Contra Costa Lawyer - September 2022 - The Civility Issue

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Contra Costa LAWYER Volume 35, Number 5 | September 2022 The Civility Issue

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Civility in the Courtroom, by Hon . Virginia George . . . . . . . . . . . .

An Insiders Perspective on Civility in Discovery - Is it an Oxymoron? by Jay Chafetz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . 27 NEWS & UPDATES 35 MCLE Spectacular 2022 20 Special Offer for New CCCBA Members 24 Bar Fund Benefit 25 Justice James J . Marchiano Distinguished Service Award Goes to Beth Mora, by Justice James J Marchiano 26 PHOTOS: CCCBA Goes to the Ballpark 29 Coffee Talk: “How Do You Deal with Incivility from Opposing Counsel?” 30 PHOTOS: Farewell to Theresa Hurley 31 Upcoming Events: DEI Townhall, Voting Rights Demystifying Disability with Emily Ladau 32-33 Calendar 34 Advertiser Index 34 Classified Advertising 35 Upcoming Events: MCLE Spectacular EDITORIAL BOARD Corrine Bielejeski 925.752.1826 Rachel ChapmanMargolis 925.837.0585 Andrew Verriere 925.317.9113 Lorraine Walsh 925.932.7014 Christina Weed 925.953.2920 James Wu 925.588-5636 Dorian Peters 925.822-8449

The Erosion of Civility – A Perspective from a “Seasoned” Attorney, by Peter A . Mankin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mediation Civility, by Alana Grice Conner . . . . Civility: the Oath, by Lorraine Walsh The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published six times in 2022 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 and additional mailing offices. 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 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 con strued as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.

. . 8


MCLE SELF STUDY ARTICLE: Civility Matters, A guide to practicing in the Northern District of California Federal Court, by Corrine Bielejeski


SEPTEMBER 20224 Contra Costa LAWYER Volume 35, Number 5 – September 2022 The official publication of the Contra Costa County Bar Association INSIDE:FEATURESWhatEver Happened to Dignity, Courtesy and Integrity, by Lorraine Walsh, Guest Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

. . 18 R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

. . . 22 Mandating


by Lorraine Walsh, Guest Editor various ways to restore civility. Our first article from Jay Chafetz, a former research attorney for the Contra Costa County Superior Court and principal drafter of the Discovery Facilitator Program rules, provides an insider’s view of civility in discovery. He encourages attor neys to apply to serve as a Discovery Facilitator to assist the courts and litigants with their discovery Second, her article titled “Civility Matters: A guide to practicing in the Northern District of California Federal Courts,” Corrine Bielejeski outlines how federal court practitio ners must follow two sets of rules which govern civility: the Northern District rules and our state Rules of Professional Conduct. She provides tips on how to work with opposing counsel, not against them when dealing with discovery, scheduling, and preparation of various motions and joint status conference state ments. She provided you with an MCLE Self-Study questionnaire to Continued on page 6

The author in 1982 in her law school cap and gown at Memorial Auditorim in downtown Sacramento.


Is the legal profession still noble, learned and civil? In 1982, over 40 years ago when I participated in my California State Bar admission cere mony at the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento, I truly believed the hallmark of our legal profession was civility. I grew up watching the Perry Mason television series and saw that attorneys Perry Mason and Hamilton Burger were zealous advocates for their clients but were not rude or obnoxious to each Increasingly,other. there is a sense that attorneys don’t always conduct themselves with “dignity, courtesy, and integrity.” This language is part of the “new” oath which the Cali fornia Supreme Court implemented in 2014 when they adopted Rule of Court 9.7. Should we go “beyond the oath” and mandate civility with referrals of attorneys to the state bar discipline system to curb repeated Inincivility?thistimely edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine, we explore this “hot button” issue and discuss

INSIDE: What HappenedEver to Dignity, Courtesy and Integrity?

Finally, I have authored an article entitled “Mandating CivilityBeyond the Oath.” In 2014, the California Supreme Court at the recommendation of the State Bar of California Board of Trustees, took a step towards improving civility among California attor neys. It adopted Rule of Court 9.7 adding new language to the Oath of Admission for attorneys entering the bar after 2014. I explore the question – should we go beyond the oath and mandate civility? Both the California Lawyers Association and California Judges Association advocated for “remedial action.”

Judge Virginia George, who presides in Department 30, provides her perspective on “Civility in the Courtroom.” From her view on the bench, hearing countless motions and trials, she describes why attor neys should promote civility and gives us valuable tips to avoid inad vertent incivility. Next, attorney Peter Mankin, who has practiced law for 47 years as a litigator and mediator, describes his outlook that civility has eroded over the years. He reminds us of the prac tice of law in Contra Costa County many years ago, where attorneys gathered together for monthly lunches at the Velvet Turtle or Zio Fraedo’s, often with judges. These gatherings established a cama raderie and one-on-one personal communication-- and more civility. He recommends simple tips we can all practice daily to restore it.

Four key proposals were discussed in their September 2021 report. In March 2022, the state bar Board of Trustees voted to implement some of the recommendations including MCLE training on civility, enacting a new Rule of Professional Conduct addressing attorney “repeated inci vility” and requiring every attorney to take the oath affirming the prin ciples of acting with “dignity, cour tesy, and integrity.” I thank all of the authors who have contributed to this edition with their insightful articles. I hope that it provides some useful tips for attor neys when confronted with uncivil behavior. It is important that we go beyond the oath and model civility. We should follow the sage words of Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and become “living exem plars.”

Alana Grice Connor, one of the newest members of the CCCBA, highlights the requirement for civility in mediation asking that the parties and attorneys involved treat each other with respect. She observes that attorneys often use their litigation tactics in mediation which is often counterproductive to the process of compromise and settlement.

SEPTEMBER 20226 test your knowledge of the subject and receive MCLE credit.

Dignity, Courtesy & ContinuedIntegrityfrom page 5

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The reasons are understandable: the information disclosed may deter mine which party wins at trial. With the stakes so high, it is easy to see why tempers flare and civility fades. Also, judges are rarely present to control the process as it unfolds. Must civility be a casualty? I was a litigator for 34 years before taking a position as a research attorney with the Contra Costa County Superior Court. When I was involved in a discovery dispute, the merits of the dispute always seemed obvious: I was right, and the opposing attorney was wrong. The view from inside the court is rarely so clear. Discovery is permitted so each side can educate itself about the validity of the other’s claims and defenses and, presumably, to avoid trials where the outcome would have been obvious had both sides known what the evidence would be.1

The Civil Discovery Act has certain principles at its core. These include that discovery is mutual and selfexecuting.2 Yet the adoption of the first Civil Discovery Act in 1957 did not immediately produce a smooth operating system for the mutual exchange of information. Instead, armed with a new procedural device and associated rules, attor neys immediately began testing the limits of those rules, drafting longer and more highly-prefaced written discovery, and coaching witnesses in deposition in ways they could never do when examining witnesses at trial. Thus, the act moved the battle between attorneys from an arena that was judicially supervised to one that largely was not and is not. Any attempt to bring civility to the process requires a reaffirmation of the act’s original core principles of mutuality and self-execution as well as a broader view of what consti tutes success in the individual case and in the practice of law as a whole.

Discovery is often a tense process.

Many discovery disputes would never arise if plaintiffs’ attorneys focused, at least at the outset, on learning just the key information needed to support their case and meet the defendant’s defenses. Similarly, defense attorneys should accept the basic principle of mutu ality: they must give information as well as receive it. It would also help

An Insider’s Perspective on Civility in Discovery - Is it an Oxymoron?

By Jay Chafetz

Theretators. are few positions like the one I held at the court over the last eight years. Not many attorneys get to expe rience the way it feels to view a dispute as a judge would. However, volunteering as a Discovery Facili tator is one. During these last years, I have often thought, “If only I knew then (when I had my own law firm) what I know now.” The things I have learned working at the court have been invaluable in teaching me what judges appreciate most in attorneys’ writing and demeanor, and of how disputes between attor neys are viewed and resolved. The


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if attorneys realized they can benefit as much from being held in high esteem by their peers and by judges for their collegiality, as for being known as the most difficult lawyers in their communities. When attor neys of the latter type are present on both sides of a case, it is hard to predict which client will win at trial. But it is certain that each client will lose, through years of discovery disputes and an accompanying increase in legal expenses. It would also help if attorneys understood how discovery disputes may be viewed by the courts. No matter how obvious it may seem that you are the aggrieved party, a court reviewing an exchange of inflammatory meet-and-confer letters becomes like the parent of squabbling children: it doesn’t immediately know who is right, it just wants the squabbling to stop. An effective attorney can also be civil; indeed, civility is part of what makes an attorney effective. The best trial attorneys are civil, like able people. Judges and jurors enjoy being around them. No one likes being around a person who battles about everything. Referrals come to the attorneys who are the most competent and effective, not neces sarily to those who are the most difficult and aggressive. The life of an attorney in private practice is hard enough. There is no reason to make it even harder by going to war every day over discovery. Since 2013, when it had to eliminate its Discovery Commissioner posi tion due to budget cuts, Contra Costa County Superior Court has required submission of most discovery disputes to its Discovery Facilitator Program. Over the succeeding years, hundreds of discovery disputes have been resolved through the program. I speak from firsthand knowledge when I say that the judges greatly appreciate the time generously volunteered by the Discovery Facili


And above all else, in all your inter actions with opposing counsel, act as though the judge were present. One day she or he will be.

I have often thought, “If only I knew then (when I had my own law firm) what I know now.”

Insider’s Perspective on Civility in Discovery Continued

1 See Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 355,376.

Discovery Facilitator Program is recruiting volunteers after experi encing a recent shortage. If you have not volunteered yet, consider doing so to gain this perspective as well as the thanks and respect of your peers and the court. You can find an appli cation on the court’s website. Here are suggestions on how to bring civility to the discovery process. When requesting discovery, focus first on what you need most. Don’t start with overly broad requests or use discovery as a weapon to punish the opposing client or attorney. When responding to discovery, understand that you cannot shield every bad fact. That the information may hurt your client’s cause is not a valid objection.

Establish a relationship with your opponent of reciprocal personal courtesy. Assume honest and good faith motives until the opposite is proven. Don’t laugh at, disparage, or engage in personal attacks on your opponent. Recognize that your opponent also has a job to perform.

Keep your meet-and-confer letters brief and professional in tone. No one ruling on your motion wants to read a litany of charges of past bad behavior. They want, as quickly as possible, to focus on the merits of the narrow issues that remain in dispute.

2 Townsend v. Superior Court (1998) 61 Cal. App.4th 1431, 1434. Recently retired from a long career as a civil litigator and, later, a research attorney for Court,the Jay Chafetz discoveryarbitrator,aworkscurrentlyasmediator,andreferee. He was the principal drafter of the Rules for the Discovery Facilitator Program. from page 9

Local Solutions. Global Reach.

Civil L.R. 11-4(a)(4)1

Civility Matters: A guide to practicing in the Northern District of California Federal Court

If you are new to federal court civil practice, here are some tips. You can expect to have meet and confer sessions with opposing counsel in person or via Zoom. You can expect to prepare a sometimes lengthy joint pre-hearing conference state ment. You are expected to meet face to face with the other side to work out discovery disputes and prepare a joint letter discussing the issues.

Thetions.common thread in all of these rules is that you should be working with opposing counsel, not against them. Remember, you both have the same goal: to have the judge rule on your dispute.

“Practice with the honesty, care, and administrationfairrequireddecorumfortheandefficientofjustice.”

The guidelines contain not only aspirational statements like being punctual, but specific examples of how an attorney should act in partic ular circumstances. It is perhaps not surprising that attorneys who prac tice in the Northern District expect opposing counsel to act civilly and for the court to enforce its rules.

Sometimes attorneys, in zealously advocating for their clients, attempt to withhold information from the other side. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 imposes an obligation at the beginning of the case to turn over information “without awaiting a discovery request.” This includes a copy or description of all documents used to support your case. There is no hiding the ball in the bankruptcy court either. Debtors must disclose all of their income, expenses, assets,

Those of us who practice in the federal court are well aware that we have to follow not only the California Rules of Professional Conduct, but also those rules which apply to the Northern District of California. A quick look at the judges’ standing orders will find you referred to the Guidelines for Professional Conduct, which have applied to practitioners since 2014.2

Failure to file a joint pre-hearing statement may be grounds for sanc

by Corrine Bielejeski, with thanks to the Hon. Kandis A. Westmore, Magistrate Judge, Northern District of California

Don’t try to slide extra provisions into a stipulation. 6 These sorts of tricks look great on TV, but they are not how attorneys are expected to practice in the federal bar. So what is an attorney, with a duty to zealously represent their client, supposed to do when an opposing party is being particularly difficult?

The third item responsible for attorney disagreements is discovery. It can be time consuming, costly, and mentally draining. Guideline 9 provides an exhaustive list of exam ples to follow during the discovery phase of litigation, but the key is in the first sentence: “A lawyer should conduct discovery in a manner designed to ensure the timely, effi cient, cost effective and just resolu tion of a dispute.” Unfortunately, some attorneys do not follow these Whentenets. discovery dispute happens, the parties are expected to try to resolve it and only file discovery motions “sparingly.”9 If you must file one, look at your judge’s standing order. For example, Judge Westmore’s standing order requires the parties to have lead trial counsel meet and confer in person or via video conference to settle matters first.10 If they do not agree, the parties prepare and file a jointly signed letter within five business days of the meet and confer. The letter must clearly state each side’s position on the relevant discovery request and the legal reasoning for their position. In the event of a dispute during a discovery event, such as a deposi tion, the parties are still expected to try to resolve it themselves. However, if the parties cannot agree, they can call a judge’s court room deputy and see if the judge is available to intervene. If the court is available, they can address the issue via Theteleconference.goalwithallof these discovery rules is to keep an open dialogue between the parties and informa tion shared efficiently. To that end, sanctions motions are expected to be limited to those cases where the parties have already tried the methods outlined in the Guidelines and one side continues to delay discovery inappropriately.11

1. All local rules citations are to the Northern District of California’s civil or criminal local rules. 2. professional-conduct/ Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007 4. Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 and Crim.L.R. 16-1

If you are new to federal court practice, it may feel like you are being asked to be too friendly toward opposing counsel. Embrace civility. There are plenty of facts and legal argu ments to fight about without having to fight about scheduling a deposition.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 13 and debts.3 In criminal matters, the parties must have a discovery confer ence within 14 days of entering a not guilty plea to discuss the disclosure schedule, which can be extended to 21 days if the parties enter into a stipulation.4


The next item counsel often fight about is timing. We have all heard stories about the attorney who says they aren’t available for a deposition in the next three months. Guidelines 3 and 4, among others, discuss sched uling. When opposing counsel calls you with a bad case of laryngitis, you should agree to a continuance. We all know the court is going to grant it anyway. Don’t serve opposing counsel with a motion when you know they are on a two-week vaca tion, unless you are prepared to agree to extend the time to file a response.5

Corrine Bielejeski owns East Bay Bankruptcy Law & Financial Planning in Brentwood, CA. She served as law clerk to the Hon. Edward D. Jellen (ret.) in the U.S. Bank ruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division before entering private practice. She is a CEB update author and regularly speaks on bankruptcy issues.

Earn one hour of MCLE credit by answering the qusetions on the Self Study MCLE test available on our website: attorneys-mcle-overview/ your answers along with a check ($30 per credit hour for CCCBA members / $45 per credit hour for non members), to the address on the test form. Certificates are processed within two weeks of receipt. If you prefer to receive the test form via email, contact Anne K. Wolf at or (925) 370-2540.

You should remain civil, agree to a continuance as long as the client will not be adversely affected, even if the other side refused to give you one, and respond promptly to the other side, even when you feel like making them wait.7 Importantly, it is also our duty to make sure our clients know that the court expects us to act reasonably. That duty includes not making frivolous motions.8

5. Guideline 5 6. Guideline 19 7. Guidelines 8, 4 and example b, 18 and example 8.d Guidelines 2 and 10 9. Guideline 10, example a 10. 11.ing_order_general_11-08-2021/


Even if obnoxious behavior toward opposing counsel does not prejudice the client’s case, it likely will increase In theory and practice, the legal profession is ideally a noble one. Attorneys are officers of the court and governed by Rules of Profes sional Conduct. Lawyers are not merely vendors or suppliers of a product, they are the envoys of justice and are entrusted with its safekeeping. The diversity of issues with which counsel deal are critically important and appear to be increas ingly marginalized by disrespectful behavior and incivility in and out of Overcourt. time and for various reasons, civility in the courtroom has eroded to a point where it impedes progress in litigation, derails collegiality, leads to further stress and has tarnished a distinguished profession. Although the majority of lawyers conduct themselves honorably, nationwide, attorneys report discomfort associ ated with sharp tactics and incivility in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States.

Why should attorneys promote civility?

In re Mahoney (2021) 65 Cal App.5th 376, 381.

Civility in Courtroomthe

The timbre


by Hon. Virginia George of our time

Incivility hurts a client’s case . Consider a lawyer at a deposition who needlessly yells at or insults opposing counsel. Such conduct can lead to sanctions. Indeed, even if a judge chooses not to sanction the offending lawyer, such conduct is likely to negatively impact the judge’s view of the lawyer, and perhaps the client’s position. Even though most judges would not consciously rule against a client merely because his lawyer does not get along with others, it certainly is not advanta geous to a client’s cause to have the judge angry at their attorney.

has intoaggressiveunfortunatelybecomeanddisrespectful.Languageaddressedtoopposingcounselandcourtshaslurchedoffthepathofdiscourseandtheditchofabuse.Thisisn’twhoweare.

An uncivil lawyer needlessly increases the client’s fees

7. Assume all correspondence with opposing counsel will end up in front of a judge, and will be carefully read by that judge. Assume that the judge will not be impressed by your repeated accusations of unethical and other inappropriate conduct by opposing counsel.

SEPTEMBER 202216 the cost of litigation. When lawyers spend time at a deposition arguing about all things, they increase the length of the deposition. When lawyers refuse to answer discovery based on hyper-technical objections, and then refuse to meet and confer in good faith, they necessitate costly correspondence and motion prac tice. And when lawyers generally act obnoxiously to each other, they make it difficult to communicate and to resolve what otherwise would be easily resolvable differences. All of this increases the cost of litigation for both sides. Incivility destroys the lawyer’s reputation . Besides generating stress, rude ness and discourtesy impact the way judges and colleagues view the uncivil attorney. Nobody wants to refer clients to someone who is unprofessional and wastes a clients’ time and money. Similarly, one’s reputation in the legal community can be severely impacted; and once lost, difficult to rehabilitate.

8. Do not let an uncivil lawyer drag you into the mud. It is so easy to return an obnoxious email with an equally obnoxious email because, well, opposing counsel deserves it. Avoid that trap. When the record ends up before the court, the difference in tone between you and your uncivil adversary will not go unnoticed.

9. Finally, pretend your mother is present at all of your depo

5. Treat every email as if it were a formal letter. When some of us started practicing, written communications with opposing counsel were by letter. After the letter was composed, it would be reviewed and revised before being finalized and sent out. Inappropriate and unnecessary statements hopefully would not survive this process. Now, most communications are by email, and the informality of emails often causes lawyers to hit the “send” button before the communication has been prop erly vetted. Do not fall into that trap. Thoughtfully review and consider all professional email communications before sending them.

For some lawyers, incivility is just in their blood, and it may take a fed-up judge to finally instill some civility into them in the form of a harsh sanctions order or other rebuke. Most lawyers, however, are not inherently uncivil, but rather may slip into incivility at various times, often with the help of an equally uncivil opposing counsel.

How to avoid conduct that may end up being damaging to the profes sion, to one’s clients, and/or reputa tion: 1. Accept the premise that civility is good and incivility is bad. Whether your goal is to: (a) Obtain a good result for your client, (b) Provide efficient legal services, (c) Preserve your repu tation in the legal community, (d) Enjoy the practice of law, (e) Treat the legal profession with respect; or, (f) All of the above, attorneys must recognize that acting civilly is both necessary and worthwhile. 2. Follow the Golden Rule. That is, treat others as you would have them treat you. If you want and expect opposing counsel to grant you an extension so you can take a family vacation, then grant opposing counsel that same courtesy.

Civility in Courtroomthe Continued from page 15

6. Corollary to #5: do not send emails when you are angry. Sometimes, after reading a brief or correspondence from opposing counsel, there is a desire and tendency to respond with a harsh retort. Feel free to write that vitriolic email response if it makes you feel better, but then take a breath, delete the draft email, and start again.

Tips for InadvertentAvoidingIncivility

4. Avoid personal attacks and vitriol. You can disagree with opposing counsel’s position without attacking him person ally. You can even state your client’s opposing position force fully and persuasively without using words like “ridiculous” or “ludicrous” and without threat ening sanctions.

3. Become involved in local bar associations and bar-related activities. As we become better acquainted with other members of our profession, we realize that our professional reputa tion does matter—not only in terms of how good and smart we are, but in how we treat other lawyers. Sitting on a board or bar committee with an opposing counsel will make you think twice before sending that heated and unnecessary email. Knowing you may run into opposing counsel at that evening’s bar event may cause you to think twice before yelling at him that morning in a deposi tion.


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sitions. Nowhere do counsel behave more poorly than in depositions. The combina tion of an adversarial situa tion, stress, and the absence of a judge tends to bring out the worst in lawyers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are taking the deposition, try to avoid arguing over all matter of things with the witness or the defending counsel. If you are defending the deposition, state your position articulately and make a thorough record should the matter proceed to hearing or trial. A reputation for civility, candor, courtesy, and integrity are critical components of a distinguished legal practitioner and will work to improve and enhance the legal profession immeasurably.

her appointment to the bench, she was a partner in a Walnut Creek firm specializing in probate, conservatorships and elder law as well as mediation in those areas. For several years, she was the Executive Director of the pro bono Elder Law Clinic at JFK University School of Law while teaching there as a full-time professor in Evidence and Wills and Trusts. Prior to being a solo practitioner in probate and estate planning, she began her career as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County.

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JudgeGeorgeVirginia is ment.supervisingthejudgeoftheContraCostaSuperiorCourtProbateDepartPriorto

The State of Civility: Civility among lawyers, or the lack thereof, has been a much-discussed topic for many years. Courts have long lamented loss of civility. Several examples are cited in LaSalle v. Vogel (2019) 36 CA 5th 127:

ErosionThe of Civility –


So, how have we progressed or regressed in the last 50 years? Where do we stand today and into the near future? These are my personal observations and opinions from the trenches. Forty or 50 years ago, practice in Contra Costa County was different. Most attorneys knew each other. Many of us gathered together for monthly bar luncheons at places like the Velvet Turtle (long gone) or Zio Fraedo’s (still there). The judges would often join us. There was an air of camaraderie and a lot more one-onone personal communication. Things got done and cases got settled without formal rules and programs. Hand shake deals usually meant something without “this shall confirm…” letters. However, let us not fondly reminisce about the “good old days” with rosecolored glasses. Uncivil litigation practices certainly took place. We by: Peter A. Mankin

• “Lawyers who know how to think but have not learned how to behave are a menace and liability…to the administration of justice…” -Chief Justice Warren Burger (1971).

• “The term ‘civil procedure’ is an oxymoron.”

• “Zealous advocacy does not equate to ‘attack dog’ or ‘scorched earth,’ nor does it mean lack of civility… They are not mutually exclusive.”

• “Our profession is rife with cyni cism and awash in incivility.”


• “The legal profession has already suffered a loss of stature and public respect. Lawyers and judges should work to improve and enhance the rule of law, not allow a return to the law of the jungle.”

• Choose a positive over negative mind set.

tion, ad hominem attacks, sexist or racist comments, going low.

With the focus and efforts of the legal community promoting civility over the last several years, I would like to say we are in a better place. Unfortu nately, I can’t say that. Over the last seven or eight years, civility in our country has taken a nose dive. We are in a period of divisiveness and chaos. This is not a political article so I won’t name names (there are many), but the messages we receive every day from government, politi cians, news media and social media seem to be leading us down a rabbit hole of incivility. This permeates all of society and the legal commu nity is not immune. If we believe in civility and the rule of law, we must resist goal,Today.withwemessagesnegativethearehiteveryadvancethatherearesome


• Display equanimity-even if Whileprovoked.most in our profession would claim to aspire to civility, the adversarial nature and high stakes involved in our profession challenge that aspiration. We should consider that civility and professionalism help our clients, enhance the legal system, improve our society and make us better people. Give it a shot… Peter Mankin has been practicing for 47 years, 45 of them in Contra Costa County. He has been active with the CCCBA, serving as its president in 1998 and cofounding the Real Estate, ADR and Senior Lawyer sections. He has served in the Contra Costa Superior Court on the ADR panels and on the court ADR oversight committee since their inceptions. He also cofounded the Court Discovery Facilitator Program. He always attempts to be civil.

What Is and What Isn’t Civility?

• Be “responsive” rather than “reac tive.”

• Lead by example – be a role model.

• Don’t catch the rudeness disease.

• Be self-aware of your behavior.


• Listen more-you might learn some thing. • Connect on a human level, but don’t take things too personally.

usually (and unfairly) blamed outof-county or “L.A. lawyers.”

suggestions you can practice to foster civility:

There isn’t space in this article for detailed definitions or examples of “civility” and “incivility.” Most of us know them when we see them. As general guidelines, the following are some descriptive qualities asso ciated with each: “Civility:” professional integrity, candor, diligence, courtesy, coop eration, fairness, active listening, competence, honesty, taking the high road. “Incivility:” rudeness, disruption, disrespect, abusive behavior, bullying, game-playing, harass ment, egotism, stonewalling,condescension,misrepresentation,dishonesty,sarcasm,playinghardball,repeatedinterrup

• Use appropriate humor – it can be an antidote to incivility.

• Don’t tolerate the behavior. Speak up against incivility.

As our county grew in size and stature in the Bay Area legal commu nity, with cutting-edge court and bar programs and a stellar bench, a lot of the personal contact disap peared. However, we perceived our bar to be a step above many in our standards of professionalism and civility. In 1993, two youngish CCCBA board members (Linda DeBene and I) drafted “Standards of Professional Courtesy” as guid ance for civility among our bar members. The current local rules recite they were formally approved by the Board of Directors of the CCCBA in June 1993. Those stan dards were readily embraced by our judges. They were, and still are, incorporated in our Local Rules at Rule 2.90, et seq. If you haven’t read them lately, they are highly recom mended. It is guaranteed that there will be at least one suggestion that will enhance your practice and benefit a client. This may also help if your opposing counsel starts to go off the rails, as the standards can be considered by the court in sanction Inmotions.2007, the State Bar implemented similar “California Attorney Guide lines of Civility and Profession alism.” They include a voluntary “Attorney’s Pledge,” with a state ment that, “I will abstain from rude, disruptive, disrespectful, and abusive behavior, and will act with dignity, decency, courtesy, and candor with opposing counsel, the courts and the public.” These guidelines and the state bar “Civility Toolbox” can be found at Conduct-Discipline/Ethics/

• Educate yourself and others about civility issues.

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Mediation Civility

“Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.”


Old sins cast long shadows. This idiom is true for Agatha Christie’s Monsieur Hercule Poirot and for counsel in mediation. Picture it...a conference room with parties, their counsel, and a mediator. Plaintiffs’ counsel is repeating, loudly, that the client’s damages far exceed the offer being made by the Defendants. Plaintiff is, of course, nodding. Plaintiff’s counsel refuses, again loudly, to reduce the demand and shouts that nothing less than five times what is being offered will even be considered. And each time the mediator or Defendant’s counsel tries to speak, Plaintiff’s counsel interrupts, shouting more reasons why the offer is unacceptable. This scenario may have happened to you because it happened to me. And as you might have guessed, the case did not resolve at the mediation table. Civility in mediation is not about capitulation or surrender. The Institute for Civility in Govern ment describes civility as follows:

By Alana Grice Conner


Finally, although there is no guar antee that a case will settle at medi ation, the chances of success will increase exponentially if counsel and the parties treat each other with R-ES-P-E-C-T.

Alana Grice Conner has been in practice for over 25 years. Her primary focus in the real estate context is landlord-tenant litigation, rent board representa tion and residen tial and commercial leasing. She is also a certified mediator. Contact her at Fried, Williams & Grice Conner LLP, in Oakland or San Fran cisco.

Often a mediator will ask if counsel and the parties accept the “ground rules” if there is a concern about Civilitycivility. applies to all types of media tions including those conducted virtually. Using Zoom to conduct a mediation does not suspend the standards of civility. Although it seems like common sense, your client should not appear for a virtual mediation wearing pajamas and eating breakfast with dogs barking in the background. Likewise, counsel should not be taking calls or playing Wordle on their cell phone. It is disre spectful and signals a lack of engage ment in the process.

Civility in the legal practice requires us to show respect. The California Attorney Guidelines of Civility and Professionalism adopted in July 2007 frame many of its recommendations in the context of respect: respect for your client; respect for the judiciary; respect for opposing counsel, and respect for the process. Treating all concerned with respect ensures that the parties, who are the ones with the dispute, are heard. Statistics gath ered by the courts repeatedly show that even when a party is unsuc cessful at trial, their satisfaction with the court hinges on being heard. Mediation, a form of alterna tive dispute resolution, is often successful. Historically, some attor neys believe that agreeing to mediate shows weakness in the case. Some attorneys believe their case is a “slam dunk” and see no benefit to media tion. By this logic, no case should ever be mediated. But mediation is a proven success, and it is even more so when counsel demonstrates civility and respect. Why is that? Because counsel is trusted to handle a problem a client could not resolve on their own. And counsel is modeling behavior for a client who likely may not have ever been involved in litiga tion before. The client is, of course, emotionally invested in the dispute, and here’s where civility matters. A series of 2016 studies conducted by the Journal of Applied Psychology found that, like the common cold, rudeness is easily contracted, and exposure to one episode can have long-lasting effects, being the long shadow of those old sins. Civility in Mediation also means counsel should not misuse the process. It should be reserved for good faith efforts to resolve the dispute and not for some tactical purpose such as to delay or for “free discovery” from your adversary. Using the process in this manner will usually make any later effort less likely to succeed and is a waste of resources when mediation costs are a significant outlay. Your written submissions including mediation briefs should also have a civil tone avoiding ad hominem attacks or taking hard positions before actual negotiations start. If a participant disputes an opponent’s legal or factual points, the differ ences should be highlighted on the merits without demeaning rhetoric, commentary or labeling your oppo nent as “a liar.” Briefs should be exchanged according to the media tor’s scheduled deadline to avoid the sense that one side is “hiding the ball” and not acting in good faith. As most courts now strongly encourage parties to engage in some form of alternative dispute resolu tion (ADR), finding ways to maxi mize its effectiveness is critical. Unfortunately, ADR often occurs on the eve of trial, when counsel and the parties have had lots of time to rein force their entrenched views about the dispute and have expended attorneys fees and costs. If counsel present mediation to their client as a mere procedural hurdle to trial, then finding a resolution will be nearly impossible. If counsel, as is required under Evidence Code Section 1129, provides the Mediation Disclosure Notification and Acknowledgment at the onset of the retention, counsel can prepare their client for the eventuality of mediation and set the expectations for treating everyone involved in the case with respect. Counsel your clients about these civility standards, what to expect, how to act and how to address the adverse party and their counsel if they meet in joint session. For mediators, preparation and having a plan to deal with uncivil behavior is also beneficial. Many mediators begin the process before the day of mediation with an intro ductory phone call to counsel. An uncivil counsel is likely to reveal their nature during the call which provides the mediator with the opportunity to set expectations of how counsel and the parties should behave. If a joint session is held or if the parties meet in separate caucuses, the mediator has numerous oppor tunities to gauge counsel and their clients’ behavior and model civility.

• Cocktail Reception 5:30 - 7:30 pm


For the past 30 years, Contra Costa County Bar Association’s BAR FUND has been proudly raising awareness of the need for pro bono legal services and assistance for low-income members of our community. Each year, CCCBA members come together to learn about and support a worthy group.

• Meet and mingle with lawyers, judges and legal pros from the Contra Costa legal community


About the Richmond High School Law Academy: The mission of the Richmond High School Law Academy is to help students become public leaders and public servants who can effectuate democratic and equitable change, and provide access to justice, in their school and community. Students take academy classes and participate in academy activities that prepare them for post-secondary education and for careers in law, government, and law enforcement. Law Academy curriculum is cre ated through collaboration between teachers, administrators, parents, and partners in industry, government, post-secondary in stitutions, and the community, to assure student success in high school and beyond. Proceeds from the Bar Fund Benefit will go to support the Law Academy’s Mock Trial program, student internships and study trips

• Meet students in the Law Academy as well as graduates, and board members Learn how you can help this worthy local group


• Hear about innovative programs in use here

Bar Fund Benefit Sponsors: Platinum Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada Hartog, Baer, Zabronsky & Verriere CCCBA Estate Planning & Probate Section GOLD Acuna CCCBABrothersRegliSmithFerberLawLittlerRealEstateSection Silver Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser Casper Meadows Schwartz & Cook Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Fanucci Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally McNamara,HansonLLPBridgettHorvitz&LevyJAMSAmbacher,Wheeler,Hirsig&Gray,LLPMillerStarrRegaliaMorrillLawRobertHalfLegalCCCBALitigationSectionCCCBAAlternativeDisputeResolutionSectionCCCBAWomen’sSection Bronze Key Counsel, P.C. Leoni Law Vanegas Law Group Other Section Sponsors Appellate Section Business Law Section Criminal IntellectualEmploymentSectionSectionFamilyLawSectionPropertySectionJuvenileSectionSeniorSectionSolo/SmallFirmSectionTaxSection

by Justice James J. Marchiano

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 25 uponBased an extraor dinary history of pro bono work in the legal commu nity, Beth Mora is the 2022 recipient of the Justice James J. Marchiano Distinguished Service Award. While maintaining an active employment law office in San Ramon, Beth has volunteered her time and talents to an array of pro bono programs in the legal community. She was a significant force in the develop ment of the Elimination of Bias in the Judiciary Committee and the Women’s Committee for the Cali fornia Employment Lawyers Asso ciation, and has published articles to promote Rules of Court to eliminate all forms of judicial bias and to advo cate for women’s rights in the court Bethsystem.has dedicated many hours as a volunteer for the Legal Aid at Work’s community outreach, and helped establish the Workers’ Rights Clinic with Legal Aid at Work in Antioch, which provides direct legal assis tance for low-income and unem ployed people. Beth supervises law students and volunteer attorneys at the Antioch clinic. Beth has served on numerous committees for the CCCBA, and on the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of Skate Like a Girl, a nonprofit organization which promotes confidence and social justice through community skate boarding. She has been on the CCCBA’s annual Pro Bono Honor Roll, which recognizes her many hours of community work and her passion for justice for the public good. Beth Mora epitomizes a lawyer’s dedication of legal skills to pro bono publico work and brings luster to the award. Beth will be honored on September 29, 2022 at the Bar Fund Benefit at the Veterans Center in Lafayette. This year’s recipient of the Bar Fund Benefit is the Richmond Law Academy. Plan to join us for this worthy annual event. The AWARDDISTINGUISHEDJamesJusticeJ.MarchianoSERVICEGoestoBethMora


CCCBA Goes to the Ballpark

The CCCBA enjoyed an exciting game and delicious tailgate meal on Tuesday July 26. Our new Executive Director Jody Iorns joined us for her first CCCBA event. The A’s beat Houston and it was a fun evening for all!

MANDATING CIVILITY - Beyond The Oath by Lorraine Walsh

There has been a noted decline in civility in our profession and society. Citizens struggle to have healthy discussions with those who do not agree with them. Civility is not about agreement, but how we conduct ourselves when we Todisagree.serve


as an example for society, the legal profession must model that ‘best’ behavior if discourse is to improve. To that end, in 2014 the California Supreme Court at the recommendation of the State Bar of California Board of Trustees, took a step towards improving civility among California attorneys. It adopted Rule 9.7 of the Cali fornia Rules of Court adding new language to the attorney oath of admission. The new rule required anyone admitted after 2014 to swear or affirm: “As an Officer of the Court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.”

Did the enactment of this new rule and oath effectuate real change in how attorneys interacted with each other and the courts? In 2021, the California Lawyers Association (CLA) and the California Judges Association (CJA) believed inci vility had actually increased in the ensuing years. They formed a joint taskforce to address the issue. In September 2021 they issued their initial report appropriately named “Beyond the Oath”: Recommenda tions for Improving Civility” and suggested the time had come for “remedial action.”

The Report outlined four key proposals: 1. MCLE Training on CivilityThis proposal would require one hour of MCLE training devoted to civility focusing on the link

On March 24, 2022, at the State Bar of California Board of Trustees meeting, it considered these four proposals and voted to implement an “action plan” which included 1) directing state bar staff to review the onehour MCLE training requirement including recommending changes to state bar rules which govern MCLE compliance; 2) referring the amend ment of the Rules of Professional Conduct to the Committee on Profes sional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) to draft a new rule or comment to existing Rule 8.4; and 3) directing state bar staff to prepare a public comment solicitation on requiring all attorneys to take the oath Althoughannually.these proposals, if imple mented will benefit both attorneys and judges, the ultimate beneficiary of acting civil is our fellow citizens who will see that they can place their trust in the legal profession. The joint taskforce report described the severity of the civility issue noting that “bullying, intimidation and nastiness has too often replaced discussion, negotiation and skillful, hard-fought advocacy which inter feres with the justice system’s ability to function fairly and reliably.” They also commented that even the perception of incivility is dangerous to democracy and the rule of law because the public will not trust the legal system if it does not believe its gatekeepers, attorneys and judges are “honest and ethical.”

3. Amend the California Rules of Professional Conduct-The proposed new rule or comment to existing rules would state that repeated incivility would consti tute professional misconduct and subject the attorney to state bar discipline. Rule 8.4 which deals with misconduct contains para graph (d) which states that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to “engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.” It is contemplated that the rule will be changed to reflect “repeated incivility.”

Contact Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court, President, Pamela L. Marraccini, Law Office of Pamela Marraccini, 925-926-0400 or

4. Require all attorneys to take a civility oath annually-Since a large number of California attor neys were admitted to practice before 2014, before the Rule 9.7 oath change, this proposal would require all attorneys who renew and pay annual bar dues to swear or affirm they will conduct them selves civilly.

As former United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger noted, “the necessity for civility is relevant to lawyers because you are the living exemplars---and thus teachers every day, in every case, and in every court and your worst conduct will be emulated perhaps more readily than your best.”

Continued from page 27 between incivility and bias. The taskforce noted their goal was to educate attorneys about the “economic and human costs of incivility,” to provide them with “reasons and tools” to change their own behavior and to deal with the “stress and dissatisfaction” which uncivil behavior causes. The new one-hour requirement would not add to the number of MCLE hours under the current rules.

Finally the Task force commented that incivility disproportionately impacts “young lawyers, women lawyers, lawyers of color and lawyers from other marginalized groups and threatens the profession as a whole and the justice system itself.”

Going beyond the oath and imple menting these proposals will show the public that civility is the hall mark and foundation of our learned profession. Lorraine M. Walsh is an attorney who has practiced in California for 40 years and maintains her office in Walnut Creek. She is a State Bar of California Certified Specialist in Legal Malpractice law and handles controversies involving attorneys and clients. She also serves as an expert consultant and witness in legal malpractice actions. As part of her prac tice she represents clients in appeals and has four published appellate opinions. She is the former chair of the State Bar Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee and trains attorneys throughout the state to serve as fee dispute arbitrators for local and the State Bar programs. In Contra Costa County, she is on the Board of Directors for the CCCBA’s Senior Section and is a member of the CCCBA’s editorial board. She also volunteers as a Judge Pro Tem in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Mandating Civility

2. Judge’s Training-This proposal would require new training programs for judges designed to equip them with tools to have a greater impact on promoting civility among attorneys and to teach them to model the same behavior when interacting with attorneys and litigants. The report attached a sample training program for judges and listed the various rules at their disposal to deal with attorneys (e.g. state bar rules, local county rules and guide lines, guidelines from professional associations, federal court rules and guidelines, and referrals of attorneys to the state bar discipline system).

Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court Interested in joining?

SEPTEMBER 202228 5 6

First, channel Michelle Obama: “When they go low, you go high.”

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.

2. Make sure counsel understands that s/he is not the judge or the jury.


One tactic that I have used is to bestow a few unexpected words of kindness upon the offender. As diffi cult as this has been for me to do, it has a quelling effect, and perhaps grants them the validation that they seek in their own personal lives.


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If they continue to be uncivil, taking the high road will only positively reflect upon you before judges, arbitrators and juries. Second, ask how you can help them. Although this sounds counter-intuitive as to an uncivil opponent, you may disarm them and they may share what’s actually going on, revealing a productive path ahead. Try it. It works.

Elder Law is

–Mark LeHocky

1. Make sure counsel does not confuse our kindness and civility with weakness.

1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California 94596

How do you deal with incivility from opposing counsel and how you turn it around?

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.

–Shahrad Milanfar

–Michael D. Goforth After tiring and difficult letters, I took OC to lunch to discuss the case. Went very well. –Joel Harris My approach is simple:

3. While we can agree to disagree, our office will obtain the evidence our clients are entitled to under the law. We will work with counsel coop eratively but will not tolerate inci vility toward anyone in our office.

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

During my 43 years of practice, I have run into my share of bullies and bad-mannered practitioners.


remarkssomemadeTheresaandMcKennaErickaPresidentBoardas Sutter Selleck and their daughter listen.

Patanisha Davis Pierson, Board President Ericka McKenna, Christina Weed and Matt Talbot Greg Iskander, Tamara Ribas and Commissioner Gina Dashman


Lisa Mendes and her “bar babies”

Farewell to Theresa Hurley

Dorian Peters and Terry Leoni Judge Jill Fannin and Renée Welze Livingston

Derrick Roehn and Suzanne Boucher Judge Wade Rhyne and Michael Pierson CCCBA staff said farewell to Theresa the next day at lunch.

Pam Marraccini, Dorian Peters, Rhonda Wilson-Rice and Judge Anita Santos Jeff Kirk and Theresa Hurley

The CCCBA came out to bid farewell to Executive Director Theresa Hurley, and to thank her for her leadership and over the past 11 years. We all wish her well!

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 31 With appreciation to our 2022 DEI Program Sponsors Candelaria PC | Ferber Law | Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada | JAMS | M.S. Domingo Law Group, P.C. | ADR Services, Inc. | Law Office of Ariel Brownell | Key Counsel, P.C. | Livingston Law Firm | Miller Starr Regalia | Mora Employment Law | Ratner Molineaux Emily DemystifyingLadauDisability: How to Combat Ableism and Be an Ally Free admission.Registration open now at: October 27, 2022, Noon – 1:30 pm 1.5 hours Implict Bias – Elimination of Bias MCLE credit The Contra Costa County Bar Association Disability Rights Subcommittee of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Proudly Present: DEI VotingTOWNHALL Rights Speaker: Terrance Evans Partner, Duane Morris, LLP Wednesday, September 28, Noon - 1:15 pm 1 hour Elimination of Bias MCLE credit Free admission.Registration open now at: Join the CCCBA DEI Committee for a timely and eye-opening discussion of voting rights in America.

Time: 2:30 pm – 7:00 pm, showtime 4:00 pm


Senior and Solo Sections

Back to Normal! An Outdoor Gathering for the Solo/Small Firm & Senior Sections


September 15 |

September 14 |

Speakers: Rebecca Grey | Margaret Grover | Gregory Iskander Learn how to mediate the unique issues and dynamics which makeup an employ ment case. Hear from an employer’s counsel and employee’s counsel and a former judge. This program will definitely offer some do’s, don’ts and insights.

September 18 | CCCBA CCCBA Goes to the Theater for LEAR at Cal Shakes

Join us for a robust discussion between civil and criminal attorneys regarding some of the most important issues that can arise when representing a client with potentially concurrent criminal and civil liability.

Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1 hour General credit Cost: Free for members of the Litigation Section | $15 for members of the Barristers and Criminal Sections | $30 CCCBBA members, $40 non members Register: Online at

Employment Section

September 20 |

Speakers: Mark J. Hilliard | Dirk Manoukian Adam Wilks

Location: Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Shakespeare Way, Orinda Cost: $80 CCCBA members, $85 non members (includes box dinner at reserved picnic tables) Register: Online at

Employment Litigation Series: Preparing To Mediate An Employment Case

September 22 | Litgation Section Representing a Client in a Civil Matter Concurrently with a Criminal Matter

LawBusinessSection Business Law Section In-Person Happy Hour at Jack’s in Pleasant Hill Please join the Business Law Section Board for a very happy HAPPY HOUR! Hooray! No Host Bar. Appetizers included. Questions? Please contact Marta Vanegas Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Location: Jack’s, 60 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill Cost: $10 CCCBA members, $20 non members Register: Online at

Sponsored by: Judicate West Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1 hour General credit Cost: Free for Employment Section mem bers, $15 Barristers, $20 ADR Section, $30 CCCBA members, $45 non members

Set in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, this new modern verse translation of Shakespeare’s classic pays homage to the Bay Area in sight and sound. Lear will feature a live jazz musical accompaniment lead by the prolific SF-Based musician and composer, Marcus Shelby.

The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 32-33 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

LawBusinessSection Business Law 101 Series: Creditors Rights | Bankruptcy | Winding Up a Speakers:BusinessCorrine Bielejeski | Matthew Olson | David Pearson | Cheryl Rouse | Marta Vanegas Time: Noon - 1:30 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1.5 hours General credit Cost: Free for members of the Business Law section, $15 for Barristers and Real Estate section members, $10 for law students, $20 CCCBA members, $45 non members Sign Up: Online at

September 22 |

Enjoy Sauced BBQ & Spirits’ tasty wings, brisket sliders, nachos and Bumpkins and nonalcoholic beverages all free to Senior and Solo/Small Firm Section members. Also enjoy your favorite libations at the No Host Bar! Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Location: Sauced BBQ & Spirits, 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek Cost: Free for members of the Senior and Solo Practice & Small Firm sections, $30 CCCBA members, $40 non members Register: Online at

Solo / Small Firm Section

For more information on these events: Unless noted otherwise, please contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Contributing Sponsor: JAMS Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Location: Peony Garden, 1448 S. Main St., Walnut Creek MCLE: 1 hour General credit Cost: $75 members of the Women’s Section, $85 CCCBA members, $95 non members

Join the CCCBA DEI Committee for a timely and eye-opening discussion of voting rights in America.

Employment Section

September 28 |

Demystifying Disability: Practical Tips on How to Combat Ableism and Become an Ally

September 29 |

See page 31 for more information.

October 20 |

Speaker: Emily Ladau, Activist, Writer, Speaker

Law Firm Operations Roundtable

DEI Townhall - Voting Rights

Speaker: Diane Camacho, CLM Diane will discuss: how to handle consults; moving a consult to a client; watching for red flags. Time: Noon – 1:00 pm, Zoom meeting Cost: Free for CCCBA members, $15 non members Register: Online at

Employment Litigation Series: Selecting a Jury for an Employment Case

Speaker: Terrance Evans Time: Noon - 1:15 pm, Zoom Meeting MCLE: 1 hour Elimination of Bias credit Register: Online at

September 27 |

See page 31 for more information.

Please join CCCBA Women’s section for this very special evening as they honor the 2022 recipient(s) of the Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholar ship, and present the 3rd Annual Women’s Section Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award (OWL) to a deserving member.

The 2022 Hon. James J. Marchiano Distinguished Service Award and the 2022 Pro Bono Honor Roll will be presented at this event.

October 18 |


October 27 | Disability SubcommitteeRights

CONSULTS & INTAKES: The Importance of a Good System

Time: Noon – 1:30 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1.5 hours Implicit Bias credit Register: Online at

Time: Noon – 1:15 pm, Webinar MCLE: 1 hour General credit Cost: Free for members of the Employment Section, $15 Barristers, $20 Litigation Section members, $30 CCCBA members, $45 non members Register: Online at

DEI Committee

CCCBA Bar Fund Benefit in Support of Richmond Law ForAcademythepast 30 years, Contra Costa County Bar Association’s BAR FUND has been proudly raising awareness of the need for pro bono legal services and assistance for low income members of our community. This year we will be fundraising for the Richmond High School Law Academy.

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Lafayette Veterans Memorial Center, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette Cost: After Sept 9: $70 for non profit attor neys and Barristers, $90 CCCBA members, free for law students

CCCBA’s Benisa Berry and Julie Ann Giamonna will share a 90-minute Zoom con veration with Emily Ladau, disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital com munications consultant. They will explore im plicit bias and the promotion of bias-reducing strategies to address how unintended biases of the disabled undermine confidence in the legal system.

Speakers: Michelle R. Ferber | Beth Mora Get ready to learn how to pick the perfect jury for your next employment trial. Whether plaintiff or defendant, you will learn all of the tips and tricks to get your client that winning verdict.

2022 Women’s Section Annual Awards Dinner

See page 24 for more information.

Employment Section

SEPTEMBER 202234 Acuna Regli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 20 ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Barr & Young Attorneys 6 Bay Area File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Bray Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Casper SchwartzMeadows&Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 JAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 LawPay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Lawyers Mutual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Vanegas Law Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Law Offices of Michael J . Young Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Advertiser IndexCLASSIFIEDSPROBATE PARALEGAL TO ATTORNEYS Joanne C. McCarthy, 3000F Danville Blvd., #257, Alamo, CA 94507. Call (925) 689-9244. 2 OFFICE SPACES AVAILABLE Where: 3445 Golden Gate Way, Lafayette Law firm since 1955. Details: Creekside setting with ample free parking, excellent law library, easy access to intercity jogging trail. Reasonable Interested?rent. Call Stan Pedder or MacKen zie Bush at (925) 283-6816.

WALNUT CREEK, FOR ATTORNEYS ONLY Beautiful offices w/ 11 solos. Networking. Single story building remodeled for lawyers. Built in’s, fireplace, molding, kit., conf rm, windows that open, etc. Very congenial. Rent varies. Paul 925/938-8990/

Suzanne Boucher and Heidi CoadHermalin pose with Stomper when CCCBA went to the ballpark on July 26. See more photo on page 26.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 35 Please join us for our 28th annual MCLE Spectacular with a full day of fabulous MCLE presentations, including: Breakfast Kick-off The Honorable Ming W. Chin (Ret.) Mediator, arbitrator and the first ChineseAmerican to serve on the California Supreme AdvancementsCourt in Technology, Science and the Law Luncheon Keynote Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell (Ret.) Civil Rights Advocate, author and the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California – Santa Clara HerCountyHonor—My Life on the Bench: What Works, What’s Broken, How to Change It Afternoon PlusSpeakerTrauma-InformedPlenaryLawyeringTBAafullslateofmorning and afternoon breakout sessions Friday, November 18 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Walnut Creek Marriott 2355 N. Main RegistrationStreetOpensOnlineSeptember15www.cccba.orgSponsorshipOpportunitiesAvailableNow!

2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520 Concord, CA www.cccba.org94520

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