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Photo by Mark Long-Eleakis & Elder Photography

January/February 2018


Let the next 100 years begin Some of the many good people serving the SCBA membership and the legal community



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Betsy S. Kimball Editor-in-Chief

Singing in the Rain Photo by Mark Long-Eleakis & Elder Photography



he cover on this issue is – per Sil Reggiardo’s request – a group photo, rather than the customary portrait of him as the incoming SCBA president. In fact, it was raining, and most people kindly shed their rain gear to disguise this fact for the cover photo. In the middle of the photo are some of the intrepid staff who make the SCBA work – Milenko Vlaisavljevic, Martha Fenchen, Deb Roberts, Abner Collazo, William Thompson, Cecilia Rainer, and Executive Director Mary Burroughs. For the SCBA’s centennial year, we hope to have a regular feature in this magazine on AI. We have not yet recruited a writer for this feature – if interested, please contact me. Using the editor@sacbar email account, I subscribe to all sorts of interesting things – one example, “Artificial Lawyer” (https://www.artificiallawyer. com/about/), self-described as a site dedicated to “New Wave” legal technology. Its “main areas of interest” include AI and some other things that should be attention-grabbing for lawyers who think that the future of law practice will be like

STAFF EDITORS Heather Cline Hoganson, Maureen Onyeagbako

the past, only with less paper-cuts: “Legal Bots and Expert Systems (e.g. Rules-Based systems); Process and Task Automation (e.g. Advanced forms of legal doc automation); Smart Contracts and Blockchain Technologies. (e.g. On-chain and off-chain self-executing contracts); Advances in Legal Data Analysis (e.g. litigation outcome prediction, leveraging of legal data cores).” The July 2017 bar exam results have been released. The overall passage rate remains less than 50 percent. This prolongs the open questions about the relevance of the bar exam and of what/ how law schools teach. Recommended reading: “When More than Half of Law Graduates Fail the California Bar Exam,” by Raquel Aldana, UC Davis Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity and Professor of Law, at when-more-half-law-graduates-fail-california-bar-exam. Congratulations and welcome to those who passed the July bar exam. Let the celebration of the SCBA’s centennial year begin.

COURT NEWS – Congratulations to Dave Abbott, the SCBA’s 2016 Judge of the Year, on his election as Assistant Presiding Judge for 2018-2019. Judge Dave De Alba is the presiding judge for 2018-2019. Judge Ray Cadei retired in November and has been replaced in Department 54 by Judge Chris Krueger. Justice George Nicholson has also retired – see p. 12 of this issue.


CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

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 Vlaisavljevic ADVERTISING SALES EVENTS - MEMBER CLASSIFIED ADS (916) 564-3780 - SCBA OFFICERS Sil Reggiardo - President Sean McCoy - 1st Vice President Shanae Buffington - 2nd Vice President Trevor Carson - 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 2018 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.





18 Climbing to the Top with Sil Reggiardo, 2018 SCBA President

1. Vicki Jacobs 2. Shanae Buffington 3. Sil Reggiardo 4. Sean McCoy 5. Sabrina Thomas 6. Mary Burroughs 7. Trevor Carson 8. Aaron McKinney 9. Kelly Pope 10. Angela Lai 11. Justin Ward 12. Andi Liebenbaum 13. Abner Collazo 14. Cecilia Rainey 15. Eliezer Cohen 16. Mike Mills 17. June Powells-Mays 18. Natalie Bustamante 19. Daniel Glass 20. Heather Cline Hoganson 21. Jennifer Mouzis 22. Martha Fenchen 23. Ellen Taylor 24. Milenko Vlaisavljevic 25. Yuri Kvichko 26. Daniel Steinberg 27. Jeff Galvin 28. Daniel Hunt 29. Ken Bacon 30. Kevin Davis 31. Jonathan Hayes 32. Brian Lopez 33. Peter Kyung 34. John Orcutt

FEATURE ARTICLES 12 Justice George Nicholson Retires 28 Court/Clergy Conference Tackles Conflict between Religious Liberty and Civil Rights 30 Some Firsts for Female Attorneys and Judges in Sacramento EVENTS 10 Third Appellate District Convenes Its Second Judicial Conference 14 An Evening with the Mayor 16 The SCBA’s 99th Annual Meeting 27 Unity Bar Celebrates 30 Years SECTIONS & AFFILIATES 22 Public Law Section Update 24 Meet the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association 26 Barristers’ Club Update VLSP 8

Jeff Galvin’s Sincere Commitment to Pro Bono Services








28 19








10 1



23 13



25 14

26 16


4 7









4 Editor’s Message 6

President’s Message

COVER 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.

Let the next 100 years begin | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Sil Reggiardo President, Sacramento County Bar Association

State of the Sacramento County Bar Association

by Sil Reggiardo


June 24, 1918, the initial members of the SCBA board of directors held their first meeting. The SCBA remained small for many years and held most of its early meetings in Department Two of the Sacramento County Superior Court. When the SCBA incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, after three decades, it had a $366.85 cash balance. So, the SCBA turns 100 this year! And this centenarian is hitting its stride. It has nearly 2400 members, 19 sections, 15 committees, three divisions, six task forces, and formal affiliations with 13 other organizations. Thirty-seven board members and six full-time staff members manage an annual budget of approximately $1 million. The SCBA also helps support the Voluntary Legal Services Program and two high school law academies. The SCBA has an active board, but the board members represent just a small fraction of the many SCBA volunteers who help the SCBA achieve its mission: “To enhance the system of justice, the lawyers who serve it and the community served by it.” The SCBA also works closely with its charitable arm, the Sacramento County Bar Foundation (formerly known as the Sacramento Law Foundation). Turning 100 requires celebration. This year, the SCBA will

publish a centennial book that will look at its past and provide a snapshot of the present for future generations. As part of that process, we will interview active and retired lawyers and judges, including Justice Anthony Kennedy. He will speak to the SCBA on April 10 and will receive the first Anthony M. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, which the SCBA board may give in any year to any lawyer or judge – active or retired – who has worked in the Sacramento region and who has had a distinguished career that has greatly furthered the SCBA’s mission. The SCBA is also planning a centennial party outside the bar offices on Saturday, June 23. This will not simply be a year of celebration. The SCBA will continue to grow and improve as part of a well-defined strategic plan. The SCBA will also focus on improving its regular media and social media presence. And it will look for ways to keep members better informed about legal industry changes that are occurring rapidly and will occur even more rapidly in coming years as technology (including artificial intelligence) changes the way people communicate, do business, and resolve disputes. This centennial year will be a time for the SCBA to reflect on the past but plan for the future. It will be an interesting and fun year.

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

Jeff Galvin’s Sincere Commitment to Pro Bono Services by Vicki Jacobs 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,

tion yer?

Sacramento, 2014


hen ofI first assumed the role as the Year, Commercial Litigation, u Lawyer

In 2016-2017, Galvin took the laManaging Attorney of the Volboring oar in establishing an Estate PlanSacramento 2010 the Company 2012, 2013, 2014 u Bet untary Legal ServicesLitigation, Program (VLSP) ning Clinic in partnership with VLSP. Litigation, 2012, 2014 u Commercial in 2001, I soon heard from Jeff2013, Galvin That clinic, which launched in March u Litigation-Banking and Finance, 2012, 2013, 2014 of Downey Brand LLP. He was eager to 2017, is held on the first Monday eveu Litigation-Real Estate, 2012, 2013, 2014 talk about pro bono opportunities for ning of each month and provides advice the members of his firm and offered imand assistance with preparation of basic mediately to help VLSP in any way he estate planning documents for VLSP’s could in his capacity as the firm’s Pro low-income clients. Galvin has been Bono Coordinator. present at every clinic and has taken on Jeff Galvin Receives Pro Bono Award Downey Brand had long been dothe responsibility of coordinating the ing pro bono work for VLSP’s clients, but many volunteer attorneys, paralegals, it was clear from the start of my tenancy at VLSP that Jeff and notaries who provide the client services at each clinic. Galvin is not only committed to pro bono work, but he is Before the first clinic, Galvin held numerous meetings with interested in creating as many different types of volunteer local Sacramento area estate planning attorneys to discuss the m options as possible. documents to be prepared at the clinic, the scope of services to C/ (916) 825-9952 F/ (916) 525-8446 Galvin believes that, as to pro bono work, firms should “conbe provided, and the structure of the clinic. He prepared and sider both the practical business aspects and the loftier side. A presented a training and orientation for the clinic’s prospective to, CA 95814 strong pro bono program supports recruitment and retention of volunteers. He also helps VLSP with outreach into the commutalented lawyers and helps boost overall firm morale.” nity to inform people about the availability of the clinic. Sacramento County Public Law Library Each year, the Staff and Advisory Committee of VLSP The Estate Planning Clinic has been very successful. EvSCBA 2015 are pleased to award the annual June Black Pro Bono Award ery client who has attended the clinic has left with completto one of our indispensable volunteers. At the December ed estate planning documents. If it were not for Galvin’s efAnnual Meeting of the SCBA, we presented Jeff Galvin the forts, over 100 hours of volunteer time on this project alone 2017 award that is named in memory of June Black, VLSP’s would not exist. His efforts have resulted in an increase of founding Program Coordinator who spent 17 years working about two dozen attorneys, paralegals, and notaries to VLSP’s to assure that Sacramento area low-income clients received volunteer list. MAGAZINE free legal services from volunteer attorneys. Jeff Galvin says: “I 163px am inspired by theAd generous pro bono -163px 1/8 page Ad spirit of members of our Sacramento legal community - the commitment and passion run deep. And it’s been fun to look for new ways to provide legal services to our neighbors in need.” Approval is needed to run your ad, Galvin earned his A.B. cum laude in history from Harplease check appropriate box below. vard and his J.D. from UCLA in 1993. He began his involveProof OK as is ment with pro bono work and public service early in his legal Need a case or law review article? career. At UCLA, he was the President of the Public Interest Correction Want to see needed if your case is still “good law?” Law Foundation and received the Nancy J. Mintie Public Email the Reference Desk at or call Interest Award. After a judicial clerkship, Galvin spent four See a second proof 916-874-6012 with a complete citation, and a librarian will years as a Staff Attorney with the Bureau of Consumer Proemail you the document within 24 hours. OK with corrections tection in Washington D.C. He has been with Downey Brand Limit 5 documents per day, per attorney. since 1998, and is a partner in the litigation department. He 609 9th Street • Sacramento, CA 95814 | 916-874-6011 | has been the Membership Chair of the Sacramento Estate 916-874-6011 | www.facebook/saclawlib www.twitter/saclawlibrarian Continued on page 11



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Douglas Potts is a senior appellate attorney at the Third District Court of Appeal.

Photos courtesy of Angelo DeSantis and Chris Dawson

Third Appellate District Convenes Its Second Judicial Conference by Douglas Potts

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye addresses the 2017 Third Appellate District Judicial Conference, as Justice Kathleen Butz listens

Judge Warren Stracener, El Dorado Superior Court, Christopher Vose, Lassen County Superior Court chief executive officer, & Judge Todd Bottke, Tehama County Superior Court


he Third District Court of Appeal held its second Judicial Conference on Friday and Saturday, October 13-14, 2017. Court justices and their staff met with lawyers and Superior Court judges from within the District to discuss the court’s inner-workings and procedures. The Conference concluded with a question and answer session with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court, a former justice at the Third District. For the Conference’s Friday session, the Third Appellate District Historical Society, along with the Appellate Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association as a co-sponsor, hosted its first reception and program. Jeffery Hogge, a senior appellate attorney at the court, gave a presentation on the


Justice Arthur Scotland (ret.), Judge Debra Givens, Yuba County Superior Court, Judge Stephen Berrier, Yuba County Superior Court, & Roger Dreyer

Justice Cole Blease, third from left, meets with attorneys in chambers

life of Norton Parker Chipman, the Third District’s first presiding justice. Chipman accompanied President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg as an aid to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and he later served as a member of Congress before his appointment to the Third District. In the Saturday session, participants met with justices, court attorneys, and court staff to discuss the court’s operations and appellate practice. Presiding Justice Vance Raye and David Hall, principal attorney at the court, explained appellate procedure. Colette M. Bruggman, the court’s assistant clerk/administrator, taught practitioners the do’s and don’ts of electronic filing. Justice Andrea Lynn Hoch and her chambers attorney, Brendon

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

Weiru Wang & 2017 SCBA Secretary/Treasurer Shanae Buffington

Michael Colantuono, 2017-2018 President of the California Bar (left), with Joe Genshlea, & Justice Kathleen Butz

Ishikawa, discussed effective appellate advocacy, and Justice Ronald B. Robie and Tim Schooley, the court’s supervising writ attorney, gave a behind-thescenes look at how the court addresses writ petitions. Of particular interest, conference participants met in small groups with individual justices in their chambers. In these intimate discussions, justices addressed a number of topics, including how authors and panels are selected for appeals, how chambers are operated, and how draft opinions are written and debated before the court informs the parties it is ready for oral argument. Court librarian Holly Lakatos paid tribute to six “Women Pioneers in the Law” who navigated their way through

a male-dominated profession to practice law successfully in what is now the Third District.* Participants also learned what courts and bar associations can do to help adults better understand the court system. Justice William J. Murray, Jr., Judge James Mize of the Sacramento County Superior Court, Judge Barbara Kronlund of the San Joaquin County Superior Court, and Sosan Madanat, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Justice, discussed the importance of the public understanding the significance of an impartial judiciary charged to render equal justice through the rule of law. They suggested ways courts could engage in outreach to help communities understand the judiciary’s vital role. A highlight of the conference was a question and answer session with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. She discussed her duties as chief justice, her civics education initiative, diversity in the judicial system, and recent developments affecting courts and the practice of law. She noted the Futures Commission’s recent report, commenting favorably on the recommendation to expand the use of technology to permit video appearances and video remote interpreting in trial courts, and the recommendation to create a new fast-track tier for civil cases seeking damages of less than $250,000. This was the Third District’s second Judicial Conference. It held its first conference in 2013. At that time, Justice Raye explained the conference’s purpose: “Our court has always endeavored to reach out to the communities we serve. The conference reflects our desire to achieve an even closer relationship with those who know us best: the judges of the Superior Courts within the District, and the practitioners who appear before us.” *Editor’s note: Please see Ms. Lakatos’s article on page 30 of this issue.

Jeff Galvin’s Sincere Commitment to Pro Bono Services Continued from page 8 Planning Council since 2014 and has obtained the Council’s support for the new Estate Planning Clinic. Jeff has served on the Board of Directors of VLSP and Legal Services of Northern California. He has also been a director of Diogenes Youth Services and is currently on the board of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. From 2012 to the present, he has been a

member of the Litigation Subcommittee of the State Bar Trusts and Estates Section. He has been a Master and Barrister of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court since 2010. We are grateful to Jeff Galvin for his ongoing commitment to access to justice for the indigent in the Sacramento area and congratulate him on his well-deserved award.

Judge Brian R. Van Camp Superior Court of CA, County of Sacramento (Ret.)

Member, AAA Panels on: Commercial & Complex Civil

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Employment & Labor Construction & Real Estate

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Betsy S. Kimball

Justice George Nicholson Retires

is the Editor-in-Chief of Sacramento Lawyer. She can be contacted at BKimball@Klinedinstlaw. com.

by Betsy S. Kimball / Photo by Patrick Twomey Editor’s Note: Less than a week before the deadline for this issue, I learned of Justice Nicholson’s retirement from the Third District Court of Appeal. Dilemma: either wait until the March/April issue of this magazine to describe Justice Nicholson’s career in an article stocked with kind words by people far greater than I – or write this myself now, with my own observations.


Sacramento Lawyer Editor, I have dealt with Justice Nicholson quite a lot. He is a man who loves the law and, not surprisingly, is a genuine legal scholar. As written in the court’s retirement announcement, “Said Administrative Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye: ‘George Nicholson is an extraordinary individual whose retirement will leave a huge void on our court. … He has been a mentor to many, and an inspi-


ration to all who have been fortunate enough to benefit from his amazing network of influential friends and his reservoir of creative ideas.’” See appellate-justice-george-nicholson-announces-retirement. The retirement announcement well summarizes Justice Nicholson’s distinguished career. “Creative ideas.” True. I have it on good authority (2 really good authorities, actually) that the Unity Bar was

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

Justice Nicholson at the 2016 Court-Clergy Conference

Justice Nicholson’s vision, which he and others then turned into something wonderful in our community. I debated about whether to include Continued on page 15



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Jaya Badiga is a staff


attorney at WEAVE. She can be contacted at

An Evening with the Mayor by Jaya Badiga


he Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) had a lot of “firsts” in 2017. One was facilitating “an evening with the mayor” – a conversation between the Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, and Beth Ruyak, host of Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean of Pacific McGeorge, introduced the event and the speakers. Questions from attendees and at-

Beth Ruyak, Darrell Steinberg, & Sabrina Thomas

torneys were pre-submitted and delivered to Ruyak. Listeners of “Insight” are familiar with Ruyak, whose radio style is amiable, enthusiastic, and inquiring. For this one hour, however, Ruyak delved into an issue-based discussion with Steinberg. The atmosphere felt like two experienced fighters in the ring, neither having to throw a punch to win. The first question, relevant today

Michael Hunter Schwartz , Darrell Steinberg, Beth Ruyak, & Sabrina Thomas


CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

and on that day, was about the issue of sexual harassment, specific to the California Legislature pursuant to the #MeToo movement. Ruyak addressed the letter that women at the Capitol published in the Los Angeles Times about rampant sexual harassment at the Capitol. Steinberg previously served as the President pro Tempore of the California Senate, the highest office position in the Senate. Ruyak asked him about the process for reporting sexual harassment at the Capitol and what he thought about it. In response, Steinberg focused on the complaint process during his Senate term. Ruyak questioned Steinberg about the city’s pervasive homelessness issue, as well as the long-term plan intended to resolve this issue. Steinberg, having endured the despair of homeless people dying on the streets of Sacramento, worked on an ambitious plan with the County Board of Supervisors, to invest in a program called the Whole Person Care Pilot. (At the time of this

event, the supervisors had not yet voted to approve funds for this program, which they eventually did.) Steinberg was plaintive in his desire to combat the issue, even though it could be perceived as an issue that would not necessarily be a “city” issue. At one point, Ruyak asked the audience to quickly tweet Steinberg’s reply on the issue of homelessness. He said, “I’ll be darned if I allow this thing to grow without aggressive action.” When the conversation turned to Sacramento’s bid for a second Amazon site, Ruyak questioned the prioritization of the tech industry over others and also asked about the downside such as rising rents and the resulting exodus of long-term residents. Ruyak and Steinberg had moments of levity with regard to euphemisms for gentrification, but finally, Steinberg called it for what it is. He acknowledged the problem rising rents have caused, with long-time residents being uprooted from neighborhoods, as well as changes that overcome neighborhoods as trendy store-fronts establish their presence in the city. When asked about the priority for the arts, Steinberg gave it the same priority as sports and talked about various improvements and commitment to the arts under his leadership. He was quick to promote the Farm-toFork movement in the region too and commented on the growth of that segment in the city. When asked about the city’s ratings, Steinberg addressed the issue of under-funded pensions per CalPers’ analysis of how much the city needs to maintain in reserve for pensions. It was evident that Steinberg does not fully agree with the math in terms of how much this would consume the city’s operational budget and whether it is even possible to get into positive ratings based on the burden that the city is expected to carry. The evening was an issue-laden, in-depth look at Steinberg’s leadership, his policies and areas of passion, as well

Justice George Nicholson Retires Continued from page 12 the following comment, and decided to thought-out and sincerely held – even if leave it in for one reason – there are prob- they differed a lot from my own. This – ably hundreds of people in this commu- what I have just described – is something nity who could say the same thing. And of such great value to our community of it is high praise. There are many things diverse people (and to preserving it as about which Justice Nicholson and I a community): the ability to discuss relikely disagree – in law, politics, etc. But I spectfully differences of opinion, belief, know that he and I (or anyone else in my perspective, and the like. stead) could discuss those things, and it On behalf of many, I express hope would be a dialogue, not a debate. The that the conclusion of this chapter of dialogue would be civil, probably colle- Justice Nicholson’s life will be the start gial. Each of us would listen to the other. of a new and productive time of scholarI would respect that his views were well ship and service for him. | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



The SCBA’s 99th Annual Meeting by Betsy S. Kimball


Monday, December 4th, the SCBA held its annual meeting at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. VLSP managing attorney Vicki Jacobs presented the 2017 June Black Pro Bono Award to Jeff Galvin, whose great service to VLSP and its clients is detailed in Jacobs’ article at page 8 of this issue. Outgoing SCBA President Sabrina Thomas presented the SCBA Distinguished Attorney of the Year Award to Russell Austin. She also presented two 2017 President’s Awards, one to Justin Ward, and the other to the 2017 Executive Committee (Shanae Buffington, Sean McCoy, and Sil Reggiardo) plus SCBA Executive Director Mary Burroughs. Ken Bacon, Meredith Garey, and Jonathan Hayes each received the Outgoing SCBA Board Member Recognition Award. Judge Kevin Culhane swore in

Kevin Johnson, Dean of the UC Davis School of Law Russell Austin receives the Lawyer of the Year award from Sabrina Thomas

the SCBA’s officers and board members. UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson gave the keynote address, framing the complex issues immigration issues at hand. 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.

2018 SCBA President Sil Reggiardo addressing the audience


CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

Sabrina Thomas and President’s Award winner Justin Ward

EVENTS Betsy S. Kimball is the Editor-in-Chief of Sacramento Lawyer. She can be contacted at BKimball@

2018 SCBA Board of Directors

Kent Calfee, Shawn Joost, & John Monley from Murphy Austin

Troy Estacio, Lori Raderschadt–Guyton, Brian Marty, & Amy Lerseth from Buzz Oates with Russell Austin (middle)

Mary J. Burroughs, SCBA Executive Director, delivers election results

Retiring California Lawyers for the Arts Associate Director Ellen Taylor (L) with incoming Associate Director Jody Prunier

Blair Shahbazian, Michael Schoenfeld, & Russell Austin

Jim Willett with 2018 SCBA President Sil Reggiardo

Greg Fayard and SCBA 2018 Secretary/Treasurer Trevor Carson | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Brian Van Camp served

Climbing to the Top with Sil Reggiardo, 2018 SCBA President

as a judge on the Sacramento Superior Court for 16 years, until 2012. He is now engaged at Van Camp ADR Arbitration •Mediation and can be contacted at

by Brian R. Van Camp


hey say a good way to get to know someone is to “get high” with him. I don’t know about such in the more common usage of that term, but on my hike up the east side of Mt. Whitney in 2002 with Sil Reggiardo, my former partner (I had left for the Superior Court bench a few years earlier), some other friends from Downey Brand, and someone’s dog to an elevation of 14,505 feet, I did indeed get to know more about him. I learned then, as our bar association activists now also know, that Sil’s easy-going style belies a steely determination, especially viewed up close on the grueling switchbacks at 13,000 feet. Sil Reggiardo is a third-generation San Franciscan, and his parents, Sil and Dorothy (“Boots”), raised him in Santa Clara. The oldest of five children, Sil had three brothers before his mom turned age 27 – little sister Mary arrived a bit later. Boots was outnumbered, but, to keep some sense of order, she used her


“Irish-Catholic mother” guilt, including those most feared words: “You know it would hurt me if you did ….” It mostly

Sill Reggiardo, 2018 SCBA President

worked, and Boots learned to shrug off her sons’ vocabulary. She even laughed

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

when she recently learned that, among the plants she faithfully watered in the garden, was one that only recently became legal (Sil insists it was not his). Sil says in his youth, he had little use for academics, but enjoyed sports. He was the starting quarterback his senior year at Buchser High School, although he says he has found no other job as difficult to get or keep. It did help him learn the importance of being persistent and working with others. His mom was his biggest supporter, insisting to everyone that he looked “just like Roger Staubach.” On the field, Sil had an impressive record of throwing the long ball – made more impressive when he was later diagnosed as having a congenital eye problem. His doctor explained to him that “[t]hings are not where you think they are.” That result confirmed the suspicions of many and largely explains why Sil decided to switch his focus from athletics to academics. 

COVER STORY At home, dinner table discussions sage-rate. A full-time student at Hastseldom involved college. Sil’s young ings, he liked the competition. He enparents did not have college degrees tered Hastings with plans of working (both do now; in fact, Boots has a master’s degree in nursing). If Sil wanted to go to college, he would need to start at West Valley College, then transfer to San Jose State. Eager to get through college, Sil loaded up on classes and took summer school. He also worked so many hours in a supermarket that one year, he made as At the line and taking a much money as the newbreak (with childhood friend Frank Fetter), 1979. ly-hired college graduates were making.  for a “Big Eight” accounting firm and A “commuter” at both West Valley becoming a CPA. After graduating (Orand SJS, Sil made frequent trips to San der of the Coif) in 1987, he did just Luis Obispo to visit his girlfriend, Joy, that, working for three years in San who attended Cal Poly. Joy’s mother Francisco in the tax department of and Boots had met in an anatomy class Ernst & Whinney/Ernst & Young.  and played match maker. Sil and Joy In a very busy July of 1990, Sil and got married shortly after Joy graduated, Joy became parents, moved to Camerduring Sil’s second year at Hastings. on Park, and changed careers. Joy left Sil found himself at Hastings in a technical sales to become a mother, and very competitive class. In fact, when Sil became a tax and estate planning ashis class took the California Bar Exam, sociate with Downey Brand (at 92 years Hastings led all other schools’ pas-

At a Cal Poly SLO sorority dance, circa 1983

young, the largest law firm based in the Central Valley). Sil and Joy are the proud parents of three grown children: oldest daughter, Kaitlin, with an M.S. in speech pathology, works with disabled kids in Reno; second daughter, Megan, lives in Wisconsin, is applying to occupational therapy graduate programs, and is married to Jim Brennan, the oldest son of Boutin Jones partner Stacy Brennan; and Patrick is a junior, studying Mechanical Engineering at UNR. Even with a mostly empty nest, Sil and Joy have little downtime. Joy loves horses and did vaulting (acrobatics on horseback) in international competition. She now works part-time as an accountant, but rides nearly every day. Sil joins her on most weekends. Joy also often sings as a cantor at Mass (Sil thinks there is way too much singing in church!).  Sil’s practice as a Downey Brand partner involves estate planning, taxation, and (generally) related transactions. He is a State Bar certified specialist in both the estate planning and tax

Joy and the Mustang, circa 1983 | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



areas, was on the State Bar Trusts and Estates Section Executive Committee, is a Fellow with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and has a graduate tax law degree from New York University. He has served on the planned giving committees of the El Dorado Community Foundation, Mercy Foundation, and Catholic Foundation, along with a couple of charitable foundation boards.  Starting last year, Sil has taught the estate planning course at UC Davis, King Hall School of Law, and this spring will teach taxation of estate planning. Sil is most fortunate to have as a secretary (and sometimes “Director”) Dawn Willis, who also serves on the SCBA board as the liaison to the Sacramento Legal Secretaries Association, an SCBA affiliate. Sil’s involvement with SCBA leadership started when he served as its Tax Law Section Chair. Much later, he served as the SCBA’s first Pro Bono Committee Chair, having started it when serving as the Pro Bono Coordinator of his law firm. This year, the Pro Bono Committee is gaining strength under the leadership of Downey Brand partner Jeff Galvin. Sil can be predictable. For example, he still has his first car, a 1964-½ Mustang that he got while a senior in high school in 1980. And Joy complains that he still wears the same Pendleton shirts he had in college. But he can also surprise people. Two years ago he went to Burning Man, when he was invited as part of a client matter, and he went again this past year. Even though he’s a Republican, he voted for Jerry Brown, based on merit. And while a gun owner, he voted for ammunition restrictions, for their potential to save lives. He says he keeps an open mind and welcomes new ideas. 


Sil’s partners at Downey attest to the reasons that he’s rated AV by Martindale, a NorCal Super Lawyer, and a Best Lawyer in America©. Managing Partner Scott Shapiro’s description of him includes “unsung hero,” dedicated, humble, brilliant, and creative, pitching in on tough legal or firm issues effectively, and mostly out of the spotlight. Shapiro appreciates Sil’s devotion to the younger lawyers in the firm, helping to develop not only sound lawyering, but high moral and ethical standards. “A stellar DB lawyer,” says the firm’s Executive Partner, Bill Warne, about Sil. “If you have a tax question or a trust and estates issue, he’s your go-to lawyer. Complexity is never a problem; he thrives on it. Also, if you’re heading to the top of Mt. Whitney, he’s your goto-climbing mate!” UC Davis Law Dean Kevin Johnson appreciates Sil’s teaching skills. “Sil has been an excellent teacher of an estate seminar. We appreciate that, as a busy, hard-working lawyer, he is com-

A recent family Christmas photo

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

mitted to training the next generation of lawyers. We’re lucky to have him as part of the UC Davis Law faculty.”     Most important, Sil’s got a solid supporter at home. According to his wife, Joy, “Sil is a wonderful husband and father, is very generous, works ridiculously hard at his job, and loves to spoil me. Who else would clean up after my horses, and get up at 4:00 am to stand in line to buy a home? He’s a great guy who will work hard to be the best bar president so far.” Could it be said any better? When asked about his “Life’s Lessons Learned So Far,” Sil’s answer is not surprising: “Many of the things I’ve done have mostly been done through persistence and hard work – and often because no one told me I couldn’t do them. Do the right thing and keep a positive attitude when trying to accomplish something” – Sounds like a formula for getting to the top, whether it is in your chosen field, in your volunteer association, or to the highest summit in the continental U.S.


Ken Malovos Mediator Arbitrator Referee 3620 American River Dr. Suite 260 Sacramento, CA 95864

(916) 974-8600 Business, Commercial, Construction Claims and Defects, Employment, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Malpractice, Probate, Product Liability and Real Estate Disputes. Calendar and further information online at: | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL

Advertiser: Ken Malovos



Maggie Stern is an attorney with Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard and a Board member of the Public Law Section. She can be contacted at mstern@

Public Law Section Update by Maggie W. Stern


he Public Law Section (PLS) held its annual meeting in late October at the Firehouse restaurant. Over lunch, members were treated to an informative presentation by California Assemblymember Jim Cooper. He spoke on recent and pending legislation related to criminal justice reform. Before joining the Assembly, Cooper served as a Captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years, and is particularly interested in tracking criminal justice reform measures. In particular, Cooper spoke about then pending Assembly Bill 14, which would allow the collection of DNA upon the conviction of misdemeanor crimes previously designated as felonies. (The bill was approved by the Governor on October 12, 2017, and adds section 680.3 to the Penal Code.) When the Safe Neighborhoods and School Act was approved in 2014, a number of felonies were re-classified as misdemeanors and were inadvertently made exempt from DNA collection requirements. As explained by Cooper, the collection of DNA evidence is critical to solving cold cases.


Leslie Walker, Jonathan Hobbs, Mona Ebrahimi, & Jeffrey Mitchell

As part of the PLS’s annual lunch, the section also awarded a scholarship to Benjamin Gevercer, a third year law student at UC Davis School of Law. The section awards a scholarship annually to a law student with a demonstrated interest in the practice of public law. Gevercer has worked for the California Department of Finance as a legal intern, and as a law clerk with the firm of Olsen, Hagel & Fishburn LLP. Prior to attending law school, Gevercer worked in public policy and more recently as a Budget Analyst at the California Department of Finance. The PLS regularly provides educational programs and networking opportunities for public law attorneys across the broad spectrum of practices in the Sacramento region. The PLS’s active membership is comprised of attorneys in private law firms and local and state agencies. The PLS welcomes law students. Recent programs reflect the breadth of practice areas engaged in by public sector attorneys in the region. For example, on December 5, 2017, the PLS offered a luncheon titled “Drones Take Flight: Navigating Regulations and Public Agency Approaches.” The luncheon was hosted by Downey Brand LLP, and the speakers included Kate Killeen (California Department of Water Resources), Raiyn Bain-Moore (California Department of Transportation, Deputy State Attorney), and Tim Cromartie (League of California Cities, Legislative Representative). In addition to its educational and networking opportunities, the PLS supports local law students who have an interest in practicing in the public arena, and offers numerous opportunities throughout the year for law students to network with PLS members. The PLS looks forward to more enriching programs throughout the year. Keep a lookout for announcements about PLS events in 2018, and join us as we continue to strengthen our community of attorneys who serve public agencies in the Sacramento region.

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

January Lunch and Learn Judges Series DATE: Friday

January 26, 2018

Judges Series TOPIC:

“Should Justice be Blind?” Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Courtroom


Registration and Buffet Lunch Starts at 11:40 a.m.

$55 Non-SCBA Members


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

PLACE: SCBA Event Center

$20 Students/ Court Staff

425 University Ave, Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95825 Reservations must be received by 5:00 pm January 24, 2018


1.0 Hour MCLE** Elimination of Bias

Reservations must be received by 3pm January 24, 2018. Registration will not be confirmed until payment is received. After deadline date (if there is availability) and for any walk-ins pricing will increase by $10. No one will be permitted to attend without payment.


Honorable Garen J. Horst


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 Calendar. If you have any questions please contact Cecilia Rainey at or 916-564-3780

Buffet Lunch Lemon Basil Chicken Breast, Mashed Potatoes, Peas & Corn, Chopped Romaine Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Sliced Red Onions, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives with Greek Dressing & Dinner Rolls, Assortment of Desserts & 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 26, 2018 *No refund will be available within 7 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 Elimination of Bias 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 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Eric Garcia was the 2017 Pres-

Meet the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association


you understand the needs of your paralegal or legal assistant? Does your support staff get the continuing education and training they need to perform their functions efficiently and effectively for you and your firm? Does your paralegal maintain the required minimum MCLE hours to allow you and your firm to petition for paralegal fees? The Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association (SVPA) has the answers to these questions and many more. SVPA was founded in 1978 as a professional and educational organization for paralegals. The majority of members are paralegals, paralegal educators, paralegal students, and other persons working in the legal field or interested in the paralegal profession. SVPA’s mission is to foster and promote standards of the paralegal profession, to cooperate and offer education for paralegals, to increase attorney and public awareness of the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services, and to gather, re-


ident, and he is CAPA Representative, & College Liaison for SVPA; Keri Heaton is an SVPA Director and Editor. They can be contacted at

by Eric Garcia and Keri Heaton

ceive, study and disseminate information concerning paralegals. To accomplish this mission, SVPA offers monthly MCLE luncheons (approved under the guidelines of the California Bar), holds several annual events, volunteers with and participates in community events, and publishes an informative newsletter for members. Many of SVPA’s luncheon events are free for members, offering quality, real-world education at a fraction of the standard cost. SVPA is an affiliated member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations, and the Sacramento County Bar Association. As a result, SVPA members get access to the events, benefits, and other member-exclusive information offered by these county, state, and national organizations. SVPA also contributes resources to support the Voluntary Legal Services of Northern California, supports local charities such as My Sister’s House, and organizes member participation in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure among other community events. As the cost of legal services rose and prevented many Americans from access to justice, the American Bar Association validated the concept of the paralegal and, in 1968, established the Standing Committee on Legal Assistants. In 1974, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations formed, and just a year later, the ABA approved nine formal paralegal training programs. Today, at least 1,000 formal paralegal training programs exist across the country, with California leading the pack in terms of education and certification (17). In 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Business and Professions Code, section 6450, the definitive regulation and definition of the paralegal title. California has consistently recognized the value of paralegals. On June 24, 1988, Governor George Deukmejian signed a proclamation declaring the last Friday in June to be “California Paralegal Day.” Paralegal associations throughout the state traditionally hold events celebrating California Paralegal Day. SVPA’s Annual California Paralegal Day Gala is celebrated annually in May and offers not only continuing education credit, but also a fun networking luncheon event with other paralegals. SVPA’s website is packed with information, has an event calendar, and provides an active Job Board resource for the Sacramento area legal community both to view and to post job listings. More information about SVPA and these events can be found on the SVPA website at:

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

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Thank you! 916.922.4769 1833 Howe Ave Sacramento, CA | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Barristers’ Club Update

Barristers’ 2018 President, Steve Duvernay

Barristers’ Club Update – Members Ratify New Board of Directors On November 9, 2017, the Barristers’ Club held its annual voting social. Members voted to ratify the new slate of board members and officer candidates. Numerous members participated in the election carrying on the Barristers’ Club’s tradition of strong member engagement. The Barristers’ Club would like to welcome its new officers and board

Lauren Sorokolit is the Barristers’ Media Chair and Associate Counsel at Molina Healthcare, Inc. She can be contacted at Lauren.Sorokolit@

by Lauren Sorokolit

members: President: Steve Duvernay, Executive Vice-President: Katie Nystrom, Vice-President of Programs: Megan Sammut, Treasurer: Lauren Calnero, Secretary: Caroline Colangelo, Membership Chair: Lauren Foust Sorokolit, Immediate Past President: Kurt Hendrickson, Board Members at Large: Jeffrey Schaff, Kevin Khasigian, Connor Olson, Jenni Harmon, and Jake Weaver. The incoming Board of Directors would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing President, Kurt Hendrickson, for all his hard work and dedication to the improvement of the Barristers’ Club. Introducing 2018 Barristers’ Club President, Steve Duvernay Steve Duvernay has been an attorney with Benbrook Law Group since 2013. Prior to that, he worked as an associate at DLA Piper and Klinedinst PC. Duvernay handles both trial and ap-

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CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

pellate work in state and federal court and focuses on constitutional, political, and commercial litigation. He earned his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 2007 and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow with the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law, where he also teaches advanced legal writing. Duvernay brings significant experience to his role as Barristers’ Club President, having served previously in several officer positions. As the 2018 President, his goal is to expand outreach to law students and new attorneys, to develop educational programs to help members hone critical skills as they transition into practice, and to continue providing networking opportunities for the future leaders of the local bar. Duvernay’s favorite Barristers’ event is the Summer Associates Reception because it provides an opportunity for law students and young lawyers to mix with judges and experienced attorneys in a casual setting and learn the secrets of surviving a legal career. In his spare time, Steve enjoys traveling, fitness, rooting for the Kings and Notre Dame football, and spending time with his lazy dog Clarence. Upcoming Events The Barristers’ Club has an array of educational programming planned for the first half of 2018 so stay tuned for details. The Barristers’ Club also looks forward to hosting social functions this spring as well as the annual Summer Associates Reception in July. We hope to see you there!

Emmanuel Salazar is a Deputy


Attorney General and Co-Chair of SacLEGAL. He can be contacted at

Unity Bar Celebrates 30 Years by Emmanuel R. Salazar / Photos by Cindi Cereceres


its continued work to grow and celebrate diversity and inclusiveness in Sacramento’s legal community, the Unity Bar Association of Sacramento held a star-studded 30th Annual Unity Bar Dinner on November 13, 2017, this year hosted by SacLEGAL, Sacramento’s LGBT Bar Association. The event began with music from Camellia Orchestra string quartet, led by SacLEGAL board member Heather Thomas, followed by the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus. The main program began with welcome remarks by Unity Bar Association’s enduring leader, Patricia Reeves. Mayor Darrell Steinberg introduced the keynote speaker, esteemed constitutional law scholar and 13th Dean of Berkeley Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, who timely remarked that “more unites us than divides us.” Comedienne and attorney for the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, Julie Werthman,

lightheartedly moved the program along as the Mistress of Ceremonies. After the keynote address, the member organizations presented their respective scholarship recipients and community service awardees, whose contributions to their communities have been positively impactful. The Unity Bar scholarship recipients were Caitlyn Imura Andrijich (Pacific McGeorge), Samina Azizi (Pacific McGeorge), Hannah Bogen (UC Davis), Benjamin Gevercer (UC Davis), Brianna Grant (Pacific McGeorge), Nathalie Nguyen (Lincoln), Karen Pedraza (UC Davis), and Monica Silver (Pacific McGeorge). The community service awardees were ACE (Attitude, Community, Excellence) for its mentorship of male youth of color toward independence, sufficiency and success; California Rural Legal

Assistance Foundation for its work with immigrant communities; Dawn Deason and Charlene Jones for their creation of the historical documentary series, “Legends of Courage;” Florin Japanese American Citizens League – Sacramento Valley for its work in promoting civil rights, social justice and cultural heritage; Families NOW for its efforts in obtaining permanent foster care for children; Fresher Sacramento for its endeavor to facilitate access to affordable nutrition in affected communities; and Kishwer Vikaas of the Pacific McGeorge Immigration Clinic for her work with victims of violence, asylum applicants, and immigrant families. The Unity Bar Dinner was a huge success, thanks to the Committee composed of representatives from each member organization and headed by the benevolent Hayley Dewey and Jessica Warne.

Equality California Legislative Manager Jo Michael, Judge From L-R, SacLEGAL board members James Tiehm, Jocelyn Wolfe, Pam Jones, scholarship Victoria Kolakowski of the Alameda County Superior recipient Hannah Bogen, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Community Service Awardee Dawn Deason, SacLEGAL board members Natalie Bustamante, Heather Thomas, & Emmanuel Salazar Court, & SacLEGAL board member Kathi Finnerty | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Douglas Potts is a senior appellate attorney at the Third District Court of Appeal.

Court/Clergy Conference Tackles Conflict between Religious Liberty and Civil Rights by Douglas Potts / Photos courtesy of Patrick Twomey


ow far must the right to religious liberty accommodate civil rights? And can this tension be resolved through compromise? Judges, attorneys, and clergy considered these issues at the 2017 Sacramento Court/Clergy Conference this past October. Constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, and John Eastman, Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, debated the issues in light of a case pending before the United States Supreme Court that challenges a public accommodation law’s effect on a private businessman’s religious belief and practice. Both scholars found agreement and compromise hard to reach, but in the process, they modeled how people who disagree can engage in civil discourse. Eastman argued accommodation laws go too far. The Founding Fathers saw the free exercise of religion as an inalienable right; one that recognized mankind owed a duty to God above what it owed to government. They claimed a right to independence and self-government based on this belief. They also recognized that freedom of conscience and the education in virtue provided by religions were the mechanisms by which free government would perpetuate itself. Given religious liberty’s centrality to the experiment of republican government, Eastman argued governmental interference with that right should be authorized only upon a compelling state interest, and public accommodation laws should not be allowed to force religious exercise out of the public square and public life.


Dean Erwin Chemerinsky speaking at the 2017 Sacramento Court/Clergy Conference

Chemerinsky disagreed. He argued the Framers saw themselves as children of the Enlightenment, where reason would replace religion as the basis for government. Rather than interpret the Constitution based solely on the Framers’ intent, Chemerinsky claimed the Constitution should be interpreted as a living document. In that vein, he contended separation of church and state should ensure we live under a secular government that protects religious exercise only in private

homes and places of worship. This would prevent others from feeling coerced to participate in religion or disadvantaged for not participating. He believes that laws that burden religion should meet some form of heightened scrutiny, but no one had the right to discriminate against others in the public realm in the name of free exercise of religion. Eastman and Chemerinsky applied their views to a controversial case now before the Supreme Court, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Human Rights Com. (2015) 370 P.3d 272, cert. granted June 26, 2017, __ U.S. __ [137 S.Ct. 2290]. There, a state agency cited a baker for refusing to design and prepare a cake for a gay couple’s wedding celebration. The agency found his refusal to do so on religious grounds violated a state statute prohibiting businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Both scholars agreed the case will not be decided under the Free Exercise Clause because under Employment Division v. Smith

Prof. John Eastman, Prof. Alan Brownstein, & Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |


Misha Igra, 2017 President, Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association, with her mother, Liz Igra, President, Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network and a Holocaust survivor

the state statute effectively compelled the baker to engage in certain speech at the risk of losing his livelihood. Chemerinsky rejected that argument. He contended if the high court viewed baking a cake as an expressive activity, it would end anti-discrimination law. Any work could be seen as an expressive activity, and anyone could discriminate against another based on race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation simply by refusing to perform on the basis of religious belief. Chemerinsky believes society has an “enormously compelling” interest in stopping discrimination, and the right to practice religion should not include the

(1990) 494 U.S. 872, the Free Exercise Clause may not be used to challenge laws of general applicability such as the Colorado statute. Accordingly, the baker contends the agency’s action compels him to exercise his speech rights in a manner contrary to his religious beliefs. The scholars disputed the argument’s merits. Eastman contended the baker’s speech claims were not insignificant. The baker did not refuse to Judge Troy Nunley, United States District Court, Eastern District of California

Richard C. Blake, Chief Judge, Hoopa Valley Tribe

design the cake because of the couple’s sexual orientation; indeed, he was willing to sell them one of his off-the-shelf cakes. He refused because they asked him to engage in an expressive activity of designing and creating a cake that celebrated a view of marriage contrary to his religious beliefs. Eastman argued

ability to inflict harm on others. Moderator Alan Brownstein, professor at UC Davis School of Law, asked if there was a possible compromise outside of constitutional law to resolve conflicts between the exercise of religious liberty and civil rights. The scholars could not agree there was. Eastman suggested a “live and let live” compromise similar to what exists with abortion. The right to abortion is recognized, but opponents are not compelled to participate in or facilitate one and may pursue changing the right. Chemerinsky argued the issue could not ultimately be solved in the political process because there is a tension between liberty and equality, and when government stops people from discriminating, it interferes with their autonomy. Besides the debate between Dean

Chemerinsky and Professor Eastman, the Court/Clergy Conference educated clergy on other legal topics. Phillip Talbert, United States Attorney, and Todd Pickles, Assistant United States Attorney, both of the Eastern District of California, taught classes on federal hate crimes. Holly Cooper and Amagda Perez, co-directors of the Immigration Law Clinic at the UC Davis discussed immigration law and sanctuary cities. And Justice Richard D. Fybel, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, spoke on how judges and lawyers in Nazi Germany used laws and the courts to discriminate against Jews. As in previous years, the conference opened with prayers by clergy – this year by Rabbi Alan Rabishaw, Temple Or Rishon, and Father Matthew Pyrc, Director of Liturgy, Jesuit High School. The conference closed with “benedictory” statements by Justice Louis Mauro, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District; Judge Richard C. Blake, Chief Judge, Hoopa Valley Tribe; and Judge Troy Nunley, United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

Justice Louis Mauro, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District

The Sacramento Court/Clergy Conference is an annual event sponsored by the Sacramento County Superior Court and the California Judges Association. Its mission is to provide “a forum for mutual support, understanding, edification and collaboration between the judiciary and regional communities of faith.” | January/February 2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | 1918~2018 CENTENNIAL



Holly Lakatos is the Law Librarian, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. She can be contacted at holly.lakatos@

Some Firsts for Female Attorneys and Judges in Sacramento by Holly A. Lakatos


hen the Sacramento County Bar Association was founded in 1918, there was only one woman practicing in the county, Valla E. Parkinson. While Parkinson was not Sacramento’s first female attorney, she was the first female attorney to join the SCBA.

Clara Shortidge Foltz

California’s first female attorney was Clara Shortidge Foltz who passed the bar examination in 1878. Nicknamed the “Portia of the Pacific,” Foltz became the first female clerk in the Capitol when she served the Assembly Judiciary Committee in 1880, just a year after Sacramento was named the permanent capital. Foltz went on to a distinguished career, culminating in her appointment to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in 1910. To-


day, the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles is named in her honor. While Clara Foltz was the first woman in the state to practice before the district courts, Mary Hamilton Young was the first woman to be admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court in 1879. Young and her husband had a law office on the corner of 5th and J in downtown Sacramento. Just down the street, Laura Tilden Wilson and her father also had offices. Tilden was a Sacramento native who became the first woman to pass the Nevada bar examination in 1893, though she apparently never practiced in Nevada. Another trailblazer was Virginia Stephens Coker Pendleton. Pendleton received a bachelor’s degree in science from Berkeley in 1924. Encouraged by her father to attend law school, she became the first African-American woman to complete the Law program at Berkeley and was admitted to the bar in 1929. Recognizing that government service offered more opportunities for women attorneys than private practice, Pendleton joined the State Office of Legislative Counsel as an attorney in 1939. She worked her way up to head of the Indexing Section before retiring after 27 years of distinguished public service. A native of Plumas County, Annette Abbott Adams became the first woman to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (1914-1918), a U.S. Attorney (1918-1920), and an Assistant

CENTENNIAL 1918~2018 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER | January/February 2018 |

U.S. Attorney General (1920-1921). During her time as the first female federal prosecutor, she garnered national attention for her role in sensational cases such as the “German Sabotage Ring” trial in 1916, prosecuting bombers that attempted to impede Allied war efforts, when the U.S. was still neutral. When the National Prohibition Act went into effect in 1920, Adams became one of its chief enforcers, though she personally disagreed with the legislation. A Democrat, Adams resigned her position in 1921 when Republican Warren G. Harding became President. After the Democrats regained the White House, Adams was named as a special counsel, along with

Graduation Portrait of Virginia Stephens [0080], MS 005 Stephens Family Papers, Courtesy of the African American Museum and Library, Oakland Public Library

former California Supreme Court Justice John W. Preston. Together, they secured payments from oil companies that drilled on federal lands under fraudulent leases related to the Teapot Dome Scandal. In 1942, Governor Culbert Olson named Adams as the Presiding Justice of the Third District, making her the first female appellate court justice in the state. Two years before retiring for health reasons, Adams became the first woman to sit pro tem on the California Supreme Court (Gardner v. Jonathon Club (1950) 35 Cal.2d 343). She remained the only female to serve as an appellate court justice in California until Mildred L. Lille was named associate justice to the Second District in 1958. In December 1975, Frances Newell Carr became the first woman to be appointed to the bench of the Superior Court, Sacramento County. She also served as its presiding judge

before her elevation in 1980 to the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. While working to support herself during college and law school, Carr worked as a welder, a nightclub photographer, and a radio announcer. As a founding member of Women Lawyers of Sacramento, one of the highlights of Carr’s year was when she swore in the new WLS board where she always admonished that members strive to eliminate discrimination everywhere, including the hearing room of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Amazing women attorneys and jurists continue to work in Sacramento, striving for justice while attempting to shatter expectations and glass ceilings. The new Third District Historical Society hopes to share the stories of these remarkable women and all the many legal communities, personalities, and issues that shaped our corner of California.

Sources: • Barbara Babcock, Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz (2011) • Elaine Connolly and Dian Self, Capital Women: An Interpretive History of Women in Sacramento, 1850-1920 (1995) • Shama Mesiwala, “First All-Female Panel Convened at the Third Appellate District,” Sacramento Lawyer (July/Aug 2012) pages 14-23, 34. < law_julaug_2012.pdf> (as of Nov. 14, 2017) • Walter G. Reed, History of Sacramento County California (1923) • Louise Steiner, Annette Abbott Adams: California’s First Lady of Law (1972) <http://csus-dspace.calstate. edu/handle/10211.9/1550> (as of Nov. 14, 2017)

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Sacramento Lawyer Magazine - January/February 2018  
Sacramento Lawyer Magazine - January/February 2018  

Sacramento County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine - Let the next 100 years begin