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January/February 2017


Sabrina L. Thomas

Photo by Mark Long-Eleakis & Elder Photography

2017 SCBA President Sacramento County Bar Association Annual Meeting 2017 Membership Application Inside

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EDITOR’S MESSAGE Betsy S. Kimball Editor-in-Chief

Salute by Betsy S. Kimball


ack Laufenberg—my predecessor as Editor—died unexpectedly in November. His death is a loss to his family, his friends and colleagues, and his clients. The SCBA is doing a special publication to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018, and Jack and I had just started planning for that work…. Those of us in private practice need to plan in case of sudden illness or incapacity. It does happen. It happened to me more than 15 years ago when my doctor told me that I had ovarian cancer. I did not expect it, nor was I prepared. Had I been in a small practice or solo, my absence for surgery and chemo would have added another huge thing to handle at a time I felt overwhelmed. Natalie Vance gave a recent presentation to the SCBA’s Small and Solo Practice group on the importance of succession planning for law practices, and her article on this subject is in this issue (p. 26). I work downtown on K Street. I often wonder how the people I encounter on the street got there. Some, I suspect, are veterans. I commend to your reading Shoeb Mohammed’s and Narek

Avetisyan’s article on the Veterans Court (p. 22), and I salute Judge Dave Abbott for what he, his staff, and the veteran-mentors accomplish there. Since the SCBA’s office re-located to University Avenue and its Event Center opened, I have heard dozens of compliments about how great the SCBA staff is. I agree. They all do many, many jobs really well. • Mary Burroughs Executive Director • Deb Roberts - Sales, events, & MCLE (contact Deb to advertise in Sacramento Lawyer) • Martha Fenchen - Fee Arb. Program, membership, & events • Milenko Vlajsavljevic Graphic design & website • Abner Collazo - Indigent Defense Panel & Lawyer Referral Info. Service • Willow Jacobs - Event Center & photographer • William Thompson Photographer & social media.

The SCBA notes with great regret the untimely death of Jack Laufenberg, at age 60. Jack served as President of the SCBA in 2006 and was the Editor-in-Chief of Sacramento Lawyer between 2011 and mid-2013.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Betsy S. Kimball ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ellen Arabian-Lee STAFF EDITORS Bryan Hawkins, Heather Cline Hoganson, Maureen Onyeagbako MAGAZINE COMMITTEE Betsy S. Kimball, Samson R. Elsbernd, David Graulich, Coral Henning, Heather Cline Hoganson, Yoshinori H.T. Himel CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mary J. Burroughs (916) 564-3780 - PRODUCTION DESIGN Milenko Vlajsavljevic ADVERTISING SALES EVENTS - MEMBER CLASSIFIED ADS (916) 564-3780 - SCBA OFFICERS Sabrina L. Thomas - President Sil Reggiardo - 1st Vice President Sean McCoy - 2nd Vice President Shanae Buffington - Secretary/Treasurer SCBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Mary J. Burroughs -

Sacramento Lawyer (USPS 0981-300) is published bi-monthly by the Sacramento County Bar Association, 425 University Ave., Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825. Issn 1087-8771. Annual subscription rate: $6.00 included in membership dues, or $24.00 for nonmembers. Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento, California. Postmaster: Send address changes to Sacramento Lawyer, 425 University Ave., Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825. Copyright 2017 by the Sacramento County Bar Association. Each author’s commentary reflects his/her individual opinion only and not that of his/her employer, organization with which he/she is affiliated, or Sacramento Lawyer magazine, unless otherwise stated.


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |



COVER STORY 18 Sabrina L. Thomas, SCBA President for 2017 FEATURE ARTICLE 22 Forgotten Heroes, No More EVENTS 8

29th Annual Unity Bar Dinner

10 McGee, Tamura, and Carlson Honored at the SCBA’s Annual Meeting 14 Party for a Cause


ETHICS 26 Succession Planning for Your Practice SECTIONS & AFFILIATE NEWS 16 Justice Art Scotland (Ret.) Receives Fourth Annual SacLEGAL Founders Award 17 Administrative, Environmental, and Public Law Sections Co-Host Leaders of Medical Cannabis Regulation 28 The Collaborative Court System: A Presentation by the Honorable Larry Brown to the SCBA Public Law Section



30 Sacramento Lawyers Mingle with Regulators at the Environmental Law Section’s First “Meet Your Regulators” Networking Event VLSP 12 Retirement Reaps Its Own Reward




4 Editor’s Message 6

President’s Message

Sacramento Lawyer magazine welcomes letters and article suggestions from readers. Please e-mail them to The Sacramento County Bar Association reserves the right to edit articles and letters sent in for publication. Please contact the SCBA at 916-564-3780 for deadline information, fax 916-564-3787, or email Web page: Caveat: Articles and other work submitted to Sacramento Lawyer magazine become the copyrighted property of the Sacramento County Bar Association. Returns of tangible items such as photographs are by permission of the Executive Director only, by pickup at the SCBA office only.


2017 SCBA President Sabrina L. Thomas | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



State of the SCBA Address by Sabrina L. Thomas


his is the beginning of my seventh year on the Board, and I have witnessed tremendous growth at the SCBA. We now have 19 sections, 15 committees, a Solo/Small Practice Division, new Divisions for Movers and Shakers, and more member benefits. Back in 2011, the Board approved a long range strategic plan. This year we updated that plan, and I am elated to report that the SCBA accomplished many of those goals -- most notably our new home which includes a 100seat meeting space. My primary goals this year are (1) for the SCBA to do more outreach in the community, and (2) to increase the diversity of SCBA

members, not only in the traditional sense but in varieties of practice. What’s Trending in 2017? This will be a busy year. • The SCBA is planning its 100-year centennial for 2018 led by First Vice President Sil Reggiardo. • While some of the State Bar functions are being eliminated, the SCBA is stepping in to fill the void. For the first time, the SCBA will host the Conference of California Bar Associations, which was previously held concurrently with the State Bar Annual Conference. Bar delegations from across the state

President, Sacramento County Bar Association

will descend on Sacramento for a three-day conference entirely devoted to debating proposals for legislative action. If you are interested in making law, the SCBA’s Delegation welcomes new members. • Building on the outstanding support and engagement of our local, state and federal judiciary, the SCBA will offer a new cross-platform Judges Series for 2017. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear the judiciary speak on a topic relevant to your practice area. · The SCBA will also introduce a speaker’s forum on non-traditional law practices including wine, pol-

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itics, and international law. Contact us if you have a different twist on using your law degree. • Our members are volunteering their time to make a difference in the lives of others through several charitable activities, including continued support of the Food for the Bar drive to raise money for the Sacramento Food Bank. • We plan to organize visits to local elementary schools to educate young students about the profession. Help influence the next generation! • Watch for the 1st Annual SCBA BarStock festival this year. It’s an opportunity for members and prospective members to – more details to come. I strongly encourage you to get involved. Remember, you have a place with the SCBA. Carpe Diem! Sabrina L. Thomas

JUDICATE WEST IS HONORED TO WELCOME HON. MICHAEL G. VIRGA TO OUR EXCLUSIVE ROSTER OF NEUTRALS We congratulate him on his retirement from the Sacramento Superior Court after 23 years of distinguished service. Judge Virga served in many departments during his tenure and is praised for his work in participating and supervising the settlement department for over 10 years where he mediated and co-mediated over 600 cases. He is warmly regarded by his colleagues and both sides of the bar for his open and caring demeanor. He is now available to serve as a mediator and arbitrator in our new Sacramento office.



A special thank you to the sponsors of our 60th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser for their generous support!


Silver Murphy Austin Adams and Schoenfeld LLP California Medical Association (CMA) Thomas Law Group U.S. Bank

Bronze Cook Brown LLP Ron Javor | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


Cindy Liu is the 2017


29th Annual Unity Bar Dinner by Cindy C. Liu

President of the Asian/ Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento. She can be contacted at

Judge Jennifer Rockwell, Justice Elena Duarte, Justice Andrea Hoch, Judge Tami Bogert, & Judge Bunmi Awoniyi

Jerry Chong & the Chief Justice


November 16, 2016, the Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento (ABAS) hosted the Unity Bar Association of Sacramento’s 29th annual dinner. The Unity Bar Association is comprised of seven minority bar associations: ABAS, Cruz Reynoso Bar Association (CRBA), Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association (LMTani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief FBA), Sacramento Lawyers for the Justice of California Equality of Gays and Lesbians (SacLEGAL), South Asian Bar Association of Sacramento (SABA), Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association (WMBA), and Women Lawyers of Sacramento (WLS). The member bars awarded nine scholarships to students from the three local law schools – Lincoln Law School, UC

Davis, and Pacific McGeorge. Each minority bar association also presented community service awards to the following organizations and individuals: Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (ABAS); Rachel R. Rios, La Familia Counseling Center, Inc. (CRBA); Mark E. Merin (LMFBA); Sacramento LGBT Center (SacLEGAL); Harjit Kaur (SABA); Save More Kids, Inc. (WMBA); and A Touch of Understanding (WLS). The keynote speaker was Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California. After a few opening remarks, the Chief Justice sat down with Jerry Chong, Unity Bar co-founder and ABAS Past President, for a “fireside chat,” where she spoke candidly about her career. She ended the program with a reminder: given that our training and experience as attorneys has afforded us with a special skill set and temperament, we have a unique opportunity to give back to the community, and we should make it our responsibility to do so.

2016 Unity Bar Dinner Committee: Masao Taylor, Cindy Liu, Sonia Fernandes, Dianne Dobbs, Hollis Kulwin, Linda Gonzalez, Patricia Tsubokawa Reeves, Hayley Dewey, Jessica Warne, & Aparna Agnihotri


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 | | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



McGee, Tamura, and Carlson Honored at the SCBA’s Annual Meeting by Betsy S. Kimball


December 5th, the Sacramento County Bar Association held its annual meeting at the Sheraton Grand. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg gave the keynote address, sharing some of his thoughts as incoming mayor. He also spoke of working in the Legislature with the SCBA’s Distinguished Attorney of the Year, Fredericka McGee, calling her “the best in the business.” In her remarks, McGee issued a call to action. “It’s time for dialogue,” she said. Attorneys must be “at the forefront of changing the tone of the discourse” in the country. Outgoing SCBA President Heather Cline Hoganson presented the 2016 President’s Award to Russell Carlson, and VLSP managing attorney Vicki Jacobs presented the 2016 June

Heather Hoganson and SCBA Distinguished Attorney of the Year Fredericka McGee

Russell Carlson and Heather Hoganson

Black Pro Bono Award to Irene Tamura. The program concluded with remarks by 2017 SCBA President Sabrina L. Thomas about her vision for SCBA’s progress in this new year.

As always, the SCBA wishes to thank all of the sponsors, distinguished guests, and colleagues for making this year’s annual meeting another great success.

The SCBA Board of Directors


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

EVENTS Betsy S. Kimball Editor-in-Chief

Past Presidents Bruce Timm & Heather Cline Hoganson with Sabrina Thomas

Mayor Steinberg & Fredericka McGee, SCBA Distinguished Attorney of the Year

SCBA Board Members are sworn in

Fredericka McGee greets Mayor Steinberg

Jerilyn Paik, Dean Jay Mootz, Prof. Leslie Jacobs, & Mindy Danovaro

Kevin Davis, Eric Miller, & Mark Velasquez

Justin Ward & Dan Glass | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



Vicki Jacobs is the

Retirement Reaps Its Own Reward

Managing Attorney of the Voluntary Legal Services Program. She can be contacted at

by Vicki Jacobs


ach year, the Staff and Advisory Committee of the Voluntary Legal Services Program (VLSP) are pleased to award our annual June Black Pro Bono Award to one of our wonderful volunteers. At the SCBA’s December Annual Meeting, we presented Irene Tamura the 2016 award (named in memory of June Black, VLSP’s founding Program Coordinator who spent 17 years working to assure that Sacramento area low-income clients received free legal services from volunteer attorneys). Having dedicated her career to public service, Irene has continued her service in retirement through volunteerism. She helps with lunches at Loaves and Fishes on a monthly basis and provides phone and in-person advice to VLSP clients approximately twice a week, both at our evening Debt Collection Defense Clinic and during regular business hours. According to Heather Tiffee, VLSP’s Assistant Program Manager and Staff Attorney, Irene “has jumped at the opportunity to learn new areas of law, including employment law and housing. She has provided invaluable support not only to clients but to our staff as well, including research projects and outreach to various other nonprofits to help bring VLSP’s services out into our community. Always positive and encouraging, Irene brings genuine concern and care to each client’s individual legal dilemma. She has become an indispensable member of our team and a wonderful


Irene Tamura & Vicki Jacobs

addition to our office.” In 2016 alone, Irene assisted over 20 clients in person and gave phone advice to at least 50 more. Since she began volunteering at VLSP about six years ago, Irene has met with and helped over 70 clients with their debt-related problems. Irene only retired in 2015, so she made substantial pro bono contributions while balancing a demanding career and family, plus other volunteering. Irene is a member of the Asian/ Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento and previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Asian Resources, Inc. Asian Resources happens to be one of VLSP’s partners in providing indigent clients with expungement help and guidance in driver’s license reinstatement. Irene has also served as a Board member of the Florin Japa-

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

nese Citizens League and assisted with the activities of her two children, including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and church activities with the United Methodist Church. Irene is a 1983 graduate of Hastings College of the Law. After graduation, she served for 11 years as the law clerk to two chief bankruptcy judges, David Russell and Loren Dahl. Irene’s legal career demonstrates her commitment to public service. From 1994 to 2000, she served in the Government Law Section of the Attorney General’s office, where she represented the interests of the state’s elected officials in litigation in state and federal court. She worked on cases challenging ballot initiatives such as the additional tobacco tax to fund early childhood education. She also worked to defend the State Controller’s

unclaimed property law and defended the California Public Employees Retirement System calculation of industrial disability benefits. In 2000, Irene was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve as Chief Counsel to Grantland Johnson, the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency. She served in this position for three years. She advised the Secretary and his staff on legal matters involving several state departments, including the Department of Health Services, Mental Health, Developmental Services, Social Services, Aging, and Employment Development. She provided legal advice on strategies from directors and managers to deal with the budget crisis during that time. In 2003, Irene returned to the Attorney General’s Office. Until her retirement in 2015, she served in the Energy and Corporate Fraud Sections of the Attorney General’s Office. While in the Energy Section, as part of a team of attorneys, she represented the state’s interests in the AG’s civil enforcement action in state court against Enron for manipulation of the electricity wholesale market during the early 2000’s energy crisis. In the Enron bankruptcy case, she worked on preserving the state’s claim for Enron’s actions in defrauding the utilities and the state’s consumers curing the crisis. She also litigated the right of the Attorney General to continue his lawsuit against Enron in state court as an enforcement action exempt from the bankruptcy automatic stay. She served on the team that negotiated a settlement of the Enron bankruptcy case which returned refunds to the state’s utilities. While in the Corporate Fraud Section, Irene worked on civil enforcement actions brought by the AG in the name of the People against securities broker-dealers and mutual fund companies for their failure to disclose shelf space agreements to investors. After such a demanding career,

the VLSP staff is very grateful that Irene has chosen to spend a significant amount of her precious retirement time with our organization. Not only does Irene help a great number of our clients, but she has helped train our newest employee, Legal Assistant Alejandro Mejia. Whatever is needed, she willingly does. Irene is enjoying her work at legal aid. She says, “I am grateful to Vicki Jacobs and Heather Tiffee of VLSP for

permitting me to volunteer in their pro bono work for the poor. There is such an overwhelming need for attorneys to do pro bono work. The VLSP clients are always so thankful that an attorney has taken time to listen and help them. I have derived more satisfaction from this volunteer service than from my employment as an attorney.” We are grateful too, Irene, and congratulations on your well-deserved award. | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



SCBA Past President Heather Cline Hoganson, SLF Vice President Mike Levy, SCBA Executive Director Mary Burroughs, & SCBA President Sabrina Thomas

Party for a Cause by Heather Cline Hoganson and members of the SLF board


Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye introduces Kaly Livingston Rule, recipient of the 2016 SLF Access to Justice Scholarship

tion for pro bono work, including the “terror” in the voices of seniors who are being evicted or faced with other legal issues that they do not understand, but which the Senior Legal Hotline’s volunteer attorneys can assist. Pro Bono awardee Ron Blubaugh’s original response to cutbacks in funding that would have disallowed the legal clinic at Loaves & Fishes from assisting with criminal issues of the homeless was, “if not us, then who will help?” Deputy Director Amy Williams, of Legal Services of Northern California, presented Blubagh’s award and noted that scores of clients knew him as the ubiquitous “Ron” due to his legal and

non-legal service at Loaves & Fishes. Many are familiar with SLF and its history of providing grants to organizations in the Sacramento region to fulfill its mission of improving the administration of justice, enhancing public confidence in the legal profession, cultivating understanding of and respect for the rule of law, and supporting law-related public services. In addition to grants, SLF has created an Access to Justice Scholarship. SLF Vice President Michael Levy introduced the second half of the program, explaining how Access to Justice was the centerpiece and legacy of Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s tenure. On present-

pirits were high at this year’s Party for a Cause. The SCBA’s Pro Bono Committee, with Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye in the house, honored two volunteers for service, and the Sacramento Law Foundation (SLF) presented its first Access to Justice Scholarship. Patrick Ting, Supervising Attorney for the Senior Legal Hotline, presented one pro bono award to Duane Phillips. Phillips described his motiva-

Ronald Blubaugh & Duane Phillips receive the 2016 SCBA Pro Bono Awards

Kaly Livingston Rule receives the SLF Access to Justice Scholarship from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |



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ing the first scholarship by the SLF, the Chief Justice remarked that scholarship recipient, UC Davis third year law student Kaly Livingston Rule, has “such a big heart in such a small person,� that she has already championed the rights of the LGBT and transgender communities, and worked with the incarcerated. The SLF looks forward to hearing about the wonderful work Kaly does in the future.

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Justice Art Scotland (Ret.) Receives Fourth Annual SacLEGAL Founders Award

Steve Muni is a Deputy Attorney General with the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse. He can be contacted at Gerry Latasa is an associate with Black & Rose, LLP and can be contacted at

by Steve Muni and Gerry Latasa


the sincere applause of the attendees, retired Third District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Arthur G. Scotland received the fourth annual Founders Award from SacLEGAL, at a reception held on November 10, 2016. SacLEGAL is Sacramento’s LGBT minority bar association, and Justice Scotland has been a SacLEGAL supporter since its inception. Prior to the presentation of the Founders Award, Matt Reed of Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen’s office, presented Justice Scotland with a Proclamation from the City of Sacramento, honoring him for his service to Sacramento and to LGBT equal rights. In accepting the Founders Award, Justice Scotland spoke passionately about the need for continued vigilance, especially as it relates to members of the transgender community, who are often stigmatized and discriminated against. He also recounted a tale of a lesbian woman who wanted custody of her child. “What did it matter she was a lesbian,” Scotland exclaimed. This


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

SacLEGAL Co-Chairs Gerry Latasa and Steve Muni with Justice Art Scotland and Sue Scotland

is indicative of the judicial philosophy Justice Scotland brought to the bench and his support of SacLEGAL. Third District Presiding Justice Vance Raye and Justices Elena Duarte, Ronald Robie, and William Murray, U.S. District Judge Morrison England, and Sacramento County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane joined members of SacLEGAL and other allied attorneys to honor Justice Scotland for his work.

Lindsay Yoshitomi is an attorney with Simas & Associates, Ltd. She can be contacted at lyoshitomi@


he Sacramento County Bar Association’s Public Law, Environmental Law, and Administrative Law Sections co-hosted a lunch program entitled, “From the ground up: Implementing the Medical Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act – cultivating solutions to administrative, regulatory, environmental, and consumer protection challenges.” This

Lori Ajax responding to a question

is a fitting title, as California is entering into unfamiliar territory, even creating a new bureau to regulate and license the budding medical marijuana industry. Several public entities, including the Departments of Consumer Affairs, Food and Agriculture, Health, Pesticide Regulation, Fish and Wildlife, and the State Water Resources Control Board, are collaborating on responsibilities that include the regulation of everything from cultivation, to manufacturing, to distribution—literally everything “from the ground up.” Lori Ajax, Chief of the recently established Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, spoke to a packed event center regarding her department’s regulatory approach, implementation


Administrative, Environmental, and Public Law Sections Co-Host Leaders of Medical Cannabis Regulation Discussion by Lindsay Yoshitomi timelines, public information sessions, and public interest surveys. Michele Dias, General Counsel for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, explained that her department is preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to provide information about the potential environmental effects associated with the adoption

is in some pretty heady waters. At the same time, it appears that there is a lot left to do in the next 20 or so months.” The state aims to start accepting medical marijuana licensing applications in January 2018, so many of the finer details are still being ironed out. The departments are leaving no stone unturned and are actively reach-

Michele Dias speaking

and implementation of statewide medical cannabis cultivation regulations. Both speakers fielded thought-provoking questions from attorneys wanting to know more about the implementation of new regulations for medical marijuana. Many attendees wanted to know what these departments are doing to learn about the industry. “It really is amazing how far the Bureau has come in such a short amount of time,” commented Justin Hein, Vice Chair of the Administrative Law Section. “And it appears they are doing as comprehensive a job as can be expected in investigating a long-standing staple of the underground economy. Plus, drafting foundational regulations for an entire new bureau—let alone, industry—

ing out to all four corners of the state, talking to the public and businesses already established in the medical marijuana arena, touring testing labs and cultivation sites, and conducting studies. Ajax has been holding pre-regulatory meetings to gather input on the upcoming regulations, provide the public with information about the new agencies, answer questions, and explain and encourage participation in the regulatory process. Similarly, Dias’s office held scoping meetings for the PEIR. The information gathered in these meetings is likely to be invaluable to regulating medical cannabis. And with the recent passage of Proposition 64 legalizing recreational marijuana, these public agencies will be on the cutting edge. | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


Fredericka McGee is Vice


President, California Governmental Affairs & Operations, for the American Beverage Association. She can be contacted at

Sabrina L. Thomas, SCBA President for 2017 by Fredericka McGee


abrina L. Thomas steps into her role as President of the Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) with two primary goals. One is to increase the legal profession’s participation in the Sacramento community. The second is to ensure that every lawyer in the region understands they are welcome and have a place at the SCBA. This will mark Sabrina’s seventh year on the SCBA Board after serving three years as a Member-atLarge, Secretary/Treasurer, Second and First Vice President, and now President. Sabrina’s initial seat on SCBA’s board came due to the encouragement of her law firm partner, Timothy Yeung of Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai. Yeung said, “[I] urged Sabrina to get involved with the SCBA because she has an amazing ability to bring people together. She’s a great listener and knows to how draw upon the strengths of individuals to make a team stronger.” During her second year on the Board in 2012, Sabrina impressed many by both stepping in at the last minute to co-chair the BenchBar reception committee and setting a fundraising record. Fellow SCBA and Conference of California Bar Association Board member Andi Liebenbaum says, “[Sabrina] is that rare and wonderful combination of quiet and calm on the one hand, and perfectly on point and direct on the other. She has resolve and


vision. All of these qualities will make her an exceptional bar leader, and already define her successful legal career.” Sabrina grew up with five siblings in Oak Park, one of Sacramento’s earliest settled communities. Her siblings and she spent several summers visiting Sacramento area libraries. At the age of 10, after reading the book The Super Lawyer, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up. She was intrigued by the enormous impact one profession could have on the life and liberties of citizens. Sabrina’s love of reading also fueled her curiosity about people, cultures, and her dream to see the world. Her sister, Felicia Thomas-Hill, an Assistant Principal at Father Keith B. Kenny School, fondly recalls observing Sabrina at a mentoring talk to South Sacramento elementary school students. Sabrina told the students “[w]hen I look at you, I see me. When you look at me, I want you to see you. Read everything because it expands your world, helps you to dream big, and erases boundaries.” Growing up in one of Sacramento’s most diverse communities, Sabrina’s parents encouraged her to appreciate all people – no matter their race or culture. Sabrina took her parents’ advice by traveling to countries she could only dream

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

COVER STORY of as a child and started her professionthe essence of legal concerns has made leagues. Nancy Miller, a partner at al career as a UNICEF policy analyst in her a better lawyer. State Personnel Renne Sloan, describes Sabrina as an Kenya, East Africa. There, she worked Board Senior Attorney Chian He says exceptional lawyer, combining intelon initiatives for “girl-child” educathat Sabrina has a thoughtful approach lect, business acumen, and a human tion and women’s entrepreneurial proto issues, sharp observations and an touch to the legal issues she faces. grams. Sabrina acknowledg To better underes that a quality education, stand Sabrina’s goals for the solid preparation, and strong SCBA, you have to look beself-confidence are essential yond her professionally acingredients to her success pricomplished career. Outside or to her legal career and as of her practice as a Senior an employment law attorney. Attorney at Renne, Sloan, Walking onto the campusSabrina is fully commites of UC Berkeley, Harvard ted to community service. University Graduate School She serves as a community of Education, and Vanderbilt advisor on former Mayor University Law School may Johnson’s Oak Park Promise have been intimidating to Neighborhood, advocates some, however, Sabrina said, for women and children “I always felt like I belonged.” Starting in the back row (L-R): Garee Hill, Felicia Thomas-Hill, Malachi at crisis shelters, mentors That same confidence is the Goethe, Sabrina L. Thomas, Sydnee Thomas-Hill, & Miniyah Goethe students at the SCBA-sponquality she imparts to youth sored C.K. McClatchy Law through community service. innate ability to quickly discern and & Public Policy Academy, and supSince becoming a member of the dissect the relevant facts of cases. ports pro bono work at the Voluntary Massachusetts and California Bar AsColleagues admire this same pracLegal Services Program (VLSP). Her sociations, Sabrina has had the unique tical quality in Sabrina no matter how philanthropic work also extends beexperience of practicing law in the pricontroversial the issue. According yond Sacramento’s borders, with supvate sector in Boston and the Silicon to Jack Vetter, a fellow SCBA Board port to the Southern Poverty Law CenValley and in the public sector as a govmember, “Sabrina brings a voice of ter, Doctors without Borders, the Equal ernment attorney for the Employment reason to every discussion. She is Justice Initiative, and College AdmisDevelopment Department (EDD) and gracious in her approach, tireless in sions Counselors (her twin sister, ReCalifornia Public Employees Retireher energy and always keeps the big gina Thomas’s organization focused on ment System (CalPERS). Her diverse picture in mind.” This is a common educational services for foster youth in practice areas and ability to identify theme that echoes from Sabrina’s colCalifornia). Vicki Jacobs, VLSP Man-

Elina Tilman & Sabrina L. Thomas

Shanae Buffington, Herb Bolz, Elisa Ungerman, Jeannie Lee Jones, Sabrina L. Thomas, Monica Hans, & Rhonda Harrigan | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


COVER STORY aging Attorney, says, “[w]orking with Sabrina on the SCBA Board is a pleasure. She is very smart, organized, and articulate. She cares deeply about our legal community and the community at large and will make an excellent President in 2017.” As the SCBA prepares to celebrate its 100-year anniversary, it is appropriate to take stock of all that it has done well and expand on that wealth of accomplishments. Sabrina plans to seize the opportunity in the coming year to illustrate how the SCBA is not only relevant, but crucial to the practice of both traditional and non-traditional lawyers in the region. Sabrina’s spirited commitment to the community follows

her challenge to the SCBA Board and legal community to increase their support to the SCBA’s pro bono services. Sandra Clifton, General Counsel for EDD sums it up best, “I have known Sabrina for many years. From the first time I interviewed her for a job as one of my staff counsel, I knew I had hired the right person. She is a bright and articulate attorney. She always demonstrated integrity. I shed a tear when she left my employment because I knew I was losing one of the finest attorneys I had ever met. I also knew she would succeed in any endeavor she pursued. She has now reached the pinnacle of success. She is a fine example of what it means to be a leader: A commitment

Sabrina L. Thomas & Malachi Goethe

to excellence and unwavering dedication to community service. I congratulate her on becoming the Sacramento County Bar President.”

Angela Adame, Emily Ford, Christiane Layton, Erich Shiners, Sabrina L. Thomas, Timothy Yeung, Ofelia Torres, & Susan Yoon


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |


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Narek Avetisyan and Shoeb Mohammed are both 2016


graduates of Pacific McGeorge. They can be contacted at and respectively.

Forgotten Heroes, No More by Shoeb Mohammed and Narek Avetisyan


t’s an ordinary office. The walls are lightly decorated, and the desk is covered in stacks of case files and miscellaneous papers—an indication that work is ongoing. These are the humble chambers of a superior courtroom right here in River City. Above the sounds of in-custody defendants just outside his chambers door, Judge David Abbott talks about the Veteran’s Treatment Court (VTC), its history, and his personal commitment to the program. As he speaks, a Keurig machine in the back drips hot coffee into a color-changing mug, slowly transforming it from an ordinary black color into a full colored United States Marine Corps insignia. Judge Abbott is not just the judge for Sacramento’s VTC; he is also a U.S. Marine who served during the Vietnam War. Talking to him, one notices immediately that his motivation is to help those Veterans whom he can help, and that he is deeply committed to doing so. Many service members are exposed to life threatening situations and other experiences that alter their psychological equilibrium and impact how they cope with ordinary situations when they return home. Some act out and find themselves under arrest and facing criminal charges. For decades, when returning veterans struggled, treatment was not readily available. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association until 1980, and even then, its recognition was highly controversial. Over time, the link between military service and conditions such as PTSD became more clear. The first Veterans Treatment Court was created in 2008 by Judge Robert Russell in Buffalo, New


York. Since then, over 200 such courts have been formed throughout the United States. On July 3, 2014, Sacramento became home to its very own. On the first and third Thursday of each month, the familiar atmosphere in Department 9 of Sacramento Superior Court transforms into something that can only be understood through experience. In this court, Judge Abbott opens with the pledge of allegiance, and while civilians hold their hands over their hearts, veterans salute the flag with the kind of fitness and polish that only a United States serviceperson can.

VTC graduates have vastly improved recidivism rates, sitting between 5-10% as compared to the average of 60-70% according to California Innocence Project. This is a court where forgotten heroes can come for help. “In most cases they don’t have criminal records before military service,” says Judge Abbott. “They’re mainstream individuals who have the determination to enter the military, and when they return, they’re suffering from medical issues that lead to criminal behavior.” The VTC is a collaborative court, built around the theory that by addressing the conditions that led to the criminal behavior, the system can help veterans learn how to manage their problems and gain the skills to cope. “We believe that veterans deserve different treatment in our criminal

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

justice system,” says Judge Abbott as part of his opening words to the VTC. “Veterans have served honorably in our military and have sacrificed part of their lives for the benefit of this country and therefore they deserve different treatment.” “The immediate goal of VTC is treatment,” continues Judge Abbott in his opening words to the court. “The ultimate goal is to help you complete probation successfully and get the treatment you need to return to a productive and fulfilling life.” Naturally, there needs to be a nexus between military service and the condition; and the behavior that brought the veteran into court must be a result of those. Some applicants are ineligible due to the nature of their conduct, though for most, the VTC is much more than a collaborative court. It is a second chance at life. But second chances do not come easily. It takes dedication—not just from the participants, but from the people who contribute their time and resources to help the veterans successfully graduate from the program. Volunteer mentors are the essential ingredient of the VTC. “If we didn’t have them,” says Judge Abbott, “this wouldn’t work.” Mentors are fellow veterans who make a significant time commitment to providing the kind of support and guidance that only a fellow soldier can. They make themselves available on a 1-1 basis to help, and even go so far as to help veterans obtain their driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, the success of VTC has resulted in a need for more mentors. The court and the veterans are constantly in need of more veteran volunteers. This is, by all means, a public service announcement. In return for this help, participants are expected to live up to the strict re-

FEATURE ARTICLE quirements of the court. The VTC works with the Public Defender, the Veterans Administration, the District Attorney, and the Probation Officer to create a tailored treatment plan for each VTC participant. “Your duty also includes a special trust between you, your probation officer, your lawyer, your mentor, the VA, and the court,” continues Judge Abbott, in his opening words to the court. “If you keep that trust, all of us will help you to succeed, because that is what we want for you. But if you fail to keep that trust and violate your probation, you may get excluded from VTC and you may end up back in jail or in prison, and that is not what we want for you.” True to these words, the results show that VTC works. VTC graduates have vastly improved recidivism rates, sitting between 5-10% as compared to the average of 60-70% according to California Innocence Project. “There’s a lot to deal with, and it requires a cautious and collaborative evaluation of

every treatment plan for every individual,” says Judge Abbott. Even cases that appear to be relatively innocuous and uncomplicated can be exactly the opposite, with participants overdosing on prescription medication and ending up in psychiatric intensive care as inpatients. Similarly, a participant may make decisions regarding treatment and rehabilitation that are ill-advised.

Volunteer mentors are the essential ingredient of the VTC. One participant, for example, expressed a desire to leave VTC and return to his family to seek further care in another state. The mentors intervened and spoke with the man seriously and intensely about the value of remaining in the program, even stating, “We can’t believe you don’t believe we are your family, brother!” That

veteran was convinced to remain with the VTC and progressed dramatically over the next several months. A ceremony is ultimately held for participants who graduate from VTC. Each graduate receives a commemorative coin emblazoned with the insignia from each military branch, as well as a certificate of graduation from the court. This is a very real and hard earned step for each graduating veteran. “It’s one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had,” says Judge Abbott. So too is it fulfilling for the veterans. “They’ve got some real demons they’re struggling with,” says Judge Abbott. But in this court, they are forgotten heroes no more. Successful VTC participants gain the tools necessary to live productive and fulfilling lives. But there is also a lesson buried here that lawyers know all too well: with honest work and dedication, surely there comes a reward. And for our military service people here in River City, that reward can be quite profound. | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


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SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

JANUARY 2017 Lunch and Learn Judges Series DATE: Friday,

JANUARY 27, 2017

Judges Series


Registration Starts at 11:40 a.m. (Buffet Luncheon Starts)



12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


How to Build and Preserve Goodwill with Your Trier of Fact: The Do’s and Don’ts of Effectively

PLACE: SCBA Event Center

$45 Non-SCBA Members

425 University Ave, Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95825

Interacting with Judges and Jurors

Reservations must be received by 5:00 pm JANUARY 25, 2017



1.0 Hour MCLE**

You may pay by credit card or check payable to: “Sacramento County Bar Association” mail payment and lunch selection to: Sacramento County Bar Association, Attn: SCBA Monthly Seminar, 425 University Ave, Suite 120 • Sacramento, CA 95825 or pay online at www.sacbar. org-Event Calendar. If you have any questions please contact Willow Jacobs at or 916-564-3780


January Menu

Sage Roasted Turkey Breast, Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Pan Gravy,Mixed Farmer’s Greens Salad and Mandarin Oranges with Balsamic Dressing, Green Bean Almandine, Cornbread and Pecan Dressing, Dessert and an Assortment of Unlimited Beverages

YOUR NAME: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ COMPANY NAME: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: _________________________________________________________________________ STATE: ______________________ ZIP: _______________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ AMOUNT: $______________ CREDIT CARD NUMBER: __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ CHECK NUMBER: _________________________ EXPIRATION DATE: ___ ___ – ___ ___



CVR CODE NUMBER: ___ ___ ___

SIGNATURE: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SCBA Judges Series - January 27, 2017 *No refund will be available within 3 days of event. **This activity pending for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 unit of MCLE in the General Law Category Credit. The Sacramento County Bar Association provider #166 certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. This event is for SCBA members and invited guests. The SCBA reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone whose presence is unreasonably disruptive or who detracts from the safety, welfare, and well-being of other patrons, staff, and the establishment itself.

Sacramento County Bar Association • 425 University Ave, Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825 Phone: 916-564-3780 • | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


tion yer?

Natalie Vance is a certified


Succession Planning for Your Practice by Natalie Vance

specialist in legal malpractice law and the managing shareholder of the Sacramento office of Klinedinst PC. She can contacted at nvance@

n California State Bar Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, 2001

n Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, since 1986 n Northern California Super Lawyers since inception n Best Lawyers in America since inception, recently:


u Lawyer of the year, Real Estate Litigation,

Sacramento, 2014 about what would happen to your cliave you thought you from Sacramento 2010 practicing law? Most people think it won’t happen to them u Bet the Company Litigation, 2012, 2013, 2014 and that they will be able to practice competently until they u Commercial Litigation, 2012, 2013, 2014 choose to retire. Thatandmay be true some, Finance, 2012,for 2013, 2014 but are you u Litigation-Banking prepared to gambleEstate, with your cases or your practice? 2012, clients’ 2013, 2014 u Litigation-Real If not, then it is never too soon to create a succession plan to protect your practice. Lawyer the Year, Commercial Litigation, uents if of something happened that prevented

Why have a plan? Accidents, illness, injuries, family problems, and even death can occur when least expected. Chronic conditions like addiction and depression can eventually become so debilitating that they prevent a lawyer from continuing to practice. The consequences of not having a plan are potentially m disastrous, particularly for solo and small firm practitioners C/ (916)who 825-9952 F/colleagues (916) 525-8446 may not have able to pick up the slack when they can no longer manage their case load. If this happens, it o, CA 95814 is only a matter of time before bad things happen, e.g., case dismissals, sanctions, malpractice complaints, Bar problems. Sacramento Law Librarythe court A client, anotherCounty attorney,Public or the Bar can petition 2015 to SCBA assume jurisdiction of an attorney’s practice in the event of addiction, mental or physical disability or infirmity that renders an attorney incapable of providing the quality of service necessary to protect the clients. (See Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6190, et seq.) The consequences of the court assuming jurisdiction of a law practice during a disability are severe. First, the attorney will be listed as inactiveMAGAZINE with the Bar and will be


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ineligible to practice law unless and until the attorney petitions the Bar for reinstatement. Second, the court will appoint another attorney to review the case files and locate attorneys to take over the representation of clients, essentially liquidating the entire law practice. If the disabled attorney obtains treatment and recovers from the disability, the attorney must then seek reinstatement, and by the time the attorney returns, there will likely not be any practice to return to. The Probate Code provides an alternate—perhaps less onerous—procedure, allowing a personal representative or conservator to petition the court for the appointment of a successor attorney to take control of a disabled attorney’s practice. (See Prob. Code, § 2468.) In such cases, the court will normally appoint the successor attorney identified by the disabled attorney in a power of attorney, partnership agreement, or other succession plan. Having a succession plan is optimal. It helps to ensure that someone you trust can make sure your clients get the representation they need and preserve your practice while you recover.



What Should Your Plan Include? 1. Appoint a successor attorney: locate an attorney you know and whom you can trust not only with your clients’ cases but with your practice, someone who will take care of your office staff, and ensure expenses and clients are paid. Make sure that the designated successor remains ready, willing and able to assist in the event of an emergency.

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Need a case or law review article? Correction Want to see needed if your case is still “good law?” Email the Reference Desk at or call See a second proof 916-874-6012 with a complete citation, and a librarian will email you the document within 24 hours. OK 5with corrections Limit documents per day, per attorney.

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2. Familiarize your successor with office procedures, passwords and access to files; keep documentation of your procedures where the successor can access it. 3. Keep case files, calendars, and billing records up to date. 4. Tell key personnel, a spouse, or other confidantes about the plan so they know whom to contact in case of emergency. 5. Create a system for conflicts checks when the successor comes in and have a plan in place to handle cases the successor may be conflicted out of. 6. Document how the successor will be compensated for the time spent managing your practice and working on your clients’ cases in advance. 7. Include language in your retainer agreement which includes client consent to your successor taking over cases in your absence.

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8. Update the plan on an annual basis. Having a succession plan in place is the responsible thing to do to ensure that clients are protected if and when you are no longer able to do so. Resources for Creating a Plan The California Bar has created a sample agreement which allows a successor to take over and close a law practice for a disabled or deceased attorney in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Business & Professions Code and Probate Code. See Ethics/SeniorLawyersResources/AttorneySurrogacy.aspx. The agreement has some sample language but does not really address the situation of an attorney who is temporarily disabled and plans to return to practice law. The New York Bar has a checklist of recommendations to include in agreements between attorneys and proposed successors, including agreements to take over matters on a temporary basis during a disability or impairment. See

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Andrea S. Moon is an attorney at the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation and secretary of the Public Law Section. She can be contacted at

The Collaborative Court System: A Presentation by the Honorable Larry Brown to the SCBA Public Law Section by Andrea S. Moon


October 25, 2016, the Public Law Section held a term in state prison is likely. This court currently has apits annual meeting, featuring a presentation by proximately 80 participants. Judge Larry Brown. Judge Brown presides over the Mental Once a defendant is accepted into the Mental Health Health Court in Sacramento. As a former Deputy District AtCourt, the case typically lasts 12-18 months. The defendant torney for Ventura County, Deputy Executive Director and enters a plea and is placed on formal probation with jail time Executive Director of the California District Attorneys Assuspended. The defendant’s terms of probation include comsociation, and First Assistant and Interim United States Atplying with a treatment plan, taking prescribed medication, torney for the Eastern District, Judge Brown is no stranger attending individual and group meetings as required, and to the criminal justice system and criminal prosecution. His refraining from using any alcohol or illegal drugs. This inpresentation on the Mental Health Court delved deeply into dividual is then released from custody to a personal service what role both criminal prosecution and criminal defense coordinator (PSC) (who assists the client in connecting with play when the defendant suffers from serious mental health and maintaining county resource assistance) and is ordered or substance abuse issues. to report to probation within 48 Judge Brown provided a hishours and appear the following torical introduction into the isweek in the Mental Health Court, sue of unintended displacement where a tailored treatment plan is of mentally ill persons into jails developed. or prisons, resulting from landA collaborative team commark federal and state legislation prised of the PSC and represenenacted in the civil rights era to tatives from the county agencies provide a more humane approach of the District Attorney, Public to addressing mental illness than Defender, Probation, and Mental mass institutionalization. While Health meet each week to dismuch has been achieved in the cuss the defendant’s (now client’s) past 50 years, the combination Kate Killeen, Judge Lawrence Brown, & Sandra Talbot performance, and to determine of only half of the proposed comwhether sanctions or rewards are munity based treatment centers ever being built, along with appropriate. Sanctions may include more court appearancgreater restrictions on conservatorships, has contributed to es, group sessions, or a remand into custody. Rewards may the profound challenges encountered today. include less frequent court appearances, applause for achievAccording to the Judicial Council of California, ing goals, and small value gift cards. Once Judge Brown con“[m]ental health courts are a type of problem solving court cludes the pre-meeting and takes the bench, all clients are that combine judicial supervision with community mencalled individually to discuss their progress and the court’s tal health treatment and other support services in order to expectations based on that progress, and are given their next reduce criminal activity and improve the quality of life of court date. A client’s failure to complete requirements or departicipants.” The target population here is “adults diagletion from the Mental Health Court results in imposition of nosed with qualified mental disorders that are at high-risk the suspended jail time. to re-offend[,]” residents of Sacramento County, with pendJudge Brown concluded his presentation by describing ing felony or misdemeanor charges. Generally excluded what occurs upon a client’s successful completion of the proare those charged with offenses involving violence, use of gram. Clients graduate from Mental Health Court, and Judge weapons, sex offenses, criminal threats under Penal Code Brown hosts a ceremony with his team where a summary section 422, or on parole or charged with an offense where of the clients’ exceptional work is provided and they are al-


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

SECTIONS AND AFFILIATES lowed to rip up their terms of probation. The district attorney moves the court to dismiss the case, a graduation certificate is awarded, and celebratory photographs are taken. Judge Brown also shared that mental health courts are a part of the overall solution, and that the enhancement of community resources, including mental health treatment centers and crisis beds, as well as more flexibility regarding the imposition of conservatorships, would further assist in diverting individuals with mental illness from jail bookings. Judge Brown’s presentation provided the Public Law Section’s Annual Meeting with an exciting, thought-provoking, and in-depth analysis of a very important legal issue that has repercussions not only for those defendants seeking redirection in the Mental Health Court, but for our overall legal and political societies. The Public Law Section was extremely pleased that UC Davis School of Law student Joanna Gin, coincidentally one of Judge Brown’s Judicial Process students, and Ryan Mahoney, a student at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, were also in attendance. These two remarkable students were selected by the Public Law Section for their outstanding work and interest in the field of public law, to receive law school book scholarships in the amount of $500 each.

Hon. Darrel W. Lewis (Ret.) Mediator The Judge

The Mediator

“Employment law is complex and requires marshalling emotions and expectations between employers and employees. When such difficulties arise in my cases, I want Judge Lewis as the mediator. He is respectful and thoughtful to my clients and me throughout the process, but he gets people to move and to compromise.” Plaintiff Attorney

“He quickly identified the key issues in this contract/ real estate/construction case and brought both sides to a fair and satisfactory settlement. He is bright, tenacious and makes the clients feel that he understands what they are going through. He keeps the parties focused and gets a speedy resolution.”

Don’t compromise when choosing your next mediator.

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Judge Lewis is a trained and experienced mediator who listens empathetically and will also speak with the authority and stature of a retired judge when necessary.

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Just pick up your phone and dial 916-483-2222 | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



Laura Harris is senior counsel at Remy Moose Manley, LLP. She can be contacted at LHarris@

Sacramento Lawyers Mingle with Regulators at the Environmental Law Section’s First “Meet Your Environmental Regulators” Networking Event by Laura Harris


he Environmental Law Section held its first “Meet Your Environmental Regulators” (MYER) reception on November 9, at the Sutter Club. The event, which was modeled after an annual event of the Bar Association of San Francisco, brought together members of Sacramento’s environmental bar with those of the state’s environmental regulatory community for a fun and informal meet-and-greet. In attendance were representatives of California’s Environmental Protection Agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Air Resources Board, the State Lands Commission, and the Departments of Conservation, Water Resources, Forestry and Fire Protection, Toxic Substances Control, Resources Recycling and Recovery, and Food and Agriculture, among others. Also in attendance were law students, environmental experts working in consulting firms,

and environmental lawyers working in the private sector. As they signed in, guests were greeted by friendly members of the SCBA staff, who made everyone feel welcome and at ease. Drinks and appetizers were served. Topics of discussion ranged from the future of environmental laws under the new administration, the status of current and ongoing environmental protection efforts, and “war stories” of litigation. Despite an air of uncertainty stemming from the previous night’s election results, most in attendance voiced hopeful optimism about the future of natural-resource regulations and the planet as a whole. And, as usually occurs when lawyers congregate, laughter could be heard around the room. The SCBA Environmental Law Section proposed and helped organize the event, with the tireless efforts and strong organizational-skills of SCBA staff members. The section hopes to make MYER an annual event.

Sac Bar Run Susan Hill and Mary Burroughs with some of the SCBA’s “Sac Bar Run Team” at the Run to Feed the Hungry 2016!!!


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

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Thank you! | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


FEBRUARY Lunch and Learn Judges Series DATE: Friday,

FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Judges Series


Registration Starts at 11:40 a.m. (Buffet Luncheon Starts)

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Federal Court and State Court Practice

PLACE: SCBA Event Center

Similarities and Differences US District Judge

Troy L. Nunley

$45 Non-SCBA Members

425 University Ave, Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95825

SPEAKERS: US District Judge

$35 SCBA Members



John A. Mendez


Reservations must be received by 5:00 pm FEBRUARY 08, 2017

US District Judge

Morrison C. England, Jr.


1.0 Hour MCLE**

You may pay by credit card or check payable to: “Sacramento County Bar Association” mail payment and lunch selection to: Sacramento County Bar Association, Attn: SCBA Monthly Seminar, 425 University Ave, Suite 120 • Sacramento, CA 95825 or pay online at www.sacbar. org-Event Calendar. If you have any questions please contact Willow Jacobs at or 916-564-3780

February Menu

Dijon Crusted Chicken Breast, Almond Smoked Salmon Fillet with Mango Chutney, Herb Crusted Red Potatoes, Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts, Roasted Seasonal Veggies, Dinner Rolls, Dessert and an Assortment of Unlimited Beverages.

YOUR NAME: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ COMPANY NAME: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: _________________________________________________________________________ STATE: ______________________ ZIP: _______________ EMAIL: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ AMOUNT: $______________ CREDIT CARD NUMBER: __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ CHECK NUMBER: _________________________ EXPIRATION DATE: ___ ___ – ___ ___



CVR CODE NUMBER: ___ ___ ___

SIGNATURE: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SCBA Judges Series - FEBRUARY 10, 2017 *No refund will be available within 3 days of event. **This activity pending for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 unit of MCLE in the General Law Category Credit. The Sacramento County Bar Association provider #166 certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. This event is for SCBA members and invited guests. The SCBA reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone whose presence is unreasonably disruptive or who detracts from the safety, welfare, and well-being of other patrons, staff, and the establishment itself.

Sacramento County Bar Association • 425 University Ave, Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825 Phone: 916-564-3780 •


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |



Membership dues in the SCBA and SCBA Sections are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. However, such dues may be deductible as a business expense. Consult your tax advisor.




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Remit by mail/email/fax to Sacramento County Bar Association at 425 University Ave., Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825 Email: or sign up on line at Phone 916.564.3780 Fax 916.564.3787 Page 1 of 2 | January/February 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER




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Environmental Estate Planning & Probate Family Law Gaming Government & Public Entity Health Care Immigration Insurance Intellectual Property International Land Use/Zoning Landlord/Tenant Legislative & Governmental Affairs Litigation, Administrative Litigation, Business Litigation, Class Action/Mass Tort

Litigation, Construction Litigation, Debt Collection Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Employment Litigation, General Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Professional Liability Municipal Law Native American Law Non-profit Organizations Patent Real Estate Social Security Taxation Workers’ Compensation

COMMITTEES | Check to (re)apply Participation on committees is a worthwhile contribution to the Sacramento legal community and to the public. Committees develop policy options for the Board and recommend actions for its consideration and approval. The work of SCBA committees is varied and reflects the diverse backgrounds and talents of our members. The primary role of committees is to examine and act upon assigned tasks. The Board relies on committees to inform its decisions, and in some cases, to carry out the mission of the organization. A brief description of each committee follows. Please indicate your interests. Committee appointments are made by the incoming President, although members may be added year around depending on individual committee needs.

Annual Meeting – Organizes the SCBA Annual Meeting. Bench Bar Reception – Organizes the Bench Bar Reception. Bylaws – Oversees the bylaws; makes recommendations to the

Pro Bono – Advises the Board about, and operates, the SCBA’s

SCBA Delegation – Organizes delegates and SCBA participation at

Website – Assists with the SCBA website and its content.

pro bono program.

Sacramento Lawyer Magazine Editorial – Sets policies that

Board when changes are suggested.

the Conference of California Bar Associations; drafts and reviews resolutions. MCLE – Oversees and advises the Board about MCLE credit. Diversity Hiring and Retention – Encourages the hiring and retention of minority legal professionals. Electronic/Social Media – Oversees and advises the Board about the SCBA’s electronic media. Fee Arbitration – Arbitrates fee disputes between attorneys and clients. Sports & Leisure – Annual Golf Tournament, facilitate Softball League, and may create other events. Judiciary – Evaluates the qualifications of candidates who seek appointment to judicial positions pertaining to Sacramento County. Lawyer Referral and Information Service – Governs policies concerning lawyer referrals made to the public. Membership – Oversees and advises the Board about member benefits and organizational marketing. Nominations – Nominates a slate of candidates for election as Board members and recommends SCBA awards recipients.

govern the Sacramento Lawyer.

TASK FORCES Mentorship Task Force – Oversees and advises the Board about the SCBA’s mentorship program. DIVISIONS Barristers’ Division – SCBA members who are attorneys under the age of 36 and have practiced law under 5 years. Solo/Small Practice Division – SCBA members who are attorneys in their own firm or small firm (four or less). Movers Division – SCBA members who enjoy running, hiking, biking, or other athletic challenges. The Division will connect Movers with current local events, may organize teams or rideshares for those events, and may plan certain events for SCBA members. Shakers Division – SCBA members who want to “do good” in the community in a non-legal fashion, such as serving food at a soup kitchen or assisting with food or clothing drives. The Division will connect Shakers with current local opportunities and may organize groups to work at specific events.

Previous Committee/Section participation____________________________________________________________________________________

Remit by mail/email/fax to Sacramento County Bar Association at 425 University Ave., Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825 Email: or sign up on line at Phone 916.564.3780 Fax 916.564.3787


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2017 |

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Since 1963

Marty Anderson Vice President

Lawrence H. Cassidy President

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1329 Howe Ave., #100120 • Sacramento, 425 University Ave., Suite • Sacramento,CA CA95825 95825

SCBA Annual Meeting SACRAMENTO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION Honoring Distinguished Attorney of the Year 2016 ANNUAL Justice Arthur Scotland

MEETING Installing SCBA Honoring Distinguished Attorney of the Year Officers & Directors Fredericka McGee


Mayor Darrell Steinberg Recognizing 100% Firms


Monday December 15, 2014

MCLE Prior to Annual Meeting FREE for SCBA Members $100 for Non-Members

1 Hour GOLD Ethics - Topic: “Attorney Fees, SPONSORS Practically and Ethically”

Speaker: Kenneth Bacon of Mastagni Holstedt

TIME 11:30 Check in 12:00 Lunch PLACE Sheraton Grand 1230 J Street

10:30-11:30am SILVER SPONSORS


Judicate West Keynote Kershaw Speaker: Cook & Talley PC Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP Chief Justice of California Remy Moose Manley LLP

Tani Cantil-Sakauye FRIENDS OF THE BAR

Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association •Felderstein Fitzgerald Willoughby & Pascuzzi LLP

Jacobsen & McElroy PC •JAMS •Kronick Moskovitz & Girard Ticket information: calendar, $45 for Tiedemann SCBA members, $65 for non-members. Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance •Smart Start Storz Fiduciary Services •Timmons Owen Jansen & Tichy Inc. or After November 23rd, ticket prices increase by $5 RSVP to call (916) 564-3780. Send checks payable: SCBA, 1329 Howe Ave #100, Sacramento, CA 95825

Sacramento Lawyer Magazine January/February 2017  

Sacramento County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine

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