Where We Are and Where We Want to Go PLUS
Building Success in Big Law: How Local Large Firms Have Lasted Big Firm Pro Bono Programs Have Big Impact
Congratulations to our partner
Robert J. Francavilla recipient of the
2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
1 9 4 7 - 2 0 1 7
www.caseygerry.com Dedicated to the Pursuit of Justice since 1947 SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, MARITIME, AVIATION, PRODUCT LIABILITY, CLASS ACTION, MASS TORTS AND PHARMACEUTICAL LITIGATION
San Diego | North County | 619-238-1811
I founded AHERN Insurance Brokerage in 1997 with the goal of building long-term business relationships with both insureds and insurance companies. Over the past 20 years, AHERN has become an industry leader in providing customized insurance solutions for law firms. We welcome the opportunity to become your valued consultant and advocate.
– W. BRIAN AHERN President & CEO, AHERN Insurance Brokerage
AHERN, along with parent company, Acrisure LLC, insures over 7,500 law firms nationwide with firms ranging from 1 to 1,100 attorneys. Acrisure is currently one of the Top 15 insurance brokerages in the United States with revenues approaching $1 Billion.
(800) 282-9786 | AHERNINSURANCE.COM CA LIC 0K07568 | AZ LIC 1097042
Homegrown Some of San Diego's largest law firms on surviving and thriving in our city. By George Brewster Jr. and Edward McIntyre
Big Firms, Big Impact Local large firms tell us about their pro bono programs.
D I V E R S
Biglaw Remains Painfully Stagnant, So What Can Law Firms Do? Gender diversity is important, but it's not the only form of diversity. By Renwei Chung
Bridging Cultural Gaps How to effectively communicate with clients from different cultures. By David Seto
Federal Pro Bono Panel Have you volunteered yet? By Alessandra Serano
Follow San Diego Lawyer! sandiegolawyermagazine
President's Page Leaders from San Diego's diverse bar associations talk about their goals for the future.
Why I Belong Get to know SDCBA member Michael Healy.
Ethics A scheme for idiots. By Edward McIntyre
San Diego Law Library Changing the law library's membership model.
Deans Moving beyond "the place." By Joan Bullock
Distinctions & Passings
SDCBA Disability Interest Group Get involved.
Diversity Fellowship Program 2017 employers and fellows share highlights from the summer.
Technology Tips, tricks and traps. By Bill Kammer
Issue no. 5. San Diego Lawyer™ (ISSN: 1096-1887) is published bimonthly by the San Diego County Bar Association, 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101. Phone is 619-231-0781. The price of an annual subscription to members of the San Diego County Bar Association ($10) is included in their dues. Annual subscriptions to all others, $50. Single-copy price, $10. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to San Diego Lawyer, 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101. Copyright © 2017 by the San Diego County Bar Association. All rights r eserved. Opinions expressed in San Diego Lawyer are those of the author only and are not opinions of the SDCBA or the San Diego Lawyer Editorial Board.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 5
D I V E R S
ear after year, we dedicate know our legal community stands at the forefront nearly an entire issue of diversity issues, strives to defeat obstacles to of San Diego Lawyer inclusion, educates others to provide greater magazine to talking about understanding, and above all, recognizes the the importance of diversity. importance of keeping the fight for tolerance of Everyone I know works all, regardless of ethnicity, race, disability, gender, diligently to ensure that transgender, or sexual orientation. My hope is diversity isn’t just an abstract that there will come a day when San Diego Lawyer ideal. We all develop action doesn’t have a “diversity” version, a time when plans, we create initiatives, inclusion is the norm and we no longer need to we consult with experts, we take polls, we look keep statistics because diversity in our profession at statistics, we scrutinize and work to improve is irrelevant. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, current action plans, and we put our action plans how hard we’ve worked, and how hard I know that into action. And through our day-to-day efforts, we will continue to work, thanks to some of the year after year, we make strides, we mark progress, diversity leaders highlighted here. We asked them and we make pipeline projects our priority. But, to share their hopes for their organizations and we’re not where we need to be — there is much the greater legal community, and to tell us who work to be done to really call our profession — our inspires them to keep the fight for diversity in the legal community in San Diego, the greater San spotlight. Diego community, and our country — diverse and inclusive. However, we are making a difference, though sometimes we get stuck in a bubble and see only what our Facebook feed decides to show Loren Freestone, 2017 SDCBA President us. Beyond that, one only needs to turn on the news to know there’s still so much left to do. Yet, I
I hope that the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) as a national organization is recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA currently does not recognize SABA National as a stand-alone organization representing the interests of the South Asian community. Recently, however, the ABA did recognize the SABA-YLD as an affiliate of the ABA-YLD. It’s definitely a move in the right direction. As far as the San Diego legal community goes, I hope that in five years we will see more judges from a minority background on the bench.
PRESIDENT, SOUTH ASIAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO
DAVID SETO PRESIDENT, SAN DIEGO CHINESE ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION
My hopes for San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) and the San Diego community are as follows: 1) A significant increase in persons of diverse cultures and backgrounds who become licensed California attorneys; 2) a greater understanding and support for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and the LGBT community; and 3) a collaboration among local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, schools and local bar associations that aims to reduce the number of people incarcerated. We have much work to do, and together, we can make a difference in our San Diego community.
ALARA CHILTON PRESIDENT, SAN DIEGO LA RAZA LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
My hope for the San Diego Chinese Attorney Association is that we become more active in outreach to our diverse Asian-American community. There are 57,000 Chinese-Americans in San Diego County — 40,000 live in the city of San Diego alone. My hope is our organization can help them understand the many different ways lawyers serve the community, from defending the rights of the accused, to helping unpaid workers and forming nonprofit organizations to fight problems.
6 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
D I V E R S
JUSTIN PAIK PRESIDENT, KOREAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO
NICHOLAS FOX &
The Korean American Bar Association of San Diego (KABA-SD) has been a place where the members — both attorneys and law students — are supported and where each member takes an extra step to help each other succeed. For the next five years, I hope KABA-SD will continue to build upon the excellent foundation laid by our predecessors and grow in numbers; inspire Korean-American attorneys and attorneys from all backgrounds to join and support KABA-SD’s mission; provide a platform for KABA-SD members to be closely connected with each other; and, finally, to take on a more active role in the San Diego community.
San Diego’s legal community has a wonderful history of being a congenial group of practitioners. This foundation should not be forgotten. I hope this foundation is built upon by the next generation of attorneys joining our legal community and that they learn from the examples of those who came before them. I hope for PALSD to be part of this process and that it will help foster inclusion regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or any other way in which individuals may be different or unique. My greatest hope is for PALSD to be an organization where all are welcome!
JUDY BAE PRESIDENT, PAN ASIAN LAWYERS OF SAN DIEGO
Given the current political climate, my hope is that (Tom Homann LGBT Law Association) THLA — along with the SDCBA, other diverse bars and the legal community in general — can be of greater assistance in helping those members of our community who face persecution. This includes our transgender family, friends and colleagues (who may not be able to serve in the military); undocumented immigrants under DACA; and those who face (increasing) hate crimes due to their race or sexual orientation. We all have a long fight ahead for our continued struggle toward a more perfect union, and THLA should be at the forefront of this fight.
Laura Godfrey Zagar has been my inspiration as a champion for diversity. Laura is a proud, vocal ally who is active in the San Diego community in part through her participation in Equality California. She is generous with her time when it comes to mentoring and advocating for LGBT, female and particularly young associates, and helps to foster the inclusive culture within our firm, Perkins Coie.
ELLEN SMITH CO-PRESIDENTS, TOM HOMANN LGBT LAW ASSOCIATION
CATHERINE ASUNCION PRESIDENT, FILIPINO AMERICAN LAWYERS OF SAN DIEGO
In five years, I hope that Lawyers Club and the San Diego legal community will have achieved parity for women, people of color and persons of all sexual orientations by closing the pay gap; eliminating bias; eradicating sexual harassment; advancing women in positions of leadership, including equity partnerships and supervisory roles in public agencies and law firms; and increasing the representation of women and other disadvantaged groups on the bench. Of all these goals, in which each is important, the need to improve the lot of women in the legal profession is critical. For if women succeed, all succeed.
OLGA ÁLVAREZ PRESIDENT, LAWYERS CLUB OF SAN DIEGO
I hope that five years from now, (Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego) FALSD will continue to have a strong showing of leaders and is a staple of diversity in San Diego. I hope our legal community will have made great progress toward cultivating a practice that provides equal opportunities and serves all. Jonah Toleno is my friend, mentor, and inspiration to serve our community. Not only is she a champion of diversity, she is committed to the success of the younger generation and the integrity of the legal profession as a whole. September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 7
Proud Member Benefit Provider
Pay Invoice PCI Compliant
New Charge Charge
Cook Brooks Johnson PLLC 7800 N Mopac MOPACExpressway EXPRESSWAY Suite 215 Austin, TX 78758 512.381.3000
Thank you for your prompt payment
Total Total $2,000.00 $2,000.00
Card Information Card Information
Card Number Card Number
8765**** **** 5436**** 3210 9998 9998
2021 CVV CVV
THE EXPERTS IN LEGAL PAYMENTS The proven payment solution for lawyers. Managing payments and growing revenue for over 40,000 law firms in the United States, LawPay is the only payment solution offered through the ABA Advantage program. Developed specifically for law firms, LawPay guarantees complete separation of earned and unearned fees, giving you the confidence and peace of mind that your credit card transactions are handled the right way.
Trust Account Compliant
LawPay.com/SDCBA | 877.593.7883 LawPay is a registered ISO of Merrick Bank, South Jordan UT
WHY I BELONG
THE JOURNAL OF THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
Greene & Roberts LLP
Education: Gonzaga University, California Western School of Law
Co-Editors Edward McIntyre Christine Pangan
Editorial Board Craig Benner Elizabeth Blust Josh Bonnici George Brewster Jr. Jeremy Evans Mike Finstad Victoria Fuller Renée Galente Todd Haas
Julie Houth Stephanie Karnavas Erik Nelson David Seto Whitney Skala Christopher Todd Mike Wakshull Teresa Warren
SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer Ellen Miller-Sharp
Director of Outreach Strategy & Chief Communications Officer Karen Korr
Graphic Designer/Webmaster Attiba Royster
Publications Editor Jenna Little
Marketing Coordinator Sasha Feredoni
Follow San Diego Lawyer! sandiegolawyermagazine @SDLmagazine
Areas of practice: Employment law, business litigation and general liability Proudest career moment: The evening my bar results were released, I vividly recall seeing that I had passed and calling my dad to give him the news. When he answered — before I could speak — he simply said, “Congratulations.” Even more than the pride of passing the bar, I was proud to feel worthy of the confidence he had shown in me. Although there have been many proud moments between then and now, that is among my favorites. Family: My beautiful fiancee and her immediate family all live in town, and my own parents, siblings and nieces all live within a few miles of each other in San Diego as well. Birthplace: San Diego Current area of residence: Tierrasanta If I weren’t an attorney, I’d be a journalist. I think journalism and the law have a lot in common. In order to be effective in either, you have to guard your credibility, see through distractions to discern the real issues, marshal evidence, and present that evidence in a clear and articulate way. There may be less call for argument, but it would be rewarding to still use the power of the word to work toward obtaining just results. The best thing about being an attorney is obtaining just results for your client. Hours are long, one day runs into the next and the preparation that goes into our work can be tiresome, to say the least. But, the reward of using that preparation to advocate for people who need you and getting the results they deserve is the best part of being an attorney. Last vacation: San Francisco. A friend from college was ordained this summer into the Catholic priesthood, which was as good a reason as any for a kind of mini-reunion. It was energizing to be among friends I had not seen in over a decade to celebrate such a special event. Hobbies: Anything in the ocean. Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving. If I can’t make it into the water, I love getting together with my brother to watch terrible movies.
401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone (619) 231-0781 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax (619) 338-0042 www.sdcba.org Interested contributors may submit article ideas to the editors at www.sdcba.org/SDLidea. Unsolicited articles will not be printed in San Diego Lawyer™. San Diego Lawyer™ reserves the right to edit all submissions, contributed articles and photographs at its sole discretion. The opinions expressed by the authors and editors in San Diego Lawyer™ magazine do not necessarily reflect an official position of the San Diego County Bar Association.
FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION, CONTACT LAURA TARABINI AT (760) 415-7030 OR LTARABINI@YAHOO.COM, OR VISIT WWW.SDCBA.ORG/ADVERTISING.
Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza. It may not be a terribly exciting answer but it’s delicious, it’s classic and I love it. Do you have a special talent nobody knows about? I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in short order. I think the Rubik’s Cube is a decent metaphor for the challenges we face in the law. The problem begins as a puzzling, and even an overwhelming, hurdle. But once you become familiar with the system or have a plan in place for dealing with the problem, it becomes manageable and sometimes downright easy. What one skill has helped you be successful as an attorney? Endurance. I’m not easily deterred and I always try to remind myself that it is a marathon that we’re running, not a sprint. What would you most like to be known for? I want to be known for being an effective attorney and one who manages to maintain a good perspective in life as a whole, as well as in day-to-day tasks. September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 9
D I V E R S
BY JOAN BULLOCK DEANS
Moving Beyond ‘The Place’
Joan Bullock hen I first agreed to write an article for San Diego Lawyer, I was in my first few weeks as President and Dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The task was a bit daunting because of my newness to Thomas Jefferson, and I pondered what a recent transplant from Orlando, Florida, could write that would resonate with the San Diego legal community. After much rumination, I chose to write on a topic of which I have a lot of passion: diversity and inclusion. The necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement and the rallies of the last few weeks confirm, in my mind, that we have yet a long way to go before our diverse society is truly an inclusive one.
While I do not consider myself old, I nevertheless bear the scars from experiencing firsthand the vestiges of legal segregation. I spent the majority of my childhood in Montgomery, Alabama — living less than a mile from where civil rights activist Rosa Parks resided when she was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. The Selma to Montgomery marchers came through my neighborhood as they made their way downtown. I followed in the steps of my father and his father, attending Loveless School, Montgomery’s first junior and senior high school for African-Americans. Forced busing later sent me across town to Robert E. Lee High School where I graduated. A large statue of General Lee in front of the school is situated so that Lee faces north — never in retreat from the enemies of the north. I witnessed and experienced several indignities growing up in an environment in which certain groups were treated as other than and less than. The political, economic and social disenfranchisement was palpable despite laws providing otherwise. People knew “their place” and all was well, according to the establishment, so long as no one breached the boundary of his or her place. As lawyers, we know that the removal of bad laws do not of necessity eliminate the
Providing an inclusive environment for students to gain confidence and realize their best self bad environment engendered by those laws. Nor does the promulgation of good laws automatically produce an environment favorable to those marginalized. While change can be legislated, morality cannot. Notwithstanding, it is our responsibility as lawyers to be at the forefront in fostering an environment in which everyone has the opportunity to exercise the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I carry this responsibility as a personal resolve to educate the marginalized and empower them to breach the boundary of “their place” — as defined by the normative culture — so that they can realize their best self. As a member of the legal academy, I know and appreciate the value of learning the law, and honing the skills of logic, critical thinking, writing and advocacy. Yet, while necessary, it is not sufficient in teaching law students all of what they need to know in order to succeed in the practice of law. For example, having the right attitude — how one approaches tasks and challenges — is just as important as having the aptitude to tackle those tasks and challenges. This right attitude is the confidence one has that even in failure there is success. Failure is not seen as a negative; it is viewed as an aspect present in everyone’s life and each failure proffers a customized teachable moment that no success can provide — shedding light on areas of weakness with the opportunity to become wiser, stronger and more resilient. The right attitude, therefore, with aptitude, i.e., proficiency in knowledge, skills and values, are critical for the success of law students. While law schools cannot teach attitude, it is the responsibility of the academy to provide the favorable environment by which its students can flourish and develop the knowledge, skills and values for becoming their best self. For the diverse student population in particular, this means providing a safe environment in which students gain confidence and are encouraged to explore beyond the boundary of “their place” to discover the path that leads them to the
heights of their professional aspirations. In this inclusive environment, they learn how to position and advocate for themselves by developing a clear sense of personal identity and knowing what they want as professionals. Those who have a clear sense of their personal identity have a career advantage over their peers who do not. Further, they are more confident and competent in advocating their position to those around them. They will not retreat to “their place” when their suitability and readiness are challenged. Many law firms and legal departments have developed diversity and inclusion initiatives as part of an overall plan to retain and develop their personnel. These diversity and inclusion initiatives work best in tandem with the self-advocacy skills students can learn while in law school. These self-advocacy skills include learning the political and social landscape of the organization; its written and unwritten rules for determining success; understanding the business of the practice; and networking. In the context of the organization, there is an advantage to the unique diversity that each person brings to the professional environment and it is up to each individual, rather than the law firm or legal department, to discover that unique advantage and demonstrate that advantage in the workplace. Learning how to discern and capitalize on this unique advantage is empowering for the individual and beneficial to the organization. Law schools can help students take ownership and control of their career destiny through development of these self-advocacy skills that are critical for students’ success in law school and beyond, heightening their professional expectations and empowering their exercise of the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Joan Bullock (email@example.com) is president and dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 11
BY BILL KAMMER TECHNOLOGY
Tips, Tricks and Traps T
he Equifax Hack
In September 2017, Equifax reported a data breach that may have disclosed personal information of 143 million persons. That information included birthdates, driver's license numbers and home addresses — enough to facilitate identity theft when combined with the Social Security numbers also exposed. Class actions are already on file, and Equifax has offered credit monitoring. But the prudent thing may be to protect yourself by implementing security freezes with the four credit-reporting agencies. Those freezes would prevent other people's attempts to obtain credit, housing and government benefits in your name. Numerous resources are on the internet to teach you how.
Beware Software Upgrades Recent issues visited upon various companies and law firms throughout the world apparently resulted from employees unthinkingly updating installed software after receiving an email that contained malicious links. Another recent news item reported that the CIA itself had created a bogus software upgrade to steal data from the FBI, DHS and NSA. It’s getting tough to identify the bad guys, but vigilance will always remain a necessary task.
Hackers are Persistent; Some are Quite Ingenious We have all experienced or been warned about phishing expeditions — often in the context of malicious links suggesting errors in our bank statements — that we change our password, or look at something interesting. The emphasis has been on carefully watching and reviewing incoming emails and not blindly following links found on the internet. Hackers know those guardrails are up, and so they have shifted efforts to social media. For whatever
reason, we all have a tendency to trust the origin of Facebook messages and tweets from apparent friends or friends of friends. For that reason, the hackers have shifted to a new strategy. They are inserting malicious links into those social media communications, many with shortened URLs that disguise the malicious destinations.
Google Maps Can Help You Park Your Car Google continues to provide more services. Now it has linked a new feature to Google Maps available in 25 cities, including San Diego. Google will identify parking garages near the destination you’re headed for and then provide you with walking directions to your final destination.
The Internet of Things Lacks Security There has been little incentive in the past for the manufacturers for internet of things (IoT) devices to protect those devices from authorized access. There have been many stories about hijacked baby cams that allow persons to yell at infants, and about other webcams and devices that allow intruders access to your private areas. The latest news is the FDA’s report that 465,000 patients need software updates for their implanted pacemakers to ensure against being hacked. Sgt. Esterhaus, in an old TV series, used to say, “Let’s be careful out there.” Nothing has changed in the internet world.
Traveling Lawyers and Burner Phones Customs and Border Protection personnel have asserted claims to have the authority to search the electronic devices of travelers. Most attorneys have phones, mobile devices and sometimes laptops that contain abundant confidential
client information. Hopefully that data is encrypted while stored on the device. Do lawyers have an ethical duty to refuse to give up the passcode to their device if an agent demands it? Maybe the solution is the pundits’ suggestion that attorneys should seriously consider using a burner phone during their travels.
The Rules of Procedure and Evidence Have Changed The federal civil rules changed in important respects in December 2015. This is not an attempt to cover those changes so much as a warning that judges have sanctioned attorneys who fail to respect the changed scope of discovery and still include arguments based on case law prior to the 2015 changes. Several significant amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence will take effect in December 2017. They principally concern authentication of computer data and information acquired from the internet or from social media sites. The changes will allow authentication of that evidence without the necessity of providing the trial testimony of a witness.
Technological Competence The challenges of professional competence continually increase. References to bitcoins, blockchains and artificial intelligence are now filtering into the commentaries and conversations of lawyers. California’s COPRAC has already thrown down the gauntlet, but the trend is nationwide. Nebraska just became the 28th state to adopt a duty of technological competence. Bill Kammer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner with Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 13
New Expanded Name, Same Trial Excellence Congratulations, Damian Dolin!
www.pettitkohn.com | (858) 755-8500 San Diego Los Angeles Phoenix
To get your case on the path to resolution, please contact Richardâ€™s case manager Kathy Purcell at (619) 238-7282 or email email@example.com.
Your Path to Resolution
Huver Mediation www.huvermediation.com
BY EDWARD McINT YRE
A Scheme for Idiots Scheming class-action lawsuits involve making false representations to the court and pursuing groundless claims
acbeth sipped his Oban single malt, celebrating an appellate victory with Duncan and Sarah at Brennan’s Tavern. Fred Fox pulled an empty chair to their table — uninvited. “Macbeth, I’ve got an idea I’ve gotta run past you —” “Sorry, but we’re discussing a client matter —” “Don’t worry. I won’t be long. This is killer.” Fox grabbed a passing waitress by the arm and ordered an orange mojito. Macbeth just closed his eyes. “So, I’ve got this nephew. At college. We came up with this plan. I have him pay some of his fraternity brothers a few bucks. Say a hundred a piece. You know, beer and condom money. Or whatever kids do these days.” Sarah, outside Fox’s line of sight, rolled her eyes.
CARTOON BY GEORGE BREWSTER JR.
“Anyhow, I pay my nephew another hundred for each kid he signs up. I’m out maybe two grand. Five tops.”
Duncan took the bait. “For what?” “To be class-action plaintiffs, of course. You know, CLRA, UCL, FAL. Those kind of claims. Against these totally phony (making air quotes) ‘supplement’ products on the market. Kids wouldn’t even have to buy the stuff. Most of it's garbage, anyhow. ‘Cure this. Make that bigger. Make it last forever.’ Garbage promises.” Another eye roll from Sarah. Macbeth set down his Oban and took a deep breath. “Doesn’t a consumer product class action have to allege that the plaintiff purchased a product, for example, relying on some representation, that it was false and the plaintiff suffered a resulting injury and that the plaintiff’s claims are typical of those of the class?” Fox took a swig of orange mojito. “Yeah. So?” “What business do you think you’ll take up after being a lawyer?” “Macbeth, that’s almost insulting. Not a very funny joke.”
“Using a runner or capper is a misdemeanor that could lead to a year in jail and suspension or disbarment” “Runner? Capper?” “Yes, a person who acts as an agent for consideration for a lawyer to solicit or procure business. In the scheme you describe, your nephew.” Sarah added, “The prohibition’s in the State Bar Act.” “Rule 1-120,” Macbeth added, “prohibits assisting, soliciting or inducing a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or the State Bar Act.” “Yes, but —” “And the scheme, as you described it, also includes making false representations to the court and pursuing groundless claims. In the complaint. In any class-action motion. What about your client’s deposition? What does he say?” Another swig of orange mojito. “Well, most cases don’t go that far. They see class action and run for the hills. Settle. Pay up. Before any class is certified.” “And you keep the money?” “Maybe give the kid another hundred. Haven’t thought about it that much.” “Let me see if I understand.” Macbeth looked directly at Fox. “You plan on using a runner or capper to line up prepaid plaintiffs. They don’t even buy the product that is the subject of their claims that they did. They also claim they relied on advertising they never bothered to look at. And say that their claims are typical of a class of other consumers? And you’re doing this to try to force early settlements from these companies?” “But I’ve collected some science articles and other stuff. They say the claims are garbage. That these supplements don’t do anything. So I’ve got probable cause, don’t I?” September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 15
SDCBA Sustaining Members The San Diego County Bar Association gratefully acknowledges its Sustaining Members for their outstanding commitment and generous support in 2017.
“Do you have competing scientific studies that are favorable to the products?” “Seen some. Haven’t looked at them. Probably paid for by the companies. You know how they are.” “I don’t ‘know how they are.’ But I do know that for the lawsuit you describe you have no probable cause. Your prepaid plaintiff has no legitimate claim. You know it from the beginning. Not for himself. Not for a putative class.” Final swig of mojito. “So I’ll have them buy the stuff. Hire my nephew. Part time. What then?”
“My view doesn’t change.”
Marc D. Adelman Jose S. Castillo
Rhonda J. Holmes Richard A. Huver
Steven T. Coopersmith Ezekiel E. Cortez William O. Dougherty James P. Frantz
Laura H. Miller Gerald S. Mulder Todd F. Stevens Thomas J. Warwick Jr.
Van E. Haynie
Andrew H. Wilensky
Sarah nodded in agreement. Duncan spoke up. “You’d be caught up in a host of Rules and State Bar Act violations. If a judge, opposing counsel — a competitor even — found out? Reported you to the State Bar? Boy, you’d need a miracle.” Fox pushed his chair back and snatched up his messenger bag from the floor. “Gotta go.” As Fox headed out the door, Macbeth lifted his glass ever so slightly. “You're welcome, Fred. Anytime.” Sarah and Duncan laughed and followed suit.
BENEFACTOR MEMBERS Doc Anthony Anderson III Jedd E. Bogage Alexander Isaac Dychter
Douglas A. Glass Alvin M. Gomez
FRIEND MEMBERS Laura Ashborn
Marguerite C. Lorenz
Robert J. Baumer
Raymond J. Navarro
Anthony J. Passante Jr.
Teresa E. Dietz
David B. Dugan
Kristi E. Pfister
Susan K. Fox
Michael J. Roberts
Ronald Leigh Greenwald
Allen M. Gruber
Janis K. Stocks
Ajay K. Gupta
Editorial Note: Bus. & Prof. Code sections 61516154 prohibit using runners or cappers, criminalize it, void agreements and mandate fee divestiture. Rule 5-200 (A) & (B) and Bus. & Prof. Code section 6068(d) mandate candor to the court; section 6068(c) prohibits bringing actions except those that are “legal or just.” Rule 4-200 prohibits illegal and unconscionable fees, and Rule 3-110 requires supervision of subordinate lawyer and non-lawyer employees. Author’s Note: Thanks to those who responded to the “preemptory”/“peremptory” challenge in my July/August 2017 column. Whether Rule 170.6 “trumps or supplants” the assigned judge from presiding, or “incontrovertibly” requires recusal, the correct term is “peremptory,” and I should have used it. Thanks again to those who wrote. Thanks also to Bryan A. Garner, Garner’s Modern American Usage and A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (Second Edition).
Edward McIntyre (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an attorney at law and co-editor of San Diego Lawyer. No portion of this article is intended to constitute legal advice. Be sure to perform independent research and analysis. Any views expressed are those of the author only and not of the SDCBA or its Legal Ethics Committee.
They Didn’t Just Survive; They Thrived How San Diego's "homegrown" firms built lasting success By George Brewster Jr. and Edward McIntyre
s Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley firms flooded San Diego during several decades, some indigenous firms passed to oblivion — with merger; or shuttering doors; or slow attrition as talent drifted to other firms. But not all. Other firms not only survived, but have grown more robust and today thrive. To find out why, and how, we talked to the managing partners or firm leaders of a few.1 Here — from them — is what we learned. Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP
In 1947, just out of the Navy, David S. Casey Sr. set up a solo shop in Pacific Beach with a focus on criminal defense, family law and personal injury litigation. He then shared space with Norman Seltzer in the Bank 1
of America building (see Seltzer Caplan summary). They were two of the 400 or so attorneys working in post-war San Diego (there are over 16,000 today). George McClenahan joined Casey in the 1950s, and the firm turned toward a full-time plaintiff personal injury firm. (It took on its current firm name in 2005.) Now 70 years later, the Casey firm is managed by David S. Casey
Because of space constraints, we were limited to the firms we could speak with.
18 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
Jr., a nationally known and respected trial attorney, and is the oldest and largest homegrown plaintiff personal injury firms in San Diego. Casey said his father, who during his career handled over 700 jury trials, built their San Diego office on First and Laurel in 1961, and Casey had it overhauled (and updated with the latest technology) eight years ago
“to accommodate a modern-day practice.” He says that for the foreseeable future, the firm “will continue playing a major role in personal injury litigation, and will remain a San Diego-based practice.” The firm has recently joined in the complex litigation surrounding the Volkswagen emissions scandal (and notably, the firm obtained a $3 million verdict against VW in 1985, arising out of a motorcycle/VW crash), but Casey himself will long be remembered nationally for his pivotal role creating the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund mandated by Congress. “We are in a service industry, so we make every effort to meet the needs of those who contact us,” said Casey, describing the firm culture as “client first,” handling each case at the highest professional level. The firm now has 16 lawyers, with practice areas ranging from aviation, products liability, maritime and pharmaceutical/ medical devices to class actions, automobile and premises liability, among many others. During his years in practice, Casey has seen two consequential challenges to the profession: expansive and aggressive lawyer marketing, and “keeping the courtrooms open” in light of (or despite) tort reform efforts. The firm celebrated its 70th year in a big way — renting out part of the San Diego Zoo for a huge party. Keep an eye out for an invitation to the firm’s 75th ….
Higgs Fletcher & Mack Steve Cologne took over the managing partner reins of San Diego’s oldest, “homegrown” firm in 2017, when John Morrell became chairman emeritus. Higgs Fletcher & Mack has a storied history. “Dutch” Higgs and “Ferd” Fletcher faced each other on opposite sides of a 1938 courtroom. The outcome? A 1939 partnership in the old Bank of America building at Sixth and Broadway, only one of three major office buildings at the time that housed lawyers. Then, Henry Pitts Mack left Gray Cary Ames & Frye, joined the firm and added his name. Today, Higgs has 75 lawyers and 23 practice groups — a full-service firm, with significant depth and the ability to deliver high-quality services to meet a multitude of
client needs. It finds itself at the Columbia Center, 401 West A Street. An earlier satellite office in Escondido closed in 1996 after 24 years. According to Cologne, a turning point in the firm’s history was the firm’s 1999 merger with McInnis Fitzgerald Rees and Sharkey, itself founded in 1941. Higgs had transactional strength, McInnis, trial-lawyer depth; both shared San Diego legal community culture. As discussions matured, the fit seemed natural. All of McInnis’ 21 lawyers joined Higgs; many, like Cologne himself, remain. One testament to the success of the blending is that a former McInnis partner is now Higgs’ managing partner. In 2014, to celebrate the firm’s 75th anniversary and its commitment to San Diego, Higgs contributed more than 7,500 hours of community service. One key, according to Cologne, to Higgs’ success — and an integral part of the firm’s culture — is its ability to adapt to change, and to engage in creative problem-solving geared toward client success and client expectations. Another is that the firm allows its lawyers to work within their own culture and to achieve work-life balance. Yes, Higgs’ lawyers work hard, but with room for individuality. As he put it, “They work to live, not live to work.” Finally, the firm tries to provide a culture that allows each lawyer to fulfill her or his dream. “To be what you want to be.” Cologne anticipates that during the next five years, the firm will continue to recruit top talent, by attracting lateral experience from other firms but also by recruiting young lawyers who can grow up within the firm and spend their careers there. Higgs started a cyber security and privacy practice in 2015. Cologne sees that practice growing in depth and expanding, as well as other aspects of intellectual property, while the firm continues to reinforce its strength in real estate, tax and corporate law. As managing partner, Cologne is focused on “succession planning,” attracting the ideas of young lawyers who may have new ways of looking at things, so that the genius of tomorrow continues to contribute to the firm’s future.
“The firm tries to provide a culture that allows each lawyer to fulfill her or his dream. ‘To be what you want to be.’” Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savich LLP Tom Turner is now in the 17th year of his two-year term as Procopio’s managing partner. Two lawyers, recently out of the Navy at the end of WWII — Alex Cory and Ed Schwartz — decided to team together in 300 square feet of the San Diego Trust and Savings building. Procopio, Hargreaves and Savich came along later. Today, Judge Schwartz's name now graces the federal court building; the San Diego Historical Society treasures its trove of Alex Cory memorabilia. The firm has 160 lawyers, of whom 42 are equity partners, with offices in downtown — five floors of Procopio Tower at 525 B Street — and Del Mar, Silicon Valley, Phoenix and Austin; it has just joined AMLAW 200, where it is ranked sixth in diversity. For example, 28 percent of its lawyers are women; 26 percent, diverse (women, and racial and sexual orientation minority groups); 20 percen, women partners. Turner, who joined the firm in 1993 from Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, singles out a critical point in the firm’s history. Some 25 years ago, the firm faced a substantial tension between older partners, including founders, and younger, rising stars — the kind of rift that has caused other firms to split asunder. The firm, then about 40 lawyers, worked through the issues, both financial and cultural, and not only survived, but grew — four-fold in the intervening years. One move Turner attributes to the firm’s success is its engagement 20 years ago of a non-lawyer chief operating officer, Jim McPerkins, with both a Ph.D. and MBA. September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 19
Working closely with the managing partner and six-member management committee, Perkins’ portfolio includes finance, human resources, administration, marketing and business development, information services and knowledge management, and with the firm’s general counsel, he serves as co-chair of the firm’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance.
among San Diego firms — likely firms anywhere — they had Norman Seltzer, a founder; his son, Brian; and grandson, Matt, practicing together. Brian and Matt remain shareholders — Brian, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. Continuing the tradition, David Dorne, Business Department Chair, and his daughter, Hillary, also practice together.
For Turner, a key to Procopio’s success is its ability to attract and retain “top drawer talent.” About 90 percent of lawyers who join the firm laterally remain and thrive; the national average, on the other hand, is 50 percent or less. Turner attributes this both to financial attractiveness — the firm has managed effective cost and overhead control, contributing to partner profits — and to the firm’s culture: it is warm and friendly; lawyers can develop a sense of themselves.
Sixty-nine years ago, in 1948, Ben Rubin teamed up with Norman Seltzer and the firm began. Its early emphasis — and expertise — focused on real estate and land use law. Herb Solomon — later of Solomon Ward — joined them for a while. In 1960, Caplan was brought in; 1965, Jerry McMahon, chairman and litigation department chair — and long-standing leading light of San Diego’s trial bar. Reg Vitek came a bit later. In 2000, the firm changed to its current name.
Procopio has also been able to deliver reasonable and cost-effective services to its clients, allowing it to compete with some of the largest and best-known firms in the country. Another key is the firm’s constant forward focus that Turner described as “dynamic” and “opportunistic” — looking for organic growth when the right opportunity presents itself. An example was the health care practice of Foley & Lardner that joined Procopio in 2007, now fully integrated and prospering. Although the firm does not have a “summer associate” program, it continues to pursue young talent; it just hired six associates last month. Looking ahead five years, Turner sees the firm’s growth plan as “strategic” — looking for opportunities that may present themselves — but also coherent with its existing practice areas and organic. Although its space will likely expand, Procopio will not pursue growth for its own sake, nor plant a flag in another city just to have an office there. The firm is committed to remain “Procopio,” with its own distinct culture; it will not become the San Diego or West Coast office of some other firm. It sees its future in San Diego as “Procopio.”
Seltzer Caplan McMahon & Vitek Three generations of lawyers, in the same firm, at the same time. As Seltzer Caplan’s president Bob Caplan observed, unique 20 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
“Since the beginning, our keys to success and longevity in San Diego have been integrity, professionalism and stability.” As the firm grew, so did its practice — to include family law (a Norman Seltzer favorite); litigation; business; estate planning and tax law; intellectual property law; and cross-border issues. Housed in several buildings on Fourth Avenue — always built too small, according to McMahon, so that the firm found itself continually running out of space — in 1991 it moved to Symphony Towers where it remains. McMahon remarked that the firm’s many distinguished alumni include Judge Irma Gonzalez, former chief judge of the District Court for the Southern District of California — her husband, Bob Brewer, is currently of counsel to the firm; Superior Court Judge Patricia Garcia; and Jan Goldsmith, former City Attorney. Key to the firm’s success, Caplan notes, is that it provides its lawyers with the freedom to grow up and mature in their practices
at an early age and display their talent. Seltzer Caplan lawyers respect each other and, as McMahon added, many enduring friendships bind firm members, who strive to be as good a lawyer as each can be. Time and changing practice have affected the firm and it has adapted. When once its litigation department was dominant, now its non-litigation practice — real estate; land use; environmental law; trust and estate; tax and business — predominate. This has come about because litigation itself has declined somewhat and, in particular, because of the ascendance of the firm’s family law practice, with six lawyers now devoted full time to that practice. Caplan added, “Jerry pulls others in as he needs them.” Caplan sees steady growth for the firm, both through lateral acquisition as well as hiring new associates, including from its summer associate program. He sees the firm continuing to focus its practice in the areas where it has achieved expertise as it heads toward its 75th anniversary.
Solomon Ward Siedenwurm & Smith, LLP The firm celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. On January 1, 1977, Herb Solomon (who at 85 remains an active partner) and four others (the late Bill Ward, retired attorneys Rick Seidenwurm and Paul Smith, and now-solo practitioner Gary Aguirre) located downtown and have stayed there, increasing from six (with the early addition of Norman Smith, substituted in as the “Smith” partner upon Paul Smith’s retirement) to 33 lawyers today. Other noteworthy partner alumni include Edward McIntyre, Jeff Silberman, Hon. Bill McCurine (Ret.), Jerry Solomon, Michael Levinson, Cindy Eldred, Murray Bankhead, Jeff Schneider and former managing partner Miguel Smith. So, if your last name is Smith …. According to current managing partner Dan Gardenswartz, the firm has increased its practice diversity to now include family law, intellectual property and technology, and electronic discovery and ESI services. Through the firm’s support, partner Bill Kammer puts on regular ESI seminars for the legal community. The firm received the Law Technology News National Innovation Award in 2013, in recognition of its work to integrate technology into the legal
profession. “Even more important to the firm is our growing reputation for providing high-level legal services at a competitive cost,” said Gardenswartz, citing the firm’s investment in technology as one of the main routes to cost efficiency. “Also, the best way to compete with the largest firms is to be at least as good, if not better, with technology.” Gardenswartz, an employment litigator, says the days of paper-filled binders are numbered. “Everything is going electronic, and in the near future, jurors will have more electronic access to documents during trial, maybe sending questions to the judge. But the biggest change is the one I have no idea is coming. We just have to stay ahead of the curve and not be behind the eight ball.” When asked what the three long-term keys to the firm’s success have been, Gardenswartz listed the high caliber and quality of lawyers and staff, loyalty to clients, and a vibrant and flexible business model, which minimizes partnership disputes and maximizes partnership profitability. He noted the clear path for associates to obtain partnership, saying that all of the firm’s current leadership started as associates with the firm. “In the next 10 years, and beyond, the firm will continue to provide outstanding legal advice to the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses, while providing a winning balance of income and quality of life to our growing team,” said Gardenswartz.
Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP The origin of the firm starts 55 years ago, in 1962, as Carstens & Todd, and by 1974 evolved into Todd, Wingert & Grebing. In that year—with lawyers Ed Chapin and Mike Anello having come on board— William Todd was interviewing Alan Brubaker for a student law clerk position when Governor Ronald Reagan called to offer Todd a Superior Court judgeship. Todd took the position, and Brubaker became a firm law clerk, later a lawyer and now partner with the firm. According to managing partner Steve Grebing (whose father, Charlie, is the firm namesake “Grebing” and also a previous firm managing partner), law clerking was a pretty good path to take, as six of the current partners with the firm all
started as student law clerks. The firm has also been a pretty good breeding ground for the judiciary. Besides Todd (Superior Court and then to the Fourth District Court of Appeals), other appointments include Mike Anello (Superior Court and Federal District Court), Tom LaVoy (Superior Court), Mike Orfield (Superior Court) and Jim Mangione (Superior Court). There have been father/son pairings as well — both William Todd and his son (and firm partner) Chris Todd have been presidents of the SDCBA (they are one of multiple sets of father/son bar presidents) and are members of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); and Charlie Grebing and son Steve are also both members of ABOTA (along with John Wingert and Alan Brubaker). According to Chris Todd, Bill Carstens left the firm and went on to become a successful real estate developer; more memorable to Chris was the fact that Carstens owned his own helicopter. No, Chris never got to ride in it.
caused the firm to rapidly double in size, peaking with 48 lawyers in 1998 and adding a satellite office in Las Vegas. A steady downsizing, particularly with the departure of partners with certain specialty areas (notably construction defect and probate), brought the firm down to 13 lawyers. “Since the beginning, our keys to success and longevity in San Diego have been integrity, professionalism and stability,” said Steve Grebing. When asked where does he see the firm in 10 years, he replied, “Here and thriving.” George Brewster Jr. (email@example.com) is chief deputy with the Office of County Counsel. Edward McIntyre (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an attorney at law and co-editor of San Diego Lawyer.
Since its inception, the firm’s primary focus has been and remains on civil litigation. The implementation of Fast Track in the 1980s
The firms that were contacted for this article were established in San Diego, have more than 25 attorneys and have been in business for over 20 years. The SDCBA highlights other large firms throughout this issue, in "Big Firms, Big Impact" on page 23, and in an article spotlighting our Diversity Fellowship Program on page 35.
33 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SERVING OUR COMMUNITY “I promise exceptional customer service & personal attention to all of my clients and their cases.”
RICHARD L. DUQUETTE ATTORNEY AT LAW
“… you will not find a more hard working & diligent attorney than Richard Duquette.” - L. T. (CLIENT)
DUI & CRIMINAL DEFENSE Call Now For Your FREE Consultation
911Law.com | rlduquette@911Law.com © 2017 Law Firm of Richard L. Duquette | REFERRAL FEES PAID BY LAW
“I refinanced my student loans with First Republic and the financial impact cannot be overstated.” YA S M I N N AG H A S H
(855) 886-4824 | firstrepublic.com | New York Stock Exchange symbol: FRC MEMBER FDIC AND EQUAL HOUSING LENDER
BIG FIRMS, BIG IMPACT Local large firms tell us about their pro bono programs
an Diego Lawyer asked a few large firms in town to talk about their pro bono programs, how they're structured, why they work, and how it benefits their firm's culture. Here's what they said: Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP Michael Holmes, Partner We are very proud of our Allen Matkins pro bono program, because it is more than just words on a page. We credit our associates with actual billable hours for the pro bono work they perform up to a predetermined number of hours depending on the type and circumstances of the pro bono case. Many of our associates have enjoyed the benefits of our program — over 1,100 total pro bono hours were billed last calendar year, and we are on track to bill nearly 2,000 total pro bono hours this calendar year — and we hope the program continues its aggressive growth in the years to come. We have several interesting pro bono matters that are currently being handled by attorneys in our San Diego office. From protecting the civil rights of our active duty military under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to ensuring justice for the innocent as part of the California Innocence Project, our San Diego attorneys are committed to helping the indigent, those who provide services to the disadvantaged, and organizations that seek to improve the law and increase access to justice.
Best Best & Krieger LLP James Gilpin, San Diego Office Managing Partner
Dentons Jae Park, Senior Managing Associate
At Best Best & Krieger LLP, because of our long history of giving back to the community—something that is ingrained in our culture—we encourage our attorneys to do pro bono work. One shining example is San Diego-based, third-year associate Victoria “Tori” Hester, who works with Casa Cornelia, helping foreign refugees navigate the immigration process to receive political asylum. She is developing an expertise in working with unaccompanied minors who have fled their home country and have a different process for achieving asylum than adults.
Social responsibility is an intrinsic part of our firm culture. In 2016, Dentons lawyers provided more than 80,000 hours of pro bono counsel (approximately $35 million worked value), serving our communities in substantial ways to address civil rights, hunger, education, poverty and access to justice.
For her extensive work and for her dedication and passion, Tori was one of the lawyers honored by Casa Cornelia with the prestigious 2017 Inn of Court Pro Bono Publico Award. As a municipal law and public agency attorney, Tori enjoys the opportunity to do something different from her day-to-day work while making an impact in someone’s life. At BB&K, we support our attorneys in finding pro bono projects that interest them, which are then reviewed and preapproved by firm management. The firm grants billable credit for a portion of the pro bono work, which Tori describes as “a good incentive to take on this important work without falling behind on billable hours.” But for Tori, the knowledge that she is helping others is what drives her.
We encourage attorneys to perform pro bono work through various firm-wide initiatives (e.g., season of service). Associate attorneys receive billable-hour credit for pro bono work. Below are a few examples of our work serving the San Diego community: • Casa Cornelia Law Center (CCLC), representing refugees in immigration court. • San Diego Museum of Man, supporting operational matters, specialty exhibits and its revitalization mission. • Quality of Life Foundation/Downtown San Diego Partnership, serving the needs of San Diego’s homeless. • Various charities, including Feeding America, HomeAid and the Gary Sinise Foundation. For his exceptional pro bono service, attorney Jae Park was recognized as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by CCLC in 2016 and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2017.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 23
Fish & Richardson Michael Amon, Co-Managing Principal, Southern California Office
Littler Mendelson P.C. Denise Visconti, Office Managing Shareholder
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP Daniel Brown, Partner
Katie Niejadlik is Fish & Richardson’s firmwide pro bono manager. Under Katie’s command, Fish uses pro bono work as a way for attorneys to develop professional skills, including valuable and often-hard-to-get courtroom experience. Fish encourages its attorneys to take on cases that spark their passions.
At Littler Mendelson, we encourage all of our attorneys to participate in pro bono work. We believe that, as attorneys, we have a professional responsibility to give back to our communities through the provision of legal services to those who cannot afford them, and to nonprofit organizations dedicated to making the world better.
In San Diego, Fish attorneys, along with the ACLU and the Law Offices of Leonard B. Simon, recently filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Homeland Security and the Department of Justice seeking to end the excessive delays depriving civil immigration detainees of due process and prompt judicial review. The case is going to require a lot of time and resources, and as Katie notes, “Big firms have the financial bandwidth to do big cases. ”The firm also tackles death penalty cases and a variety of other matters.
To demonstrate our commitment to pro bono work, the firm provides attorneys with 50 percent billable hours credit for the first 100 pro bono hours worked (i.e., 50 hours of billable credit toward the billable hour requirement each year). The firm actively encourages all attorneys to engage in pro bono work by having someone in each office circulate emails regarding local opportunities, talk about the firm’s pro bono program at office meetings, and attend conference calls to discuss the best ways to promote pro bono work in the firm.
Sheppard Mullin's formal pro bono program is led by a pro bono partner who oversees the program with the assistance of a pro bono committee consisting of partners and associates from each office and practice group. Pro bono leaders in each office and practice group encourage pro bono work in their offices or practice groups, help to identify pro bono opportunities for our attorneys and lead by example.
Fish rewards its attorneys by giving billable hour credit for every pro bono hour worked, up to 200 hours. Katie does firm-wide blasts acknowledging the attorneys doing pro bono matters and for associates, such cases provide an opportunity to work with principals they might not otherwise work with from one of Fish’s 12 offices.
Attorneys’ pro bono efforts form a part of the “whole picture” that management considers when evaluating each attorney’s contributions to the firm and those efforts are factored into compensation decisions by the firm’s compensation committee. But, beyond the potential recognition within the firm, there are the potential benefits to the attorneys who perform such work. Pro bono work provides many of our attorneys with opportunities for hands-on experience and such work also affords them with opportunities for personal enrichment and satisfaction.
Fish relies upon legal service organizations to provide referrals to the firms. Pro bono work provides all lawyers the opportunity to feel good about what they do while making a difference in the lives of others.
Bench Bar 2017Luncheons South Bay October 18 El Cajon October 19 Family October 24
Downtown Criminal October 25 Downtown Civil October 26
For locations and registration go to www.sdcba.org/benchbarluncheons.
We motivate our attorneys to do pro bono work by fostering a culture in which pro bono work is encouraged, recognized and rewarded. Among other things, pro bono work is part of the attorney review process for all attorneys and, as long as billable targets are met, all pro bono hours count toward associate bonuses. Each year, we award an attorney with the pro bono attorney of the year award. Last year, our attorneys provided approximately 29,600 hours of pro bono services. Building a successful pro bono program takes planning, time, dedication and focus. In addition to generating interest among a firm’s attorneys, a successful pro bono program needs to build relationships with legal service and other organizations in order to identify worthy opportunities that are a good match for a firm’s attorneys, many of whom have diverse skill sets and interest. In addition, proper training and oversight of matters must be ensured. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it.
October 22-28 is pro bono week. Here are groups we encourage you to reach out to: Casa Cornelia Law Center www.casacornelia.org Legal Aid Society of San Diego www.lassd.org San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program www.sdvlp.org Servicemembers Civil Relief Act www.sdcba.org/scra Special thanks to Teresa Warren, president of TW2 Marketing, and participating firms for contributing to this article.
FEDERAL PRO BONO PANEL: VOLUNTEERED YET? By Alessandra Serano
How you can serve the community while gaining valuable court experience.
he United States District Court for the Southern District of California offers firms and solo practitioners a unique opportunity to serve the community, assisting individuals who do not have the means to obtain counsel on their own while gaining valuable federal civil litigation and trial experience through the Federal Pro Bono Panel. The Panel was formed in 2011 after the District Court adopted General Order 596, in order to address a problem: a large and growing percentage of the district’s civil docket was comprised of cases filed by indigent prisoners without counsel. While there is no right to appointed counsel in these cases, the court formed a committee whose purpose was to canvas other courts’ pro bono programs and develop options to better serve deserving pro se litigants in the Southern District. Appointments may be made at the early stages of litigation, but are typically deferred until after summary judgment has been denied and a trial is necessary. United States District Judge Janis L. Sammartino has highlighted the importance of doing pro bono work in general, and especially the type of work the Pro Bono Panel primarily handles: prisoner litigation. While the vast majority of the cases referred by the court have been civil rights cases filed by state prisoners challenging the conditions of their
confinement pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, other types of cases are also handled, such as non-prisoner civil rights excessive force cases and Social Security disability appeals. Judge Sammartino stated that such a commitment provides “access to justice” for many individuals, and by volunteering to take on such matters, attorneys are “bridging the gap” for individuals to obtain access to the justice system. Appointments from the Panel are made pursuant to statute. Judges refer matters that have survived summary judgment for appointment of counsel for trial. As of July 2017, the Southern District has successfully appointed pro bono counsel in 50 cases. However, there are far more cases the court wishes to refer than volunteer Panel attorneys available to take them. A firm or an attorney need only fill out an application, and be a member in good standing with the California and Southern District of California bars to be eligible. Cases are randomly assigned to attorneys and firms. The local rules provide for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses from the court’s Pro Bono Fund. In addition, prevailing parties may seek an award of attorneys’ fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988. Pro bono representation can have fun twists. Edward McIntyre, then a Solomon Ward partner, responded to a call from Judge Sammartino and Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo to represent a prisoner,
a British citizen, serving a life-withoutparole sentence for murdering his former wife’s lover. Finding a U.S.-U.K. treaty that permitted nationals to serve sentences in their home country, “I thought I had an elegant resolution in hand. If Britain, DOJ and California agreed, my client
“By volunteering to take on such matters, attorneys are ‘bridging the gap’ for individuals to obtain access to the justice system.” could dismiss his action and serve the balance of his sentence at home. A lot more convenient for his parents and other family.” Britain agreed; the client even had a letter of commendation from 10 Downing Street in his prison file because, in prison, he was painting portraits of British service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan for their families. DOJ? No problem. “At a status conference, Judge Gallo and the Deputy Attorney General representing the prison guards who allegedly beat up my client liked the plan. The client would also drop his habeas challenge September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 25
to his conviction, which other California lawyers were defending.” The client, then early-middle-aged, suffered from several chronic illnesses, which made his continued incarceration even more expensive for California. “But an administrator at the Board of Parole Hearings said ‘No.’” Under British law, once the client arrived in Great Britain, at some point he would have a hearing to determine a future date when he would then have a parole hearing to determine if he would ever get parole. “Her stated reason was that he might not serve a life-without-parole sentence and would be a ‘possible threat to the community.’” Manchester? Kent? Stow-on-the-Wold? Judge Gallo was incredulous.
“Taking on such cases provides personal satisfaction in helping some of the most vulnerable people in the legal justice system.”
The case settled with California paying Edward’s client money; his firm waiving its fees. “He now has California’s money to further his habeas challenge. But the Cotswolds are safe.” Edward’s client picked up a bit of American ingenuity while in prison. “When I visited him to prepare for his deposition, this mild-mannered, Church-of-England-raised chap told me he had converted to Judaism. ‘Kosher food is a lot better than regular prison garbage.’”
client directly, taking depositions, writing legal memoranda and handling all aspects of the case.
Panel member Melissa Bobrow said that taking on such cases provides her with personal satisfaction in helping some of the most vulnerable people in the legal justice system. She notes that accepting an appointment from the Panel may not always be easy in that access to the client may be challenging or the claims may not be easy to follow, but working with opposing counsel is, in many cases, a great experience.
The court is actively seeking attorneys and law firms to apply to the Panel. The procedures for selection of law firms and attorneys to serve, answers to frequently asked questions, as well as electronic form applications to become a member of the Panel, can be found on the court’s website at www.casd.uscourts.gov/attorneys/ sitepages/probonopanel.aspx.
Panel member Kurt Hermansen said he believes the Panel provides significant experience to younger and newer attorneys seeking valuable federal civil litigation opportunities. Hermansen’s associate is currently handling a case that provides him with opportunities in meeting with the
Finally, Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick recognized that the Panel is important to our community because the causes of action are alleged violations of basic constitutional rights. Without the assistance of the Panel attorneys, many of these litigants’ voices would be essentially silenced.
Questions regarding the Southern District of California’s Pro Bono Panel may be directed to Karen Beretsky, Pro Bono Panel administrator, at (619) 557-5693 or at email@example.com. Alessandra Serano (firstname.lastname@example.org) is assistant United States attorney at the United States Attorney's Office.
Proven advocate. Proven results. Kathryn Karcher, for your client’s appeal.
karcherappeals.com | 619.565.4755 Certified Appellate Specialist, Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California
JUDY S. BAE
Miller Monson Peshel Polacek & Hoshaw
San Diego County District Attorneyâ€™s Office
Years as SDCBA member: 15 Areas of practice: Trust/Probate Litigation, Civil Litigation
Years as SDCBA member: 11 Areas of practice: Criminal Law, Appellate
DAVID M. MAJCHRZAK
CASSANDRA E. MOUGIN
Office of the San Diego City Attorney
Years as SDCBA member: 15 Areas of practice: Legal Ethics and Law Firm Risk Management, Professional Liability
Years as SDCBA member: 9 Areas of practice: Municipal Law, Tort Litigation
TEODORA D. PURCELL
NORTH COUNTY SEAT
Years as SDCBA member: 15 Areas of practice: Immigration and Nationality Law
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Years as SDCBA member: 9 Area of practice: Personal Injury, Mass Torts
Vote for Your 2018 SDCBA Board of Directors Online Polls Open Sunday, October 15 through Saturday, November 11 Learn more about the candidates and how to vote at
D I V E R S
Biglaw Remains Painfully Stagnant, So What Can Law Firms Do? Gender diversity is important, but it's not the only form of diversity. By Renwei Chung
“I satdown with Prince, eye to eye / He told me his wishes before he died / Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind / They only see green from them purple eyes.” — Jay-Z
ast month, Law.com published “Diversity in Big Law Means More Than Gender,” by Daniella Isaacson, a Senior Analyst at ALM Legal Intelligence. Isaacson begins her article by stating: “It is no secret that diversity at Big Law remains painfully stagnant. But when we talk diversity, our focus more often than not is on gender, to the exclusion of minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans. Industry stakeholders, both clients and law firms, have perpetuated this, placing their primary focus when it comes to diversity on gender.” To support her argument, Isaacson makes three observations worth noting about the diversity crisis in the legal profession: 1. The likelihood of implicit bias is compounded by minority partnership numbers. When it comes to hiring in the partnership ranks, you are almost 100% more likely to get a white equity partner
28 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
candidate than a minority candidate. On average, law firms have over 90 white equity partners and no more than three of any other minority. 2. At a panel I moderated at Legalweek West Coast last week entitled “Overcoming Blind Spots & Unconscious Bias to Create a Culture of Inclusion,” one panelist noted that he was surprised to see that when he tested his implicit bias using Harvard’s Implicit Association Test, he was biased against his own race. He attributed this to media portrayals of minorities that cause intrinsic favoritism toward whites over other minority groups. 3. Other diverse categories, such as LGBT and disabled candidates, are starkly underrepresented in Big Law. Both are calculated to be such a miniscule part of the legal population that it becomes even more difficult to overcome any existing stigmas. Isaacson concluded her article by writing: “The conclusion of all of this is not that focusing on gender diversity is unimportant; rather, we must also strive for inclusion of other diverse groups…. The end goal is simple: a culture that fosters inclusion for all.”
So where should law firms begin to promulgate a culture that fosters inclusion for all? As I’ve mentioned before, when attempting to solve the diversity problem, lawyers should begin with the end in mind. Two weeks ago, Business News Daily published an article titled, “A Culture of Inclusion: Promoting Workplace Diversity and Belonging,” by its Managing Editor, Nicole Fallon. Fallon begins her article by writing: “Diversity is an important issue for any modern business. But it’s not enough to hire people of different nationalities, races, genders and sexual orientations – everyone needs to feel like they are truly welcome, safe and free to be themselves in the workplace.” Fallon recommends three steps to promote an inclusive company culture: 1. Start from the top — As with any facet of company culture, creating and encouraging a sense of belonging in your workplace begins at the leadership level…. “If diversity is not a company goal … it just won’t happen,” Eloise Bune, CEO of ScribbleChat said. “People tend to hire people like them so they are comfortable and rarely challenged. It is human nature.”
D I V E R S 2. Provide safe spaces for employees — Inclusive workplaces go the extra mile to consider the safety and comfortability of all employees, especially those from marginalized groups…. If your company is bigger, creating an in-office support group or network for diverse employees can help them connect with others who share their experiences. “Employee networks can provide a safe, open environment to spark conversations and discuss the topics that are important to the community,” said Miguel Castro, senior director and lead for the Culture & Identity, Global Diversity & Inclusion Office at SAP. 3. Connect with employees (but be sensitive) — Alexandre Ullmann, Head of Human Resources at LinkedIn LATAM, advised giving employees an outlet for connecting with others and sharing their stories. “Whether it’s an employee survey, company all-hands discussions or campaigns, giving your employees multiple ways to share their feedback, their perspective and their stories will create an open dialogue that can lead to more positive outcomes,” he said.
Is your law firm on track to hit its diversity and inclusion goals? Has your law firm even committed to such targets? As I have previously noted, there is a big difference between goals and quotas. Goals are aspirational. In reality, these diversity goals
“Law firms that truly aspire to be more diverse should set clear numerical goals for diversity, and they should keep all the types of diversity in mind.” may never be achieved. But failure to solve the diversity crisis in the legal profession should not be for lack of effort. Law firms that truly aspire to be more diverse should set clear numerical goals for diversity, and they should keep all the types
of diversity in mind — including gender, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, and neurodiverse talent. Maybe these legal organizations will never hit their goals, or maybe they end up exceeding them. Either way, they should start somewhere. And the most effective way to begin is with the end in mind. When it comes to diversity and inclusion, law firms who lack the commitment and conviction to set goals will continue to aimlessly wander and drift from strategy to strategy without ever really subscribing to a clear plan. In other words, as the popular paraphrase between Alice and the Cheshire Cat predicts, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the articles by Daniella Isaacson and Nicole Fallon. Renwei Chung is the Diversity Columnist at Above the Law. You can contact Renwei by email at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter (@renweichung), or connect with him on LinkedIn. This article originally appeared on Above the Law and is reprinted here with the author's permission.
JUDICATE WEST IS HONORED TO WELCOME
THE HON. JOEL M. PRESSMAN, RET. TO OUR EXCLUSIVE ROSTER OF NEUTRALS We congratulate Judge Pressman on his retirement from the San Diego Superior Court after more than 15 years of distinguished service where he handled a variety of complex civil matters. He is now available to serve as a mediator, arbitrator, and private judge statewide. MAIN AREAS OF EXPERTISE: All types of Personal Injury Business/Contractual Employment Professional Malpractice Real Estate/HOA
www.judicatewest.com Downtown Los Angeles | Sacramento | San Diego | San Francisco | Santa Ana | West Los Angeles
For scheduling, call (619) 814-1966
Our Resolve. Your Resolution. West Coast Resolution Group, a division of the National Conflict Resolution Center, has one purpose: to provide exceptional and affordable mediation services to the legal community. To achieve this goal, we have assembled a core group of experienced neutrals, including the following individuals
DOUGLAS BARKER SHAUN BOSS JIM CHODZKO BOB COPELAND JUDY COPELAND JOHN EDWARDS CHRIS HULBURT RICHARD HUVER JEFFREY ISAACS TIMOTHY RILEY To schedule a case with one of our neutrals, please contact Case Manager, Kathy Purcell at 619-238-7282 or visit us online at:
Dedicated advocates. Focused on achieving the best results for its clients is what drives the team at NoonanLance. With years of experience handling complex cases, these award-winning San Diego attorneys pride themselves on being thoughtful problem-solvers. To learn more, visit noonanlance.com.
701 Island Ave., Ste. 400 San Diego, CA 92101 619.780.0880
D I V E R S
Bridging Cultural Gaps How to effectively communicate with clients from different cultures. By David Seto
oday the United States and California are more diverse than ever. According
to the U.S. Census, the share of the people born outside of the U.S. living in California has risen from 15 percent in 1980 to 27 percent today. There are nearly 11 million people in California born outside of the country. Most of these people are from Latin America or Asia and many are unfamiliar with our Common Law and our adversarial system. New immigrants tend to be younger workers or new students. However, as the immigrants age they will become more familiar and utilize the legal system for more services, not just immigration. It is therefore important for everyone to have what is called “cultural competency.” In my own practice I represent many Asian immigrants. Having parents who were Asian immigrants themselves certainly helped bring some understanding of culture. For example, some Asian cultures believe that it is bad luck to talk about death. This makes it common for them to wait to do their estate plans until they are 1
more advanced in age. In some cases this may be too late. This leads me instead to focus on more general legal education and outreach for clients who have other issues. There is less of a mental stigma for them to discuss it after resolving their other issues. Although lawyers in this country have been representing people of other cultural backgrounds since revolutionary times, one of the leading articles on cross cultural lawyering, “The Five Habits” by Susan Bryant, was published in 2001.1 The five habits given by Bryant are:
1. Degrees of Separation and Connection Identify differences and commonality between lawyer and client.
2. The Three Rings Understand in each case the three parties: Client, adjudicator, and the lawyer, and what the adjudicator wants in the client versus how the client appears. For example, a jury may look at a tattooed client differently than a client wearing a suit that is covering tattoos.
Susan, Bryant. "The Five Habits: Building Cross-Cultural Competence in Lawyers" (2001). CUNY Academic Works.
3. Parallel Universes Brainstorm alternate explanations for client behavior. For example, is the client late because he is irresponsible or is it because the client has no car and the bus is unreliable?
4. Pitfalls, Red Flags and Remedies Identify problematic communications and their signs. The problematic communications to focus on are not using active listening for client understanding, using formulaic legal scripts explaining the legal process, formulaic introductory rituals such as intake interviews, or culturally specific information on the client’s problem. For example, during a personal injury intake, some risk adverse cultures may focus on any potential losses while other cultures may focus on the potential gains.
5. Camel’s Back Differences in cultural understanding are like the straw that broke the camel’s back. One solution to this is creating situations with less bias and stereotypes and also conducting internal reflection and mental September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 31
D I V E R S
change on identifying and changing biases. For example, when stressed, the attorney may default to cultural biases — doing intakes under stress may not be the best option. All of these habits are helpful framework, but they focus narrowly on the attorney client relationship and internal understanding. Cultural understanding is contextual and built not in a few billable hours here and there. To go beyond this, an external understanding is required of one’s own culture and other cultures. First you need to understand your own culture. You belong to some culture Examples of different cultural groups and identities are religion, nationality, race, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, occupation, marital status, age, geographic region, urban, parent, military, or poor.
Finally you need to build relationships with other cultures. Some ways to do this are: •
Put yourself in situations where you will meet people in other cultures.
“During a personal injury intake, some risk adverse cultures may focus on any potential losses while other cultures may focus on the potential gains.” •
Build friendships with people from other cultures either within your own groups or by joining or engaging with new groups such
as people on recreational sports teams, others from different religions, your child's PTA, etc. Ask people questions about their own cultures, customs, and views. Read about other people’s cultures and histories (from their point of view). Yes, Facebook counts. Listen to people’s stories. Risk making communication mistakes.
Consciously and frequently applying both internal cultural communications and external behavioral changes are the key to developing long-lasting and successful cross-cultural communication. Doing so can make the attorney client relationship easier and more fruitful for client and attorney. David Seto (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner with Ching & Seto APC.
Now Launching: Disability Interest Group
n underrepresented 19 percent of Americans are challenged with a disability, yet the legal profession has been slow to eradicate barriers for those interested in a career in law and for attorneys with disabilities in the profession. In 2017, the San Diego County Bar Association launched its Disability Interest Group (DIG) to bring together SDCBA members who are interested in disability rights or who have disabilities themselves, in order to foster collaboration and community.
then worked with SDCBA leadership to create a way to highlight this underrepresented group and eventually developed DIG. DIG started with just nine members and is still growing. The group is working to organize presentations and mentorships
Through outreach to schools, local community organizations, employers and more, DIG strives to raise awareness of disability-related issues in the legal community; shine a spotlight on the need for accommodation; and promote law as a viable career choice for those with disabilities. The group came about organically, as members of the SDCBA’s Ethnic Relations and Diversity Committee (ERDC) observed that this was an area of diversity that wasn’t being recognized in our community. Particularly with regard to pipeline initiatives, mentorship and accommodation in the workplace, the SDCBA acknowledged that it had wrongfully assumed that the needs of disabled individuals were being met through various organizations. ERDC 32 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
with interested groups on disability-related topics (e.g., law as a career, overcoming disability discrimination). Attorney DIG members are also vetted and paired with students with disabilities as mentors. To date, DIG has met with San Diego State University’s Student Disability Services to present a program called “People First Law: Why Legal Employment of Attorneys with Disabilities Is Smart,” and lead a CLE program at Sempra Energy focused on
building an accommodating environment and legal issues facing employees with disabilities. The group can and plans to impact many, with outreach efforts in the works for the following: San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, University of San Diego School of Law, California Western School of Law, National Association of Attorneys with Disabilities, National Association of Law Students with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America San Diego Chapter, and Access to Independence, in addition to major law firms. In his 2016 San Diego Lawyer article, “It’s What I Can Do, Not What I Can’t,” current DIG chair Peter Lynch reflects: “In the Marines, I learned one steadfast principle: ‘Leave no one behind.’ Succeed as a team or fail as one. Our profession needs to leave no one behind (or out) in recruiting, hiring, retaining or promoting those with disabilities. It will be richer for the effort.”
Any SDCBA member can join the Disability Interest Group. Learn more about getting involved at www.sdcba.org/DIG.
ANDREWS ∙ LAGASSE ∙ BRANCH & BELL LLP
DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The 2017 Diversity Fellowship Program participants and their employers share special experiences from DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM this summer and discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion, and what DFP has meant to them.
As a child of immigrant parents, diversity and inclusion have been imperative to me because I have learned how to work with and relate to different individuals. Growing up and working with diverse individuals has allowed me to understand how to approach difficult situations and to provide a unique solution to an issue. As I continue my legal career, I plan to share my unique opportunity to the new generation of diverse students, while continuing to diversify the San Diego legal community.
Warsame Hassan California Western School of Law
CAROTHERS DISANTE & FREUDENBERGER LLP The most important takeaway from my time as a DFP fellow is that passion changes absolutely everything. The passion I have in being Asian-American, in wanting to be an attorney and in working toward my goals all came together to give me the push I needed to get through the tough days of my internship. Needless to say, I saw the same passions mirrored in the attorneys at CDF and that was infinitely inspiring for me. Through it all, the attorneys at CDF never stopped treating me as a valued human being, always asked and cared for my input, and even found the time to make room for my sense of humor.
Jackland Hom California Western School of Law
Jonathan Andrews Managing Partner & Founding Member
Dave Carothers Partner
Jessica Yang Associate
We were impressed by our fellow’s curiosity and interest in our approach to the law. He wanted to know more than the substance of the laws — he wanted to understand its impact and the practical effect of the law on the parties and circumstances. Diversity and inclusion better our firm’s business and culture by providing more diverse viewpoints and understanding, and better reflects the values and demographics of the clients we serve.
My continued experience with participating in the DFP reaffirms my belief in the value of mentoring. I had the unique experience with a mentor, Norma Epstein, at the very beginning of my own legal career. At the time, Epstein was a Los Angeles Superior Judge. He was troubled by the lack of presence of African-American lawyers in the courtroom and started his own mentoring program. I was fortunate enough to intern for Judge Epstein from 1981-1982. The DFP allows me the honor to mentor young diverse lawyers and give them the same opportunity. There is no better experience a young lawyer can have than to have a mentor that is invested in their future. September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 35
Diversity and inclusion is important to me because many people are different and we should not have to feel like we need to look or certain way or be certain way to be considered qualified in the legal field. It is important that people who are overlooked have the same opportunities to excel as people who are not diverse. This experience with diversity and inclusion will help me continue to encourage minorities and diverse people to seek the opportunities they want.
DUANE MORRIS LLP The firm is just an all-around great atmosphere. Each and every staff member continuously encouraged me and gave me positive feedback, which made me feel worthwhile. The most important takeaway from my DFP fellowship is to take advantage of each and every opportunity that you are given. In today’s world, I believe it is especially important to place an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion allow for a plethora of different perspectives in the workplace.
FERRIS & BRITTON, APC The most important takeaway would be to not be afraid to ask for help because the attorneys have a genuine interest in seeing us learn and succeed in our careers. Taking advantage of all the opportunities, such as attending court hearings and depositions, helped me see what it means to be a lawyer. I learned so much more than I ever imagined I would learn this summer and this would not have been possible had I been afraid to ask for help. It was great to see everything I had learned in class come to life.
Taylor O’Neal Brianna Phillips Thomas Jefferson School of Law
University of San Diego School of Law
Leslie Hulburt Member
A standout moment from this summer was seeing our clerk’s confidence in her legal knowledge grow. By mid-summer, she worked on a particularly difficult assignment that first-year law students generally would not encounter. She was able to describe the complicated legal issues and her correct conclusion with the ease of a senior attorney. Diversity and inclusion improves our firm’s culture by communicating our core belief that our diversity is our strength, that we value the heterogeneity required to deliver the best outcomes for our clients, and that all in our midst have the opportunity to be successful. 36 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
Edith Jimenez University of San Diego School of Law
Our fellow did a terrific job — I enjoyed watching her learn the relationship, and difference, between law school and practical application of those skills in the law firm environment. It was eyeopening for our fellow, and satisfying for us to see her skills develop. The firm’s diversity management is integral to our core business and each of our practice groups; our programs for recruitment, retention and promotion of historically minority groups are a priority. Diversity and inclusion allows us to better reflect and serve our clients’ business needs. Seeking our different points of view strengthens our firm.
What stood out this year has been similar to what I have happily witnessed every year regarding our DFP fellows: enthusiasm and hunger to learn; outstanding skills and capabilities; marked improvement throughout the summer; and an appreciation for the practical exposure they get through “shadowing.” Each summer there comes a point when I can see in their eyes and hear in their words the recognition of the intersection between what they have just started to learn in law school and its application to the issues that arise in the day-to-day practice of law. That is always extremely gratifying.
HIGGS FLETCHER & MACK LLP Each attorney I worked with made it a point to ask what I was interested in learning. Whether it was a small project or something a little more timeconsuming, the supervising attorney would ask, “What interests you?” or “What do you want to work on?” They really did want to ensure that I was taking away not only new experiences from each project, but also was engaged in work that meant something to me. Seeing this kind of initiative to foster an open learning environment was an incredible experience.
KLINEDINST PC A standout moment with Klinedinst PC was how open each attorney was. No matter the rank or what the attorney had going on, they were always available for discussion about workload, the internship overall and getting to know me personally. The attorneys were all very personable and made sure I felt like part of their team. Diversity and inclusion are important because they help create an atmosphere minorities can feel welcomed. With diversity and inclusion, students, like me, can recognize firms that will value them and give them opportunities for upward mobility.
University of San Diego School of Law
California Western School of Law
PAUL, PLEVIN, SULLIVAN & CONNAUGHTON, LLP My favorite moment of the summer was being able to assist with, and later observe, a full jury trial. It was amazing to see what I had been learning in law school put in to practice. I learned a lot during my first year of law school, but it was very enlightening to get an inside look at what it is like to practice law in San Diego. My greatest takeaway was that the attorneys I worked with truly wanted to help me learn about the practice, and were eager to help me get the most out of my summer. The entire experience made me excited about practicing law in San Diego.
Isabella Neal University of San Diego School of Law
Heather Linn Rosing
Chief Financial Officer, Shareholder
A stand-out moment when thinking about our DFP fellow from this summer was when she was able to perform as well as an associate on the first day. Each DFP fellow brings unique and different perspectives, and teaches us that there is often no single exclusive way to approach a problem or issue. As San Diego’s oldest law firm, diversity and inclusion allows the firm to be competitive in the diverse San Diego community, improving our ability to relate and respond to issues in the community.
Jacquelyne’s work ethic and great attitude thoroughly impressed us. She said “yes” to every project and brought genuine enthusiasm to each one. Jacquelyne accompanied one of our attorneys to a mediation earlier this summer to observe the process. Rather than just watching, she prepared thoroughly and actively engaged the mediator throughout the negotiation. Based on her knowledge of the case and the way she carried herself, the mediator gave her high praise. Our fellows have taught us that the only constant is change, and it is important for us to keep developing and innovating as a business.
Each year, we especially enjoy watching our DFP fellows when they first get the chance to apply theirlaw school knowledge and enthusiasm to real life situations. Having DFP fellows reminds us that although some aspects of the practice of law have changed dramatically over the past 10 or 20 years, developing the skills to be a successful young attorney still requires the same dedication and passion for the practice of law. PPSC is happy to support the DFP fellows as they begin their careers. Our summer fellows bring energy, enthusiasm and a breadth of life experience that contribute directly to our commitment to excellent client service. September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 37
PEREZ VAUGHN & FEASBY
All of the partners and associates at my firm were extremely diligent and thorough in mentoring me. The most important takeaway from my fellowship is that there is no “right” answer to legal writing. I went into the summer believing that every legal issue had a right answer that I just had to find. By the end of the summer, I was able to research the law efficiently, and confidently make arguments that my attorney could take into court.
Lillie Lawrence California Western School of Law
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP The Diversity Fellowship Program is an amazing opportunity for many who would otherwise be overlooked. I applied knowing that it would provide me with great experience and give me an opportunity to further hone my legal research and writing skills. What I did not know was that I would be a part of something bigger — I was selected to help promote diversity in the legal profession. I am proud to be a part of this program, a program that sees diversity for what it truly is — strength.
38 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
Mariam Saleh University of San Diego School of Law
California Western School of Law
Sandra Shippey Partner
Our fellow brought a perspective and passion from a younger generation that was missing from our conversations. Her background coupled with her youth and passion made her perspective invaluable.
Law school is only one component of a young lawyer’s training. There is no substitution to taking on a legal internship and immersing yourself in the experience. It was important for me to keep my expectations open and to learn by absorbing as much as possible during my time with the Public Defender. A single day shadowing my attorney in court taught me more about the process and court culture than I would have ever guessed by studying civil procedure alone.
Our fellow had a passion for the criminal justice system, which was genuine and deep-rooted in personal experiences. When our fellow invited every member of our firm to an election event to support a local prosecutor, the standout moment was her willingness to put herself “out there” for something she cares about. It was admirable, and we all respected her initiative.
SAN DIEGO PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE
Melissa assisted Jamie Quient with a pro bono matter helping a human trafficking survivor clear her criminal record related to her exploitation. Melissa met with the client and assisted Jamie in conducting an intake interview. She was professional, thoughtful and compassionate in her interactions with the client. She then helped prepare the client’s declaration, which will support the petition to vacate her criminal record. This work is incredibly impactful — if the petition is granted, this client will get a fresh start and will no longer have to live with this painful reminder of her past that these criminal charges represent.
Monique Carter Public Defender
Culture within any law firm is very important: It shapes people’s daily work life. How the culture is defined is determined by the management, the people and the priorities of the law firm. The San Diego Public Defender’s Office strives to put diversity at the forefront. The Diversity Fellowship Program allows us to continue our commitment to diversity while allowing 1Ls to have a great legal experience. We thoroughly enjoy the partnership and look forward to our continued commitment to DFP.
SEMPRA ENERGY Diversity and inclusion help creative minds come together to accomplish a task greater than ourselves. To get the best out of individuals, it is important to encourage and accept their personalities and positive ideas. For this reason, I hope to foster diversity and inclusion as I move forward in my career by engaging with others who think differently than I do.
Marissa Jimenez Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Diversity gives you an opportunity to experience things outside of your comfort zone. It educates you. It helps you see through others’ perspectives. It teaches you to appreciate the life you’ve lived thus far and illustrates what future opportunities you can take advantage of.
SHUSTAK REYNOLDS & PARTNERS, P.C. On the last day of work, I sat down with one of the partners and she talked to me about how she got to where she was. The fact that she is also diverse, showed me that success at the highest level is possible no matter where you come from. Diversity and inclusion are important to me because I believe the way you look should not define how successful you will be. I plan on fostering this by continuing to work hard in this profession and show that although I may look different, I am just as qualified as the next person.
SONY ELECTRONICS INC. The most important takeaway from my experience was realizing the difference between working in-house versus at a law firm of any size. By joining the legal department of a world-renowned company, I learned that in-house attorneys tackle a range of ever-changing issues on a timeline that doesn’t necessarily begin with the filing of a complaint. Working in-house means working in a world that combines law with business. This experience is something I credit for shaping me into a more tactical attorney, regardless of which field I practice in.
University of San Diego School of Law
California Western School of Law
Director, Law Department
Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University
A favorite moment of mine was watching our DFP fellows realize the immense opportunities they might have upon graduation. They were given projects to help our international law, employment law and litigation departments. Hearing the surprise in their voice, surrounding how much opportunity a law degree presents, was very refreshing.
Working with our fellow, Jordan Golden, affirmed my belief that having people of diverse backgrounds — race, gender, professional experience and so forth — at the table enhances our effectiveness as advocates. I applaud Jordan for taking on, at this early phase of what is sure to be a successful career, challenging assignments and navigating dynamic issues with poise and dedication.
Charlie Dispenzieri Counsel, Corporate Legal Department
The lawyers that worked with the fellow over the summer easily envisioned her as a new associate — already learning and participating on that level. We are very impressed with DFP. It is a unique and rewarding experience to be able to share the framework of the in-house experience. As most in-house lawyers have been practicing for a number of years, it is always interesting to learn how soon-to-be lawyers experience their entrance into this noble profession and what vision they hold for their lives and the world. The future of the legal profession is in good hands.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 39
WILSON TURNER KOSMO LLP I attended a mediation with Robin Wofford, one of the firm’s partners, and we ended up reaching a settlement. The mediation lasted 12 hours, but being around Robin and the client made the experience awesome. Some of us would never even make it through the door if we had to rely on our own sources and fortune. Now I have a lifetime of connections — business and family — that will continue to propel me through the legal experience by providing years of experience and letters of recommendations.
Julian Camper California Western School of Law
THANK YOU 2017 DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM PROGRAM EMPLOYERS ANDREWS ∙ LAGASSE ∙ BRANCH & BELL LLP
PEREZ WILSON VAUGHN & FEASBY
CAROTHERS DISANTE & FREUDENBERGER LLP
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP
COZEN O'CONNOR DUANE MORRIS LLP FERRIS & BRITTON, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
Carolina Bravo-Karimi Senior Associate
SAN DIEGO PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE
HIGGS FLETCHER & MACK, LLP
SHUSTAK REYNOLDS & PARTNERS, P.C.
SONY ELECTRONICS INC.
DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM PAUL, PLEVIN, SULLIVAN WILSON TURNER & CONNAUGHTON LLP KOSMO LLP Our firm is incredibly proud to have been a DFP employer since the program’s inception. We feel particularly lucky to have had Julian Camper work with us this past summer. While I hope Julian learned a lot at WTK, he also taught me a great deal. Julian reminded me about the importance and power of curiosity in the practice of law. Julian was fortunate to complete projects in every practice area in our firm, including employment, business and products liability. No matter the assignment Julian was tasked to complete, he did so with an infectious enthusiasm and positivity. He reminded everyone at the firm about the joys of the profession we have selected. 40 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
The SDCBA and ACC-SD’s Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP) has paired diverse first-year law students with law firms and corporate legal departments in San Diego since 2009. The goals of DFP are twofold: to increase the number of diverse attorneys in San Diego, and to introduce employer participants to competent recruits who might not have been identified through other traditional means.
Learn more about the program and how to participate in 2018 at www.sdcba.org/dfp.
LOOKING TO GET HIRED? Now seeking attorneys for our two new panels Debtor Representation and Enforcement of Judgments. Highlight Your Practice and Meet Potential Clients. Join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service. New and less stringent requirements; newer attorneys encouraged to apply. Contact Michelle Chavez at 619.321.4150 or email@example.com Learn more at www.sdcba.org/joinlris.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
An Evening in
a l l o J La
A N N UA
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
PASSED APPETIZERS SPONSOR
HORS Dâ€™OEUVRES SPONSOR
HOSTED BAR SPONSORS
We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for their generosity.
Allen Snyder & Lynne Lasry
EVENT SPONSORS Bob and Susan Vaage Brian & Lisa Brinig California Western School of Law Craig and Amber Sapin Dave Kempton & Drew Woodmansee David Carr
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP Howard Weiner ICM Private Client Group Jason Whooper Attorney at Law Joe and Colleen Ergastolo
Joy Chang Judge Victor Bianchini (Ret.) Kramm Court Reporting Lincoln Gustafson & Cercos, LLP Litivate Reporting & Trial Services Micaela & Tim Banach Monica Sherman- Ghiglia
Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez LLP SDG&E Stephen & Brigitte LaSala Storycloud T.Burd Law Group Union Bank
401 West A Street, Suite 1100 l San Diego, CA 92101 l www.sdcbf.org
San Diego Law Library: Changing Our Membership Model Why it needs to change and what we propose to do about it By SDLL Staff
oday, no one thinks twice about the opportunity to borrow legal reference materials from the San Diego Law Library. Fill out an application, pay the annual charge and borrow materials to continue your legal research in the comfort of your office or home. But that wasn’t always the case. In 1995, the San Diego Law Library began a groundbreaking program, circulating books to members of the San Diego legal community and county residents. Section 6360 of the Business and Professions Code allows county law libraries to charge borrowers to check out materials as long as the charge does “not exceed the cost of providing the service,” yet only a handful of the 54 operating county law libraries have a borrowing program. Despite the rising cost of books and services, the Law Library did not raise membership charges in 22 years. This year, we need to defray our costs and plan to ask the Board of Supervisors to allow us a small increase. Conventional wisdom suggests, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, this is not the case with our current program. Print research has not gone away and neither will our borrowing
program. However, the way legal information is accessed has changed dramatically. The digital age and the continuing transition from print to digital means we must expand beyond simply having a borrowing program. The Library is working on new research benefits that are distinct from borrowing books and will offer users an expanded range of digital options. Our goal is to engage our patrons by offering more choice and more flexibility so they can conduct the research that fits their needs. We are looking to offer a variety of benefit packages, which will include borrowing as well as use of electronic databases. Benefits may also include better access to our facilities to help you with your conference and meeting needs. For the past year, our membership department has conducted focus group interviews, town hall meetings and user surveys to get feedback regarding user needs. We aim to have our new program in place by January 2018, but our quest for new ideas is ongoing. To give your input, please take the short survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/3CMTG7B or contact our membership librarian at (619) 531-4443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
100 PERCENT CLUB 2017 The San Diego County Bar thrives only because of the support and talents of each and every one of our members. Thank you to our “100% Club” firms, whose attorneys are all members of the SDCBA in 2017. Your leadership and dedication to our profession is truly appreciated.
Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin, LLP Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP Antonyan Miranda, LLP Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo APLC Austin, Brownwood, Cannon & Santa Cruz Balestreri Potocki & Holmes ALC* Beamer, Lauth, Steinley & Bond, LLP Belsky & Associates Bender & Gritz, APLC Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP* Best Best & Krieger, LLP Blackmar, Principe & Schmelter APC Blanchard Krasner & French Bonnie R. Moss & Associates Brierton, Jones & Jones, LLP Brown Law Group Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Butterfield Schechter LLP Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP* Caufield & James LLP Christensen & Spath LLP Circuit McKellogg Kinney & Ross, LLP Cohelan Khoury & Singer D’Egidio Licari & Townsend, APC Dentons US LLP Devaney Pate Morris & Cameron LLP Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC District Attorney’s Office* Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne ALC* Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick, LLP Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC Erickson Law Firm APC Farmer Case & Fedor* Ferris & Britton, APC Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP Fischer & Van Theil, LLP Fleischer & Ravreby Fleming PC *
10+ years as 100 Percent Club
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP* Frantz Law Group APLC Fredrickson, Mazeika & Grant, LLP* Garmo & Garmo LLP Gatzke Dillon & Ballance LLP Gomez Trial Attorneys Goodwin Brown Gross & Lovelace LLP Graham Hollis APC Green Bryant & French, LLP* Greene & Roberts LLP Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden PC Grimm, Vranjes & Greer, LLP* Haeggquist & Eck, LLP Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney LLP Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP* Hoffman & Forde Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC Horton Oberrecht Kirkpatrick & Martha, APC* Hughes & Pizzuto, APC Jackson Lewis PC Judkins, Glatt & Hulme LLP* Kirby & McGuinn APC Klinedinst PC Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP Konoske Akiyama | Brust LLP Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.* Lincoln Gustafson & Cercos LLP Littler Mendelson PC McCloskey, Waring & Waisman LLP Men’s Legal Center Miller, Monson, Peshel, Polacek & Hoshaw* Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP Naimish & Lewis Law Neil, Dymott, Frank, McFall & Trexler APLC Nicholas & Tomasevic LLP Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP
Office of the San Diego City Attorney Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP* Peterson & Price, APC Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC Pope, Berger, Williams & Reynolds, LLP Preovolos Lewin & Hezlep, ALC Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP Pyle Sims Duncan & Stevenson APC RJS Law Rowe | Mullen LLP San Diego Unified Port District Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez LLP Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot LLP Selman Breitman, LLP Seltzer|Caplan|McMahon|Vitek, ALC* Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP* Shoecraft Burton, LLP Shustak Reynolds & Partners, PC Siegel, Moreno & Stettler, APC* Simpson Delmore Greene LLP Smith, Steiner, Vanderpool & Wax, APC Solomon, Grindle, Lidstad & Wintringer, APC Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith LLP Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP Stoel Rives LLP Stokes Wagner ALC Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel Summers & Shives, APC Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, LLP Walsh McKean Furcolo LLP Ward & Hagen LLP Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP* Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP Winet Patrick Gayer Creighton & Hanes ALC Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP Witham Mahoney & Abbott, LLP Withers Bergman LLP Wright, L’Estrange & Ergastolo
Individuals and organizations in our community were recently honored for a variety of achievements. The following is a list of recent community recognitions:
Todd Stevens, attorney with Keeney Waite & Stevens and SDCBA past president, was elected treasurer of the State Bar of California.
Solo practitioner Erik Weber received the California Assembly District 79's Extraordinary Male Leaders Award in the education category.
Juanita Brooks, principal with Fish & Richardson, was inducted into the California State Bar Litigation Sectionâ€™s Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
Catherine Rodman, attorney and director of Affordable Housing Advocates, was honored as Housing Champion by the San Diego Housing Federation.
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP attorney Aubrey Haddach was appointed co-chair of the American Bar Associationâ€™s Biotechnology Law Committee.
Sullivan Hill shareholder Christopher Hawkins was appointed vice president of the California Bankruptcy Forum.
Koji Fukumura, partner with Cooley LLP, will serve as chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.
Butterfield Schechter LLP associate Paul Woodard was selected as president-elect of the San Diego Chapter of Western Pension & Benefits Council.
Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP managing partner Fred Plevin was elected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman retired after serving 15 years on the bench.
Passings James "Jim" Hennenhoefer passed away in August. He served in Naval Intelligence until 1970 and retired from the Naval Reserves in 2001. James practiced law in San Diego for over 40 years.
If you know of SDCBA members who received accolades for work of a civic nature, or of passings in our legal community, email information to email@example.com.
September/October 2017 SAN DIEGO LAWYER 45
PHOTO GALLERY BARRISTER'S BALL Photos by J.T. MacMillan The SDCBA's Forum for Emerging Lawyers held its inaugural Barrister's Ball: Moonlight Masquerade at the Bella Vista Social Club and CaffÃ© on August 26.
Wendy Santiago, Leopoldo Santiago
Want to see more? Like our Facebook page! @sdcountybar #sdlaw
Daniel Halimi, Kimberly Soule
Beth Treglio, James Treglio
Paul Batta, Natalie Abbo
L-R: Laura Kelleher, Kevin Hambly, Stephanie Sandler
Julie Houth, Natalie Ortiz
Marisol Swadener, Kyle Pederson
Kim McCowan, Eugene Denton
L-R: Sara Meitzen, Jared Drucker, Ginamarie Matta, Philip Kunka
Rosemarie Stilson, Christopher Sunnen
ADVERTISERS INDEX ADR Services, Inc......................................... 34
Huver Mediation......................................... 14
AHERN Insurance........................................ 4
Judicate West ............................................... 29
Craig Higgs..................................................... 17
Kathryn Karcher........................................... 26
First Republic Bank..................................... 22
Law Firm of Richard L. Duquette...... 21
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP............................... 33
San Diego County Bar Foundation .......................................................42
Lawyer Referral & Information Service.......................................... 41
Glass Mediations......................................... 43 46 SAN DIEGO LAWYER September/October 2017
Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP.........................................30 Panish Shea & Boyle LLP...................................48 Pettit Kohn....................................................................15 Pokorny Mediations............................................. 2
West Coast Resolution Group............. 30
SDCBA Law Practice Management Partners Your SDCBA membership offers you a wide variety of member-only benefits and discounts from the following providers:
INSURING LAW FIRMS ONE POLICY AT A TIME
Member Benefit Providers
Learn more about exclusive offers from the providers above at
We don’t just settle cases
WE TRY THEM & WIN BIG. Largest Verdict
in North County San Diego Superior Court History
Largest Wrongful Death Verdict in Central District of California, U.S. District Court
Largest Wrongful Death Award
in Southern District of California, U.S. District Court
Largest Wrongful Death Verdict
for Death of Child in Orange County Superior Court
Largest Number of 8-Figure Verdicts of any law firm in California
Referrals - It’s a matter of dollars and sense. The attorneys of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have obtained some of the most significant verdicts and settlements in U.S. History - often setting records with their trial results. With more than fifteen 8-figure verdicts in the last 5 years, no other California firm wins this big as often as Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. Our presence on a case delivers maximum benefits and recovery, both to the client and the lawyer who refers the case. You’ll get the resources, experience and skills needed to win the most complex cases for individuals who have suffered injury from the wrongful acts of others. The firm handles third party cases and joint ventures with attorneys who want to stay more actively involved. Contact Panish Shea & Boyle LLP today to discuss how we may assist you.
Published on Oct 11, 2017
Inside this Issue: Diversity - Where We Are and Where We Want to Go; Building Success in Big Law; Big Firm Pro Bono Programs Have Big Impact