2016 11

Page 1

Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 29, Number 6 | November 2016

Bench/Bar Issue

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season The Novak Wealth Management Group Perry Novak

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Success Starts Here

Renew Online Today 1

Go to www.cccba.org/attorney


Click the “Renew” link in the top right corner.


Log in to your personal membership profile.


Review your current membership information and make any necessary changes.


Complete the secure payment section using a major credit card, click “Submit Form” and you are renewed!

Questions, or Need Help? Contact Jenny Comages at (925) 370-2543 or jcomages@cccba.org.

Thank you 2016 Section Leaders for taking time out from your busy practices to keep your colleagues and the CCCBA vibrant, current and fabulous! ADR: Ron Mullin APPELLATE: Gary A. Watt BANKRUPTCY: David Arietta BARRISTERS: Marta Vanegas BUSINESS LAW: Kent Parr CRIMINAL: Mary Carey ELDER: Michael LaMay EMPLOYMENT: Marjorie Wallace ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE: Virginia George

FAMILY LAW: Dan Harkins IMMIGRATION: Flavio Carvalho INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Stuart J. West, Joseph R. Snyder (Co-chairs) JUVENILE: Rhonda Wilson-Rice LAW STUDENT: Lisa Antoine, Kate Mignani (Co-chairs) LITIGATION: Leonard Marquez, Justin Schnitzler, Geoffrey Steele (Co-chairs)

REAL ESTATE: Katie Rowe Jones SOLO/SMALL FIRM: Andrew McCall TAXATION: Christina Weed WEST COUNTY: Adrienne Haddad, Karen Juster Hecht (Co-chairs) WOMEN’S: Mika Domingo



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

Wendy McGuire Coats Ericka McKenna Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck

CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 | www.cccba.org

Barbara Arsedo Emily Day

LRIS Coordinator Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator

Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Comages

Membership Coordinator

Anne K. Wolf

Education and Programs Coordinator

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

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

Samantha Sepehr DESIGN/ADVERTISING 925.287.3540 Carole Lucido Candice Stoddard 925.370.2542

PRINTING Steven’s Printing



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 contracostalawyer@cccba.org. 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.


Contra Costa County Judges (from left to right): Thomas A. Brown – First Judge of the Contra Costa Superior Court; Betsy Rahn – First female Judge, Municipal Court; George D. Carroll – First African American Judge, Municipal Court; Barbara Zuniga – First female Hispanic Judge, Superior Court. Background photo: Third floor of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse in Martinez, California. Thank you to Alan Frenklach for the cover design.



Volume 29, Number 6 | November 2016

The official publication of the


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

How Did It Get SO Late So Soon?


by Hon. Steven K. Austin, Presiding Judge

The Lucky One?


by Hon. Jill Fannin, Assistant Presiding Judge

Civil Division Update


Criminal Courts


Juvenile Bench


Family Law Perspective


Pittsburg Court


What Happens Next? Probate Division


Richmond Court


Traffic Division


Getting to Know Hon. David E. Goldstein


Amnesty Program – One Year Later


Focus on Accessibility: Expanding the Court’s Interpreter Program


Temporary Judges: An Invaluable Service to the Court and Public


Helping Families Heal


Justice & Judges – The History of the Courts In Contra Costa County


A Lifetime of Listening – Interview with New Commissioner Terrye Davis


by Hon. Judy Craddick, Supervising Judge

CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley | 925.370.2548 | thurley@cccba.org

Carole Lucido

Lawyer by Hon. John Kennedy, Supervising Judge by Hon. Thomas Maddock, Supervising Judge by Hon. Christopher Bowen, Supervising Judge by Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley, Supervising Judge by Hon. John Sugiyama, Supervising Judge

by Hon. Barbara Hinton, Supervising Judge by Hon. Brian Haynes, Supervising Judge by Fae Li, Director of Finance

by Hon. Steven K. Austin, Kate Bieker, and Fae Li

by Hon. Steven Austin and Magda Lopez

by Hon. Jill Fannin, Shannon Stone, and Kate Bieker by Magda Lopez

by Don Bastin, Contra Costa Historical Society

by Magda Lopez

departments 5

Inside by Stephen H. Nash


President’s Message | by Elva Harding


2017 Judicial Assignments

42 39

NEW COURT TELEPHONE System by Magda Lopez and Heather Pettit BAR SOAP

20-25 EVENTS | mcle spectacular , bAR FUND BENEFIT 43 Calendar

inside Navigating Challenging Seas by: Stephen H. Nash, Court Executive Officer

There is an oft-quoted proverb that says “smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors.” If the inverse is true, that “skillful sailors are made in rough seas,” then, given the choppy budgetary and labor waters that Contra Costa Superior Court is now traversing, we are making a lot of skilled mariners out of our judges, administrators, and staff. The court’s challenges are ongoing or recurring, and are also being experienced in many other courts in California. These challenges include: •

No funding for employee costof-living increases, despite the fact that virtually all other state-funded agencies are provided funding for this purpose; New funding cuts, while the state continues to experience record surpluses;

Reduced collections due to California’s Traffic Amnesty Program; and

A very low cap on court reserves that leaves courts unable to carry over unused funds to address planned projects or unexpected needs.

The result of these factors is that the court is now poorer than it was last year, with funding down by over 6%. The court’s current funding is even lower than it was two years ago. In and of themselves, these drops are not large enough to merit a mention in the Contra Costa Lawyer, especially given far larger reductions managed by the court in the last several years. The complicating cross current is that our fouryear labor contracts expired on September 30. Our court employees waited patiently through the state’s budget crisis with furloughs, layoffs, and 25% fewer staff to process the daily work. With state and local employees now getting raises, and even workers in some better funded courts getting salary increases, the patience of our staff to continue waiting appears over. The staff’s long-deferred needs, and the court’s worsening fiscal situation create a dilemma. None argue more forcefully than our judges that our staff, which has worked harder than ever to serve the public, deserves a raise. With no financial assistance coming from Sacramento or San Francisco to assist us, however, the simple math is that any increase we do provide will require further cuts to operations, and this could again affect services. Given how lean our current staffing is, these solutions don’t offer great appeal.

So negotiations have begun, and a shadow over the bargaining table is that employees in Santa Clara Superior Court, facing some of the same difficult math that we face, recently went out on strike for 8 days. That event has created delays that are still being experienced by court users in that county. Needless to say, our intent is not to have the same result here in Contra Costa, if possible. In these times, it would be easy to just tread water and make no progress toward improved access to justice. In the pages of this edition of the annual Bench/Bar Edition, we hope you will find that Contra Costa Superior Court continues working to become more efficient, expand and improve services, and improve technologies. Years of tough sailing have made us determined and more skillful sailors. And you, the members of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, have been true shipmates with us on this voyage. Thank you. Stephen Nash serves as the Executive Officer of the Superior Court of Contra Costa County. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Executive Officer for the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, and before that, as the Chief Financial Officer for the California Administrative Office of the Courts.



How Did It Get So Late So Soon? by: Hon. Steven K. Austin, Presiding Judge “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” –Dr. Seuss

How did it get so late so soon? I can’t believe that my two-year term as Presiding Judge (PJ) is almost at an end. It seems like yesterday that I was moving across the street to the Bray Annex where the PJ’s chambers is hidden. I remember thinking that two years away from the courtroom was going to be a long time, but that it would afford me an opportunity to help make our court a better place. Well, I was wrong about it being a long time. Hopefully, we’ve been able to improve the court in meaningful ways. The first year flew by while we were busy expanding programs and services. We could do that because for the first time in many years, the Governor and the Legislature increased our budget. After years of cutbacks, furloughs and long lines, we were able to focus on restoring services to the public. We reinstituted calendars, increased clerk’s office hours, improved our jury services and began the process of modernizing our tech infrastructure. We were even able to create some new programs, like Judge Rebecca Hardie’s Truancy Court, that have already had a profound effect on the lives of people in our community. The second year has been just as busy, but for other reasons. As our Court Executive Officer, Stephen Nash indicates in a different article, our budget dropped this year. This has meant that our focus has shifted from expanding services to trying to hold onto the services we already have. As you might expect, the year working on expanding was more fun. While being forced to do more with less this year though, it’s been exciting to help come up with innovative and creative ways to still get our job done. A good example of that has been the successful shift of more resources to our Family and Civil Divisions that resulted in Judge Anita Santos taking her Family Law



Department out to Pittsburg and Judge Ed Weil’s new Civil/Probate Department in Martinez. By increasing available courtrooms in these three high volume case types, we have been able to reduce wait times for both Civil and Family hearings. We’ve also provided a dedicated home for long cause Probate trials. Judge Weil and Judge Santos have certainly done a great job in bringing about these improvements. We have also been able to start a new specialty court to handle mental health cases under “Laura’s Law.” With funding assistance from Contra Costa County, the court hears petitions for assisted outpatient treatment for persons with significant psychiatric disabilities whose problems don’t qualify for more restrictive conservatorship proceedings under the LPS Act. The purpose of the program is to get people who need behavioral health services into treatment so that they can successfully live in the community and stay out of in-patient treatment or the criminal justice system. I hear the calendar one afternoon each week, where I work together with County Counsel, the Public Defender’s Office and the Behavioral Health Department to bring needed services to the participants. We’re only just beginning the program, but dozens of people are already receiving life-changing treatment through this innovative court program. Another area where we have been able to provide more service to the public has been through our expansion of courtroom interpreter services. Magda Lopez details our efforts in this area in her article. Most people are surprised to learn that the courts traditionally have not provided interpreters to litigants in civil and family cases. But now, with new authority from the Judicial Council and new funding from the Legislature, California courts are starting to provide interpreters in all case types to people who otherwise would be shut out continued on page 9

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president’s message Welcoming Outsiders…

The Spirit of Thanksgiving we invited a Hmong family, who had recently emigrated from Asia, to join us. It was at turns riotous and silent, since they hadn’t yet learned English and we shared no common language. So while my family’s Thanksgivings may not evoke Norman Rockwell, they strike me as being remarkably similar to that first Thanksgiving, with the mixing of newcomers and their cultures and languages.

Elva Harding CCCBA Board President Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempesttossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door. Emma Lazarus, from the New Colosses

Thanksgiving has always been my mother’s favorite holiday. I always thought this was a bit odd, since she is an immigrant to this country. Nevertheless, every year she roasted the ubiquitous turkey, stuffed it with dressing, baked a pumpkin pie and we feasted. Even to this day, you never quite know who might be coming to our house for Thanksgiving. Once my grandmother came from abroad. Sometimes friends from South America or Europe join us and incorporate their own traditions (like empanadas or ceviche). One year,



Thanksgiving is steeped in history. The story of religious refugees fleeing their homeland for sanctuary in foreign lands; hoping to find a place to live in peace. Having arrived here, the pilgrims were poorly equipped to sustain themselves. The environment, climate, native people and languages were all different. They were outsiders in this land and their survival is due in part to the Native Americans who helped them during those first years. The immigrant story has repeated itself time and again in American history but we have not always been so kind to newcomers. In the 19th century, the Irish, fleeing a famine that killed about 750,000 people, began immigrating to the US in droves. Germans also came at about the same time, fleeing religious and political unrest in Germany. However, unlike the pilgrims experience, in the mid-19th century the vast increase in immigrants led to the rise of the “Nativist” movement that sought to restrict immigrants’ and Catholics’ rights. (http://are. as.wvu.edu/baker.htm)

During World War II, we saw similar behavior when over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, many of whom were native born Ameri-

cans, were sent to internment camps solely because of their ethnicity. It is an unfortunate truth that when faced with change, it is easy to fear or blame the outsider. Today, the United States, and indeed the world, is faced with a similar challenge. Because of war and violence in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and parts of Central America, millions of people are fleeing their homelands to seek refuge. They are travelling to countries where they are foreign, and are often part of a religious minority. And again, in some parts, there is fear of these outsiders. As a country, we can revert to the same fearful strategies that were used in the past, or we can choose a different path. We can welcome these newcomers, offer them sanctuary and teach them our traditions and incorporate some of their customs. We can give them the opportunity to support themselves; to contribute to our culture and economy; and to make this country a richer place to live. It’s the latter approach that represents the better spirit of Thanksgiving. Imagine, for a moment, if Anne Frank’s refugee application had been approved by the United States instead of denied. She and her family likely would have moved to Boston, and Anne might have become a professional writer. But her family’s application was denied, and as we know, they did not survive the horrors of World War II. For so many reasons, the world is a poorer place. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ worldviews/wp/2015/11/24/anne-frank-andher-family-were-also-denied-entry-as-refugees-to-the-u-s/

continued on page 9

President’s Message Continued from page 8 As you sit to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, remember that precious few residents of this country are native. The rest of us are immigrants or their descendants. And many of those immigrants arrived as political, economic or religious refugees. I urge you to take a moment to think of those who are now fleeing oppression and consider what we as a nation can do to ease their way.

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How Did It Get So Late Continued from page 6 of court because they don’t speak English well. Our court has rapidly expanded these needed services and in the process has become a statewide leader in providing language access services. When I started my term as Presiding Judge, I had very little experience with our Traffic Court practices and procedures. That certainly changed in a hurry! Between the new Traffic Amnesty Program that Kate Bieker describes in her article and the new national focus on the negative impacts on the poor of rising court-ordered fines and fees, our traffic practices have been a constant concern this year. With input from the public, we have worked hard to redesign our forms and notices to better explain in plain language the process and potential pitfalls. We’ve also updated our procedures to make sure that our Traffic Courts and collection practices are as fair as possible.

As these two years have sped by, not a day has passed where I was not impressed with the dedication, skill, patience and effort of the people who work with us at the court. After 18 years on the bench, I’ve gotten to know just about everybody who works here. One of the best parts of being Presiding Judge has been the opportunity to work and visit with each of them at all of our court locations. I’ve also enjoyed working with the Contra Costa County Bar Association and the countless attorneys who have volunteered to help our court in so many ways. I know from talking with Presiding Judges in other courts that our strong ties between the bench and the bar are unique. Thank you all for everything you have done for our court during my time as Presiding Judge. And good luck to Judge Fannin when we switch places next year. She is a great judge and a wonderful person who I’m sure will do an amazing job as Presiding Judge.



The Lucky One? Hon. Jill Fannin, Assistant Presiding Judge

Under Presiding Judge Steve Austin’s leadership, we have continued to focus on new technology and the reexamination of existing procedures. I hope to build on these efforts over the next two years.

Two years ago when I learned I would be Presiding Judge (PJ), everyone expected I would be the “lucky one.” The lucky PJ who would waltz in after the recession and experience a fully-funded court. We dreamed of restoring service cuts, hiring more employees and expanding operations. Oh well. At least for now, that dream will have to wait for another judge. I still feel fortunate to be PJ at this time. There are so many things to accomplish. The first challenge is to try to make life better for the court’s 300 or so employees. The hardworking men and women who keep our court running have each assumed more responsibilities as their numbers have dwindled; and they have done so without a pay raise in seven years! We have to do all we can to reward their herculean efforts. Second, we must keep implementing every technological change we can so that we can both improve services and save money. For example, we hope to begin implementation of the long- promised case management system in the next year. As court users, you may or may not notice all the changes but the effect should be streamlined operations as well as savings. Our funding is now tied to court filings relative to the rest of the state. We need to keep an eye on these statistics so that we can allocate our resources as efficiently as possible.



I am excited to work with local attorneys and the Contra Costa County Bar Association to improve services. We are so fortunate to have a great relationship between the bench and bar in our county. We could not have gotten through these lean times without the efforts of the countless attorneys who have volunteered their services. The Great Recession saw tremendous cuts to our court, primarily in the Family Law and Civil Divisions. I hope to restore some of the services to these divisions by efficiencies in other areas. I am pleased that next year, we will be able to add another judge to the Family Law Division which has seen steady filing increases. With luck, we’ll be able to provide some additional relief to the Civil and Probate Divisions in the years ahead.

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So, I am happy to embrace the reality of our situation and to leave the dreams of the future for someone else.

Save the Date for CCCBA’s Annual Officer Installation Luncheon, January 27, 2017 at Contra Costa Country Club. Details on page 45.

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Civil Division Update By: Hon. Judith Craddick, Supervising Judge

The Civil Division is fortunate to have Judge Steven Austin (re)join us in January 2017, fresh from his twoyear Presiding Judge assignment. He will assume responsibility for Judge Jill Fannin’s caseload, who will begin her Presiding Judge assignment. Otherwise, judicial assignments in Civil will remain the same – Judges Barry Goode, Complex Litigation, George Spanos, Judy Craddick (Supervising) and Ed Weil (50/50 split between Probate and Civil). The active caseload of the general civil judges is about 1,000 cases each. New limited and unlimited filings have remained fairly stable for the past few years.

“first day of trial” Settlement Mentor – is very active and successful. Settlements at mediation and the Settlement Mentor Programs far exceed 50%. A reminder about the Settlement Mentor program: The process is different from mediation and is not confidential (See Local Rule 3.203). The Settlement Mentor may share information learned from the parties (including settlement positions) with the judge handling the case and obtain input from the judge. Information between the parties and attorneys is, however, confidential.

Unfortunately, the Discovery Facilitator Program is not as robust as it was initially because of lack of available attorney volunteers. All of us yearn for funding so we can return to the day when we had a full-time Discovery Commissioner. We are grateful to the Bar for establishing the Discovery Facilitator Program a few years ago to fill the gap when budget cuts caused us to lose Commissioner Judith Sanders. However, discovery disputes can be very time-consuming (many requiring more than the four hours which Local Rule 3.301(a)(3) provides) and volunteers cannot afford the time and/or income loss to handle more than one or two matters Our Alternative Dispute Resoa year. When a repeat assignment to lution Program administered by a Discovery Facilitator is requested Magda Lopez – Mediation, Arbitraon the same case, because of this tion, Neutral Case Evaluation and

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shortage, the procedure utilized is to issue an Order to Show Cause (OSC) why a Discovery Referee should not be appointed under Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 639. At the OSC, we are able to evaluate the nature and extent of the dispute and if it appears to be unresolvable, the attorneys can mutually agree on the referee to be appointed, or that selection will be made by the judge. If anyone can spare up to four hours a couple of times a year, please sign up as a Discovery Facilitator by calling (925) 608-2714 or email ADRDiscoveryFacilitator@contracosta.courts.ca.gov. As many of you are aware, there were several legislative changes in 2016 which affect civil practice. Some important ones are: • Demurrers (CCP 430.41) are not heard without “meet and confer and declaration” filed with the Court, and the complaint cannot be amended more than three times absent showing defect can be cured. • If you wish to get your cases to trial sooner than in the regular course, you might consider stipulating to an Expedited Jury Trial. Effective 7/1/16 Expedited Jury Trials (See CCP 630.01, et seq.) are mandatory in limited jurisdiction cases (with certain opt-out exceptions), but counsel may stipulate to basically whatever parameters they wish to expedite an unlimited trial and get the case resolved sooner.

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Civil Division Update Continued from page 11 Some miscellaneous but important items: • The Court has new phone numbers. The Court’s auto attendant number is (925) 608-1000. To reach each department, dial (925) 608-11 plus the department number. In the future, you will be able to communicate with each department by email. • Our plans for electronic filing are still that—“plans.” The timeline is indeterminate because of funding. • We do have a successfully operating “take a number” system in the Civil Clerk’s Office, which attorneys and litigants find timesaving and helpful. • Also attorneys are reminded that they need to bring their own Court Reporter to trials and all other appearances for which they wish a verbatim record (See Local Rules 2.51 and 3.12), and for trials, the Court Reporter is required to use “Real Time Reporting.” As always, we are very grateful to the CCCBA and those attorneys who give generously of their time in putting together and implementing educational and other programs, and especially to members of our Bar who volunteer innumerable hours serving as mediators, arbitrators, settlement mentors, discovery facilitators and judges pro tem for the benefit of the entire community, your clients and the Court.



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Criminal Courts 2016 By: Hon. John Kennedy, Supervising Judge The Criminal Courts of Contra Costa County are alive and well. Over the last five years, we have absorbed fundamental changes resulting from the realignment legislation (AB 109), Proposition 47, and the closing of our Walnut Creek Courthouse to criminal cases. Thanks to our hard working judges and extraordinary staff, we have weathered these overhauls of the criminal justice system – all while enduring simultaneous budget cuts – and emerged a strong and efficient system of justice. During calendar year 2015, the District Attorney (countywide) filed 3,029 felony cases and 8,094 misdemeanor cases, down from our five-year average of 4,000 felonies and 8,700 misdemeanors per year. We tried 107 felony trials, about the average number of felonies we try each year. They included ten homicide trials, five gang trials, and 23 sexual assault trials. On the misdemeanor front, we tried 204 misdemeanor jury trials, a substantial increase from our five-year average of 172 misdemeanor trials each year. We are fortunate to have a group of very experienced and qualified trial judges: Judges Laurel Brady, Diana Becton, Barry Baskin, Ben Burch, Lewis Davis, Clare Maier, Trevor White, and Bruce Mills. With the help of their dedicated courtroom clerks, court reporters, and bailiffs, these seasoned judges preside over virtually all of the felonies tried in the County, all central County misdemeanors, and many of the preliminary hearings heard in Martinez. In our busy Criminal Calendar Department, Judge Patricia (Penny) Scanlon applies her vast criminal experience with her innate sense of justice to oversee all of the felony plea bargaining in our county. She also handles a dizzying array of arraignments, readiness conferences, pleas, and pre- and post-trial motions. Judge Theresa Canepa oversees our felony motions calendar, hearing most of the substantive motions in criminal cases from felony filing to trial. She also supervises all of our felony probation violation cases, our Behavioral Health Court, and our relatively new Domestic Violence and Drug Court Intensive Support Programs. Renowned for her trademark lightning effi-

ciency, Judge Canepa has also taken on a staggering load of preliminary hearings in her spare time. The Domestic Violence Intensive Support Program and Drug Court Intensive Support Program use empirical data to identify those most likely to recidivate and focus wrap-around services – such as drug treatment, domestic violence treatment, job training, residential treatment beds, and housing assistance – to maximize each defendant’s chance of remaining drug-free and violence free. Judge Canepa uses a careful balance of encouragement and sanction to guide defendants to success. She presently has the able assistance of Kiesha Malone (Drug Court) and Katherine Webster (Domestic Violence), who work closely with each defendant to select a combination of services that are most likely to help that defendant succeed. Each of these programs is funded by state and federal grants, so our ability to maintain these expensive, but effective, services is contingent on continued funding. Judge Cheryl Mills presides over a heavy load of arraignments, bail hearings and misdemeanor pretrial hearings for all Central County cases, plus the in-custody arraignments from our Pittsburg cases. She manages our pretrial bail program, which uses the latest tools to fashion bail conditions that are most likely to assure that defendants pending trial return to court and refrain from committing new crimes while on release. This permits many more of the defendants awaiting trial to be released from pretrial detention, freeing up space in the jail and enabling defendants to maintain jobs, housing, and contact with their families as their cases work through the system. Judge Mills also runs the preliminary hearing calendar in Martinez, scheduling the hearings, handling preliminary hearings as time permits, and sending the rest out to available departments. Judge Bruce Mills rounds out our Criminal Calendar Departments. He handles the bulk of our misdemeanor motions, misdemeanor probation revocation hearings, restitution hearings, felony evidentiary motions, and Family Law contempt hearings. In his spare time, Judge Mills also tries an extraordinary number of misdemeanor jury trials each year. As a result of the realignment legislation (AB 109), the Courts took over parole revocation and post-release community supervision revocation hearings from the Parole Board in 2013. Retired Commissioner Stephen continued on page 14



Criminal Courts Continued from page 13 Houghton was kind enough to return and take on these hearings one day each week. His many years of criminal experience enable him to steer these cases to fair resolution. We are fortunate to have regular help from many of our retired judges. Judges John Minney, Garrett Grant, Mike Coleman, Peter Berger, John Allen, Joyce Cram, Barbara Zuñiga, and David Flinn regularly return to cover judges who are teaching, taking classes, or on vacation. We appreciate their ongoing contributions and enjoy the opportunity to keep in touch with them. In Contra Costa County, we have a long tradition of working closely with our justice partners to plan



and implement any changes to the criminal courts mandated by legislation, changes in case law, or budget reductions. In the last five years, we have seen the closure of two courthouses, severe reductions in our staffing, and resulting contraction of the services we can provide to the public. The realignment legislation enacted very significant changes in the criminal justice system and Proposition 47’s reduction of most drug possession and lesser theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors required resentencing of thousands of defendants. We have been able to survive these challenges in large part due to the cooperation and coordination we receive from the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Alternate Defender’s Office, the Conflicts Panel, and the private criminal defense bar. The prosecu-

tors and defense counsel remain stalwart adversaries in the courtroom, but they are extremely professional and collaborative when working with the Court to fashion the most efficient and fair system for handling our criminal cases. Finally, our wonderful courtroom clerks, court reporters, bailiffs, clerk’s office personnel, and management team keep us afloat through all of these changes. Together, we are able to continue handling the criminal caseload efficiently, fairly, and conscientiously for all of the residents of Contra Costa County.

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The Juvenile Bench in Contra Costa County By: Hon. Thomas M. Maddock, Supervising Judge

Contra Costa County’s Superior Court conducts all of the Juvenile Dependency Hearings (W&I sec. 300, et seq.) and all of the Juvenile Delinquency Hearings (W&I sec 600, et seq.) for cases arising within our jurisdiction. The court also hears truancy matters for children who are not going to school. In 2017 there will be four Judges assigned to Juvenile. They are, Rebecca Hardie (Supervising Judge), Lois Haight, Barbara Hinton, and Susanne Fenstermacher. Judges Haight, Hardie and Hinton will hear both dependency and delinquency cases in downtown Martinez. Judge Fenstermacher will hear all the delinquency cases at the Juvenile Hall also in Martinez. Due to budget cuts, we can no longer have a judicial officer hearing cases in the Richmond or Pittsburg Courthouses.

Juvenile Dependency cases are confidential in nature and the attorneys are required to undergo specialty training in order to practice the complex area of dependency law. The trials are all bench trials and the goal of these cases is to return the child safely to his/ her family. Many times that goal can’t be accomplished and the court seeks the best permanent plan for the child that provides a secure and safe family for life. Adoption by a loving family is the first choice for a permanent plan, followed by guardianship and finally foster care with a family that will provide a permanent connection and support. The Bureau of Children and Family Services investigates all cases and helps the parents and the child by referrals to services that are designed to reunify the family. The court can also appoint a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to work directly with the child to help him or her deal with the trauma and stress that has been endured by the child. CASA’s are critical to the success of many children. The court encourages responsible adults to volunteer to become a CASA.

Recent legislation has focused on moving dependent children out of group homes and into foster care with a specific family. This will increase the need for foster parents. Also, when a child in foster care reaches the age of 18, they are eligible for three years of support under the AB 12 Program. This program provides housing support, a stipend, counseling and job training, and continuing support from the Social Worker. The young adult only has to be either working 20 hours a week and going to school or attending a program designed to remove barriers to employment. This gives a former foster child a chance to adjust to being an adult. Juvenile Delinquency cases are usually confidential but any case that involves a serious charge as defined in W&I sec 676 are open to the public with some limited exceptions. Delinquency cases involve allegations in a petition that the minor committed some crime, either misdemeanor or felony. Traffic infractions are handled by the Traffic Commissioners. All juvenile defense attorneys are now required to undergo specialty training in Delinquency Law. Continued on page 19



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Family Law Perspective By: Hon. Christopher R. Bowen, Supervising Judge

This has been an eventful year in the Family Law Division. We welcomed two new judges to the division, increased slightly the overall number of family law judges, and implemented technological upgrades to enhance the services we provide to the public. In January, Judge Terri Mockler and Judge John Cope began their assignments at the Peter L. Spinetta Law Center. Through intensive training provided by the Judicial Council and Center for Judiciary Education and Research, substantial self-study, and regular consultation with experienced family law bench officers, our two newest family law judges quickly came up to speed handling their calendars. With the conversion of what was formerly a 60% family law assignment to a full-time Family Law Department, we currently have five family law judges. Judge Leslie Landau is finishing her second year in Family Law, and is considered a “natural” by lawyers and litigants alike. Judge Landau tries to help the parties achieve creative settlements where possible and, barring negotiated resolution, puts her experience as a trial judge to good use. Judge Landau and I round out the roster of the four family law judges assigned to Martinez. As the court has slowly begun to emerge from the darkest days

of the budget crisis, we were able to re-open a family law courtroom at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center in Pittsburg, where Judge Anita Santos presides. Judge Santos’s cases do not exclusively involve parties from the East County area, but rather continue to be assigned based on case number. The smooth re-opening of a Family Law Department in Pittsburg took place thanks to the hard work of staff in Court Records and the Clerk’s Office. Court files and papers needed in Pittsburg are consistently delivered on time. Lead Family Law Legal Technician Nicolle Clark played a pivotal role in designing and implementing the clerical processes that have facilitated the return of family law services to the Pittsburg Court. The Family Law Facilitators have increased their presence in Pittsburg to assist self-represented litigants there. Cases in which the Contra Costa County Department of Child Support Services is involved are handled in Department 52, where Commissioner Kathleen Murphy makes her way through heavy calendars with good humor and grace. Interpreter services expanded to include all family law matters, not just domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) cases. The court interpreters stay busy. They must first be assigned to criminal and juvenile court cases before handling family law matters other than domestic violence restraining order requests. For this reason, attorneys and selfrepresented litigants are reminded that it is essential to request an interpreter as early as possible, since there are a limited number of Spanish-language interpreters available at each courthouse, and interpreters for other languages,

such as Mandarin and American Sign Language (ASL), need to be scheduled well in advance. The Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Family Law Section continues to provide an invaluable service to the court and community through the double pro-per settlement conference program. Self-represented litigants are first directed to attend a clinic at the John F. Kennedy School of Law to organize their paperwork and identify potential issues for settlement. When the parties arrive at the settlement conference, a volunteer attorney meets with them to try and help settle their case using the information organized at the clinic. Many cases are brought to closure at the double pro-per settlement conferences with the volunteer attorneys’ assistance. Family Law Section attorneys also provide pro bono representation as counsel for active duty members of the military who are deployed. Other volunteer attorneys conduct workshops to help self-represented litigants complete their final judgments. All of us in the Family Law Division are deeply thankful to the attorneys who make time to provide pro bono service, and we are especially grateful to Sharon Raab for her continued leadership of the Pro Per Settlement Conference Program. Next year, we will welcome a new Family Law Judge in the person of the Hon. Brian Haynes. Judge Haynes is an experienced bench officer who has most recently heard criminal cases in Pittsburg. He has previously had assignments in the criminal calendar and continued on page 18



Family Law Perspective Continued from page 17 felony trial departments in Martinez. Judge Haynes is excited to join the Family Law Division, and has begun preparing for his new assignment. He will become the second Family Law bench officer assigned to Pittsburg, and with his arrival, the total number of judges assigned to the Family Law Division will increase to six. As with Judge Santos, Judge Haynes’s cases will not solely involve East County litigants, but rather be assigned by case number. Other than the addition of Judge Haynes, next year we will not see any changes in the bench officers assigned to the Division. This year we implemented an online process of applying for domestic violence restraining orders. Thanks to the efforts of the court’s Information Technology staff, Magda Lopez,



and the legal technicians, this project has been quite successful. Both applicants for DVROs and parties responding to a DVRO request may now use the court’s online portal to submit all forms. The online DVRO application process has received positive reviews from outside entities, including Bay Areal Legal Aid and the Family Justice Centers. On a personal note, I want to acknowledge the work accomplished this year by everyone in the Family Law Division. The consistent professionalism of the Family Law Facilitators, courtroom, records, and filing clerks, legal technicians, child custody recommending counselors and other staff in Family Court Services is reflected in some of the comments received on cards users of our services have submitted:

“I have been coming to this location for the past year….customer service with a smile each and every time.” “She pays attention to detail, makes you feel important and does so with an extremely pleasant attitude.” “She was magnificent, patient, friendly and very helpful.” Family Law attorneys and leaders of the Family Law Section consistently tell me how pleased they are with the functioning of the Division at all levels. Through the hard work of our staff and bench officers, the Family Law Division continues to serve the public well. The outlook for next year is almost as exciting as this year has been.












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Our Youthful Offender Treatment Program for boys (YOTP) and our Girls in Motion Program for girls (GIM) in separate units in Juvenile Hall have continued to provide an important rehabilitative resource. They focus on cognitive behavior and other important tools have given many young wards a second chance to succeed. They do all of these things while protecting the public by keeping these wards in a secure facility.




During these difficult budget times, our Probation Department has been able to keep open our outstanding boys ranch, the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Brentwood. It’s a wonderful program providing school, substance abuse treatment and therapy for the boys. It includes an expanded use of the excellent library facilities and new vocational programs. This is an important resource for rehabilitation and it makes a difference in the lives of our young wards.


f us Call

A juvenile is charged by a petition and is subject to bench trials only and if the allegations are found to be true, then the court must examine the best plan to ensure the rehabilitation of the minor. The possible outcomes include returning the minor to the custody of his/her parents with conditions of probation which may include an ankle GPS monitor, removal of the minor from his/her parents and placement in a foster home, the Juvenile Hall, the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility (the Ranch) or in very serious cases, a commitment to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Under recent legislation, all juveniles who successfully complete probation for any charge except violent charges can have their records sealed and the petition dismissed. This record sealing includes Department of Justice, Office of the Sheriff, Probation Department, Office of the District Attorney, and the arresting police agency. Minor’s counsel present a proposed sealing order to the court that will be signed.


Juvenile Bench Continued from page 16

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Bar Fund Benefit for Community Violence Solutions On October 6, CCCBA held its annual Bar Fund Benefit. This year the generous members of CCCBA donated over $40,000 to Community Violence Solutions and its efforts to prevent Human Trafficking in Contra Costa and Marin Counties. Thank you to all to attended and supported this very worthy cause. Summer Selleck, Terry Doyle and Dorian Peters performed in a puppet show that CVS presents to children in local elementary schools

Deputy District Attorney Colleen Gleason also serves on the Board of Directors for CVS.

Colby Freeman (left) and Terry Doyle (right) share a minute with the Hon. Christopher Brown (center)

Cynthia Peterson, Executive Director of Community Violence Solutions addressed the crowd.

Cathie and Ron Mullin with Katherine and Richard Alexander

Dan O’Malley did an excellent job as MC.



CCCBA members were very generous at the Fund-a-Need table.

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Bar Fund Benefit in support of

in support of

Thank you to our sponsors

Human Trafficking Prevention & Education Program

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Special Thanks To:

SILVER Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser

George, Schofield & McCormick

Brown, Gee & Wenger


Budde Law Group APC

Littler Mendelson PC

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher

CEB Clapp, Moroney, Vucinich, Beeman, Scheley

and to: QUiVX

Doyle Quane Family Law Group

Steven’s Printing

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Whipple, Mercado & Associates Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel

CONTRIBUTORS $100 to $125 Juvenile Law Section West County Section

$150 to $499 Richard & Katherine Alexander Appellate Section Bankruptcy Section Intellectual Property Section Solo & Small Business Section Matt & Elizabeth Talbot Tax Section

$500 to $799 ADR Section Business Law Section Criminal Section Elder Law Section Employment Section Family Section Juvenile Section Litigation Section Mora Employment Law Real Estate Section



Superior Court of Contra Costa County


Presiding Judge

Barry Baskin

Assistant Presiding Judge

MARTINEZ Family Law Criminal Trials (Martinez)

Supervising Judge: Theresa Canepa

Supervising Judge: Christopher R. Bowen

Judge Barry Baskin Judge Diana Becton Judge Laurel S. Brady Judge Charles “Ben” Burch Judge John W. Kennedy Judge Clare Maier Judge Cheryl Mills Judge Nancy Davis Stark Judge Trevor White

Judge John C. Cope Judge Leslie G. Landau Judge Terri Mockler Commissioner Kathleen Murphy (DCSS)

Criminal Calendars (Martinez)

Judge Theresa J. Canepa (Specialty Courts) Judge John Laettner (Calendar) Judge Bruce C. Mills (Wakefield Taylor Bldg.) Judge Patricia “Penny” Scanlon (Calendar)


(Martinez) Supervising Judge: Judith Craddick Judge Steven Austin Judge Barry P. Goode (Complex Lit.) Judge George V. Spanos Judge Edward G. Weil (50%)




Pittsburg Supervising Judge: Mary Ann O’Malley Judge Lewis A. Davis Judge Judy Johnson Judge Charles “Steve” Treat

Richmond Supervising Judge: Joni T. Hiramoto


Judge Danielle Douglas Judge David E. Goldstein Vacancy (D2)


Supervising Judge: Rebecca Hardie Judge Lois Haight Judge Barbara Hinton Judge Susanne Fenstermacher (Juvenile Hall)

Probate (Martinez)

Supervising Judge: John H. Sugiyama Judge Edward G. Weil (50%)

Traffic Supervising Judge: John Kennedy Judge Terrye Davis (Walnut Creek / Richmond) Commissioner Lowell Richards (Pittsburg / Martinez)

Pittsburg Court 2016

By: Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley, Supervising Judge

As the change of season from summer to fall begins, so too will things change at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center next year. We are losing a judge in our Criminal Division and gaining a judge in our Family Law Division. With our Pittsburg criminal filings substantially increasing, this will be another challenge to do more with less. With our filings up and one less criminal judge, unfortunately, we will no longer be able to volunteer to hear the private counsel pre-trials from

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Martinez. Those matters will be transferred back to the Martinez Court in January. Sadly, we will lose Judge Nancy Davis Stark, who is transferring to Martinez in January to preside over felony jury trials. Judge Stark will be missed as she managed her heavy calendars extremely well. We are blessed to keep Judge Brian Haynes in Pittsburg, although he will be switching hats and handling family law matters instead of criminal matters. As he was a past Supervising Judge of Pittsburg, I value and appreciate his advice and his barbecue skills. Pittsburg Court is famous for its barbecues of which Judge Haynes proudly carries on the tradition. Starting in January, the following judges will be assigned to Pittsburg Court: Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley as Supervising Judge, along with the

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Hon. Steve Treat, Hon. Judy Johnson, and the Hon. Lewis Davis, who we are looking forward to include as a new addition to our line-up. The Hon. Anita Santos and Hon. Brian Haynes will be handling all family law matters. And of course Commissioner Lowell Richards will be handling the lion’s share of our work in Pittsburg, that being: traffic, small claims and unlawful detainers. He will be getting a little help from our newly-hired Commissioner Terrye Davis. Commissioner Davis has a lot of experience coming from a similar position in Solano County. She is delightful and we look forward to her joining our Pittsburg team. Thankfully we have our same crew to manage our court. Lisa Swafford, our Court Administrator and Suzi Dailey, our Court Manager keep us all organized every single day. Sergeant Garibay continues to keep us and the public safe with an outstanding crew of bailiffs and rangers. David LeDee, our Court Probation Officer, does an outstanding job of supervising all of our probationers as well as those eligible for diversion and other court programs. We don’t know how he does it, but we are so thankful. Our clerical staff in the courtrooms and in the clerk’s office work at light speed to process all the paperwork day in and day out. They are efficient, professional and an absolute pleasure to work with. During Fiscal Year 2015-2016, Pittsburg Court received 6,380 new filings in the misdemeanor/ felony criminal division. This is an increase of nearly 1,900 filings from last fiscal year. In addition, our criminal judges presided over 1,600 civil harassment and domestic violence restraining order hearings as well as 61 misdemeanor jury trials. continued on page 30



22nd Annual

MCLE Spectacular! Schedule Breakfast Kickoff

8 - 8:30 am | Registration 8:30 - 9:30 am | Program • 1 Hour MCLE Credit

at the Walnut Creek marriott

Breakfast Kickoff Catharine B. Baker

California Assemblywoman, 16th Assembly District

Lawyers In Public Service: What Are They Good For?

Concurrent Morning Seminars

1 Hour General MCLE Credit

8 - 9:45 am | Registration 9:45 - 11:45 am | Program

Luncheon Keynote

• 2 Hours MCLE Credit • Choose From 7 Seminars Luncheon KEYNOTE

8 - 11:45 am | Registration 12 - 1:30 pm | Program

Drucilla S. Ramey

Dean Emerita and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University

Discrimination in the Profession: Its Legal, Ethical and Economic Impact and Potential for Change 1 Hour Legal Ethics MCLE Credit

• 1 Hour MCLE Credit Concurrent Afternoon Seminars

8 am - 1:45 pm | Registration 1:45 - 3:45 pm | Program • 2 Hours MCLE Credit • Choose From 7 Seminars

Afternoon Plenary Patricia K. Gillette JAMS

Working With Millennials 1 Hour Elimination of Bias MCLE Credit

Afternoon Plenary

8 am - 3:45 pm | Registration 4 - 5 pm | Program • 1 Hour MCLE Credit


The Walnut Creek Marriott is extending a special all-day valet parking rate of $8. Nearby selfparking is available for $6 for up to four hours and $8 all day.



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F RE ur • a F loaded y l l u f d on yo tain e E E d u R l F c e in con • a le will b hich will also c ti r a E L ve w The MC ash Dri seminars! l F e m take-ho ials for all 17 ter the ma

Registration for The November 18, 2016 MCLE Spectacular

lease complete the registration form below, or visit www.cccba.org to download an interactive PDF which you will need P to print after completing. Complete one form for each attendee. EMAIL: Scan and send your completed form to awolf@cccba.org FAX: Add a cover sheet and send your completed form to Anne K. Wolf at (925) 686-9867 MAIL: Send your completed form to CCCBA, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord, CA 94520

To enjoy special pricing, Register by October 31 Day of Event Registration: $300 members • $400 non-members

Full-Day Package


Includes breakfast, lunch, and plenary sessions along with a choice of one morning and one afternoon seminar, plus a free legal ethics self-study MCLE article, and all workshop materials on a flash drive.

Full-Day Package:

Your Morning Seminar choice:


Your Afternoon Seminar choice:


Your Lunch Choice:



after Oct 31 Total $ Credits

CCCBA & ACBA Members Non-Members

$225 $325

$275 $375 8


Individual Seminars & Sessions


Choose One - AM Seminars (9:45 - 11:45 am)

Individual Seminars:

after Oct 31

CCCBA & ACBA Members $70 Non-Members $90

#1 Tips and Tricks for Solos and Small Firms

$85 $105


#2 And You Thought Immigration Law was Only Forms


#3 Arbitrating Employment Disputes


#4 Ethics in Advocacy: Attorneys Behaving Badly


#5 Real Estate Litigation 101


#6 Fighting Financial Elder Abuse 2 #7 When Divorce Involves Business Entities


Choose One - PM Seminars (1:45 - 3:45 pm) #8 The Unveiled Truths About Implicit Bias


#9 My Spouse and I Want to Make an Agreement


#10 The United States Supreme Court Review


#11 Mindfulness for Effective and Ethical Lawyering


#12 The Effect of a Bankruptcy Filing on Litigation


#13 The New Federal Trade Secrets Act


#14 Two Entrepreneurs Walk into a Bar


Breakfast Kickoff Only Luncheon Keynote Only




Afternoon Plenary Only

Members $55 | Non-Members $65

$65 | $75

Members $65 | Non-Members $90

$75 | $100 1

Members $35 | Non-Members $40

$45 | $50 1

Please Complete One Form for Each attendee: Name:




ACBA Member

Email: Phone: You will receive an email confirmation. Please note: Event materials will be available online and on the flash drive, not at the event. State Bar #:

Please let us know if you have special needs:

Please charge to my:




Discover #

Exp. Date:


Check Enclosed

Cancellations must be received by November 11 or registrants will be subject to full charge. Substitutions permitted at any time. For further information, contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 | awolf@cccba.org | Fax (925) 686-9867 The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the activities listed herein have been approved for the hours of MCLE credit, as indicated, by the State Bar of California MCLE Provider #393.

What Happens Next? Probate Division 2016 By: Hon. John H. Sugiyama, Supervising Judge

What happens next?

Hypothetical #1: An elderly woman wants to amend her trust. She has three adult children. The current trust specifies that the residue of her trust is to pass in equal shares to the three children. The proposed trust amendment leaves 97% of the residue, which at that moment would amount to about $5 million, to her new boyfriend and directs that the remaining 3% be divided equally among her three adult children. The attorney, who practices mainly in Family Law drafts the amendment and has the woman execute it. The attorney charges the woman $21,000 for his effort. A year later, the woman dies. Three months after that, one of the three adult children comes to your office for legal advice about whether the validity of the trust amendment may be challenged. As the attorney to whom the adult child has turned, what do you do? Hypothetical #2: An elderly man, diagnosed four years earlier with mild cognitive impairment, has in recent months begun to decline rapidly. The man has an estate valued at about $20 million, with most of the assets, with the exception of a recently-purchased Mercedes 500S sedan, held in trust. The man’s three adult children agree that a conservatorship of the person is necessary. The man was just hospitalized with a broken hip. The medical staff will not talk to them about the man’s prognosis and care. One of the adult



children comes to you. He says that he would like to enable his father to return home with 24-hour care. He says that the cost of about $20,000 a month will not be an issue. But he adds that a sister likely will insist that the father be placed in a care facility, where the costs will be about $5,000 a month. He also states that a sister has retained an attorney, who has a modest criminal law practice and who has accepted a retainer of $35,000, to file a conservatorship petition. As the attorney to whom the son has turned, what do you do? Hypothetical #3: A husband and wife endeavor to raise responsible, independent, self-sufficient children. They are almost entirely successful. The eldest child, a daughter, attends a university in the Northwest, and settles there, embarking on a successful career with a high-tech company and raising a well-knit family of her own even while undergoing treatment for cancer. The middle child, a son, attends a Little Ivy, gets a law degree, develops a successful Probate practice in Northern Virginia, and settles into family life, with much of his time spent working with his wife to find the

best care options for an autistic child. The third child, a daughter, returns to the Bay Area after finally leaving an abusive marriage, and settles into a routine of caring for her mother, who has remained in her home after the death of her husband of 50 years. The mother seeks to retain you to amend the family trust (which did not provide for the establishment of A and B trusts after the death of the first spouse). The mother wants to leave all of her assets (which including the home total about $2.5 million in rough valuation) to her youngest child. What do you do? These basic scenarios occupied the attention of the Probate Department yesterday, do so today, and will do so tomorrow. For the year to come, Judge Ed Weil will continue to handle trials involving these type of situations. As always, most of the difficult work of the Probate Department will continue to be handled by Courtroom Clerk Shannon Perry, Probate Examiners Linda Suppanich and Erica Gillies, Research Attorney Janet Li, Bailiff Melissa O’Reilley, and Probate Facilitator Nicholas Vaca.

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Richmond Court 2016 By: Hon. Barbara Hinton, Supervising Judge

The George D. Carroll Courthouse currently has four judges and one commissioner. The judges include: Hon. Danielle Douglas, Hon. David Goldstein, Hon. Joni Hiramoto and myself. At long last, Judge Goldstein filled the much-anticipated vacancy in December of 2015, and has been a welcome and worthy addition to our branch courthouse.

Recently, Commissioner Peter Fagan announced his imminent departure to assume a commissioner position in San Diego County. Commissioner Fagan has been handling the traffic, unlawful detainer and small claims calendars. We have greatly enjoyed having Commissioner Fagan here, and will sorely miss him. During his 17-month tenure, Commissioner Fagan presided over the high volume calendars and often contentious hearings with patience, dignity and expertise. Commissioner Terrye Davis will replace Commissioner Fagan. She has extensive knowledge and experience, as she has been sitting as a Judge Pro Tem in Solano County for several years. We look forward to her joining us.

Special thanks is extended to the amazing volunteer attorneys who sit pro tem when needed; and to Tom Cain and other volunteer mediators from the Congress of Neutrals who dedicate their time and expertise in resolving many unlawful detainer, small claims and civil harassment matters. Their assistance is immeasurable and invaluable. The majority of matters that are mediated result in settlements, hence reducing the number of cases that must be called during the congested and impacted calendars. In January of this year, Lawyers in the Library expanded to the Richmond Branch, providing further resources to consumers. On June 17, 2016, the Contra Costa County Public Law Library Board of Trustees voted to rename continued on page 28



Richmond Court

Continued from page 27 the Richmond Branch to the David Del Simone Memorial Law Library. David Del Simone was a well-known and beloved attorney who contributed countless hours of his time and energy to the Law Library. Many judges, attorneys, other members of the legal community, as well as family and friends attended the dedication ceremony. This courthouse continues to be busy. Since January, approximately 42 misdemeanor and two felony trials have taken place. There have been multiple trials that have been assigned out, yet did not conclude due to subsequent resolution both prior to and after a jury being sworn. The arraignments department is traditionally a bustling place, and continues to have the heaviest

Elder Law is

calendars. The preliminary hearing calendar has increased since last year, and there is a more consistent volume of cases that proceed to hearing.

Grant, who have readily and effortlessly conducted trials and preliminary hearings, and handled heavy arraignment calendars.

There will be some changes in the upcoming year. Beginning midJanuary of 2017, I will be transferring to a juvenile assignment in Martinez. Judge Joni Hiramoto will take over as Supervising Judge. Judge Hiramoto has served numerous years off and on at the George D. Carroll Courthouse, and has a strong relationship with and commitment to this community. Judges Douglas and Goldstein will remain at the courthouse as well. Due to upcoming retirements, we will once again have visiting retired judges assigned to the vacant judicial position until the next judicial appointment occurs.

Certain changes have been made to “modernize” the courthouse. This year, kiosks were installed to facilitate the expeditious and orderly check-in process for the jurors who report for duty. The kiosks have decreased the amount of time jurors need to wait before they are assigned to courtrooms. An electronic calendar has been implemented. Now, court users can easily find courtroom information in a centralized location, thus limiting the potential for confusion regarding which department is hearing a particular matter. Large screen televisions have been mounted in the arraignments department and the traffic/unlawful detainer department which have replaced outdated TV monitors.

We have been very fortunate to continue to have many wonderful and talented retired judicial officers, such as Peter Berger and Garrett

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It has been an absolute pleasure to have spent the last two years at the George D. Carroll Courthouse. I have been impressed with the wonderful staff that makes this courthouse a very special place to work. Despite the unrelenting amount of cases that are filed, and the accompanying large workload, the staff members are professional, collegial and delightful. Karen Cardinale, the Court Administrator, does an amazing job overseeing the clerk’s office and the daily courthouse administration. Sergeants Paul Murphy and Steve Valkanoff and the deputies provide great security and assistance to the judges, attorneys and numerous parties that appear in court. Lastly, it is important to acknowledge the incredible judges with whom I have worked. Judges Douglas, Goldstein, Hiramoto and Commissioner Fagan have been an awesome team, and each one has a strong dedication to serving the public fairly and judiciously.

Traffic Division 2016 By: Hon. Brian F. Haynes, Supervising Judge

In 2016 we said goodbye to Commissioner Peter Fagan and hello to Commissioner Terrye Davis. Commissioner Fagan accepted a new position as a commissioner with the San Diego Superior Court. I’m sure all of us who have had the opportunity to get to know him over the last year will see this as a loss for Contra Costa Superior Court. We are happy for Commissioner Fagan for having

the opportunity to take a great position close to home and family in San Diego. At the same time, I’m sad to be losing such a wonderful person and excellent bench officer. In his short time with our court, he has established a reputation for hard work, fairness and wisdom with litigants, attorneys, and law enforcement throughout Contra Costa County. He’s also a friendly and caring person who has been a joy to work with every day. He will be missed. The court has offered the vacancy to Ms. Terrye Davis from Solano County, where she has served as a Pro Tem Commissioner for many years. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience as a bench officer that will make her a perfect fit for our court. She began working as a Commissioner on September 6, 2016.

Commissioner Davis is assigned to the Walnut Creek Courthouse in the morning and the Richmond Court in the afternoon. Commissioner Richards now hears Pittsburg cases in the morning and has an eclectic calendar in the afternoon including Name Changes, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainers in Martinez. In 2016, the Court was very busy implementing the statewide Amnesty Program enacted by the legislature in 2015, which offers those that meet the criteria a 50%/80% reduction in fines and fees. The intent of this program is to provide relief to individuals who qualify and have found themselves in default of a court-ordered debt obligation. One important difference between this Amnesty Program and the one in 2012, is that defendants have the ability to set-up a payment continued on page 30



Traffic Division Continued from page 27

Pittsburg Court

Continued from page 23

plan for the reduced amnesty total, and their driver’s license hold will be released. Also, if defendants are deemed to be in good standing on a current payment plan, they can have their license reinstated immediately.

case management system once the notice is received by police agencies. This has decreased the long lines at traffic court locations and has drastically lowered the number of phone calls received at our Call Center.

Another continuing area of focus for the Traffic Division is helping defendants better understand their options once they have received a citation. We have modified our courtesy notices to add options such as how to include and how to set-up a payment plan. We also clearly explain what will occur should no action be taken by the defendant on their citation. The Court has also updated the Self-Help Website related to traffic matters.

While I remain the Supervising Judge of the Traffic Division, the most important work is performed by our dedicated staff members. The years 2015 and 2016 brought the most significant changes in trafficrelated law in many years, and I would be lost without the professional and creative input of the Traffic Unit staff, who have worked tirelessly to implement recent changes mandated by the Judicial Council and the legislature. I am confident these changes, both statewide and local, will result in better access to justice for all members of our community.

We are pleased to report that the Centralized Traffic Unit is staying current on citations entered into the

Commissioner Lowell Richards handled over 22,000 traffic cases in addition to 2,341 small claims and unlawful detainer matters. As you can see, the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center is very busy but a welcoming place to work. Very much like its namesake. See you in Court.

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Getting to Know

Hon. David E. Goldstein By: Fae Li, Director of Finance

Hon. David E. Goldstein was appointed to the bench in November 2015 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Judge Goldstein is currently located at the George D. Carroll Courthouse in Richmond, California. As a California native, Judge Goldstein was raised in San Carlos and has been a resident in the Golden State to this present day. He is the only child of a college professor and a teacher who instilled in him the value of education, the importance of a hard work ethic, and an appreciation for social justice and the environment. He graduated from Sequoia High School in Redwood City and went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of California, Davis in 1991. At that point, he had considered following in his parents’ footsteps and pursuing a career in academia or public service. He had also considered becoming a journalist to cover his favorite topic from school: politics. He ultimately decided on attending law school because it offers a path to financial stability while still keeping the door open to his other interests in academia, public service, and politics. After getting his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1994, Judge Goldstein joined the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office as a law clerk, and then

was hired as an attorney in 1995. For the next 20 years, he provided representation to parties involved in a variety of case types. He started in the Misdemeanor Unit of the Public Defender’s Office and then served as court-appointed counsel to children and indigent parents in juvenile dependency court. He then spent several years handling felony caseloads where he defended individuals accused of crimes in jury trials, and then defended minors accused of crimes in juvenile delinquency cases. In 2012, Judge Goldstein was put in charge of supervising the Central/East Misdemeanor Unit of eight attorneys. There, he enjoyed interacting with and mentoring younger attorneys by guiding and supporting their professional growth and advancement. He provided sound advice drawn from his own experience as an attorney, including the importance of being prepared on motions and going into the courtroom with the assumption that you are going to be grilled, Socratic-style, like you are back in your first year of law school. He also advised younger attorneys on the importance of building and maintaining one’s credibility by being honest when questioned in court, and to be civil to opponents while litigating fiercely. This is especially true if an attorney is interested in becoming a judge someday. You have to be a lawyer for 10 years before you can apply to become a

judge, and people have long memories, and will weigh in with their opinions about you when you are being vetted by the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and the local bar association. After 2012, Judge Goldstein managed the arraignment calendar and handled early disposition cases. He then handled Sexually Violent Predators Act cases under Welfare and Institutions code section 6600. As a public defender, he was able to fulfill his passion for public service and social justice, providing advocacy and legal representation to individuals who cannot afford an attorney. Having worn many hats at the Public Defender’s Office, he is well-prepared for becoming a judge. Judge Goldstein finds his years of service at the Public Defender’s Office to be a valuable and rewarding experience, and is truly honored to continue his public service and pursuit of justice as a judge of the Superior Court in Contra Costa County. In his current capacity as a judge, he is able to interact with members of the community that he serves and make a greater impact by affecting continued on page 32

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Judge Goldstein Continued from page 31 justice across a broader class of cases. Judge Goldstein is currently assigned to criminal arraignments and hearings, as well as civil harassment cases. He is also scheduled to begin a jury trial assignment in October 2016. He enjoys holding pre-trial conferences with the attorneys from opposing sides and using his negotiation skills to efficiently resolve cases in a consistent manner that is fair to both parties. Although his current calendar allows him to draw from his criminal case experience while at the Public Defender’s Office, he looks forward to take on assignments in different areas of law. When he is not in the courtroom, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 12 years and his two young children. Judge and Ms. Goldstein hope to raise their children to be honest and kind, and to work hard to achieve their goals. He also hopes to emphasize to his children the importance of a good education and social justice that his parents have passed on to him. Judge Goldstein is also a diehard baseball fan. He enjoys cheering for his home team, the San Francisco Giants, and hopes that they win another World Series. He also enjoys fantasy baseball, which he has been playing for 35 years.

Amnesty Program – One Year Later

By: Hon. Steven Austin, Presiding Judge Kate Bieker, Deputy Executive Officer Fae Li, Director of Finance On June 24, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a one-time Amnesty Program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infractions. The program began on October 1, 2015 and ends on March 21, 2017. This is the second traffic amnesty program our state has implemented in the past four years. This time the program offers more options to people regarding how to resolve their unpaid court-ordered debt and remove some of the negative impacts of unresolved fines and fees. The Amnesty Program comes at a time of increased national interest regarding the adverse impacts that rising court-ordered fines and fees can have on the poor in our country. Last year, a coalition of legal aid and civil rights organizations issued a

report entitled “Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California.” That report examined how the complicated fines and fees structure for infractions that has been put in place by the Legislature often results in large fines for relatively minor offenses. If a person does not appear in court or fails to timely pay the fine, the consequence is often a license suspension. According to the report, this has resulted in approximately 4 million licenses being suspended statewide and unpaid court-ordered debt of $10 billion. In part, the current Amnesty Program is an effort to address these issues. There are two groups of people who can participate in the current Amnesty Program: continued on page 34

Fae Li is the Director of Finance at the Contra Costa Superior Court. Prior to joining the Court in February 2015, she performed various audits of superior courts for the Judicial Council of California. She has also audited state and local government agencies for the California State Auditor.

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Expanding the Court’s Interpreter Program Focus on Accessibility:

By: Hon. Steven Austin, Presiding Judge and Magda Lopez, Director of Family Law Programs and Professional Services

that would be appropriate when an in-person interpreter may not be available. The plan also recommends that courts work with education stakeholders in efforts to expand the number of certified interpreters by providing insight as to the needs of the courts, the qualifying factors to become a certified interpreter, and collaborating with education stakeholders to provide the appropriate educational tools and mentorship programs to assist those interested bilingual individuals to prepare for and pass the interpreter exam and launch a career as a court interpreter.

Data from the 2010 census indicates that about one third of Contra Costa’s population over the age of 5 speaks a language other than English at home. This translates to a large percentage of court users who need assistance in another language. Fortunately, the Judicial Council’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force has been hard at work putting into practice the recommendations of the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts that will provide interpreters in all Court services within the next five years. The plan contains eight primary goals along with 75 recommendations to be carried out and implemented in three phases over a five-year period (2015-2020). The main goal of the plan is to provide a comprehensive set of recommendations that create a branchwide approach to providing language services both in the courtroom and outside of the courtroom, while accommodating the very diverse needs of the courts and their communities, which are spread out over 58 counties.

The plan recognizes that meaningful access needs to commence even prior to the appearance in a courtroom, through multi-language translated forms and notices, as well as bilingual staff or other language access services that assist LEP court users at the clerk’s office and at other meaningful points of contact within a courthouse.

The plan also calls for education and training to be provided to judicial officers and court staff on understanding the issues faced by LEP court users, the challenging nature The Strategic Plan for Language Access in the Cali- of serving as a court interpreter, and becoming aware of the fornia Courts calls for providing a qualified interpreter plan’s goals and objectives. in any court proceeding without cost to the limited English proficiency (LEP) court user. That would The plan recognizes that our courts will need to collaborate include all civil matters such as family law, unlawful with our interested stakeholders in identifying the needs of detainers, limited and unlimited civil, probate, guard- LEP court users and calls for early identification of language ianship, and place LEP court users on equal footing as access needs, coordinating of services to expedite meeting is currently mandated in all criminal proceedings. In the needs of LEP users, and reducing delays, frustration and addition, appropriate language access services would the inconvenience caused when an interpreter is not availalso be required in court-mandated or court-operated able. The plan also recommends collaborating with commuproceedings, such as family mediation. nity-based organizations and ethnic media outlets to inform the LEP community of the availability of these services that The plan also seeks to improve language access were not being offered previously by the courts. by utilizing technology to expand language access continued on page 42 services, including video remote interpreting in cases



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Amnesty Program Continued from page 32 • Persons with unpaid tickets whose fines were originally due to be paid on or before January 1, 2013 and who had not made a payment after September 30, 2015, are potentially eligible to have both their debt reduced by 50 or 80 percent depending on income and their driver’s license reinstated. • Persons who made a payment after September 30, 2015 on a ticket are not eligible for a reduction for that ticket, but may be eligible to have their driver’s license reinstated if they are in good standing on a payment plan with a comprehensive collection program. The Amnesty Program has been extremely popular. During the first six months of the Amnesty Program, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) mailed 32 million amnesty announcement inserts to California drivers. The Judicial Council logged



approximately 693,000 unique visitors to its amnesty website. During that time, almost 133,000 delinquent infraction and misdemeanor accounts were resolved through the Amnesty Program. Also, over 104,000 DMV holds on licenses were requested to be lifted. Locally, while most people in Contra Costa County sign-up for the program over the telephone, this can also be done at the court, and there is typically a long line of people at the window in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. In our county alone, more than 7,278 people have received some type of relief through amnesty as of August 31, 2016. While amnesty has helped people facing long-standing court-ordered debt and license suspensions, it also has resulted in a loss of revenue to the courts and other government agencies that have been funded through collection of fines, fees and assessments. Among various agencies impacted by these drops in funds, many superior courts have experienced sharp declines in operating funds due to reduced fine and fee collections. The state has so far

not reimbursed the courts for any of this loss in revenue. As we move away from a system where government services are funded by ticket revenue, it will be important to find new and better funding methods in order to avoid service reductions. While the Amnesty Program enters into its final months and will soon end, California courts continue to look for ways to assist people in understanding their responsibilities and rights when receiving a citation. In our court, we have developed online educational materials and revised our traffic notices to better explain in plain language, the processes for contesting, appealing, and paying fines and fees. At the state level, meanwhile, there are also a variety of proposals to include a person’s ability to pay as a consideration when imposing fines and when suspending a driver’s license for failure to pay fines. Consequently, though the Amnesty Program is coming to an end, many changes to how traffic fines and fees are administered appear more permanent.

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Temporary Judges: An Invaluable Service to the Court and Public

By: Hon. Jill Fannin, Assistant Presiding Judge Kate Bieker, Deputy Executive Officer Shannon Stone, Human Resources Director Temporary judges have played an integral role in California courts for over a century. Article 6, Section 21 of the California Constitution, which governs the current iteration of the Temporary Judge Program, provides: “[o]n stipulation of the parties…the court may order a cause to be tried by a temporary judge who is a member of the State Bar, sworn and empowered to act until final determination of the cause.” This simple phrase has granted California trial courts the flexibility to meet the needs of the public even in times when resources are extremely limited. For the Contra Costa Superior Court, the attorneys who volunteer their time to serve as temporary judges help to cover calendars when our bench ofcers are unavailable. This service has been invaluable to the bench and the public, particularly in the last eight years when the court system has suffered significant budget cuts and courts have been forced to close courthouses and reduce calendars. It is not uncommon for a litigant entering a courtroom on a traffic, small claims, unlawful detainer or civil harassment matter to have their case heard by a temporary judge. For litigants in these case types, it is often their wish to be heard and have their day in court. With the support of our temporary judges, the Contra Costa Superior Court is able to meet this need of the public by keeping calendars moving and courtrooms open. Without the service of the temporary judges, cases would be continued and litigants throughout the county would experience delay and inconvenience.



Though volunteers, the temporary judges in Contra Costa County are rewarded with the opportunity to serve their local communities and to learn about the law and the judicial system from a different perspective. According to Barbara Suskind, a long-time member of the Contra Costa Temporary Judges Program: “Sitting as a Pro Tem Judge in the Superior Court (any department) is the least expensive, most productive, learning experience available. You learn in a very real way what the judge’s perspective is and what constitutes a solid presentation.” In addition to this hands-on learning experience, attorneys interested in serving as temporary judges are invited to participate each year in continuing legal education courses on a variety of substantive legal topics as well as in ethics and bench demeanor. These courses are generally offered once a year and are lead by Commissioner Lowell Richards. Serving as a temporary judge also offers practical experience to attorneys interested in pursuing a career as a judicial officer. Indeed, Judge Clare Maier served as a temporary judge before being appointed to the bench. Similarly, Commissioner Peter Fagan and Commissioner Terrye Davis both served as temporary judges before being hired by Contra Costa Superior Court as full-time Commissioners. Temporary Judges are appointed at the discretion of the Presiding

Judge and may be assigned to hear matters in small claims, traffic, unlawful detainers, domestic violence, probate, civil harassment, juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency. To serve as a temporary judge, an attorney must be a member in good standing of the California State Bar and have at least ten years in practice (Cal. Rule of Court, Rule 2.812(a)). Temporary judges must also complete minimum training requirements, including ethics and bench demeanor courses as well as substantive legal courses for specific case types (Cal. Rule of Court, Rule 2.812(c)). Contra Costa Superior Court also requires its temporary judges to complete additional case-specific training to ensure the volunteer is well equipped to meet the needs of the public. Attorneys interested in serving as temporary judges for the Contra Costa Superior Court are encouraged to apply. For more information about the requirements and the application process, visit the Court’s website at www.cc-courts.org and click on the ‘I’m an Attorney’ quick link. The court will schedule in-person judicial demeanor and substantive law training sessions in late December 2016. Many of these courses include the same training presented to judges at the Judicial College. The courses also include ethics and bias units as well. And a final word to the attorneys who have and continue to serve as temporary judges in this county… thank you! Your commitment and hard work is greatly valued by the court and the parties who appear before you.

Helping Families Heal

By: Magda Lopez, Director of Family Law Programs and Professional Services

Families come to the Peter L. Spinetta Law Center when their lives are painful and in chaos. Our job is to be an effective member of the team that helps them navigate their crisis and move on with their lives. I’m proud to say that in spite of ongoing budget cuts in the past few years, our Court has improved this process. The changes start at our reception desk where, our customers are greeted with a friendly smile and provided answers to their questions. This service ensures that everyone is quickly directed to the service they need. Attorneys with a current Bar card, who do not need assistance with ex parte or domestic violence matters, can proceed directly to the left side of the Reception Desk to request an “attorney” ticket. Every work day, from 8 am until 3 pm, attorneys get priority at a dedicated window in the family law filing area. At the reception desk, people are issued tickets from our automated cueing system. This system allows customers to sit while they wait—a welcome change from the days of standing in long lines. Recently, new chairs that are both clean and attractive were installed. In the coming months, many of these chairs will be wired so that customers can use their electronic devices while they wait. The Court’s public website has been enhanced

to provide quicker access to parties using the Wi-Fi capability. In addition, the website can also now be accessed via mobile devices. The new Ad Gator boards help everyone quickly confirm where their case is being heard without the need to wait in line at the reception desk, and we now have attractive, easyto-read signs—no more tacky papers taped everywhere. Another important change has been the migration of key services to an online format. The online Domestic Violence Restraining Order service not only allows easy access to forms and information, but it also allows for online submission of domestic violence applications and responses. The Family Court Services Orientation required of all parties with custody and visitation disputes is now exclusively available online and has been translated into Spanish. One of the most dramatic improvements in Family Law has been the reduction in the wait time for an appointment with a Child Custody Recommending Counselor (CCRC). At one time, families were waiting as long as 14 weeks for an appointment. By instituting a series of changes, including a system of reminder calls two weeks prior to CCRC appointments, reminder texts one week prior to the appointment, and day-of-court appointments as a last ditch effort to fill every appointment slot, the unit has reduced the number of missed appointments and has been able to fill appointments that would otherwise have gone unused. With these measures and others, the wait for an appointment has been reduced to just four weeks.

In January of 2017, Judge Brian Haynes will be added to the roster of family law judges. His courtroom will continue to be in Pittsburg. With an additional bench officer, it is anticipated that parties may be able to get to a hearing sooner and that some of the load on our overtaxed family law judges can be reduced. Finally, when it comes time to get a judgment, defaults are being finalized much more quickly. Staffing changes, retirements and other factors increased the time for processing default judgments to as long as 16 weeks in April of 2016. With a combination of overtime and an increased focus on getting these judgments completed, processing times have been greatly reduced. Also, in response to a request from the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s (CCCBA) Family Law Section, and with support from our Supervising Judge Christopher Bowen, judgments that are submitted for the second time are given priority in processing. So yes – all of us in the Court’s Family Law Division are working harder, but also more efficiently, than ever. As a result, we are working effectively with our partners from the CCCBA to help families heal.



Justice & Judges: The History of the Courts in Contra Costa County

By: Donald Bastin, Contra Costa County Historical Society

Visit our exhibit, “Justice and Judges: The History of the Courts in Contra Costa County.” The Contra Costa County Historical Society (CCCHS) History Center is located at 724 Escobar Street in downtown Martinez. We are the designated repository of a very substantial portion of the legal documents of the County, including criminal, probate, civil, and immigration records. Our huge archive is available to the researcher every Tuesday through Thursday and the third Saturday of every month. Phone: 925-229-1042. Visit online at: cocohistory.com.

Our Society recently received a substantial donation from the Contra Costa County Superior Court. The donation consists of artifacts and extensive court documents that once belonged to Judge Richard Arnason, who passed away recently. Judge Arnason served as a Superior Court Judge for 49 years—longer than any judge in the history of our county. The donation was received from former Presiding Judge Barry Goode, who suggested the idea of an exhibit honoring Judge Arnason. Our Executive Director saw the potential for using these and other materials to educate the people about the history of the courts in Contra Costa County, and thus, an exhibit was born.



The legal system in Contra Costa County has undergone many changes over the years. California’s original constitution, enacted in 1850, created a fairly complex system consisting of several courts. At the top (as far as the county was concerned) was the District Court. The district included Contra Costa County and several other counties, originally as far south as Santa Cruz and Monterey. The District Court Judge heard major criminal and civil cases, and appeals from lower courts. Below the District Court were the County Court and the Court of Sessions. The County Court, which handled civil cases and acted as a probate court, was assigned one judge. The Court of Sessions acted in concert with the County Court, handling only criminal matters and criminal appeals from the Justice’s Court (later called “Justice Court”). Its composition was unique, consisting of the County Judge and two Justices of the Peace, acting as Associate Judges. At the bottom were the Justice Courts, the history of which goes back to 13th century England, when the Office of Justice of the Peace was created. These were community judges who handled local matters. There was a similar office in Mexican California—the Alcalde, who was a respected community member. His job was to resolve neighbors’ disputes and to render swift justice to miscreants. The Americans who flooded into California during the Gold Rush adapted to the Alcalde system without a problem, and many Americans served as Alcaldes

during the first years of the California Republic and statehood. The Justice Court was local, easy to understand, familiar, and dealt with most of the issues that concern any community. Until late in the 20th century, the local Justice of the Peace was well known in the community and knew those in the community in turn. It was a system that helped to foster a familiarity with the law and a respect for its processes. With continued high growth rates in the county and the state, that model of courts was eventually replaced. The California Constitution was completely revised in 1880 (and though amended hundreds of times, it is still the constitution in use today). As part of the revisions to the Constitution, the Superior Court system was created and the District Courts, County Courts and the Court of Sessions were all abolished. At first, there was only one Superior Court Judge in Contra Costa County, and only one department. As the population increased, new departments were created and the number of judges increased. The first Municipal Court in Contra Costa County was created in 1953, in the city of Richmond. Richmond, like the rest of the county, continued on page 43

Bar Soap

By Matthew Guichard Many things are happening locally with our legal community. So many in fact that it is impossible to learn about them, much less comment on all of them. But I will give it a try. MCLE Spectacular, Spectacular! You actually don’t need my reminder, but the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s 22nd MCLE Spectacular is taking place Friday, November 18, 2016. It is an event not to be missed. Not only is it a good opportunity to pick up necessary and meaningful legal education credits, but it is also a great opportunity to see and catch up with old friends. See you there. Mock Trials I had the privilege of sitting as a judge at the Federal Building in San Francisco for the Empire Mock Trial program for national high school teams. I saw several colleagues from Contra Costa County also sitting in as jurors and judges. Many of you regularly assist with our local Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Competition. Volunteer for the Empire program if you have the chance. I sat in on trials for teams from Cleveland, Miami, Riverside (California) and Washington State. Very impressive performances by all. CourtCall Bandwagon Back on my bandwagon concerning CourtCall appearances. Those appearances actually result in more court time than less. Please attorneys, listen to the Judge and offer information which is helpful to calendaring and case analysis. It is not a time to bring up discovery disputes, long-winded stories or long-winded excuses. It is painful to listen to attorneys wax eloquent on irrelevant issues and the entire

audience in the courtroom an unwilling participant. Hey, I have an idea; pretend you are actually in Court! I did hear an excuse from a CourtCall participant which made me laugh. An attorney stated the reason a case had not been timely mediated as agreed was due to “Attorney lethargy.” Nice! So, I have a thought about those pesky CMCs: Let’s go to the tentative ruling format. In most cases the parties file timely CMC statements and the Court issues a tentative CMC ruling setting further hearings, mediation completion dates and trials. No appearance is necessary, and we do not have to hear any more lawyers on CourtCall. That is of course unless the Court’s tentative ruling requires attendance. People on the Move: I note Manoogian Law has moved to 800 South Broadway, Suite 304, in Walnut Creek. And, not sure if I mentioned it before, but Robert M. Slattery (Bob) has officially wrapped up his litigation practice after 40 years and has transitioned into a full time “Neutral.” I’m happy for Bob, but a bit sad as he was a regular contributor to reports about “Local Civil Jury Verdicts.” Also, I’m not sure if it is just the local water, but we continue to hear of lawyers leaving firms (big and small firms that is) and going solo. An advantage is the only partner one has to deal with is that one in the mirror each morning and profits (if there are any) don’t have to be shared.

Don’t forget to let us know if you have gone out on your own, or joined another firm. I love to write about people on the move, and speaking of people on the move, local retirees are making me jealous! I see many former government lawyers at bocce who report they love retirement and they love that retirement check coming in each month. Must be nice! Rotary I was invited to join one of our local Rotary Clubs. No surprise, I accepted the invitation. Very enjoyable presentations and pleased to see so many of our local attorneys as members of the various local clubs. Super Lawyers So, I thought I was something special being a Super Lawyer, but then I started to see that every single lawyer in the state is a Super Lawyer or a Top Lawyer, or a NorCal Top Lawyer, or an East Bay Top Lawyer, or a Top Ten Lawyer, or a member of The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, or whatever. We are clearly an overperforming group! Congratulations to us all! Fee Arbitration I sit on the panel as a State Bar Fee Arbitrator. Just a reminder to ALL attorneys: Ensure you have a legal continued on page 41



A Lifetime of Listening – Interview with New Commissioner Terrye Davis By: Magda Lopez,

Director of Family Law Programs/Professional Services Lucky me! I got to interview Commissioner Terrye Davis for this magazine. I hope you enjoy my conversation with her as much as I did!

right into a goal post. It was very funny at the time, and fortunately he wasn’t hurt, but I’m pretty sure there’s at least one life lesson somewhere in this story.

Q: Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born?

Q: What about you, did you play sports?

A: Fukuoka, Japan

A: Actually, I was a decent gymnast – my specialty was the uneven parallel bars.

Q: So when did you come to the U.S.? A: I was adopted by a military family. We moved here when I was three; I became a U.S. citizen when I was in the fifth grade. Q: What’s your first memory of the U.S.? A: We had a red and green house in Del Rio, Texas. I used to call it the Christmas Tree House. Q: Do you speak Japanese? A: A very minimal amount – I’m very proud of my daughter, though, she took Japanese in college, worked in Japan as a schoolteacher and is now a fluent speaker. Q: Speaking of kids? A: I have a blended family of 6 kids. Q: Six! I’m guessing you must have at least one funny story…. A: One of my favorite kid stories is when my youngest son was playing football. He caught a football for a touchdown and was so excited that he ran backwards for a bit while razzing the other team. He then turned around to cover the last bit of distance to a touchdown and ran



Q: I’m guessing you watched the Olympics this summer? A: Oh yes! I was so impressed by Laurie Hernandez. She was so perky and friendly and it always seemed like she was so happy to be there. Q: You said you “were” a decent gymnast…. A: I gave it up, my mind says I can do it but my body thinks I’m crazy. I’m into lake fishing and gardening now. Q: Everybody’s got a great fishing story ……? A: My favorite fishing trip was to Alaska. The scenery is gorgeous – icebergs, incredible wildlife. Plus, it’s also where I caught a King Salmon! Best of all the crew cleaned the salmon and packed it for us so we could enjoy it after we got home. Q: You sound like someone who loves the outdoors – do you hike? A: I used to camp and hike. The Marble Mountain wilderness near Oregon was one of my favorite spots. I eventually gave up camping when I figured out if I wanted to go

with my husband I would have to pack everything in, use a hole in the ground for the unmentionables in life, drink water from streams that were always a looooong way away from wherever I happened to be and then pack everything out again. I still remember my husband telling me we were going to climb a small hill – it took 4 hours to climb! Q: I guess I should ask you a bit about your professional life. What was your first job after college? A: I created and ran the Merced County Small Business Development Center. I later opened the Solano College Small Business Center and eventually ran the Solano County Private Industry Council (PIC) Business and Training Program. I loved the fact that people without jobs or hope would come to the PIC program, get the training they needed and could turn their life around. Q: Sounds like you really enjoyed that work. What led you into law? A: After working at the Private Industry Council, I went to work at the Omega Boys and Girls’ Club in Vallejo. I loved working with the kids, but always remembered how much I enjoyed Perry Mason (it’s hard not to love a lawyer that always wins and never loses their cool!) that I knew I had to go to law school. continued on next page

Terrye Davis Continued from page 40 Q: Has the law been as satisfying as you expected? A: I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of different areas and have always found it rewarding. In the end, it always comes back to listening to people, which is something I find fascinating. Q: What do you mean? A: Well, I did wills, trusts and probate work for a while. My favorite part of the work was listening to people as they talked about their plans. I also worked as a juvenile dependency attorney for three years. I mostly represented parents and helped them try to get back on track. I was also privileged to represent a couple of kids that got adopted. I drive past their home sometimes and I see them outside playing – they look so happy. I always remember them.

Q: I guess being on the bench involves a bit of listening to people as well. A: I was a full-time pro tem in Solano County for five years and I am very much looking forward to exploring what folks in this county have to teach me. Q: It sounds like you have had a lifelong commitment to helping others. Do you do any volunteer work? A: I have spent about 20 years working with youth organizations. Most recently, I have been working with high school students in Solano County through the Willie B. Adkins Project. Every spring we take a group of 50 kids on a school bus for a week to visit colleges. It’s exhausting because we end up staying up all night every night to make sure the kids don’t sneak out – but it’s more than worth it when I see kids that might not have thought of themselves as college material suddenly see that this is a possibility for them. I have one student that I am particularly proud of.

She had her heart set on attending Hampton University, a private school in Virginia. As part of Adkins Program she had created a portfolio with her resume, personal statements, statements from community leaders, awards, letters from her school counselor and other materials. She had an interview with the Admissions person at Hampton and after the interview the Admissions person came out and spoke to the whole group saying that she would normally deny admission to someone whose grades were not high enough, but that having spoken to her and seeing her portfolio convinced her to accept our student. Q: I can’t let you go without asking you to share the best piece of advice you ever received. A: It was from my dad. He said that you can learn something from everyone, no matter who they are. He was certainly right–and I look forward to continuing my learning with the good folks from Contra Costa.

Bar Soap Continued from page 39 services agreement with your client(s). (Hint: This would probably be an excellent topic for our MCLE Spectacular next year.) It is required in most matters and I cannot tell you the number of cases in which there is NO agreement. The first question in any fee dispute matter is “Did you execute a legal services agreement…?” And a little tip to go on top of that, even if there is a written fee agreement, the fees cannot be unconscionable. That means at a minimum there must be some relationship between the fees charged and the work performed.

I was also very sad to hear of the untimely passing of John T. Nejedly. John was a local attorney, a member of the Contra Costa Community College Board, the son of former District Attorney and State Senator John A. Nejedly, the brother of Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho and the brother of Central Costra Sanitary trustee James Nejedly. He was only 52 years old. Musings Circling back a bit on the concept of continuing legal education, I must say I am inundated daily with offers of programs on social media marketing for lawyers. For some years continuing education seemed to focus on evidence, ethics, mediations, etc. Seems now most of what I see involves marketing, web site crafting, blogging and how to be a super lawyer (just kidding on that last one). Nothing wrong with that, just a change in how we do business I guess.

Passings Sadly I am reporting regularly on those we lost recently. Jim Hazard and Ted Merrill recently left us. Jim a long time local lawyer, previously served on the Walnut Creek City Council. He was a top notch attorney, a member of ABOTA and settled many a civil case in his role as a mediator. I only knew Ted Merrill as a judge, but many remember him as the head partner at the Merrill law firm in Danville. That firm later became the Gagan et al Keep those cards and letters coming. I cannot write firm. As a Deputy DA, both my first murder trial and my about your news if you don’t let me know. last murder trial were held in Judge Merrill’s department. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


Expanding the Court Interpreter Program Continued from page 33 Here in Contra Costa, we have routinely provided interpreters in criminal, juvenile, traffic, elder abuse and domestic violence cases for several years. We began expansion of interpreter services in November of 2014 by providing interpreters in civil harassment, unlawful detainer, conservatorships, guardianships and proceedings to terminate parental rights. A few months later, the Court further expanded services by providing interpreters in all family law cases. By the last six months of 2015, of the total 9,214 interpretations provided, 478 were in new case types.

The Court is also reaching out to LEP customers in other ways. Since 2015, telephone interpretation services have been available at all filing counters and in the Family Law Facilitator’s Offices. The vast majority of persons needing interpreters in our county are Spanish speakers. In order to better address their needs, the filing window television screens in each Court location have been translated into Spanish. Plans are underway to have the ticket dispenser screens in civil and at the branch courts offer English and Spanish options. The Family Court Services Orientation online is

Try it, you’ll like it! By: Magda Lopez, Director of Family Law Programs and Professional Services, Heather Pettit, Chief Information Officer Yes, it’s true, the Court has completely upgraded its phone systems, including new phone numbers and a new AutoAttendant system. Our goal was to get users where they want to go in less than a minute and we believe we’ve accomplished that. Call 925-608-1000 and try it out. If you have comments or suggestions, please e-mail them directly to our Public Information Officer at mediainfo@ contracosta.courts.ca.gov. Thanks, everyone!

Department Jury Traffic Family Law Family Court Services Civil - Limited & Unlimited Civil - Appellate & Exhibits Civil - ADR Criminal Juvenile Records Executive Offices




available in English and Spanish, and most of the Court’s website has been (or shortly will be) translated into Spanish. We may have a ways to go before we can guarantee equal access to every court user, but we are very proud of the progress we have made regarding expanding language access services.

Auto-Attendant Quick Reference (English):

“As easy as 1-1, 1-2, 1-3”

1 – 1 Jury Services 1 – 2 Traffic 1 – 3 Family Court 1 – 4 Probate, Conservatorship and Guardianship 1 – 5 Civil 1 – 6 Criminal and Juvenile 1 – 7 Court Records 1 – 8 Executive Offices 1 – 9 General Information, Addresses and Directions


925-608-2451 925-942-6400 925-608-2070 925-608-1551 925-608-2065 925-608-2616 925-608-1558 925-608-2614 925-608-2075 925-608-2611 925-608-1557 925-608-2612 925-608-2300 925-608-2700





Upcoming Events | Overview November 3 | CCCBA

Pro Bono Expo 2016

more details on page 44 November 9 | Barristers Section & Young Lawyer’s Task Force

OFFICE HOURS at The Library on Main more details on page 44

November 10 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 44 November 18 | CCCBA

22nd Annual MCLE Spectacular

more details on page 44 and 24-25

December 1 | Barristers/Young Lawyers’ Section

Barristers’ End of Year Holiday Party! Food, Drinks & Charity! more details on page 44

December 8 | ADR, EP&P & Litigation Sections

Jingle & Mingle – Three Section Holiday Mixer more details on page 44

December 8 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 45 December 15 | CCCBA

CCCBA Annual Holiday Party more details on page 45

January 20 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Annual Probate Luncheon – 2017 more details on page 45

January 24 | Barristers / Young Lawyers Section

Barristers’ Firsts Series – My First Ethical Issues (Rescheduled from September 20, 2016) more details on page 45 January 27 | CCCBA

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon more details on page 45 The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 43-45 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

Justices & Judges Continued from page 38 had experienced enormous population growth, due to the war boom, and the Justice Courts, often manned by judges untrained in the law, were straining to meet the challenge of this growth. By 1969, five Municipal Courts were in operation (Richmond, Concord, San Pablo, Walnut Creek, and River) and by 1972 they had replaced the Justice Courts. A long tradition of local justice passed into history, though with some controversy. Many people felt that community judges provided common sense judgment and an intimate knowledge of the local population that the Municipal and Superior Court judges could not duplicate.

consolidation was relentless, though, and in June of 1998, by unanimous consent of all the judges in both the Superior and Municipal Courts, the Municipal Courts were abolished. Today, only the Superior Court remains in our county. The name “Superior Court” has lost its core meaning, as it is now superior to nothing. All civil and criminal cases, from small claims to traffic court to divorce proceedings, to the most serious criminal offenses, are now carried on in one of the Superior Court buildings in the county, which are located in Martinez, Richmond, Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek.

Donald Bastin is on the Board of Directors of the Contra By the early 1990s, there were only four Municipal Costa County Historical Society and is the Editor of the SociCourts, as the San Pablo Court had been absorbed ety’s quarterly newsletter, the Bulletin. He holds a Master’s into the Bay (Richmond) Municipal Court. The tide of Degree in History from California State University, East Bay. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


November 3 | CCCBA

November 9 | Barristers Section and Young Lawyers Task Force

November 10 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Pro Bono Expo 2016

OFFICE HOURS at The Library on Main

Mentoring Group Meeting

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

Young Lawyers – Enhance your practice and attend this event that will offer a designated time and place for young lawyers to meet more experienced attorneys from a variety of legal fields over no-host drinks and free appetizers. Bring non-case specific questions (to preserve privileges and prevent inadvertently giving legal advice), which could cover ethical issues, procedural options, putting someone in touch with the right person in a particular field, or how to approach a difficult adversary, deposition or hearing.

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 dfarr@thalaw.com. 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.

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. A list of some of the agencies attending is available online. Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Location: Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org

Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Location: The Library on Main, 1677 N. Main St., Walnut Creek

Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm

Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

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

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

RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org

November 18 | CCCBA

22nd Annual MCLE Spectacular 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. Featured Speakers: Breakfast Kickoff: CATHARINE B. BAKER, California Assemblyperson, 16th Assembly District Luncheon Keynote: DRUCILLA S. RAMEY, Dean Emerita and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University

December 8 | ADR, EPP & Litigation Sections

End of Year Holiday Party! Food, Drinks & Charity

Jingle & Mingle Three Section Holiday Mixer

Join the Barristers as they celebrate the holidays and support the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary! The Barristers are continuing their charitable giving surrounding their Holiday Party by electing to make donations to the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary. Bring a donation from the list online; and enjoy heavy appetizers and no host bar; select beer, wine, and rail drinks available for $5 each.

Don’t miss this fun, festive and free mixer event! Please join us at our Jingle and Mingle - Holiday Mixer hosted by CCCBA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution, Estate Planning & Probate and Litigation Sections at Sunol Ridge Restaurant and Bar. We will supply the appetizers to go along with the no host bar. We look forward to seeing you there!

Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: Blu 42 Lounge, 1251 Arroyo Way, Walnut Creek

Location: Sunol Ridge Restaurant and Bar 1388 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Location: Walnut Creek Marriott Hotel, 2355 N. Main St., Walnut Creek

Cost: $15 for members of the Barristers Section, $20 CCCBA members, $25 nonmembers

RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

Registration form available now at www.cccba.org/attorney/mcle

Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/ attorney/calendar

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

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

Afternoon Plenary: PATRICIA K. GILLETTE, JAMS Neutral Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


December 1 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section


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

December 8 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting 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 dfarr@thalaw.com. 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, CA 94553 RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

December 15 | CCCBA

CCCBA Annual Holiday Party Join us in celebrating the holiday season! Wine and beer will be served along with delicious hors d’oeuvres. Please bring a non-perishable food item (or more) for donation to the Contra Costa Food Bank and/or toy(s) for donation to the 24th Annual Toy Drive for homeless children, sponsored by the Juvenile Section of the CCCBA. We look forward to seeing everyone there! Time: 5:00 – 7:30 pm Location: CCCBA Office, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 510, Concord RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/ calendar

January 20 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Annual Probate Luncheon - 2017 Speakers: Hon. Judge John H. Sugiyama Erica Giles—Probate Examiner Linda Suppanich—Probate Examiner Time: 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour EP/T MCLE credit Cost: $40 for EP & P section members, $50 CCCBA members, $30 law students, $55 non-members Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org

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

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org January 24 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

January 27 | CCCBA

Barristers’ Firsts Series

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon 2017

My First Ethical Issues – (rescheduled from 9/20/2016) Speaker: Mary Grace Guzman

Speaker: To Be Announced

This MCLE is ideal for newer attorneys seeking guidance or seasoned professionals looking for a refresher on basic legal ethics matters that often come up in the course of representation of a client. Here we will cover ethical matters that can come up during an intake, initial consultation and representation. We will also discuss associating attorneys on cases, billing for your work, and issues of competency considering one’s skill level and years of practice.

Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: details pending Cost: $40 CCCBA members, $50 non-members, $30 law students

Dinner will be provided by sponsor Aiken Welch Court Reporters Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Location: CCCBA, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste 510, Concord

Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/ attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org

MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit Cost: $20 members of the Barristers, Business Law, Criminal, Litigation and Solo Sections. Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or awolf@cccba.org



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