Contra Costa Lawyer July 2013

Page 1

Contra Costa

LAWYER Volume 26, Number 4 | July 2013

Criminal Law

The Effects of Budget Cuts on the Criminal Courts Ethics in Defense Counsel Member Survey Results



Perry A. Novak Senior Vice President - Investments

UBS Financial Services, Inc. 2185 N. California Blvd., Suite 400 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 746-0245

You know there are more questions you should be asking, but you're not sure what they are. You want to stop procrastinating and make a decision, but you don't feel well enough informed. You know where you want to be, but you don't have a plan that will get you there.

That's where we come in. The Novak Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc. Providing wealth planning and asset management services to affluent families, business owners and professionals since 1983.

Trusted advice, caring support, prudent financial solutions.


JULY 2013



Morrill Law Firm 1333 N. California Blvd., Ste 620 • Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Phone 925.322.8615 • Fax 925.357.3151

Will & Trust Litigation Financial Elder Abuse Conservatorships General Civil Litigation Probate & Civil Appeals Mediation Joseph Morrill Andrew R. Verriere


JULY 2013

Nicole Morrill Paralegal

Contra Costa  2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jay Chafetz President Stephen Steinberg President-Elect Candice Stoddard Secretary Nick Casper Treasurer Audrey Gee Ex Officio Richard Alexander Philip Andersen Dean Barbieri Amanda Bevins Oliver Bray Denae Hildebrand Budde

Mary Carey Alison Chandler Elva Harding Peter Hass Reneé Livingston James Wu

LAWYER Volume 26 Number 4 | July 2013

The official publication of the

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


CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Lisa Reep | 925.288.2555 | CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |






by Justice James Marchiano






by Mark A. Peterson

Jennifer Comages Theresa Hurley

Membership Coordinator Associate Executive Director

Emily Day Barbara Arsedo

Systems Administrator and LRIS Coordinator Fee Arbitration Coordinator

by Carol M. Langford

Dawnell Blaylock

Communications Coordinator

CONTRA COSTA LAWYER CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Harvey Sohnen Mark Ericsson 925.258.9300 925.930.6000

by Stephen Steinberg

Nicole Mills Matthew  Guichard

925.351.3171 925.459.8440 Harding BOARD LIAISON Elva 925.215.4577 Candice Stoddard 925.942.5100 Patricia Kelly 925.258.9300 COURT LIAISON Craig Nevin Kiri Torre 925.930.6016 925.957.5607 David Pearson PRINTING 925.287.0051 Steven’s Printing Stephen Steinberg 925.681.1774 925.385.0644 PHOTOGRAPHER Marlene Weinstein Moya Fotografx 925.942.5100 510.847.8523 James Wu 925.658.0300

The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published 12 times a year - 6 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 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.


by Rich Suess



INSIDE | by Amanda Bevins and Mary P. Carey



20 CENTER | Food From the Bar Comedy Night Criminal Law Section MCLE Luncheon Employment Law Section MCLE Breakfast Gala Reception Announcement 28



INNS OF COURT | by Matthew Talbot

34 COFFEE TALK What do you think about the government collecting your phone and internet data? 35 CALENDAR 38 CLASSIFIEDS




S UBITU TELL C E D D NG AN HEY COULD I S I U nt: BR IES T R to prese d O e T s a S e l ep H, THE tions ar


Mary P. Carey


his edition of the magazine is devoted to criminal law in Contra Costa County. My co-editor, Mary P. Carey, and I decided that despite the “doom and gloom” nature of the subject, the edition should focus on how the economic downturn has affected the criminal justice system in Contra Costa County. Although there has been a slight uptick in the economy, the deep budget cuts, furloughs, realignment and court closures have had a profound impact in our county on the way the law is meted out, prosecuted and defended on a macro and micro level. To that end, we have solicited articles from the top down in the county criminal justice system. Judge John Kennedy, a “judge who has been in the trenches” of realignment, court closures and issues concerning the countywide jury panels, will present his take on the effect of the economic downturn on the Contra Costa Superior Court. Mark Peterson, the Contra Costa County District Attorney, will weigh in on how the economy and budget cuts have affected them and the ability to effectively and zealously prosecute offenses in Contra Costa County. Finally, Carol Langford, a Walnut Creek lawyer who specializes in representing lawyers before the State Bar, will weigh in on ethical issues that arise in the public sector in effectively representing indigent defendants in tight economic times. The downed economy has not missed us private practitioners either. The accused have less money to hire counsel and, once hired, less money to do the things necessary for us to effectively represent them, raising additional ethical dilemmas.

Bread and Butter Although I would love from a perspective of professional enrichment and intellectual challenge to only 6

JULY 2013


urse rensic N ing o F d e i rtif sult doy, Ce rse Con Tara Go Park Legal Nu d for sity ber 22n ues m e v Univer o nN l iss cular o ctual and lega a t c e p fa ether LE S ing the ies. Wh r n i the MC ju t m a n a i s x e u e er law, ur Join program orce and press jury, eld n h i t l p a e n -d o f t n, rs an in by blun minal law, pe addictio ts d I e S t C n r e u s i r pre insigh tisfy yo rea is c portant . actice a ply want to sa m i h t i your pr w sim ay ocacy or if you nd to walk aw our client adv bou ce y you are ned to enhan g i s e d

The Cri

Amanda Bevins


aw an minal L

handle homicides or other high-level cases, the reality of private practice is that for every privately retained homicide case, we represent dozens of DUIs, misdemeanor batteries and a lot of juvenile waywardness. Those cases are the bread and butter of the private practice. At times, these cases can be very rewarding, for instance, helping a client get the substance abuse and mental health treatment they need or steering a young client back on track to a healthy and productive adulthood. But these cases clearly don’t have the mind-bending intellectual challenge of a high-stakes case. In general, these cases are a lot less expensive for clients and do not require a lot of investigation or expert testimony. Most middle-class individuals with a moderate income can, with some grimacing, afford to hire private counsel for these bread and butter cases. When the economy bottomed out in 2009, however, a large part of those cases dried up and the grimaces became groans when cost of representation was discussed. Rather than opting to have a private lawyer help them through the process, those arrested, for example, for a DUI will often handle their case in pro per, and parents will opt to use the public defender, an option always available to a minor in juvenile cases. Obviously, this has all impacted the bottom line of the private practitioner.

Ethical Dilemma - A Case You Should Refuse? Another crucial issue has arisen in a tight economy on the higher-stakes cases where a client really doesn’t have the money to hire private counsel but is not eligible for the excellent, no-cost representation of the public defender. The question is, should you take a case when the clients don’t have enough money for you to competently represent them? They may have enough

money for you to make court appearances and read the discovery, but not enough to hire experts, do investigation or the motion work that is essential to a case in the early stages of representation. Or should you take a case when you know the client won’t have enough money to pay for trial, if necessary?

have to be tried. Do you take the case with the expectation of dumping it on the public defender if it is not resolved before preliminary hearing or after preliminary hearing if the client is held to answer? Do you take the case anyway knowing that she really can’t afford you? Certainly you would love to help her, but can you afford to devote a lot of time to a case you know that you will lose money on?

For example, let’s say a middleaged woman comes in with a very interesting case, perhaps vehicular manslaughter, where she was under the influence of medications prescribed for depression. The deceased was a teenager on a skateboard out of the crosswalk and under the influence of marijuana. You meet with her and find out that she was never told by her doctor not to operate or even to use caution when operating a vehicle. You feel for her and bond with her on a deep level. You want to represent her. You think you could do a great job with her case, and have handled many similar cases. But she really doesn’t have enough money to do all the things necessary for you to competently represent her.

Most of us are bleeding hearts, but we do need to make money; we have kids to raise and mortgages to pay. Can she afford to pay for experts and an investigator? If not, are we really doing clients a favor by taking the case? But if you don’t, what are their options? They may have too much money to be eligible for the public defender. This is a dilemma that I face as a private practitioner now more than ever. I am a bleeding heart and know that I can never dump a client. When faced with this dilemma, I’ve had to pass up interesting cases with healthy initial retainers because the clients don’t have enough money for me to effectively represent them.

You know that you will need an investigator to take statements and ferret out witnesses. You know that you will need a toxicologist and accident reconstructionist even for a preliminary hearing. You realize that it is the type of case that may

The Future What I have realized, not only as a criminal defense attorney in private practice but as a partner in

ConServAtorShiPS ProBAteS CriMinAl DefenSe David B. Pastor

CCCBA MeMBer SinCe 1977

• Free Consultation •

Law Offices of

DAviD B. PAStor 1280 Boulevard Way, Suite 212 • Walnut Creek, CA 94595 925-932-3346 •

a mid-size law firm, is that nothing will ever be the same. The days of the bloated law firms charging huge fees and associates making starting salaries of $150,000 are over. The days of the shareholder retreats to Pebble Beach are over. The days of complacency over whether the phone will keep ringing are over. The days of being too proud to advertise are over. The days of the bread and butter cases streaming in and sometimes even supplementing your ability to take high-stake cases at lower fees are over. We all have to roll up our sleeves. Work a little harder. Market ourselves. And learn to make the hard decisions to ensure that we continue to practice at a high level. Most of all, we need to remember that although being a member of the criminal justice system is our chosen career and how we pay our bills, unless we do what we can to practice effectively, ethically and respect the other parts of the system, the system will fail. s Amanda Bevins is a shareholder at Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines in Danville. She has been practicing criminal defense and juvenile defense law for the past 18 years in Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano and Napa counties and is on the board of directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and on the Napa County Juvenile Justice Commission. Amanda is also a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Women Defenders, Napa County Gang and Youth Violence Committee, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Mary P. Carey is an attorney in Walnut Creek specializing in criminal law. She is also on the CCCBA’s board of directors.



president’s message


s we approach midyear, it seems a good time to reflect on where our court system has been and where it is going.

The court asked for help, and you, our membership, responded in two significant ways: by volunteering as judges pro tem and as discovery facilitators.

In part, I am merely reporting on a Fast Track Bench/Bar meeting that occurred a couple of weeks ago, but many more attorneys and their clients are affected by the current status of the court system than those that attended this meeting, so I will accept the risk of repeating information that some of you already know.

The preliminary results provided by Judge Goode at our recent meeting showed that 19 people have served as judges pro tem on 51 days this year. This includes eight individuals who had not served in this role in our county before. They presided over hearings in more than 1,000 probate, unlawful detainer, small claims court and traffic matters.

After the last round of budget cuts, Contra County Superior Court let go most of its commissioners. The court also stopped supplying court reporters for most civil proceedings. What was a staff of approximately 450 employees several years ago has been reduced to approximately 300 people.

Jay Chafetz CCCBA Board President

Ninety-four discovery disputes have been assigned to discovery facilitators. A number of discovery disputes have been resolved through that process. Very few discovery motions have shown up on the court’s calendars. Our civil fast track judges are very appreciative of your help.

Northern California Mediator / Arbitrator 18 years as Mediator 27 years as Arbitrator 35 years in Civil Practice

Roger F. Allen 510.832-7770 Ericksen, Arbuthnot 155 Grand Avenue, Suite 1050 Oakland, CA 94612


JULY 2013

• Training includes Mediation Course at Pepperdine University 1995 • Serving on Kaiser Medical Malpractice Neutral Arbitrators Panel • Settlement Commissioner, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties • Experienced in all areas of Tort Litigation, including injury, property damage, fire loss, malpractice, construction defect

Even so, the administration of justice is slowing. Fewer hours are available for trial per week. One judge, for instance, recently was only able to hold trials for as little as three half-days per week. Judges are hearing matters they did not have to hear before, such as ex-parte applications and name change petitions. Trial dates are being set about a year in advance. Law and motion calendars are long. We are working with an imperfect system. None of us are happy about it and there is no assurance that things will get better any time soon, although we all hope that the era of drastic yearly cuts is at an end. But the cooperation between the Bar and the courts is to be lauded. On behalf of the courts and the Bar Association, I want to express deep thanks to all of our volunteers. s

The Effects of the Budgets Cuts on the Criminal Courts by Hon. John W. Kennedy


e have all read in newspapers, heard on radio and TV, and been bombarded by electronic media with articles about California’s budget challenges and the resulting impacts on all types of state services. The California Judiciary—the third branch of government—has absorbed its share of these cuts. But what does it mean in real terms to criminal practitioners in Contra Costa County?

In order to share this load and more fully effectuate the goals of court unification, we have begun trying felony jury trials in Richmond and Pittsburg. We have also added a variety of supplemental calendars to take up the work formerly done by the Walnut Creek judges and the commissioners.

As a result of having approximately one-third of our operating budget cut over the last three years, we have lost one-third of our staff, witnessed the retirements of five of our eight Commissioners, closed our Concord courthouse and reduced our Walnut Creek courthouse to handling only traffic cases, closed our Family and Juvenile courtrooms in Pittsburg and our Juvenile Court in Richmond, and consolidated most of these operations into Martinez.

Our calendar departments are nearly bursting at the seams to accommodate the added workload. Judge William Kolin is managing the combined workload of both the Walnut Creek calendar department and the Mt. Diablo calendar department in Martinez. Judge Clare Maier continues to juggle the vast and ever-increasing array of case management responsibilities in every felony from indictment (or information) to trial setting. She is now setting trials in Martinez, Richmond and Pittsburg.

Our clerk’s office filing hours have been curtailed to 8:30 am to 1 pm, so lawyers and litigants who are racing to meet deadlines have almost one-half of a day less time to get to the clerk’s window to file. Lines are longer, and documents pile up in backlogs because there simply is not enough staff to process them. Case files—when they can be found for a court appearance—are often missing crucial documents. Domestic violence victims wait longer for restraining orders. Family law litigants and families in Juvenile Court must travel to Martinez for each court appearance rather than being able to appear in their local branch courts. Civil and criminal cases are no longer heard in Walnut Creek, so those cases must all be heard in Martinez now. People are severely impacted by these reductions in service, and access to justice is made more difficult. The budget cuts have hit our criminal courts as well. With the Walnut Creek courthouse no longer hearing criminal cases, we have had to absorb their very heavy misdemeanor caseload into Martinez. The Martinez criminal trial departments must now try all of the Walnut Creek misdemeanor trials as well as the bulk of the felony trials from throughout the county.



Criminal Courts, cont. from page 9

Judge John Laettner has taken on the eclectic combination of our collaborative courts, including the Behavioral Health Court, Prop. 36/ FADS/Drug Court, Elder Court, the Domestic Violence calendar, and revocations of probation, mandatory supervision and post-release community supervision. Judge Laettner also decides substantive felony motions in his spare time. The felony trial departments have added four motions calendars to their regular trial calendars on a rotating basis. We now hear the motions from Walnut Creek misdemeanor cases on Monday and Friday afternoons. On Friday mornings, another department handles the evidentiary hearings for PC 1538.5 motions to suppress evidence in felony cases. The writs and other extraordinary proceedings are decided on paper or in speciallydesignated hearings in a fourth department. Our branch courts have had to absorb the commissioners’ non-traffic caseloads as well as felony trials. They have added unlawful detainer and small claims calendars to their already heavy caseloads. Because we closed our Walnut Creek courthouse to jury trials, we had to reconfigure our county’s jury panels. Statutory and case law require that each resident have an equal chance of being summoned for jury duty and that our jury panels reflect a fair cross-section of the county’s demographics. After trying a modified local jury panel plan and seeking input from our justice partners and the public, we decided to opt for countywide jury panels for all of our courthouses. We find that this approach provides maximum flexibility in moving judges, cases and jurors to the courthouses where the cases are to be tried.


JULY 2013

The budget reductions described above coincided with the governor’s Realignment Legislation, which altered the location in which many sentences are served and shifted responsibility for supervision of many former state parolees to the county’s Probation Office. With those shifts, the court received added responsibilities for revocations of post-release community supervision and mandatory supervision. Effective July 1, 2013, the court will also take on parole revocation proceedings for many more state prison parolees. We do not yet know the impact these added responsibilities will have on our workload, but we anticipate it will require that we hire a part-time hearing officer to adjudicate parole revocations. In short, from the perspective of the bench, the economic recession has very significantly increased our caseloads, added calendars and responsibilities previously handled

by our commissioners, and reduced the support staff who enable us to function effectively. We can see the strain this puts on our courtroom clerks, court reporters, bailiffs, clerical staff and administration. We are blessed with very talented and hard-working colleagues and staff, but this pace cannot be maintained indefinitely. We urgently need to have funding restored if we are to maintain basic services to the public. We look forward to the day when we will be able to return to optimal staffing levels, hire commissioners, and reopen courthouses so we may more effectively provide equal access to justice. s Hon. John W. Kennedy has been a judge of the Contra Costa Superior Court since 2001.

The Law of Unintended Consequences How Unintended Consequences Hinder Realignment’s Effectiveness

by Mark A. Peterson


n the 1960s, the government endorsed widespread use of DDT for the noble cause of controlling insects. But a curious thing happened along the way. The use of these toxic chemicals caused the egg shells of bald eagles and California condors to become so thin that the chicks died. What started out as a seemingly well-intentioned endeavor nearly ended in the complete extinction of an entire species. When the Realignment Legislation went into effect in October 2011, the shift of responsibilities from the state level to the county to alleviate prison over-crowding was hailed as one of the single most significant changes in the history of California’s criminal justice system. In reality, realignment could just as fairly been described as a “grand experiment” whose unintended consequences are only now coming to light. One such unanticipated effect impacts the Domestic Violence Unit of the District Attorney’s Office. Before realignment, the Domestic Violence Unit would annually send approximately 30 violent offenders back to prison for one to two-year sentences for parole violations. After realignment, that is no longer an option.

In addition to a number of domestic violence offenders being released from prison on “non-revocable parole,” domestic violence offenders are now released onto Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS). Because the realignment statutes limit the sanction of custodial confinement in PRCS cases to 180 days (90 days actual custody), this sanction is frequently insufficient for either the offender or the victim to break the cycle of domestic violence. Without parole revocation proceedings, the only way to ensure appropriate punishment of the offender and protection of the victim is for the District Attorney’s Office to file new cases. Thirty more cases filed means the dockets are further burdened, cases move even slower through the courts and the additional costs are passed on to taxpayers. Since domestic violence is a pattern crime with a high degree of recidivism, these additional filings will only increase as more and more violent offenders are released into our community. Realignment has functionally removed parole revocation as an efficient mechanism for curbing recidivist batterers. Realignment has also resulted in

the Office of the District Attorney taking responsibility for reviewing and prosecuting PRCS violation hearings. Prior to realignment, these offenders would have been released on parole and any violations would have been handled within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The prosecution of PRCS violation hearings constitutes a new burden on the District Attorney’s Office, requiring experienced prosecutors who can navigate the still-evolving procedural rules for these different hearings. Realignment similarly had an unanticipated impact on victims’ rights. Under Marsy’s Law, the District Attorney is constitutionally mandated to ensure and uphold the rights of crime victims as articulated in California Constitution, Article 1, Section 28(b) which include, but are not limited to, the right to be notified of case dispositions, the right to be heard, the right to be notified of a change in custody status and the right to restitution. California Constitution, Article 1, Section 28(f)(5) provides that sentences imposed upon criminal wrongdoers “shall be carried out in compliance with the courts’ sentencing orders, and shall not be sub-



Unintended Consequences, cont. from page 11

stantially diminished by early release policies intended to alleviate overcrowding in custodial facilities. The legislative branch shall ensure sufficient funding to adequately house inmates for the full terms of their sentences …” Unfortunately, under realignment, Contra Costa County now places approximately 86 percent of 1170(h) defendants on split sentences, meaning that inmates receive less than their full term in custody and instead are placed on mandatory supervision. When Marsy’s Law added the public safety bail provision (Article I, Section 28(f)(3)) regarding setting bail or own recognizance release, the protection of the public and the safety was deemed the primary consideration. But under realign-


JULY 2013

ment, victims are being pushed to the background. Realignment provides for early release of sentenced criminal offenders as well as those who are in pre-sentence custody without bail and without a hearing. Because Marsy’s Law provides that crime victims have a right to be noticed and an opportunity to be heard on matters involving the custody of defendants, the District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Program has an entirely new set of responsibilities with respect to victims of realigned offenders. New strategies are currently being developed to reconcile the clash between victims’ rights under Marsy’s Law and realignment. However, these unintended consequences make it increasingly difficult to accommodate conflicting mandates. The criminal justice system, for better or worse, has a very hard

shell, and realignment won’t crack that. But what is clear already is that realignment has changed the criminal justice system in ways that were unanticipated. s After 27 years of service as a Deputy District Attorney, Mark A. Peterson was elected to office in 2011. Mark was previously elected to the Concord City Council in 1995, and served as Councilmember for 15 years. He was selected as Mayor of the city three times. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors of Kops for Kids and the One Hundred Club.

in Defense Counsel


n 2010, at the height of the Great Recession, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi wrote a proposal to thenMayor Gavin Newsom requesting a lift on the citywide hiring freeze. “We’re pretty severely underfunded,” Mr. Adachi explained, “which left us with a $1.7 million budget gap … We’ve refused over 300 cases in the past couple of months.”1 Battling a $500 million budget deficit at the time, Mayor Newsom requested a 25 percent cut from every city department head. Mr. Adachi refused, arguing that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel was paramount, and ethically, he could not make cuts that would result in substandard representation. To be fair, from the perspective of a defense attorney, budget cuts are not all bad. Practically speaking, delays caused by backlogged courts can be used by the defense to strategic advantage. When cases take years to go to trial, witnesses forget what they saw, change their minds, or even become locked up themselves. Old paperwork goes missing. Police officers retire or sometimes even become involved in scandal that immediately discredits them. The New York Times recently reported on a murder case that took over five years to go to trial due to the quagmire in which the Bronx

court system is currently engulfed.2 A man was shot to death in a convenience store. The key witness was an off-duty police officer who happened to be present during the armed robbery gone wrong. Three years after the murder took place and before the case went to trial, that off-duty police officer, previously the perfect witness, was disciplined for his involvement in a ticket-fixing ring. At trial, the defense attorney was able to paint him as a liar and the result was a hung jury. However, the effects of budget cuts have caused much more harm than help. Across the country, many public defenders are trying to get the message out that “we have nothing left to cut.”3 A Washington, D.C., federal public defender, A.J. Kramer, recently summed up the ethical dilemma these lawyers are facing: “A lawyer might decide that they ordinarily in the past would have had an expert work on some aspect of a case and now they’re thinking, ‘Is that going to cost me a furlough day if I hire this expert– and [cost] everybody else in the office a furlough day?’ So it really becomes a terrible ethical dilemma.” The ethical issues cannot be taken lightly. March of this year marked the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court ruling that mandated that people

by Carol M. Langford

facing criminal charges had the right to representation by an attorney, regardless of whether they could afford it. However, in 2013, sequestration at the federal level and budget crises at the state level have seriously chipped away at these Constitutionally-mandated services. Ironically, sometimes efforts to cut costs to public defenders offices have actually ended up costing the government more money. Steven Nolder, a federal public defender in Columbus, Ohio, whose office was facing such severe budget cuts that he actually laid himself off instead of firing others, explained: “These are not luxury services that we’re providing ... because they’re mandated, someone has to do it. We either do it, or the panel does.” Nolder was referring to a roster of private defense attorneys who are appointed by the court to represent indigent defendants when public defenders are not available. Attorneys on the panel sometimes have less experience and expertise than public defenders and actually end up costing the government more money. Ethically, the budget slashing at public defenders offices all over the country has huge implications. Many offices have cut a lot of attorneys, while the caseloads coming into the offices are not decreasing.



Defense Counsel, cont. from page 13

nyregion/justice-denied-bronxcourt-system-mired-in-delays. html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

— WANTED — Will/Estate Contests Conservatorships


How can these lawyers meet their ethical duty to provide competent representation? The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently issued Ethical Opinion No. 06-411. The Opinion requires public defenders to keep only manageable caseloads, and to seek relief in court if caseloads rise to a level which compromises the quality of work they are able to deliver to their clients. The Opinion puts an individual ethical obligation on all public defenders. The first step advocated by the Opinion is for individual public defenders with unmanageable caseloads to go to their supervisors for a reduction, then to the head of the office. However, if the office does not adequately address the problem, public defenders are required to seek relief in court. The problem is, the way things usually play out when public defenders reduce their workload, is that the court is forced to hire more private attorneys to represent indigent clients. The services ultimately provided are thus more expensive, further straining the budget issues. Frankly, I cannot see a way out of this very real problem. Giving the poor less than competent representation in a criminal matter cannot be countenanced in a just society, and it violates the ethics rules. Would the State Bar ever discipline a criminal defense lawyer who could not meet his obligations because of budget cuts? If they tried, they’d face the wrath of criminal defense lawyers everywhere. But that may be what it takes to cure this blight on the justice system. s

Carol M. Langford is a lawyer in Walnut Creek who specializes in defending lawyers before the State Bar and law students in admissions hearings. She is an adjunct at U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in professional responsibility.


JULY 2013

p 925.283-6816 • f 925.283-3683 3445 Golden Gate Way, P.O. Box 479 Lafayette, CA 94549-0479 AV Martindale-Hubbell

Attention: Lawyers with professional liability coverage

through the State Bar of California-sponsored program…

two vALuAbLe new benefits Are now pArt of tHis industryLeAding CoverAge: • Meet your MCLE requirements—for free! Upon your effective date, you can complete all California Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements—up to 25 hours every three years—at no cost. Choose from 650 hours of quality, online MCLE courses. • New Data Breach Expenses Endorsement. Data breaches can lead to big expenses for the businesses that maintain the information. Protect your practice with up to $25,000 in data breach coverage. There’s NO separate premium charge for this extra coverage. These new member benefits could amount to more than $26,000 in value. And you don’t pay a penny more for your coverage!

Don’t have this coverage? New policyholders can also get these great new benefits at no additional cost. To learn more about switching your current professional liability coverage to the State Bar of California-sponsored program, visit... or call 1-800-339-9122.

Administered by: Marsh U.S. Consumer, a service of Seabury & Smith, Inc. Insurance Program Management Underwritten by: Arch Insurance Company, a member of the Arch Insurance Group

AR Ins. Lic. #245544 CA Ins. Lic. #0633005



oldest partnership in Contra Costa County (since 1955)

How does 25 Hours of free MCLe sound?

1 cfm?eid=909468

You handle the estate, we do the contest. Cases, except conservatorships, often handled on a contingent fee basis, but can be hourly. Referral fee where appropriate. Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP

d/b/a in CA Seabury & Smith Insurance Program Management

62792 Calbar PL Ad (7/2013) Black & White, 1/2 PAGE VERTICAL AD LIVE AREA OF 4.6875W X 7H, NO BLEEDS TRIM AREA OF 4.6875W X 7H

62792 (7/2013) ©Seabury & Smith, Inc. 2013

The Last Steak by Justice James Marchiano (Ret.)

In previous accounts, Judge Carlton confronted Three Strikes, mental health, legal ethics and incarceration. Now he presides over a contentious civil jury trial.


n Department 47 of the Bray Building, Judge Raymond Carlton reviewed his meticulous notes from Serafina Abada and Edward Abada v. John Chambers, M.D., in preparation for the motion for new trial.

Three weeks earlier, Judge Carlton imagined he had been observing Jack London’s pugilist Tom King in a different arena; an aging warrior armed with words, not boxing gloves, mentally spent and bodily exhausted. Judge Carlton recently reread London’s poignant short story, “A Piece of Steak,” about a graying, over the hill boxer named Tom King who tried to use his last ounce of experience to vanquish a youthful, strong opponent, to put food on the table for his family, to buy that nourishing piece of steak he so desperately needed before the fight and couldn’t buy. The plaintiff’s attorney Frank McCauley was like King, a no-holds brawler, in the twilight of his career, looking for one last victory. McCauley, now a seasoned, paunchy 71 year old, had fought in more civil trials than any other Contra Costa lawyer and needed his last piece of steak. Recent financial times had been hard on Frank McCauley—the 2008 financial crisis swallowed up the equity in his home and depleted his 401(k). After leaving a five-lawyer partnership during his tumultuous

divorce, he had been in solo practice for a number of years and no longer had a line of credit left to finance cases. Time was running out.

from the top medical malpractice firm in the East Bay, ranked No. 1 in the heavyweight division and 30 years his junior.

McCauley sensed this prize fight in Judge Carlton’s courtroom was his last hurrah, a chance to walk away with hands held up in triumph, to grab the brass ring of a potential seven-figure recovery, and to help deserving clients.

Brian Anderson was the doctor’s protective insurance company’s paladin, traveling to various Bay Area venues where he successfully defensed a string of 10 medical cases in four years. Boalt Hall-educated, Anderson was tutored by his older partners in the craft of defending doctors, divining the meaning of medical records, carefully constructing hypothetical questions understandable to lay people on the standard of care, and scripting an accused doctor in dress and language to transform a poor bedside manner into an engaging personality.

The case management statement announced a 10 day grueling match. Settlement sessions before JAMS’ best personal injury mediator could not settle the case. Dr. Chambers would not capitulate. McCauley knew from his 47 years as a lawyer that the most difficult case for a plaintiff to win was a medical negligence trial. The defense won nearly 90 percent of the time, especially before Contra Costa juries. And this time, he was a 9 to 1 underdog facing the best lawyer

Anderson took the art of defense several steps further with effective PowerPoint presentations, digitized records easily retrievable on his laptop and three-dimensional anatom-

Youngman & Ericsson, LLP 1981 North Broadway • Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Tax Lawyers.

(925) 930-6000



The Last Steak, cont. from page 15

ical images that jurors could grasp. He personally trained an entourage of in-house paralegal medical assistants, graphic arts consultants and associates with instant connection to online medical cases and medical books. The firm had easy access to a stable of leading defense experts from Stanford and UCSF medical schools. McCauley was old school, using a trial binder indexed in topical hand-written manila folders, his own highlighted, earmarked deposition summaries. His “PDA” was his longtime secretary, Joan, who knew how to subpoena witnesses and documents, prepare jury instructions and give him fresh black coffee in the late afternoon. She was a whiz with computer word processing and the latest digital advances. Brian Anderson worked out regularly at the Renaissance Fitness Club to keep his body trim and mind sharp. He cultivated an appealing presence before jurors. Frank Mc-

Edward explained that after the uneventful surgery, his wife of 40 years, during post recovery, lost consciousness. She was placed in a long-term convalescent facility in a coma vigil, not comprehending, and in need of 24-hour care. Her eyes were open to the movement of visitors, but without signs of recognition. Imprisoned inside herself, Serafina had no response to external stimuli. Edward and Serafina had been inseparable during their marriage. She had prepared his breakfast every morning at 6 am before he left for work as a truck driver for Federal Express. Now he faithfully stopped by each morning before work to feed his wife and to exercise her arms and hands for muscle therapy and to feel the touch of her soft skin that he knew so well. He returned after work to help feed and bathe his wife, not out of duty, but from the love that flourished with 40 years of memories and the hope she would somehow recover. Dr. Chambers had spent only 10 minutes attempting to explain what might have caused the problem. Edward did not understand

“The depositions were difficult, like a twisting roller-coaster ride plunging into darkness.” Cauley struggled with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high anxiety about the fate of Serafina Abada, who needed a win as badly as McCauley did. Two years before the trial, the CCCBA’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service sent Edward Abada to McCauley for help with his wife’s plight. No one else would take the case. The story was simple with a disastrous ending. Dr. John Chambers, board certified ob-gyn, admitted his patient Serafina Abada, age 58, in good health, to Central Valley Hospital for a routine hysterectomy for a uterus that had developed large polyps.


JULY 2013

the explanation, and Chambers did not return any of Edward’s later calls. Although California law capped general damages for pain and suffering at $250,000, the law allowed recovery of the cost of past and future medical care for Serafina, estimated to be over $1 million, well beyond the limits of Edward’s health insurance coverage for his wife. To obtain the humane, compassionate care Serafina required, McCauley had to win the case. Edward did not understand the legal nuances of loss of consortium, but McCauley knew it was priceless to him.

McCauley investigated the case. He obtained hard copies of the digital medical records and sent them to several consultant medical experts—unshackled, retired doctors now willing to testify against members of the profession. The reports came back mixed with criticism of the differential diagnosis. Serafina had suffered an episode of extreme hyponatremia, a severe depletion of her electrolytes, particularly sodium. The confirming lab test was ordered after the operation. The recovery room nurses’ entries and the progress note of the attending anesthesiologist did not shed much light on the cause. A neurologist’s consultation note was inconclusive. Dr. Chambers’ progress note, with an entry at 7 pm after the procedure, was unusual in its length. It posited several theories for his unconscious patient, and a battery of lab and neurological tests were ordered as well as a spinal tap and liver biopsy. Usually progress notes are short, rarely over a page, but Chambers’

In his 47 years as a plaintiff’s attorney, McCauley had never seen such a detailed, annotated progress note. Despite that note, McCauley instinctively knew Serafina deserved better. The discovery preliminaries led to stepped up trial preparation, and then to the Monday morning 9 am call for the jury to Department 47 for the main event. McCauley was satisfied with the seven men, five women jury and only used three peremptory challenges. Anderson used all six of his peremptories. None of the jurors showed an inclination to subjectively favor a professional in a caring profession over the plaintiffs.

note was 3 ½ pages long with references to medical journals. The detailed exposition postulated several possibilities, including Reyes Syndrome that attacks the brain and liver and can lead to unconsciousness. McCauley learned from the note that Reyes syndrome is generally found in children, with aspirin involved, and rarely develops in adults. But some of the laboratory data was supportive of the Reyes Syndrome theory in Serafina’s case. One of the experts McCauley consulted supported a case against Dr. Chambers’ care, enough to warrant the filing of a complaint. The depositions were difficult, like a twisting roller-coaster ride plunging into darkness. Several long-tenured Central Valley Hospital nurses testified about their urgent calls to Dr. Chambers’ cell phone and answering service when the patient remained non-responsive in the post recovery room. Cautious in their answers and protective of Dr.

Chambers, they assumed the doctor received their call because his progress note indicated an examination time of time of 7 pm, although none of those who were deposed remembered talking to him. Like good soldiers, they circled the wagons. In an all-day deposition, Dr. Chambers treated McCauley with condescension as he used his progress note as a script to carefully explain a medical quandary. Anderson guided Dr. Chambers through the shoals, with speaking objections, lifelines and strategically timed recesses to control the deposition. McCauley, however, treated the deposition as a sparring session to size up his adversary. Dr. Chambers was self-confident but combative and defensive. As McCauley, wet with perspiration, drove back to his office after the deposition, he felt in his gut that Chambers was hiding something.

McCauley realized the case was closer than the odds. Edward was a sympathetic, appealing witness. Serafina’s condition and the need for lifetime care weighed in their favor, but the medical complexity and Dr. Chambers’ well versed experts in contrast to the plaintiffs’ one retired gynecologist expert tilted the odds toward the defense. McCauley knew the case ultimately rested on whether the jury trusted Dr. Chambers. A hard copy of the digitized hospital records with the original digital record was received into evidence as plaintiff’s exhibit 1 and 1a. Most of the jurors took notes and placed them in their own confidential binders at the end of the day for safekeeping by the bailiff. The jury wanted to do what was right. Both attorneys were in their best form in opening statements, and direct and cross examination of witnesses. The trial progressed with blows and counter blows and some carefully timed uppercuts. There were few clinches. Anderson grabbed the jurors’ attention with a multimedia presentation of digital exhibits, deposition excerpts placed on video screens and medical graphics worthy of Madison Avenue. McCauley countered with incisive, understandable questions honed from



The Last Steak, cont. from page 17

years of practice. Edward left some of the jurors with tears in their eyes as he explained how much he loved Serafina, how he helped care for her each day and how lonely he felt in his empty home. Exuberant youth appears brighter than fading age. During the noon recess each day, McCauley washed his face with cold water to appear revitalized and changed into a fresh, dry dress shirt that Joan put in a separate “to do” briefcase. He did not want Anderson or the jury to know how old he felt or how tired he was. Judge Carlton could feel the tension as each side pressed forward without producing any knockdowns. The judge denied the defense motion for a non suit after McCauley rested his case. McCauley

watched the jurors’ reaction during his presentation, worried that he had not been persuasive enough and was behind on points. McCauley knew somehow he would have to come from behind during the defense case. Examination of the defense witnesses went as McCauley generally expected. The defense experts held their ground with a few concessions as they used Chambers’ progress note to justify his judgment. McCauley could see that Anderson was laying the groundwork for a devastating, dual defense from the standard jury instructions: a doctor is not necessarily negligent if his efforts are unsuccessful or if he makes an error that was reasonable; and he is not necessarily negligent because he chooses one medically accepted method of treatment or diagnosis and it turns out another medically accepted one would have been a better choice.

The court recessed early for the day at 3 pm, in the ninth round, with McCauley on the ropes as the bell sounded. The last witness in the last round was Dr. Chambers at 9 am the next day. In the corner of the empty courtroom, Frank McCauley tried to regroup and again studied the timeline from the notes, orders and lab results, from the time of admission to the post operative recovery room through the next day. Something wasn’t right. He called Joan to discuss some last-minute jury instructions and shared his misgivings with her. As he explained the time line of events, she asked him if he had verified all of the times from the metadata on the original digitized hospital records. He knew from his classic Greek course at Santa Clara that “meta” meant “with,” or “among,” and could be used to mean something “new.” But what was metadata?

Tax & Estate Attorneys Individual & Business Tax Issues Tax Preparation • Tax Planning • Tax Controversy Sophisticated Estate Planning • Estate Administration Trust & Estate Litigation • Probate

YOUNGMAN & ERICSSON 1981 N. Broadway, Suite 300 | Walnut Creek, CA 94596 | (925) 930-6000

Walter C. Youngman, Jr. Mark S. Ericsson Dani Altes, Paralegal


JULY 2013

Chastity A. Schults, Partner Mayra Aviles, Paralegal

Joan explained that besides the images of the entries in the records, the original disc, exhibit 1a, would also contain additional imbedded data showing the precise dates and times when entries were made, and by whom. While McCauley waited nervously in the courtroom, Joan contacted a computer specialist who arrived at the Bray Building at 4:30 pm with a retrieval application for accessing the digital record, exhibit 1a. The result was stunning. Although Dr. Chambers had entered the time of his examination conveniently close to the nurses’ call to him, the metadata showed his long entry was actually made hours later at 9:58 pm. Chambers had not responded to Serafina’s plight in a timely manner as he said under oath in his deposition. He was not at the hospital when she needed him most and the staff was relying on him for followup care. His note was a lie, a cover up. As the bell for the final round sounded, a self-confident Dr. Chambers looked directly at the jurors, answered Anderson’s carefully prepared questions, and used PowerPoint displays to explain the conundrum that confronted him after the hysterectomy and why the mysterious Reyes’ Syndrome might have been the culprit. Fear of losing emboldened McCauley, who devised a cross examination limited to 25 minutes, to maximize the impact of what he wanted to accomplish. He summoned up the strength for one final round. Dr. Chambers had no choice but to agree that a doctor’s progress notes must be accurate, including the time specified, because nurses and other doctors rely on the continuity of notes for proper patient care. Hippocrates himself would have demanded nothing less. The jurors looked at their copies of the progress note as McCauley committed Chambers to the 7 pm entry. Then the old fighter held up the

digitized original and bore in on the defendant with the pivotal question: “Doctor, if you were at the patient’s side at 7 pm, why does the original digital time from the records department show your own entry at 9:58 pm?” A basic trial rule is never ask an opposing witness “why;” but this question was like a taut vice on Chambers, and proved the exception to the rule. Dr. Chambers looked like a leaf falling from a sudden gust. The silence was agonizing as he struggled to explain the discrepancy. He could not rest on the ropes or clinch his opponent. Anderson called for a short recess, but Judge Carlton denied the request. Jarred by a quick flurry of followup punches, Dr. Chambers was forced to admit he had left the hospital after the operation and was at an important social event because he did not expect any complications after an uneventful procedure on a healthy patient. He missed the calls for help, and when he later found out what was happening, prepared the long note with researched citations to Reyes Syndrome because he indeed believed it was the cause. Apologetically he asserted it would have made no difference if he had been at Serafina’s bedside and tried to explain why. A reeling Anderson attempted to counterpunch from the stunning blow by developing the same theme in his rehabilitative redirect examination. McCauley asked no more questions. The defense rested. Closing arguments commenced. Anderson forcefully argued lack of causation and failure of proof to the jury. No one really knew what caused the coma, and certainly Dr.

Chambers’ absence and improperly timed entry made no difference. Like a medical school professor, Anderson took the jury through the records and testimony that supported his fall-back defenses. The jury remained attentive. On rebuttal, McCauley delivered a final blow with a quote from Hippocrates and the commandment: “Thou shall not bear false witness.” Everyone in Department 47 waited anxiously for the jury’s decision as the foreperson, as part of the legal ritual, handed the signed form to the bailiff to give to the judge for his review, and then on to the clerk. The clerk’s voice reverberated as she announced the verdict: “We, the jury, find in favor of plaintiffs in the sum of $1,790,975.” Three weeks later, as he reflected on the trial, Judge Carlton concluded that 12 jurors saw that Dr. Chambers had played with the truth and failed Hippocrates’ imperative, “Do no harm.” Dr. Chambers’ fabricated note, his absence during a critical time of need, and his seemingly contrived Reyes Syndrome explanation were decisive. Judge Carlton denied the motion for new trial. Frank McCauley earned that last piece of steak. Jack London would have been proud. s








COMEDY NIGHT April 24, 2013

Irish Newsboys Candice Stoddard, Chris Graves, Lisa Reep and Jay Chafetz

Margie Birkaeuser and friends Hon. Steve Austin

Audrey Gee, Kathryn Wenger and Wendy Graves an d Friedm rews, Tod er d h c n u A o n B a e nn Meg and Suza


JULY 2013

Criminal Law Section MCLE Luncheon May 9, 2013

Garrick Byers and Mary P. Carey



Employment Law Section MCLE Breakfast May 10, 2013

Andrea Kelly Smethurst

Michele Ferber, Johanna Carney and Delia Isvoranu

Richard Frankel, Michelle McGrath and Perry Novak


JULY 2013

Thomas Klein and Eric Angstadt

The Contra Costa County Bar Association presents:


CONTRA COSTA SENIOR LEGAL SERVICES Thursday, September 19, 2013 Lafayette Park Hotel 6 - 8 pm

Sponsorship Opportunities Silver | $1,000

Platinum | $5,000

• 10 passes to the reception, plus first drink • Recognition on print invitation (if confirmed by Friday, July 26th) • Recognition in press releases & event publicity • Prominent placement in all event materials • Recognition at event

Gold | $2,500

• 5 passes to the reception, plus first drink • Recognition on print invitation (if confirmed by Friday, July 26th) • Recognition in event publicity • Prominent placement in all event materials • Recognition at event

• 2 passes to the reception, plus first drink • Recognition on print invitation (if confirmed by Friday, July 26th) • Recognition in event publicity • Placement in all event materials • Recognition at event To register or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Theresa Hurley at or (925) 370-2548.

Single Ticket Price: $75 Individual Sponsors: Those who purchase two or more tickets at $100 each will be listed on the program.



CCCBA Member Survey: Executive Summary by Stephen Steinberg


few months ago, we conducted a survey to get your feedback on how the CCCBA is doing and what we can do better. Below is a summary of the notable results, though the most helpful portion of the survey was probably the individual comments and suggestions made by members. The CCCBA staff and board of directors appreciates your input, and will certainly take it all into account as we move forward. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey.

Who Responded?

Top Reasons for Membership

• 223 responses, ranging from 0 – 45 years in practice, averaging 13 years.

1. To be part of the local legal community.

• 43 percent sole practitioners, 22 percent firm partners/ shareholders and 17 percent firm associates/of counsel. • Top Practice Areas: Litigation (35 percent), Estate planning, probate, trusts (29 percent) and Family law (26 percent).

General Satisfaction No significant dissatisfaction (<6 percent for all categories). Top 3 Areas: 1. MCLE Programs (58 percent are very satisfied, 26 percent are somewhat satisfied). 2. Section service/membership (53 percent are very satisfied, 24 percent are somewhat satisfied). 3. Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine (50% are very satisfied, 31% are somewhat satisfied). Major lack of awareness or use of: Discounts on products and services (42 percent) and LRIS (42 percent).


JULY 2013

2. Provides information on my practice area/keeps me current. 3. Provides networking opportunities.

Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine

Social Networking

• Most read it and do so in print (67 percent frequent, 22 percent occasional); the majority read online sometimes, mostly on the computer (28 percent frequent, 28 percent occasional).

• Large percentages use Facebook socially and LinkedIn professionally. • Most do not use Twitter at all, and those who do, use it for personal, not professional purposes.

• General satisfaction with the coverage of various areas.

Communications • 89 percent said the frequency of all communications is just right; 87 percent said the frequency of emails is just right. • The most effective forms of communication are:

1. Weekly email broadcasts – most say just right frequency and con- tent, and most read on the com- puter, some on mobile devices. 2. Section communications.

3. Contra Costa Lawyer magazine print edition.

• Social networking is still far behind (76 percent indifferent or said it’s ineffective).

Social Events • Section-sponsored events are No. 1 by far (75 percent attend, 40 percent frequently). • Substantial majorities never attend Food From the Bar Comedy Night or Bar Fund Gala; the No. 1 reason is timing.



Medical Benefit Options for CCCBA Members by Rich Suess We often receive inquiries from our members about whether the CCCBA is able to offer a group medical plan that sole practitioners can take advantage of (this question was again posed in response to our most recent membership survey). Until now, we have unfortunately been unable to do so, as insurance providers have been unwilling to offer association plans that require them to provide coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions; the cost of such group plans is simply prohibitive. However, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there are new opportunities for solos and small groups as outlined below: California was the first state to create a Health Benefit Exchange following the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace which will allow individuals and small businesses to purchase competitively priced health plans using tax subsidies and credits beginning in 2014. For small businesses, the Exchange aims to level the playing field and offer better choices at lower costs through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). For individuals, financial assistance for those who qualify will help make access to comprehensive care a reality. The Contra Costa County Bar Association has partnered with insurance brokers Myers-Stevens-Mello & Co. Inc. (MSM) to assist its members in navigating the upcoming changes in the insurance marketplace. MSM will be available to members to answer questions, quote options and help members choose a plan that will fit their needs, both for small groups and individuals. Important Dates to Remember: • Fall 2013: Early Enrollment in California’s Health Benefits Exchange, Covered California, begins. • January 2014: The Health Care Law is fully implemented. • March 31, 2014: Open Enrollment for 2014 ends. Enrollment in the California Health Benefits Exchange ends until Open Enrollment 2015 (with some exceptions). s Rich Suess is the Executive Vice President and Marketing & Employee Benefits Specialist of Myers-Stevens-Mello & Co., Inc. He can be reached toll free at 877-741-4843 x 311 or 510-8944295 x 311, or visit the website at


JULY 2013

BARR & BARR AT TOR NEYS Is pleased to announce formation of a new partnership and the arrival of our new partner, Gordon C. Young, formerly of Keesal, Young & Logan, San Francisco.

BARR & YOUNG AT TO R N EY S 318-C Diablo Road • Danville, CA 94526-3443 (925) 314-9999

Will & Trust Litigation Securities Litigation Elder Abuse Litigation BARR & YOUNG AT TO R N EY S 318-C Diablo Road • Danville, CA 94526-3443 (925) 314-9999



restaurant review

Bull Valley Roadhouse


n 1879, the Central Pacific changed its route to the Port of Oakland from the Altamont Pass to Benicia. When it did, the transcontinental railroad literally came to a halt at the edge of the Carquinez Strait. No problem … The Central Pacific merely constructed a ferry—the Solano, a sidewheel paddleboat long enough for a remarkable 48 railroad cars plus locomotive and, in 1914, a slightly larger companion, the Contra Costa (still the longest ferry ever built)—and a place, Port Costa, to land it. The ferries, complete with rails, carried trains across the water to connect with tracks on the other side until 1930, when the Southern Pacific built the Martinez bridge. Thus the lyric in the familiar song, “Pardon me, boy, is that the Port Costa choo choo?” Port Costa, once the busiest wheatshipping port in the United States, unbelievably enough, is now home to its few fishing boats and 190 residents. The Bull Valley Roadhouse (BVR) continues Port Costa’s tradition of economic schizophrenia with food and ambience that seem almost unrelated. No doubt about it, the food is terrific. Read virtually any review for favored selections. Beware when you order, though. It comes in a proclaimed “family style” (though not my family or any other family known to me, come to think of it). For BVR, family means the kitchen’s convenience, not yours: whenever it’s ready, it comes, regardless of whatever else may have just arrived or not yet arrived. On the other hand, your waiter will explain that the portions are designed to be large enough to encourage sharing, as if BVR were a kind of crypto-Chinese restaurant. We all cherished the crispy fried green beans (which my wife enjoyed


JULY 2013

by Gary Lepper

more than Michelin one-star Redd’s in Yountville; $9). I had the hearty, thick and flavorful potato leek soup ($5) and my friend had the tangy, crisp, heavy-on-the-garlic Caesar salad ($10). The side order (all are $9) of macaroni gratin was smooth and abundant with cheese, if a bit oily; maybe we should have had the sautéed kale with garlic and shallot or the snow peas with lemon and pine nuts. My rack of lamb (which came well after the others’ fried chicken; $39) was superb; the charred exterior was laden with flavor and the interior perfect for me, if perhaps a bit rare for some. Another time, I’ll try the pork stew over polenta ($27). I also saw the whole branzino (a kind of bass; $36) float by in its parchment wrap and wished I’d seen it earlier. The signature buttermilk fried



“A unique and effective style a great mediator” Candice Stoddard     Ron Mullin

Willows Office Park   p   1355 Willow Way, Suite 110 Concord, California 94520 Telephone (925) 798-3413   p   Facsimile (925) 798-3118 Email

chicken (true, who orders fried chicken at a restaurant? make an exception here) was light and moist, with a bit of zing in the buttermilk batter ($29). Our two desserts were inconsistent. The chocolate pot de crème with caramel and sea salt ($9) was a table favorite: quite rich, not a hint of any lumps and an inventive blend of flavors (to wit, as we say, the salt). The apricot and strawberry cobbler ($10), which we all thought should have been, if not hot, then at least warm, was good, but undistinguished. The ambience is dismaying, though, in fairness, some actually have described it as “charming.” Particularly troublesome is the deafening noise level; ideally, you’d go with someone you don’t like and don’t want to talk with anyway or you’d be willing simply to text message through dinner. We didn’t anticipate that, so the four of us became hoarse and scratchy-voiced instead. There are four picnic tables in the quiet back patio and two of those are well separated; of course, you can’t lean back while eating your shared or your very own $30, plus or minus, entrée. The owners have given some considerable attention to what is described as the “Victorian” décor, largely confined to the spacious and attractive bar-lounge. In the future, maybe equivalent attention will be given to matching, more sturdy cutlery and to more expansive tables (the large platters devour surface space) with greater distances among them. The outstanding food and elegant prices contrast with the service. The waiters dress even more self-consciously and uniformly sloppy than virtually all their patrons (including the two rubes who wore baseball caps throughout dinner). They’re friendly and conversational enough, but surprisingly unskilled; if you don’t broach the topic of bread, none is offered; if you don’t finish your wine, watch out or it will vanish as abruptly as mine did. Our order of a second starter (halibut ceviche; $13) was forgotten; and coffee (decaffeinated is unavailable, even though it is nighttime) had to be requested twice.

BVR is open Thursday and Friday (5-10 pm), Saturday (4-10 pm) and Sunday (5-10 pm) at the very foot of Port Costa (14 Canyon Lake Drive; 510-787-1135). If you have a hankering for excellent food at tablecloth prices with the atmosphere of a barbeque or pizza joint, search no further. s

BUILD YOUR PRACTICE WITH LRIS! Here’s a client comment about an attorney they were referred to through our Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS): Re: Uma Subramanian “Because of your services, I was put in touch with a fabulous attorney who was patient, a superb listener and someone in whom I felt strongly that I could immediately put my trust. I am SO grateful to LRIS for having this service.” To learn more about LRIS and how to join, please contact LRIS Coordinator Barbara Arsedo at (925) 370-2544 or




* Adjunct Professor Taxation Golden Gate University Law School, LL.M. Taxation Program


1615 Bonanza Street, Suite 204 212 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 T (925) 280 7788

WANTED — Conservatorships think

Matt Toth

as in Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP

oldest partnership in Contra Costa County (since 1955)

p 925.283-6816 • f 925.283-3683 3445 Golden Gate Way, P.O. Box 479 Lafayette, CA 94549-0479 AV Martindale-Hubbell



inns of court

Financial Elder Abuse

by Matthew Talbot


he Inns of Court 2012-2013 season finished its last meeting of the year on May 8, 2013. Judge Ed Weil’s group (starring Andrew Verriere, Kurt Neswald, Julia Hunting, David Simon, Dawn Ceizler, Lara Smith, Dean Barbieri, Raymond Bergez, Suzanne Boucher and Ken McCormick) put on a presentation regarding financial elder abuse. The group’s presentation involved an all too-well-known story of a stepmother wanting to leave her money to a new beau in lieu of her late husband’s son. In the first scene, Dean Barbieri played the son who was meeting with his attorney, Andrew Verriere. He was concerned about this much-younger man nee-

dling in on his stepmother, who may have not had all of her mental faculties. He wanted to know what could be done to protect her from this ne’er-do–well, who was rarely, if ever, doing well. The Inns group discussed financial elder abuse in regards to this first scene. The next scene consisted of Suzanne Boucher, who played the stepmother, and David Simon, who played the ne’er-do-well handyman, meeting with their own attorney, Julia Hunting. They were concerned because they thought the son had gambling problems and was trying to get the stepmother’s money to fritter it away. The group then discussed the many ethical dilemmas surrounding the scenario. The group also discussed concerns over the mother’s mental health. She could sign estate planning documents to protect her assets, but only if she had the mental capacity to do so. If she did not, these estate planning documents would appoint a person to act as the mom’s agent to make decisions on her behalf. For any attorney who practices

estate planning, determining the capacity of your clients is one of the most important questions you face. The Inns group then discussed another option, conservatorship, where an interested party asks the court to appoint them as an agent to make decisions for the mentally incapable person. It is extremely expensive and a significantly worse alternative to a mentally capable person executing estate planning documents. Since I practice elder law, I thought maybe I could provide something insightful to the discussion. Those were the thoughts going through my head as retired Commissioner Don Green stood up to provide further insight into several, relevant sections of the Probate Code that he had, oh you know, actually helped write! That is the advantage of the Inns of Court; you can hear it from the person who wrote the code. The majority of the discussion related to probate law, but then Judge Weil’s group turned to potential criminal remedies. David Simon (the sleazy boyfriend) was meeting with Ken McCormick, who played a DA investigator. The DA investigator was interviewing David Simon to figure out whether to move forward with elder abuse charges. After the interview scene, Ken McCormick took the time to explain to the Inns audience more about the potential criminal charges. He talked about whether he would bring this case if it was before him. The evening was an expansive discussion on many aspects of elder law, including both the estate planning, probate issues and crimi-


JULY 2013

nal options. With the silver tsunami (i.e. the graying boomers) about to hit America, elder law issues are going to be more important than ever in the coming years. Whether you are a practicing elder law attorney or not, elder law issues will affect pretty much every single American. Judge Weil’s group did a great job giving us a refresher course on some of the important problems and issues to look for with elders.

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


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

925.942.5100   •   fax 925.933.3801

The Robert G. McGrath American Practicing law in the East Bay for over 25 years Inn of Court will have a summer event at the home of the Honorable Joyce Cram, (Ret.) on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. If you are interested in adding your name to the wait list for RGMAIOC membership, please contact Scott Reep at s

What You Missed in the June Online Issue The Future of Legal Education Features: •

Student Perspectives on Legal Education - JFK University Students

A Clinical Focus - Ora Prochovnick

Improving Legal Education: Practical Lawyering Skills - Audrey A. Smith, JD

The Online LLM - Pamela Zimba, JD

The JD Road Less Traveled: Non-Standard Careers for Law School Grads - Anne Marie Taylor

Paralegals: Part of the Solution - Lisa S. Hutton, JD, and Deborah L. Panter, JD

Spotlight: •

The Perils of Mistreating Your Paralegals - Carol M. Langford


To read these and other articles, go online to

Summary Results of the Member Survey - Jay Chafetz

Inside Column - Dean Barbieri, Guest Editor

Bar Soap - Matt Guichard

News & Updates: •

Welcome to Our Newest Members

Call for Board Member Nominations

More: •

Coffee Talk: What do you wish you had learned in law school?







19th Annual

MCLE Spectacular!


Friday, November 22, 2013 Walnut Creek Marriott Breakfast Kickoff Speaker



Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar of California Staying Out of Hot Water - Legal Ethics


Luncheon Speaker




Dean, UC Irvine School of Law Review of 2012-2013 Supreme Court Decisions Afternoon Plenary Session Speaker


Consultant, The Other Bar Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession

Scott Valley Bank Thomson Reuters Westlaw The LaMusga Company SPONSORS ADR Services, Inc. Certified Reporting Services JFK University College of Law

Here’s a Preview of Upcoming Seminars: ADR Section

What Might the State Bar Think About the Meaning of BYOD, ESI, the Cloud, Clawbacks and Other Hot Technology Topics? Ethics and General MCLE Credits

Appellate Section

Expert Witnesses and Summary Judgement: Sargonauts & the Golden Fleece

Estate Planning & Probate Section

Recent Developments in Estate Planning & Probate

Family Law Section

Dealing with Clients and Others (Attorneys) with Mental Illness and/or Personality Disorders

Appellate Specialization Credit

Bankruptcy & Litigation Sections

Lawsuit Possessed: Coping With Bankruptcy’s Spell on State Court Litigation

Criminal & ADR Sections

Bruises & Decubitus, Oh the Stories They Could Tell

Employment Section

Workplace Violence: Employer Obligations, Employee Rights and Threat Assessments General MCLE Credit

More Seminars to Come!


JULY 2013

Family Law Specialization Credit

Real Estate Section

General MCLE Credit

General MCLE Credit

Estate Planning & Probate Specialization Credit

Practices, Problems & Strategies: Negotiating a Land Use Project’s Conditions of Approval - Developer and Public Agency Perspectives General MCLE Credit

Solo Section

Running a Law Firm Ethics and General MCLE Credits

Women’s Section

Women in the Workplace Developing Legal Issues for the new Female Professional General MCLE Credit


Thank you to CCCBA’s Court Tour Docents!

Elder Law is

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

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

Michael J. Young

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

These wonderful volunteers share their knowledge about our legal system with students while leading them on tours of the CCC Superior Court. In the last school year, over 2,000 students (and hundreds of their parents) learned about the judicial system on these tours. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the docents who are CCCBA members: •

Judge Richard Flier (Ret.)

Commissioner Don Green (Ret.)

Brian Bonney

David Hermelin

Luana Horstkotte

Richard Jenny

Scott Jenny

Kevin Lally

Stephenie Teichman

Robin Thornton

Interested in becoming a court tour docent? Please contact Theresa Hurley at thurley@ or (925) 370-2548 for more information.

Alzheimer’s Planning Since 1949 Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell


925.256.0298 1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California 94596

Bray & Bray Oliver W. Bray*

Over 25 years in practice

736 Ferry Street Martinez, CA 94553 925-228-2550 925-370-8558 (fax)

• Probate, Trust & Estate litigation and administration • Elder Abuse Litigation • Conservatorship establishment and litigation • Fiduciary court accountings • Estate Planning Free case evaluations for referring attorneys *Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law – State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization *Selected to Northern California Super Lawyers each year since 2006




What do you think about the government collecting your phone and internet data?

I’m surprisingly okay with the government getting data on my calls, so long as they are not able to get the contents of the calls without a warrant. If they can see that I called someone in New York for 6 minutes, or placed a call to London , I don’t care. And if they want to talk to me because I spoke to a suspected terrorist in Kabul (hypothetical - I didn’t do that), that seems reasonable. I’m also fine with video cameras in public places, electronic license plate readers, etc. Frankly this sort of e-surveillance seems a lot better (and cheaper) than having thousands more FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service, etc. going around watching people, tailing people, etc. It also doesn’t bother me that Google keeps tab of my internet searches, etc. I say this as a sometime ‘card-carrying member’ of the ACLU.

Len Weiler Weiler & Borst, LLP

I believe “the collection” is a necessary intrusion on our expectation of privacy. It is the application of the standards by the FISC, the CIA & others that requires “reasonable, articulate suspicion that the individual on the other end is connected to a terrorist group and a potential terrorist event” (quoting Senator Feinstein), that is problematic.

Len Kully “The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away


JULY 2013

While I have had Top Secret security clearance in my early USAF career, I do not want my government having access to all my communications unless they have a court order with my name on it signed by a judge and a court that is not secret.

The Fourth Amendment is clear: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” But from what we know so far, these secretive actions of the NSA and the FISA courts seem to me to be in direct violation of “the right of the people to be secure ...” And as Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Lewis G. Pascalli, Jr.

Flavio Carvalho

If you understand what can be done to your life, or how this data in the wrong hands can impact you and your family, you would raise such a hue and cry that would be heard everywhere. Flagging key words or phrases to find terrorists is one thing. But keeping data on American citizens is another. And I simply don’t trust any government or any corporation to respect my privacy and my rights.

I do not think the government can protect the information. From the IRS and Snowden episodes, we have learned that government employees break the law. As in the population at large, one can expect that both good and bad people will work for the government. Accumulating information places temptation in front of and makes information available to employees inclined to misuse it. I will leave for another day the debate on whether power corrupts and makes misuse more likely.

by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen—a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person’s] life.” - Former Justice William O. Douglas


Wayne Smith I am troubled by the apparent lack of checks and balances in the judicial procedures established for the government to access this information.

Mark S. Ericsson

Youngman & Ericsson, LLP


July 10 | Family Law Section

BIAS: The Enemy of Persuasion more details on page 36 July 16 | CCCBA

Transitioning Attorneys and Their Practices, Part 4 of the 2013 Law Practice Management Series more details on page 36 August 1 | CCCBA

Your Law Firm’s Web Presence, Online Content Creation Strategies and Channels, and Related Ethics Issues more details on page 36 August 8 | CCCBA

Summerfest Interprofessional Networking Mixer more details on page 36 August 9 | Family Law Section

Family Law Summer Fling Judge and Attorney Cocktail Party more details on page 36 August 16 | Barristers/ Young Lawyers Section


August 20 | CCCBA

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device, Part 5 of the Law Practice Management Series more details on page 37 August 24 | CCCBA

Bench/Bar BBQ and Softball Game more details on page 37 September 17 | CCCBA

The New Healthcare Legislation, Part 6 of the 2013 Law Practice Management Series more details on page 37 September 19 | CCCBA

Bar Fund Gala Reception in Support of Contra Costa Senior Legal Services more details on page 23 October 17 | CCCBA

Get to Know Your Local Judges more details on page 37 November 22 | CCCBA

19th Annual MCLE Spectacular more details on page 32

more details on page 36

For up-to-date information on programs, please visit and/or subscribe to our weekly “Events & News” email. To subscribe, text CCCBA to 22828.



July 10 | Family Law Section

July 16 | CCCBA

August 1 | CCCBA

BIAS: The Enemy of Persuasion

Transitioning Attorneys and Their Practices - Part 4 of the 2013 Law Practice Management Series

Your Law Firm’s Web Presence, Online Content Creation Strategies and Channels, and Related Ethics Issues

Yes, you can work smarter, less and become more profitable, if you work on your legal business rather than in it. Beyond Law is a company designed by working lawyer, Janice Brown, to help lawyers reach their full potential; developmentally, professionally and financially.

Attendees will learn about the factors that impact search engine rankings, learn ways to identify keywords and develop strategies for content writing in making their web presence more visible. The session will cover topics relating to getting more of the attendees’ ideal client types. Lunch is included.

Speaker: Janice Brown, Esq.

Speaker: Ken Matejka, President, Legal PPC

Time: 4:30 pm – 6 pm

Time: 12 pm – 2:30 pm

Location: John F. Kennedy University 100 Ellinwood Way, Room S312, Pleasant Hill

Location: CCCBA Office 5th Floor Conference Room 2300 Clayton Road, Concord

Speaker: Christopher C. Melcher, Esq. Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour elimination of bias and family law specialization MCLE credit Cost: (Early Bird Pricing) $50 for section members and law student members, $75 for CCCBA members, $100 for non-members Registration: Go to the Family Law website at More Info: Contact Therese Bruce at (925) 930-6789

MCLE: 1.5 hours general credit Cost: $10 for law student members, $20 for CCCBA members, $30 for non-members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548

August 8 | CCCBA

August 9 | Family Law Section

Summerfest Interprofessional Networking Mixer

Family Law Summer Fling Judge and Attorney Cocktail Party

The Contra Costa County Bar Association is proudly co-hosting the Interprofessional Networking Mixer. This has been a fabulous event. Thanks to our sponsors, it is free to attend with a no-host bar. We have many different professionals from attorneys, bankers, CPAs, other financial services professionals as well as folks from commercial real estate for referral partner networking. We’ll be out in the beer garden, so come ready to talk shop and enjoy a pint.

Time: 5 pm – 7 pm

Time: 5 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Pyramid Alehouse 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548


JULY 2013

Location: Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill Registration: Go to the Family Law website at More Info: Contact Therese Bruce at (925) 930-6789

MCLE: 1.5 hours general credit, 0.5 hours legal ethics credit Cost: $35 for CCCBA members, $50 for nonmembers Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548 August 16 | Barristers/ Young Lawyers Section

BRIDGING THE GAP New lawyers, young lawyers, lawyers new to the county - take this opportunity to get acquainted with the Contra Costa County Bar Association, the Superior Court and local judges, local practitioners...and much more! Breakfast and lunch are included. Time: 8:30 am – 1:15 pm Location: CCC DA’s Office Community Room 900 Ward St. (entrance is on Court St.), Martinez MCLE: 4 hours general credit Cost: Free for new admittees, $10 for section members, $25 for CCCBA members, $40 for non-members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548

August 20 | CCCBA

August 24 | CCCBA

September 17 | CCCBA

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device Part 5 of the Law Practice Management Series

Bench/Bar BBQ and Softball Game

The New Healthcare Legislation Part 6 of the 2013 Law Practice Management Series

Smartphones, iPads, tablets are everywhere, including in your law firm. Learn about ethical and professional responsibilities law firms face as lawyers and staff access client and confidential information with these devices.

Time: 3 pm – 7 pm

Speakers: Sarah Banola, Cooper, White & Cooper James Y. Wu, Law Office of James Y. Wu Time: 4:30 pm – 6 pm Location: John F. Kennedy University 100 Ellinwood Way, Room S312, Pleasant Hill

Save the Date! Equipment and BBQ fare provided. More details to come. Location: Heather Farms Park Sports Field 5, Walnut Creek More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548

2013 is about preparing for health care reforms that take effect in 2014. How will this impact the small employer (under 50 employees)? What do I need to know for my practice, as an employer, and what can I tell clients? The market is changing, are you ready? Speaker: Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF Time: 4:30 pm – 6 pm Location: John F. Kennedy University 100 Ellinwood Way, Room S312, Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1.5 hours general credit

MCLE: 1 hour legal ethics credit, 0.5 hours general credit

Cost: $10 for law student members, $20 for CCCBA members, $30 for non-members

Cost: $10 for law student members, $20 for CCCBA members, $30 for non-members

Registration: Online at

Registration: Online at

More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548

More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley

Get to Know Your Local Judges Join us for an opportunity to get to know members of our local bench on a one-to-one basis. Enjoy refreshments and conversation with Judges Craddick, Brady and Flinn. Hosted by Frankel Goldware Ferber, LLP. Time: 5:30 pm – 7 pm Location: Frankel Goldware Ferber 2603 Camino Ramon, Suite 385, San Ramon Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548


October 17 | CCCBA




advertisers’  index The Ace Fiduciary Group . . . . . . . . . . 39 Roger F. Allen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 David Arietta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Bray & Bray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


Jay Chafetz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Three attorney offices and paralegal/secretary space for rent in suite with five attorneys. Shadelands near trail. Free parking. New digital phones, fast internet, receptionist, conference room, copiers. Window office $650; Interior offices $500; Nice people; great place to work. Call Kari 925 256 9855.

JAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . 40 Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 MARSH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Mullin Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Perry A. Novak , UBS Financial Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


David B. Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

1-2 offices available in Class A building across the street from Walnut Creek BART. Very professional-looking space. Good view. Copier, scanner, conference room, library, kitchen, covered parking. Call (925) 933-5890.

Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 29 Scott Valley Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Spencer Elrod Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . 9 Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31


Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

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

Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . 12

JAY CHAFETZ Personal Injury Trust & Estate Disputes Business Litigation Mediation (PI and Med Mal) Law Offices of Jay Chafetz 2033 N. Main Street Suite750 Walnut Creek, CA 94596


JULY 2013

Here for you when you need a trial attorney

925.933.5890 fax 925.933.5620

Youngman & Ericsson, LLP . . . . . 15, 18

The Ace Fiduciary Group ■■■ Preserving Your Trust For The Benefit of Your Legacy ■■■

A professional fiduciary can fill in the missing piece. We’ll help you pull together a plan for Litigation special needs trust; high conflict estates; or, advanced estate planning techniques. When you need to recommend top-tier quality for an unbiased, 3rd party trustee, rely on us. Check our website for a free assessment tool. 1990 N. California Blvd. 8th Floor, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 906-1882 A professional, neutral, exceptional alternative

IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT HORACE W. GREEN HAS JOINED THE FIRM AS PARTNER Horace is an experienced and well-established trial attorney whose practice is devoted to the representation of individuals and entities in a variety of civil disputes, including litigation related to general business, employment, ERISA and insurance coverage. The Firm continues to concentrate on business, employment, estate and tax planning, real estate and related litigation matters. 1333 N. California Boulevard, Suite 350 Walnut Creek, California 94596 Telephone: 925.944.9700 Facsimile: 925.944.9701




Serving the entire Bay Area • Deposition Reporting • Experienced Professional Reporters • Computerized Transcription • Deposition Suites Available • Expeditious Delivery • BART Accessible

2121 N. California Blvd.  Suite 210 Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925.930.7388 fax



JULY 2013