Contra Costa Lawyer - January 2023 The Bench-Bar Issue

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Contra Costa LAWYER

The Bench Bar Issue

Volume 36, Number 1 | January 2023
CCCBA 2023 Board President David Erb, congratulates incoming Contra Costa Superior Court Presiding Judge Ed Weil

Paul and Kristy Thornton and the team at Bay Area File helps bridge the gap in a transforming legal landscape by bringing you the best of technology, while still offering personal, physical connections to the court. Whether you are looking to use our efile system and submit your filing yourself or utilize our concierge services and let us do all the work, we have it all available for you online.

Most of the mega companies have gone completely virtual and don’t have offices across the street from the courthouse, like we do. They have the technology, but their service is lacking. We have an office next to the Contra Costa Superior Court and the Alameda County Superior Court. We are thrilled to offer you advanced online filing technology AND the hard-to-find service that caters to your individual business needs.

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David Erb

David Pearson

Sutter Selleck

Michael Pierson

Ericka McKenna

Ariel Brownell Lee

Dean Christopherson

Patanisha Davis Pierson

Ann Harding Battin Jonathan Lee

President President-Elect Secretary Treasurer Past President

Terry Leoni Dorian Peters

David Ratner

Marta Vanegas Andrew Verriere


Jody Iorns | 925.370.2548 |

CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |

Barbara Arsedo

LRIS & Moderate Means Director

Jennifer Comages

Membership Director

Emily Day Systems and Operations Director

Carole Lucido Communications Director Sarah Marin Communications Coordinator Anne K. Wolf Education & Events Director



Alice Cheng 925.233.6222

Lorraine Walsh 925.932.7014


Marta Vanegas 925.937.5433

COURT LIAISON Kate Bieker 925.957.5600

DESIGN Carole Lucido 925.370.2542


Carole Lucido 925.370.2542


Modern Litho 800.456.5867

Dorian Peters 925.822-8449 Andrew Verriere 925.317.9113 James Wu 925.588-5636

Volume 37, Number 1 – January 2023 The official publication of the Contra Costa County Bar Association


INSIDE: CHANGE: The Only True Constant, by Jody Iorns, CCCBA Executive Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Judge Ed Weil

“Stay Positive,” David Erb, CCCBA Board President 2023

Jody Iorns

A Tenure of Challenge & Change, by Presiding Judge Rebecca C . Hardie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Meant to Be, Jody Iorns, CCCBA Executive Direcor

Carole Lucido

The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published six times in 2023 by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to

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.


JANUARY 2023 4
Know Presiding
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My Journey to the Bench, by Judge Ayana
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 NEWS & UPDATES 10 Learning by Doing: An Experiential Trial Practice Course 16 In Memoriam 19 Welcome New Members of the CCCBA Board of Directors 23 2023 Section Leaders 28 Member Benefits 33 Sustaining Firms 34 PHOTOS: 2023 MCLE Spectacular 36 CALENDAR of Events 37 PHOTOS: Court Appreciation Event 38 Advertiser Index 38 Classified Advertising 39 UPCOMING EVENT: Annual Installation and Diversity Awards Luncheon EDITORIAL BOARD Corrine Bielejeski
Rachel Margolis
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Discovery Facilitator Program, by Judge Clare
. . . . . . . . . . 21
Chapman 925.837.0585

INSIDE: Change:

The Only True Constant

As a professional in the non-profit world for the last 30 years, a mom for 22, and a citizen of this country for over 50 (with special emphasis on the mom-part), despite my fervent wishes to the contrary, the only truth one can really rely on is that things will always change. Donors change, kids’ favorites change, laws change, and so on and so on. And while that can, at times, seem unsettling, in many ways, it is the greatest gift life offers us. For it is with change that opportunities emerge.

I consider this most recent personal vocational change to be an incredible gift. To be in this role, at this unique moment in history, with almost every aspect of our lives changing due to the pandemic, doors are opening, and pathways never before imagined are available for exploration and implementation. As we head into 2023, we are facing new laws, new leadership, new members of the bench, and new societal demands and expectations

that require us to respond in new and creative ways. To quote from a recent new favorite musical “Spirited” – “imagine the possibilities!”

In this issue you will have the opportunity to read more about the changes here at CCCBA and with the court. You will meet the new CCCBA leadership and learn about their vision and intentions for guiding the organization through these evolving times. The court has been a stalwart model of managing positively through change as illustrated by former Presiding Judge Hardie who shares insight and reflects on the positives that came from the pandemic chaos. We will also meet the new members of the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench and hear from the new Presiding Judge about his goals and objectives as he takes up the baton from Judge Hardie.

I know that, together, CCCBA and the bench share the same goal of providing stability and support

as we all navigate this new and rapidly changing world. Here at CCCBA we are working feverishly to ensure that we are the strongest partner possible to every member of this community. Being the new kid on the block, in me you have a new slate on which to write your vision and goals for the future. What can CCCBA do to strengthen your practice? How do we better meet your vocational and work-life balance needs to ensure wellness and peace? What do we do well that we shouldn’t change? I invite you to send me an email or call with any ideas/suggestions you have. As I noted above, these are unique times in which we find ourselves, and I see great possibilities for us and our community.

I look forward to working with all of you and hope you will take me up on my invitation to share ideas, goals and suggestions.

JANUARY 2023 6 As the world emerges from the pandemic, we at the CCCBA are focusing on delivering benefits that matter to you. If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2023, now is the time! We look forward to your continued membership and wish you a very happy new year! Here are just some of the many benefits of CCCBA membership: • Free Fastcase legal research (a $995 value!) • Our Lawyer Referral & Information Service • CCCBA’s Professional Referral Organization • Education and networking opportunities for business development • Community support through Diversity and Pro Bono efforts • Member benefits and discounts Renew Your CCCBA Membership Today!

Get to Know Presiding Judge Ed Weil

It’s an honor to have been selected by my colleagues as Assistant Presiding Judge, and now as Presiding Judge for 2023 and 2024 . My colleagues also have selected our incoming Assistant Presiding Judge, Christopher Bowen, who will become Presiding Judge in 2025 and 2026 .

The last two years have posed many challenges, and we owe a great debt to Presiding Judge Rebecca Hardie, who deftly guided the court through her two-year term, which occurred entirely during the COVID pandemic. This required careful adherence to the directives of the local health department and the CDC, as well as development of new procedures and methods for assuring public access to the court. Because we were able to keep the court open and functioning, as we return to something more “normal,” the back-up of justice delayed is much smaller than it otherwise might have been.

The silver lining to this cloud is that the court has vastly increased its use of remote technology in case management conferences, hearings, and even trials. We won’t completely return to pre-pandemic procedures. Use of remote technology has not only kept us healthier, but has enabled counsel and litigants to much more efficiently argue and participate in their cases. Most recently, courtrooms are being better equipped to handle “hybrid” hearings, i.e., those in which some participants are in the courtroom while others participate by remote technology, with those people able to see the judge, witness, and attorneys.

Another accomplishment of Judge Hardie and our great Court Executive Officer, Kate Bieker, is the implementation of the Odyssey case management system, which has brought electronic filing to our county and is resulting in a paperless court system.

And it goes without saying (although I’ll say it anyway) that none of this could have been done without the extraordinary effort of our dedicated court staff. They

have been on the front lines of procedural changes during the pandemic. They have learned how to operate the new courtroom technology. They have learned the Odyssey system, which, while it ultimately will free them from handling paperwork, has required extensive training and learning. Kudos to all of them!

The past year has seen the retirement of Judges Barry Baskin, Anita Santos, Terry Canepa, Judy Johnson, and Steve Austin. All great losses to the court! As a result, we currently have five vacancies among 38 authorized positions. It was six vacancies, but on October 7, the Governor announced the appointment of one of our current Commissioners, Ayana Young. We’re incredibly pleased to have her, and she will immediately tackle her assignment in the Family Law Division. Still, because we have several vacancies, and expect more next year, we will have to strive mightily to continue to provide access to justice.

In October, Governor Newsom signed judicial pension reform legislation, which will ease the previously very strict “cliff vesting” provision of the judicial retirement system, which required judges to remain on the bench until at least age 65, and often 70. This will take effect in 2024, and may result in more judicial retirements. We expect that our county will continue to have an outstanding and diverse bench.

My background? Having now been a judge for thirteen years, I have held a variety of assignments. After an initial stint in the old Pittsburg courthouse in 2009, I served in Richmond from 2010 through 2012, the


Presiding Judge Ed Weil

Continued from page 7

last year as Supervising Judge. I then served in Family law from 2013 through 2015, again serving as Supervising Judge in the last year. In 2016, I moved to an assignment of civil litigation half-time and Probate cases half-time. This included the LPS calendar as well as probate trials sent to me by the main probate department, then heard by Judge Sugiyama. Throwing in an occasional criminal trial, it was an assignment with a lot of variety. In May of 2018, with the retirement of Judge Barry Goode, I took over the Complex Litigation Department, which consists primarily of cases designated as complex under the rules of Court: class actions, wage & hour cases, construction defect

cases, and environmental cases. For most of this time, I also served on the court’s Appellate Division, which hears appeals in misdemeanor and limited jurisdiction matters.

Before my appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger, I worked for the State Attorney General’s Office for 21 years, all in the Environment Section, litigating civil matters enforcing environmental laws. Before that, I spent four years at what was then known as San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation (now part of Bay Area Legal Aid). From 1980 to 1984, I worked in Washington, D.C., for the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.

My higher education all came from the University of California Berkeley, where I obtained a Bache-

lor’s Degree in Political Science (with Honors in the Major and Distinction in General Scholarship), class of ’76, my law degree (’79) and a Master’s Degree in City & Regional Planning (’80).

I live with my wonderful wife Maureen. I have two adult children, and recently became a grandfather for the first time.

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Learning by Doing: An Experiential Trial Practice Course

March 9, 10, 11, 2023

A three-day practicum presented by the CCCBA Education Committee and the CCCBA Litigation Section

• Thursday, March 9, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

• Friday, March 10 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

• Saturday, March 11, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm



CA 94520

This course will be based on experiential learning, and will therefore be in-person, intensive, immersive, and interactive. It is designed for practitioners with litigation experience and/or evidentiary hearing experience with some trial experience preferred. Students will learn from experienced faculty providing very brief lectures or demonstrations, but most of the learning will be by students on their feet working on exercises covering components of trial practice. This course will also feature limited enrollment and corresponding low student-instructor ratio, making this a first of its kind course for CCCBA and one you will not want to miss. The lead instructor and program designer Jonathan Lee, a longtime civil litigator and more recently federal prosecutor, along with a faculty of distinguished trial lawyers and jurists who will take 16 participants from voir dire to closing argument, honing skills at every turn.

Applications for the class will gauge experience and commitment. Those invited to register must commit firmly to attend all sessions. The subject matter will be a personal injury case, with civil rules of evidence governing. The material will not be jurisdiction-specific - universal concepts will be emphasized. The course will focus on jury trials but will include discussion of how a case tried to the court will be different.

Volunteers will be used to bring the exercises and trial to as much realism as is possible. For example, in the final trials, volunteers include individuals who have scientific expertise and have been qualified to testify in court to serve in expert witness roles.

Direct Exam 1 – Core concepts – bring everyone to same baseline

Direct Exam 2 – Challenges / Potential difficult situations

Cross 1 – Core concepts bring everyone to same baseline

Cross 2 – Challenges / Potential difficult situations

Trial Objections

Applications Due

February 9, 2023. Contact Anne K. Wolf at awolf@, or visit www.

Experts 1 – Core concepts bring everyone to same baseline

Experts 2 – Challenges / Potential difficult situations

Jury Address 1 – Core Concepts Openings, Closing Argument including rebuttal / Bench Trial

Jury Address 2 – Challenges / Potential difficult situations

Trial Presentation

JANUARY 2023 10
10-13 Hours
Lecture/Demo Breakout/exercise/practice Group
Building Conference Rooms, 2300 Clayton Road Concord,
Pricing $595 Members (1st priority) $795 Non-Members MCLE Credit
Learning Modality
debrief Mock Trial
Course Content Voir Dire Evidence MIL



CCCBA Board President 2023 “Stay Positive”

That is his answer to the question, “What is your favorite quote?” And frankly, that doesn’t surprise me. I am pleased and honored to be writing an article about our incoming Board President, David Erb. This quote is just one of the fascinating tidbits I learned in this article-producing process. Employing exhaustive research and journalistic skills, I did my ‘background’ research by inviting him to lunch for an interview. (Creative and unique, I know!)

I first met David when he was the President of the Family Law Section Board of Directors. Though I was only doing IT support work for the Family Law Section at that time, I did have opportunity to meet and work with him directly. The lasting impression from that brief experience was that he was an optimistic, energetic, and focused attorney. After the lunch ‘interview’ we shared, that perspective was further cemented.

Born in Chicago, David and his family moved to the Alamo/ Danville area in his 8th grade year. David received his undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University in finance. While exploring options after his undergraduate studies,

he recalled the many summers he spent working for his grandfather at Farmers Insurance. During those summers, his grandfather encouraged him to attend law school. David decided to do just that and has never looked back.

As he was securing his educational degrees at Santa Clara University, David developed two relationships that would change the course of his life both personally and professionally. First, and most significantly, he met his wife, Justine. Second, during his Law School experience, he had a law professor who thought David would excel being a Family Law Attorney and that is the direction he pursued.

David credits much of his successful start as a Family Law attorney here in Contra Costa County to his involvement with the CCCBA. Upon graduation, he decided to open his own practice and connected with CCCBA to participate in the Family Law Moderate Means Program. He also joined the Lawyer Referral Services Panel and the Criminal Conflicts Panel. He states, “I credit my involvement with the CCCBA in teaching me how to practice law and grow a law practice.”

During his vocational and educational journey, David spent several years as a business valuation analyst, at various firms including Burr, Pilger, Mayer, Inc. He prepared valuations for compliance, litigation and strategic purposes. It was this experience combined with his legal work that caught the attention of the Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada firm. He was recruited to join the firm and is now the Partner in charge of the East Bay Office. He truly enjoys the work as it combines both his experience in finance and business with his extensive legal background.

Outside of his vocational and community-focused efforts, David spends time with his family of two young children, Callie (3) and Carter (1). The fur-family-member is a Cavapoo by the name of ObiWanKenobi who has graced their life with laughter and joy for four years. David’s interests include tennis and running, but mostly finding and creating memories with his kids.

For his tenure as President for the CCCBA in 2023, David is looking to leverage the fact that we are able to meet in person again, and work


David Erb

Continued from page 11

to continue to build and enhance the important relationships that make our community so strong. From effective relationships with the Judges to ensuring inclusion and diversity on our Boards and Committees, David knows that the future success of CCCBA hinges on those who are involved.

As we all emerge from the darkness of the pandemic-shutdown and face the many changes in our community, I know that David is the right person at the right time to help CCCBA continue to grow and thrive in our community.

Jody Iorns is the Executive Director of the CCCBA.

Quick Questions with David

Mountains or Beach? Beach.

Delivery or sit-down restaurant? Sit-down

Board games or card games? Board.

Paperback book or eBook? Paper.

Summer or Winter? Summer

Broccoli or green beans? Both.

Tacos or wings? Tacos

Cake or pie? Cake.

Call or text? Text

Cats or dogs? Dogs.

Rock or hip hop? Hip hop

What is your favorite food? Italian.

What’s something I would never guess about you? I held the high jump record and most tennis serves in a row record at my grade school.

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into? Playing the piano

What’s your most hated household chore? Folding laundry

What’s your favorite TV show? Survivor.

What is your favorite season of the year? Summer

If you could shrink down any animal and carry it around in your pocket, which one would you choose? Lion

What is your favorite quote? Stay positive

JANUARY 2023 12
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A Tenure of Challenge & Change

In 2018, when I agreed to serve as Presiding Judge, I had hoped to explore opportunities to improve on our court operations and to make the work processes more efficient and sustainable for court employees, bench officers, and court users. I did not envision I would have to develop and implement various health mandates or enforce compliance with the ever-changing COVID-19 related policies. Incivility and polarization was on the rise in the years leading up to the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-related mandates and disruption seem to have amplified the discord occurring in our work and larger community lives since March of 2020.

In January 2021, as my tenure as Presiding Judge began, the court was in the midst of its second extended period of limited operations due to the record-high spread of COVID-19 and alarming death rate. Jury trials were suspended from December 2020 until early March 2021; housing modules at the county jail were, at various times, under quarantine to stop the spread of the disease; and

yet criminal filings continued and most out-of-custody defendants, including those charged with misdemeanor offenses, asserted their right to a speedy trial, resulting in a concerning backlog of cases.

There was, however, a general misconception that somehow e-filing linked the filing process directly into the court’s case management system, and that by hitting “send” the document would automatically populate in the official court electronic file.

Change is hard in the best of times; it is excruciatingly difficult and near impossible when it comes at a time of

unpredictability, and unprecedented incivility and fear. But with the assistance and commitment of our court employees and bench officers, we persevered. The court undertook two significant changes in its operations: implementation of a new case management system (Odyssey) which included launching e-filing, and a new calendaring system of felony criminal cases through direct assignment. The groundwork for these changes had been laid prepandemic by other presiding judges, a Court Executive Officer long-since retired, and an Executive Committee comprised of many members who are no longer with the court. Those court leaders could not have contemplated that implementation of these ambitious initiatives would fall at a time when asking more of employees, and the patience of judges and other stakeholders, was perhaps too much for many.

The court’s antiquated case management system (LJIS and ICMS) was obsolete and on life-support. The court was beholden to the county

Continued on page 14

Challenge & Change

Continued from page 13

for its mainframe and critical operational support. The system was extremely limited in its usefulness to the court, though the court’s stakeholders became dependent on it for many of their internal needs. LJIS (and ICMS) was imbedded in the court’s daily operations and heavily utilized by stakeholders, leaving little to no appetite – and at times resistance -- to turn to new technology and software. The Court’s Executive Officer Kate Bieker, the Court’s IT team, managers, and many employees who agreed to assist in the hard work of preparation and implementation of the new Odyssey system worked tirelessly to prepare for the launch. Contra Costa Superior Court is the only court to implement Odyssey in all case types at once. Other California courts opted for a more conservative approach, implementing Odyssey one case type at a time. Although a gradual implementation might have been less initial work, it would have extended disruptions and inefficiencies. Our court’s ambitious approach paid off, and Odyssey is now up and running. There are issues that need to be resolved--as anticipated--but the success of the Odyssey rollout is beyond even our most optimistic hopes.

E-filing was likely the most-anticipated upgrade to court operations that attorneys were anxiously awaiting given the convenience of electronic processing of pleadings. There was, however, a general misconception that somehow e-filing linked the filing process directly into the court’s case management system, and that by hitting “send” the document would automatically populate in the official court electronic file. As is the case in all courts that offer e-filing,

documents are first reviewed by court clerks in the electronic format to ensure compliance with the California Rules of Court, local rules, and standing orders before the pleadings are accepted for filing. This process is no different from the process utilized when filing hardcopy documents presented at the windows in court clerks’ offices, and it takes significant court resources. And although there has been much consternation about the time lag between hitting “send” until the document is uploaded and accessible through a justice partner or public portal, Contra Costa County Superior Court has one of the quickest turnaround times from submission to uploading into the court’s case management system (Odyssey).

Perhaps even more ambitious was the implementation of a new case assignment system in the felony criminal cases. Before 2021, all case types filed with the court except criminal cases were assigned directly to departments to manage cases from initial filing through resolution. This type of case assignment is called direct assignment or direct calendar. In contrast, criminal cases of all types were managed through a “master calendar” system. Cases were assigned to different departments for every hearing, often resulting in as many as six or more judges ruling on bail issues, motions, managing plea negotiations, and presiding over the trial. This approach involved reliance on “calendar departments” to manage large volume calendars consisting of pretrial motions, pretrial conferences, and change of pleas. Cases were set multiple times requiring significant staff resources in calendar prep and system updates. Master trial calendar call required significant “air traffic control” as the assigning judge juggled trial assignments to open departments and re-assignments as attorneys filed last-minute preemptory challenges to open departments. For

the receiving trial departments, it was feast or famine with no predictability or control over the flow of cases or case resolution. It was extremely rare that the trial judge would have any familiarity with the underlying facts or legal issues in the case before it landed in their courtroom the day of trial. No felony cases were calendared in the branch courthouses for any hearing after the preliminary hearing and there were no felony trials held in the Richmond or Pittsburg courthouses. Witnesses, victims, and defendants were required to manage transportation to Martinez regardless of where the alleged criminal offense occurred.

A workgroup of several judges was convened in January 2019 to assess the criminal case assignment system. Each member was tasked with researching other courts that utilized direct calendar assignment. After months of researching the issue, the workgroup presented their findings to the Executive Committee in November 2019, and the committee voted to implement direct calendar in felony cases. The Executive Committee determined that there should be an implementation date set to ensure the new calendaring system proceeded as planned. It voted to commence the new calendaring system effective January 1, 2021. As fate would have it, the implementation date fell during a pandemic and at a time when court operations were upended by closure mandates, jury trial suspensions, social distancing, masking mandates, housing quarantines at the county jail, and the like. Despite these challenges, the court implemented the new calendaring system.

In the late months of 2020, all pending felony cases were reviewed and assigned to a trial department for all purposes. Starting January 2021, newly filed felony cases are now assigned to a trial department at the arraignment hearing. All

JANUARY 2023 14

post-arraignment hearings are held in the assigned trial department, from preliminary hearing through resolution whether by plea or trial, including in the branch courthouses. Departments are now able to manage their own calendars and workflow. Judges can engage in meaningful plea discussions with the parties because they know the facts and legal issues of the cases assigned to them. Parties have predictability and consistency in their cases because they appear before the same judge for the life of the case, unlike our prior master calendar system when cases were handed off to a different judge for every hearing. The workload is much more evenly distributed among the felony trial departments as opposed to one calendar depart-

ment that managed high-volume pretrial conferences and hearings.

Over the last two years, the court managed to not only stave off disaster brought about by the worst public health crisis to hit modern civilization in a century, but also to implement significant changes in its operations to the benefit of the court, our court users, and the public. As a member of the Executive Committee of Trial Court Presiding Judges, I have had the opportunity to learn and understand the struggles of the trial courts in California. With a record-high vacancy rate of judicial seats on our bench, and despite the challenges to court operations during COVID-19, our court

managed more jury trials than most courts in California. I can state with much pride and respect for our court and its employees that our court has done an exemplary job in serving our community and affording the public access to justice to which all are entitled. These last two years were not what I expected, but I am very grateful for the hard work and dedication of our court team during this tumultuous, but ultimately productive, time. I am confident that incoming Presiding Judge Ed Weil and his Assistant Presiding Judge Christopher Bowen will continue to look for ways to improve court services for the community we serve.


In Memoriam

The CCCBA honors the following members we lost in the past year

Barbara S. Bryant, 1949 - 2022

Judge Garrett Grant, 1942 - 2022

Maurice Huguet, 1936 - 2022

Faith Jansen-Brewer, 1953 - 2022 G. Wright Morton, 1939 - 2022

Judge Wayne A, Westover, Jr., 1927 - 2022


With heavy hearts the legal community acknowledges the passing of Maurice (Maury) Edward Huguet, Jr. on November 28, 2022, at the age of 86. He was born in Martinez in 1936, and spent his entire life in Martinez, attending Alhambra High School and then the University of California, Berkeley. He married Sharon Chew from Pasadena and shared 50 happy years together, raising their kids and being deeply involved with their grandchildren and community.

Maury was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity while at Berkeley. He was a devoted Cal football and rugby fan. Maury attended the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1962. He practiced for over 60 years at the law office of Turner and Huguet, the legacy of which remains

in downtown Martinez as Turner, Huguet, Adams, and Farr. He was also the beloved City Attorney for Clayton for over 40 years.

Maury was an active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for his entire legal career and served as a leader of the CCCBA’s Estate Planning and Probate section for many years. He was elected to the longest tenure on the Martinez School Board for 20 plus years and was the longest-serving member of the Martinez Kiwanis for 59 years, remaining active in the high school Key Club up to his passing.

A celebration of Maury’s Life will be held on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 10 am at Christ the King Catholic Church, 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill. In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations may be made to: “Maurice E. Huguet Family Scholarship Fund” care of the Martinez Kiwanis Club (P.O. Box 1886 Martinez, CA 94553

JANUARY 2023 16

Jody Iorns, CCCBA Executive Director

Simply Meant to Be

“It feels like the entirety of my vocational journey led me to this role as Executive Director of the CCCBA,” Jody Iorns said in a recent interview.

While Jody has been settling in at the CCCBA, she is finding herself running into people that she’s worked with over the years during her extensive past experience in the non-profit world. Jody has been the Executive Director with Muscular Dystrophy Association SF Greater Bay Area; Diablo Valley Foundation for the Aging; Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; and the YWCA of Sacramento. In between, she started her own business called Court Connection which turned into a position as the Administrator of the CCCBA Family Law Section. That role proved close to her heart and she kept her hand in it by producing the Family Law Section’s newsletter and website until the fall of 2022.

Another integral connection is her family link to the legal community and the court. Jody’s mother is Barbara Suskind and stepfather is Commissioner Lowell Richards (Ret.). Both Barbara and Commissioner Richards have been long-time active members of the CCCBA. Barbara, a recently retired family law attorney for 25 years, maintained a private practice and served as private judge, referee and Special Master in difficult Family Law cases. She continues to serves a a board member for the Congress of Neutrals. Commissioner Richards presided over civil harassment restraining orders, small claims, unlawful detainers, and traffic cases in the Contra Costa Superior Court for over 18 years. He also taught at the California Judicial College.

With so many connections in common, Jody and CCCBA’s past ED, Theresa Hurley have known each other since the early 1990s. They ran in the same circles

in the non-profit world, and got to know each well when their children attended the same preschool, Creative Play Center in Pleasant Hill.

Here’s another amazing coincidence. Jody was instrumental in Theresa joining the CCCBA 11 years ago, and Theresa did the same for Jody this summer. Back in 2011, Jody was working as administrator of the Family Law Section, and Theresa called to ask her about the Education and Events role at the CCCBA. “I knew she would be perfect for it,” said Jody. Fast forward to the spring of 2022, Therese Bruce, the current administrator for the Family Law Section, called Jody when she read that Theresa Hurley was leaving the CCCBA. Jody emailed Theresa asking if what she heard was true. Theresa confirmed it and, after clearing it with the hiring committee, explained the job and its challenges. “I thought it was serendipitous,” said Jody. “I was ready for something different after working for social causes for the past 30 years. My personal motto is ‘in all things effect positive change.’ To me, the CCCBA is the best of both worlds. We can partner with our members to impact social causes.”

Another key tenant Jody holds dear is her deep respect and feeling of responsibility to incorporate best practices for equity and inclusion. “As part of C3 nonprofits for many years, there has been a constant and consistent conversation around how to reach the underserved. Every nonprofit I’ve ever worked with has prioritized it and my goal is always to make our community safe and inclusive,” she said.

Although she admits she is no expert, over the past two years Jody has formalized and developed a framework to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Jody Iorns with her son Drew

Jody Iorns

She took many courses so she “could grasp and understand the issues to effectively communicate them while honoring and respecting the people who are trying to affect change.”

As for her goals for the CCCBA, Jody said, “we are coming out of post shutdown and merging into a new landscape for the bar and society at large. The significant tenant for the bar is to continue to grow and build inclusion for the members, and ensure we respond to changes in the community to be effective partners to our members. We need to recognize changes our members are facing and learn new ways we can be an effective and strong partner. And we need to reach out to younger members – find a way to capture and grow the spirit

Elder Law is

and energy that younger generations inevitably bring to our business.

By far Jody’s favorite “job” is being a mom to her “three incredible kids.” Tori, 22 years old, is living and working in Tucson, Arizona. She goes to school part time and works as a hostess in a restaurant. She is the proud fur mom to a dog and a cat.

Drew is 18 years old and will go to DVC in the spring. He loves anime and is looking at a business degree or for a new vocational experience. He is a “lemonade from lemons” kind of kid.

Her youngest, Izzy, is almost 16. She is a sophomore in high school, extra bright and creative. She loves to dance, art, and is focused on friends, school and getting her driver’s license.

Jody has a dog, two cats, and a bunny in “a tiny home with lots of animals.” Her family is her “number one priority, number one responsibility and number one blessing.”

Jody said, “I always credit my mom for my vocational journey. In college, while serving on the student government board of directors, I was overwhelmed with the many societal issues facing our community, from single moms trying to get an education; to Earth Day; to on-campus violence; alcohol abuse; and so on. After listening to my angst and worry, my mom simply said, ‘so what are you going to do about it?’ And I realized that, while I couldn’t fix everything, I had the power to focus on and hopefully positively impact one issue at a time.

The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there’s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 10% of the population age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. Of the 5.5 million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the majority live at home — often receiving care from family members.

Protect your loved ones, home and independence, call elder law attorney LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL J. YOUNG, INC., a Professional Law Corporation Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Medi-Cal, Long-term Care & VA Planning 925.256.0298 1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California 94596

“It’s like the Rock of Gibraltar – the rock representing all of the world’s ills,” Jody said. “On our own we cannot manage a big problem like that. But if each of us had a chisel and we each focus on the issue we want to fix, together we could make a big impact and bring ‘the rock’ down to a manageable size.

“So I have my own little chisel and I work away. I know there are millions like me. It gives me hope and faith to get through these challenging times. When push comes to shove, we can each lend a hand to those in need and make a significant difference.”

Carole Lucido is the Communications Director of the CCCBA.

JANUARY 2023 18
from page 17
Alzheimer’s Planning

The CCCBA Board of Directors establishes strategic policies, sets goals and works to achieve them, reviews the performance of our Executive Director, and approves and provides oversight of our budget. Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month,

to the Board

except in August and December. CCCBA members are invited to attend and may submit topics for the agenda. Nominations for new board members are accepted in May of each year, when there are openings on the board. For more information, visit cccba-leadership/board-of-directors/

Ariel Brownell Lee

owns and operates the Law Office of Ariel Brownell, a family law firm in Walnut Creek, California. Ariel is a Certified Specialist in Family Law in her 10th year of practice. Ariel enjoys family law because it allows her to effect positive change in her clients’ lives.

Ariel is an active member of the local legal community. She is a Board Member and Programs Chair of the Family Law Section, the immediate past President of the Barristers’ Section, past President of the Women’s Section, serves on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, serves on the Education Committee, and is a former delegate of Contra Costa for the California Conference of Bar Associations.

Ann Harding Battin

became a lawyer after realizing that it would be the best way to use her talents and skills. After working in professional theatre and film in New York, for Home Box Office and other companies, it became clear to her that many of the people she came in contact with simply needed guidance to achieve better results in business and personal matters.

Ann graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law in 1988 and passed the bar that November. Her practice is spread over the Civil and Probate divisions, includes litigation, and if it touches real property, she says she has probably dealt with it. Ann’s client base is individuals and small business owners, and while her Spanish is limited, several members of her staff speak it fluently.

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Discovery Facilitator Program

On March 23, 2020, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye issued her first of hundreds of emergency orders on behalf of California trial courts related to the State of California’s COVID-19 shutdown. By April 30, 2022 most of those orders had been rescinded. Despite the return to “normalcy,” the myriad repercussions from the shutdown, delays to trials, discovery, and unavailability of lawyers and witnesses have continued to have an enduring effect on litigation. On the bright side, our courtrooms are now up and running at 110% – and many of the backlogged cases are being tried. Most weeks, jurors are summoned and sworn, cases tried and verdicts returned. This is very satisfying for litigants to finally be given their day in court. Hopefully, we will continue to chip away at this backlog.

Further, although much of the delayed discovery is finally proceeding, the need to accelerate some discovery has increased the workloads of already busy attorneys. All of this increased activity has likely created more havoc and pressure in an already hectic lawyer’s life. However, there is hope in the horizon!

Our bench and bar have worked cooperatively for many years and share a goal to streamline case management and maintain access to a fair and impartial justice system for all. Our Discovery Facilitator Program and Settlement Mentor Program are instrumental to achieving these goals. These programs are effective at reducing the cost of litigation and, as well, assisting parties to arrive at mutually satisfying settlements of their cases. Now, more than ever, we encourage attorneys to familiarize themselves

with these programs, use them, and, if time permits, volunteer to serve as a discovery facilitator and/or a settlement mentor.

Civil Discovery Disputes

Even before our courtroom closures, our court realized that we needed to help parties resolve their cases and avoid protracted, costly discovery disputes. In 2013, the Discovery Facilitator Program (“DFP”) was instituted. Rule 3.300, et seq. of the Local Rules of Court, outlines the requirements and expectations for use of the DFP.

The purpose of the DFP is to allow parties and counsel to resolve discovery disputes in a manner that is more cost-effective, efficient, and participant-controlled than a standard discovery motion, and also avoids the risk of sanctions inherent in the formal discovery motion practice.

The DFP is mandatory, with the following exemptions:

(a) Cases in which there has been no response to discovery requests. Motions to compel under Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 2030.290(b) or 2031.300(b) shall be filed directly with the court.

(b) Cases in which trial is less than sixty (60) days away.

(c) Motions necessitated solely by a third party’s refusal to comply with a subpoena.

(d) Those disputes specifically exempted by the trial judge.


Discovery Facilitator Program

Continued from page 21

For any exception, the moving party must include “Exempt from Discovery Facilitator Program” on the Notice of Motion.

CCC Local Rule 3.301

Discovery facilitators are experienced attorneys who volunteer their time for up to four hours. If the dispute is expected to take more than four hours, the discovery facilitator may decline your case. If there are additional disputes, the discovery facilitator must be paid and the agreement regarding compensation satisfactorily arranged by parties.

Besides reviewing the Local Rules, the court encourages you to access a helpful web page on our Superior Court of California – Contra Costa County website: https:// Here you will find all of the forms you need to initiate and complete the DFP process including the Discovery Facilitator Application (ADR-601), a list of approved volunteers, etc. If you use the services of a discovery facilitator and have feedback for the court, we provide a survey (ADR603) for suggestions as to how to improve the program.

The DFP would not exist without the invaluable work of the lawyers from the bar who volunteer as discovery facilitators. Long-time CCCBA member and CCCBA Officer David Pearson has volunteered as a discovery facilitator since the program’s inception. Mr. Pearson reports that he initially volunteered because he wanted “to give back to the community and assist the court to reduce the volume of simple disputes.” Mr. Pearson comments

that “the discovery facilitator program allows me to take matters I have the time for as it is only a small investment of time – usually two or three hours per matter accepted.” After over eight years of working as a discovery facilitator, Mr. Pearson reports that he has benefitted from his work as a discovery facilitator because “acting as a discovery facilitator has made me a much better practitioner seeing the disputes that arise and how counsel could have avoided them.” Mr. Pearson encourages attorneys to consider volunteering for the program. He further comments that the program provides “a third-party perspective without the emotional involvement” that may arise in his own cases.

Settlement Mentors

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to the different ways people can resolve disputes without a trial. Common ADR processes include mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation. These processes are generally confidential, less formal, and less stressful than traditional court proceedings. ADR often saves money and speeds settlement. In mediation, parties play an important role in resolving their own disputes. This often results in creative solutions, longer-lasting outcomes, greater satisfaction, and improved relationships. The Contra Costa Superior Court encourages parties involved in lawsuits to use ADR to resolve their disputes without trial.

Our court offers parties access to free media tion and other ADR services in small claims, unlawful detainer, harassment, as well as limited and unlimited civil and commercial law disputes. All ADR panel members must meet the training, education, and experience requirements for the mediation

panels on which they sit as settlement mentors.

Our settlement mentors give of their time and talents to improve access to the court. Mr. Gary Sanders (who is also a member of the CCCBA) has volunteered as a settlement mentor with the court for years and has found it very gratifying. He enjoys “encouraging the parties to come to a compromised settlement and assisting pro per litigants who have not typically learned to negotiate dispute resolutions in a judicial setting.” Mr. Sanders also values this work as an opportunity to “give back” to the legal community. Mr. Sanders notes that his work as a settlement mentor has allowed him to “quickly identify opportunities to settle” which has improved his performance as a mediator. He has further remarked that his private mediation caseload has increased due to attorneys on the assigned cases who later hire him for private mediations. Mr. Sanders encourages other civil attorneys interested in growing their mediation practice to volunteer for the program.

Along with Mr. Pearson and Mr. Sanders, the court encourages other experienced attorneys to consider applying to be on our panels of discovery facilitators and settlement mentors. For those of you currently volunteering, we thank you on behalf of the parties with cases before the court, and the public whose access to their justice system you have supported. All of the judges in the civil department are grateful for your service.

Judge Clare Maier is assigned to a civil department at the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

JANUARY 2023 22


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My Journey to the Bench

I decided at the early age of 8 years old, after some “encouragement” from my parents, that I wanted to be an attorney. I’m an advocate by nature and always believed I would be a good attorney because of that. But when I got to college in the 90’s at San Francisco State, I changed my mind. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew the sky was the limit. I came from a strict upbringing, so when I got to college, out on my own and away from my parents, life became an adventure. There was so much out in the world that I had not been aware of. I wanted to dabble in everything and really find my passion. While dabbling in college, I became a mother, twice. I had my first son the summer before my sophomore year of college and my second son the summer before my senior year of college. I changed my major a few times and was really serious about becoming a weather newscaster. I even worked for KPIX channel 5 in San Francisco as a weather producer, but ultimately decided the hours weren’t conducive to my life. I either had to be there very early in the morning or very late into the night, neither of which worked for this single mom of two little boys.

Being a single mom came with its own challenges and I found myself sitting in the lobby of the Contra

Costa County Department of Child Support Services. While going through this time in my life, I was brought back full circle as to why I wanted to be an attorney in the first place. I wanted to help people; I needed to help myself. I realized in order to help myself and other parents going through a similar situation, I had to become an attorney.

It took a couple of years from that point of realization for law school to happen, and by the time I started law school, I was married to an absolute wonderful man and was pregnant again. But I made it and was determined to become an attorney.

I attended John F. Kennedy School of Law’s night school sessions in Walnut Creek. Thank goodness for night school because without it, I wouldn’t be able to take care of the needs of my kids during the day. I loved law school and did very well despite being pregnant every year of school and having three more sons. One of my favorite subjects was evidence which was taught by our very own Honorable Virginia George of the Contra Costa Superior Court. I wish I could say I passed the bar the very first time, but I didn’t. I passed the second time, but what a victory it was.

I was 31 years old when I passed the bar and it was 2008, the year of a recession. I remember hearing about

hundreds of attorneys being laid off; I had no idea what I was going to do. Especially since, not only did I need a job, but I needed one with a flexible schedule. Luckily, I met this attorney in San Joaquin County who was striving to help people who couldn’t afford expensive legal fees but needed help just the same. He let me set up shop in his office, “threw” me some cases, and helped me as I learned to be a practicing attorney. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago. I wish he were here to see me now; he’d be so proud. He had a paralegal in his office at the time, whom I am still great friends with to this day. She took me to the law library, showed me how to research; I always tell people that it was this paralegal who taught me how to become an attorney. If you didn’t know, paralegals make things happen in law offices. I don’t think they always get the credit they deserve, so this is my shout out to them.

Over the years my office grew. I classified my office as a general civil practice where my main areas of practice were Family Law, Personal Injury, Estate Planning and violations of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. I enjoyed being a lawyer but always knew I wanted to be a part of resolving matters versus advocating for

JANUARY 2023 24

clients. You could definitely say the black robe was always on my mind. Having my own practice resulted in a broad range of experience because of the different areas of law I was exposed to. I was sometimes frustrated and wished I could just focus on one area, but I was determined to help people with their issues and their issues were not always encompassed in just one area of law. I had no idea at the time that I was being prepared for my work as a pro tem, commissioner and eventually a judge. Although I had countless hearings and bench trials over my career, I hadn’t had the jury trial experience like that of prosecutors and public defenders. I knew I would have to create my own path to the bench. As my 10th year of practice approached, I began preparing myself to become a pro tem. I became a pro tem in both Contra Costa County as well as Solano County and it was around that time in 2019 that I submitted my application to be appointed as judge.

As a pro tem, I presided over small claims, unlawful detainers actions and traffic cases. After working as a pro tem, I thought getting more experience in child support would help me obtain a position as commissioner, which would get me closer to becoming a judge. In February of 2021, I started working for the Alameda County Department of Child Support Services and worked there until November of 2021 when I was hired as commissioner in Contra Costa. As commissioner, I had 10 calendars a week and I loved it. I presided over traffic, small claims, unlawful detainers, domestic violence restraining orders and misdemeanor arraignments. I was also being trained to preside over misdemeanor trials. It was a great experience and I loved being a commissioner and the staff I worked with. We were truly a team and they helped me to become a better commissioner. I have essentially been training for the last few years to be a judge, and I’m so grateful for my time as a pro tem and commissioner.

On October 7, 2022 nearly three years after applying, I was appointed as judge to the Superior Court of the County of Contra Costa. It’s hard for me to articulate, and I don’t know if I can articulate what that means to me and my family, and my parents who encouraged me at a young age to be an attorney. My husband who held us down (still holds us down) while attending law school and having baby after baby. My in-laws who helped me pay for the Bar Passers program that prepared me to pass the bar the second time around. My siblings and kids who encouraged me and motivated me to keep pressing on even when times were rough. This appointment means the world to me, to my family and to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way.

My journey to the bench was taken by a road less traveled but thankfully I got here just the same. Many judges

graduate from law school in their twenties, I was in my thirties. I would venture to say that most judges didn’t go to night school for law school, but I did. Most judges were prosecutors and public defenders, but I had a solo practice. I hope in reading about my journey, you were not only able to smile and get to know me a little better, but also realize that everyone’s path is different. If you work hard, have integrity, stay determined and focused, treat people with respect and kindness, you can and will accomplish your goals. My first assignment as a judge is in family law (talk about full circle). As I embark on this new journey as judge, my declaration upon my life and career is that I will continue to have this desire to serve the people and to sit on this Bench with humility.


2023 Section Leaders



Nathan Scheg

Ironhorse Law Group PC


Gary A. Watt

Hanson Bridgett


Carl Gustafson Lincoln Law, LLP

BARRISTERS/ Young Lawyers

Indy Grace Colbath The Law Office of Indy Colbath


Marta Vanegas

Vanegas Law Group

Ashley J. Bargenquast Tully & Weiss


Kathryn A. Schofield Schofield Law Group


Margaret J. Grover mgrover@ Grover Workplace Solutions


Esther L. Kim Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr

Tracy S. Regli Acuna & Regli


Billie-Jean Lee Lee Family Law, Inc.

JANUARY 2023 26

We are proud to introduce and thank these new and returning section leaders for 2023. CCCBA’s sections are truly the life blood of our organization. For up to date details on section leadership, events and programs, visit each section’s page on the CCCBA website.


Joseph R. Snyder

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton


Rhonda Wilson-Rice Law Office of Rhonda Wilson-Rice


Stephen A. Bonkowski sbonkowski@ Brothers Smith LLP

Patricia Ruiz Calzada Law Office of Patricia Ruiz Calzada, Inc.


Randy Sullivan

Patton Sullivan Brodehl LLP


Hon. Richard Flier (Ret.) ADR Services, Inc.


Heidi Coad-Hermelin

Hermelin Law Firm Anina Dalsin Dalsin Law


Ryan W. Lockhart McKenna Brink Signorotti LLP

Jay Suen Youngman Roberts Suen, LLP


Pamela Ross pross

All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc.


If you are a law student in the Bay Area and are interested in partnering with the CCCBA, please contact Anne Wolf at


The Benefits of Membership

All of the businesses featured here offer discounts to CCCBA members that would not otherwise be available. Simply identify yourself as a current CCCBA member to the participating business at the time of your transaction. Having trouble? Contact CCCBA Communications Director Carole Lucido at

Airport Parking

Expresso Airport Parking 195 98th Ave Oakland, CA 94603 Web:

Discount: Receive a 25% discount when you join the Big Shot Rewards Program as a CCCBA member. Sign up here.

Park SFO

195 North Access Rd. South San Francisco, CA 94080 Phone: (800) 996-9214

Discount: Free two-year membership in PARK SFO Club (normally $100.00 a year), personalized PARK SFO membership card, free upgrade from standard parking to valet parking. For more information visit parksfo. com.


Provident Credit Union

CCCBA members have access to Provident Credit Union memberships and services.

Matthew Herrera 303 Twin Dolphin Drive Redwood Shores, CA 94065 Phone: (650) 801-7141 Email: Web:

Discount: CCCBA members will have access to an exclusive $200 new account bonus for signing up for super reward checking account.

Computer & Information Technology Consulting

Pacific Computer Consultants, Inc.

David Jordan

Phone: (925) 215-3559 x101 Email: Web:

Discount: Free, no obligation 20 point cyber-security audit and one month free of Dark Web credential monitoring with any signed service agreement. Valid for firms of 10 or more computers.

PC Service Center

Roy Brown 1932 Contra Costa Blvd Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Phone: (925) 609-8287 Website:

Discount: CCCBA members receive a 15% discount off of published prices.

JANUARY 2023 28

Filing Services

Bay Area File

• Personalized service on location at the Contra Costa and Alameda Superior Courts

• Advanced technology for the upcoming efiling system

• eFile on our website for all California approved courts

• Long lasting relationships with court clerks and supervisors

Paul Thornton

Email: Telephone: (804) 402-3406 Web:

Discount: CCCBA members who sign up for an account online at will receive one free standard service of process within Contra Costa County.

Insurance - Professional (E&O), General Liability, Property & Workers Compensation

Law Firm Support & Operations

Abogados NOW

Abogados NOW is the nation’s leader in bilingual marketing for attorneys. We provide premium bilingual lead generation strategies for attorneys nationwide.

Hugo E. Gomez

Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA)

Professional Liability – Protect Yourself and Your Career.

Association Member Benefits Advi sors (AMBA) and the CCCBA are working together to provide members with direct access to this outstanding Lawyers Professional Liability Program, sponsored by the State Bar of California. You benefit from the State Bar’s buying power and oversight committee. (844) LGL-MKTG Email:

Discount: When you call, mention that you are a member of the CCCBA and have 100% of the startup fees waived when you join our program.


DLC Consulting Services, LLC (925) 676-6277


InfoTrack integrates with popular legal software to streamline eFiling, process serving, eSignatures, and more. By automatically syncing client data, case documents, and billing information, InfoTrack helps law firms improve the litigation workflow.

Lindsey Dean (415) 475-6264

Discount: CCCBA members receive 10% off InfoTrack electronic court filing, physical court filing, service of process, and electronic service orders.

Please note: Mercer’s Association business was acquired by Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA). As part of this transition, you may see both the Mercer and AMBA names/logos.

Easy Short-Form Application Competitive Rates Free On-Line MCLE Optional Cyber Liability Coverage

It’s fast and easy to get a quote. Just complete and return the application and questionnaire and return to AMBA via email or fax.

Jack Witherspoon, Product Manager

Phone: (415) 983-5658 Fax: (415) 743-7720

For info on Workers Compensation, Business Office Packages, please email calbar.workerscomp.service@

DLC Consulting Services is your on-demand COO for solo and small law firms. If you are looking for an experienced business manager to reduce the time and stress of managing your business, we are here to help you with:

• Opening a new firm

• Conducting an operational review and putting in place processes to improve efficiencies

• Accounting, billing, human resources and payroll functions

• Strategic planning and systems management to accommodate growth

• Non-biased reviews of software

• Installation, implementation and training of NetDocuments*

Discount: CCCBA members receive a 25% discount on a commitment of five hours of time or 10% discount on a NetDocuments implementation.

*NetDocuments is a highly secure cloud-based document and email management software.


Law Practice Management & Coaching

Lawyer Success Network

Lawyer Success Network has several options available for lawyers.

Jen Lee (925) 586-6738

Discount: Use discount code CCCBA_500 to save $500 or 25% on Building a Bankruptcy Practice from Start to Finish.

Law Firm Practice Management Software


Caseroads is the only all-in-one, feature rich, cloud-based legal and ADR practice management software. It is designed to support the needs of Attorneys, Mediators, and Arbitrators

Discount: Contra Costa County Bar Association members are eligible to receive a 20% discount off Caseroads’ unique single tier pricing model. With Caseroads you get it all features for one low discounted price. Go to; select partners; choose the CCCBA logo and use the code: CCCBA21


Legal Research

Legal Technology Solution Providers

Fastcase is the leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and powerful searching, sorting, and data visualization tools at your fingertips.

Its law library includes case law, statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions, and law review articles. It’s one of the largest online law libraries in the world.

Fastcase’s powerful sorting algorithms bring the best results to the top of the list every time – making research powerful, fast and easy. Find the cases you need, no matter what kind of research you’re performing.

Discount: As of March 2021, Fastcase is FREE for CCCBA members, a value of $995 per year.

Casetext Smarter, Faster Legal Research and Brief Drafting

Aron Harrity, Casetext, Inc. 548 Market St., PMB 52855 San Francisco, CA 94104 (833) 263-3827

Discount: CCCBA members receive an ongoing 25% discount on Casetext. Try it free for 14-days.

Clio Clio’s industry-leading, cloudbased legal practice management, client intake + legal CRM software streamlines law firm operations, improves productivity, and enables legal professionals to increase their revenues from one central location. With powerful tools for client intake, case management, document management, time tracking, invoicing, and online payments, Clio simplifies firm management so you can spend more time doing what you do best—practicing law.

Approved by more than 66 bar associations and legal societies, Clio provides industry-leading security, 24/7 customer support, and 200+ integrations with legal professionals’ favorite apps and platforms, including Fastcase, Dropbox, Quickbooks, and Google Apps.

Discount: Contra Costa County Bar Association members are eligible to receive a 10% discount on Clio products that will not expire, as long as you continue to be in good standing with both Clio and the CCCBA.

JANUARY 2023 30


Approved by more than 110 state, local, and specialty bars, LawPay is proud to be the preferred payment partner of more than 45,000 law firms. Designed specifically for the legal industry, LawPay provides attorneys with a simple, secure way to accept credit card and eCheck payments in their practice. LawPay understands the unique compliance and financial requirements placed on attorneys, which is why their solution was developed specifically to correctly separate earned and unearned fees, giving you peace of mind that your transactions are always handled correctly.

Discount: CCCBA members pay no monthly fee for their first three months.


3700 North Capital of Texas Highway, Suite 300 Austin, Texas 78746

Direct Line to Sales: (866) 730-4140 Email: Web:

24/7 Bilingual Receptionists for Calls, Chats, and Messages 650-727-6484

Discount: Contra Costa County Bar Association members get $100 off their first month of calls and chats with code CCCBA100. Learn more and sign up at member-benefits/cccba

Marketing & Promotions


Advertising Magic/ AdMagix Marketing

Rosalind Robe’ Boukis 1966 Tice Valley Blvd., #131 Walnut Creek, CA 94595 (925) 939-1111

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

Company Folders, Inc.

Vladimir Gendelman

22 W. Huron St., #203 Pontiac, MI 48342 (248) 738-7600

Discount: CCCBA members receive 10% off the first order, and free shipping within the continental U.S. Use the code “CCCBA” when requesting a quote.

Office and Virtual Office Solutions

Abby Connect Abby Connect provides top-rated, 24/7 receptionist services to law firms.

(877) 303-5757

Discount: CCCBA members receive 7% monthly recurring discount after 14 day free 24/7 Bilingual Receptionists for Calls, Chats, and Messages. is a superior 24/7 virtual receptionist service for law practices of all sizes, from solo attorneys to large firms. 650-727-6484 cccba

Discount: Contra Costa County Bar Association members get $100 off their first month of calls and chats with code CCCBA100, 5% off bundled services, and 10% off annual plans paid upfront.

Intelligent Office

Intelligent Office is a key player in the virtual office movement, IO offers tailored, turnkey solutions for businesses looking to customize elements of traditional office spaces and staffing.

Sierra van der Kamp 2950 Buskirk Ave., Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 407-4700

Discount: Sign up for a one year agreement for any Intelligent Office business service and get the first 4 months at 50% off. This offer applies to new members at Intelligent Office who are also members of the Contra Costa County Bar Association on a one year member agreement. This offer discounts the base monthly fee for business services and excludes dedicated office leases.


Office and Virtual Office Solutions (continued)

Victory Workspace, Home of Reliable Receptionist Shared workspace, meeting rooms and telephone receptionist services

Reliable Receptionist gives you all the benefits of a live, professional telephone Receptionist for a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee. Enhance your professional image, improve customer service, eliminate missed calls, manage your workload more effectively and convert callers to clients. Calls answered live at our Walnut Creek location, callers assisted per your instructions, calls you want privately announced and seamlessly connected in real-time.

Victor Mataraso

1261 Locust St. Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 627-4200

Discount: CCCBA Members receive 50% off initial setup fees, a $25-$75 value depending on options selected.

Print & Mail Services and Social Media Marketing

Daily Digital Imaging

We average 12.2% response, Social Media, E-mail Marketing and Direct Mail Print. DDI provides content and graphics for 12 to 16 social media posts a month that you preapprove.

(925) 935-3621

Discount: 10% discount for Social Media Marketing and/or Print and Mail Services when you identify yourself as a member of the CCCBA.



Convenient, affordable, private online therapy for members. Talk with a licensed, professional therapist online anytime, anywhere.

Discount: CCCBA members are eligible for online therapy free of charge for one month and a 15% discount off the cost after that.

Travel – Car Rental Hertz

Please visit for a complete vehicle class guide.

(800) 654-3131

Discount: CCCBA members receive up to 10% off rental car rates. Use Corporate Discount Program ID# 2133824 when making your reservations. You can use this number when reserving online, over the phone, through a travel agent, or walk-up reservations.

Contra Costa Lawyer


Editorial Calendar 2023

JANUARY 2023 32
The Contra Costa County Bar Association will feature the following topics and themes in upcoming issues of the
For advertising inquiries and a media kit,
Issue Date Theme Guest Editor (s) January 2023 The Bench & the Bar Jody Iorns and Association Issue Kate Bieker March Equal Rights? Renee Welze Livingston May Criminal Law Rachel Margolis Chapman July Pro Bono and Ray Robinson Non Profits September Debt Corrine Bielejeski November Transgender and Marta Vanegas Family Law
Contra Costa Lawyer.
visit https://www.cccba. org/cclawyer-magazine/



Miller Starr Regalia


Bowles & Verna, LLP

Hanson Bridgett, LLP

Littler Mendelson, PC McNamara, Ambacher, Wheeler, Hirsig & Gray, LLP


Brothers Smith, LLP

Brown, Gee & Wenger, LLP

Clapp Moroney Vucinich Beeman Scheley

Doyle Quane

Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Fanucci

Greenan Peffer Sallander & Lally LLP

Hartog Baer Zabronsky & Verriere, APC Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Whiting, Ross, Abel & Campbell, LLP


Acuna Regli

Barr & Young Attorneys

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Candelaria PC

Craddick, Candland & Conti

Donahue Fitzgerald, LLP

Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy

Ferber Law, APC

Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey

Horner Law Group, P.C. Law Offices of Joseph H. Wolch

Livingston Law Firm, PC Morrill Law

Patton Sullivan Brodehl LLP

Temmerman Cilley & Kohlman LLP

gratefully acknowledge our

Thank you to all who presented, planned and attended the 2022 MCLE Spectacular, back in person this year at the Walnut Creek Marriott. Clockwise from top left, CCCBA Executive Director Jody Iorns with keynote speaker Judge LaDoris Cordell (Ret.); Iorns and CCCBA Board President 2023 David Erb with keynote speaker Justice Ming Chin (Ret.) and Mark LeHocky; Justice Chin at poedium; CCCBA members in line waiting for Judge Cordell to sign copies of her book, Her Honor; panelists Nathan Scheg, Claudia Viera, Dr. Stephen H. Sulmeyer, and Mark LeHocky; (center) keynote speaker Natasha Prince.

JANUARY 2023 34
Thank You to our Sponsors Event Benefactor Event Keynote Presenter Event Patron The Key | Industrious Office | DLCCS | Hanson Bridgett | Kurniadi Realty | Judicate West | Lucent | Kilpatrick Townsend | LawPay | CCCBA Intellectual Property Section
Clockwise: Beth Parker, James Brosnahan and Margaret Grover; Toni Coaston, Emily Blake, Matt Talbott and Nathan Pastor; Neil Kalin and JR Richards, Billie-Jean Lee, Hon. Christopher Bowen and Ariel Brownell Lee; Patricia Leong, Robin Pierson and Lisa Roberts; Esther Kim, Tni Jackson, Gus Kramer; CCCBA Education and Events Director Anne Wolf with Erica Ploetz of JAMS, the Event Benefactor of the 2022 MCLE Spectacular.



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

January 19 |

Estate Planning & Probate Section

Estate Planning & Probate Lunch

Speaker: Hon. Virginia GeorgeContra Costa County Superior Court

Please join the Estate Planning and Probate Section for its Annual Probate Luncheon.

The Honorable Virginia George will provide insights and practice pointers about the workings of the Contra Costa County Probate Court. Don’t miss this always exciting event!

Time: 11:30 am – 1:15 pm

Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill

MCLE: 1 hour Estate Planning & Probate Specialization credit

Cost: $65 Estate Planning and Probate Section members | $75 Barristers | $50 Judges | $75 CCCBA members | $80 non members

Register: Online at

January 21 | CCCBA

Let’s Walk the Lafayette Reservoir

The route is approximately 2.75 miles and paved with moderately undulating elevation. Gather for coffee and conversation at 9:30 am at the picnic tables on the hilltop overlooking the water station/plumbed restrooms. Walk begins at 10:00 am. Kids, dogs and friends welcome!

Time: 9:30 am – Noon

Location: Lafayette Reservoir, 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette Register: Online at

January 25 | Bankruptcy Section

How to Get a Chapter 13 Plan Confirmed

Speaker: Martha Bronitsky

Chapter 13 Trustee Martha G. Bronitsky will outline various scenarios that keep your client’s plan from being confirmed. She will outline what information to have before filing a case; how to prepare your client’s for the process; and what makes the Chapter 13 Trustee’s Office upset.

Time: Noon – 1:15 pm, Zoom meeting

MCLE: 1 hour General credit

Cost: $20 Bankruptcy Section members | $15 Barristers | $40 CCCBA members | $55 non members

Register: Online at

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf

January 27 | CCCBA

2023 Officer Installation and Diversity Awards Luncheon

Back in-person with a virtual option

Speakers: Hon. Ed Weil | David Erb

Please join the leadership of the CCCBA and many of our local current and retired judges for this annual event which celebrates all CCCBA members!

Hear from incoming CCCBA President David Erb about what is coming up in 2023. Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Ed Weil will give a State of the Court address before swearing in the 2023 CCCBA Board of Directors and Section Leaders.

We will present the 6th Annual CCCBA Diversity Award to qualifying law firms. Don’t miss this very special annual event!

Time: 11:30 am - 1:15 pm

Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill

Cost: $40 Law Students | $55 Legal Support and Barristers | $60 Judges $65 CCCBA members | $75 non members

March 9-11 | CCCBA

Learning by Doing: An Experiential Trial Practice Course

A three-day practicum presented by the CCCBA Education Committee and the Litigation Section.

If you are interested in being one of the 16 participants, fill out the application and submit it before February 9 to Anne K. Wolf via

Location: CCCBA First Floor Conference Center, 2300 Clayton Road, Concord

More Information: See page 10.

Register: Online at

More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf

JANUARY 2023 36

Court Volunteer Appreciation Event

On Wednesday November 16, 2022, the Judges and Commissioners of the Superior Court were happy to return to the tradition of hosting a Volunteer Appreciation at the Board of Supervisor’s Chamber in appreciation for all the efforts of the many Court Volunteers!

The Contra Costa Superior Court offers its gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of volunteers from our community who contributed their time and talent to support our court and those seeking to access to the justice system. These past two years have presented unprecedented challenges and the court managed to persevere in part due to the efforts of our volunteer mediators, arbitrators, settlement mentors, temporary judges, discovery facilitators, and CASA volunteers. We thank you on behalf of the court and those who you assisted in accessing justice.

Presiding Judge Rebecca Hardie shared this message:



Where: 3445 Golden Gate Way, Lafayette Law firm since 1955.

Details: Creekside setting with ample free parking, excellent law library, easy access to intercity jogging trail. Reasonable rent. Interested? Call Stan Pedder or MacKenzie Bush at (925) 283-6816.

Advertising Space Available

Did you know that you can run classified ads in Contra Costa Lawyer and also on the CCCBA website? Classified ads run on the CCCBA website for 30 days. Members pay just $75 per month for online classified ads that can include photos or graphics. For information, please contact Carole Lucido, CCCBA Communications Director at (925) 370-2542 or clucido@

Advertising Opportunities Contra Costa Lawyer MagazinePrint and Online

Advertiser Index

The Contra Costa Lawyer is the official publication of the Contra Costa County Bar Association. It is published every other month for an audience of more than 1,500 attorneys, judges and court officials, law libraries and public officials involved with the administration of justice in Contra Costa County and has a readership of approximately 4,500 online.

Both the print and online editions of Contra Costa Lawyer have won awards of excellence from the National Association of Bar Executives.

Cost effective display and classified advertising opportunities are available in the print magazine. Online ads are available on the CCCBA’s website: View and download the complete media kit

Contact CCCBA Communications Director Carole Lucido if you have questions, or (925) 370-2542.

JANUARY 2023 38
ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Bay Area File 3 The Bray Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Casper SchwartzMeadows & Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 LawPay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Lawyers Mutual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Marble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
. . . . . . . . . . . . 18
The Law Offices of Michael J . Young Inc . . . . . . . . . . .
MEMBERS: David Erb, President David Pearson, President-Elect | Sutter Selleck, Secretary| Michael Pierson, Treasurer | Ericka McKenna, Past President DIRECTORS: Ariel Brownell Lee | Dean Christopherson | Patanisha Davis Pierson Ann Harding Battin | Jonathan Lee | Terry Leoni | Dorian Peters | David Ratner Marta Vanegas | Andrew Verriere Nathan Lawrence Scheg: ADR Gary A. Watt: Appellate Carl Gustafson: Bankruptcy Law Indy Colbath: Barristers Marta Vanegas: Business Law Ashley Bargenquast: Criminal Law Kathryn A. Schofield: Elder Law Margaret J. Grover: Employment Esther L. Kim & Tracy S. Regli: Estate Planning & Probate Billie-Jean Lee: Family Law ANNUAL OFFICER INSTALLATION & DIVERSITY AWARDS LUNCHEON Friday, January 27, 2023 11:30 am - 1:15 pm Hybrid Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road Pleasant Hill Joseph R. Snyder: Intellectual Property Rhonda Wilson-Rice: Juvenile Stephen A. Bonkowski & Patricia Ruiz Calzada: Litigation Randy Sullivan: Real Estate Hon. Richard Flier (Ret.): Senior Heidi Coad Hermelin & Anina Dalsin: Solo Practice & Small Firm Ryan W. Lockhart & Jay Suen: Taxation Pamela Ross: Women’s Presiding Judge Ed Weil will give a State of the Judiciary address before swearing in the 2023 Board of Directors and Section Leaders. We will present the 6th annual CCCBA Diversity Award to qualifying law firms. SECTION LEADERS $55 Legal Support and Barristers $60 Judges $40 Law Students $65 CCCBA Members $75 Non members REGISTER TODAY! Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road Pleasant Hill CA 94523 Questions? contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540, or visit

2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520 Concord, CA 94520

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