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® ®

® JAN/FEB 2021

2021 SDCBA PRESIDENT

RENÉE n.g. STACKHOUSE

Woman of Action

PLUS

Black Women's Contributions to the American Economy Are Magic Practicing Law with Purpose in a Pandemic RBG (Revered by Generations): Defying and Redefining Labels


LAWYER. BROKER.

EXPERT

NEGOTIATOR.

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

619.235.9959

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tbulich@toddbulich.com

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www.toddbulich.com


ACCOMPLISHED 5 MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF TRIAL ADVOCATES (ABOTA). OVER 20 ‘TRIAL LAWYER OF THE YEAR’ AND ‘OUTSTANDING TRIAL LAWYER’ AWARDS. MORE THAN 100 OTHER INDUSTRY ACCOLADES.

AC C O M P L I S H E D. I N N OVAT I V E .T R U S T E D

Dedicated to the Pursuit of Justice Since 1947. As one of San Diego’s most established plaintiffs’ law firms, we have successfully represented thousands of individuals and recovered billions of dollars for our clients. Most recently, we set groundbreaking precedent in ecommerce liability, holding online retail giants accountable to consumers. Above all, we remain dedicated to our civil justice system, and to our community.

SAN DIEGO

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619-238-1811

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WWW.CASEYGERRY.COM


San Diego & Imperial Valley

THESE REFERRALS

PAY!

Local attorneys earned nearly $7 million from our referrals in 2020 The San Diego County Bar Association’s Lawyer

We also handle all of the marketing to attract

Referral and Information Service (LRIS) referred

potential clients that could be referred to your

more than 28,000 clients to participating lawyers

firm. That, plus the very low annual enrollment fee,

in 2020, resulting in nearly $7 million in legal fees

makes LRIS an amazingly cost-effective

earned. LRIS is a great way to help grow your

marketing option for you.

practice in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Best of all, by participating in LRIS, you will be

Our mission is to set you up for success. LRIS sends

helping clients get legal services they might not

you only carefully screened clients that match your

otherwise know how to find – and gain great

practice area. At the same time, our clients know

clients for your practice – a true win-win.

they’re being paired with quality attorneys, thanks to our thorough lawyer qualif ication process. This is your assurance of the best possible referrals.

Join the many attorneys already growing their practices with LRIS.

REQUEST YOUR LRIS APPLICATION: 619.321.4153 or LRIS@sdcba.org

4

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

| July/August 2020

LAWYER YER REFERRAL REFERRAL LAW SERVICE & INFORMATION INFORMATION SERVICE


9

10

LAW SCHOOL COLUMN Online Learning From a Law Student's Perspective by Celeste Tucker ETHICS Family Ties That Bind by Edward McIntyre

12

TECHNOLOGY Tech Tips and Tidbits by Bill Kammer

32

TUMULTUOUS TEAMS Rounding the Historical Bases of Bar Softball by George W. Brewster Jr.

41

WHAT TO DO WHEN ... You Have a Virtual Court Hearing: A Judge's Perspective by Hon. Katherine A. Bacal

43

DISTINCTIONS & PASSINGS Community members remembered and honored for their achievements

43

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14

41

14

Page

16

23

19

21

23

28 Page

30

44

MEET YOUR BAR-ISTA Olga Blankson Executive Assistant and Leadership Coordinator

PHOTO GALLERY

WHY I BELONG Get to Know SDCBA Member Rafael Hurtado

RBG (REVERED BY GENERATIONS) Defying and Redefining Labels by Rupa G. Singh PRACTICING LAW WITH PURPOSE IN A PANDEMIC by Marta Manus HOPE RESTORED Achieving a Landmark Workplace Harassment Plaintiff's Verdict by Ron Marcus AB 5 AND PROPOSITION 22 The Gig Economy Fills the "App" Between Employee and Indepedent Contractor by Michael G. Olinik 2021 SDCBA PRESIDENT RENÉE N.G. STACKHOUSE Woman of Action by Karen Korr

30

34

35

37

39

THE FREEDOM RIDERS 60 YEARS LATER Californians on the Buses and Why We All Should Still Be Riding by Wilson Schooley THE VERDICT IS IN: THIS JUDGE 'ROCKS!' by Wendy L. House LAWYER PLAYLIST What Bar Members Are Listening To THE VALUE OF CULTIVATING MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIPS by Gayani R. Weerasinghe AN EPISTEMIC REGIME — WHAT WE LAWYERS SHOULD CONTRIBUTE A Reflection by Edward McIntyre

BLACK WOMEN'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY ARE MAGIC by Kim Carter

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

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January/February 2021

5


BE SEEN by thousands of San Diego lawyers, judges, and legal community members who receive the award-winning bimonthly magazine you’re reading right now. THE VALUE OF CULTIVATING MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIPS

® ®

By Gayani R. Weerasinghe

®

“Mentorship and sponsorship are vital to a successful career.

To find such mentors, Brian Sun, the General Counsel

Mentors and sponsors have traveled the road to success

for Sorrento Therapeutics, recommends community

and can provide valuable insight — ‘Don’t make the same

involvement. “Joining an affinity group allows you to build

mistakes I did.’ Having said that, we all make mistakes and a

your network and seed opportunities. You gain access to a

mentor or sponsor can be there to help you recover.”

pool of mentors who are committed to providing guidance

— Hon. Randa Trapp, San Diego Superior Court

these seeds means developing genuine relationships without

A

JAN/FEB 2021

and fellowship that will open many doors for you. Planting any expectation other than to grow and learn — and this will

mentor is a trusted advisor that is willing to give

lead to opportunities that surprise and reward you throughout

you advice and insights as to how to navigate

your career,” says Sun.

a situation or achieve a goal. A sponsor, on the

other hand, is someone who champions you in promotions

Whether it is a formal mentor-mentee matchup by a

and advancements within a profession, organization, or

professional group or an informal relationship through

workplace. While this discussion can apply to both mentors

networking and your community involvement, make the time

and sponsors, as they both play an important role in

to get to know your mentor, their path to where they are,

your success, this article focuses more on cultivating the

and their professional and volunteer work. Building mentor-

relationships with your mentors and why it matters for your

mentee relationships organically is important, as you would

long-term success.

want an authentic relationship and a genuine connection with your mentor.

Everyone needs a mentor! “No matter the level or status of Remember that mentors do not always need to be someone

your professional standing, it is certain that what got you here,

older. They can be a colleague in your own cohort or even

won’t get you there. So, wherever you want to get to next, it is

someone younger. For example, one of my mentors is

critical to your success that you have a brain trust — mentors.

my younger sister, Bhashini Weerasinghe, who has been

Mentors to help you chart your path and overcome the

practicing law for over 10 years and had her own practice for

terrain. No one successful goes at it alone,” says India Jewell,

over seven years. If they have more experience or have a skill

Legal Head of Consumer Products at Sony Electronics.

set that you would like to grow, do not be shy. Reach out and ask for help.

Mentors can be found in a variety of settings and you do not need to limit yourself to one. I would recommend having

Lastly, I encourage you to volunteer to be a mentor to

multiple mentors to help you in different areas of your

someone else who is junior to you. This is a great way to not

profession. An added benefit of multiple mentors is that you

only give back, but gain another perspective on mentorship

can get different perspectives, more targeted advice, and

and how to be a better mentee to your mentors. As Maya

prevent creating a burden on your mentor’s schedule.

Angelou said, “[W]hen you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

As Gayle Blatt, a Partner at Casey Gerry says, “It’s important

Gayani R. Weerasinghe, Esq., M.A., (gayani@lawgrw.com) is an Intellectual Property

for young lawyers to seek out mentors. Experience is the best teacher, and the right mentors can help you learn from their

and Business Law attorney with her own practice. She is also the host of the YouTube Channel, Inventive Mind.

mistakes while providing encouragement as you chart your

2021 SDCBA PRESIDENT

own path.”

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

RENÉE n.g. STACKHOUSE

|

January/February 2021

37

Now in San Diego & Imperial Valley!

THESE REFERRALS

Woman of Action

PAY!

ACCOMPLISHED 5 MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF TRIAL ADVOCATES (ABOTA). OVER 20 ‘TRIAL LAWYER OF THE YEAR’ AND ‘OUTSTANDING TRIAL LAWYER’ AWARDS. MORE THAN 100 OTHER INDUSTRY ACCOLADES.

Local attorneys earned nearly $7 million from our referrals in 2020 The San Diego County Bar Association’s Lawyer

We also handle all of the marketing to attract

Referral and Information Service (LRIS) referred

potential clients that could be referred to your

more than 28,000 clients to participating lawyers

firm. That, plus the very low annual enrollment fee,

in 2020, resulting in nearly $7 million in legal fees

makes LRIS an amazingly cost-effective

earned. LRIS is a great way to help grow your

marketing option for you.

practice in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

AC C O M P L I S H E D. I N N OVAT I V E .T R U S T E D

Best of all, by participating in LRIS, you will be

Our mission is to set you up for success. LRIS sends

helping clients get legal services they might not

you only carefully screened clients that match your

otherwise know how to find – and gain great

practice area. At the same time, our clients know

clients for your practice – a true win-win.

they’re being paired with quality attorneys, thanks to our thorough lawyer qualif ication process. This is your assurance of the best possible referrals.

Join the many attorneys already growing their practices with LRIS.

Dedicated to the Pursuit of Justice Since 1947. As one of San Diego’s most established plaintiffs’ law firms, we have successfully represented thousands of individuals and recovered billions of dollars for our clients. Most recently, we set groundbreaking precedent in ecommerce liability, holding online retail giants accountable to consumers. Above all, we remain dedicated to our civil justice system, and to our community.

REQUEST YOUR LRIS APPLICATION: 619.321.4153 or LRIS@sdcba.org

4

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

| July/August 2020

LAWYER YER REFERRAL REFERRAL LAW

SAN DIEGO

SERVICE & INFORMATION INFORMATION SERVICE

|

619-238-1811

Macbeth asked, “How long were you married?”

ETHICS by Edward McIntyre

FAMILY TIES THAT BIND Cartoon by George W. Brewster Jr.

Macbeth opened the Zoom meeting. “Good morning Sarah, Duncan. Jeff asked to join us. Anyone mind?”

Clicks, another box opens, a face appears. “Good morning, Jeff. Meet Sarah and Duncan.” After greetings, Macbeth spoke. “Jeff, you had questions?” “Yes. I’ll be a witness in a case. You’ve done it often as an

PLUS

expert. Thought I’d pick your brain. Get some tips.”

Black Women's Contributions to the American Economy Are Magic Practicing Law with Purpose in a Pandemic

“You’ll be an expert?”

think about revising the informed consent.” “OK, if you think —” “Did you consider the rule’s Comment 3?”

daughter, Maddie.”

“Yes. Even with your daughter’s consent, a court could

from prejudice.” “I don’t see it.”

“Testimony of substance? Not an uncontested issue or

“Oh, it will be substantive, all right. Suing my ex-wife. As a

“All of that.”

young teen, Maddie announced she was gay. My former

“One purpose of the advocate-witness rule is to prevent fact

make it stop. Killed the marriage. I got full custody. Legal and

finder confusion. Is the advocate-witness’s statement to a

physical. Now she’s 19. Recovered, but still traumatized.

fact finder proof or argument? Same person. Different roles.”

I’ll be a key witness.”

“But —”

Sarah interrupted, “I’m so sorry. For her. For you.” Macbeth spoke. “Before we discuss being a witness, should

“The rule tries to avoid tying a lawyer’s persuasiveness as an advocate to his credibility as witness. In short, it could harm an opposing party or judicial integrity if a lawyer

we focus on rule 3.7?”

testifies on a key issue — with conflicting testimony —

“The lawyer-witness rule?”

disqualify you from representing your daughter at all. Not just at trial.”

and then argues to a jury why his testimony is more

“You mean I could be knocked out at trial?”

“Already looked at it. I’ve got Maddie’s informed written

“Could. Appellate courts have allowed it. Abuse of

consent. Both as her lawyer and a witness at trial. Like

deposition questions based on the email and quoted it in depositions and interrogatory responses. A court could

“Wow, I never thought —” “Jeff, not saying it’ll happen. But think it through. You want to

“What?!”

help your daughter. We understand.”

“During marriage you learned a lot from and about your

Sarah spoke. “Maybe the best help would be to support her

former spouse that’s confidential. Because of the marriage.

through a difficult case. Be the best witness you can. Let

Brace yourself for the argument you could exploit that

someone not so involved be her advocate. A partner, perhaps."

information in suing her.” “A lot to think about. Thanks. If that’s what I do, may I come “How?”

back? Talk about how to be an effective witness?”

“Well, you’ve certainly gotten confidential information

Macbeth smiled. “We’d welcome it.”

you could use, for example, drafting discovery requests. Preparing deposition outlines. Think about it. You’d have an inside track on the defense case.”

Editor’s Note: The recent case Sarah sent Jeff was Doe v. Yim (2020) 55 Cal.App.5th 573.

“That could disqualify me?” “One court disqualified a lawyer who’d gotten the secrets of an adverse party. It implicated the lawyer’s ethical duty to

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

maintain the integrity of the judicial process.

Kathryn Karcher will hit your client’s appeal out of the park. Hire her, before the other side does.

credible than the other testimony.”

it applies.”

rule 3.7(a)(3) requires.”

Another disqualified a firm to prevent prejudice from the firm’s exploitation of privileged email. It had prepared

“You’ll be a key witness? On contested issues? With conflicting testimony?”

harassed and bullied her. Mercilessly. Poor kid! I couldn’t

WWW.CASEYGERRY.COM

decide disqualification here is a necessary prophylactic.”

“Be aware there may be a confidentiality issue. Could

Preparing your daughter, other witnesses, for deposition. “About court discretion?”

about fees?”

discretion is not a difficult standard. You might want to mention it to your daughter. In a revised informed consent.

“As part of that informed consent, you advised her that if your credibility as a witness takes a hit — on cross-examination, for example — it might affect your credibility as her advocate

So she’s not surprised.” “Guess I should. May I see the cases?” Sarah interjected. “I’ll send you the most recent.”

arguing to a jury or judge?”

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

final a year later. Why?”

To protect the trier of fact from being misled. Your wife

“No. I’m the trial lawyer. Also a witness. Representing my

10

TO ADVERTISE

“You might consider making it explicit. What’s obvious to us

disqualify you from testifying and being the advocate.

“Precisely. Since your testimony will be substantive,

RBG (Revered by Generations): Defying and Redefining Labels

“She’s a smart kid. I’m sure she understands. Isn’t it obvious?”

might not be to a 19-year-old, about to sue her mother. I’d

A joint, “Not at all.”

“Sixteen years. The bullying started when Maddie was 13. I moved out after two years. Took her with me. Divorce was

|

|

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

January/February 2021

visit www.sdcba.org/advertise-sdlawyer


®®

®

®

SAN DIEGO LAWYER EDITORIAL BOARD Co-Editors Julie T. Houth

Issue 1, January/February 2021

Issue no. 1. 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

George W. Brewster Jr.

Editorial Board Marissa Bejerano Victor Bianchini Shelley Carder Devinder S. Hans Whitney Hodges Wendy House

Anne Kammer Edward McIntyre Michael G. Olinik Wilson A. Schooley Renée N.G. Stackhouse Gayani Weerasinghe

of an annual subscription to members of the San Diego County Bar Association is included in their dues. Annual subscriptions to all others, $50. Single-copy price, $10. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to San Diego Lawyer, 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101. Copyright © 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 discretion.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION Board of Directors President Renée N.G. Stackhouse President-Elect David Majchrzak Immediate Past President Johanna Schiavoni Secretary Nicholas J. Fox Treasurer Marissa A. Bejarano Vice Presidents Hon. Victor E. Bianchini, Ret. A. Melissa Johnson Khodadad Darius Sharif

Directors Roxy Carter Warren Den Michelle A. Gastil Stacey A. Kartchner Brenda Lopez Angela Medrano Wilson A. Schooley Robert M. Shaughnessy L. Marcel Stewart Kimberly Swierenga New Lawyer Division Chair Stephanie Atkinson

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

Content and Publications Editor Hailey Johnson

Director of Marketing & Outreach Ron Marcus

Marketing Manager Sasha Feredoni

Senior Designer Attiba Royster

ADVERTISERS INDEX Free Tech/Practice Management Consulting . . . 13 ADR Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Baker Street Group Investigators . . . . . . . . . . 33 CaseyGerry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 JAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Judicate West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Kathryn Karcher Appeals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Law Pay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Lawyer Referral & Information Service . . . . . . Monty A. McIntyre, Esq. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Panish Shea & Boyle LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . San Diego County Bar Foundation . . . . . . . . . San Diego Lawyer Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . Stanford And Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Todd Bulich Real Estate Company, Inc. . . . . . . . West Coast Resolution Group . . . . . . . . . . . .

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January/February 2021

7


THANK YOU

TO OUR PATRON & FRIEND MEMBERS

The SDCBA gratefully acknowledges the generous commitment provided by members who support our community at the Patron and Friend membership levels. You can become a Patron or Friend member when you activate or renew your membership online, or by request at any time. If you are interested in upgrading, contact mbr@sdcba.org. For more information, please contact our Member Services Department at (619) 231-0781 x3505. Patron and Friend member lists as of January 17, 2021.

PATRON MEMBERS Marc D. Adelman Doc Anthony Anderson Mylinh Uy Arnett Danielle Patricia Barger Hon. Victor E. Bianchini (Ret.) Jedd E. Bogage James A. Bush Adriana Cara Hon. Jose S. Castillo Andy Cook Steven T. Coopersmith Ezekiel E. Cortez Taylor Darcy Warren K. Den John A. Don Matthew J. Faust

Sergio Feria Nicholas J. Fox James P. Frantz Matthew David Freeman Jennifer French Erin M. Funderburk Douglas A. Glass Alvin M. Gomez Matthew C. Hervey Stephen M. Hogan A. Melissa Johnson Carla B. Keehn Garrison “Bud” Klueck Lilys D. McCoy Jillian M. Minter Virginia C. Nelson Ron H. Oberndorfer

Anthony J. Passante, Jr. Ana M. Sambold Wendi E. Santino Thomas P. Sayer Johanna S. Schiavoni Pamela J. Scholefield Wilson Adam Schooley Khodadad Darius Sharif Hon. Stephanie Sontag (Ret.) Renée N.G. Stackhouse Todd F. Stevens Genevieve A. Suzuki Thomas J. Warwick Andrew H. Wilensky Karen M. ZoBell

FRIEND MEMBERS Alison K. Adelman

Ronald Leigh Greenwald

Anne Perry

Linda Cianciolo

Randall E. Kay

Kristi E. Pfister

Michelle Ann Gastil

Matthew J. Norris

Blanca Quintero


LAW SCHOOL COLUMN by Celeste Tucker

ONLINE LEARNING FROM A LAW STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

O

nline learning using Zoom has been a rollercoaster type of experience for law students. During my second semester of 1L, California

Western School of Law had to quickly adjust to online learning due to the pandemic. Some of my classmates said, “Hooray!” while others were upset. However, we all had to adjust, and we were all in this together. Throughout this journey, I learned that online learning has its advantages and drawbacks. One of the advantages

Overall, online learning has been a unique experience with challenges, but I am thankful to continue my education.

is that I have more time for myself in the day. Another advantage is the great private chat function on Zoom

the professor. This has worked tremendously! I wish I had

that allows students to privately message the professor

discovered or thought of this tactic earlier in the semester.

a question. For a student like me who shies away from raising her hand in class, this feature is extremely helpful.

Lastly, there is always the fear of saying something

A drawback of online learning is the distractions! I live

fear of being cold-called, but to be recorded while being

in a studio that is approximately 350 square feet. I share

called on is a new challenge to face.

it with my fiancé and small dog. I also live near a construction site. My home is noisy and distracting. I ultimately purchased noise-canceling headphones, even though they are expensive. However, the headphones only alleviated some distractions that come with online learning.

regrettable in class while being recorded! We all have that

Overall, online learning has been a unique experience with challenges, but I am thankful to continue my education. This experience has further shown me the camaraderie at California Western School of Law. The faculty and student body have been working together tirelessly to make this transition as accommodating as possible. Thank you to

Another drawback of online learning is the grid view on

the legal community for all your support in keeping us law

Zoom. Although it is nice to see other students, the grid

students moving forward.

view is distracting to me. My eyes drift from the professor’s grid box to another person’s box when something catches my eye. I expressed my struggle with a colleague, and she recommended I use the speaker view then minimize the

Celeste Tucker (cmtucker@law.cwsl.edu) is a 2L at California Western School of Law.

screen to where the window displays only yourself and

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

|

January/February 2021

9


ETHICS by Edward McIntyre

FAMILY TIES THAT BIND Cartoon by George W. Brewster Jr.

Macbeth opened the Zoom meeting. “Good morning Sarah, Duncan. Jeff asked to join us. Anyone mind?” A joint, “Not at all.”

“She’s a smart kid. I’m sure she understands. Isn’t it obvious?” “You might consider making it explicit. What’s obvious to us might not be to a 19-year-old, about to sue her mother. I’d

Clicks, another box opens, a face appears. “Good morning, Jeff. Meet Sarah and Duncan.” After greetings, Macbeth spoke. “Jeff, you had questions?” “Yes. I’ll be a witness in a case. You’ve done it often as an expert. Thought I’d pick your brain. Get some tips.”

think about revising the informed consent.” “OK, if you think —” “Did you consider the rule’s Comment 3?” “About court discretion?” “Yes. Even with your daughter’s consent, a court could disqualify you from testifying and being the advocate.

“You’ll be an expert?”

To protect the trier of fact from being misled. Your wife

“No. I’m the trial lawyer. Also a witness. Representing my

from prejudice.”

daughter, Maddie.”

“I don’t see it.”

“Testimony of substance? Not an uncontested issue or

“You’ll be a key witness? On contested issues?

about fees?”

With conflicting testimony?”

“Oh, it will be substantive, all right. Suing my ex-wife. As a young teen, Maddie announced she was gay. My former

“All of that.”

harassed and bullied her. Mercilessly. Poor kid! I couldn’t

“One purpose of the advocate-witness rule is to prevent fact

make it stop. Killed the marriage. I got full custody. Legal and

finder confusion. Is the advocate-witness’s statement to a

physical. Now she’s 19. Recovered, but still traumatized.

fact finder proof or argument? Same person. Different roles.”

I’ll be a key witness.”

“But —”

Sarah interrupted, “I’m so sorry. For her. For you.”

“The rule tries to avoid tying a lawyer’s persuasiveness as

Macbeth spoke. “Before we discuss being a witness, should

an advocate to his credibility as witness. In short, it could

we focus on rule 3.7?”

harm an opposing party or judicial integrity if a lawyer testifies on a key issue — with conflicting testimony —

“The lawyer-witness rule?”

and then argues to a jury why his testimony is more

“Precisely. Since your testimony will be substantive,

credible than the other testimony.”

it applies.”

“You mean I could be knocked out at trial?”

“Already looked at it. I’ve got Maddie’s informed written

“Could. Appellate courts have allowed it. Abuse of

consent. Both as her lawyer and a witness at trial. Like rule 3.7(a)(3) requires.”

mention it to your daughter. In a revised informed consent.

“As part of that informed consent, you advised her that if your credibility as a witness takes a hit — on cross-examination, for example — it might affect your credibility as her advocate arguing to a jury or judge?”

10

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

discretion is not a difficult standard. You might want to So she’s not surprised.” “Guess I should. May I see the cases?” Sarah interjected. “I’ll send you the most recent.”

|

January/February 2021


Macbeth asked, “How long were you married?” “Sixteen years. The bullying started when Maddie was 13. I moved out after two years. Took her with me. Divorce was final a year later. Why?”

Another disqualified a firm to prevent prejudice from the firm’s exploitation of privileged email. It had prepared deposition questions based on the email and quoted it in depositions and interrogatory responses. A court could decide disqualification here is a necessary prophylactic.”

“Be aware there may be a confidentiality issue. Could disqualify you from representing your daughter at all. Not just at trial.”

“Wow, I never thought —” “Jeff, not saying it’ll happen. But think it through. You want to

“What?!”

help your daughter. We understand.”

“During marriage you learned a lot from and about your

Sarah spoke. “Maybe the best help would be to support her

former spouse that’s confidential. Because of the marriage.

through a difficult case. Be the best witness you can. Let

Brace yourself for the argument you could exploit that

someone not so involved be her advocate. A partner, perhaps."

information in suing her.” “A lot to think about. Thanks. If that’s what I do, may I come “How?”

back? Talk about how to be an effective witness?”

“Well, you’ve certainly gotten confidential information

Macbeth smiled. “We’d welcome it.”

you could use, for example, drafting discovery requests. Preparing your daughter, other witnesses, for deposition. Preparing deposition outlines. Think about it. You’d have an inside track on the defense case.”

Editor’s Note: The recent case Sarah sent Jeff was Doe v. Yim (2020) 55 Cal.App.5th 573.

“That could disqualify me?” “One court disqualified a lawyer who’d gotten the secrets of an adverse party. It implicated the lawyer’s ethical duty to

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

maintain the integrity of the judicial process.

Kathryn Karcher will hit your client’s appeal out of the park. Hire her, before the other side does.

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


TECHNOLOGY by Bill Kammer

TECH TIPS AND TIDBITS

T

he COVID-19 pandemic may have affected

Similarly, check and ensure that the router software is up

some changes in the manner we practice law.

to date and that your network passwords meet current

We are approaching a year of experience with

standards. Many routers were originally shipped with

working at home, remote access, Zoom conferencing,

common passwords well known to hackers. For a more

and collaboration tools. Clearly, there have been lessons

extensive discussion of router security, see this article from

learned. Let’s explore a few.

Wired: www.wired.com/story/secure-your-wi-fi-router.

Time to Change Your Passwords

Use Your Guest Network

One result of the pandemic is that many attorneys and staff

Most routers ship with the capacity for a guest network. Most

members now work from home. Sadly, this situation will

homes focus on the guest networks as a way for visitors to

probably continue through much of 2021 or maybe it’s a

use our Wi-Fi without granting them potential access to other

permanent change in the practice of law. Most people are

computers and devices on the primary networks.

hesitant to change well-remembered passwords, and those often forced to change passwords may suffer “password

The Internet of Things (IoT) has affected our home networks

fatigue.” But it is probably time to change the passwords

because of the multiplicity of devices like webcams,

we are using to access office systems or enter frequently

doorbells, light bulbs, switches, and smart TVs. Every device

used sites. About 80% of data breaches are caused by weak,

may possess the potential to provide a backdoor for hackers

default, or stolen passwords.

to exploit to gain access to everything hosted on our home network. A network is only as secure as its weakest link.

Two-Factor Authentication -> Multi-Factor Authentication

We should enhance security on as many of those devices

Simply logging in with a username and password is no

confine all IoT devices to the guest network. In that manner,

longer sufficient. Most banks and financial institutions

we isolate our computers, laptops, and mobile devices on

have, for some time, come to insist upon a form of backup

our primary networks, safe from the exploits of internet

authentication. The most common version involves a text

miscreants.

as we can, but one way to corral potential exposures is to

message to a mobile device that requires a response before the original logon is concluded. If attorneys and staff are

For more substantial advice on how to protect your home

working from home and accessing office systems, there is

network, follow the suggestions in this article:

no reason systems should not be enhanced by two-factor

www.howtogeek.com/659084/how-secure-is-your-home-wi-fi.

authentication and multi-factor authentication.

Don’t Drink the 5G Kool-Aid

Repair Your Router

At least, don’t hurry to implement it. 5G is the fifth-generation

Those of us working at home probably use the household's

standard for cellular networks, replacing the 4G most are

Wi-Fi network. Control of that network resides in a router

presently using. The mobile carriers are all rolling out this new

we may have installed 5-10 years ago. If that’s the case, the

technology and competing in their advertisements to claim

router may need some intensive care. For instance, there

primacy if not uniqueness. 5G will provide more bandwidth for

are basically two kinds of Wi-Fi encryption: WEP and WPA.

services and much faster download speeds. Most expect that

You need not know the technical differences, but WEP is a

5G will ultimately support not only cellular service but also

very old standard and too weak for security. A hacker can

provide internet access for laptops and desktop computers.

crack its passwords in minutes with an ordinary computer and software readily available on the internet. If WEP is the

Our present 4G phones will not operate on 5G, so we will

standard on your home network, change it now.

need new mobile devices. Most carriers will potentially

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provide 5G service on three different frequency bands.

solutions to help you look your best. There are many

The lower two bands, e.g., “5G Nationwide,” may only

YouTubers and video producers who have been at

provide marginally better service than presently available.

it longer than our attorney population. For a start,

The highest frequencies, e.g., “5G Ultra-Wideband,” will

go to YouTube and search for ways to look good on

provide the touted ultrafast speed improvements, but

video calls. Here is one example: www.youtube.com/

they will require substantial infrastructure changes and

watch?v=ACNGhPKnmok. Here is another example from

construction. This ongoing process means we must be

the SDCBA: https://bit.ly/3bTr54p.

careful in opting for upgrades and new equipment to ensure that we can receive the promised improvements.

Comprehensive References

All of this is reminiscent of prior marketing efforts to label

A complete discussion of our changed ways and methods,

carriers’ services as the next generation though they were

working environments, and equipment requires more than

nothing more than an evolution toward it. After all, LTE

a single column. To further explore these issues, peruse

means Long Term Evolution.

this Complete Guide to Working Remotely from Clio. www. clio.com/guides/complete-guide-lawyers-remote-work.

Lookin’ Good!

You might also review resources found on websites such

One aspect of the pandemic year has been a rapid

as Bob Ambrogi’s at www.lawsitesresources.com.

adoption of video conferencing on platforms such as Zoom and Teams. We have all heard stories of

In the middle of the 19th century, a French writer

inappropriate dress, questionable backgrounds, and

suggested that the more things change, the more they

unwanted interruptions. We have also seen galleries

stay the same. Maybe that’s no longer true of the practice

that feature participants but not in their best light. There

of law, remote or otherwise.

are simple ways to enhance your appearance. For some simple fixes, consider this article: www.attorneyatwork. com/5-hacks-to-level-up-your-videoconferencing. You can also, browse the internet and YouTube for the

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

many articles and videos that suggest more complex

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RBG

(REVERED BY GENERATIONS): DEFYING AND REDEFINING LABELS By Rupa G. Singh

W

hen he nominated her to the U.S. Supreme Court, President Bill Clinton said that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had proved herself too

thoughtful for such labels as “liberal” or “conservative.” Yet average Americans came to know Justice Ginsburg by a famous label: the Notorious RBG. The affectionate title came from a blog of the same name by second-year NYU law student who played on rapper Biggie Smalls’ "Notorious B.I.G.” moniker to honor Justice Ginsburg for her dissent in a landmark voting rights case, Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013).

Hero. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said during a seminar on the Supreme Court’s October 2020 term that we are grieving that much more for RBG because she was a hero. RBG was, indeed, a true real-life hero, perhaps representing our own heroic aspirations. Her superpower was her brain, reflected in her brilliant pen. I would have loved to meet eighth-grader RBG who wrote an editorial about the five greatest documents to date. With clear-eyed brevity, she explained why the UN Charter

Justice Ginsburg embraced the nickname gracefully. In a 2017 NBC interview, she applauded the blog’s author for channeling her disappointment at the striking down of a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County into a blog to raise awareness of the majority’s opinion and

should join the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta, the British Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence as documents that benefited humanity “as a result of their fine ideals and principles.” (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, et al., In My Own Words, p. 10 (Simon & Schuster, 2018).) Her ability

RBG’s dissent.

to write and speak persuasively shone in her teachings,

RBG would hopefully accept with as much spirit the other

and Columbia Law School; as the ACLU’s winningest

speeches, and writings as a professor at Rutgers University

labels she has inspired, put in perspective as much by academic giants as by everyday lawyers evaluating her impact on us and our children, especially our daughters.

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appellate advocate; as a D.C. Circuit judge; a Supreme Court Justice; and a sought-after public speaker and officiant throughout her career.


Moderate Radical.

Iconic.

Surprising for someone who proved so revolutionary, she

On top of her many firsts, RBG displayed rare brilliance in

advocated incremental change, inviting everyone along

other spheres. She once learned to speak Swedish with

instead of dragging them to a desired conclusion about

seeming effortlessness and was an art connoisseur. Upon

equality under the law: e.g., Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71

her passing, opera houses across the country dimmed their

(1971) (abolishing automatic preference for males as their

lights. But she was also disarming to the core, sharing her

children’s estate administrators); Frontiero v. Richardson,

limitations in the kitchen and on the cello. Instead of being

411 U.S. 677 (1973) (ensuring same spousal benefits for

intimidating or inaccessible, she embraced her unsolicited

husbands of officers as wives of male officers); Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636 (1975) (striking provision giving widows but not widowers Social Security benefits while caring for their minor children).

status as a pop culture icon in ways that helped many of us reimagine a life in the law as fulfilling and cool all at once.

Transcendent. RBG reached across the generational, digital, and social

Feminist.

media divide to make many of us, old and young alike, want

For all her label-defying thoughtfulness, RBG

her feats, though, honoring her legacy could just mean

remained true to her core purpose. Quoting a

pretending to be slightly deaf to unkind words, as RBG did

19th-century feminist and abolitionist during her

at her mother-in-law’s advice; choosing persuasion over

argument in Frontiero v. Richardson, RBG said that she

accusation, as RBG did from at least the eighth grade; and

“sought no favors for my sex” other than to have women’s

striving for moderation in our impassioned efforts, as RBG

“brethren ... take their feet off our necks.” Years later,

modeled in her thoughtful appellate advocacy and careful

she helped catalyze that change, writing in United States v.

judicial dissents.

to chart our course by her example. Instead of achieving

Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996) that an exclusively male public military school violated the Equal Protection Clause. Outside the Court, Justice Ginsburg incorporated her fashion sense and “dissent” collars to amplify her feminist message.

Chief Dissenter. Even in dissent, RBG tried to persuade instead of to berate the majority, using everyday English. In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, she candidly noted that her male colleagues did “not comprehend or [were] indifferent to the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.” (550 U.S. 618, 661 (2007), (Ginsburg, J., dissenting), overruled by legislative action (Jan. 29, 2009).) Two years

Cross-generational. My 9-year-old daughter showed me how much RBG will inspire the next generation and how I might try to carry on RBG’s legacy. Usually, the youngest member of our family is more concerned with perfecting her gymnastics front flips and pulling off her first soccer hat trick than discussing equality under the law. But she was visibly moved by a PBS film tribute to RBG we recently watched as a family. After being quiet through dinner, our daughter said thoughtfully, “I wish you could dissent from someone’s death. If so, I dissent from RBG’s death.” It made me smile, cry, and marvel at her elegant ability to simplify how I could transform into meaningful action my unavailing grief for someone who so profoundly touched

later, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was enacted.

my life from afar. Because I now aspire to persuade, oppose,

In Shelby County v. Holder, she explained that throwing

and make tactical decisions as an advocate by asking what

out a voter protection mechanism in the South when

my hero, RBG, would do in that situation, I proudly join in my

“it has worked and is continuing to work to stop

daughter’s cross-generational dissent.

discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” (570 U.S. 529, 590 (2013) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting).) She did not use the traditional phrase I “respectfully” dissent because it seemed hypocritical to her to pretend to admire the majority’s reasoning while explaining why it was wrong. In an era of incivility, she modeled taking the high ground without being artificial.

Rupa G. Singh is a certified appellate specialist who handles complex civil appeals and critical motions in state and federal court at Niddrie Addams Fuller Singh LLP. She is founding president of the San Diego Appellate Inn of Court, former chair of the SDCBA’s Appellate Practice Section, and the proud mother of three self-proclaimed RBG groupies.

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PRACTICING LAW WITH PURPOSE IN A PANDEMIC By Marta Manus

I

f there is one word to encapsulate the year 2020, I

to work when millions are unemployed and struggling.

think we could all agree that “unprecedented” is a top

Survivor’s guilt can compound symptoms of burnout,

contender. Loss and disruption are two other words that

which include exhaustion, energy depletion, overwhelm,

come to mind. 2020 was a year unlike any other. In the midst

disconnection, and a feeling like you’re never doing

of struggle and uncertainty, there is the greatest opportunity

enough even while running yourself into the ground.

for change. Human beings are biologically wired to seek

Not surprisingly, post-pandemic burnout rates have

certainty, security, and to live in community. 2020 was the

sharply increased, which is likely due in part to feeling

year that thrust us all into involuntary change and survival

disconnected. One of the most effective ways to alleviate

mode. When the world as we know it is stripped away and

burnout is to connect with others. Connection is the key

each day brings a new challenge, we are presented with the

to getting us through this unprecedented year without

opportunity to decide who we really want to be and how we

ending up completely burned out.

want to spend our time. The greatest challenges often bring The pandemic has been a catalyst for transformation and

the most clarity.

growth. I have always felt incredibly privileged to be a Even before the pandemic, workplace burnout was

part of the legal profession, but 2020 revealed to me just

prevalent and largely accepted as part of the legal

how privileged I am. The pandemic allowed me to slow

profession. Burnout has gotten a hold of us more than

down and reevaluate who I want to be and how I want to

ever due to the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic,

work and to reconnect with myself. When we are forced to

we have had to pivot and reprioritize while continuing

stop distracting ourselves with our busyness and never-

to serve our clients, take care of ourselves and loved

ending to-do lists, we are given the opportunity to go

ones, and stay healthy. Many colleagues have expressed

inward and reflect on our core values and beliefs. This

a sense of survivor’s guilt because the nature of our

year, I resigned from two jobs. I learned that quitting is for

profession has allowed the majority of lawyers to continue

winners. 2020 taught me when to quit, when to change

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This year is an opportunity to redefine how we live and work and to create a life and practice with purpose.

become aware of the individual and collective processes that work through us and change the ones that no longer work. We can only change things of which we are conscious. Personally, 2020 gave me the chance to transform the way I live and practice. It shifted my perspective on what success means to me. We are not here to power through the pandemic and return to normal. If 2020 has a silver lining, it is to instill in us and our profession the urgency to overhaul how we live and work. It has shown

direction, when to demand more from life, and when to

us the importance of prioritizing well-being, leading

move on from something that isn’t working. It taught me

with empathy, and fostering connection. This year is an

to quit doing things that drain my energy and make me

opportunity to redefine how we live and work and to

dread getting out of bed. It taught me that it’s never too

create a life and practice with purpose.

late to choose once again who we really are and what we really want in life. It taught me to be more purposeful, resilient, and authentic. I have learned that a fulfilling life and successful career are not mutually exclusive. Purpose is not something we find outside of ourselves. Purpose is not what we do but how we do everything. To live and work purposefully is to choose how you show up in every area of life. 2020 has given us the opportunity to

Marta Manus (www.connectwithmarta.com) is a Senior Associate Attorney and the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group Lead at Marble, PC in San Diego. She is also a certified leadership coach and frequent guest speaker at legal conferences. Marta is the Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Wellness Subcommittee.

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HOPE RESTORED How a referral from the SDCBA's Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) led to a landmark workplace harassment plaintiff’s verdict By Ron Marcus “We’ll call this person ’The Harasser’.”

As Felicia started to contact the lawyers that had been referred to her, she was so exhausted by this point that she

“Yeah. That’s a nice term for him. It was a lot more than that, but yes,

felt resigned to just accept her situation and try to move on.

we’ll call him ’The Harasser’.”

But then, Gina from Thom’s office returned Felicia’s call and said she thought Thom would want to talk with her. And within

That was Felicia Horton’s response to a comment from her lawyer of four years, wage, labor, and employment attorney Thom

ten minutes, Thom called Felicia.

Diachenko, as they spoke with us about her case — a case that,

Thom knew right away there was a righteous lawsuit to pursue —

before the two of them met through the SDCBA’s Lawyer Referral

for harassment and misclassification, at a minimum. The Harasser

and Information Service (LRIS) in 2016, seemed beyond hope for

required Felicia to come into the office frequently, often for hours

her.

on end — where she was forced to endure physical, sexual, and

The story starts with Felicia trapped in a job that had become a daily horror show. She felt trapped because she was the primary breadwinner for her family of six. Being unemployed for any length of time would have spelled significant hardship. She knew what was happening wasn’t right — from her classification as an independent contractor to the way her boss treated her. And she wasn’t the only one. Many women in her office had suffered similar treatment — the yelling, the berating, the grossly inappropriate language, even physical abuse. The abused women who spoke up were forced out. Indeed, there were several complaints lodged with the company’s HR department that had gone nowhere. The female employees who remained were too afraid to speak up. These women were bound by a common experience, yet Felicia was tragically alone in trying to do something about it.

verbal abuse. She also had to pay for all work-related expenses (car, gas, office equipment, supplies, gifts for customers, etc.) as well as the fees of company-mandated appointment setters. The case took four years to litigate, which included grueling depositions, and a 4-week trial designed to break Felicia down by the deep-pocketed corporate conglomerate and its lawyers who vigorously defended the indefensible behavior of Felicia’s boss. Several times, Felicia considered quitting. But with Thom’s kind reassurances, they pressed on, and ultimately prevailed. The court awarded ~$2.5 million in damages for Felicia’s claims. Most importantly, she courageously took a stand, not just for herself, but for all women who are forced to silently suffer this unrelenting workplace abuse, which needs to stop. Thanks to Felicia’s fortitude and perseverance, and the unwavering support of LRIS panelist Thom Diachenko behind her, hope has been restored.

With the abuse taking a serious toll on her health, Felicia summoned the courage to find a lawyer. She started with a Google search. But every lawyer she reached out to either ignored her inquiries or told her not to waste their time. Just about out of hope, she received a tip from a friend to contact the SDCBA’s LRIS. When LRIS Specialist Holly Thomas picked up the call, she could hear the desperation in Felicia’s voice. Holly’s training and years of

LAW YER REFERRAL & INFORMATION SERVICE

The SDCBA’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) made more than 28,000 client referrals to attorneys in more than 40 areas of law in 2020 alone, resulting in nearly $7 million in legal fees earned in one year. To learn more about joining an LRIS panel, please visit: www.sdcba.org/joinlris.

experience kicked in as she helped Felicia feel more at ease, asking her the questions that would identify the right type of lawyers to refer to Felicia. One of those was Thom Diachenko. Fortuitously, Holly had recently gone through an LRIS-sponsored training with Thom regarding wage, labor, and employment law, and it felt

Ron Marcus is the SDCBA’s Director of Marketing & Outreach. He can be reached at rmarcus@sdcba.org.

obvious to Holly that this matter was appropriate to refer to him.

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19


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AB 5 AND PROPOSITION 22 THE GIG ECONOMY FILLS THE “APP” BETWEEN EMPLOYEE AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR By Michael G. Olinik

S

ince employent laws were created, private-sector

a classification between independent contractor and

workers were typically grouped into one of two

employee. Proposition 22 provides some benefits and

classifications. Workers classified as employees

protections, but not as many or as strong protections

enjoyed protections and benefits under the law. Workers

as employees enjoy. Rather than going through the

classified as independent contractors had no protections,

unfriendly Legislature, the proposed laws were introduced

but were able to negotiate earnings and benefits, work for

as Proposition 22 and put on the November 2020 ballot.

multiple hiring entities, and control their working hours.

In response, the Legislature enacted emergency legislation

The law evolved so that the actual relationship between the

in September 2020, AB 2257, which restored the Borello

hiring entity and the worker would determine the worker’s

factor test for certain worker relationships and created

classification rather than the contract between the parties in

additional exemptions. Despite an amended AB 5,

order to prevent intentional misclassification.

Proposition 22 passed.

Appellate courts in California developed a complex method

Although AB 5 was meant to protect workers, it put

of classifying workers based on numerous factors known as the Borello factors. This balancing system was upended by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903. Dynamex held that the test to determine whether a worker was an employee or independent contractor was governed by a stricter three-factor test, known as the ABC test. Under this test, a worker was presumed to be an employee unless all three factors were satisfied. The Legislature, concerned about the growing number of workers who depended on the gig economy but who did not enjoy the protections of employees, passed AB 5 to codify Dynamex. AB 5 set up a number of statutory exemptions to the ABC test, but many positions formerly classified as independent contractors under Borello could now be classified as employees. Entities that traditionally were not employers and could not afford to be employers faced uncertainty. AB 5 did not set up any exemptions for gig workers.

industries and traditional labor relationships in flux. While Proposition 22 creates an intermediate classification, it is currently limited to just gig workers. Gig workers now have benefits they did not have before but cannot now enjoy all of the benefits of employees without another proposition. Proposition 22 also usurped the role of the Legislature in classifying workers. With seven-eighths of the Legislature required to amend the law, the gig industry essentially wrote its own laws. It is likely Proposition 22’s framework may spread to other industries and other jurisdictions who seek to escape the uncertainty of AB 5 and AB 2257, especially states with less strict employment laws. It seemed inevitable that in the changing world, where technology transforms industries and certain workers' benefits may no longer be provided by employers, there would eventually be some law to fill the gap between independent contractor and employee. Time will tell whether Proposition 22’s middle classification is the answer, and whether taking the power of classification out of the hands of the Legislature will ultimately benefit workers.

Gig economy companies, whose business models did not include providing employee benefits to their workers, faced multiple class actions regarding misclassification of workers. As a result, they drafted their own laws to create an exception to AB 5 for gig workers and establish

Michael G. Olinik (michael@oliniklaw.com) is the owner of The Law Office of Michael G. Olinik. Michael’s practice focuses on real estate matters, employment matters, civil litigation, and appeals.

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2021 SDCBA PRESIDENT

RENÉE n.g. STACKHOUSE By Karen Korr

“Your vision won’t happen simply because you desire it. Your vision only happens with hard work and commitment to doing the right thing.” — U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice

Sonia Maria Sotomayor

I

t takes a special person to volunteer to lead an association of 10,000 legal professionals. 2021 San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA)

President Renée N.G. Stackhouse is more than special.

A consistent force in the San Diego legal community, Renée’s accomplishments rival those of attorneys who have been practicing for decades. She is a tireless leader, holding high-profile positions, including the first Latina President of California Women Lawyers (CWL); President of San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association; Chair of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) Solo & Small Firm Executive Committee; and President of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL) Alumni Association, among many others.

Her colleagues describe her as diligent, relatable, effective, approachable, empathetic, determined,

John Adkins, Director of the San Diego Law Library,

genuine, compassionate, creative, and endlessly

believes Renée’s potential knows no bounds. “Renée’s

enthusiastic. As her career continues to peak, those

legacy has yet to be written, but she has accomplished so

closest to Renée note there is only one word to truly

much in such a short time. Renée is one of those people

describe her in this moment: unstoppable.

who will have to write multiple autobiographies — one for

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January/February 2021

23


her Mexican heritage, which propelled her to explore her roots, and in her adult life, led her to prominent roles in organizations serving the Latino community. A self-proclaimed “goth girl” at prestigious La Jolla Country Day School, Renée admits she didn’t understand the value of her education. Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, she never envisioned herself having much success, and she struggled in her studies. “I was never made to feel smart when I was younger. Having a learning disability made me feel like I would never catch up to my peers, so in high school, I focused on theater, cheerleading, and the poetry journal,” said Renée. Following high school, Renée jokes that she tried to make as many life mistakes as possible, opting out of college and enduring an abusive relationship for five years. She struggled greatly and can recall occasions when she supplemented her food supply by using ketchup packets from a local Arby’s to make tomato sauce. However, resiliency is in Renée’s blood. It is a trait her early years as a San Diego force for good, one for her

her grandmother Irene, who had fled from the Nazis by

time as a state and national leader, and then the one that

making the trek from Berlin to Munich during World War II,

charts her experiences as a global leader. The sky is the

has instilled in her and demonstrated throughout her life.

limit when I think of Renée,” John says. “My personal journey made me a stronger woman and Renée is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the National

a better lawyer,” Renée said. “My experiences give me a

Board of Trial Advocacy, and focuses her practice at

deep sense of empathy and understanding, and I believe

Stackhouse, APC on plaintiff’s personal injury and military

that’s something my clients can feel.“

defense. A solo practitioner, Renée’s husband, military attorney Phillip Stackhouse, and their son Gabriel are often

In her mid-20s, Renée began taking college classes

by her side at her downtown office, and pre-pandemic, all

online, working her way toward a Business Management

three were fixtures at San Diego legal community events.

and Marketing degree while working at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. There, Renée met one of her first

But Renée’s path to the legal profession was not

champions, a Division Deputy who taught her how to read

predestined — in fact, the odds of Renée becoming a

profit and loss statements and other business essentials.

lawyer were not very likely. When Renée was 2 years

However, when her grandfather died in 2004, Renée knew

old, her mother brought her to visit her grandparents and

she needed a more stable career to be able to support

never came back to pick her up. Her grandfather,

herself and her grandmother.

Dr. Louis Galente, a first-generation Italian from the Bronx, and grandmother, Irene, a German immigrant,

“From the moment my grandfather passed, it was me and

already in their 50s, didn’t think twice about raising

Grandma against the world. We’re a package deal — the

Renée as their own.

ultimate duo, and I was determined to do anything to take care of and support her in all of the ways she had

Growing up, Renée had limited contact with her mother

supported me growing up,” Renée said.

and never met her father. In seventh grade, she came across a birth certificate with her date of birth and her

Renée enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. There,

mother’s name, but “Maricia Elena Gomez” listed as the

for the first time, Renée flourished academically, which

child’s name. That is how Renée first learned that her

she credits to the support of her exceptional TJSL faculty,

name was changed after birth and her estranged father

staff, and peers. Following law school, Renée worked at

hailed from Mexico City. She was excited to learn about

San Diego institution Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, where

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she spent three years learning civil litigation. She left the

others a platform to increase their visibility and share their

firm to form Galente Ganci APC with attorney and former

expertise,” said Jonah. “I admire her ability to connect with

TJSL classmate Eric Ganci, which is when she first felt

others on a very personal level, no matter their background,

true success as a lawyer. Yet, Renée also felt that the

always displaying a great interest and respect for others’

legal profession had an archetype that she didn’t quite

goals, activities, and well-being.”

fit, motivating her to not only become successful as an attorney but also to demonstrate that great lawyers don’t

In 2012, Renée made a pivotal career move — applying to

always fit the traditional mold.

the “life-changing“ three-week long Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, an experience designed to help lawyers

“There are a lot of stereotypes about lawyers — and

experientially get into the hearts and souls of their clients.

Latinas, for that matter — that I don’t necessarily fit.

The college teaches the quintessential advice from Atticus

I didn’t set out to become a ‘non-traditional’ lawyer, but

Finch to Scout: “You never really understand a person until

I recognized you don’t need to fit the traditional model

you consider things from his point of view … until you climb

to be a great lawyer,” Renée said. “There are a lot of us

into his skin and walk around in it.”

whose paths to the profession were a bit winding, and who might not typically be cast in the lawyer part in a movie, but who are good attorneys working hard on behalf of our clients.” As the owner of her own firm, Renée sought a diverse peer group, which she found by getting involved in and taking on leadership roles in Lawyers Club of San Diego, San Diego La Raza Lawyers, and the SDCBA’s New Lawyer Division, among others. As she began to volunteer more, Renée became more passionate about effectuating changes in the legal community. “As a new attorney, I was often embraced by strong but small groups of lawyers of color. I love the concept of creating a strong community that supports and provides

“ The most important thing we can do is focus on diversity, inclusion and equity — ensuring diverse individuals and interests are seen and heard, and that our profession is reflective of the people we serve.”

opportunities for lawyers who tend to be marginalized. I think it’s important for the profession to demonstrate the

By design, there is no internet connection or cellphone

value of diversity and ensure that law students can see

reception, and the experience gave Renée a rare

themselves as our future colleagues.”

opportunity to work on nothing but herself and her trial skills. The Trial Lawyers College provided strong structural

She also aims to foster an appreciation for the diversity

elements of her practice, which is predicated on the

that exists within a particular culture or ethnicity.

belief that the law can help her clients find closure by moving past a difficult time. In every matter, Renée takes

“There’s a lot of work to do within the profession on

as much time as needed to thoroughly understand all of

understanding different ethnic groups. We don't all look

the nuances of the case and how the trajectory of the case

alike, act alike. We are diverse within our own ethnicity,”

impacts the lives of her clients.

Renée said. “The most important thing we can do is focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity — ensuring diverse

“It is important for me to understand my clients and how my

individuals and interests are seen and heard, and that our

work can get them back on track. Often, the planning related

profession is reflective of the people we serve.”

to the case is really about healing — it’s not about just winning the case, but helping clients find their way again.”

Her advocacy efforts have not gone unnoticed. According to friend and attorney Jonah Toleno,

The Trial Lawyers College is also where Renée first met

Renée is simply “a woman of action.”

Phil Stackhouse, who was on the faculty. The two reunited three years later when he served as her mentor, guiding her

“She is genuinely motivated to help others succeed, be

as she became part of the faculty. Phil also helped expand

it helping facilitate practice guide authorship, leading

her practice, bringing her in on a variety of military law and

committees and being in the trenches with us, or offering

war crime cases.

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Phillip Stackhouse, Renée N.G. Stackhouse, and Gabe Stackhouse

"Working on military cases feels like coming full

But motherhood also changed Renée professionally,

circle,” Renée said. “For over a decade, I was a civilian

refocusing some of her passions.

employee for the military, and I have a particular love and appreciation for the lives of our servicemembers.”

“The hardest thing I’ve ever done was create and raise a human being while running a business and being a trial

The two made a great team, working on a variety of highly

lawyer. I‘m surprised how often our profession expects

complex cases and getting to know each other better in

women to choose between motherhood and a career.

the process.

I chose both.”

“You can’t help but be drawn to Renée’s energy. She is a

Renée has always been aware of other gender-related

beautiful person inside and out — genuine and caring and incredibly sharp and selfless. It is rare to come across a woman like Renée who can truly do absolutely anything she sets her mind to exceedingly well,” said Phil. Their personal relationship blossomed, and Renée and Phil, who Renée has affectionately referred to as her “Gabey Daddy,” were ecstatic when they found out Renée was pregnant with Gabe. “In true lawyer form, Phil made a detailed list and presented me with all of all the reasons I should marry

discrepancies as well — like being asked if she was the court reporter as opposed to the attorney in the courtroom or if she would mind making the coffee during a deposition. Her desire to see women attorneys recognized as equals to their male counterparts pushed her toward larger leadership roles in Lawyers Club of San Diego and California Women Lawyers, where she was elected President for 2018. In recognition of her leadership, she was asked to create and serve as the Chair of the National Association of Women Judges‘ (NAWJ) Mothers in Court Committee in

him when we found out about Gabe,” Renée said.

2019. Over the last several years, Renée has written and

“Though it didn’t take much convincing.”

spoken on matters impacting women lawyers specifically, and she has already made a tangible difference, with

The couple married in 2017 and together reside in Vista

courts creating lactation rooms after hearing Renée speak.

with Gabe and Irene, Renée's grandmother. Renée’s passion for gender equality also recently led According to Phil, “Motherhood suits Renée. She is a

her to form MSheLE, a company designed to “empower

natural, it is just something she is intrinsically good at

women lawyers by providing MCLEs geared toward

doing. The way she takes care of our family — me, Gabe,

challenges women face in the legal profession,” provide

her grandmother — regardless of how busy she happens

“resources which support women lawyers in their

to be — is a true testament to her character. There are few

practice,” and pursue a vision of “a legal profession free

people as genuinely caring as Renée.”

from gender bias.”

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Renée with fellow community leaders

Renée with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice

First four consecutive women SDCBA Presidents at San Diego Pride. (L-R): Lilys McCoy, Kristen Rizzo, Johanna Schiavoni, Renée N.G. Stackhouse

California Lawyers Association Small and Solo Firm Section

Sonia Maria Sotomayor

“Renée is humble and leads by example. She educates others by her actions. She takes initiative and follows through.” “I want to ensure women lawyers everywhere, especially women lawyers of color, know they’re not alone. We hope

She is a natural leader and a very effective speaker and teacher. She is loved, respected, and admired in the San Diego legal community,” said Judge Ipema. Renée knows leading the SDCBA during unprecedented times presents a significant challenge, but one she’s not afraid to face. “There’s a lot of pain in the world right now. We need to work harder to be kind, listen, think before we speak, to put energy into fighting for what we believe in, to be civil. The ‘new normal’ will be defined by us. My current mantra is ‘grace, grit, and gratitude.’”

to help level the playing field by talking about these issues and helping each other overcome them,” Renée said.

Karen Korr works with law firms and bar associations on communications strategy,

San Diego Superior Court Judge Tamila Ipema, who

content, and copy. She is the former Director of

worked with Renée when she was President of NAWJ,

Communications for the San Diego County Bar

believes Renée is the right woman to lead the charge.

Association, and has worked in the legal community locally, regionally, and nationally for the past two decades.

“Renée is humble and leads by example. She educates

For more information, please visit www.fullkorrpress or contact

others by her actions. She takes initiative and follows through.

Karen via email at karen@fullkorrpress.com.

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BLACK WOMEN'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY ARE MAGIC By Kim Carter

A

s I sit to write this editorial, the dilemma that

According to statistics gathered by the Economic Policy

plagues me is this: rather than ask why are

Institute, women make up 76% of the essential workers in

Black women important in the workplace,

the health care industry, and 73% of the essential workers in

I am wondering when they haven't been important?

government and community-based services. People of color make up approximately 50% of the essential workers in food

Since the 1600s, Black women have worked harder and,

and agriculture industries, and 53% of the essential workers

according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they have

in the industrial, commercial, and residential facilities and

had the highest labor force participation of any other group

services industries.5 Black women, from Maryland to Rhode

of women at 62.5%.1 Black women’s labor contributions have

Island, make up 23% to 40% of essential service workers.6

set the foundation for and continue to strengthen the U.S. economy, despite a false narrative that Black women do not work hard, they must be pushed to perform well, and that they should be satisfied with any job they are afforded, notwithstanding their talent, worth, or skill set. 2 Clearly, however, race and gender are not determinative factors regarding whether a person contributes to the workforce. Ingrained in the history of this country, Black people have been forced to sacrifice their bodies, lives, cultures, languages, families, and identities to build the U.S. economy. These facts underscore the strength, intellect, and resilience that Black women embody, which set them apart in today's workforce. That embodiment is more colloquially

What do race and gender have to do with a person's work ethic? In truth, neither race nor gender should have any bearing on whether a person is an asset to an employer. Experience has shown us that regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and — in many respects — disability, diverse people improve employers' bottom lines.7 Women, in particular, are stronger in areas of compromise, honesty and ethics, fair pay and benefits, and mentoring.8 The effects of this discrimination are compounded and therefore greater than the sum of gender or race discrimination.9

known as "Black Girl Magic.”3 Black women presently make up a large percentage of the country's essential workforce and small business owners.4 Essential workers, who have risked their lives, facing uncertain danger while they continue to work during a pandemic, are largely led by women and minorities.

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The Black woman's unique experience Black women excel in resilience. For far too long, Black women have been an invisible, double-minority. Rather than seeing Black women as unique, with their own set of experiences, they are often placed in the same category as


white women when it comes to gender-related issues. And,

remain just as likely as white men to pursue top executive

they are considered to be the same as Black men when

and leadership positions — 49% seek opportunities to

faced with race-related disparities. However, Black women,

serve as role models, 52% wish to impact the success of

because of their unique combination of race and gender,

the company, and 46% wish to influence the workplace

are often subjected to biases that place them beneath white

culture positively.14

women and Black men, collectively. These challenges largely go unnoticed and they are often ignored.10

Conclusion

Today, our country continues to ignore all that Black

Black women make up the majority of the Black labor

women overcome, to contribute to American enterprise,

force and they are the pulse of the U.S. economy.15 They

by discounting their advances for reasons such as

are often leaders that possess the same attributes that are

affirmative action, help from others, or by random chance.11

admired in white men, despite being ignored, undervalued,

In 2016, 35.2% of Black women held management and

underpaid, and demeaned. Black women are phenomenal

professional positions, 29.2% were employed in sales and

because of the battles they fight and win, and the barriers

office occupations, and 27.7% were employed in service

they overcome to become significant contributors to our

occupations.12 By 2015, Black people’s consumer power

economy. Black women are the embodiment of magic.

reached $1.2 trillion and Black women, at a rate of 66.9%, were the breadwinners in their homes.13 Kim Carter, Esq., Of Counsel, Schor, Vogelzang & Chung, LLP, practices Employment Law Defense.

Despite the microaggressions, and compounded effects of gender and race disparities that Black women face, they

Footnotes [1] Among adult women (age 20 and older), Blacks (62.5%) were more likely to participate in the labor force than Hispanics (58.9%), Asians (58.3%), and Whites (57.6%). (BLS Reports, Labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity 2017, August 2018, Chart 1, www.bls.gov/opub/reports/ race-and-ethnicity/2017/home.htm) [2] “Racism and Sexism Combined to Shortchange Working Black Women.” Center for American Progress. www.americanprogress.org/ issues/women/news/2019/08/22/473775/racism-sexism-combineshortchange-working-black-women. [3] The term "Black Girl Magic" became popular in 2013 to celebrate the beauty, power, and resilience of Black women, and to congratulate Black women on their accomplishments. (See Wilson, Julee (January 12, 2016). "The Meaning Of #BlackGirlMagic, And How You Can Get Some Of It". HuffPost. Retrieved September 3, 2016; see also Ali, Rasha (June 30, 2016). "What Is Black Girl Magic? A Short Explainer". TheWrap. Retrieved November 26, 2016. www.thewrap.com/what-is-black-girl-magic. [4] Id. [5] Economic Policy Institute, "Who are essential workers? A comprehensive look at their wages, demographics, and unionization rates;" May 19, 2020. www.epi.org/blog/who-are-essential-workers-acomprehensive-look-at-their-wages-demographics-and-unionizationrates. [6] “Racism and Sexism Combined to Shortchange Working Black Women.” Center for American Progress. www.americanprogress.org/ issues/women/news/2019/08/22/473775/racism-sexism-combineshortchange-working-black-women.

[8] Id. [9] The State of Black Women in Corporate America, www. leanin.org/research/state-of-black-womenin-corporate-america?gclid=CjwKCAiAouD_ BRBIEiwALhJH6F-s7hMlg3V9FnphaIgF5jb2R9zddBwGPYY9aonpRyhmI2XJNroahoCQakQAvD_BwE, 2020. [10] "Racism and Sexism Combine to Shortchange Working Black Women;" by Jocelyn Frye, Center for American Progress, August 22, 2019; www. americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2019/08/22/473775/racismsexism-combine-shortchange-working-black-women [11] "The State of Black Women in Corporate America," www.leanin.org/research/state-of-black-womenin-corporate-america?gclid=CjwKCAiAouD_ BRBIEiwALhJH6F-s7hMlg3V9FnphaIgF5jb2R9zddBwGPYY9aonpRyhmI2XJNroahoCQakQAvD_BwE, 2020. [12] "African American Women in the U.S. Economy," www. americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2016/08/23/142815/ african-american-women-in-the-u-s-economy, August 23, 2016. [13] Id. [14] Id. [15] "'Black women best' Why putting Black women first may save us from economic disaster;" by Anna Gift Opudu-Agyeman; Economic Policy Institute, June 25, 2020; www.epi.org/blog/black-women-best-whyputting-black-women-first-may-save-us-from-economic-disaster.

[7] "The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming," by Vijay Eswaren, World Economic Forum, April 29, 2019. www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/business-case-for-diversity-inthe-workplace.

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Rep. John Lewis and Wilson Schooley

Wilson Schooley at the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama

THE FREEDOM RIDERS SIXTY YEARS LATER CALIFORNIANS ON THE BUSES AND WHY WE ALL SHOULD STILL BE RIDING

O

n October 13, 2018, I stood at the “Colored

The 7-2 Boynton opinion was authored by Justice

Entrance” to the Montgomery, Alabama

Hugo Black, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. The

Greyhound Bus Station addressing an

ruling failed to fully preclude discriminatory practices in

audience of civil rights lawyers, as Chair of the

restaurants and was flouted by law enforcement in many

Civil Rights Section of the American Bar Association.

states. But it was a milestone in the unfurling civil rights movement, leading directly to the Freedom Rides.

On that very spot 58 years before, my brother, then 17 (I was 3), and three close family friends were among the Freedom Riders who peacefully rode buses into the segregated South to test the U.S. Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, which held segregation in interstate travel violative of the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act. Boynton was decided 60 years ago today as I write, on December 5, 1960. Bruce Boynton, who died in 2020, then a law student traveling home to Alabama from Washington, tried to eat at a bus station restaurant. He sat in the white section because the Black section was overcrowded and unsanitary. “I was hungry and just wanted a cheeseburger.” A manager

On the morning of May 20, 1961, at that Montgomery Greyhound bus station, 21 Freedom Riders were viciously attacked by an angry mob of 300 that included Klansmen. The Freedom Riders had already been beaten in South Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr. had warned them, “You will never make it through Alabama.” Among those riders was John Lewis, who in April 2019 told me the events of that day. We talked in his congressional office, adorned with photos and mementos of the movement, in preparation for my awarding him the ABA’s prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award four months later.

told him to leave, called police, and Mr. Boynton was arrested

He remembered the mob surging forward with baseball

and charged under Virginia law. Thurgood Marshall argued his

bats, axe handles, bricks, chains, tire irons, pipes, and rakes,

case to the Supreme Court.

hitting and spitting and screaming “Git them” n-words.

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The Freedom Riders joined hands and stood firm. The mob

the South began to come down. But segregation persisted.

shoved them against a wall. Some jumped over and eight

Three years later, the 1964 Civil Rights Act ended legal

feet down to get away; five Black women got in a Black cab

segregation in public spaces nationwide.

driver’s taxi, while two white women were pulled out of another cab and beaten. The one white male rider,

Recent events make plain, though, that the racism

Jim Zwerg, was beaten unconscious as the mob yelled

underlying de jure segregation perniciously persists.

n-word “lover.” John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette, and William

Black American wealth is a tenth of white wealth. Black

Barbee were badly beaten. Barbee’s injuries left him

Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed and earn

paralyzed for life. Lafayette, Fred Leonard, and Allen Cason

less.1 Black homeownership is 42% compared to 72% for

climbed the wall and ran to the adjacent federal

whites.2 Black citizens are 13%3 of the population, but 40%

courthouse. Lewis was knocked unconscious with a

of the prison population and 38%4 of unarmed citizens killed

wooden Coca-Cola crate. John Seignthaler, Attorney

by police.

General Bobby Kennedy’s aide, sent to help protect the riders, was also knocked unconscious with a lead pipe.

As poet Claudia Rankine recently told The New York Times:

In all, 20 people were seriously injured.

“The unmarked ways in which our white supremacist orientations get replicated in books and go unquestioned

While all of this transpired, Lewis told me, the

in theory remain one of the most insidious ways racist ideas

Montgomery police were conspicuously absent, and police

continue to shape our consciousness.”

commissioner L. B. Sullivan reportedly sat in his car around the corner, waiting while the mob had its way. When

Because those orientations remain ominously omnipresent

Lewis regained consciousness, standing over him was the

in our country 60 years after the Freedom Rides, it is

Alabama Attorney General, reading aloud an injunction

incumbent upon all of us to take a lesson from the courage

forbidding participation in the “so-called” Freedom Rides.

of 1961 and continue to metaphorically “ride buses” for freedom, and battle the scourge of racism that has haunted

Ultimately, 436 riders from 39 states participated in over 60

the U.S. since slavery.

Freedom Rides — 300 were arrested and 80 of the jailed were Californians. As of 10 years ago, 30 Freedom Riders still lived in California. Among the Californians was one of the two women pulled from the cab at the Montgomery bus station: Susan Hermann, a Whittier College exchange student at Nashville’s Fisk University. Also among them were my family friends: Russ and Mary Jorgenson and Cecil Thomas, who with his wife Fran, were close friends of Dr. King. Another was current Loyola Marymount Professor Emeritus Robert Singleton and his wife Helen, who had

Wilson Schooley is a reformed big firm partner and current appellate specialist practicing primarily civil rights and indigent criminal defense law; a professional actor; published author and photographer; Past Chair of the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section; member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors; Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates; Presidential Appointee to the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Justice; and member of the SDCBA Board of Directors.

been active in the NAACP and brought 12 volunteers with them from California. Both, like John Lewis, were imprisoned in Parchman Farms Penitentiary. Singleton has remarked that among the poetic legacies of the rides is that President Obama was born the day the Singletons were imprisoned in Parchman. They put their lives on the line to ensure equality for future generations, at the very time one who became our first Black President came into the world. The Freedom Rides dramatically pulled back the curtain on Southern states’ disregard of the Boynton desegregation mandate. Bobby Kennedy stepped in to

1. Stephen Miller, CEBS. “Black Workers Still Earn Less than Their White Counterparts.” SHRM, SHRM, 7 Aug. 2020, www.shrm.org/ resourcesandtools/hr-topics/compensation/pages/racial-wage-gapspersistence-poses-challenge.aspx.

2. “U.S. Homeownership Rates Fall Among Young Adults, African Americans.” Population Reference Bureau, Population Reference Bureau, 12 June 2019, www.prb.org/u-s-homeownership-rates-fallamong-young-adults-african-americans/.

3. “U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: United States.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 1 July 2109, www.census. gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219.

force the Interstate Commerce Commission to issue new regulations on November 1, 1961, to end segregated bus facilities; the "white" and "colored" signs in stations across

4. “Federal Bureau of Prisons.” BOP Statistics: Inmate Race, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2 Jan. 2021, www.bop.gov/about/statistics/ statistics_inmate_race.jsp.

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TUMULTUOUS TEAMS: ROUNDING THE HISTORICAL BASES OF BAR SOFTBALL By George W. Brewster Jr.

L

ast issue, we took a swing at Bar Golf and OTL history.

Dodge said that the softball league “was formed initially

The bases are loaded as we take a look at the

to provide lawyers a chance to get together outside of

on-going and popular Bar Softball League and more!

work and get to know one another on a different level.” The camaraderie over the years has been generational,

Softball

with fathers and sons and mothers and daughters playing,

The SDCBA softball league started July 8, 1977, and

Mike Marrinan played left field and repeatedly had to back

continues to this day (well, but for the pandemic) —

up Judge Susan Finley at third base. They worked together

one of the longest continuous traditions of the Bar.

so well they eventually decided to make a permanent

and, said Dodge, it “has even spawned romances.

team and soon tied the knot. Another player, Melissa Woo, As described in an article in the September 1977 DICTA by

was injured one game and Commissioner Mike Allen

John Little, the number of people signing up to play in the first

rushed to her aid and took her to the hospital. He checked

year exceeded a single eight-team league, so the Bar had an

up on her recovery and one thing led to another and

A League and a B League — and games were played each

another knot was tied.”

Tuesday and Friday night, with the final playoff game that year held on August 30. The games were initially played in

Before Allen took over as Commissioner about 25 years ago,

El Cajon, then Colina Del Sol before moving to the San Diego

that job first fell to Glenn Triemstra and then to Marc Adelman

High School athletic field but are now played at the Presidio

in 1979. Adelman (1989 Bar President) kept the job until 1996

Little League fields in the west end of Hotel Circle. Little’s

when he took on leadership positions within the State Bar

article is as satirical as it is informative, and worth a read next

board (and was State Bar President 1997-98). Adelman credits

time you are in the law library archives. He noted that even

his stewardship of the league (and creating Bridging the

though the games were played in the evening, lights “are not

Gap) for giving him the name recognition within the Bar that

needed because with the amount of beer consumed, few of

propelled him forward to leadership positions. The league

the games get past the second inning.”

also influenced a 5-year-old spectator, his daughter, Ali (now 30), who went on to play in college on a softball scholarship.

According to Scott Dodge, a player in the Bar’s softball league for over 40 years, the sport grew quickly and added

Dodge said that the rules have been changed over the years

a C League, and became coed in the early 1980s thanks to

to speed up the game (and allow for age-related play, said

former DA (and Judge) Bonnie Dumanis. Today, there are 16

Adelman). Batters start with a 1-1 count and only get one foul

teams in three divisions involving about 250 players.

ball after two strikes. He also said that under Allen, safety

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rules have been implemented to protect these weekend

It recently relocated to the Peninsula YMCA in OB. Judges,

warriors from themselves. A play at the plate is a force out

public defenders, district attorneys, federal prosecutors, civil

to eliminate sliding and collisions at home, and there are two

litigators and law students have fielded teams over the years.”

first base bags to also help eliminate collisions. Dodge said it is Allen’s goal that “every player goes to work on Monday.”

The newest organized Bar sport is surfing. According to their organizer/surf guru Conor Hulburt, “I started WetSuits

Dodge, considered “Dean of the Pitchers,” has in his 40

in 2018, with the help of Kirk Yake and Patrick Calhoon. In

years of league play thrown over 32,000 pitches. He was

non-COVID times, our group has periodic paddle-outs when

first recruited in 1979 by Luke Corbett, but soon moved to

the swell forecast is good. We’ve paddled out in knee-high

one of the longest continuously playing teams, “Defending.” The team originally consisted of Defense Attorneys,

PB, chest-high Del Mar, overhead Sunset Cliffs, and double overhead Oceanside (OK, we didn’t quite make it out in

including such players as Kerry Steigerwalt, Allen Bloom,

Oceanside). There are a lot of lawyer surfers in San Diego,

Commissioner Peter Doft, Doug Brust, and Charlie Woods. “Defending” has won Division titles in four different decades and two different centuries.

and I’ve made some great friends in the group.” Playing in a league is its own reward, but there were trophies, too. “There was an SDCBA Sports Banquet that lasted several

Another long-time player is Christopher Stearns, who has been with the Bar league from the beginning. Stearns said his team, the “Kings” “has played in the Bar softball league every year for the last 43 years and is still playing, and winning!”

years and had high-profile speakers and awards for winners/ championship teams in various categories,” said Magistrate Judge Leo Papas (Ret.). He also recalled a sportsmanship award named after Ernie Wideman.

(And while the 2020 season was canceled, the Kings did win the championship in 2019.) The Kings (featuring players like Earl Gilliam, Judy Keep, Larrie Brainard, Harry Elias, and Tony Battaglia) were originally named for “King” Stahlman

And that is the wide wide world of Bar sports. If you are interested in getting involved in one of these sports

Bail Bonds. Other team names over the years include

or starting a new Bar sport, visit: sdcba.org/sports

Fubar, Good Time Boys, T.N.T, Federal Lumber Company, Gozinya Brothers, Berry’s Athletic Supply, and the mysterious Quadgrotus II.

Editor’s Note: Hayden Trubitt, SDCBA President 1996, is an expert on all things baseball, and corrects a prior statement

Finally, a short word about the other current sports — basketball and surfing

in Part I of this sports series that baseball started in 1869. In

John Landay is the current commissioner of the Bar’s

Convention held in NYC that year.

fact, while professional baseball dates to 1869, organized baseball itself dates back to at least 1857 with the Base Ball

basketball league, which generally runs March through June. Said Landay: “I am not sure about historic data, but the league has been going for at least 20 years. Former commissioners include Charlie Hoge and the late Jacob Slania. The games used to be played at San Diego High for many years.

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

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Limited Jurisdiction

THE VERDICT IS IN:

THIS JUDGE 'ROCKS!' By Wendy L. House Judge Mitchell Dembin

A

hush fills the air as Judge Mitchell (“Mitch”) Dembin,

change. When “Limited Jurisdiction” played, it stuck out as a

a Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the

favorite and the band’s name hasn’t changed since. The band

Southern District of California, quietly approaches.

plays a mix of original music and classic rock covers, and

He’s not walking to the bench, however. Instead, Dembin

performs several times a year at clubs and private parties.

reaches down to strum his guitar alongside his bandmates

Some of its members include current and former attorneys.

and the crowd rises to their feet in excitement. In 2013, Dembin released his first album, called Fat Man on Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dembin attended college at

Thin Ice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has spent his

Brooklyn College at the City University of New York and

downtime in the studio, assisted by the Albert Lee Band,

law school at Western New England University. He’s led

recording his second album, Nothing Up My Sleeve, which he

an impressive career, including working for the Securities

hopes to release later this year.

and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego and Boston, and as

When he isn’t working, recording music, playing rhythm

the Chief Security Advisor for Microsoft Corporation,

guitar, or singing vocals with his band, Dembin enjoys

among other positions, prior to being sworn in as a

spending time with his wife, who is the President and CEO of

Magistrate Judge in 2011.

the Rancho Coastal Humane Society, and their four rescue Yorkshire terriers. He also appreciates all things sci-fi and

Outside of the courtroom, Dembin trades in his gavel for

superhero, and regularly appears as a panelist or presides

a guitar. At 12, his parents urged him to learn a musical

over mock trials at Comic-Con, WonderCon, and Comic Fest.

instrument; the only exclusion was a piano because it wouldn’t fit in their apartment. The Beatles had just come to

As an homage to his favorite band, The Beatles, “It’s been

the U.S. and after hearing the guitar riff from "Day Tripper,"

a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log,” Dembin

Dembin decided guitar would be his instrument of choice.

works hard to play hard and is enjoying every minute of it.

He started writing songs much later in life, at the age of 54, after one of his beloved dogs passed away. In 2011, Dembin formed a band. Their first gig was a backyard birthday bash for San Diego Superior Court Judge Julia Kelety. In the beginning, each time the band performed, its name would

34

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

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January/February 2021

Wendy L. House (WHouse@DPMCLaw.com) is an attorney with Devaney Pate Morris & Cameron LLP. She practices in the areas of municipal and public entity law and serves on the San Diego Lawyer Editorial Board.


Lawyer Playlist What Bar members are listening to... 1. Landslide Fleetwood Mac

6. I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor

10. Friends in Low Places Garth Brooks

2. Eye of the Tiger Survivor

7. Everyday People Sly and the Family Stone

11. Given to Fly Pearl Jam

3. Life Is a Highway Rascal Flatts

8. Proud to Be an American Lee Greenwood

12. Mr. Jones Counting Crows

4. Born to Run Bruce Springsteen

9. Sympathy for the Devil The Rolling Stones

13. Keep Your Head to the Sky Earth, Wind & Fire

5. Kill Jimmy Eat World


THE VALUE OF CULTIVATING MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIPS By Gayani R. Weerasinghe

“Mentorship and sponsorship are vital to a successful career.

To find such mentors, Brian Sun, the General Counsel

Mentors and sponsors have traveled the road to success

for Sorrento Therapeutics, recommends community

and can provide valuable insight — ‘Don’t make the same

involvement. “Joining an affinity group allows you to build

mistakes I did.’ Having said that, we all make mistakes and a

your network and seed opportunities. You gain access to a

mentor or sponsor can be there to help you recover.”

pool of mentors who are committed to providing guidance

— Hon. Randa Trapp, San Diego Superior Court

A

mentor is a trusted advisor that is willing to give you advice and insights as to how to navigate

and fellowship that will open many doors for you. Planting these seeds means developing genuine relationships without any expectation other than to grow and learn — and this will lead to opportunities that surprise and reward you throughout your career,” says Sun.

a situation or achieve a goal. A sponsor, on the

other hand, is someone who champions you in promotions

Whether it is a formal mentor-mentee matchup by a

and advancements within a profession, organization, or

professional group or an informal relationship through

workplace. While this discussion can apply to both mentors

networking and your community involvement, make the time

and sponsors, as they both play an important role in

to get to know your mentor, their path to where they are,

your success, this article focuses more on cultivating the

and their professional and volunteer work. Building mentor-

relationships with your mentors and why it matters for your

mentee relationships organically is important, as you would

long-term success.

want an authentic relationship and a genuine connection with your mentor.

Everyone needs a mentor! “No matter the level or status of your professional standing, it is certain that what got you here, won’t get you there. So, wherever you want to get to next, it is critical to your success that you have a brain trust — mentors. Mentors to help you chart your path and overcome the terrain. No one successful goes at it alone,” says India Jewell, Legal Head of Consumer Products at Sony Electronics. Mentors can be found in a variety of settings and you do not need to limit yourself to one. I would recommend having multiple mentors to help you in different areas of your profession. An added benefit of multiple mentors is that you can get different perspectives, more targeted advice, and prevent creating a burden on your mentor’s schedule. As Gayle Blatt, a Partner at Casey Gerry says, “It’s important for young lawyers to seek out mentors. Experience is the best teacher, and the right mentors can help you learn from their mistakes while providing encouragement as you chart your own path.”

Remember that mentors do not always need to be someone older. They can be a colleague in your own cohort or even someone younger. For example, one of my mentors is my younger sister, Bhashini Weerasinghe, who has been practicing law for over 10 years and had her own practice for over seven years. If they have more experience or have a skill set that you would like to grow, do not be shy. Reach out and ask for help. Lastly, I encourage you to volunteer to be a mentor to someone else who is junior to you. This is a great way to not only give back, but gain another perspective on mentorship and how to be a better mentee to your mentors. As Maya Angelou said, “[W]hen you learn, teach. When you get, give.” Gayani R. Weerasinghe, Esq., M.A., (gayani@lawgrw.com) is an Intellectual Property and Business Law attorney with her own practice. She is also the host of the YouTube Channel, Inventive Mind.

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37


AN EPISTEMIC REGIME — WHAT WE LAWYERS SHOULD CONTRIBUTE A REFLECTION By Edward McIntyre

I

n this unprecedented time of countervailing narratives and

espousing “elite” values; so condescending. They reject not

alternative facts — spanning COVID-19, climate change,

only everything “fake news” people say, but also the so-

election results, and seemingly everything else — are we

called rules they use to say it. But, then, where do they turn?

now in the midst of a full-blown epistemological crisis? More importantly, as lawyers, what’s our role? In a 2018 National Affairs article, “The Constitution of Knowledge,” Jonathan Rouch wrote that every society has

Brooks argued, if someone feels everything spinning out

an "epistemic regime," a marketplace of ideas where people

of control, the person demands “explanations,” not only

collectively hammer out what’s real — perhaps not agreeing

justifying the distrust they feel, but also enclosing the

on their import, but, nonetheless, acknowledging common,

individual within a safe community of fellow believers.

authentic facts. In democratic, non-theocratic societies,

Welcome evangelists of distrust! Trailing conspiracy theories

a decentralized ecosystem of academics, clergy, teachers,

that have become one of the most effective community

journalists, lawyers, and others make up this regime; they

bonding mechanisms we’ve seen.

disagree about a lot, but agree on a shared system of rules for weighing evidence and building knowledge. As Rouch

But without some acknowledged reality, can we ever have

analyzed it, this ecosystem operates as a funnel, allowing

rational discourse? Address genuine societal problems?

a wide spectrum of ideas to get floated, but eventually

Survive devolution into a morass of polemic?

permitting only a winnowed group to survive collective scrutiny. “We let alt-truth talk,” Rouch wrote, “but we don’t

This is where we, the legal community, fit within this

let it write textbooks, receive tenure, bypass peer review, set

epistemic regime. And contribute to it. One cannot argue

the research agenda, dominate the front pages, give expert

someone out of paranoia; screaming against illogic, or

testimony or dictate the flow of public dollars.”

ignoring it, solves nothing.

David Brooks observed, in a November 27, 2020,

Rather, by training, tradition, and practice, we have our own

The New York Times op-ed, as the information age has grown,

epistemology — we winnow facts, presenting exacting

many more of us now make a good living working with ideas —

evidence; we sift to an accepted truth by examination and

professional members of this epistemic process.

yet further examination; we demand rigor, from ourselves,

The information economy increasingly rewarded us with

opposing lawyers, lawyers appearing in our courtrooms.

money and status; more and more concentrated in ever

Properly done, it’s not the slash-and-burn of a verbal bar fight.

prosperous metro areas.

Such a reaction would never dent the distrust of anyone who rejects an epistemic regime that, for so long, has given us

But what about those who aren’t members of this “epistemic

common ground on which to base rational discussion.

club?” If we acknowledge people need security to feel safe,

Rather, with courtesy, empathy — but also logic and quiet

then those deprived of that security may legitimately feel

insistence on evidence — we make our unique contribution to

distrust and alienation. Result? Backlash, sometimes intense,

the epistemic regime that may lead to genuine dialogue.

against those who’ve accrued economic, cultural, and political power. Many may easily detest those who populate the epistemic regime — appearing to have it so easy; distant;

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

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THE BENEFITS OF SDCBA MEMBERSHIP The SDCBA is your professional association, here to support you as a lawyer every way we can. Take advantage of our wide variety of programs, services, events, and member benefits to help you grow and thrive in your legal career. Your membership gives you access to beneficial networking, fulfilling leadership opportunities, continuing education, fun social events, LOTS of free and highly discounted services that can save you thousands of dollars, and myriad ways to expand your practice as well as give back to the community. Learn more at www.sdcba.org.

Your SDCBA membership gives you a host of exclusive benefits to support your success and fulfillment as a lawyer:

Upgrade to Patron Membership for only $600 annually (that’s just $50 a month) and enjoy the exclusive member benefits that all SDCBA members enjoy, plus:

• Get access to ALL SDCBA live and on-demand CLEs for just $100 with the all-new CLE Annual Pass. Join now to grab the pass and save hundreds of dollars today.

• Unlimited CLEs (live and on-demand).

• Fulfill your CLE requirement with the SDCBA’s exclusive, custom-crafted collection in the SDCBA CLE Center™.

• Your upgraded membership also helps the SDCBA fund the pro bono work we do in the community at large. To thank you, we’ll recognize you in our magazine, on our website, and at our Signature events.

• Connect instantly to over 9,500 attorneys, judges, and legal community members in San Diego County with our 26 practice-area listservs for members. • Free and discounted members-only programming, education, and networking opportunities to support the success of your practice, your growth, and your wellness.

• Unlimited free admission to all SDCBA paid events and programs, plus inclusion in special invitation-only events.

It’s a tremendous value at just $600 per year (and this can be paid in convenient quarterly or monthly installments too). Membership is open to attorneys, legal community members, and vendors in the legal community.

• Get free consulting hours with our expert Technology and Practice Management Advisor (this could save you thousands of dollars). • Enjoy substantial discounts on law practice management, business, and lifestyle services through our official Member Benefit Partners – available only through your SDCBA membership. • Reduced annual fee to participate in our Legal Referral Service, a great way to gain new clients in San Diego & Imperial counties. • Free members-only Legal Ethics Hotline. • Free subscription to San Diego Lawyer magazine and our regular e-newsletters.

Upgrade to Friend Membership for only $400 annually (less than $34 a month) and enjoy the exclusive member benefits that all SDCBA members enjoy, plus: • Get included in our special invitation-only events.

• Valuable leadership programming you won’t find anywhere else.

• Your upgraded membership also helps the SDCBA fund the pro bono work we do in the community at large. To thank you, we’ll recognize you in our magazine, on our website, and at our Signature events.

• Free downtown parking after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. • Free workspace, conference rooms, business center, and snacks at the Bar Center at 401 (when the Bar Center reopens). • Free notary service at the Bar Center at 401 (when the Bar Center reopens).

It’s a great value at just $400 per year (and this can be paid in convenient quarterly or monthly installments too). Membership is open to attorneys, legal community members, and vendors in the legal community.

100 PERCENT CLUB The SDCBA’s 100 Percent Club offers extra benefits to law firms, public agencies, and non-profit legal organizations that provide SDCBA membership to 100% of their attorneys. Any firm with at least five attorneys, all with active SDCBA memberships, qualify for the 100 Percent Club. Your Club benefits include all of the benefits available to individual members, plus: • Recognition in San Diego Lawyer magazine, on the SDCBA website, and in the SDCBA Member Lounge. • Invitations to special SDCBA events for all of your firm’s attorney and staff members. • Access to our online video archive featuring presentations on legal technology topics, remote working tips and solutions, and other educational resources, available to all of your staff, including non-attorneys. • One convenient, consolidated membership renewal statement. • A digital “SDCBA 100 Percent Club” badge to display on your firm’s website as well as your advertising and other communications.

For information on joining the 100 Percent Club please contact Andrew Cave, Director of Member Services, at acave@sdcba.org.


WHY I BELONG RAFAEL HURTADO Abogato, LLP Areas of practice: Plaintiff’s Employment Law

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A VIRTUAL COURT HEARING: A JUDGE’S PERSPECTIVE

What initially inspired you to practice law?

By Hon. Katherine A. Bacal

My love for reading and writing; my friend, and fellow

Good morning, court is now in session. Does it matter that

attorney, Pam Townsend; and lawyers at Higgs where I

in the courtroom there’s only me, my clerk, and a video

worked after undergrad.

screen or telephone? Even if you’re only a small picture

Proudest career moment: Teaching for the first time this year at Thomas Jefferson. What fills your time outside of work? So many things! Growing in my spirituality and emotional maturity, cycling, hiking, camping, traveling, reading, writing, reflecting, my life partner Rob, my family, friends, cooking, and volunteering, especially through the San Diego

on a monitor or a voice over the telephone, you’re still appearing in court. The Bar Association’s Attorney Civility and Practice Guidelines, which have been adopted by the Superior Court, express an expectation that lawyers “appearing in court” dress neatly and appropriately. We know many of you are working at home and feel for you. But even if you’re at home, when you show up on our video screen, you’re also appearing in court. However nice

La Raza Lawyers Association.

your pajamas may be, they are not appropriate court attire.

“If I weren’t an attorney, I’d be ...”

even if your home office is by the pool.

Nor do we want to see you in your robe or bathing suit,

A writer, a diplomat, or a full-time professor. What is your favorite movie, book, or TV show? Why? All the Star Trek shows and movies. They always push the envelope and they strive to depict an idealistic future with fun adventures thrown in. What one skill has helped you be successful as an attorney, and how could others develop that skill to better their practices? For soft skills, I would say discipline. Because this is a “practice,” it’s important to stay steady and keep moving forward. However, another skill that I only started improving in recent years, and that I wish I would have improved earlier, is emotional intelligence. For hard skills, writing. Writing is paramount to our work and it’s how we communicate much of the time.

If you really don’t want to put on your full “attorney uniform,” dress like a weatherman — no one will see the shorts and flip flops, as long as the camera is focused on your face. But, along those lines, it’s really helpful if you test your camera; no one wants to see a close up of your nose. Even if you just appear by phone, dressing the part might help you feel the part. And while we’re talking about appearing by phone, my clerk asked me to relay how important it is that we can hear you — and only you. Yes, if you’re at home, your dogs might bark, your doorbell might ring, and your kids (who are at home but trying to go to school remotely) may want to ask you a question. If you put the court on speaker, we hear it all. (Did you hear about the proceeding where everyone heard the toilet flush?) We can’t wait for the day we get to see you all back,

What would you most like to be known for?

physically, in the courtroom. Until then, stay healthy and

I care about what I do and the people around me. I also try my

remember when you represent a client at a hearing you

best to maintain my integrity. I hope that others see this, even

are, in fact, appearing in court.

when I struggle.

Hon. Katherine A. Bacal, Civil Supervising Judge, San Diego Superior Court

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

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41


JUDICATE WEST THE GOLD STANDARD in Private Dispute Resolution

Hon. Jan M. Adler, Ret.

John S. Adler, Esq.

Hon. Christine Hon. Herbert B. Goldsmith, Ret. Hoffman, Ret.

Hon. Leo S. Papas, Ret.

• • • •

N. Denise Asher, Esq.

Richard A. Huver, Esq.

Gregory A. Post, Esq.

Hon. Victor E. Bianchini, Ret.

Robert J. Kaplan, Esq.

Hon. Ronald S. Prager, Ret.

Jonathan A. Brenner, Esq.

Hon. Joan M. Lewis, Ret.

Hon. Joel M. Pressman, Ret.

Hon. Steven R. Denton, Ret.

Hon. William Hon. Thomas P. McCurine, Jr., Ret. Nugent, Ret.

Hon. Linda Quinn, Ret.

Thomas E. Sharkey, Esq.

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

Judge Harry M. Elias retired from the San Diego Superior Court on January 3, 2021, after celebrating his 30th anniversary on the bench. He was sworn in on December 31, 1990.

Parada Ornelas, a civil litigator in WTK’s Product Liability and Warranty group, was recently elevated to partner at the San Diego‐-based firm of Wilson Turner Kosmo, one the largest certified women‐-owned law firms in California.

Passings The SDCBA mourns the loss of friend and colleague Julia Szafraniec Kaemerle, who passed on December 31, 2020. Julia will be remembered as a wonderful advocate and a good friend.

The San Diego legal community mourns the loss of highly-respected lawyer and Superior Court Commissioner Lee C. Witham (Ret.), a long-time SDCBA member. He was admired for consistently approaching legal affairs in a serious, efficient, diligent and level-headed manner. He served the San Diego County courts for 25 years. He will be missed.

Meet Your Bar-ista What are your main responsibilities

What is your favorite movie and why?

at the Bar?

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I provide support to Jill (Executive

has been one of my favorite movies

Director) and Keith (Deputy Executive

since I first saw it many years ago.

Director), as well as provide

It’s smart and funny, and has a

administrative and logistical support

fantastic soundtrack!

for SDCBA Leadership, including our Board of Directors and Committee and Section Leaders.

“A man has made at least a start on

How long have you been working

life when he plants shade trees under

at the Bar?

which he knows full well he will never

About a year and a half. I started

sit.” — Elton Trueblood. This quote

here in July 2019.

reminds me of the importance of

discovering the meaning of human

What is your favorite part of your job?

OLGA BLANKSON EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT & LEADERSHIP COORDINATOR

What’s your favorite quote?

I really enjoy working with our

living life with integrity, compassion, benevolence, and generosity.

talented leadership. I am constantly

What do you love about San Diego?

learning from them and it’s an honor

I love that the beach, the desert, the

to collaborate with them on

mountains, the city are all accessible.

various projects.

There is always something to do and always something new to explore. SAN DIEGO LAWYER

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PHOTO GALLERY STEPPING UP TO THE BAR ... 2020 STYLE The SDCBA celebrated its 2021 leadership at the annual Stepping Up to the Bar. The 2020 twist was that we celebrated via Zoom, as 2020 President Johanna Schiavoni passed the gavel to 2021 President Renée N.G. Stackhouse and the 2021 Board of Directors were sworn in.

2020 SDCBA President Johanna Schiavoni

Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne

Hon. Olga Álvarez

2021 SDCBA President René e N.G. Stackhouse

Swearing in of the 2021 SDCBA Board of Directors 44

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

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January/February 2021


PHOTO GALLERY

HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD The SDCBA’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion hosted its annual signature event, Holidays Around the World. Guests enjoyed an SDCBA cookbook and the cheerful company of Top: Lisa Baptiste, Bottom (L-R): Yasaman Sharif, Yasmin Bigdeli

our local law-related organizations.

Top (L-R): Ron Marcus, Ana Sambold, Matt Wechter

Top (L-R): Brenda Lopez, Claudia Ignacio

Bottom (L-R): A. Melissa Johnson, Nicole Heeder, Pauline Villanueva

Bottom (L-R): Marvin Mizell, A. Melissa Johnson

STATE OF THE COURTS ADDRESS 2020 SDCBA President Johanna Schiavoni moderated a discussion with Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne from the San Diego Superior Court and Chief Judge Larry Burns from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California at the final State of the Courts Address of 2020.

Top (L-R): 2020 SDCBA President Johanna Schiavoni, Chief Judge Larry Burns, Bottom: Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne

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Thank You for Helping Us Serve Those in Need by Awarding $411,700 in Grants in 2020! Through the generous support of our legal community, 29 organizations received funding as they continue to provide “justice for all” through legal services and support during this difficult time.

Your Donations Helped • • • •

Children • Veterans Homeless • Domestic Violence Victims Immigrants and Asylum Seekers • Indigent Criminal Defense Senior Citizens

Ways To Donate: www.sdcbf.org/donate @SDCBF 619-231-7015

info@sdcbf.org

sdcbf.org


Profile for San Diego County Bar Association

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