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News for, and by, our local legal community, curated and created by the Santa Clara County Bar. The opinions expressed in this blog are the authors' own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, its members, its employees, or its governing board.

 

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ACLU sues Hayward over fee for body camera footage of Black Lives Matter protest

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 18, 2015

The ACLU sued the city Tuesday over what it calls excessive charges for police body camera footage requested under the state Public Records Act.

The city billed the National Lawyers Guild almost $3,000 for footage from the Dec. 6 Black Lives Matter protest in Berkeley where several demonstrators were injured.

Hayward police took part in crowd control during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Berkeley and Oakland in December. The demonstrators were protesting grand juries that did not indict officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.

Read the whole story at San Jose Mercury News

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New initiative would end California death penalty

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 18, 2015

Already on life support, California’s death penalty would be abolished entirely under a proposed ballot initiative.

The proposal would strike death as a possible punishment from the state’s Penal Code, substituting life imprisonment without parole where state law currently allows for the death penalty. Its proponent, actor Mike Farrell, would have 180 days from when the secretary of state’s office enters the measure into circulation to collect 365,880 signatures.

California has not executed a death row inmate in nearly a decade, a point Farrell’s initiative stresses in calling the death penalty an “empty promise” that drains public resources.

“The state spends millions of taxpayer dollars providing lawyers for death row inmates, only to see the murderers it has sentenced to death by execution die of old age in prison,” the proposal reads.

Read the whole story at Sac Bee

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San Jose affordable housing law headed to U.S. Supreme Court

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The California building industry has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its legal challenge to a San Jose affordable housing law upheld earlier this year by the state Supreme Court.

In a petition filed Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for the industry argue that San Jose's law and others like it across California violate federal constitutional protections against the "taking" of private property. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative Sacramento group representing the industry, has taken its fight to the nation's high court.

"The California Supreme Court's ruling carves arbitrary limits and loopholes in core constitutional property-rights safeguards as laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court," said Brian Hodges, the foundation's attorney.  

Read the whole story at Inside Bay Area News

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Demand that mother remove home video from YouTube backfires

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A music company’s demand that YouTube take down a 29-second home video of two children dancing to a song by Prince backfired Monday when a federal appeals court used the case to make it harder for copyright-holders to act against brief, non-commercial uses of their material.

Recording companies, motion picture studios and other copyright owners issue numerous takedown notices each day, targeting everything from home videos to campaign ads that include segments of songs or newscasts. When a copyright-holder tells a website like YouTube that one of its postings violates the holder’s exclusive rights to license the material, federal law requires that the posting be removed immediately.

But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the copyright-holder must first consider whether such a video amounts to “fair use” of the work, making it eligible to be legally posted. Fair use includes journalistic accounts and criticism, educational uses for teaching or research, and brief, private postings that don’t damage the commercial market for the work.

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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Supreme Court justice targets court language barriers

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 15, 2015

State Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar knows about the immigrant experience firsthand. As a teenager, Cuéllar emigrated with his parents from the Mexican state of Matamoros to California’s Imperial Valley in 1986.

“I was very lucky to have a green card,” said Cuéllar , who was in Napa on Thursday to honor attorneys who donate their time for free legal service. “That [moving to California] was a life-changing experience.”

As a young immigrant, Cuéllar faced the excitement of being in a new country, but there were also challenges. He saw the Latino and other immigrant communities struggle to navigate life in the United States when English was not their first language. This inspired Cuèllar’s main project today: making the California court system accessible to people who speak English as a second language or not at all.

This is not a small challenge. While California’s government has already integrated Spanish into some of its proceedings, according to Cuéllar, there are more than 200 languages spoken in California, most of them completely unrepresented in the courts. This sometimes forces children to act as interpreters for parents in court.

Read the whole story at Napa Valley Register

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Justice delayed: Wheels of Stanislaus County legal system turn slowly

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Julie Sandoval-Preciado’s son was gunned down between Modesto and Ceres when George W. Bush was president. The San Francisco Giants had not won a World Series in 53 years and the iPhone was on the verge of making its debut.

Over the next few weeks in mid-2007, investigators obtained mounds of evidence and confessions from four men, and all were charged with murder.

More than eight years later, Sandoval-Preciado still waits for justice.

“This is a disgrace,” she said, crying, in a recent interview. “I think I’ve been more than patient in waiting.”

The men also bide their time, confined in Stanislaus County Jail, where only 28 percent of inmates are serving sentences and 72 percent are waiting for their trials. Not all are accused of murder, but those who are find themselves in one of the most bogged-down local court systems in California.

Read the whole story at Mod Bee

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Court declines to allow dying woman access to life-ending drugs

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A state appeals court refused Friday to immediately allow a physician to prescribe life-ending drugs to a 47-year-old Southern California woman who faces a painful death from terminal cancer.

Christy O’Donnell has stage four lung cancer that has spread to her brain, has been told she has no more than a few months to live, and cannot take morphine or other common pain-relief medications. Her lawyers argued that California’s 1874 law against assisted suicide does not prohibit a doctor from prescribing lethal drugs as long as the patient makes the final decision.

But the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego said state courts have upheld the California law and have ruled that it bars physician assistance in dying. 

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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Seeking Nominations: Professional Lawyer of the Year, Pro Bono Award, Diversity Award

Posted By Paula Collis, Thursday, September 10, 2015

Santa Clara County Bar Association is pleased to announce it is seeking nominations to honor our local legal professionals.


We encourage you to nominate individuals that qualify for each award, to be presented at the SCCBA Annual Judges Night on November 10, 2015.  Please click on the links below to submit your nominations.  The deadline for submitting the nomination forms is Wednesday, October 5, 2015, at 4:45 p.m.


 

PROFESSIONAL LAWYER
OF THE YEAR

The Selection Committee uses the following criteria to determine the recipient:

  1. An active, respected practitioner;
  2. Unimpeachable character;
  3. Impact of the pro bono services provided;
  4. Embodies standards set forth in the SCCBA Code of Professionalism.
  5. The recipient should be a role model not only for the past but for the present requiring that the recipient be currently engaged in the practice of law.


PRO BONO AWARD

The Selection Committee uses the following criteria to determine the recipient. They may rely on any one or combination of these factors:

  1. Sustained commitment over time;
  2. Extraordinary commitment of time over a continuous period;
  3. Impact of the pro bono services provided;
  4. Diversity of the recipients from year to year (this includes all types of diversity including practice area; individual vs. law firm; ethnicity; sexual orientation; gender; geography).


DIVERSITY AWARD

The Selection Committee uses the following criteria to determine the recipient. They may rely on any one or combination of these factors:

  1. Demonstrated long-term commitment to promoting diversity in the profession;
  2. Particularly noteworthy achievement during the recent past in diversity work;
  3. Outstanding personal leadership or groundbreaking achievement;
  4. Any other factors the committee deems appropriate to the promotion of under-represented minority groups or women, in the legal profession.

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SCCBA 2016 Officer Candidates

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 10, 2015
John MlnarikThe electronic ballots for the SCCBA 2016 election of trustees and officers will be distributed to all active SCCBA members on Monday, September 14, and must be returned to the Bar Association office by Thursday, October 1.

The 2015 President-Elect, Matt Poppe, automatically becomes the President of the SCCBA for 2016. Candidates for the offer positions of President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary are below with candidate statements submitted by the candidate. Officers serve for one, 1 year term.






NICOLE ISGER

President-Elect

Term of Office

2016

Firm

Law Office of Nicole Isger

Address

171 Main Street, #651, Los Altos, California 94022

Type of Practice

Criminal

Law School

UC Davis, King Hall

Date of Admission
to the California Bar

November 1998

I am an active member of the SCCBA, currently serving as the SCCBA Treasurer, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Professionalism Committee. Outside of the legal community, I am active in my children’s local elementary school, provide volunteer services to the nonprofit FLY (Fresh Lifelines for Youth), and I remain active with the UC Davis School of Law. My family and I also enjoy supporting the SF Giants.

I have been in private practice since 2004, focusing on criminal defense. Prior to private practice, I worked as a county attorney, serving the public as a public defender for Santa Clara County. I started my legal career as a public defender for Contra Costa County, prior to moving to the South Bay. I have extensive experience within the Santa Clara County courts, having handled felonies and misdemeanors for adults and juveniles, as well as matters of drug court, mental health court, domestic violence, and family court.

I value the level of dedication and community spirit found within the SCCBA. I support the services that the SCCBA provides to the legal community in Santa Clara County and would like to see the SCCBA continue to thrive. I would appreciate your vote to allow me to continue to serve the SCCBA as President-Elect.




KATE WILSON

Treasurer

Term of Office

2016

Firm

Extreme Networks, Inc.

Address

145 Rio Robles, San Jose, CA 95134

Type of Practice

In-House Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law

Law School

Santa Clara University SOL

Date of Admission
to the California Bar

April 2007

My name is Kate Wilson and I am a candidate for the position of Treasurer of the Santa Clara County Bar Association (“SCCBA”) for 2016. I am running for Treasurer because I would like to continue to serve our legal community through the SCCBA and I believe my experience will be a valuable asset to our association. I am an active member of the SCCBA having served as the association’s Secretary in 2015 as well as a Trustee and a member of the Finance Committee for the past six years and a member of the Executive Committee in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. In addition, I have previously served as the Chair of the Civil Practice Committee, Chair of the Barristers Committee, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, a member of the E-Discovery Task Force, and a member of the Professional Rules Revisions Task Force.

I am currently the Director and Corporate Counsel of Global Employment Law and Commercial Litigation for Extreme Networks, Inc. where my in-house practice focuses on employment law, commercial litigation and general corporate matters. I regularly present on a wide variety of legal topics such as recognizing and preventing sexual harassment, employment law updates for employers, document retention, electronic discovery and electronic media in the workplace. I also volunteer my time as a guest lecturer at SCU for classes including Pre-Trial Litigation Techniques, Law Practice Management and Patent Litigation.

If elected, I hope to use my SCCBA, personal and professional experience to represent our membership as the 2016 Treasurer for the SCCBA. I would appreciate your vote in support of my candidacy.

Thank you.

Kate Wilson




KEVIN M. HAMMON

Secretary

Term of Office

2016

Firm

Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office

Address

373 West Julian Street, Ste. 300, San Jose, CA 95110

Type of Practice

Child Dependency Law

Law School

UCLA

Date of Admission
to the California Bar

2004

As our personal and professional lives become increasingly impacted, we are often left with little time to participate in community service and professional organizations. I do not take your involvement in the Santa Clara County Bar Association for granted. Thank you for participating in the SCCBA’s 2016 Election for Officers and Board of Trustee Members. Thank you for considering my candidacy for Secretary.

I have enjoyed serving as a Member of the Board of Trustees since 2011, Chair of the Lawyer Referral Service Committee since 2014, Member of the SCCBA’s Executive Committee between 2011 and 2012, and the Chair of the Law Related Education Committee in 2010. Through the years, I have had the pleasure of working with SCCBA C.E.O. Chris Burdick, SCCBA staff, and a variety of current and former SCCBA Officers and Trustees. Without exception, they have been kind, insightful, and professional. It is indeed a privilege to be in their company. If elected Secretary, I will take minutes for the SCCBA’s Board of Trustee, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee meetings. Beyond that, I will strive to be a valuable member of the SCCBA team- carefully considering proposals and providing appropriate input.

Since 2004, I have been involved in Santa Clara County’s annual High School Mock Trial Tournament. I have served as the Tournament Administrator for the past three years. The Tournament represents a partnership between the SCCBA, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Over 100 attorneys volunteer their time as scorers. The Bench provides courtrooms and judges. Over 400 students participate in the program, serving as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs, and court clerks. The reviews from teachers, attorneys, students, and staff have been overwhelmingly positive. I believe this Tournament exemplifies the SCCBA’s commitment to collaboration, member service, and community impact.

Since 2008, I have been a lawyer in the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Child Dependency Unit. I worked in the County Counsel’s Litigation Unit between 2007 and 2008. Between 2004 and 2007, I was a litigation attorney at McManis Faulkner.

Tags:  2016  Officers 

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State Bar disciplines former prosecutor

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The State Bar of California has publicly reprimanded former Santa Clara County prosecutor Daniel Carr.

Carr is the guy who took early retirement this winter after District Attorney Jeff Rosen suspended him for withholding evidence in a multi-defendant gang trial. Carr’s retirement came in February as Rosen was about to take further disciplinary action against him — including possibly firing him — for allegedly tapping into a statewide criminal database for a personal purpose.

The Bar stopped short of suspending Carr, issuing a “public reproval” Aug. 28 instead. Carr is not related to former District Attorney Dolores Carr.

Read the whole story at Mercury News

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more Calendar

4/24/2018
How to Draft a Custody Order

4/26/2018
Diversity Happy Hour

5/2/2018
Fourth Annual Law Day Mixer

Recent Recognitions
Steven B. Haley2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year
Hon. Edward J. Davila2017 Diversity of the Year

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