Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine - January 2017

Page 1

Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 30, Number 1 | January 2017

The Bar Association Issue

Best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous 2017. The Novak Wealth Management Group Perry Novak

Senior Vice President - Investments CA Insurance Lic #0A79397

Deborah LeDoux

Senior Registered Client Associate The Novak Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors 2033 North Main Street, Suite 600 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 925-746-7278 • 925-746-7201 Fax 800-325-4049 Toll Free

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.



Contra Costa  2016 BOARD of DIRECTORS Philip Andersen President James Wu President-Elect Michelle Ferber Secretary Wendy McGuire Coats Treasurer Elva K. Harding Past President Mary Carey Steven Derby Mika Domingo Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston David Marchiano

Ericka McKenna Nicole Mills Craig Nevin Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck

CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley | 925.370.2548 |

Lawyer Volume 30, Number 1 | January 2017

The official publication of the


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


Meet CCCBA’s New Board President: Philip Andersen


Meet CCCBA’s New Board Members: Mika Domingo, Nicole Mills and Craig Nevin


CCCBA’s 2017 Section Leaders by Anne K. Wolf, Education & Programs Coordinator

CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |

Barbara Arsedo Emily Day

LRIS Coordinator Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator

Carole Lucido

Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Comages

Membership Coordinator

Anne K. Wolf

Education and Programs Coordinator

Contra Costa Lawyer CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD David Pearson Marcus Brown



lawyer referral & Information Service


Meet CCCBA’s New Communications Coordinator


cccba Membership accomplishments


by Carole Lucido, Communications Coordinator

Carole Lucido

925.287.005 925.482.8950

Suzanne Boucher Inga Miller

925.933.1500 925.402.2192

Perry Novak BOARD LIAISON 925.746.0245 James Wu 925.658.0300 Samantha Sepehr 925.287.3540

COURT LIAISON Candice Stoddard Stephen Nash 925.942.5100 925.957.5600

DESIGN/ADVERTISING Carole Lucido 925.370.2542

PRINTING Steven’s Printing 925.681.1774

The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published 12 times a year – six times online-only – by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to 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.


2017 CCCBA Board President Philip Andersen with Presiding Judge Jill Fannin at the Women’s Section lunch in September in which Judge Fannin was the speaker. (Photo by Theresa Hurley.)

departments 20-21 THE YEAR IN PHOTOS 22 BAR BABIES 28

COFFEE TALK: What do you value most about your CCCBA membership?



38 Sustaining Law Firms 38


Just after the MCLE Spectacular wrapped up this year, CCCBA Executive Director Theresa Hurley hopped a plane for a 10-day adventure to Sweden. On Thanksgiving Day she volunteered to take a group of Husky puppies for a scenic walk overlooking Lake Torneträsk.



It’s Time to Renew Your CCCBA Membership The CCCBA Membership drive for 2017 is in full swing. This year, take advantage of a new member benefit! When you renew you will be able to download CCCBA member logos for use on your website or on business cards, stationery or other printed material. Tell your clients that you are a member of the CCCBA. There is a logo for CCCBA sustaining firms as well.

You can renew online now. Start by logging in to your account at *Be sure to have your renewal complete by early March to be included in the CCCBA printed Membership Directory.



Meet Board President

Philip M. Andersen, Sr.

CCCBA Board President Phil Andersen with his family. Phil is pictured fourth from the left. Hello, I am Phil Andersen and I am very excited to be serving as your next Board President. I have had the pleasure of working on the Board for the last seven years, and have met many of you, but for those who don’t know me, let me tell you a little about myself. I have been married to my wife Candace for 33 years and we are the parents of six children ranging in age from 18 to 31. Four of our children are married and we have three grandchildren with one more on the way. Our youngest son is serving as a Mormon Missionary in Salta Argentina. I was born in Los Angeles but when I was five years old I had the great fortune to live on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. My parents moved our family (7 children) to the North Shore of Oahu (Laie) where

my father worked as a Dean of what is now BYU Hawaii. Living in Hawaii was an amazing experience, but when I was 13, I got to leave one beautiful place for another – my family moved to Alamo where my father worked as the Executive Director of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). I love the Bay Area. I am a graduate of Monte Vista High School in Danville (Class of ’74 – Go Mustangs!). I attended BYU for both undergraduate and law school, and it was there that I met my lovely wife. After law school, I began my practice in one of my two favorite places – Hawaii. Hawaii is a special place for both of us. My wife’s family lived in Hawaii for five generations and her parents still live there, so we began our lives together in Hawaii. I started out at a small insurance defense firm in

Honolulu. We lived with Candace’s parents for a few months before we rented a small cottage in Manoa Valley, close to the law school where Candace finished her last year. After three years in Honolulu we decided it was time to move back to the mainland and we were drawn back to my other favorite place – the Bay Area. I was hired on by the insurance defense firm of Ropers Majeski in San Jose. I worked there for seven years until I was recruited away by an insurance company (USF&G) to manage their in-house insurance defense offices in San Jose and Walnut Creek. I enjoyed trying cases for them and managing the offices. They merged with St. Paul Insurance Company and my office moved to Oakland and increased in size. In 2003 I was recruited away to be the managing attorney for the State Farm in-house office. I have been continued on page 6



I consider myself lucky to be counted among the members of the board. I initially joined because I wanted to increase the scope of my networking with other attorneys, give back to the legal community and to help other lawyers in their practice. Now, having been on the board for seven years, I really appreciate the hard work that the board members do and the friendships we have developed.

(925) 948-8998

ties. I am the Chair of the State Farm In-House Law Department Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I also serve as the chair of the San Francisco Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.


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During my time as Board President, my vision is to continue to emphasize and strengthen the 20 sections of the CCCBA and to focus on diversity and inclusion. In my view, the role of the bar is to “empower our members to deliver outstanding le-

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In addition to my work on the board, I am the president of the Insurance Staff Counsel Committee of the State Bar. I also serve as a volunteer pro tem judge and mediator for both San Francisco and Contra Costa coun-



Outside of my work in the legal field, I am also involved in many County events through my wife Candace’s work as a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors (District 2). Finally, and most importantly, I am involved in church service. In my “free time” I like to jog, sing and play the guitar for hospice patients and spend time with my three grandchildren.

I do not see any reason we cannot accomplish this. We have a very well-run association thanks to our Executive Director, Theresa Hurley, and our board and section leadership. I am looking forward to getting to know many more attorneys this year and giving back in any way I can.

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One of the most rewarding parts of serving on the board is mingling with the sections and their leaders. I also enjoy working with the young lawyers and mentoring and helping them network. Recently, I have been fortunate to be part of the Diversity Committee under the leadership of past CCCBA president, Robin Pearson. In that role I was proud to invite Paulette Brown, the president of the ABA, to speak to us.

gal service to our community.”

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

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Actually, that is really how I got involved with the Bar Association – by getting to know other attorneys. I had gotten to know Larry Cook trying cases on opposite sides. I enjoy working with him and his firm, along with the many other plaintiff firms in the Bay Area. He encouraged me to apply for an opening on the Board of Directors and helped me get nominated.


with State Farm for 13 years now. Although I “fell into” insurance defense work, it turned out that I really enjoy the practice. I enjoy getting to know other attorneys, trying and settling cases and helping my clients.

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Meet Board President, Phil Andersen Continued from page 5


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CCCBA Lawyer referral & Information service (925) 825-5700

Welcome to the Board!

This spring when the Contra Costa County Bar Association Board of Directors opened nominations for new members, it was pleased to receive ten letters of interest. This is a sign of a very healthy and active membership! The Board thanks all who applied for these positions and is looking forward to a very productive year ahead.

Mika Domingo

Mika’s practice focuses on Business, Corporate, Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Administration as an Associate Attorney at Watson, Hoffe & Hass. Previously, she served as a Deputy Attorney General in Sacramento representing the State in civil rights litigation. As an effective advocate, Mika draws upon her two decades of experience as a finance auditor, business owner, and publishing professional. Mika has been a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for six years, serving on the Board of the Women’s Section for five years, including as Vice-President in 20142015 and as President in 2015-2016. As President of the Women’s Section, Mika worked on projects with the Women’s Section’s representatives continued on page 8

Nicole Mills

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein I believe that is true – that our greatest challenges can lead to our greatest accomplishments. Sometimes that is obvious, and sometimes it is not…and sometimes it can be really, really hard to see what those opportunities are. That’s when people need help and that’s why I focus my practice on mediationhelping people resolve not just legal disputes, but the issues underlying the conflict as well, and hopefully helping them find solutions that make their lives better. I mediate contract and business disputes, building on my previous life as a litigator, where I worked with firms both large and small, including Skadden Arps and (what was then continued on page 9

Craig Nevin

When Craig Nevin was 11, he started working in construction; when he was about 12, he decided he wanted to be an attorney. For almost 30 years now, Craig has practiced in the area of real estate, construction and business litigation and transactions. After referring clients who needed complex tax and estate planning work to the Youngman Ericsson Scott firm for over 25 years, in February of 2016, he merged his practice with and is now Senior Counsel at that firm. Since Craig’s merger with Youngman Ericsson Scott, LLP, he has expanded his practice in the areas of trust and estate litigation and representation of clients in front of the United States Tax Court. continued on page 10



Mika Domingo Continued from page 7 on the California Women Lawyers (CWL) Governing Board, Summer C. Selleck and Suzette Z. Torres. CWL’s initiatives in our county include the Anti-Human Trafficking Film Screening and the Legal Career Paths Lecture Series. Under Mika’s inspiring leadership, the Women’s Section Board had a highly successful spring fundraiser for the Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholarship. Mika is thrilled to continue her service to the Women’s Section as Co-Affiliate Governor for the CWL. Mika has been an appointee to the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) for almost four years and has served as ViceChair of the Educational Standards Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the Examinations Subcommittee. Mika has served on numerous boards and remains an active member of the Queen’s Bench, the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court and the American Bar Association. As a legal, business, and non-profit leader, Mika has demonstrated her selfless commitment to serve others. Her parents instilled in her a deep sense of devotion to her community. Mika’s mother worked as an educator, a CPA, and entrepreneur, and her father was as an investigative police officer and small business owner. Both parents led organizations aimed at providing service to disadvantaged individuals, Mika proudly recounts. “My parents worked tirelessly for the family and the community. In 1980, they immigrated to the United States from the Philippines and built a life creating jobs, helping to fund the studies of dozens of minority college students, and building centers to train immigrants with practical skills to enter the American work force.” Mika’s siblings also continue to be inspired by their parents’ legacy: her sister is a managing finance professional working for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, and her brother, a police officer for the City of San Bruno. Both siblings have also taken on leadership roles in their professional and community lives.

While working passionately to satisfy her perfectionist tendencies, Mika manages to maintain a pleasant and friendly demeanor. She attributes her well-balanced disposition to her decades of experience in theatre and music. Throughout her childhood and during undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, and as an International Scholar at the University of Burgundy in France, as well as while studying at John F. Kennedy College of Law, she continued her involvement with singing, theatre, and community service. “Theatre taught me to take on any well-researched role, give it my 100% devotion, and watch the impact that role has on the community,” she says. Mika lives in Emeryville with her husband, Anthony who works as a News Director for Univision. Mika is thrilled to serve on the CCCBA Board of Directors and is eager to continue her work with this year’s group of dynamic leaders.

Did you know that the meetings of the Board of Directors of the CCCBA are open to all members? The Board welcomes any members who would like to attend!

The Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for February 1 at 5:30 pm, right before the regular board meeting. Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of most months (board meetings are not held in August and December) at the CCCBA offices, 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord, CA. See www.cccba. org/attorney/calendar

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Nicole Mills Continued from page 7 called) Crosby Heafey Roach and May, as well as Garcia Law Group, a small firm in Pleasanton where I worked primarily with small businesses. I am also a trained elder mediator and I enjoy working with elders and families in dispute. Recently, I have also added divorce mediation to my practice so that I can continue to help families. In addition to mediating, I have taught conflict resolution as an adjunct professor for about five years now. I love teaching, and probably would have been a teacher if I hadn’t gone to law school… but I guess I managed to do both! Long before I was a mediator, or a litigator, or a teacher… I was a student. I attended Bates College, in Maine, where I studied history and women’s studies. I then left the cold winters of Maine for… the even colder, darker winters of Ithaca, NY! There, I attended the Cornell Law School and met my husband of 18 years, Mike. Is it any wonder that after seven years in the tundra I jumped at the chance to leave the cold behind and move to sunny California? I do miss the snow sometimes though. Luckily, we are three short hours from Tahoe, so any time I want some snow, I can get to some… assuming Mother Nature is cooperating with us! Since I opened my own mediation practice almost ten years ago, I have found the Bar Association to be

an invaluable resource – and not just to get my MCLE credits! I got involved. My first experience was on the ADR Section Board many years ago. This helped me get to know my fellow mediators and practitioners and I got to take my love of teaching and help create (what I hope were) interesting MCLE opportunities as well. Next, I got involved as a member of the Editorial Board for the Contra Costa Lawyer, serving as either Editor or co-Editor for the last six years. That has also been very rewarding and I have learned a lot working with people from different practice areas and editing the articles that you all write. Although I will no longer be serving on the Editorial Board for the Contra Costa Lawyer, I do have the privilege of serving (again) on the ADR Board. This is a very interesting time for ADR, as the legislature considers potential restrictions on confidentiality, and that is something your ADR board is following closely. Finally, I now have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors and I am looking forward to continuing to provide excellent MCLE, networking and other opportunities for the Bar membership. When I’m not mediating or teaching, I enjoy being with my family. Mike and I have lived in Walnut Creek for 17 years and have two boys, ages 11 and 14. I love going to baseball games and soccer matches (good thing, too!) and (when there are no games to go to) heading up to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the snow…in small doses! Nicole Mills is a mediator and owner of Empower Mediation ( She can be reached at (925) 351-3171 or

Welcome New Members to the CCCBA Welcome to the following new members who joined the Contra Costa County Bar Association between July 1st and December 11, 2016. We are looking forward to getting to know you! River Abeje Mohua “Adrienne” Ahmed Candace Andersen David Anderson Joseph Appel Cristina Armstrong Joshua Bancroft Gretchen Barber Arshia Behnam Maneesha Birdee Aaron Burack Layli Caborn Kevin Corbett Yesenia Cornejo Hon. Terrye Davis John DiAna

Aaron Doyle Daphne Drescher Marina Duey Christopher Erickson Anna Felton Joanna Funke Steven Hasegawa Daniel Hodsdon Traci Holian Selyn Hong Simon Hurd Christian Jinkerson Lauren Johnson Timothy Keng Jonathan King Steven Lincoln Patricia Lyon

Thomas McCarrick Matthew McCullough J. P. Mcdermott Maiko Nakarai-Kanivas Keum Park Jessica Pliner Davina Pujari David Ratner Pam Regatuso Michael Rinne Philip Ross Mohammad Sajjad Michael Santos Nicole Saputo Keren Schlank Jennifer Schmitt Kelsey Schuetz

Angela Shen William Simmons Alexis Sinclair Ross Steinhauer Adam Stoddard Amrieka Takhar Katherine Threlfall Azadeh Vahidi Alicia Villanueva Billie Wenter David Williams Drew Williams Patrick Wong



Craig Nevin Continued from page 7 Following undergraduate study at the University of California Berkeley, and after attending the University Of San Diego School Of Law’s Institute on International and Comparative Law in Paris, Craig obtained his law degree in 1987 from Western State University. He is originally from Southern California and one of his first legal positions was Associate General Counsel for a major real estate developer based in Irvine. Early in his career, he distinguished himself by handling complex and sometimes high-profile litigation in state and federal courts. He has tried cases of negligence, breach of contract, foreclosure of mechanics’ liens, partnership fraud, partnership by estopple, professional negligence, and financial elder abuse, as well as cases involving many aspects of real estate and construction. Craig also frequently handles real estate and business transactions and entity formations. Craig has a statewide practice that employs a unique blend of practical experience and insight. Whether litigating, quarterbacking a transaction, acting as outside general counsel or mediator, he utilizes a metric that focuses on clients’ needs, return on investment and interactive and goal-driven efforts. He is active in both writing and teaching. He is the author of California Mechanics’ Liens and Related Construction Remedies, (CEB) 2012, Chapter 2, “Private Works Remedies” and he has written numerous articles related to his areas of practice. His teaching



appointments include positions on the Building Industry Association’s Education Council, Certification for Instructing from the State of California Department of Real Estate and he is a former Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Law. He has presented numerous seminars concerning various aspects of business, real estate, construction, litigation and property development to his clients, who include owners, developers, investors, design professionals, contractors, real estate agents and brokers, title and escrow groups, financial institutions, and attorneys. Craig has a life-long commitment to volunteer and pro bono work and he is a recipient of Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award. He is on the Board of Directors and Immediate Past-President of Contra Costa Senior Legal Services (and oversaw its recent expansion and move to Central Contra Costa County). He is former President and Board Member of The Law Center, is a former member of the CCCBA magazine’s Editorial Board and has been extremely involved in and has held all positions on the Board of the Real Estate Section of the CCCBA (two-times as President).

estate in both Civil and Criminal trials, has been a Court Appointed Referee, and from October, 2001, to May, 2009, he was a Special Master to the Courts of San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. In his spare time, Craig enjoys sailing, real estate projects and travelling. Having a state-wide practice has provided Craig a unique perspective -- and during the more than 25 years that he has lived and practiced primarily in Northern California, Craig says he has never ceased to be impressed by the CCCBA. Its deep historical roots, the vast amount of MCLE opportunities it provides, its commitment to access to justice, and the collegiality and professionalism it fosters among both members of the bar and the bench, has resulted in Craig having the utmost appreciation for the CCCBA. He looks forward to serving the wider legal community as a member of the Bar Board. If you don’t already know him, Craig looks forward to meeting you at CCCBA events in the near future. In the meantime, you can contact him at:

Craig has been designated and has testified at trial as an Expert in real

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Meet CCCBA’s 2017 Section Leaders CCCBA would like to introduce an amazing group of hardworking and dedicated individuals who are the backbone of the Contra Cost County Bar Association – the Section Leaders! In the following pages, we will introduce them and they will tell you about their Sections. This year we asked them to fill out the Pivot Questionnaire which is better known as the questions James Lipton asks every guest on “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” We hope you will find their selected responses interesting. For additional details about each section or for contact information for a particular Section Leader please go to the Bar Sections page on the CCCBA website at http://www.cccba. org/attorney/sections/index.php or contact Anne K. Wolf, CCCBA’s Section Liaison at

Alternative Dispute Resolution Joscelyn Jones Torru has practiced law in the greater Bay Area for more than 35 years. A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, she worked previously as a deputy public defender, certified mental health hearing officer, adjunct law professor and served as a temporary judge in Contra Costa County. Her practice focus is in estate planning, trust administration, probate, conservatorship, guardianship and mediation. As the incoming ADR Chair, Joscelyn will focus on continuing to expand awareness among the legal community of ADR as an attractive alternative to litigation; to provide further educational programs focusing on the elimination of bias in mediation and the law in general and to increase mediation opportunities for the section members.

Pivot Questions: Joscelyn’s favorite word is hope and she loves the sound of silence. She hates the sound of loud chewing and might like to attempt a career as a politician. When God greets her at the pearly gates she hopes to hear “Welcome, my good and faithful servant…now come rest, I’ve got someone to cover that court appearance.” The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section continues to expand as an attractive alternative to litigation. Private litigants increasingly turn to ADR to resolve their disputes. In many cases, parties obtain better results through ADR than through conventional litigation. With ADR, the parties may avoid the delay and expense of litigation, maintain confidentiality, control the process, and achieve a better outcome through agreements reached as a result of their direct participation.

The ADR Section’s activities include: presenting educational programs for the continued professional development of its members; analyzing and commenting on proposals, including local court rules, related to ADR; drafting proposals for consideration by the court and the board of directors, and identifying issues impacting ADR onServAtorShiPS itigAtion as an accessible, efficient and effective roBAte StAte DMiniStrAtion means of dispute resolution.

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Section members are lawyers who also serve as mediators, arbitrators, neutral case evaluators and special masters. Attorneys who advocate for their clients in ADR proceedings are most welcome to join the section. Law students, too, are welcome. continued on page 12



Section Leaders

Continued from page 11

Appellate Gary Watt serves as Chair of Hanson Bridgett’s Appellate practice. He is a State Bar approved Certified Appellate Specialist, handling writs and appeals in all of the California appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His practice also includes dispositive motions such as SLAPP, summary judgment, and posttrial motions. His appellate experience gives him unique insights into complex cases and esoteric disputes. He excels at issue spotting and arrives at thoughtful solutions to business problems. His practice includes risk management such as interpreting contracts, indemnity provisions, and more. Pivot Questions: Gary’s favorite word is appeal and his least favorite word is arbitration. He loves river sounds and hates freeway noise. Gary would like to try a career as a novelist but not as an airline pilot.

The Appellate Section—formed in 1991, focuses on continuing education and the improvement of appellate advocacy. Members include attorneys whose practice is devoted to appeals and writs as well as trial lawyers interested in enriching their understanding of the appellate process and issues. The section hosts periodic MCLE seminars. Seminar speakers have included appellate court justices, appellate and Supreme Court research attorneys, and attorneys with special expertise in appeals, writs, and post-trial motions. The Appellate Section welcomes all lawyers and law students to join and attend programs. Many programs have broad appeal to litigators and are presented in partnership with the Litigation Section. The section has been approved as a provider of appellate specialty MCLE, an extra benefit for attorneys who are, or are seeking to become, certified appellate specialists.






BANKRUPTCY LAW Jen Lee, owner of Jen Lee Law with offices in San Ramon and Tracy, advises consumers and small business owners on debt and credit issues, including representation in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters. Originally from North Dakota, Jen now lives in Livermore with her husband, two daughters, and four dogs. She also works with local dog rescue groups to foster and find forever homes for shelter dogs. Pivot Questions: Jen’s favorite word is nonsense while her least favorite word is vis-à-vis? Jen would not like to go into law enforcement and she loves the sound of babies giggling. The Bankruptcy Law Section is primarily comprised of attorneys who represent debtors and/or creditors in bankruptcy cases. The section has non-attorney members, including accountants and bankruptcy trustees. The purpose of the section is to provide a forum of fellowship and learning concerning topics of interest for attorneys and non-attorneys who practice in bankruptcy court and non-attorneys who provide support to the bankruptcy bar. The section typically meets three to five times each year, usually for continuing education programs held at lunchtime at the CCCBA office conference room. At these luncheons, speakers discuss topics of interest to the bankruptcy bar and are usually approved for one hour of MCLE credit. Past speakers have included bankruptcy judges and trustees, private practice attorneys in the area, and other professionals.

BARRISTERS/YOUNG LAWYERS Jeremy Seymour is a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County. He has served various assignments in his seven years of practice and is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division. He is also a member of the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court. Pivot Questions: Jeremy loves good music and travelling, learning, and meeting new people. His least favorite word is um and his favorite word is syzygy. He would like to attempt a career as a writer.

The Barristers/Young Lawyers Section provides attorneys in practice for ten years or less with networking, education, and mentoring opportunities. All members of the Contra Costa Bar Association with under ten years of practice are automatically members and welcome to attend section board meetings to learn about getting more involved. The goal of the section is to make new members feel welcome and build a network within the bar association, as well as to develop familiarity with all aspects of the legal field in Contra Costa County. The section wants to help its members have a strong understanding of what other lawyers do, a strong social and referral network no matter where their practice takes them, and a genuine commitment to advancing the profession. To this end, the Barristers also put on educational MCLE events targeted to newly-practicing attorneys, engage in charitable endeavors, and organize social events and outings to allow young lawyers to network.

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 recently retired from a five-year stint volunteering every Wednesday at a soup kitchen in Pittsburg and holds down the baritone slot in the award-winning HouseBlend Quartet. Pivot Questions: Kent’s least favorite word is utilize. He loves the sound of a mug of coffee being set on his wood butcher block countertop and when he gets to the pearly gates he’d like to hear God say, “You have TSA pre-check clearance...go to front of the line, please.” The Business Law Section Business lawyers (whether outside counsel or in-house counsel) are among the most important members of a business team. They work with all key members of the enterprise to provide a wide range of strategic and legal insights to address and resolve routine as well as thorny matters facing entrepreneurs and developed business. The Business Law Section’s mission is to provide up-to-date information on issues facing business lawyers in our competitive climate, to provide continuing legal education to attorneys in California, and to provide opportunities for networking in our growing East Bay legal community. The Business Law Section supports regular meetings, with experts in the wide variety of issues facing business lawyers to support new ventures, to promote business continued on page 15



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Section Leaders

ally sponsors an issue of the Contra Costa Lawyer, which gives section members a chance to write articles and be published.

Continued from page 13

development, and to provide a basis for corporations taking advantage of the many new initiatives for business growth and development. Because Contra Costa County is in an ideal position to be a corporate growth center in northern California, the Business Law Section strives to bring strategic and legal expertise to you. The section presents programs to members addressing corporate formation, corporate reporting, due diligence, public-offerings, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, protection of intangible corporate property (trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks) and other issues of topical importance. Their goal is to assist members in the development and support of their practices in business and corporation law and to provide educational service to the general public with occasional public seminars such as the “Two Entrepreneurs Walk Into a Bar” series. Contact them about specific areas that are important to you and your clients.

CRIMINAL LAW Mary P. Carey manages her private practice in Walnut Creek. She is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, and University of San Francisco School of Law. Mary has extensive trial experience having served as a Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender representing adults and children accused of crime for 18 years. Currently she specializes in adult criminal defense, juvenile delinquency and dependency, victim impact, personal injury and civil rights litigation. She has served on the Board of Directors of the CCCBA since 2012. Pivot Questions: Mary is turned off by bigotry and her least favorite word is hate. She would not like to be a cat trainer and wants God to greet her at the pearly gates and tell her “Darwin was right.” The Criminal Law Section hosts lunchtime MCLE meetings in Martinez, where it provides continuing education on such topics as new statutes, case law, and technology. Speakers include judges, attorneys, expert witnesses, and county administrators. Programs provide information specific to practicing law in Contra Costa County courts. These meetings provide a relaxed environment within which to learn from the talented legal resources available in our county, to get to know other lawyers, and to make valuable contacts. The goal of this section is to provide information that can be of practical assistance to criminal defense attorneys in motions and trial practice and case management. The section gener-

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 counseling, settlement negotiations, mediation and litigation through trial. The Elder Law Section presents programs that help keep attorneys informed about Elder Law issues and also presents a monthly Conservatorship Workshop as a joint project with the Superior Court. Generally, there are two areas of practice of 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, including conservatorship proceedings, 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 aging population, many practitioners can benefit from what the Elder Law Section offers.

EMPLOYMENT LAW Yen Chau is a senior associate with Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally, LLP. Yen practices predominately in employment and commercial litigation defense. She is also a member of the firm’s estate planning group. Yen is additionally a registered patent attorney, and has worked in the biotechnology field as a research associate for a gene therapy company. As President of the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Employment Section, Yen’s focus for 2017 is to provide meaningful opportunities for section members to develop productive networking connections, as well as opportunities to learn and discuss legal developments, theories and practice pointers through friendly and informative programs.

continued on page 16



Section Leaders

Continued from page 15

Pivot Questions: Yen’s favorite word is hella and she is turned off by arrogance. Her least favorite word is no and her favorite sound is cha-ching! The Employment Law Section includes members representing both employee and employer/management interests, as well as in-house counsel, neutral investigators, mediators and law school students. Through continuing education events on pertinent issues facing employment law practitioners, networking events, and sponsoring non-profit legal aid workshops, the Employment Law Section serves as a resource for its members and local community. Those involved in employment law or interested in employment law are invited to participate in the Employment Law Section. To become a member or learn more about this section, please contact Yen.

ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE Virginia M. George is a partner at 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 School of Law, 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.

The Estate Planning & Probate Section was established in 1993. Membership is open to practicing attorneys, private professional fiduciaries, accounting practitioners, trust officers, and law students. Section members and non-members are invited to attend upcoming programs that begin in January each year at the Contra Costa Country Club with the annual Probate Bench Luncheon. Every year since 1994 the section, with co-sponsorship of The Mechanics Bank’s Trust Department has presented an Annual Estate Planning Symposium. The symposium is held at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek each year in March or April. The event draws counsel, educators, and professionals to present topics of current interest to the bar, tax professionals and students. The section is pleased to present this program with availability of specialization credit. Board members and section liaisons continue to provide volunteer service, each devoting time and energy to ensure that events provide broad continuing education opportunity for members at a competitive cost. The section continues its practice of donating to local legal service organizations through the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s “Bar Fund Benefit” In 2013, the section made a $5,000 donation that supported Contra Costa Senior Legal Services and has continued to support the Bar Fund ever since. The section is broadly based among probate, estate planning, conservatorship, guardianship, and trust practitioners. It strives to present opportunities for members to obtain MCLE credits at programs that address all of these areas of practice and welcome suggestions from members.

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David C. Erb is an associate attorney at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP, with offices in Silicon Valley and Contra Costa County. He is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Family Law Section since 2014 and was elected President in 2017. Pivot Questions: David’s least favorite word is rumination. The sound he loves is his wife’s voice while the sound he hates is the dentist’s drill. Negativity turns him off and he would like to attempt a career as a professional athlete. A Family Law Section membership is indispensable for anyone who practices family law in Contra Costa County. The most visible benefits of membership are: -Dynamic monthly education seminars and periodic extended seminars led by experienced faculty -Early notification of changes in rules -Information regarding the practice requirements in the family law departments -Annual meeting and other programs with local family law judges. The bench often uses these meetings as an opportunity to make announcements. MCLE and specialization credits are provided for attending. Also important is the monthly section newsletter, In Chancery, which keeps members abreast of section activities, news from the bench, and educational opportunities. Section members receive exclusive use of the section website at The section maintains ongoing liaison with the bench, Family Court Services, the Facilitator’s Office, the Department of Child Support Services, the Advisory Council Against Domestic Violence (ACAD), and the various legal aid providers in the county. Through its liaison with the court, the section is actively involved in reviewing court rules or policies and providing input and assistance in drafting new rules and changes to existing rules. The section has been active in developing creative and innovative services for family law litigants through a variety of mediation and unbundled legal services programs. It has also worked closely with the bench and professionals in other fields to develop top quality services in such as Custody / Visitation Special Masters, the CPA Pro Bono Program, and minor’s counsel.

Flavio Carvalho practices Immigration and Family Law. His office is in the San Francisco financial district and he represents clients throughout the Bay Area. He has an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and his J.D. from JFK University. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a native of Rio, Brazil, so his experience with immigration is personal. He chairs the CCCBA Immigration Law Section and is a Fellow of the ABA Family Section and member of the ABA Diversity Committee. Pivot Questions: Flavio’s favorite word is ubiquitous and his least favorite word is literally. He is turned on by nature and turned off by crowds. He loves the sound of rain while he does not like the sound of screaming followed closely by roar of leaf blowers! The newly formed CCCBA Immigration Law Section strives to support the work of Contra Costa’s immigration attorneys and promote the best possible immigration services in our county and beyond. The section provides continuing education, training and mentoring for immigration attorneys. It assists attorneys in the overlap between immigration law and other practices – such as employment, juvenile, family, criminal, business & estate planning and probate. Finally, the section works to promote events and programs that make immigration law accessible to those who need it. CCCBA through its Lawyer Referral and Information Service, holds monthly immigration workshops at local libraries. If you are interested in volunteering for one of the workshops please contact Anne Wolf, Education and Programs Coordinator, at or (925) 370-2540.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW Joseph R. Snyder is the Managing Partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Walnut Creek office. He focuses his practice on patent prosecution and counseling, primarily in the chemical arts, biotechnology, life sciences and clean technology. Dr. Snyder represents U.S. and foreign companies, such as pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories, universities and start-ups in all areas of intellectual property counseling and protection. His continued on page 18



Section Leaders

Continued from page 17

technology experience includes small molecules, pharmaceutical formulations, drug delivery technologies, medical diagnostics, nucleic acid assays, nucleic acid sequencing technologies, dyes and clean technology, such as fuel cells. Dr. Snyder was recognized as a 2014, 2015 and 2016 Northern California “Super Lawyer” in the area of Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine. Before joining the firm, Dr. Snyder worked as a patent attorney for Zeneca Ag Products in the areas of patent drafting, patent prosecution and patent validity opinions. Prior to joining the legal profession, he was a senior scientist in their analytical department doing organic structural analysis using NMR and mass spectrometry. Stuart West formed West & Associates in February 2004 and is the firm’s managing patent attorney. He is responsible for coordinating prosecution, transactional and litigation matters. In addition to counseling clients in matters related to the litigation and licensing of intellectual property rights, his practice also includes counseling clients in obtaining, protecting and enforcing rights associated with patents,



trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade secrets and copyrights before the federal courts, in state courts and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. As the head of the CCCBA’s IP Section for the past several years, Stuart West and 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. Licensed in the U.K. and Europe as well, he has assisted small-scale and multinational clients with patent, trademark and copyright matters around the world. The Intellectual Property Section is a resource for attorneys and others to learn, share, network, and strengthen their expertise in intellectual property. The goals for the section are to 1) Keep abreast of new legal developments; 2) Share written resources through an online brief bank; 3) Develop industry contacts and interaction between the members and the local business community; 4) Pool resources in order to obtain discounts on continuing education programs; 5) Develop contacts and interaction with local in-house counsel; 6) Develop programs for law schools to further the practical training of future IP attorneys; and 7) Learn about the members’ own practice areas for the purpose of assisting in client referrals.

The IP section is on the cutting edge of law changes that impact all areas of business. Approximately three to 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 try to hold our meetings during the breakfast hour in a centrally-located conference room in Walnut Creek and meetings are concluded by 9 am, so members can get topical information on current issues and then get to work by a reasonable time. Up-todate information coupled with a convenient time allows members to keep current on industry practices with a minimum of disruption to billing.

JUVENILE LAW Rhonda Wilson-Rice practices law in Pittsburg. She has been practicing law in Contra Costa County for over 20 years. Her practice serves the families and children of the community, primarily in child welfare law (CPS cases), juvenile delinquency and criminal defense. Pivot Questions: Rhonda’s favorite word is peace and she is turned off by confusion. Rhonda loves the sound of the saxophone and hates fingernails on a blackboard. She would most definitely not want to pursue a career as a phlebotomist. Juvenile Law Section members are lawyers who represent children, parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives, and others involved in juvenile dependency proceedings, who are before the court due to the abuse or neglect of a child. Membership in the section provides beneficial continuing legal education and opportunities for professional development. Brown bag lunch MCLE programs are held on such topics as case law and statutory reviews, techniques on interviewing children, the Indian Child Welfare Act, immigration laws and their effect on dependent children, and recognizing and treating substance abuse in clients. Speakers include experienced attorneys, therapists, and other professionals. Besides fulfilling state bar requirements, these programs satisfy the local court rules for mandatory competence of counsel. During the holiday season, the section sponsors an annual toy drive for foster children and teens in need in our county. Members participate in meetings between the bench, Social Services, and the Legal Aid Society Dependency Program through representation at the “Judges’ Meeting” and the Social Worker-Attorney Training Committee (SWATT).

LAW STUDENT Kate Mignani is a first-year law student at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill. She currently works full-time for JFKU as executive assistant to the dean of the College of Psychology and Holistic Studies. She previously worked as a paralegal at a small Family Law firm in Walnut Creek. Kate is a certified paralegal, a notary public, and serves on the board of New Day for Children, a non-profit that helps girls who have been rescued from human trafficking. Pivot Questions: Kate’s favorite word is encourage and her least favorite word is oppression. Worship music turns her on and she would love to try a career as a motivational speaker but not as a CPA. Lisa Antoine is a first-year law student at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill. She currently works as a Police Operations Dispatcher and Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police for a law enforcement agency in Alameda County. She has worked in emergency services (police and medical) for over 12 years. Lisa is also a certified EMT and licensed HAM radio operator. She is a volunteer with Medical Volunteers for Disaster Response (MVDR). Pivot Questions: Lisa’s favorite word is honor. She loves the sound of laughter and good music. She would not like to be an insurance broker and does not like yelling. The Law 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 the areas of potential practice, ask specific questions, interview, and intern in the desired areas of practice. Law student membership comes primarily from JFKU College of Law, Hastings, Boalt, and Golden Gate University School of Law. Section members have the opportunity to expand their law school education in significant ways that both serve the community and yield practical legal experience. Volunteer opportunities at many of the bar-hosted events allow students to serve the legal community while honing their networking skills. Events, such as the annual MCLE Spectacular, also provide students important exposure to current issues in the field of law. Students can gain handson experience through the CCCBA-sponsored “Free Legal continued on page 29



2016 What a Year it Was! The calendar was packed for 2016, with events every month for the Bar, the courts, and section activities. CCCBA members were generous this year, raising funds for a memorial service for Judge Richard Arnason, for Food from the Bar with Comedy Night and the Walk-a-thon in the spring, followed by the Bar Fund Benefit in the fall. We said goodbye to Judge Richard Arnason and hello to Judge David Goldstein. There was a lot of socializing going on too, with the All Sections Mixer in June and regional mixers sprinkled

Clockwise from top left, Nick Casper and Elva Harding; Hon. David Goldstein at his swearing-in ceremony; Judge Arnason Memorial; Food from the Bar Walk-a-thon; Paulette Brown, Theresa Hurley, Hon. Steve Austin, Hon. Judy Johnson; Pat Kelly, James Wu and Shannon Walpole; Justice Marchiano speaks at Comedy Night.



throughout the year. The Family Law section hosted a Summer Soiree, and the Women’s Section hosted its annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser and Awards Dinner. The annual Bench-Bar Softball game was a big hit with judges and attorneys choosing sides and running the bases. ABA President Paulette Brown paid a visit to Contra Costa and CCCBA Executive Director Theresa Hurley shared time with the ED of the State Bar. The Pro Bono Expo landed on Love Your Lawyer Day and the MCLE Spectacular was another big success. We can’t wait for 2017!

Clockwise from top left, Jeremy Seymour, Ana Allec, Marta Vanegas; Clayton and Carol Watkins, Valeria and Flavio Carvalho; center Hon. Steve Austin and Hon. Cheryl Mills; Christina Weed, Elva Harding and Theresa Hurley; Elizabeth Parker and Theresa Hurley; Anne Wolf and Kate Mignani; Sterling Elmore, Summer Selleck, Ariel Brownell Lee, Dorian Peters and Danielle Weekes; attorneys at the Pro Bono Expo (on Love Your Lawyer Day); Derrick Roehn, Kim Roehn, and Hon. Mark Simons CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


Bar Babies

We admit it. We (the CCCBA staff) are obsessed with babies – but there is an extra special place in our hearts for CCCBA Bar Babies. It started out this summer when Lisa Mendes and Christina Weed dropped in out of the blue with their adorable babies. Theresa called it #BestFridayEver on Facebook and since then, we’ve been collecting baby photos from members. So all you parents, stop by and show off your little one, or send us a photo or two. We love babies around here!

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So cute! Lisa Mendes with her son Garrett and Christina Weed with her daughter Liana, dropped in to the CCCBA office this summer. Laura Ramsey with her daughter Elle and twin sons William and James; David Marchiano’s son, Leo in the pool; and Matt Toth’s son, draped in a flag.












The Benefits of Membership 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.

Floral Arrangements & Plants


Jory’s Flowers Jet SuiteX 181 John Glenn Dr. Concord, CA 94520 (800) 435-9579 Discount: Use promo code CCCBA for a 15% savings between the following cities: Concord - Burbank - Concord; San Jose - Burbank - San Jose; Burbank - Las Vegas - Burbank. Discount applies to base fare only and excludes any taxes or fees.

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.

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

Insurance (Life & Health)

Computer & IT Consulting

Airport Parking LaMusga Company

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.

Pacific Computer Consultants, Inc.

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.

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.



Member Benefits, continued from page 23

Insurance (Liability) Lexis-Nexis

Insurance (Life & Health)


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345 California St., 13th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 (800) 339-9122 Fax: (415) 743-7733 richard.o’ Discount: Information regarding Professional Liability Insurance, 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.

Legal Research

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

Thomson Reuters Westlaw Jill Jackson, Account Executive (925) 876-4294

Myers-Stevens-Mello & Co., Inc. McDermott-Costa Co., Inc. Dental, Vision, Life and Disability Insurance Plans (510) 351-7460 ext 160 Discount: For an overview of available plans, please visit www.cccba. org/attorney/build-your-practice/ member-benefit-insurance.php



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

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.

Marketing & Promotions

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

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Printing Products

Merchant Services Richard Wood 383 Diablo Rd., Ste. #217 Danville CA 94526 (925) 788-5057 Discount: Setup fee waived and free swiper with proof of CCCBA membership. provides the payment gateway for card-present and card-not-present transactions. You can use any internet-enabled computer, tablet, or phone to process credit card and electronic check payments quickly and affordably, without having to pay more, or purchasing a physical terminal. We will waive the setup fee with proof of CCCBA membership. Your credit card information is encrypted at the swipe, ensuring safety and security on every transaction.

Office & Virtual Office Solutions

Need a Place for a Meeting? Rent the CCCBA Conference Room. • Conference table seats 10-12 comfortably • Available for rent weekdays, 8 am - 5 pm • Near BART and public transit • Includes use of high-speed internet, computer projector and conference call equipment CCCBA, Attention Barbara Arsedo 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste. 520 Concord, CA 94520 (925) 370-2544 Discount: CCCBA members get up to $30 off regular rental rates.

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Discount: 10% off plus free shipping within the continental U.S. Enter code CCCBA when requesting a quote. Save on custom printed stationery. Company Folders provides printing services for premium presentation folders, file folders, binders, envelopes , report covers and other stationery for your business. Free samples are available, plus all products are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Translation Services Graham Polygraph Professional polygraphs for court cases.

Laptop Lounge, Home of Reliable Receptionist Shared workspace, conference rooms, meeting rooms and telephone receptionist services. 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.

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Discount: Graham Polygraph offers professional and confidential polygraphs and screenings, including criminal defense, family law and pre-employment screening. We offer CCCBA members a 20% discount for first-time clients. Priority scheduling.

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The Lawyer Referral and Information Service by Carole Lucido, Communications Coordinator At the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) Barbara Arsedo, Jennifer Comages and Emily Day are busy. They handle over 12,000 calls and online requests each year from members of the public who contact them with legal-related problems covering everything from family law, criminal defense, personal injury, probate and estate planning to real estate, business law, landlord-tenant, bankruptcy, consumer law and labor/employment law. That’s about 46 calls each day from people who have pressing legal issues and are actively looking for an attorney. Barbara Arsedo has been with the CCCBA for almost eight years. As Coordinator of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service and Moderate Means programs she works with attorney panelists as well as clients in need of attorneys. She is also fluent in Spanish, and handles the incoming calls from Spanish speakers. “I make sure the case status for each attorney is current and all payments to the LRIS are recorded correctly,” she said. “I also recruit attorneys for our Moderate Means programs, and make sure that newer attorneys who sign up get the training they need to take on these cases.” At the 2016 ABA National Lawyer Referral Workshop, Barbara was one of four panelists at the plenary session discussing innovative ways to market the CCCBA’s LRIS. She explained how the CCCBA program is advertised at the courts in a variety of ways, including on the bottom of all court forms that are distributed by bailiffs and court clerks. Special red phones in the family law and civil

A delegation from the Japanese Bar Association visited CCCBA in August to learn about LRIS and Moderate Means programs. Pictured here are Theresa Hurley, CCCBA Executive Director (second from left) and Barbara Arsedo, LRIS Coordinator (center).

court houses in Martinez connect directly to CCCBA’s LRIS phone lines. Pads of small flyers, bookmarks and sticky notes are distributed widely through the courts and social services agencies, all of the libraries in the county, and many senior citizens centers. The CCCBA distributes LRIS coasters to CCCBA members as a reminder of the service. The coasters are imprinted, Can’t help a Client? Call us! Other marketing includes ads on Google, Facebook, Twitter posts and of course links on the website ( Because of her close association with the state bar, Barbara was quoted in a 2015 California Bar Journal article about CCCBA’s Moderate Means program, which receives approximately two or three applications each week. The program, and CCCBA member attorneys, help make quality legal support a reality for moderate income clients. As an adjunct to the Lawyer Referral & Information Service, this important program offers reduced-fee representation in family law, immigration, housing and elder law matters. It is designed to make legal services available for those who do not qualify for pro bono services but who still do not

have the means to retain attorneys at their usual rates. Moderate Means clients pay participating attorneys a modest retainer and hourly rate that fit within the program guidelines. Panel attorneys come from all different legal backgrounds and experience levels. LRIS – International Exposure In August of 2016, a delegation of attorneys from Japan visited CCCBA and met with Theresa Hurley and Barbara Arsedo. They were interested in how CCCBA’s LRIS and Moderate Means programs work as they were considering setting up programs for a nationwide Japanese LRIS. During the meeting with the CCCBA they discussed LRIS program administration, fee structure, marketing, and the role of the moderate means program. The delegation also met with the State Bar of California, Bar Association of San Francisco, and Santa Clara County Bar Association. How the LRIS Can Help As a result of the 12,000 calls received each year from people looking for legal representation, the CCCBA LRIS team referred more than 5,500 potential clients to CCCBA members who have joined the LRIS. continued



While some of those resulted in a single consultation, almost 650 went on to business relationships that generated $1.3 M to CCCBA LRIS panelists. For the new year, CCCBA has an especial need for more LRIS attorneys who speak Spanish, work in East Contra Costa County, or specialize in housing law. The Moderate Means program is also seeking additional attorney members. To join the LRIS now, contact Barbara at (925) 370-2544 or What LRIS Clients have to say… (Quotes taken from regular LRIS client follow-up surveys.) About LRIS panelist Uma Subramanian: “I loved how my attorney took the time to listen to what I had to say and ask questions and really try to understand my case.” About LRIS panelist O’Neil Dennis: “Mr. Dennis is great and very smart. I was very impressed with him. I would refer him to anyone needing a lawyer. I cannot say enough good about him.” About LRIS panelist Ann Harding Battin: “I am very pleased with the work Ann Battin has done in the probate matter. She worked diligently… I am very pleased with her work and her work ethics.” About LRIS panelist Robert Miller: “He was helpful, straight forward, no-nonsense and professional. He listened and was able to suggest a course of action that helped tremendously.” About LRIS panelist John Prentice: “Mr. Prentice has been very helpful. I would return to him if I had another problem and I would recommend him.” About LRIS panelist Matthew Guichard: “Mr. Guichard was the best experience I have had with an attorney. I got immediate results and [am] eternally grateful for his help.” About the LRIS referral process: “I was very pleased with the way our referral was handled. The process was simple and efficient and made the search for an attorney feel much less overwhelming. Well worth the $30 fee.” With distrust of advertising and self-serving websites, the public is looking for a referral source that can be trusted. The CCCBA offers its LRIS as a public service, as a nonprofit organization. The CCCBA’s LRIS is certified by the State Bar of California (Certification #0018) and meets ABA Standards. For attorneys looking to build their practice, the LRIS makes good sense. It is credible, economical and targeted marketing that gives attorneys access to clients who need immediate help.

The Other Members of the LRIS Team

You may be wondering about the division of labor at the CCCBA and how Barbara, Jennifer and Emily can handle the volume of LRIS calls. One person certainly could not handle it alone! So while Barbara works full time on LRIS and Moderate Means, the LRIS accounts for about 75% of Jennifer’s and Emily’s job responsibilities. Here is more about what they do when they are not on the phone speaking with LRIS clients.

Jennifer Comages – CCCBA Membership Coordinator

Jennifer has been with the CCCBA for 37 years and has experience working in all areas of the bar association’s operation. In addition to answering calls for LRIS, Jennifer is the CCCBA Membership Coordinator. “I answer questions that existing or new members may have about membership,” said Jennifer. “I also assist in renewing their membership (PLEASE RENEW TODAY!) and help new attorneys with the online application. I update and maintain member information in the database and help members or their assistants in navigating our website for upcoming events.” Jenny also coordinates our Member Benefit program, working to find new benefits for CCCBA members – learn more about CCCBA Member Benefits on page 23.

Emily Day – CCCBA Fee Arbitration Program

Emily has also been with the CCCBA for a long time, just shy of 30 years. She wears many hats – she is the Fee Arbitration Coordinator, Systems Administrator, Webmaster, and one of the LRIS Representatives. She has written articles for the Contra Costa Lawyer about the Fee Mediation/Arbitration Program and the LRIS. In 2013, she wrote an article for The Solo Section’s Maverick newsletter for attorneys who want to avoid disputes with their clients over fees. [“Fee Arbitration Advice for California Attorneys – Communication with Your Client is Essential,” (http://www. She also wrote an article for members of the community who are disputing the fees their attorneys charged. [“Fee Arbitration Advice for Clients of California Attorneys,”( disputes/index.php)]. Emily offers what she hopes are helpful insights for lawyers and consumers based on the thousands of calls and her years of experience fielding complaints about lawyers.



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

“What do you value most about your CCCBA membership?” The professional development programs. I’m a member of the CCCBA Real Estate section, and I find the monthly breakfast meetings are informative. The section leadership does a good job of finding speakers on timely and interesting topics. Also, the yearly CCCBA MCLE Spectacular is a great event. The breakout sessions in this year’s program were outstanding, and the presentation by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker was superb. Bob Jacobs



That is hard to prioritize as there are so many great benefits. But for me in some order of priority it would be [1] Staff at Bar offices;[2] Relationships with other attorneys; [3] Relationships with local courts and judges; [4] MCLE Spectacular; [5] Sections; [6] CalBar liaison; and [7] facilities. Most of these are valuable benefits and of equal dignity with other benefits. Wayne V.R. Smith Attorney at Law

Section Leaders

Continued from page 19

Workshops” as they may work directly with attorneys in a consumer-oriented client setting. The CCCBA is bridging the gap between the law school and the real life practice opportunities through their mentorship, internships, and networking events. Suggestions for presentation topics or student-related activities are welcomed and encouraged. Please contact either Kate or Lisa.

LITIGATION Leonard E. Marquez is a civil litigation attorney with the law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP in Oakland, California. Founded in 1909, Wendel Rosen is a leading East Bay law firm that provides a full range of legal services to businesses in Contra Costa County, the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Mr. Marquez’ practice focuses on landlord-tenant disputes and commercial evictions, as well as general civil litigation. He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Mr. Marquez has represented commercial landlords in all manner of commercial lease disputes, including tenant evictions and breach of lease claims. Pivot Questions: Leonard is creatively turned on by building his own creations with LEGO bricks. He is turned off by negativity and loves the sound of an airplane overhead on a clear summer day. Aside from being a lawyer he would like to try being an architect. Justin Schnitzler is a partner at Ring Hunter Holland & Schenone, LLP. His practice is widespread in his representation of public entities, largescale developers, commercial landlords, and companies in all stages of complex commercial and real estate litigation. Prior to joining Ring Hunter Holland & Schenone, he spent many years with another regional law firm located in Walnut Creek in the firm’s real estate and business and technology practice groups. He was selected as a California Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2013, 2014 & 2015. Pivot Questions: Justin’s favorite word is maybe and his least favorite word is artisanal. He loves the sound of his kid’s laughing and he would like to join The Felice Brothers as their second accordian player!

The Litigation Section provides a forum for civil trial attorneys to hone their advocacy skills, network and socialize. It presents seminars on trial practice featuring the county’s judicial officers and its senior practitioners providing instruction and real-world advice on the art and science of trial practice. The section sponsors programs of interest for civil practitioners of all experience levels and abilities. In past years, the Litigation Section has sponsored presentations regarding use of technology in the courtroom, jury trials, complex issues in breach of contract cases, taking and defending depositions, ADR, and litigating in federal court. The section also facilitates dialogue with the local Superior Court bench to keep pace with changing court procedures and to promote the efficient and fair administration of justice.

REAL ESTATE Marie Quashnock, after over 27 years in private practice, has developed extensive experience representing individuals, startups, businesses, and public entities across a multitude of industries. In her transactional experience, she has advised real estate clients on a wide range of transactions, including sales contracts, lease arrangements, and debt and equity financing. She also developed a specialty in intellectual property law, having prosecuted hundreds of trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of her clients. With broad civil litigation experience in a variety of areas, she focuses primarily on real estate and business litigation. Marie was named a Super Lawyer by Northern California Super Lawyer Magazine for two consecutive years, 2009 and 2010. Marie has been a partner at Alvis Quashnock and Associates in Brentwood since March 2013. Pivot Questions: Marie loves the sound of the cello and is turned on by seeing the sunrise. She does not like sitting in traffic and the sound of the dentist’s drill. Marie could see herself trying out a career as an interior designer. The Real Estate Section offers monthly breakfast MCLE programs free to section members and open to other members of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and other guests, as well as networking and activities related to the practice of real estate law. Non-members are welcome to participate in monthly programs for a small fee. The programs focus on real estate issues of current interest. The section is also proud to make annual charitable contributions to various groups and interests. continued on page 30



Section Leaders

Continued from page 29

This section meets the third Friday of most months, except July, August, November and December. Annual dues are $55, which cover the MCLE programs and related meals. The Contra Costa Lawyer solicits articles from members of the section on a regular basis.

SOLO & SMALL FIRM Chris Schneider is an estate planning and tax attorney with Dorband & Schneider, LLP in Walnut Creek. He has been practicing since graduating from Golden Gate University in 2008. Chris is a native of the East Bay having grown up in Lamorinda and then attending Saint Mary’s College for undergraduate and graduate studies. He now lives with his wife and two young children in Alamo. Pivot Questions: Chris would like to attempt a career as an airline pilot. His favorite word is victorious and his least favorite word is literally. When Chris arrives at the pearly gates he would like to hear God say “Welcome to Heaven, you have the third cloud on the left and the wifi password is…” The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section—launched in 1996—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 able to offer assistance to other Section members. A partnership with JFKU Law School allows members to have cost-effective and convenient access to legal resources through full use of the JFKU Law Library, and JFKU Law School students are admitted to the Section. Solo Practice & Small Firm Section members also receive an email newsletter, The Maverick, informing them of upcoming events, providing topical articles and a forum for comment and commentary. Members also have access to an email listserv. The Section hosts after-work mixers and breakfasts in alternating months, and participates in the Bar’s MCLE Spectacular each November. Monthly meetings are open to both members and non-members. The Section’s MCLE Spectacular programs have included panel discussions on how to open a law firm and how to prepare a small firm for death, disability and disaster.



TAXATION SECTION Christina Weed’s solo practice focuses on tax law, estate planning, and litigation. As a licensed attorney with an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy, Christina has dedicated the past 14 years to the study and practice of law, business, accounting, and estate planning, and uses this knowledge to guide her clients through both personal and business planning measures. Christina has been the Chair of the Tax Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association since 2013. Pivot Questions: Christina’s favorite word is her baby girl’s name Liana and her favorite sound is Liana’s giggle. She is turned on by opportunity and turned off by cold weather. When she arrives at the Pearly Gates, Christina would like to hear God ask, “Pinot or Cab?” The Taxation Section is one of the longest running sections of CCCBA. Its members meet regularly with tax agency leaders, skilled practitioners, and legal scholars to discuss changes in tax laws and administration. The Taxation Section also holds regular joint meetings with a number of different sections, such as the Real Estate, Family Law, Bankruptcy and Estate Planning & Probate Sections, to educate them on tax issues relevant to each section’s members. Speakers at events have included ranking members of the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board and legal scholars and practitioners. Legal ethics, recent tax acts and “practice pointers” are among the topics covered during the year. The section invites all interested attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, paralegals, and others to join them for a luncheon meeting. Affiliate membership is open to accounting practitioners only.

WEST COUNTY Karen Juster Hecht became a lawyer so that she could help people. She practices family law and mediation, which fulfills her goal of helping clients through difficult times. Her previous career path included general civil litigation and business. In addition to practicing law, Karen enjoys her family and she happily pursues her passion for writing and photography with multiple projects. If she’s not inside working, she loves being outdoors, walking, hiking, biking, and swimming in the beautiful Bay Area.

Daniel Butt’s solo practice specializes in real estate, construction, business formation, and commercial contracts. As well as being a member of the Bar, Daniel is a licensed real estate broker and general contractor, who in a prior life operated an award-winning construction company focused on historic preservation. Daniel is a West County native and graduate of King Hall, UC Davis.

Oregon. She tried and charged cases for the Oregon Circuit Court, giving her a distinctive capability to see a case from all sides.

The West County Section reestablished the connection between CCCBA members in the west county that had been missing since the West County Bar Association was consolidated with the Central and East County Bar Associations. It is the only regional section, tasked with ensuring that the interests of lawyers practicing in the West Contra Costa area are represented within, and considered by, CCCBA. Meetings, which are generally held on a quarterly basis, are scheduled with a variety of continuing education presentations on topics including juveniles, family, real property, trust and estate matters, and other issues of general legal interest.

The Women’s Section has been a strong presence in CCCBA for over 25 years. Its members include attorneys practicing in all areas of the law who live or work in Contra Costa County.

Bench /Bar networking events are also a priority to allow members to connect with each other and members of the local judiciary. We welcome all practice areas and encourage those practicing in the area to join. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to serve within the section leadership.

WOMEN Janell Alberto is a senior associate in Archer Norris’s Walnut Creek office, focusing her practice on litigation. She handles matters involving civil and commercial litigation, products liability, premises liability, trucking, and automobile liability. She also supports the firm’s Toxic Tort Litigation practice group. Well-versed in all stages of litigation, Janell is ideally suited for Archer Norris’s fast-paced On Call Trial Counsel team.

Pivot Questions: One of Janell’s favorite words is penultimate. She loves the sound of the ocean and she would like to try to be a professional stunt car driver but is too afraid of getting hurt. When Janell walks through the pearly gates she would like to hear God say, “Here is your private chocolate shop.”

The goal of the section is to further the advancement of women in the legal profession and the judiciary. Men are welcome to join. The CCCBA Women’s Section is a proud Affiliate of the California Women Lawyers (www. Members of the Women’s Section receive a discounted membership to CWL. The Women’s Section provides networking opportunities for its members to meet other attorneys and professionals. The section hosts informational programs and lunches, some offering MCLE credit and others focusing on matters of more personal interest, such as job opportunities and rainmaking. The Women’s Section annually awards the Honorable Patricia Herron and Honorable Ellen James Scholarship to deserving law students who have shown leadership potential, achieved academic success, and helped to advance women’s issues. The section hosts a scholarship fundraiser each spring, usually in the form of a silent auction and wine-tasting. We gratefully accept donations to the Scholarship Fund anytime and would like to thank all who have donated and supported this great scholarship. All members are invited to attend the board meetings which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. If you would like to serve on the board or want further information, please contact Janell.

Before coming to Archer Norris, Janell was an associate at Low, Ball & Lynch in San Francisco, where her practice emphasized products, general liability, and commercial litigation. Before that, she was with Livingston Law Firm in Walnut Creek, and Foley & Mansfield in Oakland. While attending law school, Janell worked as a certified law clerk for the Tillamook County DA’s office in



CCCBA’s New Communications Coordinator, Carole Lucido Carole joined the CCCBA in late April and produces the Contra Costa Lawyer, the annual membership directory and e-blasts. She also manages the bar’s websites and social media presence and takes photos and videos at CCCBA events.

Prior to joining the CCCBA, Carole worked in corporate marketing positions in San Francisco and the East Bay and then operated her own marketing and graphic design business from 2000 to 2015. She produced websites and print material and

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won several marketing awards. She also worked as a freelance writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup. Carole enjoys getting to know people and learning what drives their passion for work and community involvement. She likes working in the center of projects and sharing resources to help solve complicated problems. She also enjoys learning new computer software and electronics and creating marketing materials that get results. New to the legal world, Carole is enjoying learning the new terminology and procedures. “I am having a great time meeting the interesting and friendly members of CCCBA and hope to meet more of them in the coming year,” she said. Carole is a life-long resident of the Bay Area and a fifth generation native Californian. She attended local schools, including Ygnacio Valley High School and Diablo Valley College before moving downstate and studying public relations at Cal State University Fullerton. She has a large extended family in the area. She is married and lives in Walnut Creek with her husband Bob.

Have You Read “Complete Stories


plete Storie fr

Bray om the s Build ing

from the Bray Building,” by Justice James Marchiano, (ret.)? The book is posted on the CCCBA website. cclawyer-articles/

2016 CCCBA ACCOMPLISHMENTS n In collaboration with the CCCBA’s 20 sections, the Bar offered more than 100 programs. This year’s events included a four-part MCLE series on Legal Ethics along with numerous Happy Hour networking mixers and other social events. The CCCBA also added an Immigration Section with 25+ members. n The CCCBA’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) has exceeded all expectations this year, with approx. 12,000 calls resulting in over 5,500 client consultations. n The Criminal Conflicts Panel (CCP) took on increased PD overflows of both felony & misdemeanor cases as well as two multiple co-defendant gang cases. n The 22nd Annual MCLE Spectacular on November 18th once again featured top-notch speakers and

Since 1949 Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell

presenters with 16 programs, 55+ speakers and over 330 attendees. The seminars offered General, Elimination of Bias, Legal Ethics and Specialization MCLE credits. n Hundreds of attorneys took advantage of Self-Study MCLE opportunities and the CCCBA continued to add quality articles and videos to our catalog. n The CCCBA continued to maintain and further develop its relationships with the local Bench through various Bench/Bar committees, courtroom programs and numerous social events including the annual Bench/Bar softball game and the Richard E. Arnason Memorial. n With help from members, the Bar offered unmatched support to the community with over 100 free legal clinics and workshops

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• Probate, Trust & Estate litigation and administration • Elder Abuse litigation • Conservatorship and Guardianship establishment and litigation • Fiduciary Representation and Court Accountings • Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts

staffed by members. In addition, the Employment Section received a community outreach State Bar Grant to provide free employment law workshops to employers and employees throughout the county. n With the help of generous donors, the CCCBA continued to raise money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano through the annual Food from the Bar competition. In addition, the Bar supported Community Violence Solutions’ Anti-Human Trafficking Project, raising over $44,000 for those in need in Contra Costa and Marin counties. n Many of the individual sections raised funds for local and statewide organizations. Kudos to the Women’s Section, the Barristers/ Young Lawyers Section and the Juvenile Law Section for their efforts. n The Diversity committee put on a Judicial Application workshop, reinvigorated the Judicial Mentoring program and organized an event for members to meet the ABA President, Paulette Brown. n The CCCBA’s Fee Arbitration and Mediation program handled over 35 inquiries resulting in 21 cases filed and, with 8 cases left pending from 2015, over 19 matters were settled or had awards issued. n A new CCCBA member logo was designed for members to use on their websites and print materials. We are very proud of our successes in 2016. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!

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2016 Year-End Financial Report

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


$ 272,932

$ 7,207

$ 265,725

Dues, mailings, committee meetings, applications, State Bar swearing-in ceremonies, recruitment campaigns, networking mixers, annual leadership meetings, holiday party, printing costs.


$348,032 $20,028 $328,004

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.


$19,800 $7,675 $12, 125

Filing fees, State Bar reimbursements, refunds, postage, committee meetings, supplies.


$71,432 $33,235 $38,197

MCLE Spectacular, committee meetings, State Bar provider status renewal.


$103,188 $41,213 $61,975

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.

OFFICE ADMINISTRATION Staff (does not include Criminal Conflict Program)

$474,438 ($474,438) ayroll, payroll taxes, payroll service, pension disbursements, medical, dental and vision benefits, workers’ comp insurance, P staff education, expense reimbursements.

Executive Director





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

Office Equipment

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


$17,098 $189,496 ($172,398)

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.


$4,895 $26,081 ($21,186)

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 $5,040 ($5,040) Planning meetings, registration and hotel, materials, etc.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY $2,931 ($2,931) Website modifications/updates, SPAM filter, Internet connection.





Court Tours docents training and court staff thank you luncheon, postage and mailings, materials.




Bench/Bar meetings, Fast Track Bench/Bar roundtable.




$849,200 $849,920



Upcoming Events | Overview January 12 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting

more details on page 36

January 17 | Litigation Section

January 27 | CCCBA

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon more details on pages 37 and 39

February 9 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Membership Appreciation - Coffee & Espresso at Martinez Courthouse

Mentoring Group Meeting

January 17 | Women’s Section

February 21 | Women’s Section

more details on page 37

more details on page 36

Women’s Power Lunch

more details on page 36

January 18 | Barrister’s /Young Lawyers Task Force


more details on page 36

January 20 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Annual Probate Luncheon 2017 more details on page 36

January 24 | Barristers/Young Lawyers’ Section

Women’s Section Happy Hour more details on page 37

February 24 | Barristers / Young Lawyers Section

Bridging the Gap 2017 more details on page 37

March 23 | Women’s Section

Women’s Section Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction 2017 more details on page 37

Basic Legal Ethics for All (Rescheduled from September 20, 2016) more details on page 36

The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 35-37 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

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January 12 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Every effort will be made to include all suggested topics. However, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be given priority. Please bring your brown bag lunch.

January 17 | Litigation Section

January 17 | Women’s Section

Free Coffee & Espresso at the Martinez Courthouse

Women’s Power Lunch

The Litigation section is hosting a Member Appreciation event to kick off 2017 with a free coffee and espresso bar outside the Martinez Courthouse. CCCBA members are welcome to stop by and enjoy a free cup. The coffee and espresso bar will be provided by Drip! Mobile Espresso & Coffee.

What is a Power Lunch? Think LinkedIn but over lunch. The Women’s Section Power Lunch is an opportunity to meet and build professional relationships. If you find at the last minute, that you’re free and haven’t emailed, please come! Join us for more power lunching on April 25 and August 15.

Look for the Drip! Mobile truck.

Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Time: 8 am – 10:00 am

Location: Tender Greens, 1352 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Location: In the vicinity of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, 725 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553

Cost: Pay for self, no registration, no split checks

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

RSVP: to

January 18 | Barristers Section and Young Lawyers Task Force

January 20 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

January 24 | Barristers/Young Lawyers Section

Office Hours at Jack’s

Annual Probate Luncheon - 2017

Basic Legal Ethics for All

Young Lawyers – Enhance your practice and attend this event that will offer a designated time and place for young lawyers to meet more experienced attorneys from a variety of legal fields over no-host drinks and free appetizers.

Speakers: Hon. Judge John H. Sugiyama Erica Giles—Probate Examiner Linda Suppanich—Probate Examiner

Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm

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

Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553 RSVP: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Bring non-case specific questions (to preserve privileges and prevent inadvertently giving legal advice), which could cover ethical issues, procedural options, putting someone in touch with the right person in a particular field, or how to approach a difficult adversary, deposition or hearing.


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

Speaker: Mary Grace Guzman This MCLE is ideal for newer attorneys seeking guidance or seasoned professionals looking for a refresher on basic legal ethics matters that often come up in the course of representing a client. We will cover ethical matters that can come up during an intake, initial consultation and representation. (Rescheduled from 9/20/2016.)

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

Dinner will be provided by sponsor Aiken Welch Court Reporters

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Registration: Online at

Location: CCCBA, 2300 Clayton Rd., Ste 510, Concord

Location: Jack’s, 60 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill

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

MCLE: 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

RSVP: Online at

Cost: $20 members of the Barristers, Business Law, Criminal, Litigation and Solo Sections.

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

Registration: Online at attorney/calendar


January 27 | CCCBA

Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Luncheon 2017 Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jill Fannin will give a State of the Court address before swearing in the 2017 CCCBA Board of Directors and Section Leaders. We will also be honoring Judge Trevor White and Judge Thomas Maddock for their many years of service as they hang up their robes and retire from the bench. Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill Cost: $40 CCCBA members, $50 non-members, $30 law students Registration: Online at attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

February 9 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

Mentoring Group Meeting CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Every effort will be made to include all suggested topics. However, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be given priority. Please bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553

February 21 | Women’s Section

Women’s Section Happy Hour What is a Women’s Section Happy Hour? Think LinkedIn but over drinks. The Women’s Section Happy Hour is an opportunity to meet and build professional relationships. If you find at the last minute, that you’re free but haven’t emailed, please come! Join us for more Happy Hours on July 18 at Corner’s Tavern and November 14 at Stanford’s. Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Location: Sunol Ridge Restaurant and Bar, 1388 Locust St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Cost: No host Happy Hour RSVP: to More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

RSVP: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or February 24 | 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: 10:30 am – 5:00 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 2017 (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 Registration: Online at

March 23 | Women’s Section

Women’s Section Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction - 2017 Please join the Women’s Section of the CCCBA at its Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholarship Fund. The event will consist of wine tasting from local vendors, tasty hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, a wine toss, and much more! We hope to see you at this fabulous fundraising event! If you are interested in being a Sponsor, please contact Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

For the latest on CCCBA events, check the website at attorney/calendar

Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill CA 94523 Cost: $50 for Women’s Section members, $55 CCCBA members, $65 non-members Registration: Online at attorney/calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


We gratefully acknowledge our


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Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP

Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Bingham Osborn & Scarborough, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Craddick, Candland & Conti

Bray & Greenwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Doyle Quane Family Law Group

Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . 40

Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy

Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Ferber Law, APC

Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines

Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Galloway, Lucchese, Everson & Picchi Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey Hartog Baer & Hand, APC Livingston Law Firm, PC Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP

Novak Wealth Management . . . . . . . 2 David B. Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 16 Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Trustcare Fiduciary Services . . . . . . . . 6 Lisa M. West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Youngman Ericsson Scott . . . . . . . . . . 32 Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . 18



Friday, January 27, 2017 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Annual Officer Installation lUNCHEON OFFICERS TO BE INSTALLED Board Members: Philip Andersen, President  | James Wu, President-Elect Michelle Ferber, Secretary | Wendy McGuire Coats, Treasurer Elva Harding, Past President DIRECTOrs: Mary Carey | Steven Derby | Mika Domingo | Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston | David Marchiano | Erica McKenna Nicole Mills | Craig Nevin | Dorian Peters | Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck Section Leaders: Jocelyn Jones Torru: ADR Gary A. Watt: Appellate Jen Lee: Bankruptcy Law Jeremy Seymour: Barristers Kent Parr, Business Law Mary P. Carey: Criminal Law Michael LaMay: Elder Law Yen Chau: Employment Virginia George: Estate Planning & Probate David C. Erb: Family Law Flavio Carvalho: Immigration Law Joseph R. Snyder & Stuart West: Intellectual Property Law

Rhonda Wilson-Rice: Juvenile Leonard E. Marquez & Justin Schnitzler: Litigation Marie Quashnock: Real Estate Chris Schneider: Solo Practice & Small Firm Kate Mignani & Lisa Antoine: Student Christina Weed: Taxation Karen Juster Hecht & Daniel Butt: West County Janell Alberto: Women

Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill

We will honor Judge Trevor White and Judge Thomas Maddock for their many years of service as they hang up their robes and retire from the bench.

REGISTER TODAY! $40 CCCBA Members $50 Non-members $30 Law Students Menu choices: Roast Sirloin Chicken Provencal ~ OR ~ Vegetable Risotto To register, contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540, or visit




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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