Contra Costa Lawyer - November 2018 - The Bench Bar Issue

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Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 31, Number 6 | November 2018

The Bench Bar Issue Much Change for 2018 More to Come in 2019 The Changing of the Guard Updates from the Court

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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 6 | November 2018

The official publication of the

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

features Presiding Judge Review, by Hon. Jill Fannin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Changing of the Guard by Hon. Barry Baskin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Civil Division Update, by Hon. Edward Weil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Criminal Courts 2018, by Hon. Theresa Canepa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Family Law Perspective, by Hon. Terri Mockler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Year of Changes in Juvenile, by Hon. Rebecca Hardie. . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Barbara Arsedo Carole Lucido

2018 Review - Probate Division, by Hon. John Sugiyama. . . . . . . . . . . 19

Jennifer Comages Anne K. Wolf

It’s Good to be Busy, Right? Pittsburg Court 2018, by Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

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 Ann Battin

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BOARD LIAISON Marcus Brown Nicole Mills 925.482.8950 925.351.3171 Beth Mora COURT LIAISON 925.820.8949 Kate Bieker Perry Novak

Richmond Court Update, by Hon. Clare Maier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Traffic Division 2018, by Hon. John Kennedy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Returning Home: An Interview with Honorable Leonard E. Marquez, by Shannon Stone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 An Interview the Hon. Virginia George, by James Paulsen . . . . . . . . . . 27 Court Tours, by Theresa Hurley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Civil Law and Motion Practice in Contra Costa County: A View from the Inside, by Jay Chafetz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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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.

INSIDE: Much Change in 2018. More to Come in 2019, by Kate Bieker, Court Executive Officer

NEWS & UPDATES 10 Save the Date: CCCBA Installation Lunch 14

Bar Fund Benefit Summary and Photos


PHOTOS: Diversity Networking Event with Minority Bar Associations


2019 Judicial Assignments


Thank You Section Leaders


what you missed last month: October Issue

35-37 Calendar 35 Classifieds 37

Law & Culture Trip: to Colombia

37 Advertiser index 38

PHOTOS: Judges Night

39 mcle sPECTACULAR 2018




by Kate Bieker, Court Executive Officer & Guest Editor

Much change in 2018 More to come in 2019 It is such an honor to write this article as the new Court Executive Officer of Contra Costa Superior Court. This court is a special place full of amazing judges, commissioners, and staff. I have been with the court for almost 13 years and I can truly say I enjoy it each and every day. In my six months as CEO, we have been faced with ongoing budgetary challenges but with some good news on increased funding from the governor’s budget this fiscal year. With these funds, we will work hard to address our staffing shortage both in the Clerk’s Offices and courtrooms. We are also working to comply with the Jameson v. Desta Supreme Court decision to increase the number of court reporters in family law courtrooms in accordance with the ruling. I have many exciting news items to share with you: • Contra Costa Superior Court has entered into an agreement with a vendor, Thomson Reuters, for a new case management system. We begin our path down this complicated process with the traffic-case type. We have been fortunate to learn from other courts throughout the state on their “lessons learned” during implementation so we can avoid the same pitfalls. The implementation of case management system is a massive undertaking and will take the court somewhere 4


around five years to fully complete a courtwide all-case type system successfully. As we work through implementing the system, we work to fund the system. We are working with the Judicial Council to submit a budget-change proposal to the state Department of Finance with seven other courts to help pay for the cost of the new system. We are hopeful these funds will be approved for fiscal year 2019-20 in order to move forward with the criminal upgrade. • We have had significant additions and changes within my executive team. Magda Lopez retired in October after 11 years with the court as the Director of Court Programs and Services. She had direct oversight of Family Law, Legal Research Attorneys, Court Interpreters and served as Public Information Officer (PIO). We have now split her duties amongst three members of the team: (1) Human Resources Director Shannon Stone oversees the Court Interpreters’ Unit. (2) James Paulsen was recently promoted to Director of Family Law and Probate and manages the Family Law and Probate Division. Jim has been working to transition into his new role and we are very fortunate for his professionalism and commitment to the court. (3) A newly-created position to the Executive Team is the Director of Compliance and Communications (C&C). This posi-

tion has assumed the role of PIO and has oversight of the legal research attorneys. The C&C Director will help the court with the numerous legislative changes to the criminal justice system, overall compliance of these laws each year, and implementation of urgent legislation. We found the perfect candidate to fill this position with Matt Kitson who has served as our Lead Civil Research Attorney for the past four and a half years for the court. Prior to joining the court, Matt was an attorney whose practice focused on complex litigation and white collar criminal defense. Matt has been working with our Presiding Judge Jill Fannin and me to develop the position and we believe this role is critical for all the changes and complexities that our court has endured this past year and more that is sure to come. • Lastly, I am very excited to announce a wildly successful find for our court—Chief Informa-

tion Officer David Chulick. David joined the court in May and has been “putting out fires” since his arrival. Our court has been plagued with several technology issues these past few months and David has been able to handle each one with little or no interruption to court customers. David comes to Contra Costa from Sonoma Superior Court with seven years experience as its IT Director. Prior to joining our court, David worked for many city entities as well as for the state of California. David has successfully implemented two case management systems at Sonoma Superior Court. His knowledge and expertise will serve the court favorably as we venture down the case management path. David will continue to steer the IT Department as it embarks on the advances that are being developed statewide to help court users utilize technology through digital evidence, video arraignment and much more.

David has a challenging future ahead of him with little attention having been given to the IT Department due to budget constraints. The court must focus on its infrastructure to combat viruses and data breaches as well as update our outdated servers and backup systems. David will also focus on the infrastructure of the court security system working in conjunction with our facilities team. All this and implementing a new case management system! I have no doubt David will handle it like a pro! I am very enthusiastic for the new members of my court executive team and believe 2019 will be incredibly exciting and full of good change! Kate Bieker serves at Court Executive Officer of the Superior Court of Contra Costa County. Prior to her appointment to CEO she had oversight of a number of units at the Court including Jury, Court Operations, and Finance.

2019 Membership Drive Begins Now!

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Presiding Judge


By Hon. Jill Fannin, Presiding Judge

By the time you read this article, I will have nearly completed my two-year term as Presiding Judge (PJ). What a whirlwind it has been. Soon I will be heading back to a civil assignment with only memories of the challenges and opportunities presented. I am most proud of the improvements we instituted in the Juvenile and Family Divisions. Last year, we moved the juvenile courtrooms from downtown Martinez into a new Juvenile Justice Center in Walnut Creek. The move has been a resounding success, resulting in improved services for families involved in both dependency and delinquency matters. We were also able to shift resources to provide another judge to the always overworked Family Law Division. The recently vacated Martinez courtrooms presented an unanticipated benefit. Chronic staffing shortages were causing service problems for the two Pittsburg Family departments so we moved those judges back to Martinez into the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse earlier this year. In other judicial moves, we transformed a criminal trial department into a dedicated criminal mental health department. Given the volume Judge Brady has handled in the department, there is no question that the department was sorely needed. Judge Brady also took the lead in starting our grant-funded 6


Veteran’s Treatment Court which has been a huge success. Finally, we were able to increase judicial resources for Probate, a case type which has seen steadily increased filings over the years. After decades of discussion, I was thrilled to finally sign a contract on behalf of the court for a new case management system (CMS). We launched the project in our traffic division, spearheaded by our very own CMS Project Manager, Sharad Jain, who is helping us oversee implementation of the system. Once traffic is completed, we will move on to other larger case types until we eventually have one unified case management system. My tenure saw tectonic changes in the composition of the court and administration. By the end of the year, we will have said goodbye to seven veteran judges and said hello to four new bench officers. In the administration, we bid farewell to our former Court Executive Officer, Stephen Nash, and welcomed a true star, Kate Bieker. Many of you already know Kate from her 12-plus years at the Court including the past few years running court operations. Kate has hit the ground running and will provide steady leadership for the Court in years to come. Kate has already helped us weather numerous crises caused by our failing IT infrastructure. Many of you are familiar with the ongoing troubles we have had with civil e-filing but you might not be aware

of other difficulties, such as the time the holding cells in Pittsburg were stuck in unlock mode for a week due to a corrupted server. David Chulick, our new Chief Information Officer, is doing his best to bring us into the 21st Century. The court confronted many challenges due to immediate changes in the law. We had to juggle dockets and change calendars based on Humphrey, a ground-breaking decision concerning bail. While Humphrey is now pending before the California Supreme Court, the governor signed SB 10 which does away with cash bail next fall. We are now evaluating an entirely new system for pretrial release. Early July brought Jameson v. Desta. That decision obligated trial courts to immediately provide court reporters in any civil, family or probate case where a party desires a record of the proceedings and has a fee waiver. We have been forced to quickly obtain electronic recording equipment in misdemeanor proceedings so that we can free up our court reporters for the new workload in civil matters. Handling these challenges would not have been possible without the flexibility and support of the bench, our hardworking staff and administration, and the bar. I want to thank all of you for your help and patience during these past two years. It is now time to pass the PJ reins to the capable hands of Judge Barry Baskin. Good luck Judge Baskin!

The Changing

of the Guard

By Hon. Barry Baskin, Assistant Presiding Judge Our Presiding Judge Jill Fannin has been a stellar captain, guiding our court through what we hope will be the end of an eight-year fiscal storm. Judge Fannin not only managed with less but somehow began the long overdue start to an electronic case management system (CMS) which starts this year in Traffic, and I hope to expand in later years to all case types. Thanks to her tireless efforts, my task as the incoming Presiding Judge is so much easier. I now only have to keep our ship on the same course that she charted for the last two years. I am fortunate to start my term as Presiding Judge with a new Court Executive Officer (CEO) Kate Bieker, who recently replaced Stephen Nash. She is one of a few CEOs that came up through the ranks of being a Senior Human Resources Manager, and our 41 bench officers and 325 employees will benefit from her expertise and untiring efforts during these challenging times. Most of her staff have had to work harder with less resources, and without a pay increase for many years. The communities we serve are increasingly diverse and our bench reflects that: I will be the first immigrant to become the Presiding Judge of our court (also the first immigrant appointed to the bench in California that was born, raised, and trained in South Africa). The court’s next Assistant Presiding Judge succeeding me is Rebecca Hardie, the first openly gay person set to become the Presiding Judge of our court in 2021.

My work as the Presiding Judge has already begun with the first and perhaps most challenging task: Judicial Assignments for 2019. In our county, I am fortunate that we have such a talented and reputable bench where many serve statewide on important committees. Our courts talents are rich but its resources are under great strain. For the last eight years, we have seen our court’s finances slashed to the point where we can cut no more, only bare bones remain. We can only hope the next governor sees fit to restore our judiciary to a healthy level so that access to justice for all is improved. We are after all, an equal branch of government and should not have to lobby to keep courts open, as in the past. On the negative side, the court’s ability to maintain open courtrooms while there are open judgeships, illnesses or other absences is in doubt. Our current allotment of visiting judges (used to fill these empty slots on a temporary basis) is being reduced by 50% which creates a serious challenge to keep all courtrooms open at all times. On the positive side, there is a possibility that our court will be granted the funding with which to extend our Traffic CMS to all case types. If this comes to pass, our county will be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century with current technology. We have a very high criminal trial rate which needs to be addressed. We have been using a master calendaring system for all criminal cases,

in contrast to the direct systems for civil, juvenile and family. I will create a committee to investigate whether a master calendar criminal system is the most efficient for our court in the future. In addition, I hope we can find a way to have more collaboration in our criminal justice system: To this end I am hoping to immediately enlist the District Attorney, Public Defender, Criminal Conflicts Panel and private bar support, to assist in the establishment of a dedicated courtroom to handle cases identified as benefitting from such collaboration, to achieve resolution. Those cases that fail to resolve early will go back into the usual criminal case flow. I look forward to working with our Contra Costa County Bar Association and all attorneys to improve our communication and joint efforts at improving our justice system. We cannot provide adequate levels of service without the numerous hours and countless attorneys who volunteer their time. I am daunted by the challenges that will come during my term as Presiding Judge. My predecessors have set a very high bar and I won’t be able to meet that standard alone. I have an open door policy and if you have ideas on improving our system, please share them with me and say a prayer that our new governor is more generous to our courts than the current one.



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Civil Division Update by Hon. Edward Weil, Supervising Judge

Our most notable development in the Civil Division this year has been the unfortunate (for us!) retirement of Judge Barry Goode this May. Judge Goode presided over the Court’s Complex Litigation Department since 2011 (with a two-year “respite” in 2013 and 2014 to serve as Presiding Judge of the court). He also was an admired Family Law Judge for three years, and served in the Richmond Courthouse for three years before that. He is enjoying time and travel with his wife, but we have persuaded him to sit on assignment here in the same courthouse in a few instances, and hope to continue to do so. Judge Goode has long been known for his intelligence, hard work, and calm demeanor (and baked goods for jurors). He served as Presiding Judge through a time of extreme “fiscal challenges” for the Court. He is greatly missed. Since then, I have taken over as the complex litigation judge, and my spot handling half civil cases and half probate cases has been taken over by Judge Susanne Fenstermacher. Judge Fenstermacher has been a member of the Court since 2005, and has served in virtually every type of judicial assignment in our county. Combined with her experience practicing civil, family, and probate law, her intellect makes her a perfect fit for the assignment. Another change in store for the Civil Division is the retirement of Judith Craddick at the end of the year. Judge Craddick was appointed to

the Court in 1998, and has served in many assignments, most recently the Civil Division for the last several years. Her insight and breadth of legal knowledge will be difficult to replace. But the good news is that when Judge Jill Fannin completes her term as Presiding Judge at the end of the year, she will take Judge Craddick’s spot hearing civil cases. Judge Fannin is eager to get back to hearing cases again. We continue to rely on the invaluable assistance of the bar in three important ways. First, most discovery motions are considered initially through the Discovery Facilitator Program set forth in Local Rule 3.300. Second, we continue to use volunteer “settlement mentors,” who meet with the parties on the day of trial (or the day of the issue conference),and often are able to resolve even the most difficult matters. Finally, when our extraordinary Commissioner Lowell Richards is not available, we are able to use volunteer pro tem judges who preside over civil harassment hearings, unlawful detainers and small claims matters. All of us at the court greatly appreciate the work of our volunteers. In some good news, newly available funding has enabled us to obtain interpreter services for civil cases. If your client needs an interpreter, you should make the request as soon after you appear in the case by filing form “MC 300 Interpreter Request.” (The form is available on the Court’s website.) This service also applies to witnesses, so it is no longer necessary to bring your own interpreter

for a witness if you make the proper request. If the language in question is Spanish, we generally can cover the matter with the court’s excellent staff of interpreters. For other languages, advance notice is important because interpreters can be more difficult to obtain. A final development is the implementation of the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Jameson v. Desta (2018) 5 Cal. 5th 594. In that decision, the Court held that in a civil case in which a party has obtained a fee waiver, that party is entitled to a waiver of the official court reporter attendance fees. This applies, even if the Court does not ordinarily provide court reporters, in civil cases (as our court does not) as long as it permits parties who can afford court reporters to bring them. The Court did not expressly address payment for the production of a transcript, nor the precise mechanism for requesting a reporter. At this point, however, we are providing court reporters on request in cases with a fee waiver.

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Save the Date! CCCBA Please join the leadership of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and many local current and retired judges for this annual luncheon which celebrates all CCCBA members!

Judge Barry Goode (ret.) will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award! Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Barry Baskin will give a State of the Court address before swearing in the 2019 CCCBA Board of Directors and Section Leaders. We will be presenting the 2nd Annual CCCBA Diversity Awards to qualifying law firms. This award is open to all CCCBA firms, large or small. There is still time to qualify. Complete the Diversity Checklist and return it by December 15.



Installation Lunch Friday, January 25, 2019 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill Board Members to be Installed:

Wendy McGuire Coats, President Oliver Greenwood, President Elect James Wu, Past President

Directors: Gina Boer | Mika Domingo David Erb | David Marchiano | Ericka McKenna Nicole Mills | Craig Nevin | David Pearson Michael Pierson | Dorian Peters Summer Selleck | Qiana Washington Rachael Zeiph

Criminal Courts 2018 By: Hon. Theresa Canepa, Supervising Judge

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need.” Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed, 1969

We in the Martinez Criminal Court of Contra Costa County have had our fair share this year of getting what we want, as well as trying to get what we need. 2017-2018 has proven to be both challenging as well as innovative! Innovative, due to the creation of a Mental Health Department and the launching of a much-needed Veteran’s Court; and challenging, due to new administrative regulations regarding judges sitting by assignment, as well as the Jameson Decision requiring the court to provide court reporters in certain civil and family law proceedings. But our starting point, as always, is a review of the number of case filings this year. In 2017, the District Attorney’s Office filed 2,511 felony cases and 884 misdemeanors, which is down from the 3,268 felony complaints and a slight uptick of 80 misdemeanor complaints from the 2016 numbers. In 2017, 103 felony cases went to trial, as did 63 misdemeanor cases. 2018 looks to be right in line with this same amount. We have made great strides in reducing the number of misdemeanors which proceeded to trial, for which Judge Christopher Bowen, who runs Department 40, is largely responsible. His department will be reconfigured as of September 10, 2018 to a misdemeanor-only calendar with electronic reporting,

due to the above-noted decision allocating court reporters to particular family law and civil proceedings. Judge Bowen’s felony matters, including pre-preliminary arraignments, sets, changes of plea, bail hearings, and warrants, will be re-directed to Department 35. His felony law and motion matters will be heard by Judge Laurel Brady. Our hardworking trial judge lineup includes Judges Barry Baskin (soon to assume the mantle of Presiding Judge), Charles “Ben” Burch, Lewis Davis (now assuming the responsibility for the Mental Health Court), John Kennedy, Cheryl Mills (who also handles the misdemeanor probation and motions calendar on Mondays), Anita Santos, and Nancy Davis Stark. When not engaged in back-to-back trials, these judges hear preliminary hearings, bail motions, and any other overflow work from the various calendar departments. Judge Patricia Scanlon has run our Felony Criminal Calendar Department for several years, and has volunteered to do so again in 2019. It is an incredibly busy assignment, soon to become even more so with the addition of the Parole/ PR SC calendar as of September 10, 2018. Along with the felony probation calendar, she handles all postpreliminary hearing felony matters including arraignments, sets, changes of plea, bail motions, restitution hearings, and pro per inmate matters.

Judge Laurel Brady has been instrumental this year in setting-up the Mental Health Court that allows for a concentration of specialized doctors and the team of defense counsel, prosecutors and others to focus on the growing mental health caseload. This program is still in its infancy but is expected to serve those in the criminal justice system who need mental health care and assist them with access to community treatment and care as an alternative to incarceration. Judge Brady also directs the Behavioral Health Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court. This latter specialty court currently has 17 veterans participating in the program. During the minimum 18-month program, veterans receive individualized treatment programs and care through Veteran’s Affairs, other local agencies and hospitals. The team, comprised of the District Attorney, Public Defender or other defense counsel, Probation, Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, County Veterans Services Officer, Veteran Mentors and the Court all collaborate to provide our veterans with the much deserved care and treatment they need, while helping them work through the justice system to get back on their feet. Judge Brady hears the Behavioral Health Calendar on Wednesday afternoons. However, as she is currently assigned to a lengthy co-defendant trial, her matters are

Continued on page 13



Family Law


By Hon. Terri Mockler, Supervising Judge

The year 2018 has been one of change in the Family Law Division. Change in the Bench officers. Change in the Local Rules of Court. Change in courthouses. And, a seismic shift in how child custody mediation is conducted. We welcomed three judges to Family Law this year—Judges Joni Hiramoto, John Laettner, and Danielle Douglas. We said goodbye to Judges Christopher Bowen, Leslie Landau, and Anita Santos. We also welcomed Courtney O’Hagan as the Family Court Facilitator and James Paulsen as the Director of Family Law and Probate. James Paulsen has taken over for Magda Lopez who retired in October. Happy travels Magda! Mid-year, all family law matters returned to Martinez. This move was necessary to economize family law resources. We all recognize that for some litigants, Pittsburg was much more accessible to them than Martinez. However, behind the scenes, all the family law files, pleadings, judgments to be processed, and the vast majority of DVRO and ex parte requests, came from Martinez and had to be transported back and forth between the two cities. Legal clerks, technicians, and facilitators all had to be rotated between Martinez and Pittsburg and by mid-2018, it became unsustainable to have family law departments in Pittsburg. Judges John Cope and Brian Haynes were good sports about the change and now hold court in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. 12


Speaking of the judges, Judge Cope is finishing out his third year in Family Law. Judge Haynes is finishing up his second year in Family Law. Our newer judges, Judge Hiramoto, Judge Laettner, and Judge Douglas, have had to hit the ground running since the Court adopted Tiered Custody Mediation a mere two months into their family law assignment. Commissioner Murphy continues to preside over child support cases involving the Department of Child Support Services. By far the biggest change this year has been the move to the Tiered Mediation model in child custody matters. Under this model, which two Supreme Court commissions have recommended, every litigant desiring child custody orders attends confidential mediation. If the parties reach agreement on custody issues, that agreement becomes the custody order. If they do not (aka NAR), then there are no recommendations by the mediator and the litigants submit the issue to the judges. We all received training from the Family Court Services staff, and their counterparts in Fresno County, which piloted the model back in 2013. Now five months into the change, we do spend a lot more time on custody issues, however, litigants leave court with custody orders much the same as the ones they would have received under the recommending mediation model. We are grateful to the members of the Family Law Section of the Contra Costa County

Bar Association for their cooperation in this transition. A further change occurred in July when departments started having court reporters part of the time. In response to the California Supreme Court’s decision in Jameson v. Desta, 5 Cal. 5th 594, departments usually have a court reporter for self-represented litigant days and for domestic violence restraining order matters, at least, in those cases with a fee waiver. All of these changes have dramatically affected the Family Law Clerk’s Office, the Family Law Facilitators, and the Family Court Services Mediators. It has been an exciting year to supervise Family Law. I have learned so much about the operations of Family Law and have loved working with all of the various people who make it all happen. I will miss supervising but understand that rotations are a part of the life of a judicial officer. At least I will remain here another year to maintain some continuity. It has been said before, and I agree, we are family over here in the Family Law Division. We could not have adapted to all of the 2018 changes without a great deal of team work. I am proud to be a member of this winning team.

Criminal Courts 2018

Candice E. Stoddard

Continued from page 11

Personal Injury Real Estate Litigation Trust and Estate Disputes Mediation

now heard by Judge Lewis Davis, who has graciously agreed to spearhead the Mental Health Court until she concludes the trial. Finally, our Master Calendar continues to call the felony, misdemeanor, and preliminary hearing calendars, and to hear non-evidentiary felony motions, preliminary hearings, bail hearings, and the grant-funded Domestic Violence Court. It will hear all other prepreliminary felony matters as of September 10, 2018, as noted above. We wish to thank our talented pool of retired judges who sit by assignment– not only from Contra Costa County, but from Alameda, Calaveras and Solano Counties, just to


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name a few. Given the new rules promulgated by the Judicial Council as to the number of hours they can sit per year, we can only hope that these amazing judges will continue to return to assist our courts next year (and thereafter).

Team and staff, wonderful courtroom clerks, hardworking court reporters, and efficient bailiffs, as well as the attorneys and probation officers who toil in our departments every day, ensuring that justice and fairness are provided to all. Salud!

Last but not least, we heartily thank our Administrative Management


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in support of the Richard E. Arnason Court Scholarship Program and the Contra Costa County Public Law Library

Thank you to our sponsors Platinum

Archer Norris Hartog, Baer & Hand A.P.C. CCCBA Estate Planning & Probate Section GOLD AcuĂąa Regli Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP Casper Meadows Schwartz & Cook Hanson Bridgett, LLP Retired Judicial Friends of Judge Arnason SILVER Bramson Plutzik Mahler & Horner Law Group Birkhaeuser JAMS J. H. Bornstein, Attorney at Law The Law Offices of Brown Gee & Wenger Johnson & Johnson Budde Law Group Littler Mendelson Donahue Fitzgerald McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Paul Eisner, Attorney at Law Ambacher LLP Ferber Law Miller Starr Regalia Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Mullin Law Firm Markowitz & Fanucci Robert Half Legal Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally LLP Santaella Jahangiri LLP Whiting Fallon Ross & Abel

Thanks to the participants and sponsors, together we raised in excess of $53,000 for the Arnason Court Scholarship Program and the Public Law Library. CCCBA established its Bar Fund in 1988 to help improve the conditions for those in need in Contra Costa County by setting up a permanent and ongoing source of income.

Thank You to Our Section Contributors:

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Real Estate Solo Tax Women

Thank you to Our In-Kind Sponsors: Boiset Collection

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Immigration Intellectual Property Juvenile Law Litigation


for the posters

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Diversity Networking Event with Minority Bar Associations

Watch for this e vent on th e calen da again r next year!

Thank you to all who attended the CCCBA’s first Diversity Networking event with Minority Bar Associations on September 12 at Brown Gee & Wenger in Walnut Creek. We epecially want to thank the very generous sponsors of the event. GOLD: Brown Gee & Wenger | Cooper White & Cooper | Ferber Law, P.C. | Law Offices of Jim W. Yu | Meyers Nave | M.S. Domingo Law Washington & Associates SILVER: Barkley Court Reporters | Leoni Law Law Office of Marjorie A. Wallace CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


A Year of Changes in


by Hon. Rebecca Hardie, Supervising Judge

The Juvenile bench has settled in after the move from Martinez to the Walnut Creek Courthouse. It has been a year since the move, and court operations in Walnut Creek seem to be running smoothly thanks to the patience of and assistance from our justice partners (e.g., Children and Family Services, Probation, the Public Defender’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, and Contra Costa Juvenile Advocates). I continue to serve as the Supervising Juvenile Judge, through 2018, and am joined by Judge Lois Haight and Judge Barbara Hinton in the Walnut Creek Courthouse. Judge Leslie Landau handles juvenile proceedings at Juvenile Hall. In 2019, Judge Hinton will take over as the Supervising Juvenile Judge. Judge Hinton has extensive experience in the juvenile assignment, having served two rotations as a juvenile judge. In addition, before her appointment to the bench, she worked as courtappointed counsel representing litigants in juvenile proceedings. Also in 2019, Judge Landau will move to Walnut Creek where she will be hearing both dependency and juvenile justice matters, and Judge John Cope will be assigned as the judge at Juvenile Hall. In addition to juvenile dependency and juvenile justice matters, the juvenile bench handles truancy proceedings, including cases brought against



parents by the District Attorney’s Office (“parent truancy court”) and teen truancy cases. Commissioner Terrye Davis and I currently handle the parent truancy court in the Walnut Creek Courthouse. In these hearings, service providers from C.O.P.E. Family Support Services, Lincoln Child Center, County Mental Health, and REACH are present in court to work directly with parents to remove barriers to getting their children to school every day, on time. These same service providers work in the teen truancy proceedings heard at Juvenile Hall. We have seen tremendous successes in truancy proceedings, particularly in the parent truancy Court where the focus is on changing attendance habits early in a child’s life and supporting a parent’s involvement in the academic success of his/her child(ren). The District Attorney’s Office, and in particular Deputy District Attorney Laura Delehunt, has been instrumental in the implementation and success of these proceedings and the garnering of support by the County Office of Education, most school districts in the county, and many community service providers. The majority of juvenile cases remain dependency cases filed by County Counsel under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300. In contrast, the number of petitions filed by the District Attorney’s Office under Welfare and Institutions Code

section 602 continues to trend downward—a trend consistent with statewide data collected from other counties. Newly-elected District Attorney Diana Becton is working with various justice partners to develop community-based programs to address the needs of at-risk youth with the hope that some may be diverted from the court process through a diversion/restorative justice program. This effort may further impact the number of cases filed with the Court by the District Attorney’s Office.

Children and Family Services (CFS) has faced a shortage of staffing resources, having many unfilled social worker positions. Under changes brought about by the Continuum of Care Reform, CFS has also faced challenges in placing children removed from abusive and/or neglectful parents. These placement challenges are due in large part to new licensing rules requiring relatives to undergo the same background check and training process as those seeking to become foster parents.

This process often results in delay of placement with relatives. Additionally, under these legislative changes, group homes must be replaced by short-term residential therapeutic programs (STRTPs) in order to provide intensive services to children placed in congregate care and to expedite transition to a lower level of care. Many group homes are unable to meet the licensing requirements to become STRTPs. The lack of placement options makes it difficult to place some children who may not meet the medical necessity criteria but whose needs exceed those that can be met safely in a family-based setting. Despite these internal and external challenges, Children and Family Services is working tirelessly to provide services to the families they serve. Contra Costa County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program continues to grow and serve children placed in foster care. It has increased the number of children served by 10% over last year and have recruited three new groups scheduled for training in the next few months. Data confirms that children with CASAs are much more likely to succeed in their educational pursuits, and often these children develop life-long connections with their CASAs. The contributions of CASAs to children in foster care are immeasurable. Our juvenile judges remain committed to serving our families and children in Contra Costa County, and look forward to working with all juvenile justice partners in the year to come.

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2018 Review -

Probate Division by Hon. John H. Sugiyama, Supervising Judge

Much will be the same. Much will be different. Jill Fannin provided exceptional support to the Probate Division during her tenure as Presiding Judge. Barry Baskin, as incoming Presiding Judge, has the same commitment. Former Court Executive Officer Stephen H. Nash worked diligently to ensure the equitable sharing of the court’s meager financial resources among the divisions. Court Executive Officer Kate Bieker has maintained that effort. The strength of the Probate Division will continue to rest in the capable hands of Courtroom Clerk Shannon Perry, Probate Examiners Linda Suppanich and Erica Gillies, Probate Facilitator Nicolas Vaca, and Principal Bailiff Matthew Ramos. They are unfailingly courteous and helpful to the probate community. Research Attorney Julie Woods is a relatively new member of the staff. She is a gifted attorney, thoroughly well versed in the nuances and intricacies of probate law. Together, the staff form a cohesive team that well serves our community. They do more, in less time, more effectively, than the staff that probate attorneys encounter elsewhere. The Probate Division, however, will experience one significant loss effective January 15, 2019. Judge Susanne Fenstermacher will leave the division for a new assignment handling both civil and criminal matters. The Presiding Judge correctly recognizes

that the management of the everincreasing civil and criminal caseloads requires ongoing attention. Judge Fenstermacher will give the Presiding Judge additional flexibility to address demands in those areas affirmatively and effectively. Due to the latter change, the Probate Division will no longer have a second designated department available for trial support. Although the development of a structured alternative may take time, two options likely will be pursued. First, some probate trials may be referred to the Master Calendar Department for assignment to any available Civil or Criminal Department. Second, the matters that Judge Fenstermacher formerly managed may be reassigned to any one of multiple departments, possibly throughout the county. Attorneys who have handled probate trials in other counties will be familiar with these options. In some counties, civil and probate trials are assigned to any available department through a master calendaring system. That administrative precedent has been entirely workable. Attorneys will benefit from having a broader array of judges who may be able to preside over their trials on a more expedited basis. Attorneys will also benefit over time by having access to more judges who are familiar with probate matters. Although the change in structure may pose challenges, I perceive that the probate attorneys will adjust capably to them. This perception in

turn leads me to revisit an observation that I noted earlier on several occasions. In criminal litigation, a major chasm separates prosecutors from public defenders or defense attorneys. In civil litigation, the division seems to be between plaintiffs’ attorneys and insurance defense attorneys. In labor law, the division is even clearer. But in probate practice, no such separation is evident. Probate attorneys represent trustees, trust beneficiaries, and interested persons. They represent settlors, estate beneficiaries, and interested persons. They represent guardians, objectors, and minors. They represent conservators, objectors, and conservatees. In one proceeding they may represent one kind of interest and in another an opposing interest. For probate attorneys, divisions based on the kinds of parties represented do not exist. This results in a particular courtroom dynamic in which attorneys are forced to think creatively and strategically, not just tactically. Opposing attorneys in one proceeding may well become aligned in another. They are not constrained by an artificial sense of “zero sum” negotiation or litigation. They thus are free, as they do in proceeding after proceeding, to work effectively toward achieving equitable results for all. For this, the attorneys of the Probate Section of our Contra Costa County Bar Association have earned my unqualified admiration.



Barry Baskin Presiding Judge

Rebecca Hardie

Assistant Presiding Judge

MARTINEZ Criminal Trials Supervising Judge: Theresa Canepa Judge Laurel Brady Judge Mary Ann O’Malley Judge John Kennedy Judge Nancy Davis Stark Judge Susanne Fenstermacher (50%) Judge Rebecca Hardie Judge Christopher Bowen Judge Anita Santos

Criminal Calendars

Judge Theresa Canepa (Master) Judge Wade Maxwell Rhyne (Misdemeanor)

Judge Patricia “Penny” Scanlon

Pittsburg Civil

Supervising Judge: Edward Weil (Complex)

Judge David Goldstein

Mental Health & Related Calendars Judge Lewis Davis



Judge Judy Johnson Judge Leonard Marquez Vacancy (2)

Judge Steven Austin Judge Jill Fannin Judge Suzanne Fenstermacher (50%) Judge Charles “Steve” Treat

Family Law


Supervising Judge: Danielle Douglas

Supervising Judge: Clare Maier

Judge Joni Hiramoto Judge Cheryl Mills Judge John Laettner Judge Brian Haynes Judge Terri Mockler Commissioner Kathleen Murphy (DCSS)

Judge Virginia George Judge Benjamin T. Reyes, II Vacancy

Juvenile Specialty Courts

Supervising Judge: Charles “Ben” Burch

Supervising Judge: Barbara Hinton Judge Lois Haight Judge Leslie Landau Judge John Cope (Juvenile Hall)

Probate Supervising Judge: John H. Sugiyama

Traffic Supervising Judge: Steven Austin Commissioner Terrye Davis Walnut Creek Traffic (am) Richmond Civil/Traffic (pm) Commissioner Lowell Richards Pittsburg Civil/Traffic (am) Martinez Civil (pm)

Thank you Section Leaders Thank you 2018 Section Leaders for taking time out from your busy practices to keep your colleagues and the CCCBA vibrant, current and fabulous! ADR: Margaret Grover APPELLATE: Gary A. Watt


BANKRUPTCY: Jen Grondahl Lee

FAMILY LAW: Anne Cochran Freeman


IMMIGRATION: Flavio Carvalho


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Stuart J. West and Joseph R. Snyder

CRIMINAL: Joseph M. Tully ELDER: Kostantine Demiris EMPLOYMENT: Mukesh Advani

LITIGATION: Justin Schnitzler REAL ESTATE: Marcus T. Brown SOLO/SMALL FIRM: Chris Schneider TAXATION: Christina Weed WEST COUNTY: Harpreet Sandhu WOMEN’S: Ariel Brownell Lee

JUVENILE: Rhonda Wilson-Rice LAW STUDENT: Lisa Antoine, Kate Mignani, and Richard Rose



It’s good to be busy. Right?

Pittsburg Court 2018 By Hon. Mary Ann O’Malley, Supervising Judge

This past year, our judges and commissioner, all five of us and staff, conducted approximately 1,370 arraignments, presided over 2,000 cases set for preliminary hearings, processed and/or held hearings for over 22,600 traffic citations and, with only one trial department, conducted 45 misdemeanor jury trials. Our civil harassment calendar has continued to grow. We held no fewer than 500 hearings this last year (last count 540). Small claims and unlawful detainer matters kept Commissioner Lowell Richards very busy with a combined total of over 2,100 cases. He continues to amaze us with his ability to tirelessly manage these calendars. In addition to this heavy workload, Pittsburg Court began to hear the in-custody warrants that had previously been heard in Martinez due to the proximity of the Court annex to the jail. Our workload grew; this has added 30 to 40 cases to our daily calendars on numerous occasions. I credit our court bailiffs for helping to make this transition run as smoothly as possible. Our criminal calendars typically exceed the limit of cases to be set each day, sometimes by more than double. However, due to the dedication and efficiency by our judges and staff, we are able to discuss and settle a majority of those cases within two to three months of a person’s arraignment. These dedicated judges and commissioner that I am referring to are: Judy Johnson, Wade Rhyne,



Lowell Richards and our newlyappointed judge, Leonard Marquez. I am amazed at how quickly Judge Marquez has learned to handle his various criminal calendars with virtually no criminal background. Both Judges Rhyne and Marquez are relatively new to the bench and they bring a new level of energy and excitement to our court. For me, with 20 years on the bench, I find this to be refreshing and wonderful to see. Along with the in-custody warrants, our court has experienced more changes this last year. Due to budget and staff constraints, we sadly transferred our Family Law Division back to Martinez. We lost Judges John Cope and Brian Haynes and their staff as they were re-assigned to Martinez last July. Also Sergeant Parrish, who supervised our court security, was promoted to head up operations at the jail in Martinez. However, his replacement, Sergeant Jack Oakley, has made a seamless transition into the position and he is a wonderful addition to our court family. Our dedicated staff is managed by Court Manager Suzi Dailey. I have so much respect for Suzi and our court staff. Every day they process hundreds of filings and cases, and assist the public and the attorneys who appear in our court. They do so with absolute professionalism and courtesy. David LeDee, our Court Probation Officer, is superhuman. His caseload is insanely busy and yet he always has time to

assist the judges and attorneys with clients who need additional help and services. Suzi, the clerical staff and David are truly the heart and soul of this highly functioning court, just like Judge Arnason. Finally, there will be more changes coming after the New Year. Judge Johnson and I will be leaving Pittsburg. Judge Johnson has been transferred to Richmond and I will be returning to felony trials in Martinez. We are both sad to be leaving Pittsburg. Supervising Pittsburg has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my judicial career. I know Judge Johnson has thoroughly enjoyed her time in Pittsburg as well. The reason is simple, the wonderful people who work there. Yes, it’s good to be busy, especially when you work at the Arnason Justice Center. See you in court.

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Richmond Court


By Hon. Clare Maier, Supervising Judge If a tree falls in the court’s parking lot, and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound? The George D. Carroll Richmond courthouse has been humming with planned (and unplanned) upgrades and events, not the least of these tree-trimming. And, yes, the falling branches made a sound, and unfortunately caused damage, in May of this year. Two large branches from one of the eucalyptus trees adjoining the parking lot reserved for employees in the Office of the District Attorney tumbled down to earth. Despite damage to two cars, we were fortunate that no one was hurt and we nipped

any further problems in the bud by having an arborist evaluate all the trees surrounding our court. The trees were trimmed and we used the incident to branch out to improve our court, making this a productive and busy year in Richmond at the George D. Carroll Courthouse. It is terrific to be back in Richmond where I worked as a pro-tem traffic commissioner before being appointed, and had my first assignment when I was appointed to the bench in 2007. We have a total of four judges and a terrific commissioner serving our community in Richmond, California. Judge Virginia George began her new assignment on January 31, 2018 and

jumped into her first jury trial on February 7, 2018. She has taken to her new role with ease and dedication, and has presided over 19 jury trials thus far. Our other recent appointee, Judge Benjamin Reyes has also taken to his assignment with alacrity and professionalism. Our experienced jurist, Judge David Goldstein, has been helpful keeping our court on a steady keel. Our Traffic, Small Claims, and Unlawful Detainer Commissioner, Terrye Davis, has served our litigants with intelligence, patience and careful consideration of each case before her. She is well respected in our community and by the bench. We are also fortunate to have Attorneys Philip Andersen, Carolyn Cain, David McDonald, Tod Ratfield, Palvir Shoker and Barbara Suskind volunteer their time to sit pro tem in traffic, small claims and unlawful detainers when Commissioner Davis is not in court. We also have many dedicated mediators: Carol Kingsley, David Demo, Ted Bloyd, Bill Helvestine, Harry Shulman and Oscar Gonzalez de Gallano volunteering their time in small claims as well as civil harassment cases. Everyone at Richmond Court deeply appreciates the generous service of our dedicated and skilled volunteer attorneys and mediators. Since January 2018, 37 jury trials have been tried to verdict in addition to multiple trials that have been assigned out, but did not reach jury



Richmond Court Update Continued from page 23

deliberation as they reached a resolution prior to the conclusion of the case. Like falling trees and leaves, every year brings a change, and we will be losing both Judge Reyes and Judge Goldstein to new assignments in 2019. We are sorry to say goodbye to both judges but are delighted to have an experienced jurist, Judge Judy Johnson coming to the court in January from her assignment in Pittsburg Court. We are hoping the Governor will appoint a new judge soon to fill in the fourth spot on the Richmond bench. On the administrative end, Ms. Ana Juarez was assigned to the Richmond Court in February 2018 as our dedicated jury clerk and part-time

criminal clerk. Ana has endeared herself to all and has been a warm and welcoming presence in the Jury Assembly Room. We are also extremely pleased to have Shelly Hasson as our Court Manager; she manages our courthouse with efficiency and humor. Shelly has been overseeing many of the recent updates and improvements to our court. These improvements include an updated sound system in every courtroom. We also have installed an electronic calendar system in our lobby called the “AdGator,” which displays the cases, and names of litigants, as well as the assigned courtroom and time of the hearing. The AdGator helps litigants navigate to the correct courtroom without agitation! Additionally, we have a newlyinstalled system that allows court users to select the clerk’s office department where they need assistance. The system notifies a clerk to the need, and the clerk, in turn, calls the court customer to assist them. The nifty name for this system is the “QMATIC.” This pragmatic upgrade keeps our customers ecstatic, rather than wanting to give us static!

been expanded to create a lounge area in which tables and connections for laptops enable the jurors to telecommute when not in court. Also, when jurors check in, there is now an electronic kiosk in the room which allows them to scan their badges. The kiosk creates an easy and efficient check-in for our jurors. Finally, new vending machines have been installed for the jurors to get snacks. I am still working on a “kale chips” option, but so far have not convinced anyone that the average juror would buy them! Despite falling trees, our courthouse is filled with dedicated employees, many of whom have served for decades, demonstrating patience, professionalism and kindness to the individuals who appear in our courts and request their services. Our employees’ kind faces and professional assistance offer reassurance and guidance to the individuals who come here for the first time, not knowing where to go or what will happen. These Richmond Court employees are our shining public servants and I feel fortunate to work with them all. We are looking forward to another year of providing service to the public.

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Traffic Division 2018

by Hon. John Kennedy, Supervising Judge

work for consideration of ability to pay, community service and trials in absentia. It has been somewhat of a quiet year for Traffic at Contra Costa as far as legislative and/or California Rules of Court changes. The past two years there were sweeping changes with the concentration of Ability to Pay for defendants needing an assessment to pay the fines and fees. The Court has worked with the Judicial Council to ensure requirements are being met and the Commissioners work tirelessly to ensure they are following the rules. This past year Commissioner Lowell Richards has continued to cover Traffic, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainers at our Pittsburg location in the morning and then head into Martinez for a more civil-focused calendar for the afternoon. Commissioner Terrye Davis holds Traffic Court in the morning at our Walnut Creek location and then travels to Richmond to oversee Traffic, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainers. Outside of the courtroom, the Commissioners have an enormous amount of chambers

In December 2017 and June of this year, Commissioner Richards held the widely popular Pro-Tem Training for Traffic, Small Claims, Unlawful Detainers and Judicial Ethics. These classes have become in such demand, he is offering them twice a year! Check our website for future dates. We would like to thank all our Pro Tems for their commitment to help the court cover our commissioners. Commissioner Davis recently expanded her role as a bench officer into Juvenile Truancy Court. This calendar was created in 2016 and has grown to every Friday where now Judge Rebecca Hardie and Commissioner Davis rotate weeks. The Commissioner has worked with court staff to be sure she balances her already large workload to include these. She has been successful in incorporating the extra work and it has been helpful to Judge Hardie who has a large juvenile workload.

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Kate Bieker, our new Court Executive Officer, has recently been appointed to the Statewide Traffic Committee through the Judicial Council. This committee makes recommendations to the council for improving the administration of justice in the area of traffic procedure, practice, case management and in other areas as set forth in the fish and game, boating, forestry, public utilities, parks and recreation, and business licensing bail schedules. As mentioned earlier, over the course of the past few years, a significant amount of change has occurred in traffic procedure. It is anticipated that the trend will continue and that this committee will respond to those changes as it has in the past. It will be beneficial for our CEO to represent operations and advise the Judicial Council on how proposed changes might impact those that actually have to implement any new legislation, rules and regulations. The biggest news on the traffic front is a new case management system! We began this endeavor last year in signing a contract with Thompson Reuters (TR) for traffic processing and have begun the task of converting our 20-plus year current system into an updated new one. This process is anticipated to take a year due to the many areas that must be identified and converted such as fine distribution, finance accounting, and case history to name just a few. There will also be a massive undertaking in training for clerks, our IT staff, and bench officers. We have set a goal of early 2019 as a “go-live” and work with TR to achieve this goal…stay tuned!

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Returning Home: An

Interview with Honorable Leonard E. Marquez by Shannon Stone, Human Resources Director Q. Did you always know you wanted to be a judge?

The Honorable Leonard E. Marquez was officially sworn-in as a judge of the Contra Costa County Superior Court on April 5, 2018 and began his assignment in Department 34 at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center in Pittsburg. He has returned to his home town in his first assignment and notes with pride that he can even see his alma mater, Pittsburg High School, from his chambers. The following is a recent interview with Judge Marquez.

Q. I understand you grew up in Contra Costa County. Can you tell me a little about your childhood here? I was born and raised in Pittsburg and most of my family lived in Pittsburg. It was nice because my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all lived within a few blocks of each other. It was a close-knit community of family and neighbors. I attended Pittsburg High School where I played on the football team and also where I met my wife. We both still have a lot of family that live in the area.



No. My father was a draftsman and, through his work, I became really interested in architecture and engineering. My dad always said, “my son is going to be an engineer” and I agreed with him. That is why I applied to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program at Princeton University. In my senior year of high school, I participated in a Mock Trial Program. We had a great coach that year – my History Teacher David Littleton – and we won the overall competition at the county level. We were the underdogs compared to teams from other schools so it felt like “Bad News Bears” who just won the championship game. We later went to the state competition and I won the trophy for best pre-trial argument. That is one of the things that sparked my interest in the law.

Q. Where did you begin your legal career? After I graduated with my B.A. in Politics from Princeton, I attended law school at UCLA School of Law. I knew I wanted to return to the Bay Area after I had finished law school and I was fortunate enough to be offered an associate position at the Oakland-based law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP. I was later made a partner at Wendel Rosen, where I spent my entire 18-year career before being appointed as a judge.

Q. Did you have any mentors that helped you on your path to becoming a judge? Many of the senior partners at Wendel Rosen were very supportive throughout my career, both in helping me grow and learn as an attorney and also in encouraging me to pursue my goal of applying for a judicial appointment. Some of the key names that come to mind are, Gillian Ross, David Goldman, Zack Wasserman, Chris Noma and Peter Laufenberg.

Q. What is the best advice you received from one of your mentors? It was not so much advice as it was a general work ethic that was seared in my soul when I worked with David Goldman early in my career. He was the man of a thousand edits. If, on the tenth go-round in editing some brief or paper, he caught something not quite right, it would be tweaked again and re-read yet again. He had a never relenting commitment to making sure we were putting out our best work product. He taught me to never settle on “good enough;” if something can be made better, then do it.

Q. You have been very active in the legal community and giving back to your community. What are some of the projects you worked on? I volunteered for many years with the Donald P. McCullum Youth Court, which was a non-profit youth

Continued on page 28

An Interview with

Hon. Virginia George

by James Paulsen, Director of Family Law and Probate The Honorable Virginia M. George was appointed to the bench in December 2017 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. She was sworn-in on January 29, 2018. Judge George is currently located at the George D. Carroll Courthouse in Richmond, California. Judge George is the daughter of two educators and was raised with five siblings here in the Bay Area. She is a classically-trained pianist and has been playing the piano since the age of four. Judge George’s childhood included many hours of piano practice and performances, but was also highlighted by spirited discussions and debates with her siblings and parents. Judge George entered adulthood appreciating that a multitude of positions and opinions can surround any given issue and she had also learned to become unafraid to advocate for her own. She very seriously considered studying music performance as an undergraduate in order to pursue a career as a professional musician. Playing at bars and nightclubs assisted her in paying for college and law school, but her lifelong interest in history, political science and journalism led her to graduate from UC Davis with a major in Political Science/Public Service and a minor in English. Judge George entered the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1984. After graduating from law school, she began working at the District Attorney’s Office in Contra Costa County and became a Deputy District Attorney in 1986. During her thirteen years with the District Attorney’s Office, Judge George prosecuted misdemeanors and served on a multitude of felony assignments, but her primary assignment was sexual

assault jury trials. These demanding prosecutions included assaults of children. She took one hundred and sixty jury trials to verdict before leaving the District Attorney’s Office. In 1999, she began a solo practice focusing on guardianships, conservatorships and estate planning.

Her growing expertise in probate law led to a 2005 offer to assume a full-time professorship at the John F. Kennedy University (JFK) College of Law in order to launch and then lead an Elder Law Clinic (“ELC”). This grantfunded non-profit clinic was the first of its kind in the Bay Area and one of the first in the state. The ELC team provided pro bono representation to seniors over age sixty. Services focused on elders who were the victims of financial abuse, trusts contests, and conservatorships. JFK law students working in the ELC had the opportunity to become certified to appear in court alongside supervising attorneys. Upon its opening, the ELC was immediately flooded with applications. Interest and need were so high, services could only be extended to Contra Costa, Alameda and Solano residents. The ELC team collaborated with many local non-profit agencies to provide a full array of services. ELC staff also routinely made educational presen-

tations to Bay Area community agencies and service groups. Judge George left JFK and the Clinic to take the bench as a probate commissioner. She was the primary probate court bench officer in Contra Costa County from February of 2010 to April of 2011. At the conclusion of this assignment, she and several colleagues formed a small probatefocused practice in Walnut Creek. Her individual practice centered on probate, probate-centered mediation and juvenile court mediation before her appointment to the bench in 2017. Judge George also spent time as a member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Board of Directors and the Chair of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Contra Costa Bar Association. Having held such a diversity of positions in both private and public settings, including over a year as a probate court bench officer, Judge George is well prepared to smoothly transition into any courtroom assignment. She has worked with a very broad spectrum of clients, public and non-profit agencies, community organizations and professional groups. Judge George has enjoyed developing the knowledge and skills

Continued on page 29



Returning Home Continued from page 26 diversion program. The program involved youth from the community who would serve as the prosecution, defense and jury to decide the appropriate punishment for other young people who had admitted committing certain low-level offenses. Punishment was decided by a jury of peers and could be anything from community service hours to letters of apology. As a component of their Judge Marquez’s scale model of a Mayan temple at Chichen Itza, Mexico. sentences, the defendants also later served as jurors. I started with the program as a volunteer judge and Q. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Q. Do your sons help you with your LEGO projects? later served on the Board of Directors, including as Board President. I spend a lot of my free time designing and building with LEGO bricks. I I have three sons aged 3, 9 and 12. My I was also very active with the local- participate in an annual convention two oldest boys also enjoy building and state-level Hispanic Chamber called “Bricks by the Bay” where with LEGO bricks and spend a lot of Commerce organizations and LEGO enthusiasts can display their of time on projects with me. My worked on a variety of community own design creations. At this year’s youngest son is still not quite ready and educational programs and events convention, I received the “Runner for LEGO bricks but he is definitely for Hispanic-owned small busi- Up” trophy for a sci-fi moon- interested. nesses. I was the General Counsel for scape scene that I built. It featured the statewide Hispanic Chamber of a sprawling six-foot wide moon- Q. What is one thing most people do like landscape with a moon mining not know about you? Commerce until my appointment. outpost being attacked by a large “bad Most recently I served as a Board guy” mothership, sort of reminiscent I was a cheerleader at Princeton all Member of the Litigation Section of of the large alien spaceships from the four years while I was at school there. the Contra Costa County Bar Associa- 90s movie Independence Day. Another I played football in high school and tion (CCCBA) and was an instructor one of my favorite LEGO builds was loved to watch sports. So when my for CCCBA’s Civil Litigation Pro Per a scale model of the Mayan temple at cousin told me they were looking for Chichen Itza, Mexico. Done in 2012, men to try out for the cheerleading Clinic. that one featured a huge incoming squad, I decided to give it a try. It was Q. What was your inspiration for getting LEGO-built asteroid looming over a lot of fun and also great opportuthe rest of the building, evoking the nity to travel around and watch all of involved in these types of projects? Mayan “end of the world” folklore the sports games. It was not common in my time for (pictured above). Shannon Stone is the a kid from Pittsburg to go to an Ivy Human Resources League school. I saw struggles in my (Author’s Note: Judge Marquez Director of the Supecommunity but there were always has an amazing LEGO replica rior Court. She origipeople in the community reaching of the United States Capitol nally joined the court out to me and my peers and helping Building on the desk in his in 2012 as a legal us to believe in ourselves and do chambers. It even has a removresearch attorney. She something positive for our futures. able dome that allows you to previously worked as an I was fortunate enough to have this peek in to the rotunda and see attorney practicing general great support and that has motivated the miniature LEGO statues.) civil litigation and family law. me to be involved in a variety of community projects.



Congratulations Judge Marquez Judge Marquez accepts the gavel from CCCBA President James Wu and CCCBA Executive Director Theresa Hurley. Below, his family helps him don his judicial robe.

Interview with Judge Virginia George

Continued from page 27 needed to work within different areas of law through her career, and she looks forward to working with a wide variety of litigants and attorneys as a judicial officer. She is currently presiding over the fastpaced arraignment department in Richmond, but her duties also include domestic violence and civil harassment restraining order hearings. Judge George greatly appreciates attorneys being on time and prepared. She believes litigants and the court benefit from attorneys entering courtrooms anticipating bench officer questions and proactively prepared with answers. It is her expectation that attorneys remain civil throughout their time together in her courtroom regardless of what is at stake for them and their clients. When not on the bench, she finds herself increasingly busy with her high school aged child’s sports and related activities. Judge George continues to enjoy playing piano in her free time.

Judge John Kennedy with attorney John Coker whom Judge Marquez mentioned as being inspiring to his career.

On September 28, the Honorable Leonard Marquez was formally inducted as a judge in the Conta Costa County Superior Court. Judge Marquez has been a very active member of the CCCBA, serving as leader of the Litigation Section, a volunteer for the bar’s Civil Pro Per Clinic, a guest editor for the Contra Costa Lawyer and a member of the Editorial Board. All at the CCCBA send hearty congratulations!

Jim Paulsen, LCSW, assumed the role of Director of Family and Probate after almost ten years as the Administrator of Family and Probate Court Services. Prior to his work with the court, he spent over 15 years in public child welfare as a social worker, supervisor and grant coordinator. Mr. Paulsen was one of the first social workers trained as a Family Group Conference Facilitator in Santa Clara County and later supervised Contra Costa Children and Family Services’ Team Decision-Making Program. See the Contra Costa Lawyer’s July 2018 edition for photos of Judge George’s Induction to the bench.



Court Tours By Theresa Hurley, Executive Director, Contra Costa County Bar Association

“I resent the unfair

The word “docent” derives from the Latin word docere, meaning “to teach.” For over 25 years, court tour docents have been a vital link in teaching Contra Costa County students, parents and teachers about the history and workings of the Contra Costa County Superior Court and the American legal system. This school year alone over 2,000 students (and hundreds of their parents) from all around Contra Costa County will visit the courthouse. From October through May, nearly every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, one or two docents from the Court Tours Program meet on the courthouse steps to conduct a guided tour for 5th graders. Initially, the students tour the Courthouse and learn about the detention facility. The second hour is spent in a courtroom observing a “real” court proceeding in process. In the final portion of the tour, students act as key players in a scripted mock trial, including judge, bailiff, district attorney, witnesses, defense attorney, as well as jurors voting on the verdict. This is what two docents who are CCCBA members have to say about the program:



attacks against our judicial system we all hear from time to time, and I like the idea of having (at least as to the children on ‘my’ tours) the opportunity early in their lives to provide a more positive perspective on what the courts do for our society.” “I also enjoy the students’ eager enthusiasm at seeing how the security scanners work and what bailiffs keep in those cool black leather belts.

– Commissioner Don Green (ret)


always wanted to be a docent at the “Magic Kingdom.” No, not Disneyland, rather the Court Complex. As a judge, I envied the many tour groups that would come through my court. Now, I can be part of that process. I have an opportunity to meet the future leaders of Contra Costa (mostly 5th graders) and explain our courts from their historical perspective. I can show them why it’s important for a free people to feel safe in their courthouses (Security Area). We also visit the Detention Facility. That’s

usually a sobering part of the tour. “Miranda Rights” take on new meaning when you are in a locked facility, even a modern one. By the time we view a real trial, I believe my charges begin to realize that the stuff they see on TV is totally fiction. Real people discussing their experiences in a court room will have that effect. The tour is ended by a mock trial in which all of the students play roles. The intensity of their efforts convinces me that there will be very capable, enthusiastic citizens to maintain the Magic Kingdom when their time comes. Giving our citizens a chance to experience and embrace their system is not only rewarding in a personal sense, but fulfills my social commitment to make sure the responsibility for caring for the system is passed on.

– Judge Richard Flier (ret) We are looking for enthusiastic ambassadors for the judicial branch of government, helping young visitors and their parents and teachers understand how the Contra Costa County courts function. The time commitment is usually six tours during the academic school year (tours run from 10:00 am until approximately 1:00 pm), although some docents choose a greater

Wishing You the commitment while others choose less. We have found that retired judicial officers, lawyers and court staff make some of the best docents. The ‘inside scoop’ they can give the students, their knowledge of the third branch of government and what really goes on in the courthouse add so much to the students’ experience. I invite you to become a part of this decadeslong tradition in our county, helping to inform the future leaders of our community about our legal system and their important role in it. Theresa Hurley is the Executive Director of the CCCBA, and part of her role includes coordinating the Court Tours Program. She is currently serving as President of Executives of California Lawyer’s Associations (ECLA).

Theresa Hurley would like to take this opportunity to thank the docents who are also members of the CCCBA: • Judge Richard Flier (ret.) • Commissioner Don Green (ret.) • Karen Fenchel • Kevin Lally • Robin Thornton

Happiest of Holidays and a Healthy and Prosperous

New Year




Civil Law and Motion Practice in Contra Costa County:

A View from the Inside By Jay Chafetz, Legal Research Attorney

After a lengthy career in private practice, I took a position with the court as a Research Attorney. If I’d only known then what I know now! Unfortunately, I can’t go back and do it all over again. But I can pass on a few tips about how to provide better advocacy for your clients. Let’s start with some general ones first.

1. Tone Litigation is stressful. The drive to do well for your client can lead to personal animosity with opposing counsel. Delete all trace of this from your papers. Anyone who has ever had two children knows that the first instinct on hearing bickering is to order both children to go to their rooms, and ignore pleas of “But he started it!” There was a crime show from the 1960’s where the tag line for one of the lead detectives was “Just the facts, ma’am.” Write your papers with that adage in mind.

2. Honesty There is no resource more precious than your credibility with the court. Never risk losing it. Don’t twist the facts or the law. There is nothing more frustrating as a research attorney than realizing that an attorney is distorting the law, for instance, by taking a few words out of context 32


from a case and suggesting they mean more than they do. This practice is offensive too, suggesting you think the court is not astute enough to realize what you are doing.

3. Length Many briefs are longer than they need to be, saying the same things repeatedly or containing long passages of boilerplate on topics such as the standard for ruling on a demurrer or a motion for summary judgment. Consider deleting all or most of this. The court has heard it all before. The judges’ eyes glaze over on reading it, and it adds nothing.

4. Number of authorities No prudent attorney risks stating a significant proposition without citing supporting authority. On the other hand, no research attorney wants to read twenty cases when he need read only three. Cite one case on the basic rules that apply to your case if possible. Then highlight in some manner the key cases on which the ruling turns, for example, “This case is controlled by Rowland v. Christian.”

5. Make it easy There is a real-life reason for most of the rules of court. Working for the court is not like working for a large law firm with vast resources, including large clerical support staffs. File your papers on time,

particularly your reply papers or they may not arrive soon enough to be considered. Tab your exhibits so the court can easily find the key evidence. Be particularly careful about this when filing papers with exhibits through Fax and File, as the exhibit dividers on your file copy do not always appear in the court’s copy. Provide tables of authorities in longer briefs. Number your objections so less typing is needed to draft a ruling. Number the items you want to be stricken when moving to strike for the same reason (and because it is required by the California Rules of Court). In both cases, be specific about the language to be stricken or ruled inadmissible, or your request may be denied. Now for advice on specific aspects of law and motion practice.

6. Moving papers Opening statements such as “Comes now plaintiff and files his demurrer to the Complaint” are unnecessary. When we read an accurate title, we know what you are filing.

7. Oppositions Occasionally a related issue occurs with Opposition papers, and the party filing them starts the Opposition with Notice of Motion language. You do not need to give notice of

your Opposition as you do of a motion. You simply file and serve it, labeling it an Opposition. This is all the notice required.

8. Reply papers

A non-trivial number of these seem silly or avoidable. A meet and confer requirement applies to both as of January 1, 2018. A meet and confer by letter alone is insufficient. Defendants should not file demurrers unless there is a reasonable prospect of having a cause of action dismissed at the pleading stage. Plaintiffs should cure all possible defects by amendment before finally seeking a ruling from the court on the remaining issues.

Limit the number of objections and offer them only to the most key evidence. There is little that is more tedious than working through 50 or 100 objections, and there is a great danger of falling into the trap of the boy who too often cried “Wolf!” Follow the tip above about numbering the objections and objecting to specific language and not, lazily, to longer passages that contain admissible material.

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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.

As for demurrers to answers – really?

10. Motions for leave to file an amended complaint

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Defendants should usually just stipulate to amendments, as amendment is liberally allowed.

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11. Motions for summary judgment In the abstract, it is understandable that a party fearing a motion for summary judgment will draft as long and as messy a responsive Separate Statement as possible in hopes of giving the impression that there must be a material disputed

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9. Demurrers and motions to strike

A more effective approach is to focus the court immediately and squarely on the limited number of disputed material facts that are necessary to compel denial of the motion.

Jay Chafetz practiced civil litigation for 34 years before joining the Contra Costa Superior Court as a Research Attorney in 2014. He is a past president of CCCBA, and lead author of the Discovery Facilitator Rules. Any opinions expressed herein are his, not those of the court.

MCLE Spectacular!

In addition to the tips provided above, do not offer totally new argument and authorities for the first time in the Reply Brief except where the need to do so could not have been anticipated. It is not fair to the other side. Further, the court may see the Reply too late to read new cases anyway. If you know something is important from the outset, put it in the Opening Brief.

fact. It is not effective advocacy, however. It simply again attempts to mislead the court and offensively assumes the court is too imperceptive to realize it.

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The October Issue of Contra Costa Lawyer – Here’s What You Missed in the Conference of California Bar Associations Issue

Thank you to Margaret Grover, Guest Editor Find it online at Columns:

Features: • An Introduction to the Conference of California Bar Associations, by Margaret J. Grover • A Force for Improving the Law, by Larry Doyle • If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu – Legislative Day, by Christina Weed • LOCAL IDEA: NATIONAL IMPACT, by Stephen Steinberg

• Inside: What I Learned from the Conference of California Bar Associations, by Margaret J. Grover • Fingerprinting – A New State Bar Requirement, by Theresa Hurley • Bar Soap, by Matthew Guichard • Coffee Talk, There Ought to be a Law

• Newcomer’s Perspective of the CCBA, by Lisa J. Mendes • PHOTOS: Judges Night • The 24th Annual MCLE Spectacular • Tales from The Trenches, by Ciarán O’Sullivan • Life Cycle of a Bill

Contra Costa Lawyer

1 0

Monthly, 6 print, 12 online

6 print issues



4 4 4 4

October 15, 2018

$25.00 T. Hurley

Contra Costa County Bar Association, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord CA 94520


Contra Costa County Bar Association, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord CA 94520

Contra Costa County Bar Association, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord CA 94520

Suzanne Boucher/Inga Miller, c/o Contra Costa County Bar Assn., 2300 Clayton Rd. Ste. 520, Concord, CA 94520

Communications Director, c/o Contra Costa County Bar Assn, 2300 Clayton Rd. Ste. 520, Concord, CA 94520

Contra Costa County Bar Association

2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520




Upcoming Events | Overview November 13 | Women’s Section

January 9 | Employment Law Section

Women’s Section Power Lunch

Employment Law Annual Update for 2019

November 16 | CCCBA

January 11 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

more details on page 36

24th Annual MCLE Spectacular

more details on pages 36, 39

December 6 | Employment Law Section Employment Section Holiday Party more details on page 36

December 13 | CCCBA CCCBA Annual Holiday Party more details on page 36

more details on page 36

Annual Probate Luncheon- 2019 more details on page 36

January 16 | ADR & IP Sections Mediating Intellectual Property Disputes: Creative Strategies that Work more details on page 37

January 25 | CCCBA CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon 2018 more details on pages 10 and 37

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


Office Suite in Downtown Lafayette

Probate paralegal to attorneys

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.

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

CONFERENCE ROOM AVAILABLE CCCBA members receive a discount on renting the conference room at the CCCBA office in Concord. Rent by the hour or by the day for client meetings, negotiations or other small group sessions. Convenient location near Concord BART. For information contact Barbara Arsedo at the Contra Costa County Bar Association at (925) 370-2544 or

notary service CCCBA members are eligible for free notary service at the CCCBA office in Concord. Contact Carole Lucido at (925) 370-2542 or for an appointment.



Nov. 16 | CCCBA

Dec. 6 | Employment Law Section

Women’s Section Power Lunch

24th Annual MCLE Spectacular

What is a Women’s Section Power Lunch? Think LinkedIn but over lunch. The Women’s Section Power Lunch is an opportunity to meet and build professional relationships. The RSVP is only to give us a general headcount. If you find, at the last minute, that you’re free and haven’t emailed, please come!

Choose from 13 break-out sessions with MCLE credits.

Employment Section Holiday Party – 2018

Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Registration form available now at special-events-mcle.php

Nov. 13

| Women’s Section

Location: Tender Greens, 1352 Locust St., Walnut Creek Register: Please send an email to More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Location: Walnut Creek Marriott Hotel 2355 N. Main St., Walnut Creek MCLE: Up to 8 credits Featured Speakers: See page 39

Registration Deadline: November 9 More Info: See page 39, see or contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Enjoy an assortment of Mediterranean appetizers and wine! Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Taheri’s Mediterranean, 2999-A Oak Rd., Walnut Creek Cost: $10 Employment Law and Law Student Section members, $20 CCCBA members, $25 non members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Dec. 13 | CCCBA

Jan. 9 | Employment Law Section

Jan. 11 | CCCBA

CCCBA Annual Holiday Party

Employment Law Annual Update for 2019

Annual Probate Luncheon – 2019

Save the Date for the Employment Law Section’s popular annual statutory and case law updates program. Learn about important and recent case decisions that will impact your practice this year. We will also provide an overview of all the statutory changes that affect employees and employers in California.

The Honorable John H. Sugiyama will again provide insights and practice pointers about the workings of the Contra Costa County Probate Court.

Time: Noon – 1:30 pm

MCLE: 1 hr. EP/T & Probate Specialization credit

Join us in celebrating the holiday season. Delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided. Please bring a non-perishable food item (or more) for donation to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and/ or toy(s) for donation to the 26th Annual Toy Drive for homeless children, sponsored by the Juvenile Section of the CCCBA. Pre-scheduled appointments for fingerprinting will take place during the party. For details RSVP online. Time: 5:00 – 7:30 pm Location: CCCBA Building Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Concord RSVP: Online at


Time: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Join the Employment Section for a fun evening of mixing and mingling! Celebrate your 2018 successes with your fellow Employment Law Practitioners.


Location: Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, 1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek Details: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Speaker: Judge H. Sugiyama

Time: 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill

Cost: $60 Estate Planning & Probate Section members, $50 Barristers Section members, $50 Legal Support members, $30 Law Student Section members, $70 CCCBA members, $75 non members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Jan. 16 | ADR & IP Sections

Jan. 25 | CCCBA

Mediating Intellectual Property Disputes: Creative Strategies That Work

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon & Diversity Awards - 2019

Speaker: Mark LeHocky, Esq. Intellectual property (IP) disputes can be challenging to settle, especially early in the life of a dispute. It need not be this way. Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, 2175 N. California Blvd., Suite 600 Walnut Creek MCLE: 1 hr. General MCLE credit Cost: $15 ADR and Intellectual Property Section members, $10 Law Student Section members, $20 CCCBA members, $25 non members Registration: Online at

Please join the leadership of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and many local current and retired judges for this annual luncheon which celebrates all CCCBA members! Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Barry Baskin will give a State of the Court address before swearing in the 2019 CCCBA Board of Directors and Section Leaders. Retired Judge Barry Goode will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. We will also present the second annual CCCBA Diversity Award to qualifying law firms. Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill Cost: $45 Barristers Section and Legal Support members, $35 Law Student Section members, $50 CCCBA members, $60 non members

Advertiser Index ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . 31 Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . . 40 Robert B. Jacobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 JAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Landmark Valuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Law Offices of Oliver Bray . . . . . . . . 23 Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . 25 Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Novak Wealth Management . . . . . . . . 2 Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 17, 22 Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Jeffrey R. Windsor, Mediator . . . . . . . 8 Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Youngman Ericsson Scott . . . . . . . . . 24 Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . 13

Registration: Online at

CCCBA & ACBA Proudly Present another Law & Culture Trip with MCLE Credit

Journey to Colombia

Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena March 24-31 2019


The Peace Process, Free Speech, Journalism, The Rule of Law, the upcoming Congressional/Presidential Elections

Constitutional Court of Colombia - Dejusticia Judicial Systems, Transparency, Strategic Litigation and Socio-Economic Justice Introduction to Legal Norms, Business Practices and Foreign Investment

More information at

Women’s Rights and Gender Justice in Colombia

Judges Night

On August 23, the bench and the bar got together to celebrate Judges Night at the Martinez Event Center. It was a terrific evening for socializing and networking. Thank you to all who attended and to our generous sponsors who made the evening possible.

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Top Row: Hon. Judy Johnson, Hon. Anita Santos, Terry Leoni, Hon. Barry Baskin. Right: Anthony Ashe with Hon. Wade Rhyne and Hon. Rick Flier (ret.) Middle Row: CCCBA President James Wu addresses the crowd. Right: Marjorie Wallace with James Wu and Mukesh Advani Bottom Row: Karen Crosby with Glenn Wechsler. Right: Hon. Ignazio Ruvolo (ret.)




24th Annual

MCLE Spectacular! Friday, November 16, 2018 Walnut Creek Marriott | 2355 N. Main Street


Breakfast Kickoff Speaker

Hon. Leondra Kruger Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California

David Kelly

Golden State Warriors General Counsel & Vice President of Basketball Management & Strategy

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Event Patron

ADR Services, Inc. Event Partners

Afternoon Plenary Speaker

BBVA Compass

Hon. Jill Fannin

Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge

Hon. Barry Baskin

Contra Costa County Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge




Event Presenters

Thomson Reuters

Luncheon Keynote Speaker


Event Benefactor

hosted by

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP

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