements found in the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA Section 8) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Election integrity groups inspect state and county voter lists to find people registered more than once, people voting more than once in the same election, deceased registrants, missing information and other areas of statutory non-compliance.

ties provide provisional ballots to voters claiming to be registered elsewhere. Unbeknownst to these voters, the provisional ballots will not be counted since the voters are not actually registered in that county.

Ca n

Integrity of Elections Continued from page 29


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CCCBA Lawyer Referral & Information Service (925) 825-5700

Requirements of a Poll Worker 1. You must be 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a registered voter in California or a non-citizen with permanent resident status who would otherwise be eligible to vote. 2. You must be physically and mentally able to work with people and do the assigned tasks. 3. You will help set up the voting place, assist voters, and closing the polls. 4. You will need to sit and/or stand for long periods of time.

5. You must be able to lift 25-50 pounds. 6. You must be able to follow written instructions. 7. You must have dependable transportation to the training and to the polls. 8. You must attend Poll Worker training before Election Day. 9. Working hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Election Day.

To volunteer:Â get-involved/poll-workerprogram/



pro bono

How You Can Help Our Community:

Pro Bono in Contra Costa Are you interested in pro bono opportunities in Contra Costa County, but don’t know what is available? Join us for the Pro Bono Expo on November 3, 2016, from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. We’ll provide appetizers, drinks and most importantly—the non-profits who need your assistance! You’ll have the chance to speak to legal service providers from a host of local agencies and find out how you can help Contra Costa residents in need. Participating agencies include: • Bay Area Legal Aid • Family Justice Center • Contra Costa County Law Library • Congress of Neutrals • Social Justice Collaborative • Contra Costa Senior Legal Services • Contra Costa County Superior Court - Temp Judge & Discovery Facilitator Programs • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Contra Costa • CCCBA’s Legal Workshops To register or for more information, please contact Anne K. Wolf at at (925) 370-2540 or Sponsored by The Derby Law Firm.



What You Missed in the August Online Issue The Editorial Board shared the role of Guest Editor of this issue, on “Legal Entertainment, which was conceived as a light-hearted look at the legal profession, and something we all might enjoy reading at the beach. There were several articles on the ideal television shows to binge watch, including the ethics of Better Call Saul, written by Nick Casper and a look at TV lawyer Ray Donovan by Inga Miller. Marcus Brown’s NFL Police Reports takes a look at how our favorite sports teams clash with the law. Suzanne Boucher reviewed Walnut Creek restaurant Broderick Roadhouse. Scott Reep shared his trip to England and the Inns of Court (with photos). In a poignant article, Mary Grace Guzman’s article, “A Local Attorney’s Reflections on Last Month’s Tragedies” concerns her role and the role of attorneys to stem the violence in our communities. As she wrote, “We need to teach OUR children that they can be police officers too, that they can be judges and their voice matters and is essential to OUR justice and without their voice in OUR justice system, we will not have real justice.”

Upcoming Issues of Contra Costa Lawyer

CCCBA President Elva Harding introduced a new feature on the CCCBA website for creative efforts by members, titled the Creative Corner.

Theme October Family Law Guest Editor: David Erb

Photo features included the All Sections Summer Mixer at Salvio Pacheco Square.

November Bench/Bar (print) Guest Editor: Stephen Nash December Pro Bono Guest Editor: Samantha Sepehr January The Bar Association Issue (print) Guest Editor: Theresa Hurley

To read it, go online to: or Contra Costa Lawyer is published monthly. Every other month is a print edition, followed by an online edition. All issues are available online.




Upcoming Events | Overview September 8 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 35

September 13 | Business Law and Litigation Sections

Litigation Metrics Management, From Inside Counsel to Outside more details on page 35

September 15 | Women’s Section

Annual Luncheon: Lean-in for Lawyers more details on page 35 September 17 | CCCBA

Bench/Bar BBQ and Softball Game more details on page 35

September 20 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

Barristers’ Firsts Series - Part 3 of 4 My First Ethical Issues more details on page 35 September 21 CCCBA

CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering more details on page 35 September 27 CCCBA

Law Student/Lawyer Mix & Mingle more details on page 36 September 28 | CCCBA CCCBA Ethics Series, Part 2 of 3

The Jenga of Client Relationships: Red Flags and When you Should Release a Client more details on pages 14 and 36

October 6 | CCCBA


more details on pages 21 and 36 October 13 Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 36

October 14 | Alternative Dispute Resolution

Humor and other Tools to Reduce Tension During Mediation more details on page 36

October 18 | Barristers / Young Lawyers Section

Barristers’ Firsts Series - Part 4 of 4 - Criminal Law more details on page 36 October 26 | CCCBA CCCBA Ethics Series, Part 3 of 3

Your Practice and the Internet: Marketing, Social Media and Your Legal Ethics

more details on pages 14 and 37 October 27 | Women’s Section

Annual Scholarship Award Dinner more details on page 37 November 3 | CCCBA

Pro Bono Expo 2016 more details on pages 32 and 37 November 18 | CCCBA

22nd Annual MCLE Spectacular more details on pages 6 and 37

September 29 | Alternative Dispute Resolution Section

Mediating with Self-Represented Litigants more details on page 36

The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 35-37 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.



September 8 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

September 13 | Business Law & Litigation Sections

Mentoring Group Meeting

Litigation Metrics Management, From Inside Counsel to Outside

CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Every effort will be made to include all suggested topics. However, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be given priority. Please bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez RSVP: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Speaker: Craig Nevin Learn the metrics by which your clients may be measuring you. Billable hours measure time, not value to the client. Litigation metrics management is the application of selected metrics to measure litigation data as well as achievements. The process of developing the litigation plan and the budget serves to align both the objectives and the means of achieving those objectives between a client and outside litigation counsel. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: 1515 Restaurant, 1515 N. Main St., Walnut Creek MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit Cost: $15 for Barristers’ Section, $20 Litigation Section members, $25 CCCBA members Registration: Online at

September 15 | Women’s Section

Women’s Section Annual Luncheon - 2016: Lean In For Lawyers – How to Combat Gender-Biased Self Doubt and Stop Sabotaging Ourselves Speaker: Hon. Jill Fannin In this interactive seminar, Assistant Presiding Judge Jill Fannin will explore implicit gender bias that may hurt a practitioner’s performance, inhibit our ownership of accomplishments, and prevent us from reaching our true potential. Time: 12 Noon – 1:30 pm Location: Jack’s, 60 Crescent Dr. Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour Elimination of Bias MCLE credit Cost: $45 for section members, $50 CCCBA members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

September 17 | CCCBA

September 20 | Barristers/Young Lawyers

September 21 | CCCBA

Bench/Bar BBQ and Softball Game

Barristers’ Firsts Series - Part 3 of 4

CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering

Join us for our 4th Annual Bench/Bar BBQ and Softball Game! We’ll provide the hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, condiments and soft drinks. Please RSVP so we make sure we have enough food. Bring food according to your MCLE Compliance Group: Group 1 (A-G): Group 2 (H-M): Group 3 (N-Z):

Appetizer for 8 Salad Dessert for 8

BYOB (no glass containers) Please arrive promptly if you want to play (bring your glove)! Teams will be mixed. Supporters and cheerleaders encouraged.

My First Ethical Issues Speaker: Mary Grace Guzmán Designed for newer attorneys or seasoned professionals, this MCLE focuses on basic legal ethical matters that come up in the course of the representation of a client including issues during intake, initial consultation and representation. We will also discuss associating attorneys on cases, billing your work, and issues of competency considering one’s skill level and years of practice.

A casual, no host event, where CCCBA board members and section leaders will gather together with CCCBA members in a relaxed, happy hour setting. Don’t expect anything formal like name tags or check-in tables. Instead, come when you can, grab a beverage, and find us on the patio or in the bar area. A gathering of the CCCBA, big or small, is typically hard to miss. We can’t wait to see you. Time: 4:30 pm – 7 pm

Dinner will be provided by sponsor Aiken Welch Court Reporters

Location: Creek Monkey, 611 Escobar St., Martinez

Time: 11 am – 2 pm

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: Heather Farm Park, 310 N. San Carlos Dr., Sports Field 5, Walnut Creek

Location: JAMS, 1255 Treat Blvd., 1st Floor Conference Room, Walnut Creek

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

RSVP: Online at

MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Cost: $20 for members of the Barristers, Business Law, Criminal, Litigation and Solo Sections Registration: Online at attorney/calendar



September 27 | CCCBA

September 28 | CCCBA

Law Student / Lawyer Mix & Mingle Fall 2016

CCCBA Ethics Series, Part 2 of 3:

Please join the Law Student Section of the CCCBA for a casual mix and mingle break. First, a certified health coach will available to share simple health tips to help the busy attorneys and law students flourish! There will also be an opportunity for students and attorneys of the CCCBA to meet in an easy-going atmosphere. Get to know the students and talk about your practice areas and the benefits of CCCBA membership. Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Location: JFK University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Room S209, Pleasant Hill RSVP: Online at calendar

The Jenga of Client Relationships: Red Flags and When you Should Release a Client Speakers: Cary D. McReynolds, Esq. Erica Portillo, Esq. Gregory Harper, Esq. Rebecca Harris, Esq. Suzanne Boucher, Esq. Navigating the ethical rules of the attorneyclient relationship can be tricky whether getting in or getting out. Identify red flags to avoid future problems and explore avenues for ethically terminating a client relationship. Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Location: CCCBA 5th Floor Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste 510, Concord MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit; 0.25 hour General MCLE credit Cost: $25 for CCCBA members Registration: Online at attorney/calendar

Mediating with Self-Represented Litigants Speakers: Hon. Barry Goode Malcolm Sher, Esq. Ron Mullin, Esq. The speakers will discuss the unique challenges of mediating a dispute with one or more self-represented litigants. This program is required for mediators wishing to mediate under the court sponsored ADR program. Please bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 11:45 – 1:30 pm Location: Judge Goode’s Courtroom - Dept. 17, Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, 725 Court St., Martinez MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit, 0.5 hour Legal Ethics credit Cost: $10 Registration: Online at attorney/calendar

October 6 | CCCBA

October 13 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

October 14 | Alternative Dispute Resolution Section


Mentoring Group Meeting

In Support of Communuity Violence Solutions’ Anti-Human Trafficking Program

CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Every effort will be made to include all suggested topics. However, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be given priority. Please bring your brown bag lunch.

Annual Meeting: Humor Me – Humor and Other Tools to Reduce Tension During Mediation

Learn about and support the important work of Community Violence Solutions while you network with other CCCBA members. Sponsorships are being accepted now! Be a part of this worthy cause to prevent human trafficking in our midst. See page 21 for more information. Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Lafayette Park Hotel, 3287 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette Cost: $85 general or $60 for law students; Those who purchase two or more tickets at $125 each will be listed as individual sponsors in the program


September 29 | Alternative Dispute Resolution Section

Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm

Speaker: Jeff Kichaven, Exq. Look forward to a discussion of the different approaches to reducing tension during mediation as well as the election of the new ADR Section Board! Jeff Kichaven is a well-known mediator and internationally recognized speaker and writer on mediation. He is a leading voice on the ways lawyers and mediators can, and must, work together to serve clients better. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: Zio Fraedo’s 611 Gregory Ln., Pleasant Hill

RSVP: Online at

Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553

MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit

Sponsorship Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548 or

RSVP: Online at

Registration: Online at

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or


Cost: TBD

October 18 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section Barristers’ Firsts Series, Part 4 of 4:

October 26 | CCCBA

October 27 | Women’s Section

CCCBA Ethics Series, Part 3 of 3:

Women’s Section Annual Scholarship Award Dinner

Speakers: Dorian Peters, Esq. Jeremy Seymour, Esq.

Your Practice and the Internet: Marketing, Social Media and Your Legal Ethics

Two experienced criminal attorneys will discuss criminal law issues that are likely to arise for new practitioners.

Speakers: Gretchen Sweet – Findlaw Jeremy Seymour, Esq. John Steele, Esq.

Topics may include arraignments, pleadings and joinders, discovery, case management within the speedy trial statutes.

This program will examine internet marketing, social media and your ethical duty.

Dinner will be provided by sponsor Aiken Welch Court Reporters

Location: CCCBA 5th Floor Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste 510, Concord

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit, 0.25 hr. General MCLE credit

Criminal Law

Location: CCCBA 5th Floor Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste 510, Concord MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit Cost: $20 members of the Barristers, Business Law, Criminal, Litigation and Solo Sections.

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Cost: $25 for CCCBA members Registration: Online at attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Registration: Online at attorney/calendar

Speaker: Suzanne Wertheim, Ph.D. Please join us for this very special evening as we honor the 2016 recipients of the Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholarship and swear in the 2017 Women’s Section Board members. Our speaker for the evening is a linguist, and linguistic anthropologist. She is founder and CEO of Worthwhile Research & Consulting, a boutique firm that applies social science research and expertise to real-world problems. Dr. Wertheim is an expert in language and bias, and has conducted original research on language and workplace issues for women and minorities. She writes, consults, and teaches about gender and bias in the workplace, including language and the law. Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Location: Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, 1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek MCLE: 1 hour Elimination of Bias MCLE credit

November 3 | CCCBA

November 18 | CCCBA

Cost: $60 for section members, $65 for CCCBA members

Pro Bono Expo 2016

MCLE Spectacular 2016

Registration: Online at

Interested in Pro Bono opportunities in Contra Costa County but don’t know what is available?

Earn up to 8 MCLE units at this year’s MCLE Spectacular. Choose from 14 sessions with MCLE credits in Legal Ethics, Elimination of Bias, Competence and General. Register before October 31 for special pricing.

Join us for a Pro Bono Expo in Walnut Creek. We’ll provide appetizers, beer, wine and soda and most importantly – access to the non-profits that need your assistance! You’ll have the chance to speak to legal service providers from a host of local agencies and find out about how you can help those in need in Contra Costa County. Sponsored By: The Derby Law Firm Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Location: Walnut Creek Marriott Hotel, 2355 N. Main St., Walnut Creek Registration form available in September at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Location: Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek RSVP: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or




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in the Contra Costa Lawyer Display Ad Print MEMBER Rates: Full page: Full page Color: 2/3 page: 1/2 page: 1/2 page Color: 1/3 page: 1/6 page: Business card: 1/12 page:

$ 550 $ 690 $ 500 $ 415 $ 520 $ 350 $ 215 $ 165 $ 125

Classifieds - Print: Member rates are $15 per line for a one-time insertion and $12.50 per line for three or more insertions.



Online AD Rate: $165/ month for members. Substantial discounts available for three or more insertions. Classifieds Online: $50/ month flat fee. In addition to text, you may add photos or graphics at no additional charge.

Welcome New Members Mohua “Adrienne� Ahmed

Davina Pujari

Layli Caborn

Pam Regatuso

Daphne Drescher

Michael Santos

Alexandra Easley

Ross Steinhauer

Joanna Funke

Rachel Szela

Jonathan King

Amrieka Takhar

Patricia Lyon

Katherine Threlfall

Matthew McCullough

Gabriella Wilkins

Christina McPherson

Julie Woods

David Mojica

Frank Zeccola

Keum Park

Tamara Zivot

Jessica Pliner Watch fo r will be m the CCCBA mem ailed to bership membe rs in Sep Directory whic h tember.

The Mission of the Contra Costa County Bar Association The mission of the Contra Costa County Bar Association is to represent its members and to advocate on their behalf; to educate its members and the public concerning the law, the legal profession, and the judicial system; to provide a means of communication both among its members, and between its members and the public; and to provide services that will support its members in their legal practice.




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