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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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Three New Judges to Join Santa Clara County Superior Court

Posted By SCCBA, Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Gov. Brown appoints Christopher G. Rudy, Joshua Weinstein and Charles E. Wilson II to Santa Clara Bench

SAN JOSE, Calif. (July 16, 2014): The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara will have new three judges join its bench, as today Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the appointment of Christopher G. Rudy, Joshua Weinstein and Charles E. Wilson II to judgeships. Charles Wilson decided to be sworn in today, which occurred at 4:30 PM in Department 17 of the Old Courthouse. Swearing in dates for Christopher Rudy and Joshua Weinstein will be announced shortly.

"We look forward to welcoming Chris, Josh and Charles to our Bench," said Presiding Judge, Hon. Brian C. Walsh. "All three have been great lawyers in their fields and are great people. We are pleased that these newest additions to our Court have strong connections with our county."

Rudy, 53, of Boulder Creek, has been a partner at Stenberg Sunseri Roe Pickard and Rudy since 1994, where he was an associate from 1991 to 1993. He was an associate attorney at Ubhaus and Collins PC from 1989 to 1990. Rudy earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joyce Allegro. Rudy is a Democrat.

Weinstein, 55, of San Francisco, has served as a judicial staff attorney at the First District Court of Appeal since 2008. He was a visiting professional at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2007, a senior attorney at the Judicial Council of California from 1998 to 2007 and Special Master for the San Francisco County Superior Court from 2003 to 2005. Weinstein was a staff attorney at the Sixth District Appellate Program from 1994 to 1998, a training supervisor at the Washington Appellate Defender Association from 1990 to 1994 and a staff attorney at the Seattle-King County Public Defender Association from 1989 to 1990. He served as a deputy public defender at the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office from 1987 to 1989 and as a research attorney at the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 1986 to 1987. Weinstein earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jerome Nadler. Weinstein is a Democrat. 

Wilson, 39, of East Palo Alto, has served as a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office since 2007. He was a litigation associate at Gordon and Rees LLP from 2003 to 2007 and at Phillips Spallas and Fotouhi in 2003. Wilson earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Diane M. Northway. Wilson is a Democrat.

Source:  
Superior Court of California, 
County of Santa Clara 
@scscourt

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Nominate an Unsung Hero

Posted By SCCBA, Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SCCBA Unsung Heroes AwardEach year the Diversity Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association presents the Unsung Heroes Awards.

The Diversity Committee invites interested individuals to submit nominations for individuals or organizations deserving this recognition. If you know of an individual or organization who should be considered for such an honor, please review the criteria and submit an online nomination on or before Friday, August 15, 2014.

The 2014 Unsung Heroes Awards will be presented at the Annual Reception on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 5:30 p.m., at the Fallon House Gardens, 175 W. St. John Street, San Jose, CA. Last year’s reception was a huge success, as over 50 judges and attorneys came together to honor Christopher J. Arriola and Jennifer M. Protas.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Irene Cortez, at (408) 975-2114 or email irenec@sccba.com.

Submit a Nomination Here

Tags:  diversity  recognition 

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Arbitration programs resolve fee grievances between attorneys and clients

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When Mary (not her real name) got into a dispute with her former lawyer over his bill for representing her in a suit against her condo association, she felt stuck, unable to afford to hire another attorney to fight it.

But things began to look up when she participated in the State Bar’s Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program, one of a number of programs in the state that resolve the most common complaint clients have about their attorneys: their fees and costs.

Twenty-nine counties in the state have mandatory fee arbitration programs. Some have more than one. In all, there are 36 mandatory fee arbitration programs in California including the one run by the State Bar, which steps in whenever there’s a conflict or if the county where the dispute originated doesn’t offer fee arbitration.

Read more via Cal Bar Journal

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Governor Brown Appoints Two Justices to the First District Court of Appeal

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 2, 2014
SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Associate Justice James M. Humes as presiding justice, Division One and Therese M. Stewart to Division Two of the First District Court of Appeal.

Humes, 54, of San Francisco, has served as associate justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four since 2012. He was executive secretary for legal affairs, administration and policy in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2011 to 2012 and chief deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2007 to 2011. Humes served in multiple positions at the California Department of Justice from 1993 to 2007, including chief assistant of the Civil Division and senior assistant attorney general of the Health, Education and Welfare Section. He was an associate at Banta Hoyt Banta Greene Hannen and Everall PC from 1986 to 1987, served as senior assistant attorney general at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office from 1984 to 1993 and was an associate at Jay Stuart Radetsky PC from 1983 to 1984. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University. 

Humes fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James J. Marchiano. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline. Humes is the first openly gay justice to serve on the California Court of Appeal. Humes is a Democrat. 

Stewart, 57, of San Francisco, has served as chief deputy city attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office since 2002. She was a director at Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk and Rabkin PC from 1988 to 2002, where she was an associate from 1982 to 1988. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch at the U.S. Court of Appeal, Eleventh Circuit from 1981 to 1982. Stewart argued on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco in the trilogy of cases advocating for marriage equality for LGBT Californians in the California Supreme Court. She also led the team of San Francisco deputy city attorneys intervening as plaintiffs in the federal case challenging Proposition 8. Stewart earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. 

Stewart fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James R. Lambden. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline. Stewart will be the first openly lesbian justice to serve on the California Court of Appeal, if confirmed. Stewart is a Democrat. 

The compensation for each of these positions is $207,463.

source: ca.gov

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Governor Brown Appoints Four Justices to the Second District Court of Appeal

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 2, 2014
SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Associate Justice Frances Rothschild as presiding justice, Division One, Brian M. Hoffstadt to Division Two, Lee S. Edmon as presiding justice, Division Three and Judge Audrey B. Collins to Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal.

Rothschild, 73, of Los Angeles, has served as associate justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division One since 2005. She served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 1978 to 2005 and at the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1975 to 1978. Rothschild was of counsel at Bodle Fogel Julber Reinhardt and Rothschild from 1972 to 1975, where she was an associate attorney from 1967 to 1968. She was an attorney at the California State University and Colleges Office of General Counsel from 1968 to 1972. Rothschild earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Rothschild fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Robert M. Mallano. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. Rothschild is a Democrat. 

Hoffstadt, 43, of Los Angeles, has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2010. He was a partner at Jones Day from 2007 to 2010 and served as an assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California from 2000 to 2007. Hoffstadt served as senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Policy Development from 1998 to 2000 and at the Federal Communications Commission, Office of General Counsel from 1997 to 1998. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor at the U.S. Supreme Court from 1996 to 1997 and for the Honorable Cynthia H. Hall at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1995 to 1996. Hoffstadt earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. 

Hoffstadt fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Kathyrn D. Todd. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. Hoffstadt is a Democrat. 

Edmon, 58, of Los Angeles, has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2000 and was the first female presiding judge of the court from 2011 to 2012. Edmon was partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP from 1990 to 2000, where she was an associate from 1987 to 1990. She was an associate at Adams Duque and Hazeltine from 1981 to 1987. Edmon was president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 1998 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois, College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bob Jones University. 

Effective January 5, 2015, Edmon will fill the vacancy to be created by the retirement of Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. Edmon is a Democrat. 

Collins, 69, of Los Angeles, has served as chief judge at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California since 1994, where she served as chief judge from 2009 to 2012. She served as an assistant district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 1992 to 1994, where she was deputy district attorney from 1978 to 1992. Collins was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles from 1977 to 1978. Collins earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, a Master of Public Administration degree from American University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University. 

She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Steven Suzukawa. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein. Collins is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $207,463.

source: CA.gov

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Administrative Director Steven Jahr Announces Retirement

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—Steven Jahr, a former trial court judge who came out of his initial retirement to help lead the Administrative Office of the Courts during a time of transition, is set to retire once again after serving two years.
 
In a letter Tuesday to the Judicial Council, its staff, and to justices and judges, Judge Jahr said that despite the ongoing fiscal challenges of the judicial branch, he was reassured that the branch was headed in the right direction.
 
“I was coaxed out of my first retirement two years ago because of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye’s commitment to reform, renewal, and ongoing self-assessment,” Judge Jahr said. “I notified her last fall about my intention to retire sometime after the state budget was signed by the Governor. I am optimistic that the judicial branch will continue to improve under her guidance and will achieve the fiscal stability she’s been fighting so hard for.”
 
Judge Jahr brought a steadiness to an agency that had been downsized by 30 percent even before he became Administrative Director in October 2012. He was the fifth director since the creation of the position in 1961. Last week, the Chief Justice announced her intent to shed the name of the Administrative Office of the Courts because of the confusion it generated among members of the other branches of government.
 
“We are all deeply grateful that Steve agreed to come out of his first retirement to help the Judicial Council as we initiated our reforms,” the Chief Justice said. “His insight, integrity, and calm demeanor inspired trust and confidence in me, the Judicial Council, and our staff. He is well-respected in Sacramento among those in the executive and legislative branches. His commitment to public service is remarkable, and we will miss his sagacious presence. The Judicial Council will be creating a search committee to begin a nationwide search for Steve’s replacement. We hope to have a new Administrative Director in place before Steve’s departure at the end of September.” 

 

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice.

Source: courts.ca.gov


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Court says California judges' job ban covers only time on bench

Posted By Paula Collis, Monday, June 30, 2014

California judges who want to stay in government work after retiring got a boost from a state appellate court, which said a law forbidding public employment during a judge's term of office is only a ban on moonlighting while in office.

That's different from the interpretations of the law by state Controller John Chiang, the attorney general's office, and a judge who heard the lawsuit by a longtime state appellate justice. They all said the ban covers the remaining years of the term for which a judge was appointed or elected, barring government employment for as long as a decade after retirement from the bench.

READ MORE VIA SF GATE

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Chief Justice Announces Intent to Shed AOC Name

Posted By Paula Collis, Friday, June 27, 2014
Judicial Council supports move; action due in July

 

SAN FRANCISCO—Citing confusion caused by having a staff with its own name, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye urged the Judicial Council to divest itself of the name “Administrative Office of the Courts.”

“When I and others advocate for the public on behalf of the judicial branch we often encounter confusion among those who think that the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts are two separate entities. They’re not. Quite simply, the administrative staff exists to support the Judicial Council and provide services to the courts, the public, and sister branches of government. Unifying the council and its staff under one name, Judicial Council, will create more clarity and transparency about the role and governance responsibilities of the Judicial Council. It also mirrors the standard practice of other government bodies who do not provide separate names for their staffs.”

Council members and Judge Steven Jahr, Administrative Director of the Courts, greeted the proposal with approval. Justice Douglas P. Miller, chair of the council’s Executive and Planning Committee, said, “This identity change reflects the significant and substantive changes that we as the governing body have made in policy and responsibilities over the last three years, and eliminates confusion so many of us have confronted.”

Judge Charles D. Wachob, co-chair of the Chief Justice’s Strategic Evaluation Committee, whose report in 2012 resulted in more than 100 Judicial Council directives for restructuring and reform of the administrative staff, also supported the move, calling it “A necessary step to resolve a perception crisis” that the committee was aware of but did not directly seek to resolve because it wasn’t in its charge.

Judge Jahr said, “This retirement at once changes everything, and changes nothing. There’s only one entity, and that’s the Judicial Council of California. Neither in the Constitution, in statute, in rules, or in other formal methods, was a separate entity ever created. The change is more than superficial. It changes nothing in our organizational structure, but it does emphasize that the Judicial Council is the governing body with a staff that supports it, and it reflects a culture change that is already under way.”

The Chief directed the chairs of the council’s internal committees to prepare an amendment to the rules of court implementing the change for the council to take up at its next meeting, July 29. Judge Jahr was asked to address implementation issues within the same time frame. 

Source: http://www.courts.ca.gov/26554.htm

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Two Arrested, Charged in Notario Scam

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 27, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Los Angeles area "immigration consultant" and her "business associate" were arrested Thursday and charged with bilking immigrants of as much as $24,000 at a time for filing fraudulent petitions for immigration relief, federal prosecutors said.

Lead defendant Claudia Arreola, 35, of El Monte, owns and operates California Immigration Services. She and her "business associate" Leticia Gutierrez, 35, of Pico Rivera, are charged in a six-count indictment returned Tuesday by a grand jury. Arreola and Gutierrez are accused of running a notario scam.

READ MORE VIA COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

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Update your SCCBA Online Profile Photo for Free

Posted By Paula Collis, Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Santa Clara County Bar Association has engaged the firm of RCL Portrait Design to photograph all attorneys for our online pictorial membership directory.

The Membership Directory photos will be taken at NO CHARGE to members. The photographs will be taken at the SCCBA office at the address listed below. A professional portrait photographer will photograph you in several poses. You will then be able to view your proofs immediately through an instant video system and choose your picture for the directory. Additional portraits will also be made available to those wishing to purchase them; however, there is no obligation.

Photographers will be available from Monday, July 7, 2014 until Thursday, July 24, 2014 at the following locations from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.

SCCBA Offices
31 North Second Street, Suite 400
San Jose, California 95113

For a professional quality and uniform directory, appropriate dress is suggested. We recommend the following:

Ladies: Suit jacket or long sleeved blouse
Gentlemen: Dark jacket and tie

Please call RCL Portrait Design at 800-580-5562 to schedule your appointment or for any questions. Please allow 15 minutes for the sitting and to view the proofs.

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View From the Bench 2018

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WLS Roundtable Series, Session III: Reinvent & Thrive Through Transition

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Hon. Erica R. Yew2016 Jurist of the Year
Richard KondaProfessional Lawyer of the Year 2015

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