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DAVID S. CASEY, SR. Select Affiliations President & Diplomate, ABOTA San Diego, 1957 Founding Member, Consumer Attorneys of California
Founder/President, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, 1960 Elected President, State Bar of California, 1976 Fellow, The International Academy of Trial Lawyers
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
President, ABOTA San Diego, 2021
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.
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
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.
WORKING FOR MYSELF DURING COVID-19 by Brenda Lopez
HOW COVID-19 PLAYED A ROLE IN GOING SOLO by Stephanie Sandler
MEET YOUR BAR-ISTA Phil Schneider, Chief Financial Officer
DISTINCTIONS Community members honored for their achievements
SAN DIEGO BAR FOUNDATION EVENTS PHOTO GALLERY
ANTHONY M. MEDINA'S LEGACY REDEFINES LAW WITH PEOPLE'S LEGAL SERVICES by Michelle Luna Reynoso
CALIFORNIA BAR EXAMINATION A Journey of Change, Hope, and Success by Jeremy M. Evans
REMEMBERING JUSTICE JAMES A. MCINTYRE by William M. Low
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
THE COMPOUNDING ISSUES OF SOCIOECONOMICS AND COVID-19 by Whitney Hodges
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
SAN DIEGO LAWYER MAGAZINE EDITORIAL BOARD Co-Editors Julie T. Houth
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.
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
SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION Board of Directors
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.
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President’s Column by Johanna Schiavoni
2020: REFLECTING ON A YEAR OF CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
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
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
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
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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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LAW SCHOOL COLUMN by Daniel Rosen
JUDICIAL EXTERNSHIPS — WHERE LAW SCHOOL MEETS REALITY
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.com with the subject line “Opinion - USSC Justice Selection.” Julie T. Houth and Edward McIntyre, Co-Editors
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
ETHICS by Edward McIntyre
CAN'T I TELL THEM? Cartoon by George W. Brewster Jr.
Macbeth opened the daily Zoom meeting. Sarah’s and
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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
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.
JUST FOR SDCBA
Edward McIntyre (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
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 (email@example.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
WORKING FOR MYSELF DURING COVID-19 By Brenda Lopez
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 Associationâ€™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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.com. 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
FRIEND MEMBERS Rochelle A’Hearn
Hon. Bonnie M. Dumanis (Ret.)
Marguerite C. Lorenz
Susan K. Fox
Ronald Leigh Greenwald
Kristi E. Pfister
David B. Dugan
Randall E. Kay
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
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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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 - 2021 PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS ANDREWS LAGASSE BRANCH & BELL LLP EMPLOYER
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
what things we can do to make a positive impact.
BECTON, DICKINSON AND COMPANY EMPLOYER
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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.
DUANE MORRIS LLP EMPLOYER
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.
FERRIS & BRITTON, APC
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.
FISHER PHILLIPS, LLP
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
HAEGGQUIST & ECK, LLP EMPLOYER
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.
HIGGS FLETCHER & MACK, LLP EMPLOYER
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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.
PAUL, PLEVIN, SULLIVAN & CONNAUGHTON LLP EMPLOYER
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.
PEREZ VAUGHN & FEASBY INC. EMPLOYER
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.
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH, LLP EMPLOYER
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.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE EMPLOYER
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
SEMPRA ENERGY EMPLOYER
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.
SMITH STEINER VANDERPOOL, APC EMPLOYER
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.
SONY ELECTRONICS INC.
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC FELLOW
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.
WILSON TURNER KOSMO, LLP EMPLOYER
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,
religion, culture, gender, or sexual identity, actively participate in arenas that shape our society, then real change can occur.
WINGERT GREBING BRUBAKER & JUSKIE, LLP EMPLOYER
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.
THANK YOU! TO ALL OUR 2020 - 2021 DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM EMPLOYERS
Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP
Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP
Becton, Dickinson and Company
Perez Vaughn & Feasby Inc.
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP
Duane Morris LLP
San Diego County Public Defender's Office
Ferris & Britton
Fisher Phillips LLP
Smith Steiner Vanderpool, APC
Haeggquist & Eck LLP
Sony Electronics Inc.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack, LLP
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP
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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
Gayani Weerasinghe (email@example.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.
THE COMPOUNDING ISSUES OF SOCIOECONOMICS AND COVID-19
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s San Diego office.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
A PATH TO THE PRACTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW MY INSPIRATION, THE PRACTICE, AND THE EFFECT OF COVID-19 By Matthew Storey
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
Matthew Storey (email@example.com) is a Special Education and Civil Rights attorney at The Law Office of Matthew Storey, APC.
LATINA EQUAL PAY DAY THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE By Marisol Swadener
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
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,
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
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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REMEMBERING JUSTICE JAMES A. McINTYRE By William M. Low
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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ANTHONY M. MEDINA’S LEGACY REDEFINES LAW WITH PEOPLE’S LEGAL SERVICES By Michelle Luna Reynoso
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
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
A SPORTING GOOD TIME By George W. Brewster Jr.
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!”
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
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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”
(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. (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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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!
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L AW Y E RS H E L P I N G OT H E RS
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.
P L A I N T I F F P E R S O N A L I N J U RY
VOSSELLER LAW FIRM
CALIFORNIA BAR EXAMINATION A JOURNEY OF CHANGE, HOPE, AND SUCCESS By Jeremy M. Evans
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
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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
LAWYER YER REFERRAL REFERRAL LAW SERVICE & INFORMATION INFORMATION SERVICE
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
WHAT TO DO WHEN
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW By Jonah A. Toleno
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 (email@example.com) is a Partner with Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. and practices Securities and Financial Services Litigation.
when they grow up. SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
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
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
CERTIFICATE FOR COLLABORATION
TAXATION LAW SECTION
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.
CERTIFICATE FOR VARIETY OF ACTIVITY
CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION
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.
CERTIFICATE FOR NEW LAWYER ENGAGEMENT
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.
CERTIFICATE FOR INNOVATION
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.
SAN DIEGO LAWYER
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 yearâ€™s event will provide legal services to indigent San Diegans who would not otherwise have access to justice. BEVERAGE SPONSOR
CORKSCREW/BOTTLE OPENER SPONSOR
CUTTING BOARD SPONSOR
LIVE AUCTION SPONSOR
SILENT AUCTION SPONSOR
DINNER NAPKIN 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.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR FOUNDATION EVENTS PHOTO GALLERY
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
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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.
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LAW YER REFERRAL & INFORMATION SERVICE
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.
TENANT REPRESENTATION FOR THE LEGAL PROFESSION
R E A L E S T A T E C O M P A N Y, I N C .
EXCELLENCE THROUGH NEGOTIATION