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David S. Casey, Sr.

Fellow, The International Society of Barristers

was installed as

Director, San Diego County Water Authority

second president of

Director, San Diego Air Pollution Committee

ABOTA San Diego

David S. Casey, Sr. Founding Partner, CaseyGerry President, ABOTA San Diego Chapter, 1957

Secretary, Democratic Party San Diego




Frederick Schenk

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continues this

President, 22nd District Agricultural Association, 2013-2016

legacy of leadership

Board of Governors, American Association for Justice, 2010-present

as president of ABOTA San Diego Chapter, 2021.

Select Affiliations

In 1957,

Robert L. Habush Endowment Board of Directors, American Association for Justice President, Civil Justice Foundation, 2005-2006 President, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 2000-2002 President, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, 1994 Emeritus Board Member, Consumer Attorneys of California

Frederick Schenk Partner, CaseyGerry President, ABOTA San Diego Chapter, 2021


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PRESIDENT'S COLUMN 2020: Reflecting on a Year of Challenges and Opportunities by Johanna Schiavoni LAW SCHOOL COLUMN Judicial Externships — Where Law School Meets Reality by Daniel Rosen

SAN DIEGO LAW LIBRARY 2020 Witkin Award Ceremony — A Virtual Success by Valerie Gragg


WHY I BELONG Get to Know Fred Taylor


WHAT TO DO WHEN ... You Don't Know What You Don't Know by Jonah A. Toleno

45 12

ETHICS Can't I Tell Them? by Edward McIntyre


TECHNOLOGY Tech Tips and Tidbits by Bill Kammer






SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR FOUNDATION Meet Alreen Haeggquist, the 2021 President of the San Diego County Bar Foundation


TUMULTUOUS TERMS A Sporting Good Time by George W. Brewster Jr.







MEET YOUR BAR-ISTA Phil Schneider, Chief Financial Officer


DISTINCTIONS Community members honored for their achievements





CALIFORNIA BAR EXAMINATION A Journey of Change, Hope, and Success by Jeremy M. Evans









DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM The Tree That Bends Does Not Break! by Bhashini Weerasinghe DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS Employers and fellows share their experiences DIVERSITY INCLUSION An Invitation to Lean Into Multicultural Experiences by Gayani Weerasinghe



A PATH TO THE PRACTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW My Inspiration, the Practice, and the Effect of COVID-19 by Matthew Storey


LATINA EQUAL PAY DAY There Is Still Work to Be Done by Marisol Swadener




November/December 2020






Issue 6, November/December 2020

Issue no. 6. 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 is included in their dues. Annual subscriptions to all others, $50.

Edward McIntyre

Editorial Board George W. Brewster Jr. James D. Crosby Devinder S. Hans Whitney Hodges Wendy House Anne Kammer

Michael G. Olinik Christine Pangan Wilson A. Schooley Renée N.G. Stackhouse Gayani Weerasinghe


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 © 2020 by the San Diego County Bar Association. All rights r­ eserved. Opinions expressed in San Diego Lawyer are those of the authors only and are not opinions of the SDCBA or the San Diego Lawyer Editorial Board. 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

President Johanna Schiavoni President-Elect Renée N.G. Stackhouse Immediate Past President Lilys D. McCoy Vice Presidents Gary S. Barthel Linh Y. Lam Teodora D. Purcell


Secretary Melissa Johnson

The opinions expressed by the authors and editors in

Treasurer David Majchrzak

San Diego Lawyer do not necessarily reflect an official

Directors Marissa A. Bejarano Victor E. Bianchini Roxy Carter Warren Den Nicholas J. Fox Brenda Lopez Wilson A. Schooley Khodadad D. Sharif Kimberly Swierenga New Lawyer Division Chair Stephanie Sandler

position of the San Diego County Bar Association.

SDCBA Staff — San Diego Lawyer Executive Director Jill Epstein 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone (619) 231-0781 • bar@sdcba.org • www.sdcba.org

Director of Marketing & Outreach Ron Marcus

Publications and Content Coordinator Hailey Johnson Marketing Manager Sasha Feredoni

Graphic Designer Attiba Royster

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November/December 2020


President’s Column by Johanna Schiavoni



e began 2020 brimming with optimism.

These include providing COVID-19

We took our Awards Ceremony and

Court Updates from across California's

Celebration of Community Service

Organizations everywhere

state and federal courts, adding new

virtual and honored nine attorneys,

were discussing their plans and “2020

features to This Week at the Bar focused

judges, and organizations for their

Vision.” Little did we all know the multi-

on Leadership Opportunities and a

distinguished service. We also

layered crises that would strike our

Legal Community Calendar, updating

continued our tradition of hosting

local and global communities. From the

members about the SDCBA’s response

our Law Week poster and video contest

COVID-19 pandemic and associated

to COVID-19 every month, expanding

for K-12 students around San Diego

economic downturn, to the movement

and diversifying the content on the

County — recognizing the winners for

for racial justice, the recent elections,

SDCBA Blawg@401 blog, enhancing our

their work to celebrate the theme

and a degradation of our civil discourse,

social media presence, and continuing

of the 100th anniversary of the

at times 2020 has felt overwhelming

to bring you thoughtful content through

19th Amendment.

and unending.

San Diego Lawyer magazine.

Yet, reflecting on this year, I am

In the Spring, we launched our

has been a hit — helping hundreds of

reminded of how we at the San Diego

Why I Belong campaign, featuring

new attorneys navigate areas ranging

County Bar Association developed

members across our Association.

from civil practice to family law.

and sustained a different kind of "2020

We recently rolled out a new add-on

We also hosted Town Hall events about

vision." After defining our Core Values in

CLE Annual Pass that provides members

COVID-19 and to help small firm and

2018 (Community, Inclusion, Innovation,

with unlimited access to our library of

solo attorneys, and just wrapped up our

Leadership, Growth, and Celebration),

educational content — newly branded

Annual Membership Meeting, reporting

in January of this year, our Board and

as the SDCBA CLE Center™.

back on this year’s activities.

Goal 2. Provide unique, relevant, and targeted programming

Our Sections produced 61 programs,

are proud that the goals remain salient.

Upon closing our Bar Center in early

dozen events, including a Halloween

And we have worked hard to turn 2020’s

March, the organization immediately

Mask-erade and a bar-wide ethics CLE

challenges into opportunities.

became a fully virtual operation.

focused on civility that drew more than

Reaching an ever-broader audience, we

200 attendees.

Our re-launched Court Practice Series

Staff mapped out six ambitious strategic goals to guide the Association’s work for the next three years. Our execution of these goals looks and feels different than we anticipated in January — but we

including 48 topical and timely CLEs and a number of networking events. Our New Lawyer Division hosted a

The SDCBA's top priority in 2020 was to

have offered more than 180 programs

connect our members with one another

and events this year. And so much of

Our Committee on Diversity and

and with the courts, and to provide the

that programming is driven by you.

Inclusion presented our annual Dialogue on Diversity focused on voting

tools and resources lawyers need to achieve success and fulfillment.

Our State of the Courts Addresses with

rights, hosted a creative Holidays

Indeed, that is the heart of our new

the state and federal trial and appellate

Around the World in partnership with

mission statement.

courts drew the highest attendance of

our diversity and specialty bars, and

any programs in SDCBA history —

published an electronic cookbook

reaching nearly 6,000 attendees.

featuring recipes from contributors

We reimagined our “Bench-Bar”

across our legal community. 2020 also

luncheons as a virtual Breakouts with

saw the launch of our Anti-Racism

Though we haven’t been able to gather

the Bench series, examining how each

Subcommittee and its monthly

in person or at our Bar Center since

department of the San Diego Superior

Exchange on Equity roundtable series,

March, we have sought to engage

Court has evolved its operations, with

supporting our legal community’s

our membership through enhanced

Zoom breakout rooms for judges,

efforts to better educate ourselves

communications and online resources.

lawyers, and law students to network.

and learn how to be anti-racist.

Goal 1. Sustain, grow, and engage our membership




November/December 2020

Goal 3. Keep our membership at the forefront of technology We’ve produced an extensive series of Tech Tuesday webinars (34 and counting!) focused on technology and law practice management. They cover essential topics from how to use various online presentation platforms and court e-filing systems to leveraging Word, Excel, Outlook, Adobe, and more. We also produced our first ever Member Benefit Expo (MEMBO!), as well as a week-long Marketing May series, our second annual Truly Madly Solo conference, and a recent 4-part series on building

Goal 5. Build lawyers as leaders Heading into 2020, we revamped the structure of our 29 Committees and Subcommittees, and for the first time, solicited an open call for committee selfnominations. This resulted in a significant expansion of committee involvement by new members, and an opportunity for our members to further hone their leadership skills. Our dedicated committee members worked with our staff to advance significant professionfocused, governance-focused, and community-focused projects throughout the year, and they are a huge reason the Association made so much progress on its goals.

your law firm website. You can easily find our content library (most of which is free for members) on the SDCBA’s website under the “For Members” tab. And our resident Technology and Practice Management Advisor continued providing free one-on-one consulting,

Our Leadership Speaker Series soared to new heights, with record interest and attendance at our sessions about virtual presentations, serving on government boards and commissions, and how to be a TV legal commentator. We have more program ideas in the hopper for 2021 and welcome your input.

which has proved an invaluable resource for our members.

Goal 4. Promote and provide wellness offerings The Wellness Subcommittee formally launched this year to actively support well-being in the legal profession. In addition to offering free daily yoga early in the pandemic and a monthly Mindful Meditation session, we presented programs focused on professional self-assessment, the five dimensions of well-being, and addressing workforce worries.

After careful vetting through our Public Positions Advisory Committee, the SDBCA took more than a dozen public positions this year, including condemning racist and xenophobic descriptions of COVID-19, condemning racism and violence against communities of color, and supporting the formation of an independent Commission on Police Practices within the City of San Diego. We also hosted two virtual Community Building Luncheons, inviting the leaders of the 46 other law-related organizations in San Diego to join in strategic dialogue and idea-sharing — particularly beneficial in this time of crisis.

In November, we delivered a mindfulness series, including Mindful Minute videos and articles — all now available on the SDCBA’s website under “For Members” and Wellness. And combining wellness and advocacy, the SDCBA is advocating that the State Bar expand competency credits.

without raising membership dues for 2021. We also have been working diligently on medium and long-range planning to ensure the SDCBA’s financial sustainability.

An Extraordinary Team Effort As with any effort in an organization like ours, this is a team effort. It has been an honor and privilege to serve alongside our dedicated Board of Directors. Each member has brought vision, creativity, collaboration, and fortitude to help lead this Association and our legal community this year. We also are grateful to our innovative and talented staff. This capable and resilient team made it possible for us to deliver high caliber programs, services, and resources to our membership and the community this year. We also are immensely grateful for the more than 500 volunteers who serve within the SDCBA — in our Sections, Committees and Subcommittees, New Lawyer Division, and in other capacities including as volunteers through our Wills for Heroes, Guardian ad Litem, and Access to Appellate Justice programs. Their willingness to innovate and continue to serve our members and the public has been remarkable. Without a doubt, this year has been challenging for our profession and our community. Nevertheless, we believe this year’s successes are cause for optimism. Despite being physically distant, we hope you have continued to feel connected to the SDCBA and to one another. And, as we say farewell to 2020, we want to celebrate and thank you — our members. We very much look forward to seeing you in 2021!

Goal 6. Ensure financial sustainability to meet the needs of our members By meticulously managing our revenue and expenses, the SDCBA will finish 2020 in a positive financial position —

Johanna Schiavoni (johanna.schiavoni@ calapplaw.com) is a certified specialist in appellate law, and her practice at California Appellate Law Group LLP focuses on civil appeals in state and federal courts.



November/December 2020


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uch of law school is focused on giving students a basic understanding of the law as well as foundational skills, such as issue spotting, case analysis, and writing. Those alone are insufficient to turn students into competent lawyers. Law schools understand this and encourage or require students to gain some practical experience before they graduate. The question remains though: how best to translate that rudimentary conception of what the law is into an understanding of how it actually operates in the real world.

on pending motions. This requires externs to grapple

That is where judicial externships come in. Unlike other experiential opportunities, which require students to work from the perspective of a particular party, judicial externships call upon students to independently and objectively assess cases and legal issues. Because of the court’s neutrality, some might bemoan the apparent lack of “advocacy” in judicial externships. However, there is true value in being the one who evaluates arguments, as such a perspective provides insights into legal practice that may be lost in the fog of vigorous advocacy. Simply put, the ability to determine the law that governs a case and understand how to objectively apply it are both essential prerequisites for effective advocacy. Without them, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to provide a realistic assessment of a given case and, by extension, make the tactical decisions that offer the best chances of success.

they get to do this under the close supervision of experienced

with areas of the law that they may not be familiar with, to understand the arguments raised by the parties, and ultimately draft an order that disposes of the issues. In many cases, externs have the chance to work on motions they might otherwise have to wait years in practice to write. By performing these tasks, externs are challenged to educate themselves on complex legal and procedural issues, while simultaneously gaining a better appreciation of which tools of advocacy work in practice. Most importantly, law clerks and without the same consequences that are part and parcel of representing a party. I have found judicial externships to be the most valuable experience of my law school career. Without them, I would not have the same understanding of the law or the appreciation for the role of the courts in resolving disputes. I would encourage any student to pursue a judicial externship. The reward is an opportunity to understand the judicial decision-making process and sharpen the skills that ultimately transform law students into effective advocates.

Daniel Rosen (drosen@sandiego.edu) is a 3L at the University of San Diego School of Law and has served as an extern for five federal judges.

How do judicial externships help students develop these skills? The majority of an extern’s time is devoted to working

TO OUR READERS The United States Supreme Court has become a central topic of debate. We would like your opinion. In a letter to the editors, please express: if or how you would alter the way justices are chosen and how the court works. We will publish a representative sample. Send your response to Editors, at hjohnson@sdcba.org with the subject line “Opinion - USSC Justice Selection.” Julie T. Houth and Edward McIntyre, Co-Editors



November/December 2020


ETHICS by Edward McIntyre

CAN'T I TELL THEM? Cartoon by George W. Brewster Jr.

Macbeth opened the daily Zoom meeting. Sarah’s and

“No, thankfully.”

Duncan’s boxes lit up on his screen. “Good. Do any of these declarations criticize legal work “Hello to both of you. All well?”

you’ve performed for the company?”

Sarah answered, “I’m fine, Macbeth. How are you?”

“No. My role was strictly domestic employment and intellectual property rights. The declarations, by and large,

“All’s well, Uncle. With you?”

address foreign transactions. Payments to foreign officials.

“Good to hear. Quite fine. I’ve asked Austin, a lawyer in my Inn

That kind of thing.”

of Court, to join us.” Some clicks. Another box lit up.

“OK. Very good. Who’d like to go first?”

“Welcome Austin. Glad you could be with us.”

Sarah took the lead. “As in-house lawyer, the company was your client. So, among other duties, you owe it a duty

“Thanks for having me.”

of confidentiality. California, as we know, has the strictest

“Austin raised an interesting issue that our Inn meeting didn’t have time to address. I thought we’d do well to discuss it. Austin, perhaps you’d begin.” “I’m a former in-house lawyer at a local company. I left after disagreeing with senior management. Frankly, I didn’t like

confidentiality obligation of any jurisdiction." “What’s that mean when I’m deposed?” “Likely means you won’t say very much.” “How come? I want to tell the truth.”

some business practices and couldn’t get executives to change. Wasn’t an ugly parting. But I’m not their favorite

“Of course. Where you can answer, you have to. But

guy, either.”

confidentiality sweeps much broader than the attorneyclient privilege. The latter — just a testimonial privilege.

Duncan spoke. “I can imagine.”

With several exceptions. Limited to lawyer-client

Austin picked up. “The company’s now locked in litigation.

communication related to seeking or giving legal advice.”

Executives have filed declarations with stuff I know is just

“Precisely. But what I know has nothing to do with legal

false. Lies. I don’t know how much the company’s lawyers

advice I gave. Or advice the company asked for. It has to do

know. Probably not the whole story. Now the lawyers suing

with the conduct of these executives —”

the company want my deposition. This may be my chance to set the record straight. I intend to tell the truth. But how far

Macbeth interrupted, “A quick question, if I may.

can I go?”

These executives are sufficiently high in the organization that their ‘conduct’ might harm or at least embarrass

Macbeth started. “Just for clarity, Austin, you’re not a party to the litigation?” 12



November/December 2020

the company?”


Doesn’t that count?”

“Thought so. Sarah, pardon the interruption. Please continue.”

Sarah picked up. “Not for your confidentiality obligation. It lasts so long as the lawyer’s alive.”

“OK. The attorney-client privilege deals with communication. By contrast, our confidentiality obligation covers all information acquired in relation to the representation. From whatever source. Even if it’s public. So long as the client wants it kept confidential. Or its disclosure would be detrimental or embarrassing to the client.”

“So, when they ask at my deposition, what I know —” Macbeth chuckled. “You invoke your ethical obligations under Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9(c) and Business and Professions Code section 6068, subdivision (e)(1). And silently watch them fume.”

“You mean what I observed? Not just what someone told me?”

Sarah added, “I can give you a lot of legal authority to support your position.”

“Sounds like information to me.”

“Should I have my own lawyer? At the deposition?”

“What about exceptions? There have gotta be exceptions.” “Just two. If the client gives informed consent to the disclosure.”

Macbeth grew serious. “Many lawyers conflate attorneyclient privilege and our confidentiality obligation. Few practice in this area. Given confidentiality’s seriousness, you might consider having Sarah there. As your personal lawyer. If there’s a motion down the road, she can make a

“Not likely here.”

good record for you.”

“Absent that, only if a lawyer reasonably believes a client is about to commit a crime. Reasonably resulting in death or serious bodily harm to someone. Then, the lawyer may, but isn’t required, to disclose the information. But only to the extent necessary to prevent the crime. Only after trying to dissuade the client from going forward.”

“Wow, Macbeth. That’d be great. Sarah, would you consider it?” “Of course, Austin. Helping lawyers is what we do. Lawyers are our favorite people.”

“How about serious financial harm. I mean, disaster on

Editorial Note: COPRAC Formal Opn. 2016-195 has an

roller skates.”

excellent discussion of, and collects authorities on, the duty of confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege.

“Not in California.”

See calbar.ca.gov under “Ethics Opinions.”

Duncan spoke. “We call it the ‘murder/mayhem’ exception. Easy to remember.” “But I’m no longer representing the company.



Edward McIntyre (edmcintyre@ethicsguru.law) is a professional responsibility lawyer and co-editor of San Diego Lawyer.

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TECHNOLOGY by Bill Kammer

TECH TIPS AND TIDBITS Ransomware Responses In late September, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), jointly with a multistate agency, released a Ransomware Guide. Sections of the guide include a discussion of ransomware prevention best practices and a checklist of responses to ransomware attacks, which can be found here: www.cisa.gov/publication/ransomware-guide. Ransomware attacks can have devastating effects upon law firms, causing major disruption and economical damages, plus potential effects on client relationships and the possibility of ethical violations. As always, lawyers remain soft targets because of a perceived lack of security and their possession of valuable client and financial information. Many smaller firms and companies often pay the ransom, perceiving that as the simplest solution. The Treasury Department just complicated that decision by

mischief. The FBI’s leading recommendation is the use of a virtual private network (VPN) whenever we sign on to a public network. Its recent report also includes a list of signs indicating your device has been compromised, and recommendations for responsive actions if your device has been compromised, which you can find here: www.ic3.gov/media/2020/201006.aspx

Zoom and MS Teams Concerns Even though many have returned to physical offices, others continue to work in home offices, even if only a few days a week. The use of video conferencing networks such as Zoom and Teams will continue to grow no matter where we work. As we become more facile in our use of these methodologies, we need to address certain issues that will frequently arise. For instance, the organizer of the Zoom or Teams meeting should determine whether to prevent

warning that paying ransomware attackers might trigger

recording and understand how to do that. And lawyers must

sanctions violations.

remember that even if they control recording within the application, any viewer or participant can record the sounds and scenes of an event with an external device such as a

Hotel Cybersecurity

mobile phone.

Lawyers travel frequently, though perhaps not so much in 2020. Years ago, we were cautioned about the lack of

Similarly, we must use passwords for our meetings to

security when using hotel computers to print documents,

prevent easy, unwanted intrusion. We should never

presentations, and boarding passes. We were warned of

provide those passwords in anything other than a secure

the dangers of inserting thumb drives in other persons’

transmission. Zoom bombings continue to occur at court

computers because doing so might transfer malware

hearings, public meetings, and law firm presentations.

secreted on those computers to our USB drives. Back home

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The first traces

later, we might transfer that malware to our office systems

of that saying appeared about 200 years ago, but its

and personal computers, compromising or damaging them.

admonition remains equally valid today.

Now, the FBI has issued a warning about the risks inherent

Phishing and Vishing

in hotel Wi-Fi. Hotels focus on convenience to guests rather than strong security practices, often providing

By now, we all know the dangers of phishing as a gateway to

simple passwords easily guessed by those seeking to do

attacks on our networks, offices, and storage. Much has been




November/December 2020

written about education, training, and regular reminders.

2020, the new risks presented by vishing can expose home

But the attacks continue, often taking new forms. The entry

office systems and networks to penetration and damage.

may occur from any direction, not only from emails and

Once that occurs, the offices we link to are also subject to

malevolent links and documents, but also from social media.

attack. The threat convinced the FBI and CISA to issue a

For instance, hackers have recently used direct messages

joint advisory with several suggestions that companies can

on Twitter that warn the recipient of reported violations of

implement to help mitigate the threat from these vishing

Twitter’s copyright guidelines. Demanding an immediate

attacks (FBI-CISA Product A20-233A).

response, the message directs the user to click on the link and verify the account. Eternal vigilance.

'Down for everyone or just me?'

We all are at risk. Some suggest that the small and home

You will probably recognize that phrase as a website that

offices are the least prepared to resist and thwart attacks,

helps you figure out whether your problem is everyone’s

but even the largest firms have suffered substantial losses. In

problem. As many shift their offices to the cloud, we

2017, DLA Piper, one of the largest firms, had to shut down its

rely upon the constant availability of Outlook email and

systems for a substantial period because of an attack.

Office365. However, we have recently learned those cloud

And recently, Seyfarth Shaw, a firm with about 900 lawyers,

systems are not always reliable, and their down status leaves

was targeted by a weekend malware attack that appeared to

us with few alternatives. We can’t do much about that, but at

be ransomware. They reacted immediately to limit damage

least we can track the problems at websites such as

or compromise, but their systems and email remained down

https://downdetector.com/status/office-365 and

for a significant period.


Vishing may be an unfamiliar phrase, but it signifies voice phishing. Previously, it usually referred to an attack on an individual that sought a Social Security number or credit

Bill Kammer (wkammer@swsslaw.com) is a partner with Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP.

card information. However, for those working at home in

Your client’s winning edge on appeal is Kathryn Karcher. Hire her, before the other side does.

karcherappeals.com Certified Appellate Specialist, Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California



The COVID-19 pandemic played a

in several new positions, but I also

of family law. I was asked to be a guest

significant role in my decision to work

wanted and needed to spend as

speaker on La Poderosa, a local radio

for myself. My tenure as a Senior

much time as possible with my father.

station, and in a video interview for the

Associate Attorney came to an end in

Running my own firm was the only way

San Diego County Bar Association’s

June 2020 when I decided not to return

I could guarantee the flexibility that I,

Lawyer Referral and Information

to the office in person on a full-time

my family, and our community needed.

Service to discuss the pandemicinduced changes to family law.

basis. After working for the firm for Once I decided to work for myself,

I happily agreed to make these

I started a checklist of all that was

appearances, which reached a wide

needed to be able to do so. Luckily,

audience. Colleagues have also offered

I had run a solo practice my first two

to interview me on their YouTube

and cons.

years of practice and simply needed

channels to help offer guidance to their

to retrace my steps. Within three

viewers and to help me with marketing.

Working for someone else meant I

business days, my solo practice was

would be obligated to play by their

up and running. Then, five months

I will never forget the words that the

later, I became a Founding Partner of

Hon. Patricia Guerrero, an Associate

Patterson, Lopez, Banuelos, Khiterman,

Justice for the Court of Appeal for the


Fourth Appellate District in California,

nearly six years, I was left with two choices: either work for another firm or work for myself. I chose the latter rather quickly after balancing the pros

rules. This would range from things like abiding by a minimum billable hour requirement, no choice over the cases I handled, and having no voice regarding the firm culture or branding. Of course, working for a firm would allow me to have a steady flow of income, and work with a full staff. Running my own law practice would allow me to have a say in the brand, the clients, and my work schedule. However, working for myself would be a financial risk. There would be no guarantee of income, yet my bills were guaranteed to keep coming in monthly. When I wrote out the pros and cons, I realized what was important: I wanted to have a say in the marketing, I wanted a firm that reflected my values, and flexibility over my schedule. This became an even bigger priority because my family learned earlier this year that my father was diagnosed

said to me during an orientation at the I knew I needed to keep costs low

Sixth Avenue Courthouse in 2012.

because I was not sure when my first

She told us to guard our reputation

client would be retained or whether

and that it took only one bad act to

I would have a steady flow of clients

damage it forever. I took her words to

wanting to retain me. My relationship with vendors helped me keep costs low as many offered discounted rates. I was able to secure office space at a reduced rate given the pandemic. With the pandemic, networking now took the form of social media, YouTube, and Zoom. I embraced this new forum as it has allowed me to broaden the net of people I connect with. I found that more people were logging into Zoom meetings from outside of the downtown area whom I rarely got to see at live events. enhanced my visibility. The pandemic has caused a lot of

committed to serve my community

uncertainty, including within the area



and courteous in my practice, while maintaining my strong work ethic. I think it is because of this that I have welcomed a steady stream of referrals from my colleagues, former clients, and friends. It is strange to think that even in these uncertain times, happiness and success can be found. The pandemic has reminded me of what is important in life and pushed me to become my own boss, again.

Also, YouTube videos and social media

with cancer. So, not only was I now


heart and have tried to be professional

November/December 2020

Brenda Lopez, CFLS (brendalopez_esq@ outlook.com) is a Family Law Attorney at PLBK.

HOW COVID-19 PLAYED A ROLE IN GOING SOLO By Stephanie Sandler “I swear I’m not crazy,” is a phrase I have been saying a lot

“normal” life, you start to very quickly reevaluate your

lately. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why I’ve gotten my

priorities. I began to think critically about the kind of life

fair share of raised eyebrows over Zoom and what I can only

I wanted to give her. That comfortable, regular income

assume are smirks behind face masks from 6 feet away.

suddenly didn’t seem guaranteed in this “new normal.”

This year, I have had two major life changes: (1) my daughter

But I knew I could always count on my own ingenuity and

was born and (2) I decided to start my own practice. Starting

drive for success. Besides, with everyone stuck at home,

my own practice in the middle of a pandemic, with a newborn, sounds absolutely wild. But, honestly, these two events are the only things salvaging 2020 for me. As with most practitioners, regular income is very comforting — especially when you’re preparing for a baby. I thought working 10- to 12-hour days was stressful, but a

that meant my new firm would be on the same playing field as even the big law firms in town. So, I decided to take a chance and I’m really glad I did. Although I practice solo, I still work for someone else. She is 7 months old, and the best boss I’ve ever had.

newborn is the most relentless boss. About two weeks after my daughter was born, California went into lockdown.

Stephanie Sandler (ssandler@thesandlerfirm.com) is the Principal Attorney at Sandler Law, a San Diego plaintiff’s employment and personal injury firm.

When you’re holding a newborn, locked inside your house, and wondering if this tiny human will ever get to experience

THANK YOU TO OUR PATRON & FRIEND MEMBERS The SDCBA gratefully acknowledges the generous commitment provided by members who support our community at the Patron and Friend membership levels. You can become a Patron or Friend member when you activate or renew your membership online, or by request at any time. If you are interested in upgrading, contact mbr@sdcba.org. For more information, please contact our Member Services Department at (619) 231-0781 x3505.

PATRON MEMBERS Marc D. Adelman Doc Anthony Anderson Mylinh Uy Arnett Jane Allison Austin Hon. Victor E. Bianchini (Ret.) Jedd E. Bogage Connie Broussard James A. Bush Adriana Cara Jose S. Castillo Andy Cook Steven T. Coopersmith Ezekiel E. Cortez Taylor Darcy Warren K. Den Thomas M. Diachenko John A. Don William O. Dougherty Alexander Isaac Dychter Matthew J. Faust Sergio Feria Nicholas J. Fox James P. Frantz

Matthew David Freeman Jennifer French Erin M. Funderburk Douglas A. Glass Richard A. Golden Alvin M. Gomez Camille Gustafson Hon. Charles R. Hayes (Ret.) Van E. Haynie Matthew C. Hervey Stephen M. Hogan Richard A. Huver Fred C. James A. Melissa Johnson Carla B. Keehn Garrison “Bud” Klueck Don S. Kovacic Steven Henry Lorber Garrett Marshall Lilys D. McCoy Jillian M. Minter Raymond J. Navarro Virginia C. Nelson

David B. Norris Ron H. Oberndorfer Anthony J. Passante Kristin Rizzo Michael J. Roberts Ana M. Sambold Wendi E. Santino Thomas P. Sayer Johanna S. Schiavoni Pamela J. Scholefield Khodadad Darius Sharif Hon. Stephanie Sontag (Ret.) Renée N.G. Stackhouse Todd F. Stevens Christopher J Sunnen Genevieve A. Suzuki Kimberly Swierenga Amanda L. Thompson Thomas J. Warwick Andrew H. Wilensky Karen M. ZoBell


Hon. Bonnie M. Dumanis (Ret.)

Marguerite C. Lorenz

Laura Ashborn

Susan K. Fox

Christine Murphy

Steven Barnes

Ronald Leigh Greenwald

Anne Perry

Linda Cianciolo

Mark Kaufman

Kristi E. Pfister

David B. Dugan

Randall E. Kay

Stella Shvil

Meet Alreen Haeggquist, the 2021 President of the San Diego County Bar Foundation


lreen Haeggquist’s commitment to giving a voice to the underrepresented runs deep. Her parents fled Communist Burma for India, and then Pakistan, to create a better life for her and her siblings. By the time the family moved to Los Angeles, Alreen was only two and as she grew up, she began to understand the sacrifices her parents had made to create a better life for their children. And when she passed the bar exam in 2002, she immediately set to work on behalf of consumers and employees. For nearly two decades, Haeggquist has represented employees who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, and discriminated against at work, and she has successfully represented plaintiffs in employment claims against some of the most recognizable companies in the world. Today, the overwhelming majority of her clients are women who have suffered egregious wrongs at the hands of their employers. Her commitment to equality, respect, and giving a voice to all makes her the perfect fit to lead the San Diego County Bar Foundation (SDCBF) as President in 2021. A graduate of California Western School of Law, Haeggquist started her firm in the midst of the 2008 recession, and what began as a small partnership has grown to a team of 12. The firm prides itself on an inclusive, holistic approach to attorney and staff development, and has developed a reputation for fearlessness in the face of some of the most formidable and deep-pocketed corporate defendants in American business. Earlier this year, Haeggquist was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America and among the Top 25 Women San Diego Super Lawyers, and earned a spot on The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list.

Alreen Haeggquist and members of the SDCBF Board at the 22nd Annual: An Evening in La Jolla

“Showing up every day to a business I built reminds me that no matter how much the odds are against you, all it takes is one person to believe in you to make a difference,” Haeggquist said. Haeggquist has served on the SDCBF board since 2017, in addition to her role as the Managing Partner at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP. Her work as Chair of the SDCBF Grants Committee, a role she has held for two years, resulted in nearly $1 million in grants being awarded to area nonprofits fighting for legal justice for communities impacted by poverty, abuse, and discrimination. These are causes Haeggquist is proud to support. “Chairing the Grants Committee has shown me how important it is for our Foundation to raise money for these organizations that rely on our support to deliver much needed legal services to so many in need, like foster children, domestic violence survivors, immigrants and individuals living on the streets,” Haeggquist said. “The Foundation provides an opportunity for the legal community to give back to the local community that has given us so much.” As President, Haeggquist will lead a board of 24 other professionals committed

to providing access to justice for the underserved in San Diego, many of whom are practicing local lawyers. As President, Haeggquist will focus on making new connections to expand SDCBF’s reach and fundraising efforts. As COVID-19 continues to impact organizations like the Foundation, Haeggquist is confident SDCBF will continue to serve as a conduit between the San Diego legal community and charitable legal organizations.

“We have had to get creative in ways to continue our fundraising efforts during a global pandemic, including virtual events and swag bags delivered to donors’ homes,” Haeggquist said. “Our board is more committed than ever to raising funds for the amazing organizations that rely on our grants to help those most in need in our community.” Every year, Haeggquist and members of the board of directors pay personal visits to the dozens of nonprofit organizations that apply for grants. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, SDCBF is planning to award between $100,000 to $150,000 in General Grant funds in December of 2020 and in upwards of over $400,000 in total funding this year when including grants for Indigent Criminal Defense. In 2019, SDCBF awarded a total of $401,000 to 21 local nonprofit organizations, providing legal services, public awareness education and improvements to the region’s justice and court system. Since it began its grants program in 1979, the Bar Foundation has distributed more than $4 million to more than 50 legal aid and public interest organizations. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.sdcbf.org/donate www.sdcbf.org/donate.. SAN DIEGO LAWYER


November/December 2020


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DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM The Tree That Bends Does Not Break! By Bhashini Weerasinghe


s we reflect on the loss of Justice Ruth Bader

in the history of the program. Shortly after this year's fellows

Ginsburg and what her contributions were to

were matched with employers, California declared statewide

the field of law, we are also reminded that this

shutdowns to address the threat of COVID-19. Given the

brilliant legal mind, who graduated first in her class from

uncertainty of the situation, the SDCBA took decisive

Cornell University and Columbia Law School (after being at

action and created a Pandemic Response Subcommittee

the top of her class at Harvard Law for two years), struggled

comprised of Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

to find a job because of gender discrimination. Juxtaposing

members Blanca Quintero, Julie Wolff, Marissa Bejarano,

her struggles to the image of her law clerks, many of

Marvin Mizell, Sed Zangana, Shelly Skinner, Stephanie Chow,

whom were women, standing on the steps of the United

Sarah Harris, and Bhashini Weerasinghe.

States Supreme Court to meet her casket, was a powerful reminder that we can make meaningful gains in our lifetime.

“A tree that is unbending is easily broken,” is attributed as

It is about opening opportunities for each other, building

an old Chinese proverb and is a guiding principle this year

pipelines, and helping the next generation succeed.

as we pivoted to make the program workable for as many of our employers and fellows as possible. The employers

In the celebration of her legacy, we are also reminded of

were given the flexibility to delay the start date, shorten

the lack of racial and ethnic diversity that exists in the legal

the fellowship, decrease the number of hours, and/or

field. According to the ABA — despite the fact that roughly

shift the fellowship to the fall, winter, or spring semesters.

half of the law graduates have been women since 2000 —

Switching our events to online formats and launching a pilot

in 2019, women in law firms made up 47% of associates,

mentorship program, we gave our fellows the opportunity

31% of non-equity partners, and 21% of equity partners.

to network with attorneys despite COVID-19.


When it comes to women of color in law firms, in 2019, only 14% were associates, 5% non-equity partners, and 3% equity partners.


Learn more about the Program and ways to participate in 2021 at www.sdcba.org/dfp.

Increasing diversity and actively engaging diverse

Bhashini Weerasinghe (bw@bhashinilaw. com) is the owner of the Law Office of Bhashini Weerasinghe and Director of the SDCBA-ACC Diversity Fellowship Program.

community members can lead to benefits such as “better problem-solving, enhanced decision-making, more collaboration, more creativity, and more productivity.”3 One way to actively contribute to increasing diversity and help our profession better reflect the clients we serve would be to participate in programs such as the SDCBA-


American Bar Association, ABA Profile of the Legal Profession 79 (2020), available at https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/ aba/administrative/news/2020/07/potlp2020.pdf.




Denise M. Sharperson, "Moving Beyond the Illusion of Inclusion: Appreciating the Importance and Value of Inclusion in Creating a Diverse Profession," 36 GP Solo 4, (July/August 2019), available at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/diversity/ DiversityCommission/vol5-issue1/Illusion_of_Inclusion/.


2020 had 21 employers signed up but due to COVID-19, one of our employers was not able to continue with the program.

ACC Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP), which was launched in 2009. DFP, with its competitive application process, finds the best and brightest diverse first-year and part-time secondyear law students from ABA-accredited law schools and matches them to prominent employers. This year had 20 employers4 hosting 24 fellows, making it the largest class



November/December 2020


DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? If you are interested in participating as an employer or a fellow, visit www.sdcba.org/dfp or contact Bhashini Weerasinghe, DFP Director, at 619-352-0519 or bw@bhashinilaw.com.



Jennifer Hamilton – Partner

Lydia Tran – USD

Each year, we are reminded by our DFP fellows

Diversity is important to me because it

how much they want to learn and how important

encourages diverse thinking. We live

mentoring is. Without fail, each of our fellows

in a country with people from many

has been extremely eager to learn from their

backgrounds. There is no way the law can

experience and to create relationships. It

accurately support diverse individuals if the

encourages us to stop and remind ourselves what

legal field does not include people from

it was like to be at that point of our careers and

different backgrounds.

what things we can do to make a positive impact.



Sarah Mason – Associate General Counsel

Jennifer Menjivar – California Western

At BD, we believe diversity removes barriers,

It is important to have diversity and inclusion

attracts the best and brightest talent, and

in the legal field to be able to provide

uncovers new business opportunities. BD is

different ideas and perspectives. I hope

committed to fostering an inclusive culture

that in the future I will be able to provide

where top talent can work together across

mentorship to first-generation law students

functional and geographic boundaries, share

much like myself.

diverse perspectives and capabilities, and deliver superior outcomes for our business.


Marcel Garcia – USD I believe diversity and inclusion are paramount for the survival of our society. Diversity and inclusion provide different perspectives, experiences, and ideas that allow us to have a more comprehensive understanding of societal issues and find solutions that benefit everyone.




November/December 2020




Kris Cherevas – Associate

Ryan Wullschleger – Thomas Jefferson

Working with programs like DFP ensures not

Diversity and inclusion allow any group to

only that law students get the opportunity to

shift their perceptions and grow. Hopefully,

work at different firms, but that the firms get

I will foster diversity and inclusion in several

the opportunity to work with different people. If

ways throughout my career, including one day

everyone in the firm looks alike, you are missing

partnering with DFP when I have my own firm.

a vastly important, colorful perspective.



Patricia P. Hollenbeck – Partner

Victoria Minnich – California Western

DFP allows participants to begin the transition

I was inspired to apply to the DFP fellowship

from law students to lawyers. They see, often

because of what the program means and what

for the first time, how concepts learned in law

it has to offer. DFP supports diversity in the

school have practical application. They learn

legal field and that is an important recognition.

that often there is no easy answer, and that

It is important because as lawyers, we

practicing well involves collaboration and hard

need to come together and use our diverse

work. For those who have fellowships at law

backgrounds to help others.

firms, they also learn a little about the business side of practicing law.




Justin Paik – Associate Attorney

Matthew Jensen – California Western

As a former DFP fellow, it was satisfying to see

Both diversity and inclusion are important, as

our fellow’s excitement and gratitude for the

the legal community should mirror the actual

opportunity to apply what he learned from law

community. Similarly, the law should reflect

school and to know that through this program,

the ideals of the time and culture. The best

we played a role in helping him get one step

way to ensure that is by diversifying the legal

closer to fulfilling his goal.

community at all levels.




Aaron Olsen – Partner

Jazmin Luna – California Western

Jazmin brought energy and creativity to our

Being a diverse candidate and during these

summer associate program. The COVID-19

times, your journey can feel impossible.

pandemic created numerous obstacles for the

My fellowship taught me that there are many

program because it limited our ability to get

paths available for me. It taught me how to

to interact with associates in person. However,

maintain professionalism while opening new

Jazmin had a bright and energetic approach to

opportunities. Those are two things I wish to

all of the things that she did.

maintain throughout my career. SAN DIEGO LAWYER


November/December 2020




Aaron M. Olsen – Partner

Divya Sriharan – USD

We live in an interconnected world where

The legal field has a long way to go to be

diversity, shaped by international influences,

considered diverse, and I am excited to be a

forms the fabric of our society. Diversity, thus,

part of that move forward. When everyone

fuels our understanding of our society and

is heard, not only is a more welcoming

fosters creativity, empathy, innovation, and

environment created for everyone, but more

robust dialogues in our office in ways that a

progress can be made at a greater rate. I will

homogenous environment simply could not.

foster diversity and inclusion by doing my best to elevate my community through the law and through mentorship.



Edwin M. Boniske – Partner

Jesus Cisneros – USD

We know that we are best able to serve our clients and our community when our firm is representative of our society. Our fellows have helped to reinforce this idea by contributing to HFM in myriad ways, and by merely adding their voice to our ongoing discussions about racial equity and inclusion issues.

As a first-generation Mexican American who is the first in his family to complete high school and graduate from college, I know that I am part of a minority group in the legal profession. I also believe in leading by example. Therefore, my intention is to inspire younger generations who share similar backgrounds and to someday impart the wisdom and knowledge I gain from being a DFP fellow.




Nadia Bermudez – Shareholder

Kiana Ajir – USD

DFP fellows are highly motivated and understand that this is a unique opportunity. I have learned that the millennial stereotype, is just that — a stereotype. DFP fellows are hardworking, goal-oriented, and are willing to learn from others.

My experiences, though challenging at times, taught me to embrace my Iranian-American identity and promote empathy. I learned to value the richness of not only my own culture, but also that of other individuals. Pursuing a legal career offers me the opportunity to achieve a long-sought dream: to help people embrace their identities, live free from fear, and celebrate diversity.



Peggy Ho – Executive Vice President, Government Relations

Sanam Khajenoori – USD


At LPL, we believe that diverse teams, when managed in a culture of inclusion, are more creative, more productive, and better at problem-solving. Ensuring we have a diverse employee and advisor community positions us to meet the dynamic needs of our investor community.




November/December 2020

As an attorney, I will foster diversity and inclusion by creating opportunities for underrepresented students to intern and network in the legal community, just as this program has done for me.



Hollis Peterson – Partner

Alexander Kat – USD

Don’t let a global health crisis deter you from implementing a program. Paul Plevin was able to run its (socially distant) summer program with careful planning and cooperation from our DFP fellows, who reminded us how significant and meaningful this experience is to them and how important it should be to our firm.

My biggest takeaway from the DFP fellowship is self-confidence. As a first-generation minority student, I had to battle feeling out of place among my peers in my first year of law school. After turning in my first assignment to a partner and hearing that it was well done, I walked away knowing I have the skills necessary to be successful. That will be one of the defining moments in my legal career.



Jenna M. Macek – Associate

Dalal Kaddoura – USD

A team with different and varied perspectives

Hard work is important, but creating a

that encourages its team members to bring

network of lawyers who also understand the

those perspectives to the table significantly

importance of diversity is also important. As a

benefits not only our law firm’s professional

diverse person, you have much more to bring

services and culture, but also the legal

to the table than you think and you should

profession as a whole. We are so glad we

take advantage of it.

were able to keep our DFP experience (by practicing socially distant protocols) for a shortened, but nonetheless positive, summer experience for everyone.



John D. Alessio – Managing Partner

Joshua Cervantes – USD

Part of the Procopio “purpose” is an “integrated

If we want our society to improve on issues

approach” to every legal task. In our experience,

of diversity and inclusion, then we must have

the more diverse the perspective, input, and

diversity in all areas of the law. As I move

ideas that can be brought to any particular task,

forward in my career, I am determined to work

the better the result for the client and the firm.

toward that goal.



Kristin Scogin – Deputy Public Defender

Christian Chavez – Thomas Jefferson

Diversity builds client relations and employee

During my DFP internship, I hope to learn

morale, stimulates creative ideas and solutions,

how to use the skills and knowledge of an

and hopefully sets an example for other

attorney to help the indigent accused. I feel

community employers to follow suit. To be

that as someone who comes from a diverse

successful, in both tangible and intangible

background, of which some parts are very

ways, we must value diversity and inclusivity so

privileged, it is my responsibility to use the

that we may engage and listen to one another

entirety of that background to help society’s

in a truly meaningful way.

most vulnerable. SAN DIEGO LAWYER


November/December 2020



Charlie Dispenzieri – Sr. Counsel Technology & Business Services Each summer, we learn a lot from our DFP fellows. Each DFP fellow brings his or her unique life experiences to the table. They have always been unfailingly optimistic and energetic. They keep us grounded and give us hope for the future of companies, law firms, or anywhere else they choose to work.



Jordan Jones – USD

Nicole Saab – USD

Applying and being accepted to the DFP fellowship has been a dream come true, because I am able to further my goal of increasing diversity in the legal field. I am thankful for the DFP and all of the work they do to ensure that the San Diego legal community continues to be enriched through diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I really wanted to apply to the DFP fellowship because I felt like it was a great opportunity and I really believed in their mission to help diverse students make connections and grow in the legal field. Diversity helps people grow in many ways and develop certain traits that they would not otherwise.



Andrew Steiger – Thomas Jefferson

Lindsey Tanita – USD

Diversity and inclusion to me means ensuring the broadest practicable variety of opinions. Toward that end, it is important to me to remain open to the unexpected, and to bolster in others a tolerance for change.

Growing up, I never entertained the thought of going to law school because I didn’t know anyone that was a lawyer and so it was difficult for me to envision myself in a field where I didn’t know if I fit in. Diversity and inclusion are important so that the next generation can aim high and know that they belong in that future courtroom or boardroom.



Jon Y. Vanderpool – Shareholder

Lesli Venegas Hernandez – USD

Diversity is critical to our firm’s business and culture simply because it’s critical to society. Everything and everybody are stronger, more perceptive, more empathetic, more tolerant, and more successful in proportion to its emphasizing and incorporating diversity.

Before starting my DFP internship, I was hoping to learn what civil litigation entailed and what it looked like specifically in employment law. Although my fellowship is still in process, I have already learned so much about this area of law and have also gained new practical and legal research skills.





India Jewell – Counsel

Abigail Akyiaw – California Western

We continue to learn and appreciate the value of different perspectives on issues and projects, not necessarily because of cultural, ethnic, or gender backgrounds, but from the approach and perspectives of students who are only beginning their careers in the legal profession.

Diversity and inclusion help to bring new perspectives to an environment. For me, fostering diversity and inclusion is not something I need to push myself to do. I actively seek diverse backgrounds because they reflect society and the world.



November/December 2020


Matthew Garnica – USD Diversity and inclusion in the legal field are


Nishita Doshi – Counsel

important to me because they allow people

It has been some time since we worked with law students in our

with different backgrounds, perspectives, and

department and doing so always opens our eyes to our own practices. Having to explain our decisions forces us to examine our own legal thinking and clarify why we approach these decisions in a certain way. In some ways, it’s as much a learning experience for us as for our interns!

experiences to collaborate on important legal matters. I believe that this will foster not only a more productive work environment, but also a space where people can learn from one another.



Carolina Bravo-Karimi – Partner

Sasha Ramirez – California Western

Sasha reminded me of the common bond and

The legal field is a framework for our society,

experiences that I share with Latina students and

thus diversity and inclusion in the legal

lawyers. I am thankful for Sasha — for reminding

profession are important because they

me how important it is to adapt to new situations

challenge inequality. When individuals from

and how important it is to always pay it forward

diverse backgrounds, whether related to race,

through mentorship.

religion, culture, gender, or sexual identity, actively participate in arenas that shape our society, then real change can occur.



Ian R. Friedman – Partner

Rami Noeil – USD

Every lawyer and law clerk brings their own

I find the workplace that fosters employees

unique life experiences to the practice of

with diverse backgrounds and views to be

law. People’s life experiences shape how

the most equipped body to handle the future

they understand legal issues and how they

challenges of the legal practice. The presence

relate to and interact with litigation principals.

of that sort of diversity, therefore, is necessary

Incorporating people with different backgrounds

for a more cohesive legal community that can

and life experiences allows us to see issues from

serve society and truly embody the ethos of

more angles and use that diversity of thought to

justice. Based on that understanding, I plan on

benefit our clients.

supporting the future generation of attorneys in any capacity I can to bring that vision into reality and to ensure its sustainability.


Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP

Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP

Becton, Dickinson and Company

Perez Vaughn & Feasby Inc.

Cozen O'Connor

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Duane Morris LLP

San Diego County Public Defender's Office

Ferris & Britton

Sempra Energy

Fisher Phillips LLP

Smith Steiner Vanderpool, APC

Haeggquist & Eck LLP

Sony Electronics Inc.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack, LLP

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Klinedinst PC

Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP

LPL Financial

Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie, LLP


DIVERSITY INCLUSION An Invitation to Lean Into Multicultural Experiences By Gayani Weerasinghe


ollowing the mass protests over the summer,

to discuss the Trump Administration’s actions or their

we are given another chance to examine our blind

effect is also a privilege that not all of us have because

spots about diversity and inclusion. Whether those

for many of us, there are some direct personal impacts.

are conscious or unconscious biases, we owe it to each other

Pretending the problem doesn’t exist does not cause the

to lean into the discomfort and have these discussions.

problem to go away.

This article is not about blaming or shaming anyone, but rather a chance to change how we show up at our

It is important to be open to these discussions and expand

workplaces, boardrooms, and networking circles, and make

your understanding of the world to include experiences

meaningful changes. As a zealous advocate of mindfulness

beyond your own. Otherwise, you are forcing your

and self-awareness, I invite you to keep an open mind and

colleagues to self-censor and suffer in silence. For example,

reexamine rules that are enforcing white cultural norms

if you had to show up to work the day after the Grand Jury

instead of recognizing the advantages of embracing the

examining the death of Breonna Taylor decided not to indict

multicultural environment we inhabit.

the officers who shot her multiple times and someone says, “Let's not talk politics,” it promotes self-censoring. You don’t

In the July/August issue of San Diego Lawyer, "Roxy is Black"

need to be BIPOC to experience the outrage felt by many

detailed the racist acts experienced by Roxy Carter, an

about Breonna Taylor’s death, George Floyd’s death, or any

SDCBA Board member and a fellow attorney of color.

number of Black people who have died at the hands of law

She explained how she has learned to self-censor sharing

enforcement. However, speaking with Black friends and

these traumatic experiences because of how others

colleagues has made me realize that feeling like the police do

behaved when she tried sharing it with her colleagues.

not value their lives is their American reality. By stepping into a

Unfortunately, this is not a rare case; as a woman of color, a

BIPOC colleague's shoes for a moment and listening to their

dark-skinned South Asian, I have also experienced some of

experience, I realize that the anger, the fear, the outrage, and

these moments, and I too have had colleagues change the

the frustration is part of their personal experience and one

subject rather than listen to my experience. My intention for

that is felt by the people they love. I invite you to do the

this article is to invite you to an exercise in self-awareness.

same. In those shoes, you might realize how left out they

The next time a colleague is sharing an experience, if you

might feel when they show up to work and have to pretend

have the urge to change the subject, pause for a second,

to be in a different reality because speaking about their

take a deep breath, and ask yourself why is it that you

reality is not only unwelcome, but is perceived as

are doing it? Why are you uncomfortable listening to the

unprofessional. Having that discussion and hearing the

experience? What message are you sending by changing

perspectives of colleagues is how we can recognize the depth

the topic?

of the problems we face and ways to improve. Make diversity and inclusion mean more than a statistical goal.

I have found even the simplest phrase, "let's not get political or talk politics," has a chilling effect. A recent Executive

I invite you not to ask your diverse colleagues for conformity,

Order by the White House promotes a set of rules that say

but lean in and listen to their experiences even though it

training on race and gender is divisive and un-American.

might be outside of your comfort zone. Ask them meaningful

While you may debate whether this is the effect of the order

questions, because as Maya Angelou said, "in diversity, there

or if we are in a post-racial era, these awareness trainings,

is beauty and there is strength."

including training on why the use of a “colorblind” narrative is troublesome, are important in advancing diversity and inclusion. Preventing such discussions whitewashes everyday experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning and/or queer (LGBTQ+) communities, and maintains the status quo. Inherent to this debate of whether




November/December 2020

Gayani Weerasinghe (gayani@lawgrw.com) is an Intellectual Property & Business Law Attorney for the Law Offices of Gayani R. Weerasinghe, helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with their legal needs. She is also the host of the YouTube channel Inventive Mind.




By Whitney Hodges lot remains unknown about the novel coronavirus that created the current pandemic. One thing stands out, however. COVID-19 has managed to cross all

boundaries, infecting all age groups, celebrities, socialites, and the highest ranking government officials in addition to traditionally vulnerable communities here and abroad. While infection rates have varied both regionally and internationally, the severity of the disease has also varied from one person to another. Typical of many common viral diseases, more adverse COVID-19 outcomes have been associated with the presence of pre‐existing noncommunicable diseases, such as high blood pressure or chronic illness. While the virus may appear to be indiscriminate, the evidence continues to demonstrate that socioeconomic and racial disparities are exacerbating the impacts and spread of COVID-19. Socioeconomic status is calculated based on a number of factors including education, social class, and income. Historically, lower socioeconomic status can have a considerable impact upon health in various ways, particularly comorbidity and recovery. Additionally, substandard housing conditions and smaller living spaces associated with lower-income individuals and families are common factors that lead to increased exposure rates. With regard to respiratory infections, studies have shown people from impoverished backgrounds experience a higher

Moreover, the two regions reporting the largest number of COVID-related deaths — South and East County with 246 and 194 deaths, respectively — are also home to the County’s lowest per capita personal incomes. On the other hand, the coastal regions, which are typically enclaves for the County’s wealthiest communities, report the lowest number of COVID-related deaths, with 62 deaths in North Central County and 53 deaths in North Coastal County. In addition to the imbalances related to infection and recovery, stark inequities in access to the resources required to navigate the pandemic persist for those in communities with lower socioeconomic indicators. Historically, in the United States, communities disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes include non-white communities, as well as undocumented populations, front-line low-wage workers, people experiencing homelessness, and justice-involved populations. This disproportionality is primarily the result of longstanding inequities in an array of health determinants, including limited access to health care — especially primary care — and limited access to affordable housing and nutritious foods. Additionally, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that racial and ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic may in part be due to socioeconomic disadvantages that require individuals to continue to work outside their home and a lack of paid sick leave. Globally, the United Nations also confirms this pattern, finding the impacts of COVID-19 disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable.

incidence of disease as well as more severe levels of infection. While not distinguishing rates on a micro-socioeconomic level, the County of San Diego has nevertheless been tracking the impact of the virus according to race and region. By midOctober, the County reported approximately 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a little over 800 COVID-19 fatalities. Although residents who self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx represent 34.5% of the County’s population, this community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, representing 62% of all confirmed County cases. This equates to a COVID-19 infection rate of approximately 2,312 individuals for every 100,000 Hispanic/Latinx people, or 2.3%. Blacks or African Americans, who represent 4.4% of the County's population, are

This pandemic has already proven to be incredibly disruptive to the global economy, unfortunately, also further exacerbating the disparities between economic sectors, countries, and regions, hence driving down socioeconomic indicators. Social distancing, self-isolation, and travel restrictions have led to a reduced workforce across all economic sectors and caused many jobs to be lost. Schools have closed down, and the demand for commodities and manufactured products has decreased. In contrast, the need for medical supplies has significantly increased, and agricultural sectors have faced increased demand due to panic-buying and stockpiling of food products. In response to this global outbreak, COVID-19 will likely have socioeconomic effects on most, if not all, individual sectors of the world economy.

reporting an infection rate of 1,066 per 100,000 Black individuals, or 1%. Conversely, residents who identify as white comprise the largest ethnic group in the County, at 45.7% of the population, but represent only 25.1% of confirmed County cases, slightly less than a 0.7% infection rate.

Whitney Hodges (whodges@sheppardmullin.com) is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s San Diego office.



November/December 2020




The EHA sought to address this disparity. It required public

My Inspiration For me, the path to becoming a special education attorney was straightforward. I vividly remember my family’s frustration with my brother’s education. He is a year younger than I am and is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (“CP”), a group of neurological disorders that affect movement. CP, like many disabilities, is a broad spectrum. Some people are able to move with relative ease. For others, all movement may be virtually paralyzed; they may be bound to a chair and require constant supervision for life. Fortunately, my brother’s is more the former. At one point, I recall my mother arguing with the school principal about my brother being placed in a room by himself with only a television. He must have been in the second or third grade, and apparently this had been going on for over a month with no notification to my parents. The principal told my mom the school did not have the ability to support my brother, and the room with a television was all they could do. My parents, not knowing they may have had other options, moved my brother to a private school. To be clear, this was illegal. There is a robust set of federal and state laws that require schools to provide an appropriate education to all children with disabilities. Unfortunately, all too often they are not followed.

schools to evaluate disabled children and create a plan to ensure they receive an education. It further required students to be placed with typical peers to the maximum extent possible. The goal was to bring children with disabilities out of the shadows and provide them with an education and ensure they could be as independent as possible throughout their life. In 1990, Congress replaced the EHA with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law we have today. Under the IDEA, children have a right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The IDEA lays out a set of procedures schools must comply with in order to ensure a student receives a FAPE. For example, when a school suspects a child of having a disability, they are required to formally assess the student for special education, develop an individual education plan (IEP), and provide the support needed to enable the student to make progress. The services that can be provided to a student through the IEP are vast. In order to make progress, a student may only need minimal weekly reading intervention. Another student may require placement in a specialized classroom at their public school. Sometimes districts are unable to

Legal Background of Special Education Law

accommodate a student, in which case they may need

In 1975, the United States passed the Education for

require placement in a residential treatment facility, which

All Handicapped Children Act (EHA). Prior to the EHA’s

can be out of state.

placement in a private school that specializes in a particular disability. Occasionally, a student’s needs are so severe they

enactment, children with disabilities were often kept at home by their parents and never sent to school. In fact, at

The centerpiece of the IDEA is the IEP. This document

the time, multiple states had laws preventing children with

describes the student’s disability and how it impacts

certain disabilities from attending public school altogether.

their ability to access education. The IEP also explains

Those who were “lucky” enough to attend school were often

the student's present levels for performance (where they

segregated in facilities away from their peers and received no

are academically, behaviorally, or adaptively), establishes

instruction. Some were institutionalized.

goals, and provides for services like speech and language




November/December 2020


therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. It can

of pressure on teachers and staff. COVID-19 and school

be an overwhelming and complex document. However, in

closures have had an impact on all of us, but nowhere has

its simplest form, it is there to ensure the student makes

this been more profound than on special education. Parents

progress and becomes as independent as possible.

and children who relied on a strong system of support and services are now their children’s teacher, 1:1 aide, behaviorist,

When my brother was placed in a room by himself, the

speech language pathologist, and psychologist — a difficult

school was clearly violating the law. What my parents may

task even at a school with professional staff on-site. Once

not have known at the time was that they were not required to

children begin to go back to school, staff will have to deal

just accept whatever the school offered my brother or place

with large-scale academic and developmental regression as

him at their own expense into a private school. When a parent

a result of being away from school and services.

disagrees with the IEP or its implementation, they can file a complaint with the state department of education and have a

Fortunately, school staff have responded to this crisis with

judge determine whether or not the school is complying with

creativity, flexibility, and compassion. Many schools have

the IDEA. I think, had I been their attorney at the time, either

even successfully opened up, on a small scale, for disabled

the school would have had to create an appropriate program

children. Although not every school district has developed

or pay for my brother to attend a private school — a common

an effective plan for addressing their students with

outcome with cases this egregious.

disabilities, more and more are doing so, allowing our most disadvantaged children an opportunity to learn and

Special Education Law During the COVID-19 Pandemic Today, an appropriate education can be hard to come by. Funding for many services have been reduced, and in California, class sizes have increased, putting a great deal


become independent.

Matthew Storey (matt@calsped.com) is a Special Education and Civil Rights attorney at The Law Office of Matthew Storey, APC.




atina Equal Pay Day is October 29, 2020, although

I was promoted to a senior position and delegated more

some sources note that the day may actually take

responsibilities, yet a raise was not forthcoming until

place on November 19. The Latina Equal Pay Day

almost a year later, which only compounded the pay

marks the day that a Latina “catches up” to what a white,

disparity. Unfortunately, this scenario is commonplace at

non-Hispanic male earned last year for equal work. Yes,

many workplaces regardless of profession, and change to

you read that correctly — a Latina works almost two full

prohibit pay disparities based on gender and/or race has

years to earn what a white, non-Hispanic male earned in

been slow.

12 months. There are several Equal Pay Days celebrated throughout the year, but the Latina Equal Pay Day is the

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was one of the first legislation

last one each year, showing that Latinas are the most

pieces to address gender-based pay discrimination by

adversely affected women of color.

mandating equal pay for equal work and thus meant to help close the wage gap. Over the years, this Act

Research shows that women of color in the workforce

has largely been sidelined due to legislative inaction,

experience a widening pay gap due to both gender

loopholes, and court rules, meaning the wage gap has yet

discrimination and racial discrimination. According to

to be eliminated or narrowed in any substantial way.

WomenEmployed.Org,1 Asian American and Pacific Islander

As federal action has been slow, some states have passed

women make an average of 90 cents for every dollar paid

pay equity legislation to help close the wage gap, but

to white working men; African American women make

other states have been unwilling to step up.

62 cents; Native American women make 57 cents; while Latinas make just 54 cents for every dollar paid to a white

Eliminating the pay gap would not only positively

man. This means that over a Latina’s professional career,

impact the Latina worker, but would improve the lives of

she can miss out on approximately $1.1 million according to

Latinx families and, in turn, communities. The National

the research done by the National Women’s Law Center.

Partnership for Women and Families3 states that if the pay


gap was eliminated, Latinas would earn enough money To make matters worse, the Latina wage gap exists

to pay for an additional 36 months of child care, nearly 20

regardless of profession, education, work experience, and

months of health care premiums, three years of tuition at a

age. As a Latina becomes more educated and gains work

four-year college, or two full years at a community college.

experience, the wage gap actually widens regardless of

The numbers are truly sobering. Closing the wage gap

profession. As a Latina attorney, I was hired alongside a

would give Latinx families the money necessary for upward

white, non-Hispanic male attorney and later found out I

mobility, as that extra money would go toward child care,

was paid less even though we had the same experience

education, health care, or basic necessities such as food

and education. Discussing salaries was taboo at the

and rent. One can see that this could have a positive ripple

firm and, unfortunately, this lack of transparency led to

effect for entire communities and the economy.

favoritism and disparities in salaries. After some time,




November/December 2020


Encourage and mentor women to apply for leadership

To my fellow working Latinas — don’t be shy. Review your last pay raise, do some research as to what your wages should be, and sit down with management to request a pay increase!

positions or positions of authority so they can be part of the decision-making process. Spread the word about the gender and racial wage gap and the need to eliminate it. And most importantly, VOTE for candidates who support legislation that closes the wage gap. It has been a hard road to get to where we are today as women in the workplace, but there is still work to do and it will take all our efforts to advance equal pay in the workforce for all.

Marisol Swadener, Esq. is a Tax Attorney.

Now that we know the painful truth about the Latina Equal Pay Day, what can we do to fix it? I urge all professionals who are in a position of authority at the workplace to review wages and remedy any wage disparities. It is the law in California that equal work must receive equal pay. Wages and promotions should be objective and based on clear

Footnotes: 1.





https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/ economic-justice/fair-pay/quantifying-americas-gender-wagegap.pdf

guidelines to reduce the tendency for favoritism. To my fellow working Latinas — don’t be shy. Review your last pay raise, do some research as to what your wages should be, and sit down with management to request a pay increase!


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etired Justice James A. McIntyre passed away on August 16, 2020, from kidney failure due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He was home,

surrounded by his family, when he passed. He was 81 years

He was a terrific cross examiner. He primarily defended cases but had an occasional plaintiff case, including the Abellon v. Hartford Insurance Co. bad faith case that resulted in a multimillion dollar plaintiff verdict for his client in 1985.

of age. Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois, and obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brown University and his law degree from Stanford Law School. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1963. He spent his entire career as a lawyer with the premier trial firm of McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees, Sharkey & McIntyre, where he practiced for 30 years until his appointment by Governor Pete Wilson to the Superior Court in 1993. In 1996 he was appointed by Governor Wilson to be an Associate Justice of the California Fourth District Court of Appeal. He retired from the bench in 2016. He was a formidable trial lawyer. He tried over 115 civil jury trials and was a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Jim was also a Master in the Enright Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Jim was a lifelong sports fan. He lived for the successes and failures of the San Diego Padres, the Chargers and his hometown Chicago Cubs. When Wrigley Field underwent recent renovations, he was able to obtain an original seat from the stadium, which he had installed in the entertainment room at his home. I had the privilege of practicing law with Jim, first as a young associate and later as his partner. He was one of the smartest lawyers and quickest studies I have ever known. I can recall numerous instances where I spent hours researching a particularly challenging legal issue and then came to Jim to discuss what I had found. Invariably, with a few well-aimed questions, he was able to quickly zero in on the critical points. He was also a genuinely nice person, always with a ready smile and laugh. He treated partners, associates, staff, and opposing

Darin Boles, then a young associate who worked directly with Jim, said recently, “Jim was one of the greats. I was honored to be able to work with him and learned so very much. Watching Jim discuss a strategy, and then turn it inside out to find an even better approach, was beyond enriching for a young lawyer.” Cynthia Chihak observed, “He was one of the first truly prominent people in the San Diego legal community I met. He was always gracious and a gentleman. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to know him and his lovely wife and call them friends.” Dave Noonan recalled arguing cases on appeal before a panel that included Jim and observed that, “If you had a weak spot in your argument that you were hoping to avoid, Jim, oftentimes with a wry smile, would invariably find it and ask you to address it. Not much got by him. Tremendous person, lawyer, and jurist.” Rick Barton commented that in addition to Jim’s quick mind, “He was also intensely curious and loved talking about the world, the Padres, and the Chargers. After being his partner at McInnis, he and I got together regularly for lunch and he would grill me about every issue of the moment.” Jerry Davee recalls Jim had a “great smile and warm, welcoming personality. Jim is a man we will all remember with the greatest respect and admiration.” Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Vicki, and their two children, Jill and Jamie. Jim also had two children from a previous marriage, Scott and Molly. Because of the pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a future date. Jim’s final resting place will be Kona Village in Hawaii, where he and his family would frequently vacation.

counsel alike — with courtesy and respect. I greatly enjoyed working with Jim and learned a lot trying cases with him.

William M. Low is a Partner at Higgs Fletcher Mack LLP.



November/December 2020



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an Diego has a “justice gap” problem.

California Innocence Project, the EEOC, and the

Anthony M. Medina bridged the gap before

La Raza Centro Legal in San Francisco. Most importantly,

passing away at the early age of 36. Medina’s

as a native San Diegan, Medina was embedded in his

legacy provides people with access to justice and invites

community and understood hardworking families’

you to be a part of the solution.

monetary and legal struggles. The aggregate of his experiences both motivated and convinced Medina

People’s Legal Services (PLS) offers underserved

to create a mechanism to provide affordable legal

populations cost-effective and accessible legal


representation with fairness, compassion, and trustworthiness.

If there’s a problem, scrutinize it, delve into it, build up your toolbox and network, and execute a solution that

San Diegans struggle to drag themselves out of the

redefines the practice of law.

“justice gap,” a painful and tight space between the high walls of a life-altering legal matter on one side and the

What kinds of cases does PLS handle? The majority of

high cost of legal services on the other. Thus, people risk

PLS’ cases are family law including divorce, parentage,

financial security or the dangers of navigating the judicial

child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal

system alone.

support cases. During the COVID-19 pandemic stayat-home orders, PLS experienced a surge in domestic

Robert Seibel, Chair of PLS’ Advisory Board, explains there

violence restraining order cases and partnered with

is a significant population whose modest incomes cannot

nonprofits to represent victims of domestic violence.

afford the $300-$400 an hour for legal services and “90% of the people in Family Court don't have a lawyer,” because

Why do all of the good ones have to go? I do not know.

people are not entitled to a free attorney. Self-represented

It is with profound sadness that PLS experienced the

parents are less likely to get favorable child custody

passing of Medina on July 3, 2020. Medina is deeply

agreements. Seibel adds that PLS makes up for “the huge

admired in the legal community for his commitment to

failure of the legal system to serve all these people.”

helping the underrepresented, his zealous advocacy, and his unwavering desire to always do the right thing.

Anthony M. Medina recognized the problem and his

Medina’s efforts are integral to PLS’ success in closing

creative solution was PLS, a sliding scale, nonprofit

the “justice gap.”

law firm. Medina’s legacy is preserved through the strong A what!? Yes, a law firm can charge clients based on

foundation he laid for PLS, the people he inspired, and the

their household income and still function as a nonprofit.

networks he created. The PLS Board celebrates Medina’s

PLS offers free 30-minute initial consultations. Fees are

vision and his spirit for social justice through PLS’ work.

implemented on a sliding scale, dependent on family size

I, Michelle Luna Reynoso, serve as interim Director of PLS

and income, and the starting hourly rate is $75. Thus, PLS

with Sabrina Marroquín as lead attorney for client matters.

both serves underrepresented clients’ needs and promotes PLS’ sustainability by avoiding grant dependency. How did Medina discover this solution? Medina interned and held fellowships at organizations such as the ACLU,

Michelle Luna Reynoso (lunareynoso@ peopleslegalservices.org) is a San Diego Deputy Public Defender and the interim Director of People’s Legal Services, a sliding scale nonprofit law firm.



November/December 2020


Tumultuous Teams

A SPORTING GOOD TIME By George W. Brewster Jr.

Scott Dodge


hen the local Bar was founded in 1899,

group of us formed our own organization, the Gokers. In

professional golf had been around for 135 years

the early 1960s, Ben, Bill, Al, Jack, Larry Patton, Ted Todd,

and baseball was then 30 years old. And Over

Ed Luce, and Marv Mizeur formed our own private group

the Line? Well, that wouldn’t happen for another 54 years.

where we would have one or two tournaments a year of

But somewhere along the way, the SDCBA developed teams

competitive golf followed by poker well into the night or

in each of these sports (and others, even ski trips organized

early morning. We all loved to gamble, compete, and have

by the San Diego Bar Auxiliary). This two-part series will look

a roaring good time, which we did regularly. Those were the

back at the Bar’s golden days of sports and its sometimes-

good old days!”

tumultuous teams.

Over The Line


The most unique of Bar sports — on many levels — is

A crumpled and torn sheet noting the Bar’s past champions

Over The Line (OTL). The “line” is part of a triangle over which

goes back to 1957. There are many familiar names, including

a hitter (at the point) must hit a ball to score, unless caught

many past Bar Presidents, judges (mostly future judges) and

by a member of the other three-person team. Skipping some

big firm partners (Luce, Higgs, Fletcher). The late Bill Enright

of the technical rules, the team with the most runs wins after

is listed as the 1972 Rookie of the Year, and the late Ted Todd

three innings.

is a frequent winner. One name appears as the “low gross winner” for 1959 and off and on from then until winning the

The origin of OTL goes back 60-plus years, when it is

senior division in 1983: Hal Tebbetts.

believed this softball-like beach sport was brought down to San Diego from LA. The first official tournament was in 1954

In 1983 James Marinos was listed as a “low gross winner.”

at South Mission Beach, and in any normal year 1,200 three-

Marinos, a member of the bar since 1957 and still in practice,

person teams play before 50,000 people over two summer

recalls with great fondness the old bar golf tournaments.

weekends on Fiesta Island. That tournament, sponsored by

“I played in every bar golf tournament that was ever provided

the Old Mission Bay Athletic Club (OMBAC), is not the Bar’s

from the beginning until I became too incompetent to be able

OTL. Both have in common colorful team names, many of

to compete fairly ... Back in those years, attorneys like

which cannot be printed here. (A few from OMBAC: Menace

Dave Casey, Tom Golden, Dutch Higgs, Ben Hamrick, Bill

to Sobriety; We Will Beat You Like United Airlines; Told the

Enright, Jack Levitt, Bob Dierdorf, Al Walko, Ted Todd, Larry

Wife We’d Be Home by Noon.) Many players sport wigs and

Irving, and Gil Harleson were regular competitors who loved

costumes, or sometimes very little at all. One player was

to play, bet with each other, and have a roaring good time at

quoted in a U-T article from 2017, “The secret is no practice

the tournament and big celebration afterward.”

and lots of drinking.”

Marinos recalled that the tournaments would end with a

The Bar’s OTL Tournament was started by Superior Court

cocktail hour and dinner party, and that many of the regulars

Judge Ned Huntington (Ret.). Huntington (admitted into

looked forward to competing and betting. “Actually, one

practice in 1967, Bar President in 1988, and a Superior Court




November/December 2020

Judge 1995-2008) said he and Tom Hendrickson started

just a casual, fun day on the sand. I began playing in the event

the Bar team in 1973. “Probably because I had the rope,” he

around 1973 with Leo Papas and Ron Rouse as teammates.

said, noting it was something that post-college/law school

The key to success was learning how to use a golf swing to

athletes “could still compete in, have fun, and play with

hit the ball (tossed straight up by your teammate) when it was

friends.” He kept a list of team names and winners from 1973

only inches from the ground.” Post’s team names included

to 1990, when he stopped playing. There are a lot of familiar

“Up for Some Crack at Dawn?”

names on the list — including Mike Neil, who Huntington recalled coming back from the Vietnam War and setting up

There were also a few women’s teams, including “SurfER-

a large military-style tent on the Mariner’s Point beach for

JETTES,” “The Dictaphones,“ and the “Golden Triangle”

his team.

(all trophy winners).

One teammate in particular mentioned by Huntington was

Superior Court Judge Larrie Brainard (Ret.) first played with

Superior Court Judge Larrie Brainard (Ret.), who Huntington

the OMBAC OTL in 1969 (until 2014), and joined the Bar’s OTL

described as “one of the best players.” Brainard has

league in the early 1970s. “I love it, it’s a great sport,” said

championship rings from both the Bar OTL and the OMBAC

Brainard. “You’re on the beach, playing with a bunch of

World Championship OTL Tournament. Other avid OTL and

great people, having fun — what’s not to love?”

softball players were District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia, Greg Post, Al Ludecke, George Andreos, Ann Parode, and

Next Up, Sports Fans:

Judy Keep. Retired Magistrate Judge Leo Papas was also an

Rounding the Historical Bases of Bar Softball

active OTL player, and has a shout-out for a reunion of former players. Both agreed Huntington was the spirit of Bar OTL. Greg Post described OTL as an “intense, fierce, exhausting all-day cutthroat competition involving many great (or more accurately, formerly great in their own minds) athletes, not

George W. Brewster Jr. (sandbrews@aol.com) is a retired attorney after 35 years of practice, including JAG, private practice, and the last 30 with the County of San Diego, Office of County Counsel.

Dan Stanford

Stanford And Associates


We are pleased to announce the return of Stanford And Associates, an established legal malpractice firm founded three decades ago. We’ve reassembled our original team of lawyers, with a combined 50 years of prosecuting and trying legal malpractice claims throughout the state. Unlike other law firms, Stanford And Associates: • Never charges a consultation fee • Never bills our clients by the hour • Never represents or defends lawyers • Never handles fee disputes between lawyers We are pure contingency fee lawyers and we pay referral fees!

STANFORD AND ASSOCIATES www.stanfordandassociates.com 101 W. Broadway, Ste. 810 San Diego, CA. 92101 TEL: (619) 695-0655 FAX: (619) 810-7766 TOLL FREE: (833) 309-6236

choose the true original

2020 WITKIN AWARD CEREMONY — A VIRTUAL SUCCESS! By Valerie Gragg, Reference Library The San Diego Law Library Foundation

Next up to the virtual podium was

San Diego Deputy City Attorney and

had a difficult task this year: hosting the

Vickie E. Turner, Esq., who was honored

Immediate Past President of the

25th Annual Witkin Award Reception

with the Witkin Award for Excellence

SDCBA, Lilys D. McCoy. McCoy was

during a pandemic. It succeeded!

in the Practice of Law. Turner is a

honored for her dedication to legal

This year’s ceremony had the highest

partner at Williams Turner Kosmo

education while she was Director

attendance in Witkin history! The

and is consistently named one of San Diego’s top product liability defense

of the Center for Solo Practitioners

Foundation transitioned the event to Zoom, allowing the attendees to honor

attorneys. This Witkin Award adds to

their legal community safely from

her numerous honors and awards as an

home. The event was hosted by 2019

attorney and a community leader. Gregory E. Knoll, CEO/Executive

The award for Excellence in

Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.,

Adjudication of Law was posthumously

was honored with the Witkin Award

Director/Chief Counsel for the

Court for the Southern District of California for 28 years before retiring in 2000 and was a pillar of the San Diego legal community. Judge Enright’s family was present to accept his award.

that allowed fledgling attorneys to underserved populations.

Hon. Victor E. Bianchini (Ret.).

Judge Enright sat on the U.S. District

Law, a lawyer incubator program gain skills they need while helping

Witkin Award winner,

awarded to the Hon. William B. Enright.

at Thomas Jefferson School of

We are so grateful to everyone that attended the Witkin Award Virtual

for Excellence in Public Service.

Reception, which not only honors

Under his direction, LASSD provides

excellence in the legal profession, but

legal assistance to hundreds of indigent

also raises much-needed funds for the

San Diegans each year.

San Diego Law Library. The generosity of our supporters allows us to continue

The Witkin Award for Excellence in

our mission to make access to justice

Legal Education was awarded to

available to everyone!

Announcing our newest Probate mediator

Merrianne Dean


Towards Resolution.

Call us to mediate your trust, conservatorship, and probate cases. 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.

Our Resolve. Your Resolution. 619-238-7282 www.westcoastresolution.com


YAHAIRAH ARISTY transcenDANCE Yahairah Aristy volunteers on the Board of Directors for transcenDANCE, a nonprofit that uses dance and performance to help teens overcome challenges, expand ambitions, and create positive change. This free extracurricular program is offered to students from “underserved” schools and communities. Students train year-round in various styles of dance and work with professional choreographers to co-create an annual summer performance at a professional theater. transcenDANCE fosters creative expression, teamwork, goal-setting, leadership, belonging, and more. Yahairah’s passion for helping youth and the simple joy of dancing drew her to transcenDANCE. “Through music, dance, and the arts, transcenDANCE helps these young people heal from trauma, overcome challenges, and really become the person they were meant to be. The students are awe inspiring.” Many transcenDANCE students later return as alumni and serve in leadership and mentoring roles as choreographers, teaching artists, and volunteers. The next performance will be virtual in December 2020. Visit www.tdarts.org to volunteer, donate, or learn more. Yahairah has served as a Deputy Public Defender since 2005. Yahairah Aristy is not affiliated with the Vosseller Law Firm.

After each case, we donate a portion of attorney’s fees to a nonprofit chosen by the client.


858-429-4062 www.vosslawyer.com




he October 2020 California Bar Examination was administered like no other bar exam in the state’s

Lastly, those taking the exam did so from home in an online, proctored format.

history and likely in the history of administering bar

examinations. California, long known to have one of the toughest bar exams in the country, if not the world, based on its former three-day length and passage rate, has and is changing. Law school graduates who took the exam this past October were the first to take the exam during a pandemic, with many changes. In July 2020, the Supreme Court of California issued a letter to the State Bar of California, an administrative arm of the Court founded in 1927, stating that several rule changes would be in effect for the October 2020 bar exam. Before getting into those changes, it is important to note that several years ago, the California Bar Exam was moved from its traditional three-day exam to a two-day exam. The three-day exam included three one-hour essays and one three-hour performance test on day one; 200 multiple choice questions (Multistate Bar Examination (MBE/MBE’s) issued by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) on day two; and a repeat of day one on day three (with different questions). The current California Bar Exam includes five one-hour essays and one 90-minute performance test on day one, then 200 MBEs on day two (with breaks between the sections).1 Regardless of the length of the exam, pass rates remain low: 26.8% of those who took the February 2020 California Bar Exam passed. 2 The October 2020 California Bar Exam changes adjusted to the needs of law school graduates during (and after) an ongoing pandemic. As for the changes, first, there were 100 MBE questions versus 200. Second, there is a permanentlyimplemented lower cut score required to pass the exam (down to 1,390 from 1,440). Third, those who graduated in 2020 and are in good standing are able to practice certain areas of law through a provisional license program under the supervision of a California licensed attorney. However, these individuals must eventually pass the California Bar Exam to become a fully licensed attorney by June 1, 2022 (e.g,, the February 2022 Bar Exam). Fourth, the exam, normally held in February and July of each year (with results arriving in May and November, respectively) was held on October 5-6, three months after the regularly scheduled date.

In addition, the State Bar of California sent an electronic communication to attorney members on August 4, 2020, stating the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the California Bar Exam (a joint commission convened by the Court and the State Bar) will discuss the vision for content and administration of the exam going forward.3 The State Bar of California and the Court, along with the California Lawyers Association, have focused their efforts on diversity and inclusion, civics education, and making sure there is fairness in the administration of justice (and on the exam). The State Bar of California welcomed public comment on the provisional license program in August. It is of note that some states (like Utah) have allowed for diploma privilege (e.g., law school graduates are able to practice law without having to pass a bar exam). However, the state of Wisconsin, for example, offered diploma privilege prior to the pandemic to law school graduates of American Bar Association-accredited law schools located in the state. Other states did not offer a bar exam of any kind because of the pandemic (e.g., Washington, Oregon, and Utah). Indeed, it is a journey of change, from law school to bar exam preparation, with a hopeful wish of success to all bar exam takers.

Jeremy M. Evans (Jeremy@CSLlegal.com) is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer ™, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele based in Los Angeles.

Footnotes 1. State Bar of California, Examinations (https://www.calbar.ca.gov/ Admissions/Examinations) 2. State Bar of California, February 2020 California Bar Exam results (http://www.calbar.ca.gov/About-Us/News/News-Releases/ state-bar-of-california-releases-results-of-february-2020-barexam#:~:text=Today%20the%20State%20Bar%20released,passed%20 the%20General%20Bar%20Exam.&text=The%20mean%20scaled%20 Multistate%20Bar,down%20from%201370%20last%20year) 3. “The State Bar of California: Progress update on key initiatives underway at the State Bar”, electronic communication, August 4, 2020



November/December 2020



40,000 CLIENTS


The San Diego County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) made over 40,000 client referrals to San Diego attorneys in the past year, resulting in over $5 million in legal fees earned. You could join these attorneys — because we’ve brought this program to Imperial Valley! As part of the LRIS program, you would be in great company. Our thorough qualification process ensures you will be part of a competent and conscientious group of lawyers carefully selected to provide the peace of mind our clients trust and rely on. Rest assured, we are equally judicious in qualifying potential clients before we refer them to you. Applying to join an LRIS panel is very affordable, especially for members of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA). Even better, we handle all of the marketing and promotion of the referral service for our attorney panelists — making this an amazingly cost-effective marketing option for you. Best of all, by participating in LRIS, you will be helping clients get legal services they might not otherwise know how to find – and gain great clients for your practice – a true win-win.

Learn more about applying for LRIS today: (619) 321-4153 or LRIS@sdcba.org


WHY I BELONG FRED TAYLOR Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch

Education: State University of New York at Buffalo Golden Gate University School of Law

Areas of practice: Intellectual Property Litigation Complex Business Litigation Privacy and Cybersecurity



Proudest career moment My partner and I obtained a multimillion-dollar jury verdict on a very difficult patent trial that we did in Dallas a few years ago. There were several challenges, including multiple patent claims that had been invalidated by the USPTO along with complicated importation issues. My biggest challenge was that I joined the case just two months before trial.


s legal professionals and law students, we’re used to solving complex problems. But what happens when we

feel we just don’t know what we don’t know? That can be unsettling. Here are some tips to help navigate such situations. Do your homework. Seek out applicable rules. Let’s say you’re filing a brief in a court where you’ve never appeared. Thoroughly research every potentially applicable statute


and rule, from state or federal rules, to local and chamber

My wife, Melissa; my son, Miles (9); and daughter, Maya (7).

rules. Read practice guides. Look for publicly available

"If I weren't an attorney, I'd be ..." I would have tried to start as a writer for Saturday Night Live or The Simpsons and tried to work my way up to producing television or films. I love a good subversive joke. "The best thing about being an attorney is ..." Being a lawyer affords you the opportunity to become a mini-expert on the business of your client. I've been able to learn about industries and businesses and carry that knowledge to other areas of my practice. Most fun/memorable SDCBA moment

samples of similarly filed documents if you don’t have access to a database of them. Assume you will encounter hiccups along the way and, if you can, leave ample time for proofing, submission, and service. Check in with trusted colleagues. When we feel out of our element, it helps to talk with someone we trust. Even if they don’t practice in our field, talking through issues can help us identify blind spots and narrow the unknowns. Minding all applicable privileges such as attorney-client communications, of course, we can gain great clarity from those in the trenches with us.

The best moments I've had with SDCBA have been at the annual "Stepping Up to the Bar." It's always great to see old

Lastly, remember it’s not a bad thing to not know what you

friends and new, and to learn about and celebrate their

don’t know. Many of us suffer from “impostor syndrome” for


a variety of reasons. When we don’t know the answers, we sometimes second-guess how we got to where we are. We

What one skill has helped you be successful as an

may feel not smart enough, not experienced enough, not

attorney, and how could others develop that skill to

polished enough. But what’s great about our profession is we

better their practices?

have infinite opportunities for improvement and learning.

My secret weapon as a trial attorney is my equanimity. The

When we stay curious and passionate about learning, we’ll

ability to shake off adversity in the heat of the moment

always have new situations to figure out. So the next time

has served me very well, especially during jury trials. I

you’re feeling unsure about what you don’t know, do your

encourage others to be present and mindful of the more

research, get advice, and trust in your abilities. You got this far

challenging moments, accept them for what they are, and

because you worked hard, and you belong here.

then move forward. What would you most like to be known for? This is easy: I would like to be known as a great husband and dad, and hopefully be one of my kids' favorite people

Jonah A. Toleno (jtoleno@shufirm.com) is a Partner with Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. and practices Securities and Financial Services Litigation.

when they grow up. SAN DIEGO LAWYER


November/December 2020


Meet Your


What are your main responsibilities at the Bar?

What’s your favorite quote?

Managing the accounting and finance functions.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." — Nelson Mandela

How long have you been working at the Bar? Going on six years.

What do you love about San Diego? I am a native of San Diego, so this is home for

What is your favorite part of your job?

me and my family. I have never taken for granted

The fast-paced environment and my

everything that San Diego has to offer. I love the

interactions with co-workers, the volunteer

ocean and the outdoors.

leadership, and members. What is your favorite movie and why? The Shawshank Redemption. I love watching people overcome the most difficult life challenges. PHIL SCHNEIDER

CEN PER T 2020




THANK YOU 100 PERCENT CLUB 2020 The San Diego County Bar Association wants to thank all of the San Diego law firms, public agencies, and nonprofit legal organizations that have provided SDCBA membership to 100% of their attorneys in 2020. Your commitment to the San Diego legal community is greatly appreciated.

Ames Karanjia LLP Antonyan Miranda, LLP Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo Balestreri Potocki & Holmes Beamer, Lauth, Steinley & Bond, LLP Bender & Gritz, APLC Best Best & Krieger LLP Blackmar, Principe & Schmelter APC Blanchard, Krasner & French APC Bobbitt, Pinckard & Fields, APC Bonnie R. Moss & Associates Brierton Jones & Jones, LLP Brown Law Group Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP Christensen & Spath LLP Cohelan Khoury & Singer Collinsworth, Specht, Calkins & Giampaoli, LLP Devaney Pate Morris & Cameron, LLP Dietz, Gilmor & Chazen, APC District Attorney’s Office Donald R. Holben & Associates, APC Driscoll Anderson Reynard LLP Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne, ALC Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick, LLP Erickson Law Firm APC Farmer Case & Fedor Ferris & Britton, APC Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP Frisella Law, APC Garmo & Garmo LLP Gatzke Dillon & Ballance LLP Gomez Trial Attorneys Goodwin Brown Gross & Lovelace LLP GrahamHollis APC 46



Green Bryant & French, LLP Greene & Roberts LLP Grimm, Vranjes & Greer LLP Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP Henderson, Caverly & Pum LLP Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP Hoffman & Forde Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC Horton, Oberrecht, Kirkpatrick & Martha, APC Hughes & Pizzuto, APC Jackson Lewis PC Johnson Fistel LLP Judkins Glatt & Rich LLP JWB Family Law Kennedy & Souza, 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 Mara Law Firm, APLC McCloskey Waring Waisman & Drury LLP McDougal Love Eckis Boehmer Foley Lyon & Canals Miller, Monson, Peshel, Polacek & Hoshaw MoginRubin LLP Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP Neil, Dymott, Frank, McCabe & Hudson APLC Niddrie | Addams | Fuller | Singh LLP Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP Office of the Public Defender Office of the San Diego City Attorney Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin November/December 2020

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Preovolos Lewin, 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 Schulz Brick & Rogaski Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot LLP Selman Breitman, LLP Seltzer|Caplan|McMahon|Vitek ALC Sharif | Faust Lawyers, Ltd. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP Shoecraft Burton, LLP Shustak Reynolds & Partners, PC Siegel, Moreno & Stettler, APC Smith Steiner Vanderpool, APC Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith LLP Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP Solomon, Grindle, Lidstad & Wintringer, APC Stoel Rives LLP Stokes Wagner, ALC Sullivan Hill Rez & Engel, APLC Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP Tresp Law, APC Vanst Law Walsh McKean Furcolo LLP Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP Winet Patrick Gayer Creighton & Hanes Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP Wirtz Law APC Witham Mahoney & Abbott, LLP Withers Bergman LLP Wright, L’Estrange & Ergastolo

Distinctions The following individuals in our community were recently honored for their achievements. If you achieve a professional success, feel welcome to submit it to bar@sdcba.org for inclusion in an upcoming issue of San Diego Lawyer.

Gregory E. Knoll, CEO/Executive Director/ Chief Counsel for the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc., was honored with the Witkin Award for Excellence in Public Service.

University of San Diego School of Law graduate Nicole Cohen recently received the 2019-2020 Higgs Fletcher & Mack Diversity Scholarship in honor of Craig Higgs.

Lilys D. McCoy, San Diego Deputy City Attorney and Immediate Past President of SDCBA, was awarded the Witkin Award for Excellence in Legal Education.

University of San Diego School of Law graduate Carola Murguia San Roman recently received the Higgs Fletcher & Mack 2019-2020 Steven J. Cologne Annual Scholarship.

Vickie E. Turner, a partner at Williams Turner Kosmo, was honored with the Witkin Award for Excellence in the Practice of Law.

The Witkin Award for Excellence in the Adjuncation of the Law was posthumously awarded to Hon. William B. Enright.



This recognition is based on programming that embraces the Association’s “co-production” model by collaborating with other Sections, Committees, Divisions, or Law-Related Organizations to facilitate learning across more than one practice area, and to provide opportunities for building connections in the legal community.



ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SECTION & ESTATE PLANNING, TRUST & PROBATE LAW SECTION This recognition is based on member engagement through a variety of events and activities, outreach efforts, and program formats and mediums — e.g., virtually through a listserv, educational programming, social and networking events, leadership opportunities, and community service — which provides members with different opportunities to connect with each other in meaningful ways.

The SDCBA recognizes the hard work and leadership of our Sections, Committees, and Divisions that host educational and other programming that align with our Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Plan. This year, we are recognizing five Sections for their dedication and commitment. Visit sdcba.org/certificatesofrecognition for full details on these Sections' outstanding contributions.


BUSINESS & CORPORATE LAW SECTION This recognition is based on programming that focuses on new lawyers to engage and educate them on a variety of topics related to the practice of law or a substantive area of law, and provides them with opportunities to learn, interact with each other, and develop relationships within all segments of the SDCBA and legal profession.


ENVIRONMENTAL / LAND USE LAW SECTION This recognition is based on a section creating new and interesting ways to connect and engage members by thinking “outside the box” of traditional learning, connection, and engagement methods.



November/December 2020


23rd Annual

An Evening in La Jolla The Best Virtual Legal Party in Town! Thank you to our sponsors for their generosity! The funds raised at this year’s event will provide legal services to indigent San Diegans who would not otherwise have access to justice. BEVERAGE SPONSOR









Allen Snyder and Lynne Lasry

EVENT SPONSORS Alejandro Moreno Buchalter Dowling & Yahnke, LLC Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP Gayle Blatt Haeggquist and Eck, LLP Jessica Pride Joe and Colleen Ergastolo Marjorie Ford Smith

Micaela Banach Monica Sherman Ghiglia Oleg Cross Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin Price Pelletier, LLP San Diego County Bar Association Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez, LLP Shannon and Dwayne Stein

For more information about the San Diego County Bar Foundation and the organizations it serves, please visit www.sdcbf.org.


EVENING IN LA JOLLA Members of the legal community enjoyed 2020's An Evening in La Jolla from the comfort of their own homes. The event featured a virtual reception as well as engaging live and silent auctions to raise funds to ensure access to legal services for foster children and at-risk youth, the sick and disabled, the elderly, immigrants, and domestic violence survivors.

SDCBF President Gayle Blatt

Brent Douglas, emcee

Kurt Kirschenman (left) and Jeremy Estrada (right)

DISTINGUISHED LAWYER MEMORIAL This year, the San Diego County Bar Foundation (SDCBF) virtually honored a record seven Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Inductees. Each Honoree demonstrated significant community commitment as well as superior legal skills and high ethical standards throughout their enduring careers.

Roberta Sistos Family Craig Higgs Family

Leo Valentine Family

Don Worley Family

Andy Albert Family



November/December 2020


EXCLUSIVE MEMBER BENEFITS sdcba.org/memberdiscounts

All benefits are as of December 1, 2020 and subject to change without notice.





Call for guidance and perspective on a variety of ethical considerations in the practice of law. (619) 231-0781 x4145

TECH & LAW PRACTICE CONSULTING Level up your law practice management with online expert help from our resident Technology and Practice Management Advisor!

NOTARY SERVICE Schedule your free appointment with one of our notaries at the SDCBA Downtown Bar Center. Visit www.sdcba.org forCOVID-19 closure updates.

CONFERENCE ROOMS & WORKSPACE Come to the SDCBA Downtown Bar Center at 401 West A Street, with free desk space, small conference rooms, WiFi, printing/copies, snacks and more. Visit www.sdcba.org for COVID-19 closure updates.




Enjoy up to a 20% savings on your policy premium. AHERN offers members an Exclusive Lawyers Professional Liability Program with AXA XL, as well as a full line of insurance products designed specifically for law firms.

Take 50% or more off the MSRP of Sharp office printers for your firm.

TAKE 10% OFF OFFICE PRODUCTS Enjoy SDCBA member savings on more than 30,000 office supplies.


DOWNTOWN PARKING Park at the lot at Union and B street for free after 5 p.m. and all day on weekends. SDCBA dashboard placard required.



Get everything you need for your human resource management in one easy, integrated cloud platform.

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One of the all-time leading providers among bars nationwide.


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FIRST THREE MONTHS FREE Sign up today and save a bundle on the go-to payment solution for your law practice.

UNIVERSITY CLUB $250 Preferred Initiation Fee (retails at $1,500)


FIRST 3 MONTHS FREE ON DIY PLAN $15 OFF / MONTH ON TEAM PLAN TrustBooks software for small law firms helps you easily manage your trust account. Keep these exclusive SDCBA discounts, for as long as you have an active TrustBooks account.

Outsource legal work to freelance lawyers. Increase profitability, efficiency, flexibility, and get more done!

10% off the first year subscription for all new users

For business or pleasure!

Receive a 10% lifetime discount on Faster Law’s products designed to help your law firm work faster and more efficiently.




Including Lenovo PC products and accessories.



Discounted admission for SDCBA members at both locations, plus instant front-of-line entry.

Reduced initiation and monthly dues just for SDCBA members.

20% OFF ROOM RATE Enjoy a great rate at this brand new hotel in dowtown, with access to FIT athletic club too!

ALWAYS FRESH MOBILE DETAILING Keep your car like new, at special discounted rates just for SDCBA members.

Your dry cleaner comes to you!


GET MORE CLIENT REFERRALS IN SAN DIEGO & IMPERIAL COUNTIES! Lawyer members of SDCBA’s Lawyer Referral Service earned more than $5 million in fees in 2019 from more than 40,000 client referrals we provided to them. It really pays to be part of this service! SDCBA members can join at a discounted rate.





R E A L E S T A T E C O M P A N Y, I N C .







Profile for San Diego County Bar Association

San Diego Lawyer November/December 2020