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September/October 2017


2017 SCBA Judge of the Year

Kevin R. Culhane U.S. Supreme Court Year in Review 2016-2017 Term

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

The End of Summer

Kenya 2017

by Betsy S. Kimball


I write this, it is mid-August, a classic weekend “dog day” – the Giants are playing bad baseball, and I have just returned from a short trip to Nigeria (my first). A number of our colleagues here in Sacramento have proud Nigerian ancestry – Judge Bunmi Awoniyi and Maureen Onyeagbako to name just two. I attended the 5th International Pan-African Peace Conference on Restorative and Community Justice, a program co-sponsored by the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at Sac State. On these trips (every three years), there are also meetings with government officials and with people working in conflict resolution. I always learn a lot about the historic and current conflicts in the host country, and I always come away impressed by the people who devote themselves to ending conflict or repairing the oft-unspeakable damage it causes. After Charlottesville, I decided to delete what I had written here about the phenomenon of being a foreign white

person in sub-Saharan Africa. For now I will say that I always welcome and gain from those experiences. They leave me full of respect for others and for their culture(s), but also with an ache in my heart that hate of “the other” is growing so pervasive in our own country. At the risk of an awkward segue: this issue contains an article written by a participant in the SCBA-supported Summer Diversity Fellowship Program, Joann Horta-Baez. One of the fun things about being Editor is giving law students the chance to write/publish here. Personal congratulations to Kevin Culhane on his selection as the SCBA’s Judge of the Year. He and I go way back to the late 1980s, when I joined the former Hansen Boyd Culhane & Watson firm and spent the next ± 13 years working with him. It was a collaboration that I cherish in certain ways. Lawyer Culhane was the most brilliant conceptual thinker I have worked with – and (you’ve noticed) I love to write. Often, I got to execute Kevin’s ideas and insights. Good fun.

The SCBA notes with great regret the unexpected passing of Herbert F. Bolz, Jr., 1944 – 2017. Herb served the SCBA and its membership in many capacities and with distinction.

The SCBA also notes with great regret the August 2017 passing of family law attorney David Grotewohl. 4

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Betsy S. Kimball Editor@sacbar.org 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 - mburroughs@sacbar.org PRODUCTION DESIGN Milenko Vlaisavljevic ADVERTISING SALES EVENTS - MEMBER CLASSIFIED ADS (916) 564-3780 - scba@sacbar.org 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 - mburroughs@sacbar.org

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.



COVER STORY 18 SCBA’s 2017 Judge of the Year, Kevin R. Culhane – Wealth of Knowledge, Integrity, and Problem-Solving Skills FEATURE ARTICLES 14 Some Thoughts on the Future of Legal Education: Why Diversity and Student Wellness Should Matter in a Time of “Crisis” 16 U.S. Supreme Court Year in Review, 2016-2017 Term SECTIONS AND AFFILIATES


12 SABA of Sacramento Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary 25 Barristers’ Club Update VLSP 8

Anatomy of a Pro Bono Case

SUPPORTED ORGANIZATIONS 30 Florin Law Academy Students Complete Third Annual Summer Institute in Energy Law and Policy with Call to Action in Their Community


BOOK REVIEW 28 Can’t Spell the Truth without Ruth: “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”



DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Message 6

President’s Message

COVER Sacramento Lawyer magazine welcomes letters and article suggestions from readers. Please e-mail them to editor@sacbar.org. 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 mburroughs@sacbar.org. Web page: www.sacbar.org. 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 Judge of the Year Kevin R. Culhane

www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



2017 - A Year of Firsts 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 byinception Sabrina L. n Best Lawyers in America since inception, recently:

President, Sacramento County Bar Association


u Lawyer of the year, Real Estate Litigation,

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Sacramento, 2014

SCBA concluded the firstLitigation, half of 2017 with many acLawyer of the Year, Commercial u he

complishments. Sacramento 2010 We introduced several new programs Bet the Company Litigation, 2012, 2013, u and our sections offered members over2014 15 different MCLE u Commercial Litigation, 2012, 2013, 2014 programs. We successfully launched the first SCBA Kids Law u Litigation-Banking and Finance, 2012, 2013, 2014 DayuatLitigation-Real William Land Park Elementary School and Father Estate, 2012, 2013, 2014

Keith B. Kinney K-8. Many thanks to the attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants who took time away from their work to introduce, engage, and educate our children about their profession. Volunteers included: Dawn Willis, Rhonda Harrigan, Justin Ward, Brenda Bracy, Jill Telfer, June Powells-Mays, Crystal Rivera, Michelle DuCharme, Anm gelina Moyo, Olivia Abassa, C/ (916) and 825-9952 (916) 525-8446 yours truly.F/The children also did not disappoint and o, CA 95814 pepperedwww.genshlealaw.com the volunteers with questions ranging from “How Sacramento County Public Law Library many years does it take to beSCBA 2015 come an attorney?” to “Do you pay speeding tickets?” The SCBA put on its first ever Breakfast Series on Non-Traditional Lawyer Careers. Our speakers were restaurateur Randy Paragary, Patricia Cano of Young, Minney MAGAZINE & Corr, LLP, Andi Lieb-


A D1/8 page P RAdO O F

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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 reference@saclaw.org 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.

609 9th Street • Sacramento, CA 95814 | 916-874-6011 | www.saclaw.org www.facebook/saclawlib www.twitter/saclawlibrarian


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enbaum, Judicial Council of California, and David Girard from David Girard Vineyards. The panelists discussed the path that led them to their careers and the importance of taking risks when the path is not always clear. On October 5 through 8, Sacramento will host, for the first time, the Conference of California Bar Associations Conference of Delegates. As the host delegation, SCBA will offer six one-hour MCLE programs on topics ranging from Ethical and Privacy Issues in E-Discovery, The New Federalism: Can California Be a Role Model for Progressive States’ Rights, and Writing Effective Legislation. The keynote speaker will be California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As always, we look forward to our most recognized event, the Bench-Bar Reception. Congratulations to Presiding Judge Kevin R. Culhane as SCBA’s 2017 Judge of the Year (JOY). I have had the pleasure of speaking with Judge Culhane at various SCBA events, and he truly exemplifies all the qualities that we look for in the JOY. I would also like to recognize and thank in advance commit163px -163px Ad tee members Meredith Garey, Adrian Carpenter, Natalie Bustamante, Viana Barbu, Shanae Buffington, Marc Koenigsberg, Tracey Lizbeth O’Reilly, Rhonda Harrigan, and Dawn Willis, plus and our dedicated SCBA staff for making this event the success it is. Stay tuned as we have many more programs and events planned for the fall including, An Evening with Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the Party for a Cause and Celebration of Pro Bono Award. Carpe Diem!



SCBA eNews


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A record-breaking settlement on behalf of the family of a nine-monthold baby. It was the kind of tragic case that we will never quite get over—very difficult and emotional, especially for those of us with our own children. The negligent party was working for a large, well-funded municipality. We are proud to have been able to help bring some sense of justice to the family, and to hold the defendants accountable for their actions. Smart, tenacious, honest fighters for people who have been injured. One of Sacramento’s most successful personal injury law firms.



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

Anatomy of a Pro Bono Case “Betty”

age 62, has called several agencies looking for help in raising two of her grandchildren who were left with her last month while her daughter, “Melanie,” left town for the weekend. Much like before, Melanie disappeared without a trace and has not called to check on her children. Betty is increasingly concerned about the effect that Melanie’s frequent disappearances are having on the children. The children are now school-age, and one has behavioral problems that need to be addressed. Betty searches on line for information about her options. Betty decides that it would be best for the children if she raises them until Melanie is living a more stable life with a job and no more substance abuse problems. Betty thinks that, if her daughter does not have the stress of caring for her children, she can focus her attention on successfully completing rehab and her education. The children’s father is in prison in Nevada and will not be out to raise his children any time soon. He has been a largely absent figure in the children’s lives. Betty’s sole income is from a small pension and a part-time job. Betty is referred to the Voluntary Legal Services Program (VLSP) by Child Protective Services (CPS) to get help in becoming the guardian of her grandchildren. CPS tells Betty that, if she does not become the guardian of her grandchildren, they will likely end up in foster care.


by Vicki Jacobs

Betty is advised that she may be financially better off if she becomes her grandchildren’s foster mother, but she does not want to have any connection to the foster care system and wants to proceed with guardianship. Betty calls VLSP, and our legal assistant does an intake by phone to determine whether Betty is qualified for our services and has the type of case that we can assist with. Fortunately, Betty qualifies for our services, but her income is slightly above the guidelines for obtaining a fee waiver with the court. We reassure Betty that we will not let that prevent her from petitioning the court to become the guardian of her grandchildren. If necessary, VLSP will pay for the court costs, including the investigator’s fee, as well as the service of process costs. We do not have a grant for those expenses, but consider it a necessary part of our work as a pro bono organization. Betty speaks with a VLSP staff attorney about her case before we attempt to refer her to a volunteer. We try to help her obtain addresses of all the parties who must be served in the guardianship case, including the location of the incarcerated father. We obtain her written agreement to abide by certain rules of conduct during her case and her confirmation of her status as a citizen or legal resident of the United States, as required by our funding. We then email a volunteer from our list of guardianship volunteers and ask whether that volunteer is available to

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

handle the case. If not, we move on to the next volunteer. Fortunately, it does not take us too long to refer out most cases, thanks to the wonderful volunteers we have. The volunteer takes the case to handle in his/her office until it concludes. If the volunteer has questions, including how to get out-of-pocket expenses paid for or how to serve a party in prison, we are always available to talk. We have a small topical library that is available to our volunteers. Volunteers can use our office to meet with our mutual clients if it is more convenient or if the volunteer does not have a private office. When the case concludes, we ask for the total hours the volunteer and his/her staff have spent on the case, as that information is requested by our funders. Our goal is to leverage our staff hours with a greater amount of volunteer legal services. That is one way we know that we are successful as a pro bono organization. Another way is to get positive client survey responses from our clients who are grateful for the free service they receive from dedicated volunteer attorneys. Since 2007, VLSP has been fortunate to have volunteers from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe assist clients seeking guardianship of minor children who need stability in their lives. With the encouragement of the Sacramento Superior Court Probate Department and Probate Judge Steven Gevercer in Continued on page 27

JUDICATE WEST IS PROUD TO OFFER THE SERVICES OF THESE RESPECTED NORTHERN CALIFORNIA NEUTRALS Alan R. Berkowitz, Esq. Sarah F. Burke, Esq. Douglas deVries, Esq. Rachel K. Ehrlich, Esq. Susan G. Feder, Esq. Jeffrey A. Harper, Esq. Hon. Hurl Johnson, Ret. Mark LeHocky, Esq. David J. Meadows, Esq. Herman D. Papa, Esq. David L. Perrault, Esq. Mark D. Petersen, Esq. Robert Slattery, Esq. Peter Thompson, Esq. Hon. Michael G. Virga, Ret. Buzz Wiesenfeld, Esq. Richard M. Williams, Esq.

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2017 CCBA Conference of Delegates OCTOBER 5 - 6, 2017 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sacramento 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815 All MCLE Sessions will be held in the Ball Room

Join Us... Space is Limited, So Register Early! CCBA Conference attendees are FREE

MCLE Sessions are included in your conference registration Fee You may pay by credit card or check payable to: “Sacramento County Bar Association”. Mail payment to: Sacramento County Bar Association, Attn: October MCLE, 425 University Ave., Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825 or pay online at www. sacbar.org-Event Calendar. If you have any questions please contact Cecilia Rainey at cecilia.rainey@sacbar.org or 916-564-3780.

YOUR NAME:______________________________________________________________________________ COMPANY NAME: _________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS: _________________________________________________________________________________

Sacramento County Bar Association Provider

MCLE 6 Credits • • •

4.0 Hour General 1.0 Hour Competence Issues or Legal Specialization: 1.0 Hour Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law. 1.0 Hour Legal Ethics

The SCBA provider #166 certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.


$100 All Six Sessions (6 Hours Credit) $60 Thursday Three Sessions (3 Hours Credit) $60 Friday Three Sessions (3 Hours Credit) $25

One Session (1 Hour Credit)

Thursday, October 5, 2017 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

CITY: ____________________________________ STATE: ______________________ ZIP: _______________ EMAIL: __________________________________________________________ AMOUNT: $______________ CREDIT CARD #: __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ – __ __ __ __ CHECK NUMBER: ______ EXPIRATION DATE: __ __ – __ __




SIGNATURE: _______________________________________________________________________________

Friday, October 6, 2017 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. 11:00 – 12:00 a.m. After September 15, 2017, all prices increase by $10. *No refund will be available within 10 days of event.

**This activity pending for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 4 units of MCLE in the General Law, 1 unit in the Competence Issues or Legal Specialization: 1 Unit Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law and 1 unit in the Legal Ethics 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.

MCLE Programs: All MCLE educational programs are subject to change. Each program is offered through the Sacramento County Bar Association. The SCBA provider #166 certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Law Practice Management & Technology Respecting Diversity in the Realm of Privacy and Data Security

In our age of electronic data, breaches of data, and overlapping state, federal and international privacy regulation, many clients have demanded a new focus on rigorous structures and systems to safeguard data. Ironically, this new normal sometimes conflicts with individual privacy rights and free speech resulting in chilling diversity in the workspace. This session provides a brief overview of common privacy concerns and safeguards, and then explores the potential difficulties such changes pose to our abilities to promote and increase diversity in the profession.

CLE: 1.0 Hour 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Litigation Ethical and Privacy Issues in E-Discovery Amid the Cloud

Given the explosion of electronically stored information, attorneys increasingly rely on outside vendors and contract attorneys to assist with discovery. Additionally, shifts in technology and a reliance on cloud storage have fundamentally altered the practice of discovery. Join a panel of experts as they discuss ethical obligations and practical considerations during the e-discovery process. The session is a “how to” exploration of the latest e-discovery technology, and how attorneys can prepare for the new cloud frontier.

CLE: 1.0 Hour Legal Ethics 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Trusts & Estates Planning for Your Incapacity: What Attorneys Need to Know to Plan for their Own Incapacity or Death

Friday, October 6, 2017 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Public Law An Update on the California Supreme Court: Recent Cases and the Future of the Court

Some say the California Supreme Court is now the “Brown” Court reflecting the impact of Governor Jerry Brown on the budget of the courts as well as appointments during his terms as governor. Does the Court have a liberal ideology, and can predictions be made regarding new issues and challenges facing the Court?

CLE: 1.0 Hour 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

The New Federalism: Can California be a Role Model for Progressive States’ Rights

Join attorneys, experts, and legislative leaders as they discuss the robust role California has taken regarding States’ Rights after the election of the 45th President. The panel will discuss the role of the Governor and legislature regarding climate change, sanctuary cities, the border, marijuana legislation, women’s issues, and school text books in the era of Trump. Will California’s liberal efforts be successful or will there be a backlash by Californians to return to a more “moderate” California? Register early as this will be a lively and spirited discussion.

CLE 1.0 Hour 11:00 – 12:00 a.m.

Writing Effective Legislation

Join CCBA Lobbyist Larry Doyle, and local leaders and attorneys from Sacramento, as they discuss the secrets for drafting effective resolutions that can be turned into law. Presenters will discuss what legislators look for in a resolution, explain the legislative process, and discuss the best way to see your resolution turned into law.

CLE 1.0 Hour

Attorneys rarely contemplate their own incapacity or death. This session focuses on the mechanisms attorneys should put in place to protect their practice, their clients, and their family in the event of incapacity and death. Topics will include the role of a practice administrator, how to link the attorney’s business plan into an estate plan, and both short term and long-term law firm management when the attorney is absent.

CLE: 1.0 Hour Competence Issues Legal Specialization: 1.0 Hour Estate

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

Hiren Patel is Chief Counsel at


SABA of Sacramento Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary by Hiren Patel and Vishali Singal

SABA of Sacramento Board of Directors with the honorees, from left to right: Jaya Badiga, Brad Coutinho, Kishwer Vikaas, Hiren Patel, Commissioner Shama Mesiwala, Judge Alka Sagar, Aparna Agnihotri, Shilpa Girimaji, Mira Patel, & Vishali Singal


June 29, 2017, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of Sacramento celebrated its Tenth Anniversary with a reception at the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. The reception highlighted SABA’s work over the past decade to ensure legal representation for the South-Asian community and other minority groups in the region; promote political and community involvement by underrepresented groups; promote the career advancement of attorneys of South-Asian descent; seek involvement of the South-Asian community in government; and provide scholarships and mentorship to students at UC Davis and Pacific McGeorge law schools. Over 70 guests enjoyed an evening of celebration and South Asian cuisine. The reception celebrated the appointment of Shama Mesiwala as Commissioner with the Sacramento County Superior Court, the first South-Asian bench officer in the region. Retired Justice Art Scotland introduced Commissioner Mesiwala. She gave an inspiring speech about her personal and professional journey to the bench. The keynote speaker was Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the first South-Asian female federal judge west of the Mississippi. Judge Sagar spoke eloquently of her immigrant journey from Africa, Canada, and finally to the United States, and how she realized her dream of serving on the bench.


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

the Department of Developmental Services. He can be contacted at Hiren. Patel@DDS.ca.gov. Vishali Singal is an attorney with CalPers. She can be contacted at vsingal81@gmail.com.

Commissioner Shama Mesiwala & Judge Sagar Alka

In addition to Commissioner Mesiwala, Judge Sagar, and Justice Scotland (Ret.), SABA was honored by the presence of U.S. District Court Judges Morrison England, Jr. and Kimberly Mueller, and Magistrate Judge Allison Claire from the Eastern District of California; Presiding Justice Vance Raye and Justices George Nicholson, Elena Duarte, William Murray, and Ronald Robie from the Third District Court of Appeal; and Judges Thadd Blizzard, Stacy Boulware Eurie, David De Alba, Laurie Earl, Steven Gevercer, Jennifer Rockwell, Raoul Thorbourne, Emily Vasquez, Christopher Krueger, and Alan Perkins from the Sacramento County Superior Court. Many of the judges in attendance have graciously supported SABA of Sacramento events over the past decade. Also in attendance were representatives from the Sacramento County Bar Association and its affiliate member organizations, and SABA of North America, which generously helped underwrite the reception. The 2017 SABA of Sacramento Board of Directors expresses its gratitude to the Sacramento legal community for its support this past decade. The next SABA of Sacramento event, the annual Diversity Law Student Reception, takes place on September 9, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the home of Commissioner Mesiwala. The keynote speaker will be California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye


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www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER


Kevin R. Johnson is Dean


of the UC Davis School of Law. He can be contacted at krjohnson@ucdavis.edu.

Some Thoughts on the Future of Legal Education: Why Diversity and Student Wellness Should Matter in a Time of “Crisis” by Kevin R. Johnson Editor’s Note: This article summarizes Kevin R. Johnson, Some Thoughts on the Future of Legal Education: Why Diversity and Student Wellness Should Matter in a Time of Economic “Crisis,” 65 Buffalo Law Review 255 (2017).


egal education has been besieged by critics proclaiming that the challenges of law school economics have reached “crisis” proportions. They point to recent developments in the market for law schools. Law schools have experienced a precipitous drop in applications. The global recession decimated the legal job market (although it is slowly recovering). To make matters worse, rising tuition has resulted in increasing debt loads for law graduates. In light of the changes in the legal marketplace, stabilization of the budgetary picture is currently the first priority of virtually every American law school. Faculty members have been let go. Staffs reduced. Enrollment of students — and the collection of tuition revenues — have critical budgetary consequences. Linked to the economic “crisis” facing law schools and students has been deep concern with each school’s relative placement in the much-watched U.S. News and World Report law school rankings. These rankings, among other things, affect admissions and enrollment, and thus budgetary bottom lines for law schools. Much less publicized concerns with legal education involve non-financial issues. The lack of racial and


other diversity of students attending law school, and ultimately entering the legal profession, and faculty, has long been a problem. Employers and clients clamor for more attorneys from diverse backgrounds. In addition, today’s students demand a more humane legal education and are asking for additional

The lack of racial and other diversity of students attending law school, and ultimately entering the legal profession, and faculty, has long been a problem. academic support, career and mental health counseling, experiential learning opportunities, and more. The current tumult in legal education coincides with changes in the practice of law. Law practice has changed as a result of technology, globalization, and economic pressures. The market for law graduates has diminished. Law schools cannot remain the same in this environment. Except for a very small number of the most elite schools, those that do not adjust are at serious risk of failing.

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

Law schools, of course, should strive to address the noneconomic as well as the economic problems with modern legal education. As they must, law schools have responded to the rapidly changing legal market. Changes in the legal marketplace no doubt will continue to fuel considerable discussion and reforms. In contemplating reform proposals, part of the challenge stems from the fact that the myriad of proposals focus on very different aspects of the socalled “crisis” in legal education. Some critics denounce the role of law schools in causing the “crisis” with rising fees and resistance to change. Others claim that law schools should change the curriculum and focus more on lawyering skills. Still other knowledgeable observers contend that the criticisms are exaggerated. Two less-publicized concerns with legal education deserve consideration in this time of perceived crisis. One involves the lack of racial diversity of the student bodies of many, if not most, law schools (and ultimately new attorneys) and law faculties. The longstanding lack of diversity among law students and faculty threatens to ensure that the literal face of the legal profession remains static for generations.

FEATURE ARTICLE Besides addressing the economics of legal education, UC Davis School of Law has sought to address the issue of diversity. Although work remains to be done, a majority of our entering class is frequently comprised of students of color. UC Davis also is fortunate to have built a majority-minority law faculty, about half of whom are women. Another concern revolves around students’ longstanding complaints about legal education and their demand for a more humane and student-friendly learning environment. Students today seek additional academic support, career counseling, and mental health programs, all of which were virtually non-existent at most law schools just a few years ago. Such services may assist students in adjusting in a healthy fashion to the stresses of legal education as well as to more effectively compete for employment in the highly competitive contemporary legal job market. UC Davis School of Law has attempted to respond to climate and student wellness concerns with, among other changes, a “Student Wellness Initiative,” which includes programming to educate students about healthy ways of coping with stress, as well as education about substance abuse (a wellknown problem in the legal profession), and issues of professionalism generally. We have added an on-site trained counselor to assist law students in the adjustment to the rigors of law school life, cope with the stresses and strains of a legal education, and generally address student mental health concerns. Other schools are taking similar steps. In sum, student concerns with the non-economic aspects of legal education generally have not factored to any substantial degree into the commentary on the widespread concern with the “crisis” in law schools. As law schools change, my hope is that we do not lose sight of the need to address diversity and student wellness concerns.

For advertising opportunities please contact Deb Roberts at 916.564.3780 or deb.roberts@sacbar.org

www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



Joann HortaBaez is a third

U.S. Supreme Court Year in Review 2016-2017 Term by Joann Horta-Baez


year evening law student at Pacific McGeorge. She was a participant in the 2017 Summer Diversity Fellowship Program and worked as a summer associate at Klinedinst PC. She can be contacted at j_hortabaez@u.pacific.edu.

Photo credit: Photos courtesy of UC Davis School of Law

or its first annual program, “United less likely that Kennedy will retire.” Beof the disparagement clause of the States Supreme Court Year in Resides the Gorsuch arrival and the travel Lanham Act. The Court held that the view,” UC Davis School of Law invited ban, the rumors of Justice Kennedy’s clause violates free speech and that a distinguished panel of experts on the retirement loomed heavily at the term preventing the trademark registration Court to discuss its major decisions review. was viewpoint-based discrimination. during the 2016-2017 term. The panel Professor Larson described this last Professor Larson noted that free included UC Davis Law faculty, Dean term as “not a sensational one,” and speech seems to be what unites all Kevin R. Johnson, Professor Carlton went on to discuss a few free speech sides, right and left. F. W. Larson, and Acting Professor cases decided this year: Next up was Professor Aaron Tang, Aaron Tang, together with Orrick, Her- Packingham v. North Carolina1 former clerk to Justice Sonia Sotomayrington & Sutcliffe LLP attorney Easha This case found SCOTUS protecting or. He described this year as “the calm Anand. sex offenders’ access to social media. In before the storm,” in terms of cases The panel opened with and the composition of the Professor Larson, who shared Court. Like Professor Larsome interesting statistics for son, he thought this was this past year’s Supreme Court not a blockbuster term, term. In non-unanimous casespecially when compared es, Chief Justice John Robto some cases to be heard erts agreed most with Justice next term, including: Gil Anthony Kennedy (82%). v. Whitford3 (a gerrymanJustice Kennedy agreed most dering case out of Wisconwith Justice Roberts (82%), sin); Cakeshop v. Colorado4 second most often with Jus(a baker who refused to tice Elena Kagan (74%), and bake a cake for a sameleast often with Justice Clarsex wedding); Carpenter ence Thomas (32%). Justices v. United States5 (a Fourth Panelists (l-r): Carlton F. W. Larson, Professor of Law, UC Davis School Thomas and Neil Gorsuch Amendment case where of Law; Aaron Tang, Acting Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law; agreed 100% of the time. In all law enforcement obtained Dean Kevin R. Johnson, UC Davis School of Law; Madhavi Sunder, cases, Justice Kennedy was in cellphone records without Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Daniel J. Dykstra the majority 97% of the time. a warrant); and of course Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law (moderator); Easha Anand; & Marc Levinson Justice Thomas wrote the most Trump v. Hawaii,6 the soopinions (31%). Finally, 59% called travel ban case. of the decisions were unanimous. a unanimous opinion by Justice KenneTrump v. Hawaii was the case evProfessor Larson tackled the bigdy, the Court held that the law violated eryone wanted to hear about. President gest news of the year: the arrival of Justhe Constitution and had a “staggering Trump’s revised executive order blocks tice Neil Gorsuch. More conservative reach,” so much so that the Court was new visas for travelers from six majorithan the late Justice Antonin Scalia, perplexed at North Carolina thinking ty-Muslim countries for 90 days, and Justice Gorsuch “has chosen to pubthat the law was acceptable. suspends the United States’ refugee prolish decisions as soon as he got in, even - Matal v. Tam2 - Here, a Japanese gram for 120 days. In an unsigned opintelling his colleagues they don’t know band named “The Slants” was not alion, the Supreme Court modified the inwhat they’re doing.” This comment lowed to trademark its band name at junction by protecting foreign nationals was followed by the words “making it the federal level registration because with a bona fide relationship to a person


SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

FEATURE ARTICLE or entity in the United States. Professor Tang observed that the likelihood of success on the merits will depend on whether the order violates the Immigration and Naturalization Act or the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. If it does, the Supreme Court will reject the ban. Many believe that the case will be moot by the time the Court conducts oral argument, but Professor Tang is not convinced. His take is that, on the contrary, come September (when the ban expires) the Trump Administration will extend the order claiming that 90 days was not enough to research the protocols and that the state department has encountered further issues determining who is a bona fide foreign national. (Update as of July 20, 2017: After the Trump Administration sought clarification regarding what is a “bona fide relationship,” the Supreme Court sided with the lower court in Hawaii allowing for an expanded list of familial exemptions for relatives but granted the government’s request to enforce the ban on refugees.) Again, the Court’s composition took center stage, as Tang went on to speak about Justice Gorsuch’s selection over the Obama Administration’s original nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Tang described Justice Gorsuch’s selection as a “home-run, a grand slam for the conservatives,” noting that Justice Gorsuch is “every bit as conservative as expected: pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and a textualist.” But most interesting was his take on Justice Gorsuch’s judicial attitude, calling his approach “aggressive” and “trying to shape the law as he thought it should be.” Justice Gorsuch has written seven opinions and opted out of the certiorari pool, believing his clerk is better off looking at cases for him. Easha Anand, former clerk to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, discussed the Supreme Court’s shadow docket. Not widely known, the shadow docket contains cases in which the Court issues rulings, but there are no oral arguments or briefs submitted. Anand went on to

observe that this docket matters but is not transparent. Participation is optional and gives insight into justices’ perspectives. She explained that rulings are considered precedential or quasi-precedential by lower courts, yet it does not follow the standard process. When the majority decides not to review a case, the justice(s) who disagree can write a dissent explaining why the case should be heard or reviewed. (Anand notes that

Lisa R. Pruitt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law with Cruz Reynoso, Professor of Law Emeritus, UC Davis School of Law and fmr. Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California

about 99% of petitions for certiorari are denied.) She discussed one specific case she found interesting, Peruta v. California.7 This case challenged the City of San Diego’s very limited conceal-carry policy which requires a showing of “good cause” to obtain a license to conceal-carry. Under this requirement the applicant must distinguish him/herself from “regular” persons and show that he/she has a particular need to carry a firearm for self-defense. Justice Thomas was not too happy that the Court had denied certiorari and wrote a dissent accusing the other members of the Court of treating the Second Amendment as a “disfavored right” – thereby basically mapping out how the pro-gun side can bring this issue back to the Supreme Court. Anand also discussed the summary reversal docket. Here, the Court issues a summary reversal when it grants cer-

tiorari and overturns the lower court’s opinion below without written briefs or oral arguments on the merits. An interesting case coming from the summary reversal docket was Pavan v. Smith,8 in which a lesbian couple from Arkansas wanted both of their names on a birth certificate but was denied by the government. The Court sided with the couple, explaining that Obergefell v. Hodges9 extended to birth certificate recognitions. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch dissented, but Justice Gorsuch wrote separately stating that this issue needed oral arguments and briefs to reach a decision. Last, but not least, was Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis Law School. He spoke on immigration and the immigration cases heard this term: Maslenjak v. United States,10 Hernandez v. Mesa,11 Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions,12 Sessions v. Morales,13 and Lee v. United States.14 In Jennings v. Rodriguez15 and Sessions v. Dimaya,16 the Court deadlocked and ordered re-arguments. He explained this volume of immigration cases was not surprising as the Obama Administration removed close to 400,000 persons per year, adding that many more are expected under the Trump Administration. This was an excellent and informative program, which will hopefully become an annual event. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Docket No. 15-1194 (OT 2016). Docket No. 15-1293 (OT 2016). Docket No. 16-1161 (OT 2017). Docket No. 16-111 (OT 2017). Docket No. 16-402 (OT 2017). Docket No. 16-1540 (OT 2017). Docket No. 16-894 (OT 2016). Docket No. 16-992 (OT 2016). 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). Docket No. 16-309 (OT 2016). Docket No. 15-118 (OT 2016). Docket No. 16-54 (OT 2016). Docket No. 15-1191 (OT 2016). Docket No. 16-327 (OT 2016). Docket No. 15-1204 (OT 2017). Docket No. 15-1498 (OT 2017).

www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



Presiding Justice

Art Scotland (ret.) is Of Counsel, Nielsen Merksamer. He can be contacted at ascotland@ nmgovlaw.com.


Kevin R. Culhane Wealth of Knowledge, Integrity, and ProblemSolving Skills by Art Scotland

S “Judge Culhane has been an exceptional trial judge and Presiding Judge. Faced with many issues ranging from long-term court construction projects to daily trial court needs, he has demonstrated incredible leadership for our court and community.” 18

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

uperlatives flow when lawyers describe Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane. “In terms of sheer intellect, he is one of the sharpest legal minds you will ever encounter,” said Dan Kohls. “I have never worked with a more brilliant lawyer,” said Betsy Kimball. “Extremely smart, legally curious, well-prepared, patient, and understanding, Judge Culhane is driven equally by his love of the law and his desire to be fair to all who appear before him,” noted Bill Warne. “He is a deep thinker whose decisions are thoughtful and balanced,” Bill Kershaw observed. And in the words of Nancy Sheehan, “Judge Culhane works tirelessly to improve access to justice for all, and what impresses me most is his attitude toward attorneys who practice in the Superior Court. He values our role in the justice system, solicits and appreciates input from us, applauds good advo-

COVER STORY cacy no matter which side you are on, is forward thinking on issues of diversity and equality, and is one of the nicest people I have ever met.” These are just some of the accolades expressed by the plaintiff and defense bars, prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, and bench officers that illustrate why Kevin Culhane is the SCBA’s 2017 Judge of the Year.

Parental Influences and Transforming Tragedy One of seven siblings, Kevin Culhane grew up in what he characterizes as “Leave it to Beaver America” in the 1960’s. His mother was a professional figure skater who performed in the Ice Follies with Olympic champion Sonja Henie. Competitive by nature, his loving mom “operated at 110 volts” with high expectations of her children in terms of academic success, work ethic, good citizenship, and deportment. His father, a successful businessman with “hyperfocus” on work issues, was less vocal, had a “softness in his life approach,” and was a “good sounding board” for the children. Both told the kids they could “do anything in life” and urged them to “make a difference in life.” The family’s “idyllic” life changed, however, when Judge Culhane’s youngest sister was found motionless at the bottom of the backyard pool and 16-year-old Kevin unsuccessfully “tried to breathe life back into her.” The tragedy transformed the family. Grief led to tension that led to his parents’ divorce and a custody dispute that separated one of the kids from the rest. It was an emotionally harmful injustice, young Kevin felt, and he decided then he wanted to become a lawyer to right wrongs.

Fast Track to Law and Love Driven to achieve his goal as quickly as possible, Culhane enrolled in Pacific McGeorge School of Law af-

ter only three years of undergraduate study – but not before a fast-track romance with soon-to-be wife, Jeanne, who caught his eye not only by her beauty but because she was smart, well-read, had a social conscience, and was committed to standing up for positive changes in society. A stand-out law student, Culhane tutored classmates, was Editor-in-Chief of the law review, and graduated “With Great Distinction” in 1976. Dean Gordon Schaber, a wise judge of talent and character, told

Working at a Christmas tree farm, 1973

Culhane he would be a good law professor and offered to pay for him to get a Master of Laws and then teach at McGeorge. With a job at a prestigious L.A. firm lined up, Culhane turned down the dean’s offer; but with Jeanne’s support, he later agreed and chose Stanford Law over Harvard to stay in California. With the Master’s degree in hand, he began what is now over 40 years as a Professor at McGeorge, while also practicing law. In his early years with the late Hartley Hansen and Bob Matsui, Culhane handled everything from business, torts, family law, and crimi-

nal cases. Two months into practice, he successfully tried a defamation case with now-Justice Ming Chin as opposing counsel. The large punitive damage award enhanced the reputation of the small firm, attracted major clients, and led to other big verdicts in Culhane’s cases. When Matsui was elected to Congress, the firm expanded, and Culhane began making a difference in the profession as a member of the State Bar Board of Governors and leader in revamping the attorney discipline system, creating the State Bar Court, and developing a legal malpractice insurance program. He also served on the Judicial Council of California, the policy-making body of the court system. Lawyers who practiced with and against him say Culhane was an insightful, wise, creative, honest, and well-prepared attorney who, in the words of Roger Dreyer, “epitomized the concept of a lawyer’s lawyer and would lead without wanting credit or accolades.” He also was, as Nancy Sheehan recalled, “the go-to-source for ethical issues.” Culhane’s positive imprint on the profession is reflected by the many lawyers who view him as a role model and mentor who, Christine Jacob explained, was “always supportive of young associates, taking significant time to teach them how to be great attorneys.” “He had a profound impact on the development of many lawyers who learned from one of the greatest legal minds in the law,” noted Jason Sommer.

Instant Success as a Versatile Judge Still enjoying the practice of law, but seeing the bench as a “logical next step to put [his] experience to good use” (and having been encouraged by colleagues and judges to do so), Culhane took his oath as a Superior Court Judge in January 2009. Before that, the

www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



With Jeanne Culhane at a California Bar Board of Governors event, 1989

Judge Culhane’s positive imprint on the profession is reflected by the many lawyers who view him as a role model and mentor. court appointed him a temporary judge and, indicating its confidence in his ability, immediately assigned him the trial of a defendant accused of attempting to murder a police officer. During

The Culhanes in front of the family car, a 1970 Datsun B210, after graduation from McGeorge, 1973

20 20

ensuing weeks, he presided over a products liability case and a multiple defendant gang prosecution with three defense counsel and two juries. Since then, Judge Culhane has presided over complex civil and criminal cases, was a civil law and motion judge and a family law judge, and was elected by colleagues as Assistant Presiding Judge in 2014-2015 and Presiding Judge in 2016-2017. Judge Bunmi Awoniyi said that, when she practiced family law, Judge Culhane impressed the bar as a jurist with “an easy-going, unflappable disposition, who listened patiently to acrimonious arguments, was able to de-escalate tensions, and strived to achieve fairness with practical and commonsensical orders.” Similarly, the criminal law bar speaks highly of him. “Lawyers across the board agree he has great temperament. He is respectful, prepared, knowledgeable, does not have an agenda, is fair, and allows lawyers to present their cases,” said defense attorney Linda Parisi. In the words of D.A. Anne Marie Schubert, “Judge Culhane has been an exceptional trial judge and Presiding Judge. Faced with many issues ranging from long-term court construction projects to daily trial court needs, he has demonstrated incredible leadership for our court and community.” These qualities led the American Board of Trial Advocates local chapter

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

Singing to daughter Jen, 1979

to name Culhane its Judge of the Year in 2012 for “epitomizing fairness, integrity, intellect, hard work, professionalism” and “respect for jurors, litigants, and counsel” and for “his unwavering commitment to making courts accessible” to all.

High Praise as a Problem Solver and Court Leader One of Judge Culhane’s strengths is settling difficult civil cases. ABOTA President Carl Calnero praised him for “stepping in at the eleventh hour to guide parties toward settlements good for them and the system. He always has the right entree when everyone is at loggerheads.” Roger Dreyer also recounted how, on the day of trial, Judge Culhane’s “deft, creative, and skillful handling of a challenging case settled the matter for the betterment of all involved.”


Behind the scenes, he “takes great pride in mentoring new judges and helping them become future court leaders,” said Judge Bob Hight (ret.). Judge Culhane “is the consummate judicial officer who always keeps his chambers door open for other judges and is incredibly generous of his time and counsel,” noted Judge David Brown. Hight adds that “under [Culhane’s] leadership, there are no case backlogs court wide.” Indeed, the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association named Judge Culhane its Judge of the Year in 2013 for his “tenacious efforts to maintain access to justice by ensuring courtrooms are available for civil cases” and his “evenhanded administration of justice.”

SCBA Judge of the Year

Young lawyer Culhane at the firm’s office on Capitol Mall, circa 1980

The Sacramento County Bar Association is commended for selecting Kevin Culhane as Judge of the Year 2017 for his skills, objectivity, and temperament; his effective leadership as Presiding Judge; and his mentoring and community service. As Karen Jacobsen summed up, “He is respectful to everyone and always in search of

justice for all. In the Presiding Judge’s Civil Advisory Committee, he listens to the bar and bench and implements procedures to make the Sacramento court experience fair and efficient for parties, attorneys, and judges. As a member and Past President of the Kennedy Inn of Court, he is a mentor who

always has the most thoughtful comments on how to handle practical and ethical conundrums in the practice of law, and he has a long history of service to the legal community.” To that we add, “Thank you, Your Honor, for your continuing efforts to enhance the administration of justice.”

Judge Culhane plays a set with the Res Ipsa Loquitur band at the SCBA’s golf tournament, 2015

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

Barristers’ Club Update by Lauren Sorokolit

Chadrick Punch, Laura Dang, Christian Hatchett, Malcolm Brudigam, & Megan Pham at the Barristers’ Annual Summer Associates Reception

25th Annual Summer Associates Reception – a Huge Success Local judges, practitioners, summer associates, and law students convened at the Park Ultra Lounge on July 20, 2017, at the 25th Annual Summer Associates Reception. The event honors the Diversity Fellowship Program and its participants. The Program is a coordinated effort between the Sacramento County Bar Association, local law firms, Pacific McGeorge and UC Davis Schools of Law to promote and increase diversity in area law firms by providing local minority and disadvantaged students an opportunity to work in a law firm between the first and second years of law school. The Barristers were thrilled to host approximately 200 people at the event this year, including a large number of local judges. The Annual Judicial Reception at Foundation Bar & Restaurant The Barristers’ Club of Sacramento hosted its Annual Judicial Reception at Foundation Bar & Restaurant on June 15, 2017. The Reception honored Sacramento County Superior Court judges, U.S. District Court judges, and justices of the Court of Appeal for their hard work, dedica-

Kurt Hendrickson, Judge Donald Currier, & Jeffrey Schaff

tion, and contributions to the local legal community. The event also provided a rare opportunity for young attorneys to engage with members of the judiciary in a social setting. The event was well-attended by local members of the bench, attorneys, and summer associates. Administrative Law Seminar On June 29, 2017, the Barristers’ Club held its first ever seminar covering Administrative Law and Practice. The seminar featured Erin Koch-Goodman, an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings, and Justin D. Hein. The seminar covered a broad range of issues related to the practice of administrative law including regulatory challenges; the administrative hearing process; standards related to license denial, suspension, and revocation; and common procedural complexities. Through this fascinating presentation, attendees gained a better understanding of administrative law; learned about similarities, differences, and overlapping concepts within criminal and civil law; and learned how to view administrative disputes through the eyes of an adjudicator.

SCBA First Vice President Sil Reggiardo, Lauren Sorokolit, & Rob Sorokolit

Summer Associates Reception

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Continued on page 27 www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



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Anatomy of a Pro Bono Case Continued from page 8

Barristers’ Club Update Continued from page 25

particular, and with the support of the Sacramento County Bar Association’s Probate and Estate Planning Law Section, VLSP has been able to increase our volunteer base and the amount of services provided to the indigent in our community. Although VLSP is a volunteer-based agency, legal staff makes it work. Our attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants must publicize their services to the public, recruit, screen, and train volunteers, screen and refer cases to the volunteers, hold clinics where volunteers provide legal services to the indigent, and raise funds and report on how they are spent to government grantors. Some of the non-personnel costs of running a pro bono nonprofit include rent, utilities, malpractice, and general liability insurance, parking, computers, and programs. This year we have to purchase cybersecurity insurance to satisfy the demand of one of our grantors. We were able to negotiate out of purchasing sexual misconduct liability insurance a few years ago. VLSP does its work with 2.3 attorneys, 2.2 paralegals and one legal assistant and with a budget of less than a half-million dollars. VLSP is the primary pro bono program in Sacramento County, a county of over 1.4 million people. With our small infrastructure, we are able to assist over 2000 clients each year, but client need for free legal services exceeds our resources. We have been doing this work for 36 years, thanks to your help and the support of the Sacramento County Bar Association. We hope that the Sacramento legal community continues to support the work of VLSP in the years to come through donations of their time, talents, and resources.

The Barristers’ Club would like to extend its thanks to the presenters for their insight, guidance, and participation in this seminar. Watch the Calendar for Upcoming Events Please stay tuned for additional dates for an upcoming Barristers’ MCLE

seminar covering depositions, the annual Barristers’ Bridging the Gap Seminar, and a Barristers’ social event. For more information about the Barristers’ Club of Sacramento, please e-mail scbabarristers-subscribe@yahoogroups. com to add your name to the Barristers’ Club email list.

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Don Willenburg


Can’t Spell Truth without Ruth: “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Don Willenburg

is a partner at Gordon & Rees LLP in its Oakland office. He can be contacted at dwillenburg@grsm.com.

Editor’s Note: This article is re-printed (with permission) from Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer 2017 edition) of the Association of Defense Counsel’s Defense Comment magazine.


hat does a diminutive octogenarian Supreme Court justice have in common with a deceased 300 pound rapper? They are both tough kids from Brooklyn with outsize influence on their times. That connection forms not just the inspiration for the clever phrase that is the title of this book, and a Tumblr, but the book’s organizing principle. Each chapter title is a Notorious B.I.G. song title. Yes, I admit that I recognized few, if any, titles, and I am still not sure what a Tumblr is. No Supreme Court justices are rock stars, but RBG has come close. There are T-shirts, tote bags, greeting cards and more with her name and stylized image. The book discusses many of her cases, and has annotated excerpts from briefs and opinions. It is, however, far from a case book. Those are interspersed with stories of her life, and the book is physically laid out like a really good webpage. Or Tumblr. You do not have to be a lawyer, or a feminist, or interested in the history of the past sixty years, or receptive to a really inspiring story, to enjoy this book immensely. If you are any of those things, or like many of us, all of them, then this book is a fun must-read. When she went to law school in the 1950s, women in the profession were exceedingly rare and hardly encouraged. She was one of only a handful of women law students at Harvard, one of only two on law review. There were no women’s bathrooms in the building where exams were given. She again was one of only a handful of women law students


when she transferred her third year to Columbia (she transferred because her husband graduated a year ahead of her and took a job in New York: Harvard declined to give her a degree). Looking for a job after law school, “she had three strikes against her: She was a woman, she was the mother of a four-year-old,

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (wearing her “dissent” jabot)

and a Jew.” She nevertheless found work at the ACLU, became one of only two women law professors at Rutgers, and later became the first tenured female law professor at Columbia. She was only the second woman ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court, and after Justice O’Connor retired she was for a while, the only woman on the court. One of her early cases, Frontiero v. Richardson, involved an Air Force lieu-

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

tenant whose husband had been denied the same housing, medical, and dental benefits as the wives of male officers. The U.S. Supreme Court is a famously “hot” bench, and lawyers frequently have trouble getting out a full sentence without questions. RBG delivered her entire presentation without a single interruption. Five months later she found that she had won. Justice Harry Blackmun, who in his diary graded lawyers on their performance, gave RBG only a C+, calling her a “very precise female.” Reed v. Reed challenged an Idaho law that allowed only men to serve as executors of their children’s estates. She won this case too. This passage from her brief is telling: “Laws which disable women from a full participation in the political, business and economic arenas are often characterized as ‘protective’ and beneficial. Those same laws applied to racial or ethnic minorities would readily be recognized as invidious and impermissible. The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.” Another case involved a woman in the Air Force who got pregnant and was told, consistent with Air Force policy, that she either had to have an abortion or would lose her job. This was at a time that military bases were one of the only places abortion was legal. The government changed this policy while the case was pending at the Supreme Court to avoid an adverse result with precedential effect. For RBG, “abortion

ries of litigation n a trial lawyer?

Sacramento, 2014

u Lawyer of the Year, Commercial Litigation,

Sacramento 2010

u Bet the Company Litigation, 2012, 2013, 2014 u Commercial Litigation, 2012, 2013, 2014


u Litigation-Banking and Finance, 2012, 2013, 2014

Estate, 2012, 2014 said, however, if you can’t u Litigation-Real rights” cuts both ways, and it should lia.2013, As RBG and keep it tight.’” Justice Ginsburg always be the woman’s choice, not the genuinely like people who disagree with adds, “I think the law should be a litergovernment’s. you, then you should have a different ary profession and the best legal practiMany of her gender discrimination job. They shared many interests, intioners regard the law as an art as well as cases were on behalf of men. One examcluding opera and her husband Marty’s a craft.” “It’s a hard job but I can do it at ple was Wiesenfeld v. Weinberger. Plaintiff cooking. There is a picture of the two least as well as these guys.” was a widower whose wife had died in of them on an elephant in India that is The author observes: “A conversachildbirth. She had been a teacher while pretty hilarious. The oddity (to others) tion with her is a special pleasure behe “played homemaker.” Yet he could of their friendship was eventually capcause are no words that are not precednot get Social Security benefits: only tured in, what else, an opera. Composed ed by thoughts.” enshleaLaw.com widows C/ could get825-9952 mother’s benefits. by a lawyer and musician (so there are One nice idiosyncratic touch is that 6) 525-8444 (916) F/ (916) 525-8446 This was RBG’s “chance to show that footnotes to the libretto), it is titled “ScaRBG wears different collars (word for 750 / Sacramento, 95814 And www.genshlealaw.com sexism hurtCA everybody.” she did: lia/Ginsburg: A (Gentle) Parody of Opthe day: jabots) with her judicial robes. even Rehnquist voted against this generatic Proportions.” Sample lyric, from On opinion day, she has a different colder discrimination, though he said he Ginsburg to Scalia: “You are searching lar, depending on whether in the dissent did so only for the benefit of the child. in vain for a bright line solution/ To a or majority. Her own life, married to a very sucproblem that isn’t easy to solve/ But the She works out every day, and can cessful spouse with both sharing child beautiful thing about our Constitution/ still do 20 pushups at a time. Consider n and home duties, was a model of what Is that, like our society, it can evolve.” that next time you hear her described 1/3 Page Ad: she hoped the law would allow. She was There is plenty in this book about as “frail.” Jay-Allen Eisen Law Corp ad married for 56 years to Marty Ginsburg, her extraordinary work ethic and her Relate, be inspired, or get out of Jan/Feb 2016 issue MAGAZINE with whom she went to law school. He perfectionism in legal writing. “The the way. Read this book. And Google was a tax lawyer at a white shoe New mantra in her chambers is ‘get it right “Tumblr.” York firm as she rose in the ranks of Approval is needed to run your ad, the ACLU and then as an academic and please check judge. The warmth of the stories of their appropriate box below. relationship is very touching, andProof you OK as is should simply read the book to feel it. needed In law school, she was at a Correction dinner with professors and the few other See a second proof female students when the dean asked them why the female students could OK with corrections justify taking the place of a man. She 6) 564-3787 JAY-ALLEN EISEN answered: “I want to know more about Burroughs C I V I L A P P E L L AT E + W R I T + M OT I O N P R A C T I C E bar.orgwhat my husband does so that I can be Certified Appellate Law Specialist a sympathetic and understanding wife.” State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization Of course, she was lying: Marty SIGN had to DATE Best Lawyers in America work to keep up with her. Northern California Super Lawyers Many years later she returned to Past Chair, California State Bar Standing Committee on Appellate Courts her alma mater and spoke to a crowd Past President, California Academy of Appellate Courts of students that included many women, Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers including her own daughter. She could Over 130 Reported Decisions, including: not resist: “I understand some of the Bock v. Calif. Capital Loans 216 Cal. App.4th 264 (2013) (Real estate loans) men come to HLS these days because Collins v. Sutter Mem. Hosp. 190 Cal. App.4th 1 (2011) (Summary judgment, new trial) what better place to find a suitable McAdams v. Monier, Inc., 182 Cal. App.4th 174 (2010) (Consumer Class Action) Katiuzhinsky v. Perry, 152 Cal.App.4th 1288 (2007) (Medical Damages) woman?” Hahn v. Mirda, 147 Cal.App.4th 740 (2007) (Medical Malpractice, Loss Of Consortium) No discussion of Justice Ginsburg or her time at the court is complete T (916) 444-6171 1000 G Street, Suite 210 Sacramento, California 95814 without some account of her friendship www.eisenlegal.com with ideological antipode Antonin Sca-







www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



Alana Mathews is the Public Adviser, California Energy Commission, and the founder, Summer Institute in Energy Law and Policy. She can be contacted at Alana.Mathews@energy.ca.gov.

Florin Law Academy Students Complete Third Annual Summer Institute in Energy Law and Policy with Call to Action in Their Community by Alana Mathews

Field trip


welve rising seniors from the Florin Law Academy participated in the California Energy Commission’s third annual Summer Institute in Energy Law and Policy. Although the students entered the program with little to no knowledge of energy issues, they quickly transformed themselves into “Energy Ambassadors” with a message and mission for energy justice and equity. The students followed a rigorous curriculum for two weeks, learning about climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, power plant certification, fuels and transportation, and


environmental justice. The technical information was complemented with skill enhancement workshops and activities for research, writing, and public speaking. The students learned from a host of guest speakers in the energy sector and had the opportunity to visit the Governor’s Office, the California Independent System Operators, SMUD, West Sacramento Hydrogen Fueling Station, and the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. “This program is so invaluable to the students’ future,” remarked Carlos Garcia, coordinator

SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org

of the Florin Law Academy. For some, this experience creates a new career pathway. Maritza Ortiz-Urritia stated, “I got amazing information that I never would have gotten. It made me realize I like policy and should think about majoring in environmental studies.” The highlight of the program is the internship component where students work in small groups on energy related recommendations for the Energy Commission. In their final presentation, the students usually demonstrate what they have learned and offer at least one policy recommendation for each division within the Commission. This year, the Summer Institute students decided that, in addition to their recommendations, they wanted to create an action plan and get broader input and involvement from their community on energy issues. Their action plan includes hosting three symposiums during the upcoming school year to raise awareness on energy and environmental justice issues and form partnerships to bring clean energy opportunities to South Sacramento and other disadvantaged communities. They also created a public service announcement which can be viewed at the following link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=mwdoRH03kUE They publicly unveiled their action plan during their final presentation at the Energy Commission’s July Business meeting and invited each commissioner to partner with them in this endeavor. The students are also scheduled to share their fi-


Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program nal presentation and action plan at the October Business Meeting for the California Public Utilities Commission. Special thanks to the Sacramento County Bar Association Executive Board, the California Energy Commission, and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) for their financial support to make the Summer Institute possible.

For questions and additional information, please contact Martha Fenchen, SCBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Administrator at 916-564-3780 or mfenchen@sacbar.org. Please also visit our website at www.sacbar. org for details and forms.

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.”

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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 www.sacbar.org | September/October 2017 | SACRAMENTO LAWYER



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: www.malovoslaw.com.

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After 60 years in business, we have the answers: pearlinsurance.com/SacBar For more information, contact Christine Blackstun 855.465.0199 | christine.blackstun@pearlinsurance.com

Please fax back to (916) 564-3787 or email back to mburroughs@sacbar.org

Thank you!



SACRAMENTO LAWYER | September/October 2017 | www.sacbar.org



SCBA Breakfast Series 8:30 a.m. SESSION 1 - 1.0 MCLE ELIMINATION OF BIAS

DATE: Thursday,

“Recognizing and Eliminating Bias” by Understanding and Managing Our Emotions

November 9, 2017

Les Lent

Les lent works with Executive Leadership across a wide variety of industries throughout North America. Sharing the sum of his experiences, Les is an accomplished public speaker and active professional member of the National Speakers Association. Les delivers both value and insight to his clients. He has the ability to provide candid real-time training and feedback which has made him an invaluable asset to the organizations he serves. Les’ enthusiasm and passion do not stop with his career. Les is an avid road cyclist, life long martial arts practitioner and a terrible golfer. A survivor of cancer, Les models giving your all to everything you do. Believing everything has led him to where he is now, Les enjoys taking what he has learned throughout his life and sharing those experiences to help others.


TIME: Registration and Breakfast start at 8:10 a.m.

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Francine Tone

“Relevant Rules of Ethics” Stop Client Grumblings Before it Begins


Francine Tone, Esq., Appellate Specialist and Author of #1Bestseller book What Every Good Lawyer Wants You to Know explores the question: How do we help our clients experience the legal system without walking away with a cynical view of the system, the judiciary and even their own lawyer? Join a provocative (sometimes humorous) presentation on what lawyers can do, beyond the bare minimum ethical requirements, to fulfill our higher ethical calling without making ourselves crazy. This discussion will address how to eliminate grumblings, complaints and malpractice claims with client relations.

425 University Ave, Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95825


PRICING INFORMATION $55 SCBA Members $85 Non-SCBA Members 3 HOUR MCLE 1.0 Elimination of Bias 1.0 Ethics 1.0 Substance Abuse

Reservations must be received by 3pm November 6, 2017. 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.

Wendy Slavkin

“Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession”

The Law Offices of Wendy L. Slavkin are well respected within the Southern California community. The practice is known for its active involvement and Wendy’s deep commitment to public speaking and various non-profit and charitable organizations. She’s served as past Board President of Friendly House, a non-profit organization, facilitated a women’s recovery group at Biet T’Shuvah, a Jewish residential treatment program in Southern California, a past board member and officer of Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center, and is an avid public speaker on the topic of Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession.

RSVP: You may pay at www.sacbar.org-event calendar with credit card only or check if received on or before the deadline date. Mail payment to: Sacramento County Bar Association, Attn: SCBA Breakfast Series, 425 University Ave, Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95825. If you have any questions please contact cecilia.rainey@sacbar.org or 916-564-3780.

Breakfast Buffet

Scrambled Eggs With Green Onions and Cheddar Cheese, Diced Breakfast Potatoes, Biscuits and Gravy, Butter, Jam, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Fruit Salad, Assortment of Beverages

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



CVR CODE NUMBER: ___ ___ ___

SIGNATURE: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SCBA Monthly Seminar - November 9, 2017 *No refund will be available within 5 days of event. **This activity pending for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 3.0 unit of MCLE in the Elimination of Bias, Ethics, and Subsatnce Abuse 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 • 916-564-3780

Since 1963

Marty Anderson Vice President

Lawrence H. Cassidy President

Do your Accounts Receivables have a high balance and your bank account a low balance? • We have a staff of experienced collectors and three in house attorneys to put the cash in your bank account. • Over 100 law firms and many Fortune 500 firms select us to collect their past due accounts whether they are in the thousands or millions. • International collections recently made in England, Israel, Poland, and other countries. • Members: Commercial Law League of America. 700 Leisure Lane, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone 916.929.7811 ext 222 | Fax 916.929.5125 | Email norcal@covad.net

REAL ESTATE SOLD FOR TOP DOLLAR Assessment • Management • Marketing Reporting • Closing • FREE market evaluation






Paul Boudier is a real estate professional that specializes in the sale of distressed and bankruptcy real estate. He has successfully negotiated the sale of over hundreds of bank owned properties and closed many through the bankruptcy court process. Paul and his team will net you the highest return possible on the sale of your home, land, multi-unit or commercial property. In addition to our unrivaled service and results, every client has access to our comprehensive boutique of vendor specialists and contracting services. We work hand in hand with these skilled professionals to clean, stage or repair all properties to “turn-key” condition, make health and safety repairs to help your asset qualify for conventional financing or for a quick close to obtain “Fast Cash” and much more. Paul is a Certified Probate Specialist, member of the Five Star Institute, A Certified Luxury Home Guild Member, CDPE, SFR Rental Certified and FDCPA / UDAAP Certified.



Real Estate Services Paul Boudier (916)919-5775 paul@paulboudier.com www.ThinkRealEstate.net Keller Williams Realty

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

SCBA Annual Meeting Honoring Distinguished Attorney of the Year Justice Arthur Scotland Installing SCBA Officers & Directors Recognizing 100% Firms

DATE Monday December 15, 2014 MCLE Prior to Annual Meeting FREE for SCBA Members $100 for Non-Members 1 Hour Ethics - Topic: “Attorney Fees, Practically and Ethically”

Speaker: Kenneth Bacon of Mastagni Holstedt

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


Keynote Speaker: Chief Justice of California

Tani Cantil-Sakauye Ticket information: www.sacbar.org/event calendar, $45 for SCBA members, $65 for non-members. After November 23rd, ticket prices increase by $5 RSVP to rsvp@sacbar.org or call (916) 564-3780. Send checks payable: SCBA, 1329 Howe Ave #100, Sacramento, CA 95825

Profile for Sacramento County Bar Association

Sacramento Lawyer Magazine September/October 2017  

Sacramento County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine

Sacramento Lawyer Magazine September/October 2017  

Sacramento County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine