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Santa Clara County Judges Elect New Leadership

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 22, 2014

Assistant Presiding Judge Risë Pichon elevated to Presiding Judge; Judge Patricia Lucas named new Assistant Presiding Judge.

 

SAN JOSE, Calif. (September 22, 2014): the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara (Court) has elected its new leadership for the 2015-17 term, with Assistant Presiding Judge Risë Pichon elevated to Presiding Judge and Judge Patricia Lucas named new Assistant Presiding Judge. 

 

“Judges Pichon and Lucas are two incredibly capable leaders. I am confident that, under Judge Pichon’s leadership, the Court will continue to tackle the tremendous fiscal challenges ahead while serving Santa Clara County residents with the utmost integrity,” said Presiding Judge Brian C. Walsh. “Having worked with Judge Pichon as closely as I have over the past two years, I know that I’ll be leaving the Court’s leadership in incredibly skilled and gifted hands.” 

 

The Court’s leadership transition will become effective on January 1, 2015.

 

ABOUT PRESIDING JUDGE-ELECT RISË PICHON

Judge Risë Pichon was first appointed to the Municipal Court of Santa Clara County in July 1984 and is currently the Assistant Presiding Judge. Before becoming the Assistant Presiding, Judge Pichon was the Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division, the Court’s largest area. Judge Pichon was admitted to the Bar in 1976 and earned both her Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from Santa Clara University.

 

Before being appointed, Judge Pichon was an attorney with the Office of the Public Defender      (1976-79) and the Office of the County Counsel (1979-83). Judge Pichon also served as a Commissioner for the Municipal Court of Santa Clara County (1983-84).

 

A resident of Santa Clara County since 1969, Judge Pichon has been involved in many community activities, including President of the St. Thomas More Society Board of Directors, as well as Santa Clara University School of Law’s 100th Anniversary Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Advisory Board, Self-Study Committee and Board of Visitors.

 

Judge Pichon’s many honors include 2014 Judge of the Year for the Santa Clara County Bar Association Women Lawyers Committee, 2012 “100 Women of Influence” (Silicon Valley Business Journal), 2011 Judge of the Year (Santa Clara County Bar Association) and 2011 Social Justice and Human Rights Award (Santa Clara University School of Law).

 

ABOUT ASSISTANT PRESIDING JUDGE-ELECT PATRICIA LUCAS

Judge Patricia Lucas was first appointed to the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara County in 2002 and is currently the Supervising Judge of the Civil Division. Judge Lucas was admitted to the Bar in 1979 and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the Rice University and her Juris Doctor from University of California Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall).

 

Before being appointed to the Court, Judge Lucas was in private practice and served as Litigation Practice Group Leader with Fenwich & West (1993-2003), Partner with Brown & Bain (1986-93) and Associate with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison (1979-86).

 

Originally born and raised in San Francisco, Judge Lucas has been involved in many community activities, including Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Northern California, St. Thomas More Society Board Member, Center for Judicial Education and Research Board Member, Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen Board of Directors, and Santa Clara County Bar Association Judiciary Committee Member.

 

Judge Lucas’ many honors include Judge of the Year for the Santa Clara County Bar Association Women Lawyers Committee (2007), Robert F. Peckham Award for Outstanding Public Interest (2000), and San Jose Business Journal Woman of Influence (2011).

 

 


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Barry Bonds case: Conviction reversal seems likely

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 19, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO -- The government's case against home run king Barry Bonds may turn out to be a whiff.

During an hour of legal arguments here Thursday, the majority of an 11-judge federal appeals court panel sent strong signals that Bonds' 2011 conviction for obstructing justice is on shaky ground.

 

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges appeared troubled by a host of factors, including what may have been an overbroad use of obstruction laws to snag the former San Francisco Giant for giving evasive testimony to a federal grand jury more than a decade ago.

 

"I find your reading of the (obstruction of justice) statute absolutely alarming," 9th Circuit Judge William Fletcher remarked to assistant U.S. attorney Merry Jean Chan at one point.

 

Read more via San Jose Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_26561729/barry-bonds-case-conviction-reversal-seems-likely

 

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Patients sue state over backlog of Medi-Cal approvals, now at 350,000

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 19, 2014

Citing a paperwork backlog that has left the healthcare of hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians in limbo, patients represented by a coalition of legal advocates are suing the state.

 

In a petition filed Wednesday in Alameda County, the group asked the court to order California's Department of Health Care Services to comply with rules requiring eligibility reviews for Medi-Cal, the state medical plan for the needy, to be complete within 45 days. Some reviews haven't been completed for nearly a year.

 

The lawsuit also asks the state to provide benefits to otherwise-eligible applicants while income is being verified and to notify applicants affected by the backlog that they have the right to request a hearing.


Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-medi-cal-backlog-lawsuit-20140917-story.html

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Bar Suspends Lawyer for Photoshopping Herself Into Celebrity Shots

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 19, 2014

 

SACRAMENTO — A State Bar Court judge has recommended a six-month suspension for a Los Angeles attorney who posted manipulated photos on her firm's website that suggested she hobnobbed with movie stars and politicians.

 

Svitlana Sangary engaged in deceptive advertising, refused to cooperate with bar investigators and, in a separate manner, dragged her feet releasing the files of a client who had fired her, State Bar Court Judge Donald Miles found.

 

"The court has grave concerns regarding [Sangary's] demonstrated lack of insight and her contemptuous conduct during these proceedings," Miles wrote. Her "failure to remove the deceptive images from her website, even after the State Bar brought this issue to her attention, and her demonstrated disregard for the disciplinary process give little reason to believe that her misconduct will not continue."



Read more: http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202670433611/Bar-Suspends-Lawyer-for-Photoshopping-Herself-Into-Celebrity-Shots#ixzz3DmQVqarp

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Judges Convene Friendly Competition for Students Across County

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 18, 2014

Superior Court judges celebrate national Constitution Day with more than 3,200 5th grade students throughout Santa Clara County.

 

SAN JOSE, Calif. (September 17, 2014): Today, thirty-two judicial officers from the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara (Court) are visiting more than 3,200 students at 40 schools from across the county in celebration of national Constitution Day, which marks the 227th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing.

 

“Constitution Day gives us an opportunity to connect with students about this vital document that rules the laws of our land, but more importantly, it allows us to reach these students and show them that the judges who uphold the law are real people too,” said Judge Julia Alloggiamento, Chair of the Court’s Community Outreach and Planning Committee.

 

Federal law mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on September 17th about the history of the American Constitution. Locally, judges will be meeting with more than 3.200 5th grade students at schools throughout the county. The judges will be presenting a grade-level appropriate presentation on the Constitution and then moderating a quiz game with prizes for the students.

 

“Our Bench is diverse, representing all aspects of our community. Ideally, we will inspire these students to take pride in jury service as adults or maybe even to become our future lawyers and judges,” said the Hon. Julia Alloggiamento.”

 

The Court thanks Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Mike Honda for supplying more than 600 hundred pocket Constitutions that are being distributed to students who participate in today’s friendly quiz game.

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Joanne Garvey, First Female BASF President, 1935-2014

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 15, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Joanne Garvey, a trailblazing attorney who shattered numerous glass ceilings over the course of a 50-year legal career, died Wednesday following a battle with cancer. She was 79.

 

Garvey was the first woman partner at a downtown San Francisco law firm, the first woman elected to the board of governors of the State Bar of California, and the first female president of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She was a tireless advocate of legal services for the poor who also helped nurture generations of younger attorneys, whether by helping organize California Women Lawyers or through less formal social gatherings at her own home.

 

"Before the word 'mentor' was widely used as it is today, Joanne was one—to both woman and men," said M. Elizabeth McDaniel, comanaging partner of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton's San Francisco office, where Garvey had practiced since 2008.

 

"There are a lot of women who have done a lot for women, but Joanne was in a class by herself," said Drucilla Ramey, the former BASF executive director and dean of Golden Gate University School of Law.


Read more: http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202669811707/Joanne-Garvey-First-Female-BASF-President-19352014#ixzz3DPVrvOnC

(subscription required)

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

Posted By Paula Collis, Monday, September 8, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

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 October 22, 2014.  Please click on the links below to submit your nominations.  The deadline for submitting the nomination forms is Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 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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Long delays in accused killer's prosecution frustrate victim's family

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 8, 2014

Steve Herr keeps a list in a notebook of every court hearing that's been held for the man accused of killing his son.

 

So far — four years, three months and 17 days after Sam Herr's death — court has been brought to order 41 times in the government's case against Daniel Patrick Wozniak, but the accused killer still has not gone to trial. 

 

"Every time we go in there, it's a slap in the face," Steve Herr said one recent morning before again ducking into Orange County Superior Court. 

 

"I'm starting to hate the justice system more than I hate Wozniak." 

 

Wozniak, 30, is accused of killing Sam Herr, dismembering the former Army soldier's body and then trying to loot his savings account to pay for his own wedding.

 

Read more via LA Times

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DA yanks prosecutor and DNA criminalist off cold-case murder for having an affair

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 8, 2014

SAN JOSE -- Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has yanked a veteran prosecutor off a high-profile homicide assignment for having a secret "physical and emotional'' relationship with a crime lab technician whom he put on the witness stand twice to testify about DNA tests that led to a breakthrough in a 25-year-old cold-case murder, the office confirmed Sunday.

Prosecutor Ted Kajani's affair with criminalist Amanda Cardenas began before she testified for him in a May preliminary hearing and June grand jury proceeding. As a result of those hearings, brothers David and Robert Zimmer were held over for trial in the 1989 strangulation of Cathy Zimmer, David's estranged wife. The 38-year-old mother's body was discovered on the floor of the back seat of her car at San Jose's airport, wrapped in a colorful patchwork quilt whose origins are still unknown despite widespread publicity.

 

But Kajani did not inform Rosen of his extramarital affair with the analyst until about 10 days ago and he also failed to divulge it to the accused brothers, in possible violation of his legal obligation to do so -- omissions the brothers' lawyers claim irrevocably taint the prosecution's case.

 

In a brief telephone interview Sunday, Assistant District Attorney David Angel, who runs the office's Conviction Integrity Unit, confirmed that the two employees have been involved in a "physical and emotional'' relationship without the knowledge of the office or the defendants since "somewhat before'' Cardenas first testified for Kajani in late May.

  

Read more via Mercury News

 

 

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SCCBA 2015 Officer Candidates

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 8, 2014
John MlnarikThe electronic ballots for the SCCBA 2015 election of trustees and officers will be distributed to all active SCCBA members on Monday, September 15, and must be returned to the Bar Association office by Wednesday, October 2. Election results will be announced by Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

The 2014 President-Elect, John L. Mlnarik, automatically becomes the President of the SCCBA for 2015. 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.



MATT POPPE

President-Elect

Term of Office

2015

Firm

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Address

1000 Marsh Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Type of Practice

Intellectual Property Litigation; Commercial Litigation

Law School

University of Chicago

Date of Admission
to the California Bar

October 1995

My name is Matt Poppe and I ask for your vote for the position of 2015 President-Elect of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.  I would be honored to serve in that position, and to continue as President in 2016.

 

I have no agenda other than to work with CEO Chris Burdick and other SCCBA leaders to serve the best interests of the organization, the membership, and the local legal community.  I expect part of that effort will be to continue the hard work that is already underway to examine and possibly redirect the SCCBA’s strategic focus.  President Dianne Sweeney, Chris Burdick, and the Board of Trustees are currently overseeing that process, which likely will take years to plan and implement.  As someone who has been part of the process from the start, and who supports it, I believe I would be a good choice to help move it forward in future years.  I also expect part of my job would be, as it has been for recent SCCBA Presidents, to continue looking for ways to assist the Presiding Judge and other Santa Clara County Superior Court leaders to address funding cuts for the court system, both by pressing for funding increases and by looking for ways to provide crucial services to the community despite reduced levels of funding.

 

I am a litigator with a practice that focuses on patent cases but also includes other types of IP and commercial litigation.  I have spent my entire career at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where I have been in the Menlo Park office since 1996.

 

I have been an active member of the SCCBA since 2004.  I currently serve as Treasurer (one of four elected officer positions), and in that capacity am head of the Finance Committee.  I also am a present member of the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, Professionalism Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and High Tech Executive Committee.  Last year I was Secretary, another elected position.  I spent several years on the Civil Practice and Judiciary Committees, serving as Chair of the former in 2011 and Co-Chair of the latter in 2009-2010.  I have served on other regular and ad hoc committees from time to time; have spoken at several CLE presentations sponsored by SCCBA committees and sections; and received SCCBA pro bono awards in 2009 and 2010.

 

Although my office is in San Mateo County, I have strong ties to Santa Clara County.  I went to Stanford University as an undergraduate, graduating in 1990.  After obtaining my law degree, I lived in Mountain View and Palo Alto for several years.  I have represented many clients based in Santa Clara County and have appeared in the federal and state courts in Santa Clara County far more than in other jurisdictions.  I volunteer as a temporary judge in Santa Clara County courts, and I participate in meetings of the Small Claims Court Committee of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.  I am a member of the board of directors of the Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services, a charity that raises funds and distributes them to eight pro bono legal service providers in Silicon Valley.

 

I believe the SCCBA serves a variety of important functions that include bringing together members of the local bar, offering many vital services, encouraging professionalism and public service, acting as a liaison between the bar and the local courts, and much more.  I am a strong supporter of the Bar Association’s mission and would appreciate your support in my bid to serve as President-Elect.

 




NICOLE ISGER

Treasurer

Term of Office

2015

Firm

Geffon & Isger

Address

75 E Santa Clara Street, Suite 295, San Jose, CA 95113

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 Secretary, as well as the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Professionalism Committee.  Outside of the legal community, I am active in my 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.  I am a partner in the firm of Geffon & Isger in San Jose.  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, before 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 Treasurer.

 




KATE WILSON

Secretary

Term of Office

2015

Firm

The Law Offices of Mary Katharine Wilson

Address

481 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, Suite 264, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Type of Practice

Employment Law and General Business Litigation

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 Secretary of the Santa Clara County Bar Association (“SCCBA”) for 2015. I am running for Secretary 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 a Trustee and a member of the Finance Committee for the past five years as well as a member of the Executive Committee in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. In addition, currently serve as the Chair of the Civil Practice Committee and have previously served as: 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 the founder and principal at the Law Offices of Mary Katharine Wilson where my practice focuses on employment law and general business litigation. 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 2015 Secretary for the SCCBA. I would appreciate your vote in support of my candidacy.

 

Thank you.

Kate Wilson

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