Contra Costa Lawyer - January 2018 The Bar Association Issue

Page 1

Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 31, Number 1 | January 2018

1967 CCCBA President Kenneth Larson passes the baton to James Wu, 2018 CCCBA President

The Bar Association Issue

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Contra Costa  2018 BOARD of DIRECTORS James Wu President Wendy McGuire Coats President-Elect Oliver Greenwood Secretary Laura Ramsey Treasurer Philip Andersen Past President Gina Boer Steven Derby Mika Domingo David Erb Renée Welze Livingston David Marchiano

Ericka McKenna Nicole Mills Craig Nevin Dorian Peters Summer Selleck Qiana Washington

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

Lawyer Volume 31, Number 1 | January 2018

The official publication of the

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

features How CCCBA Gave Back in 2017. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Introducing CCCBA’s 2018 Board President, James Wu. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Meet CCCBA’s New Board Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 CCCBA’s 2018 Section Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Member Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Pro Bono - Toward Thankfulness, by Craig Nevin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Barbara Arsedo Carole Lucido

Fee Mediation & Arbitration Program, by Emily Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Jennifer Comages Anne K. Wolf

Lawyer Referral Service Update, by Barbara Arsedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

LRIS & Moderate Means Director Communications Director Membership Director Education & Events Director

Emily Day

Fee Arbitration Program Director & Systems Administrator

Contra Costa Lawyer CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Suzanne Boucher David Arietta 925.933.1500 925.472.8000

Inga Miller Marcus Brown

925.402.2192 925.482.8950

BOARD LIAISON Leonard Marquez Nicole Mills 510.834.6600 925.351.3171 Beth Mora COURT LIAISON 925.820.8949 Stephen Nash Perry Novak

Honoring Our Members, by Carole Lucido. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


Index of advertisers


PHOTOS: CCCBA Out and About



35 Classifieds 36-37 Calendar 38


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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@ 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.


On behalf of the staff and myself, I wish you all a very happy New Year. I so appreciate all of our wonderful members who give their time and talents to benefit our community. I am looking forward to an amazing year ahead. Theresa Hurley Executive Director Contra Costa County Bar Association



How the CCCBA Gave Back in 2017 $56,800 Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano

advertisers index ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 All-Cal Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

$42,000 Social Justice Collaborative

$8,000 Women’s Section Scholarship

Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . 14 Law Offices of Oliver W. Bray . . . . . 22 Braverman Mediation & Consulting . . 9 Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . . 40 Robert B. Jacobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


Landmark Valuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . 21 Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Discovery Facilitators 400 hours

Legal Workshops 150 hours

Novak Wealth Management . . . . . . . . 2 David B. Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Family Law SelfRepresented Litigant Calendar & Clinic 769 hours

Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 16, 17

Pro Tem Judges 1,000 hours

Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Lisa M. West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Youngman Ericsson Scott . . . . . . . . . 20 Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . 11

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Board and committee members spent 1500+ hours managing programs and planning for the future

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With Incoming Board President

James Wu

James Y. Wu, an employment attorney in Walnut Creek, takes over the leadership as President of the CCCBA for 2018. Below is a just a start to getting to know more about James.

Tell us a little about yourself… I am a native of Littleton, Colorado and enjoyed growing up in suburban Denver. My two sisters and I were the first of our family to have been born in the United States since my parents were both born in China. My parents worked hard to make better lives for themselves and their family, and I hope that some of that has rubbed off on me too. Growing up in Colorado, I enjoyed skiing, became a lifelong fan of the Denver Broncos, and was a state-ranked tennis player and swimmer. I left Colorado to attend Stanford University where I majored in Political Science. Stanford was an incredible experience socially, culturally and educationally. I enjoyed my first four years so much, that I did everything I could to stay longer, so I also earned a Masters Degree in Education (Higher Education Administration). After five years in Palo Alto, I moved to the East Coast to attend Boston College Law School. I am not one of those folks who loved law school. Frankly, I did not. I did, however, meet great friends and colleagues. I am married and have two sons – one is a sophomore in high school and the other an 8th grader. I’ve been lucky to have a wonderful wife who’s remained married to me for over 20 years, and counting.

How and why did you become an attorney? When I was at Stanford, I was heavily involved in what was known as “Residential Education” – which included being dorm president, a Resident Advisor (RA), and working as the Head Coordinator for new student orientation. These experiences had me thinking that I’d want to work in a university and perhaps be a dean of students or provost of some sort. So, I earned my Masters degree.

After that, a small quiet voice in my head (and louder voices from my parents) urged me to go to law school. After all, a law degree is relatively fungible and could help my career should I wish to go into a university setting. Then, during the summer between my first and second years in law school, I interned at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights in Boston. At the time, the office was investigating various higher education institutions for alleged Title IX violations, as well as sexual harassment issues. The following summer, I was a summer associate in Chicago, and I gravitated to the employment attorneys and enjoyed the assignments given out by those attorneys. These two summer experiences sparked my interest in practicing employment law, and I’ve been doing so for almost 22 years now.

How did you become involved with the CCCBA? After practicing employment law at a large law firm in Chicago, I moved with my wife to Walnut Creek. I eventually joined the Walnut Creek office of Littler Mendelson. The folks at Littler were, and still are, very supportive of the CCCBA. Littler signed me up for membership, and then I took the initiative to get more involved in the CCCBA. I quickly discovered the incredible sense of camaraderie, community and fellowship within the CCCBA. I served on the Employment Law Section Board for several years, and also served as President of that Section. I enjoyed getting to know my Section colleagues and helped to plan programs, write articles for the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine, and collaborated with them. During that time, I was encouraged to apply to the CCCBA’s Board of Directors. I did, and have now served on the Board for six years. I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Editorial Board of the CC Lawyer, the Diversity Committee, the Membership and Education Committee, the Communications Committee, and Continued on page 6



James Wu

Continued from page 5 many others. Now, I look forward to serving as President in 2018.

What are a few goals you have for your term as President? The CCCBA has existed for nearly 85 years. While it has faced challenges over those years, it has continued to evolve and improve. So, overall, my first goal is to not unwind the progress made during the last several years. A couple of specific new items I want to focus on for 2018 include: Senior attorneys: The population of the U.S. in general is aging, and our membership is no different. In 2017, approximately 76% of our members were over 41 years old, and 34% were 61+ years old. These are significant populations of our membership. I want to be sure we are better able to meet the needs of these attorneys through focused programs (MCLE or other), offering topics of interest to senior attorneys (whether they be on winding down a practice/retirement, succession planning, marketing strategies and/ or referral networking, for example). We also need to check whether we are communicating with them using methods they prefer (while our more junior attorneys/law student members may prefer text messages and/or Twitter, our senior attorneys may not). Finally, I’d also like to tap these senior attorneys for their expertise and offer them more opportunities to reconnect with the CCCBA by, among other things, writing articles for the CC Lawyer, presenting at MCLE programs, or becoming mentors to newer attorneys. Diversity and Inclusion: In 2017, the Diversity Committee was as robust as ever. We’ve got to keep that momentum going. Past President Phil Andersen came up with the idea of a Diversity Award, and the sub6


committee, lead by Board Member Reneé Livingston, created an excellent “checklist” of very detailed and creative activities firms of all sizes can engage in to increase diversity in firms and the profession. While the Diversity Award and the checklist has certainly raised awareness and thoughtful conversation, I hope our members and our profession can embrace and get past the basic idea of “let’s look at diversity” and move towards “let’s be diverse and inclusive.” It does no one any good if we just focus on numbers, however, real action and focus on inclusiveness will go a long way for the profession.

and working with each of those groups, however, the challenges of decreasing budgets amidst higher costs will require the CCCBA to adapt and evolve. We’ll need to continue to support and rely heavily on our talented and dedicated office staff, as well as our members who generously give their own time and money to the various programs we offer to other members and the public. And, we will continue to upgrade the CCCBA’s social media presence and strategy, as well as develop a new and improved website, which may take until 2019 to complete.

Any other points of emphasis you’d like to share?

I look forward to working with each staff member, CCCBA member, and judicial officer to help the CCCBA thrive for at least another 85 years. It is an honor to serve as the CCCBA’s 2018 Board President.

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Gina Dashman Boer

David Erb

Qiana Washington

Gina Boer is a partner with Haapala, Thompson and Abern LLP in downtown Oakland. She specializes in civil litigation defense with an emphasis in the areas of real estate, landlord-tenant and personal injury. Since 2003, Gina has combined her law practice with a mediation practice. She mediates court referred and private cases in civil disputes involving real estate, personal injury, contract, partnership and related areas. Gina also serves as pro tem judge and settlement mentor in Contra Costa County.

As a Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization, David Erb practices exclusively in the area of Family Law. David is a partner at the law firm of Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP with offices in Silicon Valley and San Ramon. David is honored to have been selected as a Rising Star by Northern California “Super Lawyers” for 2017.

Qiana Washington practices criminal defense (including everything from misdemeanors to serious felonies) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has tried more than 50 jury trials in 13 years and achieved phenomenal results. She began her practice at the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office. After more than a year there, she accepted a job at the Sonoma County Public Defender’s Office. She later moved to the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office, where she worked for six and a half years. After leaving San Francisco, Qiana opened a private practice and has been running it for almost four years.

Gina was born in Manhattan. She grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, just four miles west of Manhattan, where she often visited the City for its many cultural and educational activities. Gina left the east coast for California to enter Cal as a junior transfer student. Arriving in Berkeley for the first time at age 20, Gina fell in love with Northern California. At Continued on page 8

David was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, moving to Alamo, California and graduating from Monte Vista High School. He graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Finance and Law. While he was in college, David worked for the Private Equity Group at Silicon Valley Bank and spent several years as a business valuation analyst preparing business valuations for compliance, litigation and strategic purposes across several industries, with a primary focus on technology companies. Continued on page 9

Qiana has handled everything from arraignments, demurrers, bail hearings, suppression and dismissal motions, preliminary hearings, writs and appeals, and jury trials. She loves to learn and often attends conferences to sharpen her knowledge and skills. While Qiana has Continued on page 8



Gina Boer

Continued from page 7 Berkeley, Gina majored in Social Science, an interdisciplinary major that afforded her the opportunity to combine classes in Political Science, Economics, History, African Studies, Anthropology and other social science departments. As a Fall senior, Gina spent the quarter in Cape Town, South Africa, during the height of Apartheid, studying the Jewish community. A UC undergraduate fellowship helped financially support Gina while she conducted field research which addressed the dilemma of the Jewish community in South Africa under an Apartheid regime. At the end of her senior year, Gina discovered a few pertinent classes in the newly founded legal studies program at Cal. The classes reinforced Gina’s interest in law and justice. These studies, along with the inspiration of a close friend, prompted Gina to consider attending law school. In an effort to appease her parents who dreaded Gina’s choice to move west, Gina attended law school in Washington D.C. at George Washington University. Despite the lure of the exciting opportunities she discovered while living in D.C., the appeal of the sun, the people and the lifestyle of California was too great. After law school, Gina drove her Honda Civic packed tightly with her worldly possessions across the country to begin life as a lawyer in San Francisco.

Qiana Washington

Continued from page 7

enjoyed much success throughout her career, her crowning achievement to-date was when she uncovered video evidence that led to the termination, arrest, and federal criminal conviction of a number of undercover San Francisco police officers who were stealing from her clients. The evidence Qiana uncovered led to widespread dismissals of cases involving the suspect officers. Qiana attended U.C. Berkeley where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also took a number of hard science courses which continue to assist her in 8


Gina began her law practice with a branch office of a national firm that specialized in health care transactions and regulatory work. Although the work was intellectually stimulating, Gina craved more dynamic involvement with the law so she switched to litigation and joined a small insurance defense firm in Berkeley where she practiced for 14 years. During that time, Gina got married, had two children, became a partner and honed her skills as a defense attorney. Eager to explore the “other side,” Gina left the firm for a boutique practice in Oakland focusing on plaintiff’s side real estate and construction matters. The firm offered a great opportunity to learn the subject matter from a different perspective. Sadly, the firm was victim to the recession and closed its doors in February of 2009. Since then, Gina has worked at her current firm, Haapala, Thompson & Abern, where she became an equity partner in 2014. In addition to her law practice, Gina is committed to advancing concerns of women in the legal profession. Gina is past treasurer of the CCCBA Women’s Section and currently serves as co-vice president of Women Lawyers of Alameda County and as affiliate governor of California Women Lawyers. She is excited to join the board of CCCBA. In her spare time, Gina travels locally and abroad whenever possible. When homebased in Orinda, you will find Gina entertaining friends at home, trying out the latest restaurant, going to concerts and exercising.

cases involving forensic evidence, such as DNA. For two years after college, Qiana worked for an aviation research group funded, in part, by the Federal Aviation Administration. She attended law school at the University of Southern California. During law school, she gained practical experience volunteering at the Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall, working on the Post-Conviction Justice Project, and interning at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. Immediately after law school, she passed the state bar exam. While Qiana serves clients from a variety of walks of life including professionals and athletes, she also handles a number of cases involving

indigent clients. In this capacity, she currently sits on the Criminal Conflicts Program Committee which handles court-appointed cases where the public defender has a conflict of interest. Qiana grew up in and currently resides in West Contra Costa County. She is devoted to increasing involvement and programs in West County to better serve the legal community. In her spare time, Qiana sews, hikes, camps, bakes, and spends time with her dog.

David Erb

Continued from page 7 David specializes in family law matters that involve complex financial issues related to support and property division, including founder’s stock, stock options, restricted stock, venture capital interests and other business interests. David also has extensive experience in contested custody matters involving recommending mediation, custody evaluations and the appointment of a special master/ parenting coordinator. In addition to his litigation practice, David serves as a consulting attorney to his clients who are attending mediation. David has enjoyed his work thus far with the Contra Costa County Bar Association and Family Law

Section. He is a graduate of the CCCBA Family Law Training program and received several Bay Area Legal Aid volunteer assignments representing victims of domestic violence in litigation matters throughout the Bay Area. David has served on the Board of Directors of the Family Law Section since 2014, serving as the Section’s President in 2017. David lives in Alamo with his wife, Justine, who works as a Loan Coordinator for RPM Mortgage. David and Justine enjoy working out, hiking, playing tennis and attending plays at the Lesher Center for Arts in Walnut Creek. David is honored to serve on the CCCBA Board of Directors and looks forward to giving back to the community in which he grew up and now practices.

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MEET the 2018


The CCCBA would like to introduce you to an extraordinary group of hardworking and dedicated individuals. In the following pages, they will tell you about their sections. This year they responded to one of the following questions: What do you do to give back? or What was your most rewarding or inspirational career moment? For additional details about each section or for contact information for a particular section leader, please go to the CCCBA website at or contact Anne K. Wolf, CCCBA’s Education & Events Director at, or (925) 370-2540.

ADR SECTION Margaret Grover has more than 30 years of experience as an employment lawyer. She has been serving as a mediator for more than 15 years, and enjoys helping individuals, businesses, and litigants find solutions to their differences. In mediation, Maggie focuses on creating an atmosphere that is respectful of each participant’s perspective and abilities. She heads the employment law group at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean in Oakland. When she isn’t practicing law, Maggie can be found rowing near Jack London Square or biking (ever so slowly) up Mt. Diablo.

What do you do to give back? Giving back enriches my life and makes me more thankful for the wonderful opportunities and people that have come my way. I participate in a monthly program to feed the hungry, where we set tables and feed the guests, and 10


deliver sandwiches to some of the larger tent cities. I serve on several boards, including the historic Paramount Theatre and a pre-school that accepts children on a sliding scale basis, providing opportunities for children who might not otherwise have a solid educational foundation. I also try to give back to the legal community and litigants by serving as a Discovery Facilitator and ADR Panel Member for the Contra Costa Superior Court. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (ADR) includes both lawyers and non lawyers who participate in a variety of means of resolving disputes and are interested in finding new and better methods of resolving conflict. As courts become more congested, costs and delays associated with traditional litigation mount. Private litigants increasingly turn to ADR to resolve their disputes. In many cases, parties obtain better results through ADR than through conventional litigation. With ADR, the parties may avoid the delay and expense of litigation, maintain confidentiality, control the process, and achieve a better outcome through agreements reached as a result of their direct participation.

The ADR Section’s activities include: presenting educational programs for the continued professional development of its members; analyzing and commenting on proposals, including local court rules, related to ADR; drafting proposals for consideration by the court and the board of directors, and identifying issues impacting ADR as an accessible, efficient and effective means of dispute resolution. Section members are lawyers who also serve as mediators, arbitrators, neutral case evaluators and special masters. Attorneys who advocate for their clients in ADR proceedings are most welcome to join the section. Law students, too, are welcome.

APPELLATE SECTION Gary Watt serves as Chair of Hanson Bridgett’s Appellate Practice. He is a state bar approved Certified Appellate Specialist, handling writs and appeals in all of the California appellate courts, including the

California Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His practice also includes dispositive motions such as SLAPP, summary judgment, and post-trial motions. His appellate experience gives him unique insights into complex cases and esoteric disputes.

What do you do to give back? Giving back is really an everyday thing. Kindness to those around us is an expression of gratitude for life’s blessings. Being available to those in need is an extension of that gratitude. For the past nine years, I’ve also been heavily involved in pro bono appeals. The Appellate Section—formed in 1991—focuses on continuing education and the improvement of appellate advocacy. Members include attorneys whose practice is devoted to appeals and writs as well as trial lawyers interested in enriching their understanding of the appel-

late process and issues. The section hosts periodic MCLE seminars. Seminar speakers have included appellate court justices, appellate and Supreme Court research attorneys, and attorneys with special expertise in appeals, writs, and post-trial motions. The Appellate Section welcomes all lawyers and law students to join and attend programs. Many programs have broad appeal to litigators and are presented in partnership with the Litigation Section.

ness owners on debt and credit issues, including representation in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters. Originally from North Dakota, Jen now lives in Livermore with her husband, two daughters, and four dogs. She also works with local dog rescues to foster and find forever homes for shelter dogs.

The section has been approved as a provider of appellate specialty MCLE credits, an extra benefit for attorneys who are, or are seeking to become, certified appellate specialists.

What do you do to give back?

BANKRUPTCY LAW SECTION Jen Lee, owner of Jen Lee Law with offices in San Ramon and Tracy, advises consumers and small busi-

In addition to taking pro bono cases through various clinics, I also volunteer and fundraise for several local organizations. One of the biggest projects I am working on right now is for the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance, where I currently serve as the Director of the Corporate Communications Committee and am involved with connecting corporate members and nonprofits for fundraising, joint programs, sponsorships, etc. Continued on page 12


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Section Leaders

Continued from page 11 The Bankruptcy Law Section is primarily comprised of attorneys who represent debtors and/or creditors in bankruptcy cases. The section has non-attorney members, including accountants and bankruptcy trustees. The purpose of the section is to provide a forum of fellowship and learning concerning topics of interest for attorneys and non-attorneys who practice in bankruptcy court and non-attorneys who provide support to the bankruptcy bar. The section typically meets three to five times each year, usually for MCLE programs held at lunchtime at the CCCBA office conference room. At these luncheons, speakers discuss topics of interest to the bankruptcy bar. Speakers have included bankruptcy judges and trustees, private practice attorneys in the area, and other professionals.


Matthew S. Colliss is a Family Law attorney located in downtown Walnut Creek. Going into his fourth year of practice, he continues to dedicate a portion of his work to pro bono work for clients in need. Matthew has recently completed a 40-hour mediation training program and hopes to begin a mediation practice to compliment his family law practice. When not working, he enjoys boating with his family including his two young sons in the summers, and snowmobiling in the winters with friends.

What do you do to give back? I like to take on pro bono cases as much as my schedule and finances 12


permit so that I can give back to our community. It is very rewarding for me to see the benefit of my representation for those in need. I feel that it is an obligation for me since I have been so fortunate in my practice and providing this service is a small token of my appreciation. The Barristers/Young Lawyers Section provides recently-admitted attorneys with networking, education, and mentoring opportunities. All CCCBA members with fewer than ten years of practice are automatically members of the section and are welcome to attend the meetings of the Section’s Board to become more involved. The goal of the section is to build a network within the bar association, develop familiarity with all aspects of the legal field and to help new attorneys with their burgeoning legal careers. The section helps its members develop a deep under-

standing of what other lawyers do, a strong social and referral network no matter where their practice takes them, and a genuine commitment to advancing the profession. The Barristers Section creates MCLE events targeted to recently-admitted attorneys, engages in charitable endeavors and organizes social events that allow new lawyers to grow their network of peers, potential mentors, and judicial officers.

BUSINESS LAW SECTION Luis M. Montes is a solo practitioner. His focus is in representing small and closely held businesses. He is starting his 10th year of law practice. Prior to law school,

Luis owned and ran a construction company, which gives him an intimate view of his client’s perspective of the law. As incoming Business Section Leader, he is looking forward to working with the membership to continue the section’s mission.

What was your most rewarding or inspirational career moment? My most rewarding career moment was receiving my “bar” card; it fulfilled a long held goal of joining the noble fraternity of lawyers and giving me the ability to protect my clients in the legal process. The Business Law Section. Business lawyers (whether outside counsel or in-house counsel) are among the most important members of a business team. They work with all key members of the enterprise to provide a wide range of strategic and legal insights to address and resolve routine as well as thorny matters facing entrepreneurs and developed business. The Business Law Section’s mission is to provide up-to-date information in issues facing business lawyers in our competitive climate, to provide continuing legal education to attorneys in California, and to provide opportunities for networking in our growing East Bay legal community. The section presents programs to members addressing corporate formation, corporate reporting, due diligence, public-offerings, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, protection of intangible corporate property (trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks) and other issues of topical importance. It assists members in the development and support of their practices in business and corporation law. The section provides educational service to the general public with occasional public seminars such as the “Two Entrepreneurs Walk Into a Bar” series. Please contact Luis

Montes or other section members about specific areas that are important to you and your clients.

CRIMINAL LAW SECTION Joseph Tully was admitted into the State Bar of California in June 1999, was hired by the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office and has been practicing criminal law ever since. He is a certified specialist in criminal law by the State Bar of California’s Board of Specialization and is a fierce advocate for the accused. A founding partner of Tully & Weiss Attorneys at Law, he has been highly successful in jury trials throughout the state.

What was your most rewarding career moment? My most rewarding career moments have been achieving full acquittals for those that were wrongly accused of serious charges. The Criminal Law Section hosts lunchtime MCLE meetings in Martinez, where it provides continuing education on such topics as new statutes, case law, and technology. Speakers include judges, attorneys, expert witnesses, and county administrators. Additionally, programs provide information specific to practicing law in Contra Costa County courts. These meetings provide a relaxed environment within which to learn from the talented legal resources available in our county, to get to know other lawyers, and to make valuable contacts. The goal of this section is to provide information that can be of practical assistance to criminal defense attorneys in motions and trial practice and case management.

ELDER LAW SECTION Konstantine Demiris is a California kid, son of hardworking Greekimmigrants, who “lived the dream” and went to Cal. Through cosmic circumstances he was able to try-out and walk-on the football team as a placekicker. He went to law school at Santa Clara, passed the bar exam, and has been practicing law for over 12-years now. He founded the Demiris Law Firm, P.C. in Walnut Creek which handles elder law and litigation matters. He encourages anyone interested in elder law to join the Elder Law Section and/or attend the Elder Law Section MCLE’s or functions (there will be many) offered in 2018. This practice area is surrounded by great lawyers and a great bench.

What do you do to give back? I don’t really consider it giving back as much as just trying to do my part to help make the world a better place. Like most lawyers, I donate a lot of time to pro bono efforts. I also work with charitable and government organizations. I participate in matters that are important to me such as being on the board of directors for Mobility Matters in Contra Costa County, serving as a volunteer police academy member, and also volunteering at my church. The Elder Law Section presents programs that help keep attorneys informed about elder law issues and also presents a monthly Conservatorship Workshop as a joint project with the Superior Court. Generally, there are two areas of practice of elder law. The first is transactional work, closely related to estate planning, which often focuses on eligiContinued on page 14



Section Leaders

Continued from page 13 bility for various benefits, such as Medi-Cal. The second is litigation, including conservatorship proceedings, financial elder abuse and physical elder abuse/neglect. In addition, elder law often overlaps with other practice areas when a client, or interested party, is over the age of 65. Given the breadth of what is, or can become, an elder law issue, and the increasing portion of the aging population, many practitioners can benefit from what the Elder Law Section offers. Elder Law section board meetings take place at Noon on the first Wednesday of every month at the Demiris Law Firm, 700 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 140, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. There are currently two vacancies. People who are interested in joining the board should contact Konstantine or any of the board members.



EMPLOYMENT LAW SECTION Mukesh Advani is Of Counsel to Dental & Medical Counsel, PC and practices in the areas of general civil litigation with emphasis on employment litigation, insurance coverage disputes and “bad faith” litigation for policyholders and appellate law. In his more than three decades of law practice, Mukesh has represented many institutional clients, including Fortune 500 companies, and individual clients in several hundred cases in both federal and state trial and appellate courts. He is included in the 2014 and 2015 edition of the Northern California Super Lawyers.

What do you do to give back? I have always been passionate about making legal services available to

those who cannot afford them. In the past, I held free legal clinics at a Hindu Temple where members of the community would come and ask me questions about their legal problems after offering their prayers. I set up a “Lawyers in the Library” program at the India Community Center in Milpitas, which has been expanded to other locations. I led a team of attorneys and law student volunteers to establish a 24-hour hate crime hotline to assist victims of hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination. I am the founder and past-president of the original South Asian Bar Association (SABA) in Northern California which led to the formation of dozens of SABA chapters across North America with thousands of members today. The Employment Law Section includes members representing both employee and employer/management interests, as well as in-house counsel, neutral investigators, mediators and law school students. Through continuing education

events on pertinent issues facing employment law practitioners, networking events, and sponsoring non-profit legal aid workshops, the Employment Law Section hopes to be a resource for its members and local community. Those involved in employment law or interested in employment law are invited to participate in the Employment Law Section. If would like to become a member or learn more about this section, please contact Mukesh.

ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE SECTION Virginia M. George is a partner at George & Schofield, 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, Virginia

worked as a full-time professor at JFKU College of Law, teaching evidence, criminal procedure and wills and trusts. While at JFKU, she supervised their Elder Law Clinic, which provided pro bono services to elders who had been financially abused. Virginia began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County.

What do you do to give back? I am a member of a non-profit board which raises money through local concerts to donate funds to the public school music programs in Martinez. It is very rewarding to promote kids participating in all sorts of music programs such as concert and marching band, jazz band and orchestra. Our support has really made a positive impact for keeping these valuable programs alive in the schools. The Estate Planning & Probate Section was established in 1993. Membership is open to practicing

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attorneys, private professional fiduciaries, accounting practitioners, trust officers, and law students. Section members and non-members are invited to attend our programs. Our programs begin in January each year at the Contra Costa Country Club with the annual Probate Bench Luncheon. Every year since 1994 our section, with co-sponsorship of The Mechanics Bank’s Trust Department, has presented an Annual Estate Planning Symposium in the spring. The event draws counsel, educators, and professionals to present topics of current interest to the Bar, tax professionals and students. We are pleased to present this program with availability of specialization credit. Board members and section liaisons provide volunteer service, each devoting time and energy to ensure that events provide broad continuing education opportunity for members at a competitive cost. The section continues its practice of donating to local legal service organizations as a regular Platinum level sponsor of “The Bar Fund.” The section is broadly based among probate, estate planning, conservatorship, guardianship, and trust practitioners. We strive to present opportunities for members to obtain MCLE credits at programs that address all of these areas of practice and welcome suggestions from our membership.

FAMILY LAW SECTION Anne Cochran Freeman is a partner at Sideman & Bancroft, LLP, and is certified by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS). In 2015-2017 she was recognized by Continued on page 16



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Section Leaders

Continued from page 15 Super Lawyers and as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Northern California. Anne represents and advises high-net-worth clients in family law matters, specializing in contentious child custody disputes, and complex financial issues. Prior to joining Sideman & Bancroft, Anne was at Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel LLP in Walnut Creek. A Family Law Section membership is indispensable for anyone who



practices family law in Contra Costa County. The most visible benefits of membership are: • Dynamic monthly education seminars and periodic extended seminars led by experienced faculty • Early notification of changes in rules • Practice requirements in family law departments • Annual meeting and other programs with local family law judges. The bench often uses these meetings as an opportunity to make announcements. MCLE and specialization credits are

provided for attending. • In Chancery, the Family Law Section’s monthly newsletter keeps members abreast of section activities, news from the bench, and educational opportunities. • Section members receive exclusive use of the section website at The Family Law Section maintains ongoing liaisons with the bench, Family Court Services, the Facilitator’s Office, the Department of Child Support Services, the Advisory Council Against Domestic Violence (ACAD), and the various legal aid providers in the county. Through its liaison with the court, the section is actively involved in reviewing court rules or policies and providing input and assistance in the creation of or changes to rules and/or policies. The Family Law Section has a long and respected history of robust, current programming in the form of monthly luncheon CLEs, mentoring/ networking group evening presentations with speakers, Custody Issues Committee (CIC) brown bag CLE programs on child custodyrelated hot topics, and more.

IMMIGRATION LAW SECTION Flavio Carvalho practices Immigration and Family Law. From his office in the San Francisco financial district, he represents clients throughout the Bay Area. He has an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and his J.D. from John F. Kennedy University. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so his experience with immigration is personal. He is a Fellow of the ABA Family Section and member of the ABA Diversity Committee.

What do you do to give back?

I strive to be the best advocate for my clients, I share useful information with the public though free workshops, and I invest in causes I believe in. Immigration Law Section. Immigration is as old as America itself and the United States remains the number-one destination for immigrants from all over the world. Immigration attorneys represent them and/or their employers, schools, or family members. The Immigration Law Section strives to support the work of Contra Costa’s immigration attorneys and promote the best possible immigration services in our county and beyond. The section provides continuing education, training and mentoring for immigration attorneys. It also assists attorneys in the overlap between Immigration law and other practices – e.g., employment, juvenile, family, criminal, business & estate planning and probate. Finally, our section works

to promote events and programs that make Immigration Law accessible to those who need it. CCCBA holds monthly immigration workshops at local libraries. If you are interested in volunteering for one of the workshops please contact Anne Wolf, Education and Events Director, at or (925) 370-2540.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION Joseph R. Snyder is the Managing Partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Walnut Creek office. He focuses his practice on patent prosecution and counseling, primarily in the chemical arts, biotechnology, Continued on page 18


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Section Leaders

Continued from page 17 life sciences and clean technology. Joe represents U.S. and foreign companies, such as pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories, universities and start-ups in all areas of intellectual property counseling and protection. He was recognized as a 2014, 2015 and 2016 Northern California “Super Lawyer” in the area of intellectual property. Before joining the firm, Joe worked as a patent attorney for Zeneca Ag Products. Prior to joining the legal profession, he was a senior scientist in their analytical department.

What do you do to give back? The Walnut Creek Office performs pro bono services for a number of organizations located in the East Bay. I personally give pro bono advice and counsel to veterans of our military. I am the delegate to the JPO/US Bar Liaison Council representing CCCBA. Stuart West formed West & Associates in February 2004 and is the managing patent attorney. He is responsible for coordinating prosecution, transactional and litigation matters. In addition to counseling clients in matters related to the litigation and

licensing of intellectual property rights, Stuart’s practice also includes counseling clients in obtaining, protecting and enforcing rights associated with patents, trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade secrets and copyrights before the federal courts. As the head of the CCCBA’s IP Section for the past several years, Stuart and section members, in conjunction with the Women’s Initiative Program, have assisted hundreds of solo inventors and small startup companies with their intellectual property needs on a pro bono basis. The Intellectual Property Section is a resource for attorneys and others to learn, share, network, and strengthen their expertise in intellectual property. The goals for the section are to 1) Keep abreast of new legal developments; 2) Share written resources through an online brief bank; 3) Develop industry contacts and interaction between the members and the local business community; 4) Pool resources in order to obtain discounts on continuing education programs; 5) Develop contacts and interaction with local in-house counsel; 6) Develop programs for law schools to further the practical training of future IP attorneys; and 7) Learn about the members’ own practice areas for the purpose of assisting in client referrals. The IP section is on the cutting edge of law changes that impact all areas of business. Approximately three to

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five times per year, the IP section presents topical presentations on current intellectual property issues that are of general interest or are of high importance to practitioners in the IP field.

JUVENILE LAW SECTION Rhonda WilsonRice has been practicing law in Contra Costa County for over 25 years. Her practice serves the families and children in the community, primarily in Juvenile Dependency (CPS cases). As of July 1, 2017, Contra Costa Juvenile Advocates (CCJA) has taken over the contract for Court Appointed Juvenile Dependency Cases and as of August 14, 2017 all juvenile cases (with the exception of Juvenile Hall) were moved to the courthouse in Walnut Creek. Many of the members of the Juvenile Law Section are independent contractors with CCJA. Juvenile Law Section members are lawyers who represent children, parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives, and others involved in juvenile dependency proceedings, who are before the court due to the abuse or neglect of a child. Membership in our section provides beneficial continuing legal education and opportunities for professional development. Brown bag lunch MCLE programs are held on such topics as case law and statutory reviews, techniques on interviewing children, the Indian Child Welfare Act, immigration laws and their effect on dependent children, and recognizing and treating substance abuse in our clients. Speakers include experienced attorneys, therapists, and other professionals, besides fulfilling state bar requirements, these programs go towards meeting the local court

rules for mandatory competence of counsel. During the holiday season, the section sponsors an annual toy drive for foster children and provides gift cards to teen clients who are placed in Group Homes within the county. Members participate in meetings between the bench, Social Services, CCJA, Social Worker-Attorney Training Committee (SWATT) and through representation at the “Judges’ Meeting.”

LAW STUDENT SECTION Kate Mignani is a second-year law student at John F. Kennedy University where she is on the Dean’s list and is a Witkin award recipient. She currently works full-time as a paralegal and certified law student for Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy LLP in Pleasant Hill and recently was awarded one of the Honorable Patricia Herron and Honorable Ellen James scholarships by the CCCBA’s Women’s Section.

Medical Volunteers for Disaster Response (MVDR), food drives to fight hunger both locally and overseas, and for various fundraising causes I am passionate about.

fit by hiking with his son and dog, playing soccer in a few leagues and training in CrossFit.

Richard Rose is a Bay Area native, who was raised in Alameda County and has been living in Contra Costa County since the early 1990’s. He learned Spanish in his 20s, guitar in his 30s , and now he’s studying law at John F. Kennedy University in his 40s. Rich’s late father, an immigration attorney who also went to law school in his forties, taught him to be very independent. This independence which once got him in trouble now comes in useful when approaching the study of law. All the children in his family are adopted, so they are always one of the most multicultural families around. Rich enjoys keeping

I think of life more in the mindset of paying it forward. Do the right thing even when no one is looking. Reach out a hand, help those in need, give them the same you’d give a friend and loved one. Invest in the world, reap what you sow.

Elder Law is

What do you do to give back?

What do you do to give back? I volunteer in several ways including

The Law Student Section engages students and attorneys in countless networking and mentorship opportunities. With all of the sections that CCCBA offers, the law student members have the opportunity to explore the areas of potential practice, ask specific questions, interview, and intern in the desired areas of practice. Law student membership comes primarily from John F. Kennedy University College of Law, HastContinued on page 20 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, 10% of the population age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. Of the 5.5 million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the majority live at home — often receiving care from family members.

I give back is by serving on the board of New Day for Children, a nonprofit that helps girls who have been rescued from human trafficking. Lisa Antoine is a second-year law student at John F. Kennedy University. Lisa is on the Dean’s list and is a Witkin Award recipient. She has worked in emergency services (police and medical) for over 13 years. She is also a certified EMT.

What do you do to give back?

Protect your loved ones, home and independence, call elder law attorney

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Section Leaders

Continued from page 19 ings, Boalt, and Golden Gate University School of Law. Section members have the opportunity to expand their law school education in significant ways that both serve the community and yield practical legal experience. Volunteer opportunities at many of the bar-hosted events allow students to serve the legal community while honing their networking skills. Events, such as the annual MCLE Spectacular, also provide students important exposure to current issues in the field of law. Students can gain hands-on experience through the CCCBA-sponsored free legal workshops as they may work directly with attorneys in a consumeroriented client setting. The CCCBA is bridging the gap between law school and real life practice opportunities through mentorship, intern-



ships, and networking events. Suggestions for presentation topics or student-related activities are welcomed and encouraged. Please contact the section co-chairs.

Area based Lego hobbyist club, as well as Bricks by the Bay, an organization that hosts an annual convention for LEGO builders and fans.


What was your most inspirational career moment?

Leonard E. Marquez is a civil litigation attorney with the law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP in Oakland. Leonard’s practice focuses on landlordtenant disputes and commercial evictions, as well as general civil litigation. He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Leonard has represented commercial landlords in all manner of commercial lease disputes, including tenant evictions and breach of lease claims. He serves as counsel to BayLUG, a Bay

My most inspirational career moment was the first time that I argued a summary judgment motion for which I was the lead attorney and solely responsible for litigating before the court. I recall that the tentative ruling initially went against my client and at oral argument I had to persuade the court to rethink its tentative ruling which focused on a potential defense which was, in truth, not a bar to the summary judgment sought. The court reversed itself and granted summary judgment, a huge win for my client. The experience was a milestone for me as a lawyer and reinforced my belief that careful, thoughtful advocacy will generally win the day!

The Litigation Section provides a forum for civil trial attorneys to hone their advocacy skills, network and socialize. It presents seminars on trial practice featuring the county’s judicial officers and its senior practitioners providing instruction and real world advice on the art and science of trial practice. The section holds programs of interest for civil practitioners of all experience levels and abilities. In past years, the Litigation Section has sponsored presentations on use of technology in the courtroom, jury trials, complex issues in breach of contract cases, taking and defending depositions, ADR, and litigating in federal court. The section also facilitates dialogue with the local Superior Court bench to keep pace with changing court procedures and to promote the efficient and fair administration of justice.

REAL ESTATE SECTION Marcus Brown is a real estate and litigation attorney, representing real estate investors, managers, lenders, homeowners, and contractors in dispute resolution and litigation in state and federal court. Marcus also handles real estate buy-sell, financing, and leasing transactions. He attended Middle Tennessee State University and Seattle University School of Law. Marcus worked for Plastiras & Terrizzi (San Rafael) and Wolfe & Wyman (Irvine/Walnut Creek) before starting his own practice in Walnut Creek in 2015.

What was your most rewarding or inspirational career moment?

I had the opportunity to handle a mortgage banking case which became landmark precedent for the mortgage servicing industry in California during the Great Recession. It was rewarding to help shape a developing area of law that was so fundamental to what was happening in the economy at the time. On the flip side of that coin, I’ve been able to help save clients’ family homes on a few occasions, twice from pending foreclosures and once post-foreclosure. Most of my work is investor or businessrelated, so I’m thankful for opportunities to assist individuals and families in a meaningful way. The Real Estate Section offers monthly breakfast MCLE programs free to section members and open to other members of the CCCBA and other guests, as well as networking and activities related to the practice of real estate law. Non-members are welcome to participate in monthly programs for a small fee. The programs focus on real estate issues of current interest. Our section is also proud to make annual charitable contributions to various groups and interests. This section meets the third Friday of most months. Annual dues are $55, which cover the MCLE programs and related meals. The Contra Costa Lawyer solicits articles from members of the section on a regular basis.

SOLO & SMALL FIRM SECTION Chris Schneider is an estate planning and tax attorney with Dorband & Schneider, LLP in Walnut Creek. He has been practicing since graduating from Golden Gate University in 2008. Chris is a native of the East Bay having grown up in Lamorinda and then attending Saint Mary’s College for undergraduate and graduate studies. He now lives with his wife and two young children in Alamo.

What was your most rewarding or inspirational career moment? I had a client who very much wanted to get married to a longtime partner. The client had been given incorrect information on a number of issues. I was able to clarify these issues and the client ended up getting married and was so thankful for my involvement. The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section—launched in 1996— evolved from the recognition that many sole and small firm practitioners desired and at times needed the camaraderie, intellectual stimulation, and informational Continued on page 22

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Section Leaders

Continued from page 21 exchange that attorneys generally find in larger law firms. By having consistent networking and fellowship opportunities, the Section has evolved into a collegial organization resembling a “firm,” with specialists in various fields both willing and able to offer assistance to other Section members. A partnership with John F. Kennedy University College of Law allows members to have cost-effective and convenient access to legal resources through full use of the campus library. Solo Section members have access to an email listserv and receive an email newsletter, The Maverick, informing them of upcoming events and providing topical articles and a forum for comment. The Section hosts after-work mixers and breakfasts in alternating months, and participates in the bar’s MCLE Spectacular each November. Monthly meetings are open to both members and non-members. MCLE Spectacular programs have included panel discussions on how to open a law firm and how to prepare a small firm for death, disability, and disaster.

TAXATION SECTION Christina Weed (JD, LLM – Taxation) is the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Christina Weed, PC, located in Walnut Creek. Her primary practice areas are tax law, estate planning, and business law. Christina has served as the Chair of the Tax Section since 2013. Christina lives in Danville with her spouse Dave, her daughter Liana (LiLi), and her two dogs.



What do you do to give back? I am the Chair of the Taxation Section; on the board of the Women’s Section; and on the Editorial Board for the magazine. The Taxation Section is one of the longest running sections of CCCBA. Its members meet regularly with tax agency leaders, skilled practitioners, and legal scholars to discuss changes in tax laws and administration. The Taxation Section also holds regular joint meetings with a number of different sections, such as the Real Estate, Family Law, Bankruptcy and Estate Planning & Probate Sections, to educate members on tax issues relevant to each section. Speakers at events have included ranking members of the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board, legal scholars and practitioners. Legal ethics, recent tax acts and “practice pointers” are among the topics covered during the year. The section invites all interested attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, paralegals, and others to attend one of its luncheon meetings. Affiliate membership is open to accounting practitioners only.

WEST COUNTY SECTION 2018 Section Leader – IT COULD BE YOU! The West County Section reestablished the connection between CCCBA members in West County that had been missing since the West County Bar Association was consolidated with the Contra Costa and Mt. Diablo Bar Associations. It is the only regional section, tasked with ensuring that the interests of lawyers practicing in the West Contra Costa area are represented within, and considered by, CCCBA. Meetings, which are generally held on a quarterly basis, are scheduled with a variety of continuing education presentations on topics

including juveniles, family, real property, trust and estate matters, and other issues of general legal interest. Bench/Bar networking events are also a priority to allow members to connect with each other and members of the local judiciary. CCCBA members from all practice areas are encouraged to join.

WOMEN’S SECTION Ariel Brownell Lee has a boutique family law practice in Walnut Creek. She is very active in both the legal community and her local community. This year, Ariel serves as President of the CCCBA Women’s section, Affiliate Governor for Contra Costa on the California Women Lawyer’s (CWL) board, and as a delegate of the Conference of California Bar Associations. Ariel lives in Oakland with her husband where she is active with her local government.

What was your most rewarding or inspirational career moment? I am constantly inspired by the hard work and dedication I see exhibited by my friends and colleagues in this county. It pushes me to work harder and strive to be a better lawyer and better community member. The Women’s Section has been a strong presence in CCCBA for over 26 years. Its members include attorneys practicing in all areas of the law who live or work in Contra Costa County. The goal of the section is to further the advancement of women in the legal profession and the judiciary. Men are welcome to join. The CCCBA Women’s Section is a proud Affiliate of the California Women Lawyers ( Members of the Women’s Section receive a discounted membership to CWL.

The Women’s Section provides networking opportunities for its members to meet other attorneys and professionals. The section hosts informational programs and lunches, some offering MCLE credit and others focusing on matters of more personal interest, such as job opportunities and rainmaking. The Women’s Section annually awards the Honorable Patricia Herron and Honorable Ellen James Scholarship to deserving law students who have shown leadership potential, achieved academic success, and helped to advance women’s issues. The section hosts a scholarship fundraiser each spring, usually in the form of a silent auction and wine-tasting. The section gratefully accepts donations to the scholarship fund anytime and would like to thank all who have donated and supported this great scholarship. All members are invited to attend the board meetings which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. If you would like to serve on the board or want further information, please contact the president.

Searching for New Business?

Sign up for CCCBA’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service Grow your practice with the CCCBA’s LRIS. We schedule over 5,500 client consultations with paying clients every year. We have immediate need for attorneys: • Who specialize in Tenant Rights or Juvenile Dependency • Spanish Speaking Attorneys (all specialties) • Moderate Means Attorneys

Contact Barbara Arsedo, LRIS & Moderate Means Director at (925) 370-2544, barsedo@ or visit lawyer-referral-network.

Good things come to those who belong!

The 2018 Membership Drive Is On Now

1 Go to 2 Click the “Renew” link in the top right corner. 3 Log in to your personal membership profile.

Questions, or Need Help? Contact Jenny Comages at (925) 370-2543 or

4 Review your current membership information and make any necessary changes.

5 Complete the secure payment section using a major

credit card, click “Submit Form” and you are renewed!



The Benefits of Membership Businesses featured here offer discounts to CCCBA members that would not otherwise be available. Simply identify yourself as a current CCCBA member to the participating business at the time of your transaction.

Business Coaching & Training


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Computer & IT Consulting

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David Jordan (925) 215-3559 ext. 101 | Discount: Discount: Free, no obligation 12 point cyber-security audit and one month free of ID Agent Dark Web ID Monitoring with any signed service agreement. Valid for firms of 10 or more computers.

Conference Room

Need a Place for a Meeting? Rent the CCCBA Conference Room. • Conference table seats 10-12 comfortably • Available for rent weekdays, 8 am - 5 pm • Near Concord BART and public transit • Includes use of high-speed internet, computer projector and conference call equipment For information, contact Barbara Arsedo, at (925) 370-2544 or barsedo@ Discount: CCCBA members get up to $30 off regular rental rates.

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Insurance (Business & Employee Benefits)

Gateway Financial Advisors MassMutual Financial Broker Business & Employee Benefits, Insurance and Retirement, Financial Literacy Jane Louie, CLTC 2010 Crow Canyon Pl., Suite 100 San Ramon, CA 94583 (415) 601-6592 Discounted Services include: Discounted and Group, Multi-life and Individual plans for health, disability, life; Up to 15% Association and up to 25% Multi-life Long-term Disability; Up to 45% Long-term Care; Negotiated Retirement plan fees; 40% for the Employer Advisory Council of the EDD credited seminars (EAC Member fees waived).

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Insurance (Liability)

Mercer Health & Benefits Insurance Services, LLC 345 California St., 13th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 (800) 339-9122 Fax: (415) 743-7733 richard.o’ Discount: Information regarding Professional Liability Insurance, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Workers Compensation, Business Office Packages and Accidental Death Insurance plans for members of the State Bar of California is available at calbar.

Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency, Inc. Dan McKenna, JD, RPLU Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency, Inc. | CA License #0620650 250 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., E-1 Novato, CA 94949 (415) 883-2520 dmckenna@mitchellandmitchell. com Discount: CCCBA members may receive a 5% discretionary credit on premiums.

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LaMusga Company Insurance, Financial Services, Divorce Planning Gary LaMusga, Financial Advisor; Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (925) 287-1567

Michelle Wyllie Bay Area Territory Manager (925) 300-3391

Discount: Take advantage of the CCCBA 30-50% discount (depending on product), plus other seasonal promotions for your legal research needs: All print, CD-ROM and Lexis Advance online subscriptions qualify. (Desktop code books excluded.)

Discount: CCCBA members receive a 10% discount when applying for the Standard Disability Insurance Policy.

Insurance (Life & Health) Mass Mutual Financial Group Pacific J.P. McDermott, MBA, CLTC Financial Planner | Investment Advisor Representative | Financial Services Representative 1255 Treat Blvd., Ste. 400 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 949-7423 (Office) (925) 858-9510 (Cell)

Discount: Mass Mutual offers a 10% discount on Disability Income Insurance for CCCBA members.



CEB - Continuing Education of the Bar Elle Segal 2100 Franklin Street, Suite 500 Oakland, CA 94612 510-302-2036 Discount: 10% off CEB’s Essential Forms product for CCCBA members, with the option to renew at the discounted rate. 10% off a book, OnLAW library or title. This is a one-time discount and does not apply for any renewals, updates, outstanding invoices or subscriptions.

Jill Jackson, Account Executive (925) 876-4294

Discount: 10% discount on your Firm Central Law Practice Management purchase. Only Firm Central from Thomson Reuters seamlessly integrates your legal research with your legal business. It’s the one cloud-based legal practice management software that integrates your documents, contacts, calendar, time-and-billing, legal research, and more to gain a complete and current view of your entire firm.

Marketing & Promotions

Advertising Magic/ AdMagix Marketing Rosalind Robe’ Boukis 2116 N. Main St., Ste. G Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 939-1111

Discount: Free screen or setup charge on all new orders ($50 value) or free half-hour marketing consultation.

Merchant Services

Polygraph Services

Printing Products Richard Wood 383 Diablo Rd., Ste. #217 Danville CA 94526 (925) 788-5057 Discount: Setup fee waived and free swiper with proof of CCCBA membership. provides the payment gateway for cardpresent and card-not-present transactions (you can use any internet enabled computer, tablet or phone to process card transactions), that will help you accept credit card and electronic check payments quickly and affordably, without having to pay more, or purchasing a physical terminal, and we will even waive the setup fee with proof of CCCBA membership. Your credit card information is encrypted at the swipe, ensuring safety and security on every transaction.

Office & Virtual Office Solutions

Company Folders, Inc. Graham Polygraph Professional polygraphs for court cases. Mark Graham 1536 Newell Ave., Ste. C Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 705-1254

Discount: 20% discount for firsttime clients. Priority scheduling.

Practice Management Systems

Shared workspace, meeting rooms and telephone receptionist services. Leslie Eisenberg 1261 Locust St. Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 482-8300 Victory Workspace (925) 728-4200 Reliable Receptionist Discount: CCCBA Members receive 50% off initial setup fees, a $25-$75 value depending on options selected.

3297 Orchard Lake Rd., Ste. 203 Keego Harbor, MI 48320 (248) 738-7600 Fax (248) 883-8880

Discount: 10% off plus free shipping within the continental U.S. Enter code CCCBA when requesting a quote.

Print & Mail Social Media Marketing

Clio is the most widely-used, cloudbased practice management system in the world. Everyday, tens of thousands of lawyers use Clio to schedule meetings, organize cases, track time, and invoice their clients.

Daily Digital Imaging (DDI) is a Direct Marketing, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Print and Mailing Company located in Pleasant Hill, California. DDI is a marketing and printing company.

(888) 858-2546 ext. 2 |

Pello Walker, President 3440 Vincent Rd. Suite I Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (925) 935-3621

Discount: Receive a 10% lifetime discount on Clio. Victory Workspace, home of Reliable Receptionist

Premium presentation folders, file folders, binders, stationery and more.

Discount: 10% discount for social media marketing and/or print and mail services. For details see http:// Jennifer Comages is the Membership Director for the Contra Costa County Bar Association. She joined CCCBA in 1979. For questions about membership benefits or your membership dues, contact her at (925) 370-2543 or



CCCBA Out And About

The MCLE Spectacular on November 17 drew one of the biggest audiences in its history! We thank all of our vendors including John F. Kennedy University College of Law.

MCLE Spectacular attendees Robin Birnbaum, Sean Culligan, Matt Talbot, a friend, and Steve Steinberg

Angelo Costanza and John Meaden at the MCLE Spectacular.

CCCBA Past President Phil Andersen (left) and incoming 2018 President James Wu recognized Steve Derby and RenĂŠe Welze Livingston (center) as Shining Stars at the board retreat in December.

The Litigation Section hosted free coffee and espresso outside the courthouse for its members and prospective new members on the morning of December 7.



At the Barristers Holiday Party on December 7, Jeremy Seymour (right) brought along his friends from the Lindsey Wildlife Experience. Seymour recently joined the board of directors for the Walnut Creek wildlife rehab center.

Towards Thankfulness and Abundance: A Call to Action by Craig Nevin

If you’ve never done pro-bono legal work before, you are in for something special. Once attorneys provide probono work, they put themselves on an ever-expanding path of giving. There is something forcefully empowering about “leveraging” your time and legal talent; you realize that by a change of focus from income to impact you can change somebody’s life – you can change many lives. Use your time to help others, and you will reap rewards way far beyond your expectations. When this article appeared earlier, it was prefaced by an inspirational quote from Contra Costa Superior Court Judge David B. Flinn (Ret.) who wrote:

“Pro-bono attorneys provide an absolutely vital function to our courts. Without them, both our judicial system and the public perception of our courts would be undermined: public perception would be that justice can only be obtained in proportion to the amount of money someone happens to have to spend on obtaining that amount of justice.” Judge Flinn’s quote unmistakably reminds us of the significant impact pro bono legal work has on our courts and the public perception of our judicial system. For this reason, our court, the bar association and the many local non-profit pro-bono service providers gladly offer mentoring, professional development, training and sometimes co-counsel relationships to volunteer attorneys.

At this time of year, there is another important reason you should make a personal commitment to provide pro-bono legal work each year: it’s good for you, good for your health and good for those around you. Studies confirm that an obsessive focus on material gain causes both physical and emotional burn-out. It has been said that, “any volunteering is good volunteering” and that expression is certainly appropriate with respect to pro bono legal work. Through providing pro-bono legal work, one realizes almost immediately that those who need your help are most often the elderly, the frail, those who have become disabled or those who are at that time facing severe financial challenges. By

aiding this group, one is almost certain to feel more positive about oneself. By intentionally giving of one’s time and talents to those less fortunate, both the client and the attorney benefit. Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health and helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. For many reasons, helping others and working without expectation of compensation can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being.

“How often during one’s legal career can one point to service, not compulsion, as the principal motivation for one’s legal work? This is what pro bono legal work offers. You may perhaps represent a particular person. You may possibly advocate on behalf of a particular cause. But above all, you serve: you serve the public interest; you serve the judicial system.” –Contra Costa Superior Court Judge John H. Sugiyama What is perhaps most notable is that even when attorneys and law firms provide relatively small amounts of pro-bono legal work, they can utterly change someone’s life for the better. Pro-bono clients are thrilled to have an attorney answering their legal question, or working on their matter, rather than having to attempt to represent themselves – even if that attorney is also working through the learning curve. If you haven’t provided pro-bono legal work before, make a resolution by the end of the year to start doing so. You will be amazed by the abundant benefits it provides to everyone involved and around you. If you know someone to feature in the CCCBA Spotlight for their Pro Bono Legal work, please contact me at (925) 639-0221 or Craig Nevin has a statewide law practice and a recently formed a construction and development corporation. Craig also has a life-long commitment to volunteer and pro bono work and is a recipient of CCCBA’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.



KUDOS to our Selfless CCCBA

Fee Mediation/Arbitration Program Volunteers by Emily Day

The Fee Arbitration Program could not operate without the dedicated attorney, lay mediator and arbitrator volunteers. These volunteers offer their time and expertise to the community by helping attorneys and their clients resolve fee disputes without the expense of going to court. Your admirable work ethic is appreciated by the CCCBA Board of Directors, the Fee Mediation/Arbitration Committee, and especially, by me, Emily Day, the Fee Arbitration Director.

Volunteer Breakdown

FEE MEDIATION/ ARBITRATION COMMITTEE Gizzi, Stephen, Chair Marraccini, Rod Pearson, David Peters, Dorian Sher, Malcolm LAY ARBITRATORS Goldberg, Kathleen Halper, Sharon Linn, Pat Lloyd, Kimball Moulton, John Savage, Linda Schreiber, Charles MEDIATORS Baxter, Leslie Cooper, David O. Cummins, Donal Casey



We currently have 73 arbitrators and mediators, including seven nonattorney arbitrators. Almost half have volunteered for five or more years. Cases are assigned to arbitrators familiar with the field of law the underlying case involves. So, if you are interested in volunteering for this important community service, please refer to the information on our website.

I would especially like to reach out to our family law attorneys and ask you to consider serving. At least half of the requests for arbitration filed each year involve family law, and since we have twice as many civil arbitrators than we do family law arbitrators, your participation would relieve the burden placed on your colleagues.

Dora, Ainsly Fenchel, Karen Floum, D. Alexander Gronowski, Katy Niemann, Robert Owen, Rachelle Poulos, Greg Rathjen, Jon Steele, Gina Stein, Randolph ARBITRATORS Bavafa, Pouya Beard, Terrence Brown, Christopher Carr, Frederick Deal, J. Garret De Die, Ann Marie Derby, Steven Doyle, Terence Dubow, Paul

Edgar-Dickman, Lisa Ehrlich, Rachel Feldman, Aaron Finta, Craig Ginn, David Glassford, James Graham, Jessica Golde, David Green, Horace Grover, Margaret Hartz, John Hesseltine, Wally Hickey, William Hirsch, Clifford Huddleston, Robert Huang, Peter Johnson, Bonnie Lally, Kevin Langberg, Aaron Langford, Carol Leoni, Terry Martin, John

To qualify as an attorney fee arbitrator, you must have been admitted to the practice of law a minimum of three years and be in current good standing with the State Bar of California. In addition, you must complete the CCCBA MCLE selfstudy program and test once every five years; or attend a State Bar Fee Arbitrator training program. All lawyers and non-lawyers who have completed at least 40 hours of mediator training acceptable to the CCCBA may serve as mediators. For more information about the program and how to apply, visit our website: attorney/build-your-practice/adrarbitration-mediation.php Emily Day is CCCBA’s Fee Arbitration Director and Systems Administrator. Emily has been with the CCCBA for 30 years. Morison William C. Odell, Gabriela Pastor, David Pearlman, Howard Peters, Helen Prentice, John Ryan, Dan Sohnen, Harvey Speir, George Stephens, Rand Subramanian, Uma Suskind, Barbara Taylor, Edward Walsh, Lorraine Webster, Jon West, Stuart Whiting, William Wolfrum, Thomas Yudien, Jordan

Lawyer Referral & Information Service

Update and Thank You

by Barbara Arsedo I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the attorneys of our Lawyer Referral and Information Service, our Moderate Means program and our LRIS Committee. The members of our LRIS sign up each year to receive referrals from their areas of practice They agree to give the client a 30-minute consultation, and hopefully retain the client. While some of our callers do not need more than the 30-minute consultation, our attorneys graciously meet with them to answer their questions about their legal issue. Even just a 30-minute consultation now may lead to a return client somewhere down the road. This year alone, we have been able to schedule appointments for over 3,500 clients, with another 1,500 who we were able to re-direct to another program or source of assistance. Our LRIS program is always on the lookout for new members. We have more than 53 main areas of practice to choose from and there are numerous subpanels that an attorney can join. We are also very grateful for those attorneys who have agreed to take on Moderate Means clients in the areas of Family Law, Immigration, Elder Law and Housing Law. The clients complete an application and submit their proof income to our office. Once approved, these attorneys agree to take on their cases for a much reduced hourly rate, providing a client who may not otherwise be able to afford an attorney the opportunity to obtain representation for their case. Last, but certainly not least, we thank our dedicated LRIS Committee,

consisting of nine CCCBA members who meet bi-monthly to help keep our LRIS on track, resolve any issues that may arise and generate new ideas for promoting our services. In 2017 LRIS Committee members were Joe Wolch (chair), Steve Steinberg (co-chair), Carolyn Cain, Mary Carey, Bill Hickey, Kathryn Korn, John Kortum, Dan Pocklington and Hon. James Marchiano (ret).

just a day! I’m extremely grateful for Mr. (Donal Casey) Cummins’ advice and reassurance and I’m looking forward to working with him in the near future.”

I also want to take a moment to express my thanks to our longtime Lawyer Referral intake staff, who are the main contact point for clients looking to consult with an attorney. Day in and day out, these staff members, Emily Day, Jennifer Comages, Richard Rose and Anne Wolf are on the phone, helping clients to determine what type of attorney they may need and then scheduling appointments with our LRIS attorneys.

If you wish to become a member of our Lawyer Referral and Information Service, signing up is simple and can be done at the time you renew your CCCBA Membership, or at any other time of the year, simply by contacting our office. If you have any questions about the LRIS contact me directly at (925) 370-2544 or

Our LRIS clients have expressed their gratitude often for their patience and understanding while taking these sometimes stressful calls.

“I had a great overall experience with LRIS. Barbara was able to book me an appointment with a local attorney in

“I just wanted it noted that Mr. Joseph Tully and his paralegal, Ashley were more than just amazing. From beginning to end the professionalism was amazing and truly made me feel like family. Thank you!!”

I look forward to working with all of our dedicated attorneys and staff this year. Thank you all very much! Barbara Arsedo is the Lawyer Referral & Information Service and Moderate Means Director. She celebrated ten years with the CCCBA this month. She is a regular speaker at the annual ABA Conference for Lawyer Referral Services.

Candice E. Stoddard Personal Injury Real Estate Litigation Trust and Estate Disputes Mediation


Law Offices of Candice E. Stoddard 1350 Treat Blvd., Suite 420 Walnut Creek, CA 94597

925.942.5100 • fax 925.933.3801 Practicing law in the East Bay for over 30 years




Honoring Long-Standing Members

of the Contra Costa County Bar Association By Carole Lucido

The CCCBA is proud of the following 33 members who have been practicing attorneys for 50 or more years. We interviewed a few of the leaders who contributed to the history of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, which was first established in 1934.


Date first admitted

Daniel Baker George Hardisty Leslie Morgan Kenneth Larson Paul Dubow Stan Pedder Julius Kahn Maurice Huguet, Jr. John Hartz J. Gary Gwilliam Lorin Blum Joel Zebrack Robert Buchman Wilfrid Roberge Howard Jameson David Golde Richard Breitwieser Irwin Eskanos William Whiting R. Lewis Van Blois Ken Kawaichi Steven Hallert William Houston Wilson Wendt George Chaffey Horace Siino Darryl Ott Howard Melamed John Diaz Coker Bruce Silverman Gary Snyder Brian Thiessen Walter Youngman



01/17/1950 10/19/1951 01/05/1955 01/07/1959 03/25/1959 01/01/1961 01/18/1961 01/16/1962 06/01/1962 01/10/1963 01/15/1963 01/07/1964 01/12/1965 01/18/1965 03/31/1965 06/07/1965 01/11/1966 01/11/1966 02/16/1966 08/07/1966 12/01/1966 12/23/1966 12/23/1966 12/23/1966 12/27/1966 06/13/1967 10/16/1967 12/01/1967 12/21/1967 12/21/1967 12/21/1967 12/21/1967 12/21/1967

Daniel Baker

went to work. He raised some “seed money” and produced a brochure that was sent to his attorney friends and associates across the U.S. cities. By leveraging his influence, he was able to reverse the U.S. Senate and defeat the bill.

Before he became an attorney in 1950, he served in the Pacific theater in World War II. He won medals for dropping two bombs – one on a Japanese freighter and one on a fighter plane.

Daniel Baker lives in Lafayette and makes a point of regularly attending the CCCBA’s annual MCLE Spectacular. He is in the process of wrapping up his practice.

has been a member of the state bar longer than any other CCCBA member.

While he was in the service, he was thinking about what kind of work he would do when he got out. He thought about a lot of different careers and the many people he knew. Then he thought that he didn’t know any attorneys… so there must be a shortage. Early in his career he represented some of the major transportation lines in the East Bay. He owned a practice with offices in San Francisco and in San Mateo with eight attorneys. Eventually he merged his firm with Hanson Bridgett. Now Hanson Bridgett has 150 attorneys. “As an attorney, I was in a position to do a lot of things that other people and other attorneys never had the chance to do including reversing a bill in the U.S. Senate,” he said. He learned about a bill that benefited the 12 or 14 major motor carriers in the country to the detriment of approximately 330,000 smaller carriers. The bill was introduced just before midnight when only two senators were present. Mr. Baker

Past CCCBA President

Steven Hallert

produced CCCBA’s first newsletter between 1982 and 1985, including the year he served as president (1984). The newsletter started as a take-off on Herb Caen’s column. In those days CCCBA was small and most of the members knew one another. The newsletter was a mixture of what we know as Bar Soap with event announcements, classified ads and vendor ads. Zandonella Reporting Service (the only court reporting service in the county) printed it for free. The Women’s Section was one of the few sections already established. The Family Law Section came later. “It was a time when attorneys were a collegial group,” Hallert explained.” It was easier to practice. If you had a matter scheduled for a Friday and wanted to take that Friday off, you could walk into the judge’s chambers with the opposing attorney and ask for a continuance. It was very

likely to be approved on the spot without a motion. There were also occasions when the assigned judge asked for the Friday off. The bailiff would call and ask the indulgence of the attorneys.” When he was President, the CCCBA was dealing with a few big issues, including the Yarborough decision (Yarbrough v. Superior Court, 1985). This decision made it possible to require attorneys work pro bono. “You might be sitting in the hallway of the courthouse with your client and the bailiff would tell you that the judge wanted to speak with you. That made you feel like you were pretty important! But when you went into his chambers, the judge told you that you would be appointed to serve on a criminal case without fees! It was a big problem for those of us who did not specialize in criminal law,” said Hallert who has specialized in family law for 45 of his 51 years as a practicing attorney. Hallert was first admitted to the bar in 1966 He practiced with his brother Marc for many years prior to the close of their formal office in 2016. He is now doing consulting for other attorneys working from his home in Walnut Creek.

Kenneth Larson

(pictured on the front cover) was admitted to the bar in 1960 and served as CCCBA president in 1967. “When I started to practice in Contra Costa County, there were three bar associations, Contra Costa, West Contra Costa and Mt. Diablo,” he wrote. “Although I practiced in Richmond and was a member of the West Contra Costa Bar Association, I was acutely aware of the growing prominence of the Mt. Diablo Bar which was providing new services such as the lawyer reference panel.

In the 1960s I was in a leadership position with the Contra Costa County Bar. I offered to sell the Richmond (or West Contra Costa) Bar to the Mt. Diablo Bar for $1. The offer was refused, but shortly thereafter the (three) associations were merged into the Contra Costa County Bar. “One of my fondest memories was the beginning of a tradition for welcoming new judges at their induction ceremonies,” he wrote. “ I sort of started it by welcoming new judges with an emphasis on humor rather than praise. After all, it’s the time you can make fun of a person before they put on the robe and suddenly become ‘Your Honor.’ It started when I was president of the bar and was asked to speak at Judge Conti’s induction. I did not know Sam Conti and introduced him by reading his blurb from the “bible” of the legal profession, the Martindale Hubble Lawyer Directory. I don’t think he liked it very much, but thereafter I was asked to speak at more inductions than anyone else with the possible exception of Bill Gagan. Beginning with Conti, I spoke at the inductions of Dolgin, Westover, Swagger, Fannin I and Fannin II.” Larson continues to practice as a partner with Larson, Vandersloot & Rivers in San Pablo. He has a very impressive resume that includes continuous experience in private practice specializing in industrial accidents, and personal injury litigation since 1960.

Brian Thiessen

was admitted to the bar in 1967 and served as CCCBA President in 1974.

What are you most proud of accomplishing with the CCCBA? • Blending the “West Contra Costa Bar Association” with the Mt. Diablo Bar Association and the Contra Costa County Bar Association. • Serving on the East Bay Community Foundation Board representing the CCCBA • Meeting individually (usually over lunch) with all Superior Court judges to enhance relationships between the bench and the bar • Helping get the Family Law Section off the ground • Legal education expansion

Are there programs that the CCCBA used to provide that you would like to see come back? CCCBA used to reach out into the community and participate much more widely. Its reputation now is for strength within the legal community but not connected with the greater community we serve.

In your opinion, what is the CCCBA known for? • Continuing legal opportunities


Continued on page 34

30 years experience in Probate & Trust Administration 3445 Golden Gate Way Lafayette, CA 94549 (925) 283-6998



Long-Standing Members

Continued from page 33 • Affording networking for attorneys to know each other and share growth • Serving the court system Brian Thiessen practices general civil, real estate, is a Certified Family Law Specialist as well as “the full ADR gamut.” He operates a solo practice in Walnut Creek, after having been the senior partner in the largest firm in Contra Costa County.

Richard Breitwieser

Association in 1978.

was admitted to the bar in 1966 and served as the last president of the Mt. Diablo Bar

What are you most proud of accomplishing with MDBA? Consolidating the Mt. Diablo Bar Association, Richmond (or West County) Bar Association and the County Bar Association. After World War II, the population was shifting from the river cities of Martinez, Pittsburg, and Antioch to the Diablo Valley and some of the attorneys in Walnut Creek, Danville, Lafayette, and Pleasant Hill felt that the County Bar Association did not represent them adequately and they formed the MDBA. The life blood of bar associations at that time was the income from the Attorney Reference Panel. Through the years the MDBA saw their income increasing whereas the Contra Costa County Bar Association experienced the opposite, to the extent that its very existence was threatened. Nevertheless most attorneys recognized that the existence of three bar associations was not in the best interests of the attorneys nor the public. 34


In the autumn of 1976, Ralph Capps, who was incoming president of the MDBA in 1977 and I, as his incoming VP, met and discussed the issues we would be confronting. Clearly, the merger of the three bar associations was significant and at that meeting he assigned me the duty to merge the three bar associations. During 1977 there were innumerable meetings between the representatives of the three bar associations. The primary factor that caused all of the disagreement was representation on the board of directors. The MDBA insisted on “at large” representation. Richmond did not oppose this because it had sufficient members to ensure that it had representation whereas the county bar opposed it because it did not. Finally in the fall of 1977 a compromise was reached whereas the attorneys in the river cities of Martinez, Pittsburg, and Antioch would be guaranteed two seats on the board for one cycle of elections, one seat on the following cycle after which all directors would be elected at large.

It was determined to fold the MDBA and Richmond bars and provide that the county bar would be the continuing bar association because the county bar was incorporated and because of name recognition. Since the agreement was reached late in 1977, it was further agreed to continue the existence of the three associations through 1978 to provide for an orderly transition. Dick Breitwieser continues to practice from his home in Diablo. His clients include the Diablo Community Service District (for the past 50 years), attorney consultations and individuals for whom he provides estate planning services. Carole Lucido is the Communications Director for CCCBA. You may have noticed her with a camera at CCCBA events. She produces the Contra Costa Lawyer, manages the email programs and helps with the website. She joined the CCCBA in 2016.


Celebrate Lunar New Year and D.I.N.E. (Diversity in the New Era)

$35 CCCBA Members $25 Law Students $50 Non-Members

Thursday, February 22

5:30 - 7:30 pm Uncle Yu’s 999 Oak Hill Rd. Lafayette

Space is limited. Register Online by Feb. 20 at


Archer Norris Miller Starr Regalia

Firms with 20-29 attorneys: Littler Mendelson, PC McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher, LLP

Firms with 15-19 attorneys: Bowles & Verna, LLP Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP Clapp Moroney Vucinich Beeman Scheley

Firms with 5-14 attorneys: Barr & Young Attorneys

Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP Brown, Gee & Wenger, LLP

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook Craddick, Candland & Conti

Doyle Quane Freeman Family Law Group Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy Ferber Law, APC

Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Fanucci Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey

Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally, LLP Hartog Baer & Hand, APC Livingston Law Firm, PC

Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP







Firms with 30+ attorneys:




gratefully acknowledges its

Contra Costa N A B E Lawyer Magazine Wins Award from the National Association of Bar Executives bl e i n Regular Pu


In early October, the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine was named winner of the Luminary Award for excellence in regular publications among small bar associations by the Communications Section of the National Association of Bar Executives. The Luminary Awards program recognizes excellence in bar association communications projects. CCCBA Communications Director Carole Lucido said, “I am very proud to have the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine recognized by this prestigious group of bar executives. I share this honor with the co-editors, David Pearson and Suzanne Boucher; the CCCBA Editorial Board and the guest editors who work so hard to provide top notch content for each issue.� CCCBA members interested in writing articles for the magazine are encouraged to contact Carole at, or (925) 370-2542.

Classifieds Office Suite in Downtown Lafayette

Office suite available on ground floor of a prominent legal firm (since 1955) in Lafayette. Two adjoining office rooms, lots of light. Free parking. Access to common kitchen area, conference room, law library, copy & postage machine. Beautiful Creekside setting $1,800/ mo. Possible to divide space into 2 offices and rent separately, your choice. To view, ask for Janelle (925) 283-6816.

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




Upcoming Events | Overview January 16 | Women’s Section Women’s Section Happy Hour

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon

January 19 | Real Estate Section

February 7 | CCCBA

more details below

ADA Litigation and Accessibility Essentials for California Commercial Spaces more details below

January 19 | Estate Planning & Probate Section Annual Probate Luncheon more details below

January 23 | Litigation and Real Estate Sections Real Estate Litigation 101 more details on page 37

The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 36 and 37 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

more details on page 37 and 39

Annual Membership Meeting more details on page 37

February 15 | CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering more details on page 37

February 22 | CCCBA Lunar New Year and D.I.N.E. more details on pages 34 and 37

February 23 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section Bridging the Gap

more details on page 37

Jan. 16 | Women’s Section

Jan. 19 | Real Estate Section

Jan. 19 | Estate Planning & Probate

Women’s Section Happy Hour

ADA Litigation and Accessibility Essentials for California Commercial Spaces

Annual Probate Luncheon

Join us for an update regarding litigation under the American’s with Disabilities Act and related state law.

Time: 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Think LinkedIn but over drinks. This Happy Hour is an opportunity to meet and build professional relationships. Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Location: MoMo’s Walnut Creek, 1444 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek Register: Please email Ariel Lee at Ariel@

Upcoming Women’s Section Events: Power Lunches: Mar. 13, July 10, Nov. 13 Happy Hours: May 8, Sept. 11 Annual Wine Tasting/Silent Auction Scholarship Fundraiser: Thursday, April 19

Speakers: Nathan L. Scheg, Esq. Robert Cooley Time: 7:30 am – 9:00 am Location: Scott’s Seafood. 1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek MCLE: 0.5 hour General and 0.5 hour Elimination of Bias MCLE credit

Annual Luncheon: Wednesday, June 27

Cost: Free for Real Estate Section members, $15 for Law Student Section members, $20 for CCCBA members, $35 non-members

Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner: Wednesday, October 10

Registration: Online at

CWL Fundraiser: Thursday, November 29

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

CWL MCLE: TBD, May 2018


January 26 | CCCBA



Speaker: Hon. Judge John H. Sugiyama

Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour Estate Planning & Trust Specialization MCLE credit Cost: $40 for Estate Planning & Probate Section members, $50 CCCBA members, $35 for Barristers, $30 Law Student Section members, $55 non-members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Jan. 23 | Litigation and Real Estate Sections

Real Estate Litigation 101

Jan. 26 | CCCBA

Feb. 7 | CCCBA

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon 2018

Annual CCCBA Membership Meeting

Learn about the basics, some tips, some tricks and some traps that you need to know to effectively prosecute and defend real estate cases.

Speaker: Presiding Judge Jill Fannin

Speakers: Marcus T. Brown, Esq. – Law Office of Marcus T. Brown Steven Kahn, Esq. – Hoge Fenton

Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Time: 11:45 am – 1:30 pm Location: 1515 Restaurant, 1515 N. Main St., Walnut Creek MCLE: 1 hour General MCLE credit Cost: $20 for Real Estate, Litigation and Law Student Section members, $30 CCCBA members, $40 non-members

New this Year! Presentation of the first annual CCCBA Diversity Awards Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill Cost: $45 CCCBA members, $40 Barristers, $30 Law Student Section members, $55 non-members Registration: Online at

Please join us for the 2018 Annual CCCBA Membership Meeting. This is an opportunity to meet your Board members and share your thoughts about the CCCBA. Have a question for the board? Please submit them by Wed., January 24 to Theresa Hurley at thurley@ Time: 5:30 pm Location: CCCBA 6th Floor Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 650, Concord More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

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

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

Feb. 15 | CCCBA

Feb. 22 | CCCBA

CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering

Celebrate Lunar New Year and D.I.N.E. (Diversity In the New Era) with CCCBA!

Please mark your calendars for our first Happy Hour Gathering of 2018. These are casual, no host events, 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. We can’t wait to see you! Time: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm Location: Teleferic Barcelona, 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Feb. 23 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

Bridging the Gap

Co-sponsored by CourtCall and SF Daily Journal

Celebrate Lunar New Year with the CCCBA! Join fellow members and local judges to enjoy delicious food and drink and welcome the Lunar New Year.

New lawyers, young lawyers, and lawyers new to the county: Get acquainted with the Contra Costa County Bar Association, the Superior Court and local judges, local practitioners and much more!

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Time: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Location: Uncle Yu’s – Lafayette, 999 Oak Hill Rd., Lafayette

Location: CCC DA’s Office Community Room, 900 Ward St., Martinez

Cost: $35 CCCBA members, $25 Law Student Section members, $50 non-members

MCLE: 4 hours general MCLE credit

Registration: Online at

COST FOR NEW ADMITTEES IS WAIVED! If you qualify as a NEW ADMITTEE for 2018 (First year of practice only/never practiced before), join the CCCBA online and pay your $35 dues. Once you have become a member, simply click on the “Member Signup” button on the event page to register for free.

Cost: $15 for section members, $35 for CCCBA members, $45 for non-members Registration: Online at CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


2017 Year-End Financial Report

(Based on projections as of mid-December. Staff and overhead expenses are not reflected under individual categories.)


EXPENSES: NET: profit / (loss)









Dues, mailings, committee meetings, applications, State Bar swearing-in ceremonies, recruitment campaigns, networking mixers, annual leadership meetings, holiday party, printing costs. Consultation fees, membership fees, percentage fees, advertising, brochures & marketing, phone system, postage, supplies, client surveys, committee meetings, staff education, Moderate Means Program, FLARe (Family Law Mediation program), Limited Representation program, marketing & panel recruitment, State Bar re-certification fees, free community legal workshops.












OFFICE ADMINISTRATION Staff (does not include Criminal Conflicts Program)



Executive Director:



Filing fees, State Bar reimbursements, refunds, postage, committee meetings, supplies.


MCLE Spectacular, Member Marketing Series, Member Benefit programs, diversity events, A’s game, Pro Bono mixer, committee meetings, State Bar provider status renewal. Contra Costa Lawyer & Pictorial Membership Directory: Printing, postage, production, mailing house, MCLE self-study tests, committee meetings, photography, directory practice area listings, advertising revenue (including website and weekly broadcasts), stock photos, blog book, video-editing software, etc.

Payroll, payroll taxes, payroll service, pension disbursements, medical, dental & vision benefits, workers’ comp insurance, staff professional development, staff search, expense reimbursements. Education & travel, dues/membership fees, expenses, etc.

Office Equipment:



Computers, computer consulting services, database, photocopier, fax machine, printers, postage machine & meter, etc.


$ 22,746














Conference room rental income, rebates (LMIC, Marsh Affinity Group, JobTarget), interest & dividend income (including replenishing reserves), office rent and overhead, property insurance, office supplies, credit card processing fees, phone system, staff meetings, accounting, miscellaneous taxes, etc.


Installation luncheon, Board meetings, bar leader conferences, strategic planning meetings, gavels & plaques, miscellaneous committee meetings, Errors & Omissions & EPL Insurances, legal services.


E-mail broadcasts, section leaders’ meetings, program registration, handbooks, postage & mailings.


Planning meetings, registration & hotel, materials, etc. Website modifications/updates, SPAM filter, Internet connection.






Court Tours docent training & thank you luncheon, postage & mailings, materials Bench/Bar meetings, Fast Track Bench/Bar roundtable.






$1,167 ($703) ($0.00)

Friday, January 26, 2018 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Annual Officer Installation lUNCHEON OFFICERS TO BE INSTALLED Board Members: James Wu, President  | Wendy McGuire Coats, President-Elect Oliver Greenwood, Secretary | Laura Ramsey, Treasurer Philip Andersen, Past President DIRECTOrs: Gina Boer | Steven Derby | Mika Domingo | David Erb Renée Welze Livingston | David Marchiano Ericka McKenna | Nicole Mills | Craig Nevin | Dorian Peters Summer Selleck | Qiana Washington

Section Leaders: Margaret Grover: ADR Gary A. Watt: Appellate Jen Lee: Bankruptcy Law Matthew Collis: Barristers Luis Montes: Business Law Joseph Tully: Criminal Law Konstantine Demiris: Elder Law Mukesh Advani: Employment Virginia George: Estate Planning & Probate Anne Freeman: Family Law Flavio Carvalho: Immigration Law

Joseph R. Snyder & Stuart West: Intellectual Property Law Rhonda Wilson-Rice: Juvenile Kate Mignani, Lisa Antoine & Richard Rose: Law Student Leonard E. Marquez: Litigation Marcus Brown: Real Estate Chris Schneider: Solo Practice & Small Firm Christina Weed: Taxation Ariel Brownell Lee: Women

Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill

Presiding Judge Jill Fannin will give a State of the Court address before swearing in the 2018 Board of Directors and Section Leaders. We will present the first annual CCCBA Diversity Award to qualifying Law Firms

REGISTER TODAY! $45 CCCBA Members $40 Barristers $30 Law Students $55 Non-members Menu choices: Roast Sirloin, Poached Salmon Filet ~ OR ~ Butternut Squash Ravioli To register, contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540, or visit

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