Contra Costa Lawyer, January 2016

Page 1

Volume 29, Number 1 | January 2016

Your Bar Association Meet Your 2016 Board President, Board Members & Section Leaders pages 5, 8, 12

Member-Only Benefits page 24

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Contra Costa  2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Elva Harding President Philip Andersen President-Elect James Wu Secretary Michelle Ferber Treasurer Nicholas Casper Ex Officio Ericka Ackeret Dean Barbieri Mary Carey Steven Derby Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston

David Marchiano Wendy McGuire Coats Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck Katherine Wenger

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

LAWYER Volume 29, Number 1 | January 2016

The official publication of the

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





Elva Harding

Steven Derby, Oliver Greenwood, Dorian Peters and Summer Selleck

Barbara Arsedo Emily Day

LRIS Coordinator Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator

Dawnell Blaylock

Communications Anne K. Wolf Coordinator Education and Programs Coordinator



Jennifer Comages












Membership Coordinator

CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Nicole Mills Suzanne Boucher 925.351.3171 925.933.1500

David Pearson Marcus Brown

925.287.0051 925.482.8950 Kelly BOARD LIAISON Patricia 925.258.9300 James Wu 925.658.0300 Inga Miller 925.402.2192 COURT LIAISON Novak Stephen Nash Perry 925.746.0245 925.957.5600 Samantha Sepehr DESIGN/ADVERTISING 925.287.3540 Dawnell Blaylock Candice Stoddard 925.370.2542 925.942.5100

PRINTING Steven’s Printing 925.681.1774

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.

Shown on the cover: 2016 CCCBA Board President Elva Harding; photo by Seamus Vanecko. Many thanks to Bear Valley Cross Country and Adventure Company for use of their fatbike and tracks.

DEPARTMENTS 20 CENTER | MCLE Spectacular [photos] Family Law Section Holiday Party [photos] 33 CALENDAR 36





get to r o f t ’ don w your rene ba ccc rship e b m e m CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER




Elizabeth Parker

Executive Director, the State Bar of California

Friday, January 29, 2016 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill

OFFICERS TO BE INSTALLED BOARD MEMBERS Elva Harding, President  | Philip Andersen, President-Elect James Wu, Secretary | Michelle Ferber, Treasurer Nicholas Casper, Ex Officio Ericka Ackeret | Dean Barbieri | Mary Carey | Steven Derby Oliver Greenwood | Renée Welze Livingston | David Marchiano Wendy McGuire Coats | Dorian Peters | Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck | Katherine Wenger SECTION LEADERS Ron Mullin: ADR Gary A. Watt: Appellate David Arietta: Bankruptcy Law Marta Vanegas: Barristers Kent Parr, Business Law Mary P. Carey: Criminal Law Michael LaMay: Elder Law Marjorie Wallace: Employment Virginia George: Estate Planning & Probate Daniel S. Harkins: Family Law Stuart West: Intellectual Property



Rhonda Wilson-Rice: Juvenile Geoffrey Steele & Justin Schnitzler: Litigation Katie R. Jones: Real Estate Andrew J. McCall: Solo Practice & Small Firm Eliza Jasinska & Roxana Ayala: Student Christina Weed: Taxation Karen Juster Hecht & Adrienne Haddad: West County Mika Domingo: Women

REGISTER TODAY! $40 CCCBA Members $50 Non-members 1 hour MCLE Credit Menu choices: Cuban Pork Loin Poached Atlantic Salmon ~ OR ~ Vegetable Risotto Photo Session for the 2016-17 Member Directory 11 am to noon ~ AND ~ 1:30 to 2 pm To register, contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540, or visit

Meet Your New


PRESIDENT Elva Harding Tell us about yourself. I immigrated to the U.S. with my parents when I was a child. Because of my father’s work, we had the opportunity to live on the west and east coasts and in the South when I was growing up. Later, we moved to San Rafael, where I finished high school and set my roots. As an adult, I spared my husband, Seamus Vanecko, from a life shoveling snow in Boston by bringing him home to the Bay Area. Seamus is a construction defect consultant who works with a number of our Contra Costa lawyers.

Where did you go to school? My education was primarily in the U.S., but I also attended school in Australia, Ireland and France. My undergraduate degree is from UCLA and my J.D. is from Santa Clara University. I attended Trinity College in Ireland during my junior year. At Trinity, I studied politics and development economics. It was an interesting time to study politics in Ireland. The Irish Troubles, a 30-year territorial conflict, was still a challenge before the Celtic Tiger, a period of rapid economic growth, took off. Additionally, my studies included Soviet politics and a trip with Trinity’s Russian department to the Soviet Union (when the Soviet Union still existed) when Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika policies were underway.

How did you come upon your focus in real estate work? I got into real estate when, with no experience, little money but heavy on youthful gumption, Seamus and I purchased a distressed, three-unit building in San Francisco’s Mission District. We knew nothing about rent control, notices of violation or landlord-tenant mat-

ters, but learned quickly. We got the building into shape with a lot of sweat equity and I learned my way around the SF rent ordinance, the Rent Board and Department of Building Inspection. I found that I really enjoyed working in real estate. Later, I was hired by a private equity investment firm as an asset manager. We invested in multi-family properties in rent-controlled jurisdictions. I ultimately oversaw the West Coast portfolio and the property-related litigation. I attended law school at Santa Clara University part time while working full time for the investment firm.

Where have you worked? My first job after law school was for a small San Francisco real estate firm. I eventually determined that I preferred transactional work to litigation, and joined a 12-attorney, Walnut Creek firm, where I spent a few years getting broader experience in commercial real estate transactions. I went solo over four years ago, and love it.



New Board President, continued from page 5

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to travel, garden, scuba dive, cross country ski, ride my bicycle in the Oakland/Contra Costa hills and walk my dog, Murphy. I have an Instagram account where I post pictures of street art I have found during my travels. My last trip was to Turkey in May 2015. In addition to visiting Istanbul and Bozcaada, a wine producing island, I visited the Gallipoli Peninsula, the site of a World War I campaign that resulted in the loss of many ANZAC forces (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). Many of the trenches are still in place. It was a particularly moving experience. I am a veteran of the Amigos de las Americas program (, which trains youth leaders, many of whom come from Contra Costa. As a teen, I participated in Amigos, spending a summer in the Dominican Republic building latrines. More recently, I served on the board and as president of the East Bay chapter, working to empower youth leaders in the U.S. and Latin America and share the Amigos cultural experience.

In 2010, I joined the CCCBA Board of Directors. One of my first projects was the development of the Law Practice Management Series (LPMS). It originally grew out of a need to support the young attorneys who were hanging their shingles straight out of law school during the Great Recession, and to support other transitioning attorneys.



Similarly, I hope to provide programs that will help new attorneys launch their careers, whether they are solos or in firms. A number of our sections have taken the lead on this, including the Barristers Section with their probate training in December, the Estate Planning & Probate Section’s new mentoring lunches and the Family Law Section’s ongoing mentoring/networking program.

LPMS has grown and now incorporates programs on closing law practices, using technology in law and using alternative employment arrangements in law firms.

I hope to find additional ways to support new attorneys, both for their benefit and that of the Contra Costa firms that employ them.

I have also served on the Editorial Board of the Contra Costa Lawyer, and the Access to Justice and Bar Fund committees.

Also, the new Director of our Criminal Conflict Program, longtime criminal defense attorney, William (Bill) Green, is developing training and mentoring programs for CCP panelists.

What are your priorities as president? The board is in the process of establishing its priorities for 2016, but I can share my thoughts with you.

These programs will include training and mentoring for new criminal defense lawyers as well as those who are more experienced. I support Bill in his efforts.

Thanks to the efforts of CCCBA Board Member and Dean of JFK University College of Law, Dean Barbieri, JFK law students now automatically become CCCBA members upon enrollment at JFK. I hope to work with this group to better incorporate them into our legal community.

Should the CCCBA take some stands on the issues of the day? Within the stated mission of the CCCBA, we have an obligation to represent our membership. For example, we have been following

Working with students can be tricky, as they are focused on school, family and often, their jobs. We have been developing training and

ConServAtorShiPS ProBAteS CriMinAl DefenSe

What bar and professional activities have you been involved in? Initially, I was involved in the CCCBA’s Women’s and Real Estate sections. I have also been a member of the East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).

mentoring programs to assist them and I hope to refine these programs.

David B. Pastor

CCCBA MeMBer SinCe 1977

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Law Offices of

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

ABA Law Connect, the American Bar Association’s joint venture with Rocket Lawyer, with some care. Through this trial program, small businesses can have a legal question answered by one of three ABAselected, California attorneys for $4.95. This program competes with Lawyer Referral & Information Service programs of local bar associations (including our own), which do an exceptional job of referring individuals to experienced attorneys in their community. LRIS programs offer a number of protections for the consumer that, from our understanding, ABA Law Connect lacks. The CCCBA, and many other bar associations, have raised our concerns with the ABA. You can view our letter here: ABA-RocketLawyer_letter_CCCBA_ Nov2015.pdf.

Any challenges you see in the coming year? Our Bar Association is in good hands under the direction of Theresa Hurley and her staff. I hope that 2016 will be a year in which to focus on fine tuning our programs, and incorporating new members. The California Bar Journal recently included an article recognizing our LRIS program and the success of our Moderate Means program, developed by our LRIS Coordinator Barbara Arsedo (www. TopHeadlines/TH2.aspx).

Making sure that we are serving the needs of our low income community is always a challenge that we strive to meet. There is also the ongoing challenge of supporting the courts. The courts are receiving more funding than they were during the Great Recession, but new expenses are now being shifted to their budgets. We recently surveyed our membership and met with our section leaders. A lack of court reporters and translators was identified as a major issue. We hope to work with the courts to address this problem. s

MEDIATIONS Business Real Estate Construction Law

$250 per hour Robert B. Jacobs

Tel. 925-847-8680



Meet Your New


MEMBERS Steven Derby


y plane landed at 4 a.m. in June 1986, at the San Francisco International Airport. I had $1,000, two suitcases and that was it. I had known that I wanted to be a lawyer since the age of 12, and this was the beginning of my adventure in the prac-

tice of law.

I worked my way through law school at Golden Gate University doing whatever work I could find including messenger, manager of a copy shop, private investigator and eventually law clerk for the Law Offices of Sanford M. Cipinko. After I passed the bar in 1990, I went to work for that same lawyer as an associate handling all types of civil and criminal cases. I met my wife in a San Francisco bar in June 1991, and I married her the following year on the third anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. We moved to Walnut Creek in 1993, where I worked for a well-respected attorney, Paul Engler, as an associate, until I opened my own firm, The Derby Law Firm, in 2002. My wife, Debbie, and I have worked together for 14 years in that firm, me as the lawyer and she as the most over-qualified business manager in Contra Costa County. Along the way, we have been honored to represent many exceptional people who remind me of how easy our life has been compared to theirs. Debbie has also blessed us with three beautiful children: Kevin, age 19, Alison, age 17 and Nicholas, age 14. Currently, I practice disability rights law on a part-time basis and I spend the rest of my professional time acting as judge pro tem in Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties to help to bridge the gap between the needs of our counties for access to justice and the courts’ ability to provide it with the drastic budget cuts they have been forced to endure over the last few years. I also serve the cause of access to justice by volunteering my time through a number of organizations including Contra Costa Senior Legal Services and the Pro Bono Committee of the Contra Costa County Bar Association. I have been privileged to serve in leadership roles for a number of organizations including Boy Scouts, the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association and the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area (now called Ability Now Bay Area). I am honored to be selected by the Board of Directors to serve our community on the 2016 board and I look forward to devoting my time and energy to earning the trust that has been placed in me by this appointment. s 8


Oliver Greenwood


am a partner at Bray & Greenwood, LLP (I’m the Greenwood), located in Martinez. I graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2004. I attended University of California, Berkeley, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. I also received an Associate of Arts degree from Diablo Valley College. I live in Concord with my wife, Ann, and our three kids. My practice centers around estate planning and probate related matters such as conservatorships, guardianships, probate of estates and both trust and probate litigation. I am frequently court-appointed counsel in guardianships, where I represent minors, and in conservatorships, where I represent proposed conservatees. I especially enjoy the role of court-appointed counsel, as it gives me the opportunity to advocate for those who have no voice or have potentially lost their voice due to incapacity. Perhaps you have heard of me, Oliver Greenwood, voice for the voiceless, dun-dun-dunnn.

I was influenced into becoming an attorney by three important people: my wife, Ann, and my friends, Robert Kosloff and Christian Lucia. While my wife was willing to support me in any endeavor I chose (I was a professional magician at the time), she liked the idea of me working in law, and both Bob and Lucia suggested that a career as a historian might not be lucrative and that pursuing a degree in law would serve me better in the long run. Now, here I am, in the long run. I agree with all of them. I enjoy my career, but the most difficult part of the practice of law is striking the balance between work and family. Retired Commissioner Don Green frequently stated from the bench that lawyers just don’t take enough time off, and he suggested that perhaps time off needed to be forced on lawyers. He lost me with “time off.” But, a couple of years ago, I was watching an interview with Chief Justice John Roberts, and he was posed

the question of how he balances family life with the practice of law. He replied with a statement that his predecessor Justice William Rehnquist provided to him: “If you want to spend time with your young children, you have to do it while they are young.” That rings true to me. However, striking a balance takes effort. So I force the time and I spend a lot of it participating in my children’s sports activities as a coach or a referee—it gets me out of the office and gives me quality time with my kids and the local community. I see joining the CCCBA board as another opportunity to enrich the quality of my life as a lawyer in this county and to contribute to the local legal community. s



Dorian Peters


am an Easy Bay native, born and raised in Berkeley. I began my education at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, and then transferred to UC Berkeley, where I double majored in political science and mass communications. Go Bears! Through UC Berkeley, I was able to serve as a press and policy intern in Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office in Washington, D.C.

I then traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Vanderbilt Law School, where I participated in the moot court and mock trial programs. I had the opportunity to intern in the chambers of U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Hoyt in Houston, Texas, and I also worked as a law clerk for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Defender’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Upon graduation, I become a prosecutor in the CCC District Attorney’s Office, where I tried about 35 cases to a jury and worked in several units. One of the highlights of my career so far was a brief stint at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as part of the Employment Advocacy and Prosecution Team, where I investigated and litigated employee misconduct matters in front of the State Personnel Board. After that, I went into private practice for about two years, focusing mostly on criminal defense work, and recently, I joined the Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines law firm as an associate attorney, where I practice criminal defense and handle employment discipline issues involving misconduct or licensing. I am active in many different parts our Contra Costa County Bar Association. Currently, I am a committee member and a panelist on our Criminal Conflict Program, a volunteer fee artibrator for both the CCCBA and the State Bar, and a CCCBA delegate to the California Conference of Bar Associations. I participate in the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court and I also served as a board member of the Barristers Section, where I assisted in the drafting of the current bylaws. Outside of the CCCBA, I am a member of the Leadership Council for the nonprofit Center for Youth Development through Law, a pipeline program focused on exposing under-privileged youth to the legal system, and encouraging them to attend college and pursue careers as attorneys. I am honored to serve you this year. s



Summer Selleck


practice primarily in the areas of estate planning, probate, criminal law and family law, focusing on working with blended families. During my first few years of practice, I have enjoyed working in these different areas of law, as I never shy away from a new challenge. While appreciating the variety of my client base, my deep passion is protecting and advocating for the rights of diverse classes and I have been deeply involved in my community while continuing to build my solo practice. Over the course of my life, I have worked zealously defending the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in numerous campaigns; in fact, from 2013 to 2015, I acted as community liaison for the Rainbow Community Center, a nonprofit organization in Concord, which provides programs and resources for LGBT youth and adults. I continue to promote tolerance and diversity in both the legal profession and the community, impacting the lives of others through community engagement and outreach campaigns designed to build relationships, educate the community and create a broader social impact. I have been a proud and active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association since being admitted to practice. My prior CCCBA leadership positions include MCLE and special events coordinator for the Barristers Section (2015-2016), vice president of the Barristers Section (2014-2015), board member at large of the Women’s Section (2014 to present), board member of the Diversity Committee (2013 to present) and California Women Lawyers coaffiliate governor representing the CCCBA Women’s Section (2015 to present).

I was born and raised in Contra Costa County and graduated undergrad from UCLA with honors majoring in history. I attended law school at Western State University where I received my doctorate. While at Western State, I received multiple awards for excellence in academics. Prior to my final year in law school, I took a year off to attend Pepperdine University where I re-

ceived a master’s degree in education graduating summa cum laude. In 2013, I moved from Los Angeles back to Contra Costa County with my spouse, Andrea. We enjoy traveling and spending time with our amazing rescue dog named Griffith. s



Meet Your New


LEADERS Alternative Dispute Resolution Ron Mullin’s practice specializes in the areas of real estate, construction, commercial and contract law, estate planning, trusts, probates and litigation. He was president of the CCCBA in 2010.

spoke at our annual meeting, and continuing education sessions such as the “Mediating with Self-Represented Litigants,” which was offered recently and fulfilled the CLE requirement to participate in the court-sponsored mediation program.


The ADR Section’s mission is to provide opportunities for ADR practitioners to gather together and share Ron Mullin information and experiences, as well as to provide educational opportunities for practitioners and for attorneys in general. They sponsor MCLE Spectacular programs with wellknown presenters such as Fania Davis, Miki Kashtan and local judges and mediators. They also provide educational opportunities in the form of roundtable discussions and CLE programs. The section board members also take an active role in monitoring potential changes to arbitration and mediation laws and communicate on a personal basis regarding consensus positions of the board related to those issues.



Gary A. Watt

How has being a member of the Appellate Section enhanced your practice? The Appellate Section provides lawyers with insights on thorny statutory and common law issues by putting on MCLE seminars that include sitting Court of Appeal justices as panelists.


How has being a member of the ADR Section enhanced your practice? Being a member of the ADR Section has enhanced my practice by providing numerous educational opportunities. We have informative guest speakers, such as well-known mediator, Steven Mehta, who

Gary A. Watt is a partner at Archer Norris in Walnut Creek. An appellate lawyer and law professor at UC Hastings, Gary handles writs and appeals in all California appellate courts, including the Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.


Acquistions Hubert Lenczowski 1615 Bonanza Street #212 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 280-7788

Attorney At LAw A ProfessionAL corPorAtion

PLAnning exits And growtH Acquisition for business owners

Barristers/Young Lawyers

Bankruptcy Law David Arietta is a native San Franciscan and attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. He graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley with a degree in finance and accounting and then went on to graduate from UC Davis School of Law. David is a certified specialist in bankruptcy law and David Arietta his practice encompasses comprehensive bankruptcy representation for individuals and businesses in Chapters 7, 11 and 13.

How has being a member of the Bankruptcy Section enhanced your practice? Being a sole practitioner, it has been important to have a network of local bankruptcy attorneys with whom I can bounce around ideas. The section allows all of us to come together at various events throughout the year. The section has consistent educational programs which helps keep all of us up to date in this ever changing area of practice. The section also allows its members the opportunity to take on leadership roles such as being an officer or a director.

Marta Vanegas is a plaintiff’s employment and civil rights attorney at the Law Offices of John F. Martin. She graduated UC Davis School of Law in 2011, and worked previously as deputy legislative counsel in Sacramento. She is the immediate past president of the Women’s Section and has previously been the chair of Marta Vanegas the Barristers Section. Marta lives in Concord with her husband and two daughters.

How has being a member of the Barristers/Young Lawyers Section enhanced your practice? As relatively new practitioners, it is important for all of us to feel welcome, build relationships, find friends with whom to flesh out ideas, find resources and seek advice. As attorneys in small practices or as solos, we thrive on good community reputation and referrals. All of these goals can be achieved through membership and participation in the Barristers Section. The section also focuses on educational, community and social events especially targeted for new practitioners.

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



2016 Section Leaders, continued from page 13

Business Law Kent Parr spent the first half of his career practicing business and real estate litigation. His focus is now on business and commercial transactions in a solo setting.

Kent Parr

Kent volunteers at a soup kitchen in Pittsburg every Wednesday and holds down the baritone slot in the award-winning HouseBlend quartet.

How has being a member of the Business Law Section enhanced your practice? I treasure the professional and personal contacts I have made with experts in the field who represent a vast variety of talent and experience. You can’t tap into this kind of resource with books and articles alone. The personal contacts make a difference.

Criminal Law Mary P. Carey has practiced law in Contra Costa County for 29 years. She served as a deputy public defender in the Contra Costa Public Defender’s Office for 18 years, representing children and adults accused of crime. She has managed a thriving private practice in Walnut Creek for Mary P. Carey over 10 years specializing in criminal, juvenile and civil litigation. Mary has extensive jury and bench trial experience.

How has being a member of the Criminal Law Section enhanced your practice? Being a member of the Criminal Law Section has given me the opportunity to learn from local criminal practitioners in our monthly MCLE luncheons. Whether it is the use of technology in the courtroom, new statute updates or immigration issues, the Criminal Law Section lawyers have a willingness and bounty of information to share.



Elder Law Michael LaMay’s practice focuses on trust and estate litigation, financial elder abuse litigation, contested conservatorship litigation, trust administration, probate, conservatorships and estate planning. He assists clients in all aspects of contentious trust, estate and conservatorship matters, including client Michael LaMay counseling, settlement negotiations, mediation and litigation through trial.

How has being a member of the Elder Law Section enhanced your practice? Generally, there are two areas of practice that we refer to as elder law. The first is transactional work, closely related to estate planning, which often focuses on eligibility for various benefits, such as Medi-Cal. The second is litigation, both financial elder abuse and physical elder abuse/neglect. In addition, elder law often overlaps with other practice areas when a client, or interested party, is over the age of 65. Given the breadth of what is, or can become, an elder law issue, and the increasing portion of the population considered elders, my practice has greatly benefitted from my membership in the Elder Law Section because of the information sharing and networking it has allowed.

Employment Marjorie Wallace’s solo practice in Martinez represents individual public and private employees in employment discrimination, whistleblower and wage law matters. The reason she went to law school still gets her out of bed each morning: Namely, to work to push back barriers preventing equal opportuMarjorie Wallace nity for all Americans and to ensure a thriving middle class. Her typical client is a middleclass individual, working in either the private or public sector, who has a discrimination and/or wage and hour claim. Marjorie is a former business litigator and law professor with a J.D. from UC Hastings, an LL.M. from Yale Law School, an M.S. in information science from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from UCLA.

How has being a member of the Employment Section enhanced your practice? The Employment Section’s content-rich MCLE events helps keep me up to date on the ever changing employment law landscape. The networking opportunities are both enjoyable and a chance to expand my connections.

The Estate Planning & Probate Section is a collegial group that offers a variety of opportunities to attorneys practicing in the areas of probate, estate planning, conservatorship, guardianship and trust law. Our programs begin in January each year at the Contra Costa Country Club with the annual Probate Bench Luncheon. The section offers members the ability to network and learn the latest about the ever-changing law in these intriguing areas of practice.

Estate Planning & Probate Virginia M. George is a partner at Steele, George, Schofield & McCormick, LLP. Prior to joining the firm, she sat as a judge pro tem in the Probate Department of Contra Costa Superior Court. Before her time on the bench, Virginia worked as a full-time professor at JFK University College of Law, Virginia George teaching evidence, criminal procedure and wills and trusts. While at JFK, she supervised JFK’s Elder Law Clinic, which provided pro bono services to elders who had been financially abused. Virginia began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County.

How has being a member of the Estate Planning & Probate Section enhanced your practice?

Family Law

Daniel S. Harkins

Elder Law is

The opportunity to interact with probate and trust lawyers from around the county has enhanced my knowledge of important issues that confront us in our practice areas as well as develop an expanding network of colleagues.

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The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there’s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 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.

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Daniel S. Harkins is the incoming president of the Family Law Section. This is Dan’s third term as president of the section. Dan has been a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for about 30 years. He has been on the board of directors of the Family Law Section for over 15 years.

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2016 Section Leaders, continued from page 15

that you can get topical information on current issues and then get to work by a reasonable time.

How has being a member of the Family Law Section enhanced your practice? The continuing education provided by the Family Law Section is invaluable as are the contacts with the other members. A membership in the section is essential to the practice of family law.

The up-to-date information coupled with convenient time allows our members to keep current on industry practice with a minimum of disruption to billing.

Juvenile Law Rhonda Wilson-Rice is an attorney practicing in Pittsburg.

How has being a member of the Juvenile Law Section enhanced your practice?

Intellectual Property

Stuart West

As the head of the CCCBA IP Section for the past several years, Stuart West and the IP section members, in conjunction with the Women’s Initiative Program, have assisted hundreds of solo inventors and small startup companies with their intellectual property needs on a pro bono basis.

Additionally, as a practicing patent attorney since 1999, licensed in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, Stuart has assisted small-scale and multinational clients with patent, trademark and copyright matters around the world.

How has being a member of the Intellectual Property Section enhanced your practice? The IP section is on the cutting edge of law changes that impact all areas of business. Approximately five times per year, the IP section presents topical presentations on current intellectual property issues that are of general interest or are of high importance to practitioners in the IP field. We hold our meetings during the breakfast hour in a centrally-located conference room in Walnut Creek and meetings are concluded by 9 a.m., so

As a member of the Juvenile Law Section, I attend our section trainRhonda Wilson-Rice ings, which keep me up to date on changes in the law. I have a network of colleagues and judges I see on a regular basis, who are aware of my training and expertise, and who (I hope) are confident in my abilities. Most of my work is court appointed, so being a member of the section helps give validity to private clients who may be seeking my services.

Litigation Geoffrey Steele is a partner at Steele, George, Schofield & McCormick, LLP. He is a civil litigator, with an emphasis on real property and financial elder abuse.

Geoffrey Steele

How has being a member of the Litigation Section enhanced your practice?

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



Justin Schnitzler is a partner at Ring Hunter Holland & Schenone, LLP. Justin’s practice is widespread in his representation of public entities, large-scale developers, commercial landlords and companies in all stages of complex commercial and real estate litigation.

Geoffrey: The Litigation Section is the one section that crosses over most of the other disciplines, covering a wide variety of legal issues, including insights regarding practicing before the Contra Costa courts. The Justin Schnitzler

Litigation Section’s MCLE programs and mixers have been great opportunities for me to meet attorneys that I might not otherwise have gotten to know.

Solo Practice & Small Firm

In addition, the Litigation Section is involved in several of the pro bono workshops in Contra Costa County. These workshops have afforded me many great opportunities to hone my skills and give back to the community. Justin: My membership in the Litigation Section has enhanced my practice by providing extensive educational opportunities and great interactions with my peers that would not otherwise occur in my day-to-day work life.

Real Estate Katie R. Jones is a shareholder in Miller Starr Regalia’s Walnut Creek office. She represents developers, property owners and national and regional retailers in a variety of real estate transactions. Katie’s practice focuses on negotiating and drafting retail, office and industrial leases, acquisitions and Katie R. Jones dispositions, and homeowner association policies. In addition, Katie has represented clients in a broad range of litigation matters, with a special emphasis on commercial lease disputes and eminent domain issues.

Andrew J. McCall

Andrew J. McCall is a recognized divorce attorney in Contra Costa and Solano counties, and has been since 1999. He enjoys resolving cases successfully for clients and helping them move on with their lives. He has been a member of CCCBA since 1998, and has been a sole practitioner since 2002.

The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section evolved from the recognition that many sole and small firm practitioners desired and at times needed the camaraderie, intellectual stimulation and informational exchange that attorneys generally find in larger law firms. By having consistent networking and fellowship opportunities, the section has evolved into a collegial organization resembling a “firm,” with specialists in various fields both willing and capable to offer assistance to other section members. Section members are entitled to full use of the JFK Law Library, allowing members to have cost-effective and

How has being a member of the Real Estate Section enhanced your practice? Over the past several years, I have developed a strong local network of fellow real estate attorneys, each with varying specialties in real estate law. Additionally, the Real Estate Section’s monthly breakfast meetings include an educational component with presentations on current real estate law topics, enabling me to stay better informed on new developments related to my practice area.



2016 Section Leaders, continued from page 17

Student Eliza Jasinska is a third-year law student at JFK University College of Law and is also a licensed registered nurse, a licensed realtor, as well as a California licensed professional fiduciary.

convenient access to legal resources. Section members receive a monthly email newsletter, The Maverick, informing them of upcoming events, providing topical articles and a forum for comments and commentary, and collaterally an email listserv for use by the members. The section hosts after work mixers and breakfasts, on alternating months, which are open to both members and non-members. The section also participates in CCCBA’s MCLE Spectacular each November.

Eliza Jasinska

How has being a member of the Solo Practice & Small Firm Section enhanced your practice? Being a member of the Solo Practice & Small Firm Section has enhanced my practice by providing fun, informal networking events each month, where I’ve met many other sole and small firm practitioners. Referrals are occasionally passed from such meetings as well.

She currently works at the Contra Costa Senior Legal Services Elder Law Clinic and maintains a private fiduciary practice in Moraga. Eliza is looking forward to graduating from law school and passing the bar. Her practice will concentrate on health law, family law, elder law and estate planning.

Roxana Ayala is a fourth-year student at JFK University College of Law, expecting to graduate in May 2016, and receive a Juris Doctor. She Roxana Ayala currently works as a law clerk for Dowe Law Firm in Richmond, which specializes in immigration and bankruptcy. She has been there for over

We are pleased to announce that

Reed K. Scott Scott Law Group, PC has merged with

Youngman & Ericsson to become

YOUNGMAN ERICSSON SCOTT, LLP Individual & Business Tax Issues Tax Preparation • Tax Planning • Tax Controversy Estate Planning • Estate Administration • Elder Law Estate Litigation • Probate • Business Planning

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a year, focusing primarily on immigration law, as she plans to make that her main practice area upon graduation.

West County

Roxana and her husband are proud parents of their 10-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. They love biking and going to the movies as a family.

Karen Juster Hecht became a lawyer so that she could help people. Her career path has included general civil litigation and business; she now practices family law in order to fulfill her goal of helping clients through difficult times.

How has being a member of the Student Section enhanced your legal education? The CCCBA Student Section engages students and attorneys in countless networking and mentorship opportunities. With all of the sections that CCCBA offers, the law student members have the opportunity to explore areas of potential practice, ask specific questions, interview and intern.

Karen Juster Hecht

The CCCBA is bridging the gap between law school and real life practice opportunities through mentorship, internships and networking events.


Adrienne Haddad Christina Weed has been the chair of the Taxation Section since 2013. Christina’s solo practice focuses on tax law, estate planning and litigation.

How has being a member of Christina Weed the Taxation Section enhanced your practice? Being a member of the Taxation Section gives me the opportunity to learn about current events for relatively low cost. It has also increased the network of colleagues I can turn to as I encounter new and evolving issues in my practice. Membership in the Taxation Section is great for those who are eager to learn, or who would like to obtain practical advice from colleagues or discuss current tax topics. Our meetings include lunch and a tax presentation offering tax specialization and/or general MCLE credit. We are always happy to receive new and enthusiastic members.

In addition to practicing law, she enjoys her three children and she pursues her passion for writing and photography. Karen loves being outside, walking, hiking and biking around the beautiful Bay Area. Adrienne Haddad has been practicing law for four years—primarily family, but also the occasional civil and criminal matter. She is especially interested in collaborative law and helping clients resolve their disputes with as little drama as possible.

That said, she does enjoy arguing (advocating) when necessary! In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys playing

continued on page 23

BUDDE LAW GROUP A Professional Law Corporation

Real Estate & Business Transactional and Litigation Attorneys Denae Hildebrand Budde Ellen P. Rosenbluth 2033 N. Main Street, Suite 750 Walnut Creek, CA 94596-7370 925-939-9880 Main 925-939-9915 Fax



21st Annual

MCLE Spectacular! November 20, 2015 Walnut Creek Marriott

Breakfast Kickoff Speaker: Cindy Cohn

Event Sponsor: JAMS

Afternoon Plenary Speaker: Richard P. Carlton

Mark DeSaulnier (Luncheon Speaker) and Nick Casper



For more photos, visit our Facebook page at!

Family Law Section Holiday Party December 4, 2015

Comm. Kathleen Murphy and Hon. Terri Mockler

Alice Cheng and Jennifer Dapper

For more photos, visit our Facebook page at! Marcia Keefe

Lisa Zeeb-Johnson

Hon. Ignazio Ruvolo and Hon. Christopher Bowen



What Your CCCBA Membership Accomplished in 2015


Social & Fundraising Events Offered


MCLE/Member Benefit Programs Offered

3,687 total attendees


3,496 total attendees $52,440 in collective savings by CCCBA membership

Donated to the Family Justice Center’s Legal Incubator Project through the BAR FUND


Clients ed Schedul RIS L Through


Free Legal Workshops 22Offered JANUARY 2016

181 MCLE credits offered


Visits to the CCCBA Website


Visits to the CC Lawyer Online Magazine

31% mobile using devices

2016 Section Leaders, continued from page 19


coed softball, throwing darts and singing a mean karaoke song now and again. She is excited to continue to get to know the community of attorneys active in the West County Section.

How has being a member of the West County Section enhanced your practice? Karen: The speakers at our section lunches are often sitting judges in Contra Costa County and they offer insights into what the courts look for in certain types of cases. Our lunches and other section sponsored events are a lot of fun! Section members are able to network with each other, potentially meeting a new business partner, a new client, or a new professional to whom you can refer overflow cases. The MCLE credits earned locally (no need to drive to Walnut Creek) enhance your practice with new and important information. Adrienne: Being a member of the West County Section has enhanced my practice by keeping me connected to the community—over half my clients reside in West County.

Mika Domingo is an associate attorney with Watson, Hoffe & Hass, practicing probate, corporate law, business law, estate planning, real property and wills and trusts administration. Previously, she served as a deputy attorney general, representing the state in civil rights litigation. For over two years, Mika has been an Mika Domingo appointee to the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners. Prior to law school, she worked as a financial auditor and publisher for over 10 years.

How has being a member of the Women’s Section enhanced your practice? Being a member of the Women’s Section has provided me with excellent peer-to-peer networking opportunities, leading to referrals. I’ve also been able to expand my legal network and build relationships with judges, public sector attorneys, and other professionals I would not normally meet. Through the MCLE programs, I stay informed about significant cases, recent decisions and legislative changes that impact my practice. s





Businesses featured here offer discounts to CCCBA members that would not otherwise be available.

Computer & IT Consulting

Insurance (Life & Health)

Simply identify yourself as a current CCCBA member to the participating business at the time of your transaction. Pacific Computer Consultants, Inc.

Airport Parking Park SFO 195 North Access Rd. South San Francisco, CA 94080 (800) 996-9214; ask for Tim or Frances Discount: Free membership to PARK SFO Club (normally $100 a year), personalized membership card, free upgrade to valet parking, coupons good for one free day of parking (one per visit) and auto detailing discounts.

David Jordan (925) 215-3559 ext. 101 | Discount: 30-day free trial of our Office In The Cloud (hosted email and hosted file storage) and free no obligation in-person network health check.

Floral Arrangements & Plants Jory’s Flowers

LaMusga Company Insurance, Financial Services, Divorce Planning Gary LaMusga, Financial Advisor; Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (925) 287-1567 Discount: CCCBA members receive a 10% discount when applying for the Standard Disability Insurance Policy.

1330-B Galaxy Way Concord, CA 94520 (925) 689-0966 Discount: 10% discount.

Youngman Ericsson Scott, LLP 1981 North Broadway • Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Expresso Airport Parking 880 Doolittle Dr. San Leandro, CA 94577 Discount: Enter “con” (all lower case) and print off discounted coupon. Present coupon and photo ID at checkout to receive discount. 24


Tax attorneys

(925) 930-6000

MassMutual Financial Group Specializing in helping law firms, attorneys and families with important insurance, investment and retirement needs.

Myers-Stevens-Mello & Co., Inc.

2121 N. California Blvd., Ste. 395 Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Dental, Vision, Life and Disability Insurance Plans

James Diehl (925) 979-2308

(510) 876-9496

Jane Louie, CFBS, CLTC (510) 789-2432

Discount: For an overview of available plans, please visit

Discount: CCCBA members and their families have a special 10% discount on long-term care insurance as well as access to other discounts.

MetLife Insurance Co. We specialize in educating law firms, attorneys and their families on protection, investments and retirements. J.P. McDermott, MBA, CLTC Financial Planner | Investment Advisor Representative | Financial Services Representative

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


While growing older is often a rich and satisfying experience, it’s not always easy. Trustcare Fiduciary Services offers clients a holistic approach to address challenges due to aging. We are state licensed and specialize in serving as successor trustee, executor, conservator, or attorney-infact for finance. We also provide clients with geriatric care management and work with their medical professionals and families to create and implement an individualized care plan. Honoring the wishes of our clients is our key objective.


EIKENBERRY LAW FIRM 1470 Maria Lane Suite 440 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Phone: (925) 933-2161

1255 Treat Blvd., Ste. 400 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 949-7423 (Office) (925) 858-9510 (Cell)


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

Kevin S. Eikenberry Attorney & Mediator

Ann C. Eikenberry Director of Administration



AN ELEVATED PERSPECTIVE Meeting you at the intersection of life and a destination As a nationally recognized, independent, registered investment advisor, we look at the complete picture – of our clients, their financial lives, and the complex world of investing – to thoughtfully invest and confidently plan for the future.




Member Benefits, continued from page 25

Legal Research

Merchant Services

Insurance (Liability)

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


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

Richard Wood 383 Diablo Rd., Ste. #217 Danville CA 94526 (925) 788-5057

Discount: Take advantage of the CCCBA 30-50% discount (depending on product), plus other seasonal promotions for your legal research needs: All print, CD-ROM and Lexis Advance online subscriptions qualify. (Desktop code books excluded.) Publishers include: Matthew Bender, Shepard’s, Deering’s, CACI, CalCrim and Judicial Council Forms. Check out what’s new at LexisNexis: Lexis Advance, a Google-like research platform; Practice Advisor for transactional attorneys; Lexis for Microsoft Office with PDF converter, hyperlinks to cases and codes, assists with drafting documents, checking quotes, citation format to CA or Bluebook and creating a TOA. Other litigation tools: Smartlinx public records, CaseMap, Concordance, MedMal Navigator.

Discount: provides the payment gateway for card-not-present transactions. Accept credit card and electronic check payments quickly and affordably, without having to pay more, or purchasing a physical terminal, and we will waive the setup fee with proof of CCCBA membership. Turn your iPhone or Android phone into a credit card terminal. The Payment Jack application is fully encrypted from the app to the swipe device. Free swiper with proof of CCCBA membership.

Office & Virtual Office Solutions

Marketing & Promotions Polaris Risk Management & Insurance Services

Laptop Lounge, Home of Reliable Receptionist

Lawyers’ Malpractice Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance. Competitive pricing; tailored to firms from 1-50 attorneys.

Shared workspace, conference rooms, meeting rooms and telephone receptionist services.

Jeffrey Little, Vice President (925) 209-5562 Fax: (925) 677-7401 Discount: Please call for available discounts for your firm.

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

Discount: Free Screen or setup charge on all new orders ($50 value) or free 1/2-hour marketing consultation.

Victor Mataraso 1701 N. California Blvd. Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 627-4200 Discount: CCCBA Members receive 50% off initial setup fees, a $25-$75 value depending on options selected.



Member Benefits, continued from page 27

We offer CCCBA members a 20% discount for first-time clients. Priority scheduling.

Polygraph Services

Translation Services

Professional polygraphs for court cases.

Discount: Graham Polygraph offers professional and confidential polygraphs and screenings, including criminal defense, family law and pre-employment screening.

Richard E. Arnason Judge Richard E. Arnason passed away on December 3, 2015, at the age of 94. He was one of the longest serving judges in California history and was an icon of the justice system in Contra Costa. He was known throughout the state as a criminal law guru. Judge Arnason had taught at various judge and attorney programs for years. Although his most famous trial was the Angela Davis trial, he had been the “go to� judge on the most serious of criminal trials in Contra Costa for over 35 years.

Graham Polygraph

Mark Graham 1536 Newell Ave., Ste. C Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 705-1254

Remembering Judge

Keylingo Translations Expert Document Translation Service 3380 Vincent Rd., Ste. HUB Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (888) 274-2810

Discount: 15% off your first translation and 8% off all future translations. s

Judge Arnason is the namesake for scholarships given each year to people who have been through the criminal justice system and want to gain education to make positive changes in their lives. The CCCBA administers this scholarship; visit our website for more information about the Richard E. Arnason Court Scholarship Program.

Your Partner in Resolution

John Drath, Esq

Hon. Mark Eaton (Ret.)

Hon. Richard Flier (Ret.)

Hon. Richard Hodge (Ret.)

Eric Ivary, Esq.

Hon. Kevin Murphy (Ret.)

Hon. James McBride (Ret.)

Comm. Glenn Oleon (Ret.)

Dave Rudy, Esq

Hon. Bonnie Sabraw (Ret.)

Hon. James Lambden (Ret.)

Claudia Long, Esq

Hon. James Hon. Charlotte Trembath (Ret.) Woolard (Ret.)

San Francisco/415.772.0900 | Silicon Valley/408.293.1113 | | 28


Top 5 attorneys For the LRIS Our Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) staff handles over 12,000 calls and online requests each year from members of the public who contact us with legal-related problems; over 5,500 of those calls result in client consultations with members of our LRIS each year.


1 Spanish speaking attorneys for all areas of law. 2 Housing law attorneys: evictions, tenant, landlord. 3 West County attorneys: especially family law, housing. 4 East County attorneys. 5 Moderate Means attorneys: • • • •

Family law Immigration law Elder law Housing (coming soon)

REASONS TO JOIN THE LRIS • We do the marketing and pre-screening of clients for you. • LRIS referrals turn into paying clients. • LRIS is State Bar certified resulting in better clients who are looking for a reliable source for attorneys. • The $100 LRIS membership fee will pay for itself after the first few referrals. • LRIS staff schedules the appointments and contacts the clients to confirm. • Moderate Means LRIS attorneys provide a great service to those clients who might not be able to afford a private attorney. LRIS does not collect any percentage fees on Moderate Means referrals. Read the California Bar Journal’s article featuring CCCBA’s LRIS at



Meet the



he main purpose of Criminal Conflict Program (CCP) is to facilitate the delivery of legal services to indigent persons in a variety of cases, at a reasonable cost to the public. An additional purpose of the program is “to maintain a high standard of practice by member attorneys, and to assist member attorneys in the maintenance and improvement of their law practices.” The CCP was established in 1984, under the auspices of the CCCBA. Before the program went into effect, judges appointed attorneys directly. The CCP’s system of appointments resolved the problem of allegations of favoritism in the selection and payment of attorneys. The majority of CCP cases are criminal, where the Public Defender’s Office and Alternate Defender’s Office have a conflict because they cannot represent more than one defendant per case. The CCP also appoints attorneys—within 30 minutes—to represent witnesses testifying in court who may incriminate themselves. The CCP appoints attorneys to represent minors in probate guardianship cases, conservatees in conservatorship cases, contempt defense and to advise on the potential immigration consequences of convictions.

are currently $75 to $120 for out of court work, and $85 to $155 for trial work, depending on the case classification. While cases are pending, attorneys can submit applications for funding authorizations for such services as investigation, interpreting foreign languages and expert consultations. The CCP director reviews and makes decisions on such requests. The CCP rules also establish a Fee Review Committee. Attorneys may appeal the director’s decision to this committee, and the ultimate authority over funding decisions rests with the presiding judge pursuant to Penal Code section 987.2, so attorneys dissatisfied with the Fee Review Committee’s decision can seek judicial relief. Attorneys and investigators submit monthly invoices through CCP’s custom-built billing website. The CCP submits monthly fiscal and caseload reports to the Contra Costa County Administrator’s Office for reimbursement. William (Bill) Green has been the CCP Director since 2015. The staff consists of Kathi Lane (12 years) and Debbie Garcia (eight years). To apply to become a CCP panel attorney or for more information, visit CCCBA’s website at attorney/build-your-practice/paying-criminal-conflict. php. s

CCP attorneys must be active members in the State Bar of California and the CCCBA, maintain their principal office in Contra Costa County, conduct a majority of their practice in the county, and maintain professional liability insurance. The CCP committee, comprised of nine L A W O F F I C E S O F CCCBA members appointed by the DAVIDÊA. ARIETTA bar president, promulgates rules and Certified Specialist, Bankruptcy Law regulations for the CCP and evaluCalifornia of C LegalE Specialization L State A Bar W of Specialist O F Board F I Bankruptcy S OLaw F Certified ates and certifies applicant attorneys Comprehensive Assistance of California Bankruptcy Board of Legal Specialization David A. Arietta State Bar for appropriate panels. Attorneys for Individuals and Businesses 20 years of experience Rated AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell apply for membership, and eligibilCertified Specialist, Bankruptcy Law Assistance 700 Ygnacio Valley Comprehensive Road ity varies based on criminal practice (925)Bankruptcy 472-8000 State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Suite150 for Individuals and Businesses and jury trial experience. David @ Walnut Creek, CA 94596 David A. Arietta Comprehensive Bankruptcy Assistance David A. Arietta 20 years of experience In criminal cases, appointments for Individuals and Businesses 20 years of experience 700 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Ste. 150 are made on a case classification sysRated AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell L Rated A WAV Preeminent O F F Martindale-Hubbell I C E S O F Walnut Creek, CA 94596 tem based on maximum sentence (925) 472-8000 700 Ygnacio Valley Road (925) 472-8000 Suite150 exposure. Fees for non-capital cases David @ Walnut Creek, CA 94596





Certified Specialist, Bankruptcy Law State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

David A. Arietta 20 years of experience

Comprehensive Bankruptcy Assistance for Individuals and Businesses Rated AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell



DEBBIE GARCIA (925) 229-4410 (925) 229-4410 (925) 229-4410

I’ve been with the CCP since August 31, 2015. After 13 years working in the County Public Defender’s Office, I spent three years in-house as counsel for a Silicon Valley software company, then three years at a midsize Oakland civil law firm, and then 10 years as a sole practitioner in Martinez drafting and negotiating software license agreements, while also practicing white-collar criminal defense and civil litigation.

I began working for CCCBA’s Criminal Conflict Program in spring 2003 as an administrative assistant. I have enjoyed watching the program expand and evolve over the last 12 years.

I joined the CCCBA’s Criminal Conflict Program in July 2007, as an administrative assistant. Kathi and I work together to provide the highest level of service to the clients and the attorneys involved in the program.


As Director of the Criminal Conflict Program, I administer the CCP contract with Contra Costa County for legal representation of indigents, ensuring the CCP attracts and maintains a sufficient number of attorneys to staff CCP cases in courts throughout the county; ensure participating attorneys comply with Rules of Professional Conduct and CCP rules and regulations; and develop educational programs and resources for participating attorneys. Specifically, I review funding requests from attorneys appointed through the program, which includes criminal and juvenile matters, witness representation, probate guardianships and conservatorship cases. In my spare time, I am the founder of, an online arbitration service for resolving fantasy sports disputes since 2004.

Administrative Assistant

It is personally rewarding to work with such a highly qualified and committed group of defense and probate attorneys. When people ask me if I like my job, the answer is always in the affirmative. I am lucky to have a great coworker, Debbie, and together we share responsibility for keeping the program running smoothly. It is a fun and positive work environment. Prior to joining the CCP, I worked as an executive administrative assistant for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) for the Western Region HR and recruiting department. I have also worked in administrative and management positions since college in various careers including executive recruiter, preschool director and restaurant manager. I graduated from California State University, Chico, with a degree in social welfare and corrections, back when “Pioneer Days” was still a grand event. I have lived in Solano County for the past 18 years. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, gardening and spending time with my family and friends.

Administrative Assistant

Prior to joining CCP, I was located in San Jose, where I worked for a family law attorney for several years. I was also employed for eight years at Microscience International Corporation, a hard disk drive manufacturer, in the HR department. In between jobs, I took nine years off to raise my children. Ten years ago, I arrived in Contra Costa County with my husband, four boys and my niece. Five years ago, we became grandparents to a beautiful girl! I absolutely love football, especially watching my son play. As a family, we love camping and cars of all types. s

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 Lafayette, CA 94549 AV Martindale-Hubbell



Meet Your New



When did you join the CCCBA and what did you do before? I started with the CCCBA in September 2015. I came to the CCCBA with 25+ years of experience, primarily as a litigation paralegal. I have worked on cases in a wide range of legal practice areas. Most recently, I worked in Contra Costa County as a family law paralegal. Outside the legal realm, I have 10+ years of volunteer experience in fundraising and event planning. I also hold an adjunct faculty position at JFK University, where I supervise the Paralegal Internship program and the Legal Employment Workshop course.

What do you do for members? It’s all in the job title: Education & Programs Coordinator. From the MCLE Spectacular to section programs, to legal workshops and fundraising events, there is always something exciting to be done!

What do you like best about your job? The people: The CCCBA staff I work with every day; the bar association members I educate and coordinate; and the general public I assist. It’s all in the relationships!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? ANNE K. WOLF

Education & Programs Coordinator (925) 370-2540

I was born in California, grew up in Portland, Oregon, with three older brothers, graduated from UC Berkeley with a psychology degree, spent my 20s and 30s living in San Francisco, got married in Big Sur and bought a home in Pleasant Hill. Currently, my 15-year-old daughter keeps my husband and me on the go. What free time I have now goes to meditation, to walking with my “BFFs” and to cabernets and single malts. s

SCHEDULE A PHOTO SESSION FOR THE 2016-2017 CCCBA MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY Photography sessions for the Membership Directory are FREE! Please call RCL Portrait Design at (800) 580-5562 to schedule your appointment during one of the following dates and locations:

JANUARY 11-15 | 9 am - 5 pm Brown, Church & Gee: 200 Pringle Ave., Ste. 400, Walnut Creek

JANUARY 19-21 | 8 am - 5 pm Community Room, District Attorney’s Office Corner of Green & Court Streets, Martinez (across from the post office)

JANUARY 25-28 | 8 am - 5 pm CCCBA Office: 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520, Concord

JANUARY 29 | 11 am - noon and 1:30 - 2:30 pm (in conjunction with the Annual Installation Luncheon) Contra Costa Country Club: 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill



Alternatively, you may forward a camera-ready photo for inclusion in the directory (head and shoulders, plain background, 300 dpi) to Dawnell Blaylock at NOTE: To be included in the annual pictorial Membership Directory, you must be a current member by March 1, 2016.


January 12 | Employment Law Section

New Employment Laws for 2016: The Latest and Greatest more details on page 36 January 13 | Family Law Section

TRACING: Where the Facts Meet Finesse more details on page 36 January 13 | Barristers/Young Lawyers and Women’s Sections

Paths to Partnership: One Size Does Not Fit All more details on page 36 January 14 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 36 January 22 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Annual Probate Luncheon more details on page 36

February 3 | CCCBA

CCCBA Membership Meeting more details on page 36 February 11 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting more details on page 37 February 17 | Family Law Section

Family Law/Bankruptcy Crossover Issues more details on page 37 February 18 | Diversity Committee

Judicial Application Workshop more details on page 37 February 26 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

Bridging the Gap more details on page 37

January 29 | CCCBA

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon more details on page 3

to t e g r o f don’t w your rene ba ccc rship e b m e m



January 12 | Employment Law Section

January 13 | Family Law Section

New Employment Laws for 2016: The Latest and Greatest

TRACING: Where the Facts Meet Finesse

Join us to learn the latest and greatest of the new 2016 employment laws.

Speaker: James T. Schaefer, CPA/CFF MS-Tax, Schaefer & Co., CPA

Speakers: JoAnna Brooks, Esq., Shareholder, Littler Mendelson Patrice Goldman, Esq., The Law Offices of Patrice Goldman

Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Time: 7:30 am – 10 am Location: Scott’s Seafood Restaurant 1333 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek MCLE: 2 hours general MCLE credit Cost: $35 for section members, $25 for law student members, $45 for CCCBA members, $55 for non-members Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour family law specialization MCLE credit (Division of Community Property)

January 13 | Barristers/Young Lawyers and Women’s Sections

Paths to Partnership: One Size Does Not Fit All In this interactive roundtable discussion, several successful female law partners will explain the many ways in which an associate could show rainmaker potential, implement ethical client service practices and become an invaluable asset to the firm. Sandwiches will be provided.

Cost: $50 for section members and law student members, $75 for CCCBA members, $100 for non-members

Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Meal Choices: Grilled Salmon, Roast Sirloin or Vegetable Risotto

MCLE: 0.5 hours general and 0.5 hours legal ethics MCLE credit

Registration: Please send payment to FLS, PO Box 5818, Concord, CA 94524

Cost: $20 for sponsoring section members, $15 for law student members, $25 for CCCBA members, $35 for non-members

More Info: Contact Therese Bruce at (925) 930-6789 or

Location: JAMS Office Conference Room 1255 Treat Blvd., #700, Walnut Creek

Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

January 14 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

January 22 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting

Annual Probate Luncheon

On the second Thursday of every month, the section will hold its monthly mentoring group open-discussion meetings where those new to the estates and trusts practice area, or those interested in making the switch to this area, can pose questions and engage in lively discussion with several experienced practitioners from the section.

Speaker: Hon. John H. Sugiyama

Each month we will focus primarily on one or more announced topics, with freedom to roam into related topics if there is sufficient interest. January’s topic: TBD. Please bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm Location: CCC District Attorney’s Office Community Room, 900 Ward St., Martinez Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or



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

February 3 | CCCBA

CCCBA Membership Meeting Please join us for the 2016 Annual CCCBA Membership Meeting. This is an opportunity to meet your board members and share your thoughts about the CCCBA. Time: 5:30 pm – 6 pm

MCLE: 1 hour estate planning & probate specialization MCLE credit

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

Cost: $40 for section members, $30 for law student members, $50 for CCCBA members, $55 for non-members

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

Meal Choices: Grilled Salmon, Chicken Picatta or Vegetable Risotto Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

February 11 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting On the second Thursday of every month, the section will hold its monthly mentoring group open-discussion meetings where those new to the estates and trusts practice area, or those interested in making the switch to this area, can pose questions and engage in lively discussion with several experienced practitioners from the section. Each month we will focus primarily on one or more announced topics, with freedom to roam into related topics if there is sufficient interest. February’s topic: TBD. Please bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm Location: CCC District Attorney’s Office Community Room, 900 Ward St., Martinez Registration: Online at

February 17 | Family Law Section

February 18 | Diversity Committee

Family Law/Bankruptcy Crossover Issues

Judicial Application Workshop

Speaker: Colby Freeman, Esq. Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill MCLE: 1 hour family law specialization MCLE credit (Division of Community Property) Cost: $50 for section members and law student members, $75 for CCCBA members, $100 for non-members Meal Choices: Poached Salmon, Chicken Provencal or Vegan Registration: Please send payment to FLS, PO Box 5818, Concord, CA 94524 More Info: Contact Therese Bruce at (925) 930-6789 or

Sponsored by CCCBA’s Diversity Committee and the State Bar Council on Access & Fairness. Please join us for a workshop designed to help trouble-shoot your judicial application. Former JNE commissioners and current judges will be on hand to mentor each attendee oneon-one. After a short general session, each attendee will be assigned a 20-minute time slot with a mentor. Light refreshments provided while you wait for your appointment. REQUIREMENTS: Attendees must send their draft judicial application in to Anne Wolf at to be distributed to a mentor for advance review in preparation for one-on-one feedback by February 11, 2016. Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: CCCBA Office, 5th Floor Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Concord Cost: $20 for CCCBA members, $30 for non-members

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

Registration: Online at

February 26 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

Bridging the Gap Co-sponsored by CourtCall and SF Daily Journal New lawyers, young lawyers, and 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! Time: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm Location: CCC DA’s Office Community Room, 900 Ward St., Martinez MCLE: 4 hours general MCLE credit COST FOR NEW ADMITTEES IS WAIVED! If you qualify as a NEW ADMITTEE for 2016 (1st year of practice only/never practiced before), join the CCCBA online and pay your $25 dues. Once you have become a member, simply click on the “Member Signup” button on the event page to register for free. Cost: $10 for section members, $25 for CCCBA members, $40 for non-members



“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




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

INCOME EXPENSES NET PROFIT / (LOSS) MEMBERSHIP 278,359.00 7,397.00 270,962.00 Dues, mailings, committee meetings, applications, State Bar swearing-in ceremonies, recruitment campaigns, networking mixers, annual leadership meetings, holiday party, printing costs.


279,055.00 18,619.00 260,436.00

Consultation fees, membership fees, percentage fees, advertising, brochures and marketing, phone system, postage, supplies, client surveys, committee meetings, staff education, Moderate Means Program, FLARe (Family Law Mediation program), Limited Representation program, marketing and panel recruitment, State Bar re-certification fees, free community legal workshops.

FEE ARBITRATION/MEDIATION AND CLIENT RELATIONS PROGRAMS 21,771.00 14,509.00 7,262.00 Filing fees, State Bar reimbursements, refunds, postage, committee meetings, supplies.

BAR-SPONSORED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS 51,442.00 30,278.00 21,164.00 MCLE Spectacular, committee meetings, State Bar provider status renewal.

PUBLICATIONS 101,243.00 49,042.00 52,201.00 Contra Costa Lawyer and Pictorial Membership Directory: Printing, postage, production, mailing house, MCLE self-study tests, committee meetings, photography, directory practice area listings, advertising revenue (incl. website and weekly broadcast), stock photography, blog book, video-editing software, etc.


Staff (does not include Criminal Conflict Program) 440,129.00 (440,129.00) Payroll, payroll taxes, payroll service, pension disbursements, medical, dental and vision benefits, workers’ comp insurance, staff education, expense reimbursements.

Executive Director 7,255.00 (7,255.00)

Education and travel, dues/membership fees, expenses, etc.

Office Equipment 32,659.00 (32,659.00)

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

General 18,170.00 130,895.00 (112,724.00) Conference room rental income, rebates (LMIC, Marsh Affinity Group, New Media online MCLE, JobTarget), interest and dividend income (including replenishing reserves used for 2010 website development), office rent and overhead, property insurance, office supplies, credit card processing fees, phone system, staff meetings, accounting, miscellaneous taxes, etc.

OFFICERS AND BOARD of DIRECTORS 6,440.00 27,196.00 (20,756.00) Installation luncheon, board meetings, bar leader conferences, strategic planning meetings, gavels and plaques, miscellaneous committee meetings, Errors & Omissions and EPL Insurances.




Email broadcasts, section leaders’ meetings, program registration, handbooks, postage and mailings.

CONFERENCE of DELEGATES 5,557.00 (5,557.00) Planning meetings, registration and hotel, materials, etc.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 1,568.00 (1,568.00) Website modifications/updates, SPAM filter, Internet connection.

EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAM 1,500 257.00 1,243 Court Tours docents training and court staff thank you luncheon, postage and mailings, materials.

COURT SUPPORT 525.00 (525.00) Bench/Bar meetings, Fast Track Bench/Bar roundtable.

TOTAL INCOME AND EXPENSES 766,602.00 766,602.00 (0.00) TOTAL RESERVES AS OF 12/31/15: $473,425.00



Firms with 20-29 attorneys: Bowles & Verna, LLP

Firms with 15-19 attorneys: Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP Clapp Moroney Bellagamba Vucinich Beeman Scheley Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally, LLP Littler Mendelson, PC

Firms with 5-14 attorneys: Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP Brown Church & Gee, LLP Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook Cooper, White & Cooper, LLP Craddick, Candland & Conti Doyle Quane Family Law Group Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy Ferber Law, APC Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey Hartog & Baer, PC Livingston Law Firm, PC Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP Timken Johnson, LLP Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP

Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Timken Johnson, LLP | Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP


Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey | Hartog & Baer, PC | Livingston Law Firm, PC

Archer Norris McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher, LLP Miller Starr Regalia

Ferber Law, APC | Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines | Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi

Firms with 30+ attorneys:

Craddick, Candland & Conti | Doyle Quane Family Law Group | Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy

2015 SUSTAINING LAW FIRMS Brown Church & Gee, LLP | Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook | Cooper, White & Cooper, LLP

Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally, LLP | Littler Mendelson, PC | Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP

Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP | Clapp Moroney Bellagamba Vucinich Beeman Scheley

Archer Norris | McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher, LLP | Miller Starr Regalia | Bowles & Verna, LLP

We gratefully acknowledge our

Thank you for your support and commitment! For additional information, contact Membership Coordinator Jenny Comages at (925) 370-2543 or email




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ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 David A. Arietta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Bingham Osborn & Scarborough, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Jessica A. Braverman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Bray & Greenwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

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

Budde Law Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . 40 Eikenberry Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Robert B. Jacobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Mullin Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

925.942.5100 • fax 925.933.3801

Perry A. Novak , UBS Financial Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Practicing law in the East Bay for over 25 years

David B. Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 31

Since 1949 Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell

Bray & Greenwood LLP Oliver W. Bray* Oliver A. Greenwood Over 29 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 and Guardianship establishment and litigation • Fiduciary Representation and Court Accountings • Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts 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

Scott Valley Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Trustcare Fiduciary Services . . . . . . . 25 Lisa M. West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Youngman & Ericsson . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 24 Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . . 7



Renew your membership online at

Don’t forget to set your Communication Preferences


Click the “Renew” link in the top right corner.


Log in to your personal membership profile.

This will determine how your profile is displayed in our Member Directory (both online and in print).


Review your current membership information and make any necessary changes.


Complete the secure payment section using a major credit card, click “Submit Form” and you are renewed!

You can also select how you prefer to receive the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine and sign up for CCCBA’s weekly e-newsletter. Questions? Contact Jenny Comages at (925) 370-2543 or

Morrill Law Firm Phone 925.322.8615 • Fax 925.357.3151 2175 N. California Blvd., Suite 424 Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Joseph Morrill, Attorney Heather Hoekstra, Attorney Nathan Pastor, Attorney

Will & Trust Litigation Financial Elder Abuse Conservatorships Estate Planning Trust Administration Probate Mediation

3220 Blume Drive, Suite 200 Richmond, CA 94806

Ruth Koller Burke, Of Counsel Vahishta Falahati, Of Counsel Nicole Morrill, Paralegal Jill Olivier, Paralegal




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

2121 N. California Blvd.  Suite 290 Walnut Creek, CA 94596




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