2017 05

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Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 30, Number 3 | May 2017

Estate Planning & Probate

Right to Die The Role of Mental Health Specialists in the End of Life Option Act

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The “Right to Die” Statute: Are the Protections Against Undue Influence Sufficient? page 8 California’s End of Life Option Act and Family Dilemmas

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Contra Costa  2017 BOARD of DIRECTORS Philip Andersen President James Wu President-Elect Michelle Ferber Secretary Wendy McGuire Coats Treasurer Elva K. Harding Past President Mary Carey Steven Derby Mika Domingo Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston David Marchiano

Ericka McKenna Nicole Mills Craig Nevin Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck

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The official publication of the

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

features Introduction to the Role of Mental Health Specialists in the End of Life Option Act by Eric J. Freitag, Psy.D., ABN


Review of the Current “Right to Die” Statue: Are the Protections Against Undue Influence Sufficient? by Shara Beltramo


California’s “End of Life Option Act” and Family Dilemmas by Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, CFT, CMC


Dike: Murder Will Out by Hon. James Marchiano (Ret.)


MCLE Self Study: Does an Assisted Suicide Provision Belong in an Estate Plan? by Kathryn A. Schofield spotlight: Hospice East Bay by Cindy Hatton

Samantha Sepehr


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Reflections on Life and Death | by Philip Andersen


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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.

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departments INSIDE: Differing Perspectives on the Right to Die | by Virginia George

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INSIDE by Virginia George, Guest Editor

Differing Perspectives on the Right to Die On June 9, 2016, California’s physician-assisted dying law, also known as the “End of Life Option Act,” took effect. Passed by voters in October 2015 and later signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the law holds that under certain conditions, terminally-ill California residents may now legally take medication to end their lives. Under the “End of Life Option Act,” California now becomes the fifth state in the nation, joining Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, to create a legal process for patients to obtain aid in dying. Proponents for the law maintain that people should have the right to decide whether they want “aid in dying,” while opponents argue that patients could feel pressure to take their own lives. The California State Senate and Assembly passed the bill in September 2015, which allows terminally-ill patients to take a combination of deadly medications to end their lives. There are, however, several conditions which must occur before this may legally take place. Patients must have been given six months or less to live by two separate doctors and provide a written request along with two verbal requests for the medication at least 15 days apart. The patient


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must also be diagnosed as mentally capable of making decisions about his or her health by a medical professional.

have brought forth concerns for each of those professions moving forward both theoretically and practically.

California’s law passed just one year after terminally-ill California resident Brittany Maynard moved to Oregon to legally end her own life under that state’s right-to-die law. Ms. Maynard’s plight educated others and brought this issue to the forefront. Oregon’s similar law has been active for almost 20 years.

In this issue, Dr. Eric Freitag, founder and Executive Director of the Mt. Diablo Memory Center in Walnut Creek, will explore how attorneys and mental health professionals can navigate their respective roles and duties when following the wishes of clients who wish to pursue their end of life options under the law. In her article, attorney Shara Beltramo explores legal ramifications acknowledging that while the “End of Life Option Act” provides protections against undue influence, are those protections enough?

In deciding whether to exercise this option, the patient is encouraged, among other things, to discuss: the patient’s understanding of his/ her diagnosis and prognosis, the patient’s hopes and fears, the benefits of palliative care and hospice care, and other options for pain control and symptom management. The “End of Life Option Act” includes several important safeguards, which are aimed at restricting access to patients who are terminally-ill and mentally-competent and explicitly stipulates a number of requirements for documentation in the patient’s medical record, largely corresponding to these safeguards. However, the law is fairly new and both medical and legal professionals

Recognizing that the impact of a decision under this law deeply effects the family of the patient as well, two articles in this edition address the important dynamic involved between the patient and his/her family and loved ones. In her article, Linda Fodrini-Johnson, licensed family therapist and founder of Eldercare Services in Walnut Creek, examines patient/ client and family perspectives and how there can be conflicts due to the enormity and finality of this decicontinued on page 27


Introduction to the Role of Mental Health Specialists in the End Of Life Option Act By Eric J. Freitag, Psy.D., ABN Imagine your long-term client, “Ray,” comes to your office to meet with you to “settle his affairs.” You have known Ray and his family for over 30 years, since he and his wife first came to you to create their estate plan. You helped Ray update this plan five years ago when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Now Ray has come to your office to tell you that he has been told that he has less than 6 six months to live. Ray informs you that he is choosing to die on his terms and exercise his right under the California End of Life Option Act to receive medically prescribed drugs to end his life. As his attorney, what support can you provide to Ray? Would it matter that you are aware that Ray has a history of depression for which he has received treatment in the past? Would it matter that Ray’s wife has disclosed to you that he has been showing some signs of memory loss? While this scenario is hypothetical, such situations are to be expected with the June 2016 enactment of the End of Life Option Act, California Health & Safety Code sections 443 et seq. (“EOLA”). End of Life Option Act (SB 128). The rhetorical ques-

tions posed above (concerns about depression and memory loss) are common when determining an individual’s medical decision-making capacity. The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a brief overview of the role of mental health professionals in relation to this new law and how attorneys can best guide their clients when concerns about decision-making capacity are present. Mental health professionals play a prominent role in the End of Life Option Act, as only a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist can provide the specialized assessment to determine the decision-making capacity of an individual requesting to obtain aid-in-dying drugs. The law specifies that a mental health assessment is not required for all individuals, but only in cases where the attending or consulting physician determines that there are indications of a mental disorder. In these cases, the psychologist performs an assessment to determine whether the individual has the capacity to make medical decisions and that they are of “sound mind and not under duress, fraud, or undue influence.”

The actual text of the law provides reasonable guidance for determining the decision-making capacity of the requesting individual. The law specifically mandates that a doctor “discuss” with the individual their medical diagnosis, the risks and results associated with ingesting the drug(s), and the alternatives or other options for care and treatment. The law provides no specific guidance on how to determine whether a patient is able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding and appreciation of these issues in order to make an informed medical decision. Guidance from the California Psychological Association (CPA) states that psychologists who may be called upon to perform specialist assessments should carefully ensure they are practicing within the scope of their own competence, particularly with regard to familiarity with the legal and ethical issues surrounding this law. Especially now, while this law is new, this may be a particularly difficult task as there is very little written guidance from the CPA or other state professional associations on this Act. continued on page 6



Role of Mental Health Specialists in the End of Life Option Act Continued from page 5

Some other states (i.e. Oregon and Washington) and Canada have their own versions of an aid-in-dying law, and may have published information that could serve to guide California psychologists and other medical professionals in working with these patients. There does, however, exist extensive medico-legal research to inform and guide mental health professionals in the assessment of an individual’s medical decision-making capacity. As much of this research is specific to evaluating a patient’s ability to make decisions surrounding medical care and treatment, psychologists will need to shift the scope of assessment to focus on those factors which are specifically relevant to the decision to end one’s own life.


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Medical decision-making capacity assessment generally follows four dimensions or factors. These factors establish a framework through which the psychologist can competently assess a patient’s decisionmaking process. In this case, the factors are applied to the patient’s choices to end their life: 1. The patient must demonstrate “Understanding” of the information being presented and can articulate the risks and benefits of exercising their rights under the law. 2. The patient must show “Appreciation” or, more specifically, be able to apply the relevant information to self and situation. This is demonstrated by exhibiting more than just an intellectual understanding of the law, but also of how a choice to end their life will affect not only themselves but their family, friends and even community. 3. The patient must demonstrate “Reasoning” or the ability to think about the decision in a logical and sensible way. The patient would need to show that they have evaluated the consequences and benefits of the other available options (e.g. end of life, do nothing, hospice, experimental treatment). 4. The patient must be able to “Express” their choice; simply stated, the individual must demonstrate ability to arrive at a decision. In the case of exercising the end of life option, it is vital that the “Expression” of the patient’s choice is consistent across time and not a transient expression of a decision.

In summary, it can be anticipated that attorneys will be called upon to provide services to, and advocate for, clients who wish to exercise their rights under the End of Life Option Act. It is important that attorneys make themselves familiar with this law and that they avail themselves of the expertise provided by mental health professionals when there are concerns about an individual’s capacity to make an end of life decision. Dr. Eric J. Freitag is a licensed clinical psychologist and a board-certified neuropsychologist. His clinical expertise includes assessment and treatment of dementia, traumatic brain injury, and sports concussion. Dr. Freitag has extensive experience as an expert witness providing services for matters related to capacity and conservatorships, personal injury, disability claims, and worker’s compensation. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Mt. Diablo Memory Center in Walnut Creek and is the Co-Director of the UCSF-Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Sports Concussion Program.

Bibliography California Assembly Bill 15 [End of Life Option Act]. (2015, October 5). Sacramento. Demakis, G. J. (2012). Civil capacities in clinical neuropsychology: research findings and practical applications. Oxford etc.: Oxford University Press. Frankel, A. S., & Alban, A. (n.d.). Good News (Maybe) About Bad News: California joins four other states that allow terminally ill people to end their lives: what can we learn from the track records. Palmer, B. W., & Harmell, A. L. (2016). Assessment of Healthcare Decision-making Capacity. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 31(6), 530-540. doi:10.1093/ arclin/acw051Winkelman, E. (2016, May 12). The End of Life Option Act: How Will It Affect Psychologists and their Patients? Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://cpapsych.org/

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Review of the Current ‘Right to Die’ Statute: Are the Protections Against Undue Influence Sufficient? By Shara Beltramo

On October 5, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the “End of Life Option Act,” also known as ABX215, which provides terminallyill patients with an estimated six months or less to live the option to self-administer prescribed lifeending drugs. Prior to its passing, high-profile cases, such as the case involving 29-year old terminallyill patient, Brittany Maynard, who moved from California to Oregon to legally end her life, brought to the forefront the debate regarding terminally-ill patients and their right to die. While the focus of the law is to provide terminally-ill patients with the choice to end their lives on their own terms, California’s “right to die” statute may have the potential to be 8

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abused by ill-moral family members of terminally-ill patients who see life-ending drugs as a vehicle to a quicker inheritance. While the End of Life Option Act provides protections against undue influence, are those protections enough?

Who Qualifies for Aid-inDying Drugs Under this Act? The End of Life Option Act allows California residents who are terminally-ill patients with an estimated six months or less to live, to have the option to request aid-in-dying drugs. A “terminally-ill patient” is a person who has received medical confirmation that he or she is suffering from an incurable or irreversible disease with a medical prognosis of six months or less to live. The patient

requesting the end of life drugs must be found to have capacity to make such a request and must be able to self-administer the aid-indying drugs.

Statutory Protections Against Undue Influence Pursuant to Civil Code section 1575, “Undue influence consists 1) In the use, by one whom in confidence is reposed by another, or who holds a real or apparent authority over him, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage; 2) In taking an unfair advantage of another’s weakness of mind; or, 3) In taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another’s necessities or distress.” While it is unthinkable that a family

member or friend of a terminally-ill patient could take unfair advantage of that terminally-ill patient’s weakness of mind or distress in order to benefit financially, such immoral actions are not uncommon in the probate world. The drafters of ABX2-15 took aim against family members or friends of terminally-ill patients who may exert undue influence by including certain safeguards to help protect against such unthinkable behavior. One safeguard is the requirement that the terminally-ill patient be found to have capacity to request the end of life drug before it is prescribed. Probate Code section 4609 defines a person as having capacity when “the person has the ability to understand the nature and consequences of a decision and to make and communicate a decision, and includes in the case of proposed health care, the ability to understand its significant benefits, risks, and alternatives.” It is the terminally-ill patient’s doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist who is to make the decision as to whether the patient has capacity. Another safeguard against the threat of undue influence is the requirement that the request for the aid-in-dying drugs be made only by the terminally-ill patient. The statute specifically prohibits a family member, an agent under a Power of Attorney or Advanced Health Care Directive or a conservator from making such a request on behalf of the patient. Not only must the request for the life-ending drug come only from the terminally-ill patient, but the request must be communicated directly to the physician by the patient and must be requested on three separate occasions. Two of the three requests for the drug can be communicated verbally to the doctor, but the third request must be in writing and signed and dated by the patient in the presence of two witnesses. Only one of the witnesses may be related to the patient by blood, marriage, regis-

tered domestic partnership, adoption or be entitled to a portion of the terminally-ill patient’s estate. In addition, the attending doctor cannot be related to or entitled to a portion of the patient’s estate. Finally, the End of Life Option Act requires that the prescribing doctor “confirm that the patient’s request does not arise from coercion or undue influence by another by discussing with the patient, outside the presence of any other people, whether the patient is feeling coerced or unduly influenced.” The statute makes it a felony for anyone who knowingly coerces or unduly influences another to request or ingest the aid-in-dying drug.

Does the End of Life Option Act Provide Sufficient Safeguards Against Undue Influence? While the statute attempts to guard against undue influence, the safeguards established by the End of Life Option Act may afford insufficient protection under certain circumstances. For instance, the statute does not provide any requirement that the prescribing doctor receive any training to be able to recognize the signs of coercion or undue influence in this setting. Secondly, there is no requirement that the prescribing doctor review a copy of the terminally-ill patient’s estate planning documents in order to confirm that at least one of the witnesses to the patient’s request for life-ending drugs is not expecting to inherit money from the patient. The statute also fails to ensure that the second witness, who is supposed to be unrelated to the patient and not an heir or beneficiary of the patient’s estate, is not benefiting financially by way of a relationship with the first witness. The statute is also silent as to caretakers and whether they can fulfill the two witness requirement, despite the fact that financial abuse by caretakers is quite common. Finally, while the threat of felony prosecution may deter many law-

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Review of the current ‘Right to Die’ Statute – Protections Against Undue Influence Continued from page 9 abiding citizens, those engaged in such reprehensible conduct may not be dissuaded by future criminal consequences. The act of unduly influencing a family member to prematurely take his or her life for ill-gotten gain is extremely serious and the safeguards to protect against such conduct should be both comprehensive and of the utmost strength. The End of Life Option Act is truly a matter of life and death; therefore, the protections it affords and the limitations of the current statute should be known and appreciated by any probate practitioner. Moving forward, it is critical that the gatekeepers against undue influence, the prescribing doctors, uphold their responsibilities under this new law. Failure to do so and a discovery of undue influence after the fact will be too late. Shara Beltramo’s practice concentrates on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and probate litigation with particular focus on will and trust contests, forgery, fraud, and financial elder abuse. She also represents private professional fiduciaries as trustees, personal representatives, and conservators in contested and uncontested matters. Before joining Morrill Law Firm, Ms. Beltramo was a Deputy District Attorney with the Alameda County District Attorney’s office for 12 years. 10

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from the

President by Philip Andersen CCCBA President

My interest in life and death started when I was a teenager and my grandmother moved in with us.1 My mother took care of her for two years before she died of cancer. I watched as my mother balanced her career managing a medical lab with continuing to run a busy house with three of her seven children still at home, all while she took on the difficult job of helping her own mother pass through this the final stage of life. I watched my mother’s acts of kindness and selflessness. I saw, in real life, what the Bible means when it says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee”.2 Thirty five years later it was our turn. My siblings and I had the honor of caring for our 86 year old mother suffering from significant dementia in her final years, just as she had cared for her mother. Just as I had noticed my mother’s actions, my children noticed ours. Our actions speak louder than our words, and they last longer in our hearts. My hope is that when I get older they will care for me. There are many good organizations to help those who are in the final stages of life. Hospice was helpful

Reflections on Life & Death for both of my parents, and so I have chosen to “pay that forward” by becoming a Hospice volunteer. It brings me joy to play my guitar and sing for the elderly patients to whom I am assigned in the Tri-Valley area, and I always hope that I helped make that day brighter and more joyful for them. Before my parents passed away they took the time to have their affairs put in order to make it easier on their children. They updated their wills and they purchased a cemetery plot. They also left us with a Medical Directive. They even gave us some ideas on what to do for their funerals. It was a great gift to us during very difficult times, and as they did in life, they helped us in their death and made things easier for us. When they passed away we each inherited a small amount of money. Just as my mother had taught me by her actions how to care for a dying parent, so they also taught me by their actions how to ease the pain and burden for my children when it is my time to go. I used some of the money I inherited to hire a capable member of the CCCBA to update my wife’s and my will, trust and Medical Directives. We even bought

burial plots. It may seem irrelevant, but the view from our plots looking over the Orinda/Lafayette Valley is spectacular. It is my hope that this is one more thing my children will not have to do while they are grieving. It is our last gift to them. In summary, let’s learn from the elderly. They have much to teach us about life, joy and preparing for our next journey. Let’s serve them and by so doing maybe our days will be longer-- and if not longer, at least more fulfilled as we prepare for that inevitable day when we each must pass. Philip M. Andersen is the Managing Attorney of the State Farm Insurance Company In-House Litigation Department in Pleasanton (Philip M. Andersen & Associates). He has extensive litigation and trial experience defending policy holders in personal injury lawsuits. He has been managing in-house insurance litigation offices since 1994. Contact Phil at (925) 225-6838 or philip.andersen. nx3z@statefarm.com. 1. The views expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer State Farm. 2. Exodus 20:12



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California’s “End of Life Option Act” and Family


by Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC Professional Geriatric Care Manager Founder Eldercare Services

Planning for actual death seems to be almost unthinkable, and the majority of us avoid this subject altogether, and in some cultures, it is not even prepared for because that would be considered disrespectful and not honorable. This article will examine the client and family perspectives and how there can be conflicts because of the enormity and finality of this decision. We may have heard from either peers or clients that they don’t want to be a burden, and say in jest, “If I have a diagnosis of a long chronic illness or become terminal, I am just going to have an accident while hiking,” or some other message that implies they don’t want to be in a lingering state of pain or discomfort. When the pain or discomfort of illness is more than one can bear, Californians have the End of Life Option Act that allows those who meet the criteria, to take a drug that will end their life. Those in the legal profession can see how someone with a serious

illness could be unduly influenced by a family member to take advantage of this measure. This issue also brings up mixed feelings, values, and concerns for most of us and can be especially hard to understand for those who fight hard against suicide or have experienced the death of a close loved one. To qualify, the patient must meet the following criteria: • Be a resident of California • Be 18 years of age or older • Have a diagnosis of an incurable disease that will result in death within six months. A physician determines that the illness is terminal. • The patient must be “mentally competent” and be able to make his/her medical decisions. This competency is determined by the physician. • The patient makes two oral requests directly to their doctor for the aid-in-dying drug, at least fifteen days apart. After the two oral requests are made, the patient

has to request the drug in writing via a form titled: “Request for an Aid-in-Dying Drug to End my Life in a Humane and Dignified Manner.” The discussion with the physician must be in private with no one else present, to ensure it is a voluntary decision on the part of the patient. • The patient sees a second physician for consultation to confirm the diagnosis, terminal prognosis and the ability to make sound medical decisions. • The patient and their treating doctor meet to discuss the following: 1) How the aid-indying drug will affect the patient and the fact that death may not be immediate; 2) Alternatives including palliative care, hospice care, and pain control; 3) Whether the patient wants to withdraw their request; 4) If the patient plans to notify next of kin, or have a witness present with them when continued on page 15



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MAY 2017

Family Dilemmas Continued from page 13 of these things; 5) If the patient still wishes, the physician will write the prescription. Before taking the drug, that must be entirely selfadministered, the patient signs a form stating he/she took the drug voluntarily. Patients who have followed these steps will not be considered to have committed suicide. • The patient must be able to selfadminister the drug – so this could present a problem to those with limited functions.

The Act protects the patient:

1) The patient cannot be denied health insurance, life insurance benefits, or annuities based on requesting the taking of this drug; 2) Health insurers cannot tell a patient that aid-in-dying is covered, unless the patient asks; 3) Health insurers cannot refuse treatments for the terminal illness while at the same time offering coverage for aid-in-dying; 4) A will or contract cannot require a patient to receive aid-in-dying or prevent them from doing so. As a Family Therapist and Geriatric Care Manager, I have had many clients who wished their lives would end due to illness – but more often due to multiple losses, loneliness, sadness and lack of energy attrib-

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uted to the aging process. Some have stopped eating and when confronted with “that is a form of suicide,” they begin to eat because, for many, this becomes a moral or spiritual issue. The converse is true as well with families looking for every possible treatment, hospitalization, and intervention to keep someone who is actually in the process of dying from entering this final stage in comfort, all out of love or the need for this person in their life. Families in this position have great difficulty choosing hospice and require much counseling about what is a gentle death as opposed to over-treatment and its toll, particularly on frail older adults. It is my belief but not my experience that when individuals choose the “Right-to-Die Act” it will bring up lots of resistance from loved ones, those same individuals who have trouble even with the palliative care. It is also my belief that many people

might go through all the steps to gain the drugs, but hold off taking them and die natural deaths because they do not want to hurt those left behind. Only time and research will provide us with information that further explores these issues. By comparison, the state of Oregon has had such a law for many years and even to this day only about 40% of the individuals that apply actually end their lives in this manner. In reality, 60% choose to allow the natural course of life to bring theirs to a close. A complicating factor for physicians is that the American Medical Association’s formal ethics policy is against doctors facilitating a patient’s death; including offering information or drugs that enable the patient to perform this life-ending act. Doctors have the choice not to participate in a patient’s decision to end life. However, many doctors support continued on page 30

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Carol W. Wu, Esq., CLPF Lori Hefner, MBA, MA in Gerontology & CLPF

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FEATURE In prior accounts Judge Carlton encountered difficult civil and criminal cases. Now he confronts an incomprehensible murder.


Murder Will Out by Justice James Marchiano (Ret.)

The grim-faced court reporter in Department 47 read back selected testimony to Judge Raymond Carlton as he stiffened in his chair and carefully reviewed his trial notes in preparation for the jury instruction conference with counsel before final argument. Judge Carlton double-checked his notes against the reporter’s real time transcript to help resolve some contested instructions. In his many years on the bench, a dismayed Carlton had never presided over first degree murder allegations that presented such cold-hearted evidence, as if the perpetrators were devoid of any moral conscience and had lost their connection to humanity. The eight day trial caused the judge to conclude palpable evil exists, and vividly brought to life the concepts of malice aforethought and malignant heart. Case law defined a malignant heart as a “callous disregard for human life.”

The Greeks called her “Dikē.” The Romans, “Justitia.” From his classics education, Judge Carlton knew this goddess of justice uncovered concealed wrongdoing, brought to light dark dealings, and often dispensed justice in unexpected ways so that unforgivable acts received due recompense.


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As he looked at his trial notes, Judge Carlton realized Dikē might have been working relentlessly, like a pursuing bloodhound, to rectify treachery. He could sense traces of her fingerprints on the case. The court reporter’s notes revealed the following. Martinez is a quiet, middle-class town of 35,000, with a number of inexpensive rentals downtown, near tree-lined Berrellesa Street. Bobby Joe Harrington, Will Johnson, and Phil Cotter were roommates in a small, two bedroom unit. Harrington and Johnson, friends from high school, were 19-years-old, and Cotter was an 18-year-old high school dropout. A somewhat overweight, hulking figure, Bobby Joe Harrington was accustomed to bullying others. He and Will Johnson were inseparable, with Johnson usually following Harrington’s lead. When the two of them had a difficult time meeting their monthly rent, they brought in Phil Cotter, a small-framed introvert whom they met at the Rack-Up Pool Hall. Cotter worked part time at menial jobs, needed a place to live, and agreed to pay one-third of the rent and cable television bill in return for the smaller bedroom. The relationship went awry within three months. Cotter was often short on his share of the rent. He kept his room slovenly, infrequently washed his clothes, bathed once a week, was often up late at night with his loud rap music, and left his food dishes unwashed, attracting ants. Harrington and Johnson argued daily with him about his repulsive living habits. The arguments grew louder and more contentious.

Cotter refused to move out, even after he lost his last job and stopped paying any expenses. Harrington and Johnson were consumed with hatred for him, with a fury that had no bounds. To solve their dilemma, Harrington and Johnson decided upon an easy solution: kill Cotter to put him out of their lives forever. Their twisted minds crept into a dark recess and devised a perfect crime. Cotter had few friends, was estranged from his family, and unlikely to be missed by anyone. No one would care if he were alive or dead. Harrington recalled reading somewhere that a victim struck on the skull with a hammer would not leave much blood. So the two coldly and methodically carried out the plan by placing an extra thick sheet on the couch where Cotter often fell asleep while watching television. They waited several days for the right night when Cotter seemed to fall into a deep sleep. Harrington smashed Cotter’s forehead with a claw hammer, battering, again and again, and told Johnson to hold down Cotter’s reflexive, defensively raised hands. After many savage blows, Cotter moaned and went limp as his life force slipped away. Harrington handed the hammer to Johnson to strike one final blow. Several pieces of Cotter’s skull tumbled to the floor. Johnson put the flesh and bony fragments in a garbage bag and threw the bag into a trash can. They then emptied his pockets and wrapped the body in the sheet, dropped him down on a rug by the couch, and rolled the rug around him, like a tight shroud around a corpse. Some blood oozed onto the wooden floor which Johnson wiped off. Disposing of the body was the linchpin to their perfect crime. Jacob Pierce, a close friend, owed them a favor. They had provided weed to him in the past and loaned him some money. Johnson telephoned Pierce and asked him to bring his

Toyota pickup to the apartment to transport something late that night. When Pierce arrived, they calmly told Pierce they killed Cotter whom Pierce also disliked. Pierce seemed to care less and agreed to help. Friendship knew no bounds. The three of them lifted the wrapped body into the bed of the pickup, threw in a shovel, and drove four miles to an isolated, unlit area of the Carquinez Strait Drive, where the roadside was covered with thick bushes and trees. The only thing interfering with the heavily concealed area was a low lying pipeline running from the Martinez Refinery, along the river, through the town of Crockett. Harrington had hiked along the remote road during high school. They walked a long distance away from the road, with flashlights, crossed over the pipeline, dug a shallow grave and covered the body where no one would ever find it. Johnson heaved the hammer into the black hole of darkness, never to be found. The three then went back to the apartment to wash up and celebrate with a six pack of beer and some weed. Harrington told Jacob Pierce he could have anything from Cotter’s room, but there was nothing worthwhile to take. Harrington and Johnson had already taken the only thing Cotter had – his life. On the next morning, Johnson scrubbed up small blood traces that had trickled onto the hardwood paneled floor, and straightened up the room. If anyone asked about Cotter, they agreed to say he left early the night before with a duffel bag of clothes and never came back. But who was likely to care or inquire? Cotter would be quickly forgotten like a discarded photograph that no one wants to keep or remember. Harrington and Johnson went about their business that morning, confident in their deception. It was a warm July 1 in Martinez.

Dikē seemingly intervened as only she could. Once a year, only on July 1 and at no other time, a refinery engineer on foot inspected the couplings of the Carquinez pipeline to ensure public safety. By late afternoon, a weary Charles McCollum had inspected and photographed three miles of connections and was about to leave for the day, when something seemed to turn his gaze through the underbrush to a disturbed area of piled up dirt, about fifty yards down from where he was. He felt compelled to walk over to the fresh mound and kicked a protruding corner of a rug. McCollum kicked some more with his steel-toed work boot and exposed a recently dug hole, with dirt and leaves covering a six foot carpet. A red tennis shoe extended out of one end. The carefully concealed body was discovered less than twenty-four hours after the slaying. The perfect crime had not survived a day. The Sheriff’s investigating detectives arrived, sealed off the crime scene, and looked for identification on the body. But there was no wallet, nothing to identify the battered, young male victim except part of a tiny, wadded up receipt from a Martinez pool hall, stuffed deep in the bottom of a pocket. A sheriff’s aide felt an impulse to reach into the pocket a second time, pushed her small fingers down to the bottom and fortuitously found the thin, crumpled piece of paper. The coroner’s office took charge of the body. Later, the forensic pathologist determined death was due to severe traumatic head injuries, caused by multiple blows from a blunt instrument. With the help of X-rays and the pathologist’s input, a sketch artist drew a depiction of Cotter’s reconstructed face. A detective contacted Rack-Up Pool Hall, with the receipt and the sketch. The manager quickly identified a teenager “Phil,” who continued on page 18



DIKE Continued from page 17 hung out with two other young guys. Phil wore red tennis shoes. Other patrons said Bobby Joe Harrington was one of Cotter’s companions. Harrington was found through a warrant check revealing unpaid traffic fines. Detective Louis Marquez went to the Martinez apartment and questioned Harrington about Cotter and his whereabouts. Harrington nonchalantly said his ex-roommate left the night before with a duffel bag, without any explanation of his plans. Constructing a defensive wall, Harrington spoke evasively about Cotter and provided little information about someone he knew casually, who kept to himself, and came and went irregularly. Harrington basically stuck to his story and appeared unconcerned about Cotter’s death. As the detective stood up to leave, he somehow happened to notice by a couch a darkened rectangular area on the sun bleached floor, the same size as the rug that covered Phil Cotter. Marquez asked Harrington about the whereabouts of the other roommate Will Johnson. Marquez located Johnson at his workplace and invited him to the Sheriff’s office for an interview. Johnson reluctantly agreed and was placed in an interrogation room. At first Johnson said Cotter had abruptly left and he had no idea where he might be. The cover up was soon torn to shreds by an inspired, skillful Marquez who knew how to prod and when to ease-off to coax out information. When Johnson elaborated a bit, but stuck to his story that Cotter had left with a duffel bag, Marquez suggested Bobby Joe Harrington told him a different version. Johnson, perspiring, began to change the story’s chro18

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nology, added inconsistent details, and contradicted himself. Finally, Marquez told him a rectangular rug was missing from his apartment that had been wrapped around the body. Like someone suddenly falling through an old, collapsing trapdoor, Johnson rapidly blurted out that he didn’t kill Cotter, but only helped a bit and merely flung away the hammer. During the next, intense forty-five minutes, prodded by Marquez, he nervously recounted what happened from his perspective and told of Jacob Pierce’s involvement. Will Johnson’s exposed, guilty conscience had nowhere to hide.

testimony against his friends. Selfpreservation trumped friendship.

Detective Marquez obtained a search warrant and hurried back to the apartment with criminalists who discovered slight traces of blood in the grooves of the floor. The blood type matched Phil Cotter’s. Rug fibers on the floor by the couch matched the rug wrapped around Cotter’s body. A persistent search found the hammer in the underbrush.

As Judge Carlton thought about depravity, the legal concept of a malignant heart, and studied the jury instructions on premeditated, first-degree murder with malice aforethought, he thought he felt the evanescent presence of Dikē meting out justice, as she shone light onto darkness. Dikē was not blindfolded, but an ever-vigilant goddess with an avenging sword, who brought about a day of reckoning to assure Phil Cotter was not forgotten.

Jacob Pierce was detained and said he had nothing to do with the murder, but was only helping out some buddies. Under probing questioning, a visibly anxious Pierce became scared and then voluble as he filled in details of what he knew. He recalled Bobby Joe Harrington telling him how they carefully killed Cotter, while Johnson smiled and nodded in agreement with what Harrington recounted. Johnson’s nod was a perfect adoptive admission of complicity and guilt for evidentiary purposes at trial. The three were arrested. Bobby Joe Harrington and Will Johnson were charged with first degree murder and the special circumstance of lying in wait, and Jacob Pierce with being an accessory after the fact. To avoid the maximum state prison time as an accessory, Pierce agreed to a plea bargain in return for his

Due to Aranda/Bruton evidentiary problems involving interrogation statements implicating one other, Harrington and Johnson were tried separately, with Johnson’s trial scheduled first in Judge Carlton’s court room. Harrington refused to testify in Johnson’s trial. Johnson’s defense was he acted under the influence of drugs and did not knowingly help kill Cotter. But his purposeful conduct that night was a powerful countervailing force that belied lack of intent.

Justice James Marchiano (Ret.) was a trial lawyer until appointed to the Superior Court of Contra Costa County in 1988, where he served for ten years, primarily as a civil and criminal trial judge. In 1998, he was appointed to the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, where he served as a Presiding Justice, for 15 years. This story is part of Stories from the Bray Building series of fictionalized court cases based on real cases that can be found at www.cccba.org/attorney/ cclawyer-articles/.

2017 Member Information Series

The CCCBA’s 2017 Member Information Series features experts in short- and longterm financial planning in four informative presentations throughout the summer. The fee for all presentations is $15 for CCCBA members, $10 for Barristers and law students, $20 for non-members.

1. Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

2. Understanding Retirement Healthcare

Tuesday, June 27 | 12 Noon - 1:30 pm | CCCBA Conference Rm., 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord | Lunch will be provided

Wednesday, July 19 |12 Noon - 1:30 pm | CCCBA Conference Rm., 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord | Lunch will be provided

Most of us are paying into Social Security but know little about how to utilize our benefits, which can be worth over $1 million for a couple retiring today. The most commonly used strategy of starting benefits at age 62 may not be optimal. Yet, misperceptions about the program often lead people to make that choice.

Research shows that a couple, both aged 65 and retiring this year, can expect to spend an estimated $260,000 on healthcare throughout retirement. That’s a staggering statistic. This workshop will address shifting our retirement planning focus from accumulation or saving to distribution or spending. Then we will discuss the 5 steps in the healthcare planning process and finally close with discussing what are the next steps you can take.

Learn to avoid mistakes, to maximize your benefits and optimize your timing. Find out about the three streams of Social Security benefits.

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3. Student Loan Debt Repayment Strategies

4. The Smart Consumer: A Bullet-Train Presentation on Identity Theft, Credit Bureaus, Collections and More

Tuesday, August 8 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm | CCCBA Conference Rm., 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord | Dinner will be provided Student Debt Now: What do I do? Student Debt Soon: How to make it a good idea! IBR, REPAYE? Consolidation? Forgiveness? Refinance? Come learn strategies around: – What repayment program is right for me? – Purchase a home or attack the debt? – The impact of skipping retirement contributions from year to year – What are the most efficient ways to save money for the future? – How do I protect myself and family along the way?

Tuesday, August 29 | 12 Noon - 1:30 pm | CCCBA Conference Rm., 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord | Lunch will be provided The title says it all! Get the real untold stories about the pressing and yes, sometimes confusing issues and entities we as consumers face every day. Your consumer savvy will hit new heights after this program. Presented by: Michael R. Meinert

Presented by: Jimmy Diehl, MBA,CFBS® and Wesley Yamada T 925.708.6223 www.meinertlaw.com T 925.979.2308 www.furstnergroup.com

Women’s Section Wine Tasting Fundraiser The Women’s Section of CCCBA hosted its annual fundraiser on March 23. The event raises funds for the Hon. Patricia Herron & Hon. Ellen James Scholarship, which is awarded annually to deserving law

students who have shown leadership potential, achieved academic success, and helped to advance women’s issues. Thank you to all who attended and helped make it another big success!

Top Row: Anna Felton, Marta Vanegas, Audrey Gee and Sasha Gibbons; Ariel Brownell Lee with the Wine Toss game, Lisa Reep with Charina Rhone and Nataly DiCortasso 2nd Row: The Law Mama’s networking group, Michael Pierson, Patanisha Davia-Jenkins and Dorian Peters, 3rd Row: Denae Budde, Laura Ramsey and James Wu, Terry Leoni and Jeremy Seymour, Mary Grace Guzman and Chelsea Dunton, Left: Melanie Yabut, Last year’s winner of the scholarship with Janell Alberto.


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CCCBA and ACBA Trip to Cuba

In February CCCBA and ACBA members took a trip to Cuba. They learned about the law, the culture, the food and the vibrant art scene – and they earned MCLE credit! Above, the Gronowski family enjoys refreshments at Las Terrazas eco village.



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Coffee Talk Coffee Talk is a regular feature of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. We ask a short question related to an upcoming theme and responses are then published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. This month we ask,


Do you support the right to die? Why or why not? I support the Right to Die, so long as the battery of built-in protections for the patient are painstakingly followed to the letter and it is absolutely certain that the patient, not his or her family, made the choice while still having a full understanding of that choice. Catherine E. Cutler

Don’t Support the “Right to Die”

I am not sure if a person who attempts to commit suicide but is unsuccessful, can be prosecuted for that act as a crime or an attempt to commit a crime. As such, what is being presented as a “Right to Die Law” is a system to facilitate people to intentionally die at least partially by their own hand. A normal response to suicide is mental health care. Someone decided that they (or the government) can define when intentionally causing your own death is a rational act. Potential problems are too numerous to allow this - we want to end the death sentence because some receive it wrongly how many more will die under California’s Right to Die law and never be reviewed or found to die wrongly - in one or more of the ways that could be interpreted. All or many of the people that jump from the Golden Gate Bridge and survived reportedly say they regretted taking that jump immediately after letting gravity take over. By intention or error, this is just beyond our limited scope as humans and as a society. Doug Hartsough Collection Attorney Brentwood

Yes, I do support this.

I have been in practice nearly 25 years, a good portion of it involves defense of health care providers, both individual and institutional. I have also been a registered nurse for more than 46 years, practicing in various health care venues for the first 19 years. As a nurse, I have cared for critically-ill patients and terminally-ill patients, as well as provided support to their families and loved ones. If I haven’t seen it all, I certainly have seen and experienced a lot, some of it not pretty and much of it painful to contemplate even decades later. One of our greatest liberties as human beings is freedom from arbitrary governmental interference. By constitutional and statutory law, as California residents, we have the right to medical privacy, that is to make our own medical decisions within the privacy of the patient-physician relationship. We have the freedom and protection to confer privately with our treatment providers regarding the most intimate secrets of our bodies and life issue. We can select among the treatment options tendered to us for a specific reason; we can reject any or all treatment options suggested. We can seek elective procedures to improve our vision, our chewing or speaking ability, our appearance or ability to better function with a limb or organ affected by injury or disease. We have right to seek aid in conception, prevention of conception and termination of pregnancy, as well as aid for erectile dysfunction, among other things. There is no reason for California citizens to be denied by the government the liberty and right to participate in choosing the time and manner of death, as it relates to relief from intractable pain and/or suffering. These decisions are matters of patient privacy and dignity. Planning for this care should be readily available to all patients who seek medical advice on the topic. Like all other medical care, the involved health care providers should be guided by the applicable standard of care in giving advice and implementing all treatment plans agreed upon between patient and physician. Deborah L. Phillips, RN, BA, JD www.dprnesq.com




Does an Assisted Suicide Provision Belong in an Estate Plan? by Kathryn A. Schofield The End of Life Option Act, California Health & Safety Code sections 443 et seq. (“EOLA”) sets forth extremely rigorous standards for a person to elect assisted suicide. EOLA appropriately requires multiple communications from the individual himself as well as his physicians. No one can make the election on behalf of anyone else. These safeguards provide

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essential protections for extremely vulnerable people. But as an estate planner, what do you do when a client emphatically wants his health care directive to reflect an election of assisted suicide? Such decisions are nothing new to the estate planning arena. Many clients have watched loved ones suffer slow and agonizing deaths.

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They neither want that for themselves, nor to put their loved ones through the ordeal. For some of these people, it is not enough for their estate plan to say “don’t take extreme measures to keep me alive.” They want it to say, “be compassionate; help me die.” A few go so far as to develop their own informal assisted suicide plan. Before EOLA, if a client told his/ her estate planner that he/she had worked out a plan with a friend or family member to assist him/ her when the time came, the only option was to tell the client that assisted suicide was illegal and that it could not be included in a health care directive. With the advent of EOLA, has this fundamental advice changed? Not really. Right or wrong, there is no place for attorneys in the EOLA framework. The EOLA election requires findings by doctors and written statements by the individual at the time of the election. EOLA expressly states that an Advance Health Care Directive does not qualify as an appropriate documentation of the election: “443.2. (a) An individual who is an adult with the capacity to make medical decisions and with a terminal disease may make a request to receive a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug if all of the

following conditions are satisfied: (1) The individual’s attending physician has diagnosed the individual with a terminal disease. (2) The individual has voluntarily expressed the wish to receive a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug. (3) The individual is a resident of California and is able to establish residency … (4) The individual documents his or her request pursuant to the requirements set forth in Section 443.3. (5) The individual has the physical and mental ability to self-administer the aid-in-dying drug. … (c) A request for a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug under this part shall be made solely and directly by the individual diagnosed with the terminal disease and shall not be made on behalf of the patient, including, but not limited to, through a power of attorney, an advance health care directive, a conservator, health care agent, surrogate, or any other legally recognized health care decisionmaker.” (Emphasis added). Despite the fact that assisted suicide is legal in California, an attorney cannot document a client’s intended EOLA election in an Advance Health Care Directive – at least not in a way that is enforceable. This limitation on health care directives will come as a surprise to estate planning clients who want to document their intent to make an EOLA election. What is a well-intentioned attorney to do? Just because an assisted suicide clause is unenforceable doesn’t mean there isn’t value to including language about EOLA in a health care directive. The primary purpose of a health care directive is to ensure that the agent

knows and understands the individual’s health decisions. Knowing that an individual wants to avail himself of EOLA to the fullest extent possible is powerful knowledge for an agent to have – even if the agent cannot actually make the election for the individual. It can inform the healthcare agent about what to do in other situations – like how important other interventions (feeding tubes, pain medications, etc.) are to the individual. Hopefully, the drafting of an Advance Healthcare Directive leads to a frank conversation between the individual and the chosen agent. If a potential agent would not be willing to make the EOLA election on behalf of the individual, that refusal may change the individual’s mind about who the proper agent should be. And that is a good thing. Furthermore, EOLA is in its infancy. EOLA will evolve over time as people avail themselves of it. Someday an agent may be able to make the election on behalf of the individual if appropriate precautionary standards are met. Some version of the following might be appropriate to include in an Advance Health Care Directive:

I understand that under current California law, I can elect assisted suicide under specific circumstances, but my health care agent cannot make an election for assisted suicide on my behalf. I support the terminally ill having a choice of assisted suicide, and intend to incorporate the legal standards for electing assisted suicide into this health care directive. If I no longer have capacity, to the fullest extent possible, I authorize my agent to exercise on my behalf my right to elect assisted suicide under the then-operative California law. Worst case scenario: this provision is legally meaningless and innocuous surplussage. Best case: the language could serve to authorize the agent to act according to the individual’s wishes –-- but only within the legal standards that exist at the time. Either way, the language informs the agent of the individual’s true end of life choices. continued on page 26

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Does an Assisted Suicide Provision Belong in an Estate Plan? Continued from page 25 EOLA’s stringent protections exist for good reason. Obviously, placing the power to end someone’s life in someone else’s hands should never be done lightly. But that does not mean that an attorney cannot have a role in documenting a client’s true, well-reasoned wishes to end his/her own suffering. Ms. Kathryn Schofield is a partner at George Schofield McCormick, LLP. She practices elder law, including trust litigation and administration, conservatorships and estate planning.

MCLE Self Study Test To download the test form and instructions for this Self Study MCLE article, visit contracostalawyer.org and click on the “Self-Study MCLE” link at the top, then click on the article “Does an Assisted Suicide Provision Belong in an Estate Plan?” If you prefer to receive the test form via email, contact Anne K. Wolf at awolf@cccba.org or (925) 370-2540. Send your answers, along with payment ($30 for CCCBA members) to the address on the test form.

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MAY 2017

Inside: Differing Perspectives on the Right to Die Continued from page 4 sion. Cindy Hatton, President and CEO of Hospice East Bay, details the many valuable resources of Hospice since their founding over 40 years ago and the specific types of compassionate end-of-life care which Hospice provides for our community. As an educational component for this edition, Kathryn Schofield has prepared an MCLE Self-Study which addresses how estate planning practitioners can potentially prepare advance health care directives for clients who wish to have their documents reflect an intent and election to implement the provisions of the “End of Life Option Act.” Finally, Justice James Marchiano, in his continuing fiction series involving Judge Raymond Carlton, writes of a particularly compelling case brought to his courtroom and how the Greek goddess of justice, “Dikē,” who uncovered concealed wrongdoing, may have played a role in the ultimate outcome of the jury’s verdict. While the topic and issues surrounding the “End of Life Option Act” are serious and thought-provoking, we hope that you find the information contained in this edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer to be illuminating. Many additional resources, such as the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, exist to answer questions and provide useful educational information to those interested in learning more about this important topic.

Did you know? Have you ever needed a conference room, but you just didn’t have one available? Maybe you are a solo practitioner who works from a single office or from home? Maybe you have a conference room, but your

Virginia M. George is a partner at George, Schofield, McCormick, LLP. Prior to joining the firm, she sat as a judge pro tem in the Probate Department of Contra Costa Superior Court. Before her time on the bench, Ms. George worked as a fulltime professor at JFK School of Law, teaching Evidence, Criminal Procedure and Wills & Trusts. While at JFK she supervised JFK’s Elder Law Clinic, which provided pro bono services to elders who had been financially abused. Ms. George began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County.

partners booked it for the same day you need it? Maybe you need to have a meeting in a neutral location? Did you know that one of the benefits of CCCBA membership is that the CCCBA has a conference room that you can rent? The conference room seats 10-12, has a white board, polycom and there

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is an on-site deli in the building. The cost for members is only $20/ hour, $70 for 1/2 day or $125 for full day. Contact Barbara Arsedo at barsedo@cccba.org or (925) 370-2544 to make reservations. by Nicole Mills, Esq.





by Cindy Hatton Hospice East Bay is a pioneer hospice established in 1977 by community volunteers to create support for patients who wanted to die at home. In the 40 years since then, Hospice East Bay has been privileged to serve more than 25,000 patients and their families. Their mission is to care for patients through the end of life, easing fear and suffering, while also ensuring that patients and families retain dignity and control over their personal choices. Hospice East Bay has grown to include many programs and services. In addition to hospice care, they offer palliative care, inpatient hospice care, and grief support for the entire community. Volunteers are integral to the success of these programs. Also, their development team is deeply involved in the community with dozens of annual events and partnerships. Finally, they operate a chain of thrift “Shoppes” throughout Contra Costa County which raise funds to support their work. The focus of hospice care is to ensure the comfort of every patient during their final stages of life, while also supporting their family through and after the death. Hospice focuses on relieving pain, managing other complex symptoms and offering consistent emotional, spiritual and practical support. Hospice also makes it possible for patients to retain control over their medical and personal choices. An interdisciplinary team provides care in the comfort, privacy and familiarity of home. As a community-based organization, Hospice East Bay is able to provide support beyond the Medicare benefit to ensure that patients 28

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and families have all their medical and social needs met. Hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, which may be his or her own home, that of a friend or relative, a skilled skilled-nursing facility, residential care, or assisted living facility—or at their Bruns House hospice facility. Most importantly, Hospice East Bay accepts all medically qualified patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. People with advanced illnesses have specialized needs and often fall between traditional home health services and hospice care. The palliative care program focuses on the relief of symptoms and suffering related to a life-limiting, chronic illness. Palliative care gives these individuals much much-needed assistance in navigating the complicated health care system and offers the option of staying at home rather than going into the hospital. The palliative care team develops a plan for care that involves all of the patient’s doctors and services, while ensuring that their needs and wishes are being met. Bruns House, opened by Hospice East Bay in 2004, is the only licensed inpatient hospice facility in the Bay Area. At Bruns House, patients experience the privacy and quiet that cannot be achieved in a hospital and the constant monitoring and treatments that cannot be provided at home. Since opening, Bruns House has been the scene of many special moments for patients and families, including marriage and citizenship ceremonies, visits by beloved pets, and many family reunions. Hospice East Bay’s bereavement program offers grief support to all hospice families for 13 months

following a death. They also provide anticipatory grief counseling as needed. The bereavement program includes individual support from a trained volunteer or individual therapy with a bereavement counselor, as well as group support. They offer support groups, classes and workshops throughout the year in their Pleasant Hill and Brentwood facilities, as well as educational training and support at local school districts. Our The Bridge program supports grieving children and teens through art, play, talk and peer support. The Bridge uses a peer-based support model which relies on sharing between participants with similar experiences to help children understand that they are not alone. Families may attend for as long as needed. Volunteers founded Hospice East Bay in 1977 and remain valued, indispensable contributors to their success today. Patient support volunteers are highly trained to provide companionship and support to patients, offer respite time to caregivers, do light housekeeping, run errands, and provide transportation to medical appointments. Specialized patient support volunteers provide a variety of services, such as massage therapy, hair care, or handyman work. Hospice East Bay’s volunteer department also manages several specialized programs: Vigil Volunteers work at the bedside of actively dying patients to ensure that they are not alone; Tuck-In volunteers check in with each patient and family every Thursday to make sure they have medications, supplies and equipment required for the weekend; Pet Pal volunteers and their certified pets visit patients to

Spotlight: Hospice East Bay Continued from page 28 offer companionship and comfort; Music & Memory volunteers deliver personalized music to patients with moderate to severe dementia. As a community-based, non-profit hospice, Hospice East Bay relies on the generosity of donors to help provide the services that set them apart from other hospice organizations. They are blessed to have many individuals, community organizations and companies support them through events, sponsorships, donations, and estate planning. Their development team works diligently to build and strengthen these relationships in the community.

Since its founding four decades ago, Hospice East Bay has provided compassionate end-of-life care for our community and hopes to continue doing so for another forty 40 years!

Cindy Hatton, President and CEO, joined Hospice East Bay in 2009. She is a leader in the healthcare industry and has been recognized for her expertise in home health and hospice operations. She has over 32 years of experience with progressive management responsibility in a

variety of healthcare settings including hospice, home health, skilled nursing facilities, and acute care. Throughout her career, she has spent the majority of her time in home care and hospice, leading both non-profit hospital-based and freestanding agencies. Ms. Hatton is an active member of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), Adaptive Business Leaders, and the East Bay Leadership Council Health Task Force. Ms. Hatton is also a member of NHPCO’s CEO Committee and Relatedness Work Group and previously served on the Regulatory Committee. Ms. Hatton was the chair of the CAHSAH Board of Directors and is currently serving as the chair of the Hospice Committee of CAHSAH. In 2001, Ms. Hatton was honored to receive CAHSAH’s Lois Lillick Award for her contributions to the hospice and home health industry.


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California’s End of Life Option Act and Family Dilemmas Continued from page 15 individual choices and will support those who make this choice. Compassion & Choices is an organization that advocates for the end of life options. They help with education, consultation, policy promotion, and more. The organization has a hotline for clinicians, and additional information for pharmacists, and doctors to connect with resources and trained practitioners. Their hotline number is: (800) 893-4548. Their website is www.compassionandchoices.org. Compassion, comfort, medicating pain, supporting patients and families at the end of life is the mission of the hospice movement and part of the care plan of Geriatric Care Managers. Way too many individ-

Specializing in Valuations for: • Estate & Gift • Slides & Construction Defects • Diminution in Market Value • Eminent Domain • Conservation Easements • Land Trusts • Family Law • Appraisal Review

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uals and families put off the choices and paths related to death with dignity – which means individuals are in pain longer and have to undergo many hospitalizations needlessly. If they participated in hospice when given a terminal illness diagnosis with a short duration of life projected, they might not seek “a drug” to end their life. In part, these decisions are difficult because it means refusing aggressive treatments, thus facing the realities of death. On a personal note, I made the hospice decision for my mother, a tough choice. By signing the papers, it gave her the most peaceful and dignified end of life possible, in a home-like setting. She would not have had the choice of “right to die” because of her dementia. However, I have had many clients in the past who would have welcomed such a choice – as hard as it is. As professionals assisting individuals, it should be our goal to educate, inform and counsel those entering the dying process. In the medical community and the “Care Management” profession, we are now all using “clientcentered” plans of care. This means choice, comfort and making these decisions with “informed” consent. It might also mean respecting someone’s right to choose when our own religious or moral codes differ from that of our clients. Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC is a Licensed Family Therapist and a certified Professional Care Manager. In 1989, Ms. Fodrini-Johnson founded Eldercare Services, a full-service professional care management and home care company with JACO certification. She served as the President of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers now known as Aging Life Care Association. Ms. Fodrini-Johnson is also the Chief Professional Officer of The VillagePlan™ a national network of Professional Care Managers. Ms. Fodrini-Johnson is a frequent speaker for local organization on issues of aging; she has also testified as an expert witness for local attorneys. She conducts family education classes as well in her Walnut Creek office.

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MAY 2017


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Bar Fund Benefit

! e t a D e Save th

Thursday, Sept. 28 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Lafayette Veterans Memorial 3780 Mt. Diablo Boulevard Lafayette In Support of:

Social Justice Collaborative

Social Justice Collaborative specializes in deportation defense for all low-income non-citizens. The mission of the SJC is to provide services for both long-term residents and recent arrivals. Their clients are predominantly refugees who have no choice but to seek protection in the United States. SJC believes in promoting an inclusive society through defense of the most vulnerable. With a trilingual staff that speaks Spanish, English, and Mam, a majority of whom themselves are immigrants or have immigrant backgrounds, the SJC provides both linguistically- and culturally-sensitive representation to clients which is tailored to fit their unique needs. There is a heightened need for services in West Contra Costa, particularly among families who are seeking asylum. Learn more at SocialJusticeCollaborative.org

Contact Theresa Hurley at thurley@cccba.org or (925) 370-2548 for information on sponsorship opportunities.



The April Issue of Contra Costa Lawyer – Here’s What You Missed

Thank you to Margaret Grover for putting an excellent issue on Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Contra Costa Lawyer’s April 2017 issue.


• Mediating Fee Disputes Gracefully | Malcolm Sher • I Agreed To Arbitrate That? Recent Developments in the Application of Arbitration Agreements | Paul Dubow • Civility in Mediation | Mark LeHockey • Five Steps to Choosing a Great Mediator | Bob Jacobs • MCLE Self Study: Mediating Across Power Differences | Miki Kashtan • Update on Mediation Confidentiality | Margaret Grover

Elder Law is

The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there’s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately one in ten families has a relative with this disease. Of the four million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the majority live at home — often receiving care from family members.

If the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s, call elder law attorney

Michael J. Young

Estate Planning, Disability, Medi-Cal, Long-term Care & VA Planning Protect your loved ones, home and independence.

Alzheimer’s Planning 32

MAY 2017

n 925.256.0298

www.YoungElderLaw.com 1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California 94596

COLUMNS: • Contra Costa’s Reduced Fee Mediation Program (Civil Law) Mediation: The Cure for What Ails Your Case | Magda Lopez • Ethics Corner: Ethical Pitfalls of Mediating with an Unrepresented Party | Margaret Grover • Bar Soap | Matt Guichard • Coffee Talk: What do you look for in choosing a mediator?

Find it online at

www.contracostalawyer. cccba.org

Call for Board Nominations! You can be a leader within our legal community as a Director on the Contra Costa County Bar Association Board. The Board seeks candidates who agree to meet the following expectations: • To possess or acquire a basic understanding of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) and its activities. • To commit to the mission and values of the Association. • To represent the CCCBA in a manner consistent with Board decisions. • To prepare for and regularly attend monthly Board meetings. • To attend additional meetings and bar-sponsored events as needed. • To participate on at least one committee or task force. • To participate in the annual Board Orientation and Training program.

2017 Board of Directors: David Marchiano, Dorian Peters, Phil Andersen (President), Steve Derby, James Wu, Oliver Greenwood; front row, Renee Welze Livingston, Nicole Mills, Elva Harding, Michelle Ferber, Wendy McGuire Coats, and Mika Domingo Not pictured: Ericka McKenna, Mary Carey, Laura Ramsey, Summer Selleck, Craig Nevin

Directors are selected for their experience and personal attributes. Active participation on a CCCBA committee or section leadership is a plus.

Nomination Process:

To be eligible, nominees must be active attorney members of the Association. Any attorney member of the Association may self-nominate by June 1, 2017, for consideration by the Directors’ Nominating Committee.

If you are interested in serving on the 2018 Board of Directors please submit your written nomination (including statement of interest, resume and 3-4 references) to: Theresa Hurley, Executive Director, CCCBA, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord, CA 94520 thurley@cccba.org | fax (925) 686-9867

Deadline for submitting nominations is June 1, 2017.

Please contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548 with any questions. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


Mock Trial Volunteers The Contra Costa County Office of Education produced another successful Mock Trial during February 2017. Teams from local high schools work with teacherand attorney-coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case from both the prosecution and defense perspective. Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pretrial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks and bailiffs. In addition to a competition as attorneys, students also participate in contests as courtroom artists and courtroom journalists. Hon. Dan O’Malley (ret.) of O’Connor, Runkel & O’Malley, LLP, and former attorney and current teacher at Mt. McKinley School, at Juvenile Hall, Maryanne Britten as they prepared for the Mock Trial competition.

Thank you to the following volunteers who contributed their valuable time to make this year’s event a memorable highlight for Contra Costa County students

Volunteer Judges

Congratulations to the Mock Trial Team from Miramonte High School for winning the competition for two years in a row!

Volunteer Scorers

Bhupen Amin Phil Andersen Tamara Bartlett Paula Bauer Nicolas Billings Deborah Bjonerud Mary Blumberg Douglas Borchert Oliver Bray Maryanne Britten Alfred Buchta Tom Camp Randel Campbell Dennis Canty Jerry Chang Courtney Chu Matthew Cody


MAY 2017

Jacy Dardine Steven Derby Peter Detre Angela Dib Brian Duus Frine Eger-Gelston Scott Fink Mark Freeman David Gerson Cynthia Harris Teresa Hernandez Alan Jang Nathaniel Johnson Juliet Jonas Dodie Katague Rebecca Kelly Evan Kuluk

Hon. Steve Austin Brooke Barnum- Roberts Hon. Barry Baskin Hon. Terence Bruiniers Hon. Ben Burch Mike Chamberlain Aron DeFerrari Hon. Roger Efremsky Hon. Jill Fannin Hon. Richard Flier Hon. David Flinn Barry Grove

Matt Guichard John Hentschel Hon. Joni Hiramoto Blair Hoffman Hon. John Kennedy Hon. Leslie Landau Robin Lipetzky Hon. Clare Maier Hon. Terri Mockler Hon. Dan O’Malley Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley Hon. Lowell Richards Hon. Anita Santos

Kevin Lally Alice Lustre Ben McDonald Jack McMahon Steven Mehlman Lisa Mendes Tammy Mercado Alexis Morris Ryan Morris Sally Noma Yasmeen Omidi Gus Panagotacos Michael Panikowski Lew Pascalli, Jr. Alex Pauley Dan Payne Roger Peters

Marina Pitts Ray Robinson Julian Ross Amy Rothman Joan Saupe Keren Schlank Diann Sokoloff Jessica Spinola Thomas Sponsler Rob Sturm Irene Takahashi Heidi Taylor Stephenie Teichman Sarah Thompson Mary Whipple Jonathan Wolff Julie Woods Simona Zakheim


Upcoming Events | Overview May 9 | CCCBA CCCBA Goes to the Ball Park more details on page 36

May 11 | Estate Planning & Probate Section Mentoring Group Meeting

more details on page 36

May 15 - 26 | Food From the Bar 26th Annual Food From the Bar Food Drive more details on page 36

May 17 | Solo Practice & Small Firm


No You Didn’t: The Difference Between a Mistake and Malpractice more details on page 36

May 18 | Food From the Bar Res Ipsa Jokuitor XXII – Comedy Night 2017 more details on pages 36 and 39

May 22 | CCCBA Practice Management Marketing Workshop: 3 Simple Ways to Attract Great Clients Without Wasting Time and Money

May 23 | CCCBA Bench/Bar – Civil Q & A more details on pages 37

May 24 | CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering (Walnut Creek) more details on page 37

June 7 | Women’s Section Annual Luncheon – How to be an Effective Advocate While Maintaining Integrity with the Court more details on page 37

June 8 | Estate Planning & Probate Section Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 37

June 21 | Barrister’s / Young Lawyers Section All Sections Summer Mixer more details on page 37

June 27 | CCCBA Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits Read more about the 2017 Member Information Series on pages 19 and 37

more details on page 36

All Sections Summer Mixer The Barristers Section is coordinating this year’s All Sections Summer Mixer on Wednesday, June 21 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Sauced, 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek. Catch up with old friends, get to know some new faces and relax with your CCCBA colleagues. This event is FREE to all CCCBA members. This year we will be having some friends from our community join us. So if you are interested in Pro Bono opportunities in Contra Costa County, you’ll have the chance to speak to legal service providers

from a host of local agencies and find out how you can help those in need in our County. Participating agencies (tentative): • Bay Area Legal Aid • Family Justice Center • Contra Costa County Law Library • Congress of Neutrals • Social Justice Collaborative • Contra Costa Senior Legal Services • Contra Costa Superior Court • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Contra Costa • CCCBA’s Legal Workshops

The All Sections Summer Mixer is free for all CCCBA members and it’s always an enjoyable event. Plan to join us this year at Sauced, 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek.



May 9 |


CCCBA Goes to the Ball Park Angels vs. Oakland A’s Enjoy lower level box seats and a delicious catered tailgate plus ball park appropriate libations. Take your signing bonus in the form of FREE Parking! Time: 5:15 pm – 9:30 pm Location: Oakland Coliseum, 700 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621 Cost: $50/person RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

May 11 | 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. Efforts will be made to include all suggested topics, however, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be prioritized. 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

May 17 | Solo Practice & Small Firm Section

No You Didn’t: The Difference Between a Mistake and Malpractice Speaker: Terry A. Szucsko, Esq. Time: 12 Noon – 1:30 pm Location: Scott’s Seafood, 1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Cost: $35 for Solo Practice Section members; $40 for CCCBA members; $45 non-members MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics Credit RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

May 15 - 26 | Food From the Bar 26th Annual Food From the Bar 2017 Make a difference to the hungry people in Contra Costa County (and show those other law firms how generous your firm really is)! This year marks the 26th Annual Food From the Bar drive benefitting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Currently in its 42nd year, the Food Bank provides food to over 132,000 people every month in Contra Costa and Solano Counties. All monetary donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged. The firm in each category with the highest per capita figures in each category will receive an individual award for permanent display in their office. Do your part to feed the hungry in your area. Participate in Food From the Bar! To donate or for more info, go to www.foodbankccs. org/fftbcc.

May 18 | Food From the Bar

May 22 | CCCBA

Res Ipsa Jokuitor XXII –

Practice Management Marketing Workshop: 3 Simple Ways to Attract Great Clients Without Wasting Time and Money

Comedy Night This year Rocky LaPorte will delight the crowd with his “everyman style” of comedy. A champion for charity work, he is sure to blend fun with the serious cause of raising funds to feed the less fortunate residents of Contra Costa County.

Speaker: Alay Yajnik - The Yajnic Group

Thank you to Justice Maria Rivera who has agreed to act as emcee for the evening.

Participants will learn to improve and transform their business development efforts by leveraging Yajnik’s powerful framework of Aligned Marketing.™

Bring a can of protein (tuna, beef stew, etc.) for a chance to win valuable prizes! For sponsorships, contact Theresa Hurley, (925) 370-2548.

Participants will leave the session with a blueprint for their most enjoyable and profitable year ever! Includes lunch.


Time: 12 Noon - 1:30 pm

6:00 pm Doors Open 6:30 pm Buffet 8:00 pm Show Begins

Location: Back Forty BBQ, 100 Coggins Dr., Pleasant Hill (Vegetarian option available.)

Location: CCCBA Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord

Cost: $60 each, $550 for a table of ten

Cost: $10 for law students and members of the Barristers Section, $15 for CCCBA members

Tickets: Online at www.foodbankccs.org/fftbcomedynight

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


MAY 2017

May 23 | CCCBA

May 24 | CCCBA

June 7

Bench/Bar - Civil Q & A

Happy Hour Gathering (Walnut Creek)

Women’s Section Annual Luncheon: How to be an Effective Advocate While Maintaining Integrity with the Court

Members of the CCCBA are invited to attend a meeting with Civil Division Supervising Judge Craddick and other civil judges to discuss issues of general interest. Research attorneys will also be available to answer your questions. The Judges would like to know what’s on your mind. Submit discussion topics by May 8th via email to Anne Wolf at awolf@cccba. org. Every effort will be made to include all suggested topics. Lunch included.

Join your CCCBA friends for a casual, no-host event, where CCCBA Board Members and Section Leaders gather together with CCCBA members in a relaxed happy hour setting to socialize. Don’t expect anything formal like name tags or check-in tables. Instead come when you can, grab a beverage, and find us on the patio or in the bar area. A gathering of the CCCBA big or small, is typically hard to miss.

Time: 12 Noon - 1:15 pm

Time: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, Dept. 9, 725 Court St., Rm. 320, Martinez, CA 94553

Location: Rooftop, 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd., 3rd floor, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit

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

Cost: $10 for CCCBA members, $15 nonmembers

| Women’s Section

Judge Danielle Douglas will address how to be a successful and assertive advocate without compromising one’s ethics. She will discuss this within a myriad of legal settings, including the criminal, family, and civil courts. Time: 12 Noon - 1:30 pm Location: Jack’s, 60 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics credit Cost: $30 for section members, $35 CCCBA members Registration: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar

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

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

June 8 | Estate Planning & Probate

June 21 | Barrister’s / Young Lawyers

June 27 | CCCBA – Member

Mentoring Group Meeting

All Sections Summer Mixer

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. Efforts will be made to include all suggested topics, however, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be prioritized. Bring your brown bag lunch.

Join us in celebrating the start of summer. Catch up with old friends, get to know some new faces and relax with your CCCBA colleagues.

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

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

Cost: FREE for all CCCBA members. Appetizers and 2 drink tickets provided.

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

Location: Sauced BBQ & Spirits, 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596



Information Program

Speakers: John Burns – FSA, CFP, Principal BOS Michelle Soto – CFP, CDFA, Director BOS

This year we will be having some friends from our community join us. So if you are interested in Pro Bono opportunities in Contra Costa County but don’t know what is available, tonight 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 our County.

Most of us are paying into Social Security but know little about how to maximize our benefits, which can be worth over $1 million for a couple retiring today. The most commonly used strategy of starting benefits at age 62 may not be optimal. Yet, the misperceptions about the program often lead people to make that choice. Lunch included.

A very special thank you to our sponsor for the evening JUDICATE WEST

Time: 12 Noon – 1:30 pm

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

Cost: $10 for Barristers Section members, New admittee attorneys, and law students; $15 for CCCBA members; $20 non-members Location: CCCBA Conference Rm., 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord, CA 94520 RSVP: Online at www.cccba.org/attorney/calendar See page 19 for information on the 2017 Member Information Series



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suite. Both offices are furnished and have available legal assistant cubicles. The offices are on the 2nd floor of a handicappedaccessible building which offers free parking. Rent includes access to the high speed copier (pay by page), internet, wireless, phone system and cable. Also available are coffee/tea/soda services and conference rooms. $1100 per office. Call Neil at (925) 279-3433.

BEAUTIFUL WALNUT CREEK OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE Beautiful offices w/ 7 solos. Networking poss. Single story converted house w/ pillars, built in’s, FP, molding, kit., conf rm, lg treed rear deck, etc. Corner w/ skylight & built-ins. Perfect for working hard and relaxing at end of long day! Very congenial. No smoking. Call Paul at (925) 938-8990.

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MAY 2017


Walnut Creek, Two window offices available in a 9 attorney

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

Call Carole Lucido at (925) 370-2542 or email clucido@cccba.org.


Rent furnished or unfurnished. Scanners, internet, and telephone system available. Window office-$800/Mo; interior offices-$650/Mo; and paralegal spaces-$200/Mo. Discount available for rental of multiple offices. Please call Travis (925) 256-9855.

Probate paralegal to attorneys Joanne C. McCarthy. 2204 Concord Blvd. Concord, CA 94520. Call (925) 689-9244.

CONFERENCE ROOM AVAILABLE CCCBA members can rent the conference room at the CCCBA office in Concord by the hour or by the day for client meetings, negotiations or other small group sessions. Convenient location near Concord BART. For information call Barbara Arsedo at the Contra Costa County Bar Association at (925) 370-2544 oe barsedo@cccba.org.




KicKoff for food from the Bar 2017 Benefitting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

When: Thursday, May 18, 2017 Doors open at 6 pm Show starts at 8 pm Where: Back Forty BBQ 100 Coggins Drive Pleasant Hill Tickets: $60 each | $550 for ten www.foodbankccs.org/fftbcomedynight

BBQ Buffet: 6:30 - 7:30 pm Bring a can of protein (tuna, peanut butter, chicken) to enter for a chance for valuable prizes! presented by benefitting


Rocky LaPorte

nationally renowned comedian

BenefacTorS Contra Costa County Bar Association Huseby PaTronS Archer Norris McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher Newmeyer & Dillion LLP conTriBUTorS 3D-Forensic. ADR Services, Inc. Aiken Welch Court Reporters Brown, Gee & Wenger, LLP Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP Certified Reporting Services Ferber Law, P.C. First Legal Network Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines Law Office of Suzanne Boucher Miller Starr Regalia QUIVX Vasquez, Benisek and Lindgren LLP


Deposition Reporting in Contra Costa County since 1986

Trusted with the Bay Area’s most complex cases, Diablo Valley Reporting Services has been part of the legal landscape for more than 30 years. Contra Costa County attorneys have come to rely on DVRS as a firm that is large enough to handle the most challenging cases, but small enough to provide the utmost in personal and professional service. • • • • • •

Proud to Partner with Some of the Area’s Best Certified Shorthand Reporters Leading Technology Personal Service and Delivery Deposition Suites and Conference Rooms Available Centrally Located in Downtown Walnut Creek, near BART A Loyal Supporter of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for Three Decades

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MAY 2017