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2010: The Final Report

Posted By Mark Shem, Friday, December 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the December, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

 

THE OTHER DAY, I WAS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH A NEW ATTORNEY IN OUR OFFICE. HE ASKED ME WHAT WAS THE BENEFIT OF JOINING THE SCCBA. I IMMEDIATELY EXTOLLED THE VIRTUES OF THE DAILY CASE SUMMARIES, THE SOCIAL EVENTS, LOW COST CLE, ONLINE DIRECTORY, ETC. NOT CONVINCED, HE LOOKED ME STRAIGHT IN THE EYES AND ASKED AGAIN "SO, WHY SHOULD I JOIN THE SCCBA?" I LEANED BACK AND THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT. THEN THE REVELATION HIT ME. ULTIMATELY, AS JOHN KENNEDY WOULD SAY, THE QUESTION IS NOT WHAT THE SCCBA CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR THE SCCBA. OUR ORGANIZATION IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT.

AS I CONCLUDE MY YEAR AS PRESIDENT, I AM ALSO CONCLUDING NEARLY TEN YEARS OF ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT ON THE SCCBA BOARD OF TRUSTEES. DURING THIS TIME, I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A MYRIAD NUMBER OF ISSUES INCLUDING THE ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW DEBATE, THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEBATE, THE BAR'S PUSH TOWARDS AN ELECTRONIC BASED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM TO THE BAR'S FORAY INTO PRO BONO INITIATIVES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. NONE OF THESE ISSUES WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE EXCEPT FOR THE VARIOUS LEADERS AND MEMBERS WHO TOOK THE TIME OUT OF THEIR BUSY PRACTICES AND CAREERS TO ADVOCATE AND EXECUTE PLANS TO MAKE ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES A REALITY. OUR BAR IS THE SUM OF ITS MEMBERS; WITHOUT THEM, WE ARE NOTHING. WITH THEM, WE ARE ONE OF THE LEADING BAR ASSOCIATIONS IN THE COUNTRY. FOR ME, THE SCCBA HAS PROVIDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE OUR LEGAL COMMUNITY FIRST IN THE LEGAL EDUCATION ARENA AND THEN LATER THROUGH THE VARIOUS LEADERSHIP POSITIONS I HAVE HELD OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. THE SCCBA PROVIDED ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO HARNESS MY INNER COACHING ABILITIES WITH THE MOCK TRIAL PROGRAM. I AM PROUD TO SAY I'VE BEGUN MY 18TH SEASON COACHING AT LYNBROOK HIGH. OVER THE YEARS, MANY OF MY FORMER "ATTORNEYS" HAVE GONE ON TO BECOME COLLEAGUES. THIS MONTH, A STUDENT FROM MY 2003 TEAM WAS JUST ADMITTED INTO CALIFORNIA. SO, THIS MONTH'S SWEARING IN CEREMONY HAS A MORE PERSONAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR ME. ALSO, I HAVE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW MORE OF MY COLLEAGUES AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL THROUGH MY INVOLVEMENT IN THE HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL PROGRAM HAD I NOT BEEN A MEMBER OF THE SCCBA.

 

AS CHAIR OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE COMMITTEE IN 2007, THE SCCBA OPENED UP SEVERAL MCLE SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME. WHEN PREPARING FOR THESE PROGRAMS, I RECEIVED THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE THAN I WOULD HAVE HAD I NOT PARTICIPATED.

FINALLY, AS PRESIDENT, I HAVE MET MANY OF OUR MEMBERS AND PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS OPENING MY EYES TO VARIOUS ISSUES AND CONCERNS. AT THE BAY AREA MINORITY SUMMER CLERKSHIP MIXER, I MET MANY NEW ATTORNEYS HAVING THAT DIFFICULT TIME BREAKING INTO THE PROFESSION. YOUR HEART GOES OUT TO THEM AND YOU CAN'T HELP BUT THINK "BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I." AT THE MINORITY BAR SCHOLARSHIP DINNERS, WHICH THE SCCBA HAS SPONSORED FOR MANY YEARS, I MET MANY OUTSTANDING LAW STUDENTS WHOSE RESUMES PUT US ALL TO SHAME. THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS MAKE US THINK IF THEY CAN SUCCESSFULLY FIGHT ADVERSITY AND IMPROVE THEIR COMMUNITIES, WHAT ARE WE COMPLAINING ABOUT?

EVEN WHEN THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADDRESSED SOME IMPORTANT LEGAL ISSUES, I WAS EXPOSED TO THE SCCBA'S POWERFUL EFFECT ON THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE. THE BOARD DECIDED ON A RESOLUTION REGARDING THE ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW EARLIER THIS SUMMER. DURING THE DEBATE, SOME TRUSTEES RAISED THE POINT THAT ANY SCCBA ACTION WOULD BE PREMATURE SINCE THE LAW WAS JUST SUBJECT TO LAWSUIT. THE VERY NEXT DAY AFTER THE BOARD VOTED TO APPROVE A RESOLUTION, A RALLY IN OPPOSITION TO ARIZONA'S LAW WAS SCHEDULED. I HEARD THAT A LOCAL TELEVISION STATION CANCELED FILMING THE EVENT WHEN IT HEARD THE SCCBA VOTED ON A RESOLUTION. APPARENTLY, THE STATION'S STORY WAS ON WHY THE SCCBA HAD NOT ACTED ON THIS ISSUE. OUR COMMUNITY LOOKS TO US TO HELP DEFINE THE DEBATE. 

AT THE BEGINNING OF MY TERM I CHALLENGED OUR MEMBERS TO "TRIFECTA"- GIVE TO LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS, PROVIDE PRO BONOSERVICES OR VOLUNTEER IN YOUR COMMUNITY. I AM PLEASED TO REPORT OUR MEMBERS ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE. IN THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES WE ARE STILL CONTRIBUTING TO LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS. THE SILICON VALLEY CAMPAIGN FOR LEGAL SERVICES STILL NEEDS $100,000 TO REACH LAST YEAR'S FUND RAISING LEVEL TO MAKE SURE THAT THE EIGHT AGENCIES ITS SUPPORTS REMAINS WHOLE. PLEASE CONSIDER CONTRIBUTING. DONATE ONLINE AT WWW.SCVCLS.ORG. ON THE PRO BONO FRONT, REPORTED HOURS APPEAR TO BE UP. AND, ON THE VOLUNTEER FRONT, MANY OF YOU GRACIOUSLY DONATED YOUR TIME AND EFFORT FOR BOTH OUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL TOURNAMENT AS WELL AS THE STATE FINALS IN MARCH IN LARGE NUMBERS.

THE FUTURE OF OUR ORGANIZATION CONTINUES TO LOOK BRIGHT. THE BAR WILL LAUNCH THE NEW WEBSITE SOMETIME IN THE FIRST OR SECOND QUARTER OF NEXT YEAR. THE BAR WILL ALSO ROLL OUT SEVERAL E-DISCOVERY CLE'S GEARED FOR OUR MEMBERS. WHEN THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT APPROVES THE NEW ETHICS RULES, OUR BAR WILL BE PUTTING ON CLE COURSES TO UPDATE YOU ON WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. OUR PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEE CONTINUES TO EXPLORE WAYS TO ENCOURAGE CIVILITY IN OUR PRACTICE. MY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO WROTE WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS. THOSE COMMENTS WERE PASSED ON TO THE COMMITTEE. FINALLY, SOME PERSONAL THANK YOU'S TO THOSE OF YOU WHO MADE THIS YEAR POSSIBLE. FIRST AND FOREMOST TO MY FAMILY FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME DURING THIS YEAR. MY FIRM, BORTON PETRINI, FOR KEEPING THE PRACTICE GOING. I OWE A GREAT DEBT OF THANKS TO THE 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE-SHANNON STEIN, MINDY MORTON, BOB CHASTAIN, STEVE HALEY, KATE WILSON, ALVARO ALMANZA AND JOYCE ANDREWS-FOR THEIR SUPPORT, GUIDANCE AND COLLECTIVE WISDOM AND WIT. I WILL MISS THOSE "RANDOM THOUGHTS". A SPECIAL THANKS TO JUDGE JULIE EMEDE, ROBERTA HAYASHI, CLARK STONE, JIM SCHARF, BOB WEEKS, AND KATHY GALLO FOR ALWAYS AGREEING TO HELP OUT AT ANY TIME AND OFTEN AT A MOMENTS NOTICE. TO CHRIS, ANGIE, TIFFANY, CINDY, IRENE, ALISA, CRAIG, DAVID, VERONICA AND DOLORES, THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO. WE DON'T ALWAYS SAY IT ENOUGH ABOUT THE SCCBA'S STAFF. AND THANK YOU ANGIE, FOR ALWAYS WATCHING MY BACK. SO, RATHER THAN THINK OF WHAT THE BAR CAN DO FOR YOU, PERHAPS WE SHOULD THINK OF WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE BAR. YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SCCBA WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON. IT HELPED ME. 

SHANNON STEIN WILL BE TAKING OVER THIS PAGE NEXT MONTH. I WISH HER AND THE 2011 OFFICERS MY BEST WISHES FOR AN EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL YEAR. THANK YOU FOR THE 12 MONTH RIDE. IT HAS BEEN WONDERFUL, BUT IT IS TIME FOR ME TO GET OFF THIS E TICKE

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On Entering the 21st Century (And A Thank You to Sponsors of 2010 SCCBA Events)

Posted By Mark Shem, Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the November, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

SINCE MY LAST REPORT, THE SCCBA CONTINUES TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT OF IMPROVING THE PRACTICE OF LAW AND THE PROFESSIONALISM IN OUR COMMUNITY. AS MY TERM HEADS INTO THE HOME STRETCH, HERE ARE SOME UPDATES ON WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING AND ACCOMPLISHING.

E-DISCOVERY 
THE TASK FORCE MET TWICE THIS PAST QUARTER AND ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING MISSION STATEMENT:

THE E-DISCOVERY TASK FORCE'S MISSION IS TO DEMYSTIFY ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY BY PROVIDING PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION TO ADDRESS THE HANDLING OF ELECTRONICALLY STORED INFORMATION IN DISCOVERY.

THE TASK FORCE ALSO ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH TOWARDS E-DISCOVERY:

DISCOVERY IS DISCOVERY IS DISCOVERY. THE LAWS OF DISCOVERY DIDN'T CHANGE WITH THE ONSET OF E-DISCOVERY. THE INFORMATION YOU ARE SEEKING STILL HAS TO BE RELEVANT, CAN'T BE OVERBROAD, AND THE BURDENSOME OBJECTION STILL GOES THROUGH A BALANCING TEST. THE ONLY CHANGE REALLY IS (1) HOW THE INFORMATION IS STORED, (2) WHERE IT IS STORED, (3) HOW TO RETRIEVE IT, (4) COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS ON THE EXPENSE FOR THE RETRIEVAL, AND (5) WHO HAS TO PAY FOR IT.

THE TASK FORCE HAS SPLIT INTO FOUR WORKING GROUPS WITH THE GOAL OF CREATING CLE PROGRAMS THAT WILL HOPEFULLY TAKE THE MYSTERY OUT OF THE PROCESS. WE HOPE TO LAUNCH THE FIRST SEMINAR ADDRESSING E-DISCOVERY 101 DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2011. THE OTHER TOPICS WILL INCLUDE PROPOUNDING AND RESPONDING TO E-DISCOVERY, E-DISCOVERY AND THE COURTS AND RECURRING E-DISCOVERY ISSUES. MY THANKS TO SUB COMMITTEE CHAIRS JOSH GILLILAND, KATHY GALLO, JAMES SCHARF AND MATTHEW SCHECTER FOR SPEAR HEADING THESE GROUPS. LOOK FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS NEXT YEAR.

CIVILITY IN THE PRACTICE 
A FEW MONTHS AGO, I ADDRESSED THE TOPIC OF CIVILITY IN THE PROFESSION. THE SCCBA PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEE PROPOSED AND THE SCCBA BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADOPTED THE RE-INSTITUTION OF AN ATTORNEY-TO-ATTORNEY "COMPLAINT" PROCEDURE. IF A PRACTITIONER HAS ISSUES OR CONCERNS, HE/SHE CAN FILE A REQUEST FOR MEDIATION WITH THE SCCBA. A TRAINED MEMBER OF THE PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEE WILL THEN ATTEMPT TO MEDIATE THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE ATTORNEYS. THIS PROCESS IS NOT A FACT FINDING BODY. THE PROCESS SHOULD BE UP AND RUNNING IN THE NEAR FUTURE. CHECK THE BAR'S WEB SITE AT WWW.SCCBA.COM FOR MORE DETAILS

PRO BONO WEEK 
OCTOBER 25, 2010 WAS THE KICK OFF OF THE ABA PRO BONO WEEK. THE SCCBA HONORED FIRMS AND ATTORNEYS WHO MET AND/OR EXCEEDED THE PRO BONO PLEDGE OF DONATING 60 OR MORE HOURS OF DIRECT OR INDIRECT PRO BONO REPRESENTATION. MY THANKS TO THE FIRMS WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS EVENT INCLUDING BAKER & MCKENZIE; FENWICK & WEST; AND DLA PIPER.

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, I ENCOURAGED OUR MEMBERS TO INCREASE THEIR PRO BONO EFFORTS BY 25%. ALTHOUGH THE BAR DOES NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO TRACK AND COMPARE HOURS, BASED UPON EFFORTS OF THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE PRO BONO RECEPTION, I AM CONFIDENT WE MET THAT CHALLENGE. PRO BONO COMMITTEE CHAIR KEITH WURSTER AND THE OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS HAVE DONE AN OUTSTANDING JOB THIS YEAR ENCOURAGING PRO BONO ACTIVITIES.

IF YOU HAVEN'T VOLUNTEERED, DONATED MONEY TO LEGAL SERVICES OR ENGAGED IN PRO BONO ACTIVITIES, THERE IS STILL TIME.

AND, THE ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL TOURNAMENT IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL INVITING THEM TO PARTICIPATE. PLEASE CONSIDER TAKING AN EVENING OUT OF YOUR TIME TO HELP OUR BUDDING LAWYERS, JUDGES, AND COLLEAGUES. AS JUDGE READ AMBLER ONCE SAID, DO IT FOR YOURSELVES. YOU WILL NEVER SEE BETTER "LAWYERING" AND WILL PICK UP GREAT TIPS IN THE PROCESS.

JUDGES' NIGHT 
THE ANNUAL SCCBA JUDGES' NIGHT WENT OFF WITHOUT ANY HITCHES LAST OCTOBER 19. I AM PLEASED TO REPORT WE SOLD MORE TABLES AND HAD MORE JUDGES THAN IN PREVIOUS YEARS. KATHLEEN SULLIVAN PROVIDED GREAT INSIGHT INTO THE SUPREME COURT AND THE JUSTICES, THEMSELVES. IN ADDITION TO RECOGNIZING DEBRA ZUMWALT AS THE PROFESSIONAL LAWYER OF THE YEAR, ROBERT GREELEY WITH THE DIVERSITY AWARD AND PATRICK PREMO WITH THE PRO BONO AWARD, WE RECOGNIZED JUDGE JAMIE JACOBS-MAY AS THE OUTSTANDING JURIST OF THE YEAR. JUDGE JACOBS-MAY'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH WAS BOTH MOVING AND INSPIRATIONAL. ALTHOUGH SHE IS LEAVING THE BENCH AT THE END OF THE YEAR, SHE PROMISED, "I'LL BE THERE", SHOULD THE BENCH AND BAR EVER NEED HER. THANK YOU JUDGE JACOBS-MAY FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY, BENCH AND BAR.

DIVERSITY 
THE SCCBA HELD ITS FIRST SPEED MENTORING NETWORKING EVENT THIS PAST MONTH. WE HAD A GREAT TURN OUT OF BOTH MENTORS AND MENTEES. A LIVELY PANEL DISCUSSION INCLUDED JUDGE JULIE EMEDE, JUDGE JACQUELINE DUONG AND SANTA CLARA COUNTY COUNSEL MIGUEL MARQUEZ WHO OFFERED THEIR EXPERIENCE AND INSIGHT TO OUR YOUNGER COLLEAGUES. AFTER THE PANEL DISCUSSION, MENTEES MET IN GROUPS OF TWO WITH PAIRED MENTORS FOR 10 MINUTES OVER AN HOUR AN A HALF. MENTEES WERE ABLE TO MEET AND TALK WITH AT LEAST 20 DIFFERENT MENTORS. HOPEFULLY, THIS EVENT WILL BECOME AN ANNUAL PROGRAM.

WHILE THERE IS MUCH MORE I COULD REPORT, I'LL STOP HERE AND JUST WISH ALL OF YOU A HAPPY THANKSGIVING. AS MY OLD GEOMETRY TEACHER WOULD SAY, AND "DON'T EAT TOO MUCH DEAD BIRD." 

2010 SPONSORED EVENTS/PROGRAMS

 WE WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND THANK THOSE LAW FIRMS AND ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE SPONSORED SO MANY OF OUR EVENTS AND PROGRAMS THIS YEAR. WITHOUT THEIR GENEROUS AND ONGOING SUPPORT THE SCCBA COULD NOT BRING YOU SUCH A WIDE ARRAY OF LOW COST AND NO COST PROGRAMMING. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING A SPONSOR FOR A 2011 EVENT, PLEASE CONTACT SCCBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHRIS BURDICK, AT CHRISB@SCCBA.COM.

 FENWICK & WEST, LLP
DIVERSITY COMMITTEE SPEED NETWORKING: BUILDING NETWORKS AND FORMING CONNECTIONS
DIVERSITY COMMITTEE SUMMER ASSOCIATE MIXER
DIVERSITY COMMITTEE UNSUNG HEROES RECEPTION

 MORRISON & FOERSTER, LLP
DIVERSITY COMMITTEE UNSUNG HEROES RECEPTION

 HOWERY, LLP
FEDERAL COURT'S COMMITTEE VIEW FROM THE BENCH

 LAW OFFICE OF GINA M. STEELE
HIGH TECHNOLOGY SECTION EXAMINING REEXAMS

 BINGHAM MCCUTCHEON, LLP
TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW, LLP
LEGAL SERVICE COMMITTEE LEGAL SERVICES RETREAT

 BAKER & MCKENZIE
FENWICK & WEST, LLP
DLA PIPER
PRO BONO COMMITTEE PRO BONO RECOGNITION RECEPTION

 IRR-RESIDENTIAL VALUATION SERVICES / INTEGRA REALTY RESOURCES
HOGE FENTON JONES & APPEL, INC.
JOHN PIVIROTTI – FINANCIAL CONCEPTS
REAL PROPERTY SECTION 2ND ANNUAL REAL ESTATE SYMPOSIUM

 EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ATTORNEYS
FOX, WANG & MORGAN, P.C.
PHILLIP J. GRIEGO & ASSOCIATES
2010 ANNUAL LABOR & EMPLOYMENT FALL SOCIAL

 

2010 ANNUAL JUDGES' NIGHT TABLE SPONSORS
BAY AREA LEGAL AID
BERGESON, LLP
 
BERLINER COHEN 
BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN, LLP 
FENWICK & WEST, LLP 
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP 
HOGE FENTON JONES & APPEL, INC.
HONORABLE JAMIE JACOBS-MAY 
LAW FOUNDATION OF SILICON VALLEY 
LAW OFFICE OF PETER N. BREWER 
LEWIS AND ROCA, LLP 
LITTLER MENDELSON P.C. 
MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP 
MCMANIS FAULKNER 
MORGAN HILL/GILROY BAR ASSOCIATION 
MORRISON & FOERSTER, LLP 
NEEDHAM, KEPNER, FISH & JONES, LLP
OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY COUNSEL, SANTA CLARA
 
ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE, LLP 
ROBINSON & WOOD, INC. 
ROPERS MAJESKI KOHN BENTLEY, P.C. 
ROSSI, HAMERSLOUGH, REISCHL & CHUCK 
SAN JOSE OFFICE OF APPEALS
SILICON VALLEY LAW GROUP 
THE MLNARIK LAW GROUP, INC.
TERRA LAW, LLP
 
TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW, LLP
TREPEL MCGRANE GREENFIELD, LLP 
WILLOUGHBY, STUART & BENING 

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SCCBA To Redesign Association Website

Posted By Mark Shem, Sunday, October 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the October, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

It's fall, and the year is almost over. I am writing to report on two ongoing initiatives. October is Pro Bono month, and the SCCBA has recently signed a contract with a provider to drastically redesign our website.

WEBSITE RE-DESIGN

The SCCBA website is undergoing a major redesign this year that will give members new functionality, an upgraded look and exciting new features. The new site will be ready to launch in the first quarter of 2011. The website will have a re-designed homepage that will provide all the latest information about the Association, the courts, continuing legal education and events, significant member benefits and committee/section information, and updated daily news and cases-all at a glance and within one click. SCCBA members will be able to easily find and use everything they need to actively participate in the SCCBA and the legal community, all on line. Here are just some of the new features coming in 2011:

  • Membership Directory: Pictorial, searchable and printable.
  • Membership Portal: Will provide members a place to log in and review their current participation within the Association, including review and modify membership information and participation in committees and sections, events, and CLE credits. Members will be notified of outstanding invoices, including dues renewal and may print them and make payments online.
  • Daily Case Summaries: Daily case summaries of state and federal appellate opinions will be accessible on-line as well as through the daily case summary email.
  • Targeted Electronic Communication: Electronic communications will be more tailored to members' expressed interest and activities within the Association, and they will have an updated look and feel and easily identifiable in the member's inbox.
  • CLE Transcripts On Demand: Members, through the Member Portal, will be able to view all attended CLE programs and print a transcript for submission to the State Bar, liability insurance carriers or for any other use.
  • Public Directory Portal: Members who wish to have their profiles available to the public and not just to SCCBA members will be able to post their profiles in the public directory search by name, location, and practice area.
  • CLE/Event Registration: Easy access to CLE programs and events on line and easy to use event registration with the ability to directly import CLE programs and events into Outlook with the click of your mouse.
  • On-Line Streaming Video CLE: This feature is available on the current website will continue to be available on the new website.
  • Career Center: Access to local and national databases of job postings.

OCTOBER IS PRO BONO MONTH

Please join us on the evening of October 25, 2010 when the SCCBA recognizes our colleagues who have donated their time and effort to pro bono activities. At the beginning of the year, I challenged our members to increase the number of reported hours this year by 25%. I hope to report next month if we reached that goal. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS

Congratulations to Mindy Morton, Bob Chastain and Steve Haley on their election to the offices of President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. They assume office on January 1, 2011. Shannon Stein automatically assumes the Presidency. The Association continues to be in good hands.

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SCCBA Officers' Election Special Edition

Posted By Mark Shem, Friday, September 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the September, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

The electronic ballots for the SCCBA 2011 election of trustees and officers will be distributed to all active SCCBA members on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 to be submitted no later than Friday, October 8, 2010. The 2010 President-Elect, Shannon Stein, automatically becomes the President of the SCCBA for 2011. Candidates for the officer positions of President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary are below with candidate statements submitted by the candidate. Officers serve for one 1 year term.
                            

President-Elect Candidate

                                
TERM OF OFFICE: 2011
NAME: Mindy Morton

FIRM: Bergeson, LLP
TYPE OF PRACTICE: Intellectual Property and Business Litigation 
LAW SCHOOL: Yale Law School 
DATE ADMITTED TO CA STATE BAR: 2000 (NY 1998)

I am an active member and current Secretary of the SCCBA. I previously served as the Chair of the High Technology Section and I have been a speaker on electronic discovery, copyright law and recent IP developments at section seminars. I practice intellectual property and business litigation as a partner at Bergeson, LLP.

I am the Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Schola Cantorum, a local community chorus, and I have also served as a co-chair of UC Berkeley's Class of 1994 Reunion Committee. I enthusiastically support both Cal and the Sharks.

Before I joined Bergeson, I was associated with Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Fenwick & West in Palo Alto as well as Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York. I have represented technology companies in copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, and computer fraud litigation. I previously represented one of the leading file sharing companies in its dispute with the recording industry. In May 2009, I was the first chair in a $10 million dollar jury trial in Santa Clara County Superior Court. After a two week trial, the Bergeson trial team successfully obtained a nonsuit verdict for our client. I am a 2009 and 2010 Northern California "Rising Star" in IP litigation and I have several published articles on trade secrets and electronic discovery.

I have practiced for over twelve years in both big and small firms. I appreciate the collegiality and breadth of experience I have found at Bergeson and in San Jose. As President, I would work to further participation in the SCCBA's voluntary professionalism code. Courtesy, collegiality and professionalism are necessary to ensure the vitality and diversity of the bar. If elected, I would also focus on continuing the SCCBA's diversity efforts and working with Santa Clara County law firms to recognize the contributions and life choices of today's lawyer. Finally, as an active community volunteer, I would encourage members of the SCCBA to donate their time and skills to the community.

I would be honored to receive your vote for President-Elect.


Treasurer Candidate


POSITION: Treasurer
TERM OF OFFICE: 2011
NAME:
 Steve Haley
FIRM: Groom & Cave, LLP
TYPE OF PRACTICE: Commercial & Residential Real Estate, and Transactional & Litigation
LAW SCHOOL: Santa Clara
DATE ADMITTED TO CA STATE BAR: 1976

I have been a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association since 1976.

I served as SCCBA Secretary in 2009.

I have served on the Board of Trustees for 7 years, and have been active on numerous committees: Executive Committee; Finance Committee; Strategic Planning Committee; Fair Election Practices Committee; and the Professional Rules Revision Task Force.

In addition, I have been President of the West Valley Bar Association since 2007.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the members of the Association throughout this period of time.

I would appreciate your vote to allow me to serve as Treasurer for the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Thank you.

Steven B. Haley



Secretary Candidate

POSITION: Secretary
TERM OF OFFICE: 2011
NAME: Robert Chastain 

FIRM: Chastain Law Group, A Professional Corporation 
TYPE OF PRACTICE: Family & Veterans Law 
LAW SCHOOL: Stanford University 
DATE ADMITTED TO CA STATE BAR: 1998

I am currently serving on the 2010 Board of Trustees holding the Office of Treasurer, Chair of the Finance Committee. I also sit on the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees. In the past, I participated in the Santa Clara County Bar Association's Barrister's Leadership program serving both Ed Davila and Bill Priest as outgoing and incoming SCCBA Presidents, respectively, for 1998 and 1999. I have continued to support SCCBA MCLE and events over the years since 1998 doing primarily pro bono practice while running a small corporation catering to Biostatistics ($1M+ budget). At the end of 2008, I became one of the first VA accredited attorneys for representing veterans before the Board of Veterans Affairs, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the United States Federal District Court of Appeals. I am Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of Shorebreeze IV Owners Association, a self-managed non-profit corporation. I continue to enjoy working with the Executive Director, Chris Burdick, and plan to stay active with or without an official SCCBA position.

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E-Discovery

Posted By Mark Shem, Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the August, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

Metadata, TIFF, GB, and ESI. For many of us, these are strange words and acronyms that we do not think apply to us. Yet, for over a year, California has been operating under the Electronic Discovery Act. This act addresses the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). And, since August 14, 2009, California Rules of Court 3.724 was amended to expand a party's duty to meet and confer related to the discovery of electronically stored information.

If you thought your practice is not affected by ESI, consider this scenario. Your client is involved in a car collision. The client takes a picture of the cars on a cell phone. Is this picture electronically stored information? What about a Facebook page with pictures or text that affect your client's case or rights? E-discovery is all around us.

We can relate to the term "litigation hold." But how do we educate our clients on what this means and the scope of a "hold?" As lawyers, we need guidance as well.

Only one California case addresses the Electronic Discovery Act. At the federal level, there are numerous cases addressing ESI. But as I tell my high school mock trial students, these decisions are "persuasive but not binding." One outside entity, The Sedona Conference, publishes numerous commentaries on all aspects of e-discovery. Where to begin?

The Santa Clara County Bar Association is in the process of forming a task force to help with this e-discovery conundrum. I have appointed a task force comprised of a number of prominent members of the legal community and judges, one of whom has already agreed to serve, to formulate guidelines and principles to assist our legal community and the courts in uniformly handling e-discovery issues and disputes. The goal of the task force is to educate theSCCBA members with a working knowledge of e-discovery and apprise them on how the Court will be addressing e-discovery disputes as well as how electronic discovery will be admitted at trial.

SCCBA members Josh Gilliland and Kathy Gallo have formulated a working outline of what these principles and guidelines should address. They are as follows:

1. Basics of E-Discovery 
        
a. Terminology (i.e. metadata)
        
b. Sources we are using to store electronics (ie. 
           Computers, cell phones, cloud servers)
        
c. Why it is necessary to get the information from  
            these sources

 

2. How to advise your client on how he should keep his stored data
        
a. individual
        
b. small business
        
c. large business

 

3. Collecting information when anticipating litigation

4. Discovery
        
a. Document requests
            
1. Sample requests
            
2. Outsourcing the collection of data for 
                production
            
3. How to handle privilege issues
        
 b. Interrogatories 
            
1. All sources that the electronic data is being
               kept
            
2. Who is in charge of storing the electronic data
        
c. PMK of who is in charge of storing the electronic
            data
        d. Employees of the company who were directly
            involved in the litigation
        e. Whether or not a Discovery Referee should be 
            appointed to oversee the e-discovery process.

 

5. What the court is going to do with a motion to compel
        
a. Discovery Referee
        
b. Forensic computer specialist

 

6. How the Court's are going to handle the admissibility of electronic evidence.

 

The outline is a starting point. It will probably change over the course of our discussions. If you are interested in serving on the task force, please contact SCCBA Executive Director Chris Burdick at chrisb@sccba.com. The goal is to complete the guidelines or E-Discovery for Dummies by the end of the year. We will then seek input from the various SCCBA sections and committees before asking the Board of Trustees to adopt the guidelines. The guidelines will then be distributed to our members and the court.

I am hoping to have the task force up and running by Labor Day.



BOARD OF TRUSTEES VOTES ON ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW RESOLUTION

 

 At its July meeting, the SCCBA Board of Trustees approved a resolution encouraging the revision or repeal of Arizona SB 1070 and encourages other legal professionals and organizations to challenge the enforcement and amend/revise this law. The text of the resolution can be found by clicking here.  


The SCCBA expresses its concern on the vagueness of the law's language and potential profiling it will encourage. The SCCBA has a history of taking stands on issues that affect fundamental liberties and legal rights of citizens.

Please enjoy your summer.

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These Are Not Your Mother's Rules of Professional Responsibility (Plus A Legal Services Update)

Posted By Mark Shem, Saturday, July 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the July, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

 Many of us of a certain age will remember studying the ABA Model Rules and Model Code of Professional Responsibility along with the California rules in law school.  While other areas of the law changed in the last few years, the rules of professional conduct have not changed substantially-until now.  In July, the California State Bar Board of Governors are expected to approve significant changes to what we learned was ethical conduct.  In fact, there are 69 new and amended proposed rule changes presently before the Board.  The Santa Clara County Bar Association will present timely MCLE seminars to educate you on those changes. Preceding those I wanted to highlight some of the more interesting proposals currently on the table.

 The SCCBA has already presented comments to the Board of Governors on many of the changes.  The SCCBA’s Professional Rules Revision Task Force, chaired by Roberta Hayashi, reviewed the current 69 proposed rule revisions, and the Task Force’s proposed comments on fourteen of the revisions were approved by the SCCBA Board of Trustees approved at its May, 2010 meeting.  The SCCBA was one of the few bar associations to comment on these rule changes.  Here are some of the highlights.

 Proposed Rule 1.6 would adopt a modified American Bar Association’s Model Rule 1.6 regarding confidentiality of information.  The State Bar’s rules revision committee altered the ABA’s rule by deleting the crime or fraud exception to the attorney-client confidentiality requirement.  The SCCBA Task Force felt the crime/fraud exception is a vital one, and objected to the deletion of this language. 

Another rule modification will require that consent to conflicts be “written informed consent.”  The proposed rule is stricter than the consent standard in the ABA’s Model Rules, which requires only that the client’s informed consent be “confirmed in writing.”  Only two other states, Wisconsin and Wyoming, require that the client provide written consent to a conflict.  A rule mandating a client writing can be a trap for the unwary.  The SCCBA opposed the proposed modification.

There is no proposed counterpart to the ABA’s Rule 1.10 regarding lateral lawyer conflicts.  Instead, the issue has been addressed in proposed Rule 1.8.11 which imputes all conflicts by one lawyer to the firm.  There is no screening at all provided in the current proposal.  The SCCBA recommended adopting the ABA’s 2009 version of Model Rule 1.10, which added provisions allowing for the limited screening of attorneys moving from one firm to another.  The 2009 ABA version of Rule 1.10 recognizes the reality of modern day law practice, which involves the mobility of attorneys, the lateral movement of attorneys among firms and the practical reality that if certain parameters can be met, attorneys can be effectively and timely screened so that a conflict of interest is not created for the attorney’s new firm or legal organization.

Another proposed rule addresses the special responsibility of prosecutors.  The rule under consideration closely tracks the ABA Model Rules with some modifications including language that only requires a prosecutor refrain from commencing or prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor actually knows is not supported by probable cause instead of a requirement of “recommend” and “reasonably should know” standard.  

Conflicts of interest rules mark the most significant change.  Proposed Rule 1.8.2 would forbid a lawyer from using any information of a client to the disadvantage of the client.  The ABA’s Model Rule is narrower, prohibiting a lawyer from using information “relating to the representation of a client” adversely to the client.  

Finally, with the internet now a source of referrals, proposed Rule 5.4 would address internet marketing sites and lawyer referral services on the internet.

We will continue to provide updates on the status of the rule changes through the SCCBA eNews.

 LEGAL SERVICES UPDATE

In January, I challenged our members to make financial contributions to legal services organizations.  While I don’t have any figures on how successful the challenge has been, our Legal Services Committee has been very active this year under the helm of Palo Alto City Attorney Gary Baum.  

 The SCCBA Legal Services Committee has been a resource that assists non profit legal aid organizations in sharing insights, discussing common problems and coordinating responses on issues of importance to the various legal services agency providers.  The Committee has five goals: (1) provide coordination and encourage communication among the local organizations that are direct providers of legal services; (2) provide coordination of bar member pro bono volunteers for legal services; (3)  consider and establish local priorities for addressing legal services and access to the court; (4) to provide a mechanism for providing advice on the distribution of resources to address local priorities; and (5) to provide input to the Association’s leadership on access issues including local funding, legal service board appointments and the development of local projects to address access issues.  The next meeting of the Legal Services Committee is scheduled for July 14 at 12:15 p.m at the SCCBA offices.  All are invited to attend.

 One important part of the Committee’s work includes tackling common issues that affect all of the legal service providers.  The Committee reviews local, State and Federal initiatives related to legal services.  The Committee has analyzed proposals for the SCCBA’s Board of Trustees and the American Bar Association and examined the funding crisis affecting all legal service providers.  The Committee has also tried to develop possible methods of encouraging solo or small firm participation in pro bono work.

Another important contribution of the Committee is planning an annual one day retreat which provides continuing legal education for all legal services providers.  Hillary Armstrong, Supervising Attorney of Health Legal Services for the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, chairs the sub-committee that is organizing the retreat for 2010.  The retreat serves as a training opportunity as well as a chance for all the agencies to get together and share common problems and solutions.  The retreat has been scheduled for October 8, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the SCCBA’s offices.  

Recognizing the current economic climate, this year’s program is entitled Surviving the Great Recession: Providing Legal Services in Difficult Times.  Topics currently include litigation skills refreshers, legal ethics for lawyers and non-lawyers, and working with individuals with mental disabilities.  There will be an emphasis on speakers from the Bench in order to obtain the judicial perspective on the provision of legal services and Bench/legal service provider interaction.

Legal services organizations perform vital work and still need your help.  Please consider making a donation if you have not done so already.

On a final note, congratulations to Jim Towery on his appointment as the State Bar’s Chief Trial Counsel.  Best wishes to Jim as he takes on this monumental task.

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Is Civility Dead?

Posted By Mark Shem, Thursday, June 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the June 8, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

 

    A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the Santa Clara County Bar Association's Family Law Section's reception recognizing some of our most distinguished colleagues who have practiced here in the Valley for 40 years plus. The program included a round table discussion by some of these distinguished practitioners on how the practice of law has changed in the last forty years. Practically every one of them bemoaned the loss of civility in the practice of law.

    Later, I attended the SCCBA's Professionalism Committee's joint meeting with the Presiding Judge, Assistant Presiding Judge and supervising judges of the Santa Clara County Superior Court to discuss civility and professionalism in the courts and during the course of litigation. Every one of the participants had a horror story or two and all of them recent. For example, one judge had to issue a restraining order against each counsel during the trial! Another participant related during a deposition how opposing counsel's questions and behavior even made the court reporter cry. Others still commented on the creeping rudeness of counsel to be consistently late to appearances costing the court and clients' time and money in waiting.

    The late comedian Flip Wilson once said, "The ugly people know who they are."

    Our Bar Association has historically been in the forefront of civility and professionalism in the practice of law. In 1992, SCCBA President and now Superior Court Judge Brian Walsh spear headed an effort that led to the creation of the SCCBA's Code of Professionalism. In the years since, a variety of SCCBA Presidents have undertaken initiatives to keep the Code a meaningful and integral part of law practice in Santa Clara County along with significant cooperation from the Superior Court judges. The SCCBA encourages its members and non members alike to adopt the Code as part of their practice. As the Preamble of the Code charges us "[a]s lawyers, we owe duties of professionalism to our clients, opposing parties and their counsel, the courts and other tribunals, and the public as a whole. Those duties include among other: civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, cooperation, and competence."

    Members who "pledge" to the Code are recognized in our printed and online directory. The Santa Clara County Superior Court Bench adopted the Code in 1992 as a guideline to decorum for all attorneys practicing in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County encouraging them to adhere to the precepts of the Code. In 2009, the California State Bar adopted a code of civility and professionalism that heavily borrowed from our very own Code of Professionalism.

    Yet, despite all these aspirations, rudeness and hostility still exists in and out of the courtroom. While some would argue such conduct is just advocacy, the distinction has unfortunately become blurred. I would like to think that none of our members are guilty of such conduct. But, what are we to do? It is still our profession. If we cannot, as professionals, conduct our activities in a dignified manner, how can we expect others to do the same? And, what message do we send to our neighbors, community, and children? That it is all right to treat people with disdain and contempt? Is it proper to dress down co-workers or even strangers when we do not get our own way? Perhaps we are just too stressed out. 

    This year, our Professionalism Committee, chaired by Deputy District Attorney Rolanda Pierre Dixon, will be discussing ways to encourage civility in the profession to stem any tide of increasing incivility. Encouraging civility is not only the responsibility of the Committee. You too can submit suggestions. To encourage this dialogue, I throw out a few suggestions--some mine and some from others.

    Attach a copy of the SCCBA Code of Professionalism to every filed complaint. Require the litigants and their counsel read the Code and sign a declaration promising to abide by its principles. At a minimum, this proposal will force counsel to glance at the Code. The Bar has many extra copies of the Code of Professionalism and it can be downloaded from www.sccba.com at About SCCBA>>>Association Directory>>>Governing Documents. 

    Reactivate the SCCBA Attorney to Attorney Complaint Process. Some years ago, the SCCBA instituted an informal complaint procedure so lawyers with concerns about opposing counsel could raise these issues with the SCCBA Professionalism Committee. A volunteer member of the Professionalism Committee, an ombudsman, if you will, would discuss the matter with both parties in hopes of reaching an informal resolution, or at least educating the offending attorney. The ombudsman was not a fact finder and did not render any opinions regarding the dispute. Rather, this person helped counsel work out their disagreements. 

    Institute a Civility Workshop in lieu of court sanctions. If the court deems counsel is breaching the Code of Professionalism, the court can refer counsel to an SCCBA sponsored civility MCLE program in lieu of monetary sanctions. The program can review the Code of Professionalism and ethical requirements. While some may argue the program may develop something akin to a "Scarlet Letter A", perhaps the core problem is some of us have forgotten what our mothers told us all those years ago.

    For incivility that occurs during the course of discovery, have in place an "on call" discovery referee available to handle those disputes before they erupt into larger problems.

    Civility Motions. Raise the issue with the court if the conflict arises over litigation and litigation tactics. On one hand, the court cannot act unless a motion is before it. After all, our Bench adopted the Code of Professionalism and expects all parties to adhere to it during the pendency of the case. On the other hand, judges are loath to get involved in perceived "whiney" disputes. 

    These suggestions are not exhaustive or the answer to the issue of civility. If you have any suggestions, pass them along to SCCBA Executive Director Chris Burdick at chrisb@sccba.com , and she will pass them along to the Professionalism Committee. Let us begin anew a dialogue so that at the next 40 year celebration, we are not rehashing the same complaints about lack of civility in the profession. It is our profession after all. I look forward to our dialogue.

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Update on SCCBA Membership Benefits

Posted By Mark Shem, Monday, May 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the May, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

 

As we reach the summer months, I thought I would report on the various programs and benefits available to our members.  The Santa Clara County Bar Association offers many opportunities and benefits to both increase and enhance your practice of law.    As we continue to improve these services, the benefits become readily apparent including increasing your client base; networking opportunities with colleagues in your same practice area and with local judges; programs to improve how you practice law and well recognized; and well regarded initiatives in improving the administration of justice.  Here are just a few of these services and opportunities and if you are not yet an SCCBA member, you can join today on line at www.sccba.com.

 

 The Client Tool Kit

The SCCBA offers a variety of services that can assist you in expanding your client base in a way that is both economical and via a brand trusted by the public.   These tools can be used individually or in any combination.

 Public Directory of Attorneys:  As one of the first legal internet directories in the nation, you can have a listing or a full profile on the SCCBA website that is open to the public who are trying to locate an attorney.  This directory is searchable by practice areas, name or location.  You can be listed in as many practice areas as you wish.  If you subscribe by April 15, 2010, you can take advantage of the “Spring into Summer” discount:  a full profile for the remainder of 2010 for $199 or just a listing for $99.  You can visit the Public Directory of Attorneys at www.attorneys-santaclara.com and discover why the site receives nearly 7,000 hits a month and why so many of your colleagues already have their profile.  The directory is fast becoming a friendly user tool for both Bar members and the public.  To subscribe and take advantage of the discount, contact Cindy at cindyg@sccba.com or 408.975.2113.

 Lawyer Referral Service:   Referrals from the SCCBA Lawyer Referral Service generated over $1 Million in attorneys fees last year.  You can be part of the LRS system of referrals for only $255 a year.  For that very low fee, if you meet the required minimum qualifications, you can be listed on two substantive panels and you can choose to be listed in the Public Directory of Attorneys at no additional cost.  To learn more about qualifying for the Lawyer Referral Service, contact Dolores atdoloresh@sccba.com or 408.975.2103.

 Know Your Neutrals:   If you are an arbitrator or mediator, you can increase referrals from your peers as well as contacts from the public through the SCCBA on line “Know Your Neutrals” listings.  You can be listed with a full profile and picture in this on line directory for a very low yearly fee of $99.  To sign up today and complete your on line profile questionnaire, go tohttp://www.sccba.com/KnowYourNeutral/Neutral.htm?site=sccba.  Your listing can be on line within 24 hours.

 To ensure that all these tools are readily available and accessible to the public and your colleagues, the SCCBA is in the process of hiring a marketing and communications staff position.   The goal of this position will be to provide a comprehensive marketing plan to create even more visibility for these services than already exists and implement it. 

Networking Opportunities

You can easily network with colleagues in your practice area and local judges a various events sponsored by substantive law sections and committees.  Here are just a few that are already on the calendar.

Pioneers in Family Law Reception, sponsored by the Family Law Section to honor family law attorneys practicing 40 years or more. Family law practitioners and judges will be in attendance. May 13, 2010, at 5:30, Santa Clara County Law Library Rose Garden.  Free to SCCBA members.  For more information or to register, contact Cindy Gartner at 408.975.2113 or cindyg@sccba.com.

Unsung Heroes Reception, honoring up to three individuals for their contributions to advancing diversity in the legal profession.  October 7, 2010, 5:30 pm, at the Fallon House Gardens.  

Annual Judges Night, will be held October 19, 2010, at the Fairmont Hotel.  The speaker will be well renown former Stanford Law School Dean and Supreme Court finalist Kathleen Sullivan.  Annual awards presented:  Diversity, Professionalism and Pro Bono.  This year may include an award to a member of the local judiciary.  Cocktails will be at 5:30 pm and dinner will start at 6:30 pm this year.  To reserve a table early, contact Angie Loyola at 408.975.2110 or angiel@sccba.com.

In addition to events, you can join a section executive committee or SCCBA committee and become involved with your colleagues in planning networking events, seminars, receptions and addressing issues of interest such as diversity in the profession, professionalism, pro bono service, or assisting with our local legal service agencies.  For a complete list of our sections and committees and to sign up, go to www.sccba.com >>>About SCCBA>>>Commitees/Sections.

Improve How You Practice Law

The SCCBA offers several ways to assist you in remaining up-to-date in your practice area and assisting you in getting to know the local judges better.

Daily Case Summaries are delivered daily to each member’s email Inbox for free and provide a summary of each state and federal appellate opinion published in the previous 24 hours.  You get the case name, citation, brief summary of the holding and a direct link to the full opinion on line.

Know Your Judges is an on line service that features the profiles of local state and federal court judges.  These profiles are completed by the individual judge.  We are in the process of updating these profiles with the judges and obtaining profiles of the newer appointments to the bench.  You must be a member to view these profiles.   You can view them on line at www.sccba.com >>>Court Resource Center >>>Know Your Judges.

Judicial Evaluation Survey is conducted every other year in the non-election year and gives practitioners the opportunity to provide feedback on the local bench.  The results of the last two surveys in 2007 and 2009 can be viewed on line at www.sccba.com >>>Court Resource Center >>>Know Your Judges.

CLE Your Way is the SCCBA Continuing Legal Education Program that provides continuing legal education programs in an array of practice areas and in several different formats:  live seminars with live web casts, brown bags, luncheons, on line streaming video programs and podcasts of cle programs.  Below are a few upcoming programs.  To see our on line streaming video and podcast catalogue, go to www.sccba.com >>> Continuing Legal Education >>> CLE On Line.  It’s easy and you can view demos of the program before you purchase it.


Giving Back to the Profession and Community

The SCCBA affords practitioners a number of opportunities to become involved in the improving the administration of justice and improving the profession through three well regarded ongoing initiatives.

Diversity in the Profession.  The Diversity Committee of the SCCBA is engaged in a number of activities to advance diversity in the profession.  A focus of the Committee for 2010 will be to sponsor a mentoring/mentee event for new minority lawyers who want an opportunity to find a mentor who is practicing in the local community.  This event will be scheduled for the fall so watch for the announcement.  The other ongoing programs in diversity include the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program (BAMSCP), which places 1st year law students with local firms for summer clerkships, the Summer Associate Mixer and the Unsung Heroes Reception, which is mentioned above.

Professionalism.  The SCCBA continues to promote its local Code of Professionalism developed and published in 1992 and part of the local rules of court and used by the local bench as a guide to professional and civil conduct in Santa Clara County.  The Professionalism Committee stays abreast of developments in professionalism and discipline, sponsors continuing legal education programs such as the one scheduled for June 30, 2010, on Screening and Disengaging Ethically From Difficult Clients.  The year the Professionalism Committee will have a joint meeting with the supervising judges of the superior court to discuss professionalism issues of concern to the bench and bar.  If you are interested in becoming involved, you can sign up for the Professionalism Committee atwww.sccba.com >>>About SCCBA>>>Committees/Sections.

Pro Bono Opportunities.   The SCCBA has an ongoing pro bono initiative:  Helping Lawyer Help Others.  The initiative is supported by the SCCBA Pro Bono Committee and through the award winning website, Probonomatch.org at www.probonomatch.org.  The website lists pro bono opportunities available through the local legal service agencies; the opportunities are searchable by a variety of search categories.  In addition, the Pro Bono Committee promotes the SCCBA Pro Bono goals and pledge program and recognizes attorneys who achieve the yearly pro bono goals at a fall reception.  If you are interested in becoming involved, you can sign up for the Pro Bono Committee at www.sccba.com >>>About SCCBA>>>Committees/Sections.  Or, you can sign the pro bono pledge at www.probonomatch.org.

The SCCBA has it all.  What are you waiting for?

In my continued effort to recognize the generosity of firms and individuals, I want to recognize the following who provided additional contributions to offset the security costs for the local and state high school mock trial programs:

Clark Stone, Allen Fleischman, Paul Colin, Rona Layton, Elizabeth Pianca, Jim Towery, Tomomi Glover, Johnny GoGo, Bernard Greenfield, Hon, Read Ambler (ret.), Scott Storey, and the Santa Clara County Law Advocates.

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The Quiet Revolution Sweeping the Judicial System

Posted By Hon. Jamie Jacobs May, Saturday, April 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Hon. Jamie Jacobs-May,
2010 Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara


[reprinted from the April 13, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

Courtroom trials make good drama. Many of us were inspired to enter the field of law, influenced by movies and television shows depicting trial work. The truth is that while adjudicating disputes through an adversary system is entertaining, we are learning that it is not the best way to resolve many issues that are before us in the court system.


Across the nation, a revolution in the way we approach cases is taking place. This new way of doing business goes by different names. Sometimes it is called "problem-solving". It is also called "therapeutic justice". In California, the name "collaborative justice" has been widely adopted.

What is so different? The goal of the traditional adjudication is to determine the facts from the evidence presented, apply the law, and determine a legal outcome- guilt, liability, etc. The aim of the collaborative approach is to address the problems that brought the case to us, using the authority of the court, but in collaboration with the parties and their attorneys, and often outside agencies, in order to come up with the best possible outcome.

Problems faced by collaborative courts include drug addiction, domestic violence, mental health issues, poverty and the wide array of other social issues. The Court partners with public agencies and community-based organizations to increase the availability of services which are then integrated with the justice system, including treatment and rehabilitation. Under this model, it is essential to monitor compliance on a frequent basis. The judge serves as the central figure or facilitator of this team approach, using a system of sanctions and incentives to overcome the problems being encountered. Cultural competency, interdisciplinary education, and a deep commitment by all are hallmarks of a successful collaborative justice approach.

I am very proud that Santa Clara judges have been at the forefront of this revolution. Judge Stephen Manley is the state's most recognized drug court leader, and he frequently advises and consults with other courts and legislators about effective approaches to drug and mental health issues. Judge Manley recently started the first Veteran's Court in the state, as well as the first Parolee Reentry Court. In 1996, Judge Thomas Edwards founded the Juvenile Treatment Court. Judge Eugene Hyman started the first Juvenile Domestic Violence Court in the nation more than 10 years ago. In 2001, Judge Raymond Davilla started the first Juvenile Mental Health Court.

These programs began as a collaborative effort with the Probation Department, District Attorney's Office and Public Defender's Office, and Department of Alcohol and Drug Services. We learned a lot. We learned about dual diagnoses, and the need to bring in the County's Mental Health Department, and other community-based organizations devoted to youth law. We rely on multidisciplinary team screenings and reviews. We are very grateful to the Board of Supervisors and many County agencies that help us, and in turn, we provide assistance to other counties and states wishing to start programs in their jurisdictions.

In Dependency Court, Judge Yew presides over the Family Wellness Court, a program designed for pregnant women and parents with children three years of age and younger, whose use of methamphetamine and other substances have placed their children in or at risk for out of home placement. Intensive services are offered through collaboration with many community-based organizations and public agencies, with financial support through First 5 and a grant from the National Children's Bureau. We recently celebrated our two year anniversary and are pleased to report that we served over 250 children and their parents. This program has achieved remarkable success, where 80% of participants successfully regain and retain custody of their children and remain drug free.

Also in Dependency Court, Judge Shawna Schwarz handles our innovative Teen Court where she has a calendar dedicated to high risk teenagers in the foster care system that will "age out" and never be returned home before the age of 18. She ensures placement stability, school attendance, drug and alcohol interventions and emancipation planning in order to support their transition to adulthood and deter behavior that would be self-destructive. CASA, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, the County Department of Family and Children's Services are a few of the supportive community collaborators to our Teen Court.

In 2002, we began the Family Law Treatment Court, a voluntary drug treatment program in the Family Division. We recently won the Kleps Award, a coveted award for innovation, for our partnership with the local First 5 Commission to provide a Family Law Treatment Court Coordinator to link participants with children under six with treatment services, provide parent and family support and monitor and reports family progress in Family Law Treatment Court.

Why does collaborative justice work? The words of a parent in the Family Law Treatment Court to Judge Susan Bernardini explain it best, "As you know when I first entered FTC my faith in the judicial system and Family Court was near zero...I (now) feel lucky to be in a county that has a program like Family Treatment Court. This is a program that allows people like myself to show that we can turn our lives around, and the FTC program affords us the ability to earn credibility...[Y]our wisdom and caring has impressed me. During the FTC hearings I watched the way you dealt with not only myself but the other members. I often think of how this program and people like yourself have positively impacted many families and children. I believe the ripple effect of this positive impact will be felt for generations in families such as mine. In closing, I also feel blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know you."


Judge L. Michael Clark, who now presides over Family Law Treatment Court, reports on common threads: people entering the program are bitter from prolonged litigation, they enter the program to regain unsupervised contact with their children, they find recovery hard, but as they progress, they "all display a similar peaceful and calm demeanor characteristic of persons advanced in their recovery, and all expressed their heartfelt appreciation for Family Law Treatment Court."

Clearly, the success of these programs is due to in large part to very dedicated people and the positive and supportive energy they generate. The condition of the buildings they occupy (I do not think these renovated locations merit the appellation "courthouse") impede their work. We are very grateful to the Santa Clara County Bar Association for the support for our plans to build a Family Justice Center Courthouse. By creating adequate space, and having our public and community based partners in the new courthouse, we believe we will be able to take our collaborative justice program to the next level. We hope to create an atmosphere that gives people hope, that allows them to envision possibilities, and provides the tools to allow them to achieve their highest potential.


For those of you who practice other fields of law, I hasten to add that the collaborative, problem-solving approach is reaching you as well. The human condition, and the anger, jealousy, fear, shame and other feelings and emotions associated with our existence, are the underpinnings of all disputes. Whether the issue is a partnership dissolution, employment dispute, or theft of trade secrets, people are involved and so are their feelings. Increasingly, we are turning to non-adversarial problem-solving approaches. In the civil division, we offer voluntary early mediation with a judge, as well other types of alternative dispute resolution programs.


As judges engaged in this ADR process, we seek to be active listeners, to understand both the stated and unstated factors underlying a dispute, and to help the parties generate potential options. Your assistance is critical. The legal profession plays a key role in the paradigm shift from adversarial role where there are winners and losers, to one where we all engage in collaborative problem-solving, seeking the input of other disciplines and expertise if necessary, and focusing on broader and sometimes extralegal solutions.

The revolution is here, and the Beatles would be happy to know that "it's gonna be better than all right."

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Diversity Remains a Top Priority for the Association: A Quarter Century of Effort

Posted By Mark Shem, Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Mark Shem, SCCBA 2010 President

[reprinted from the March 9, 2010, Daily Journal, SCCBA Monthly Newsletter]

 Nearly a quarter century ago, the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) did what no other bar association in the country had done:  it institutionalized it’s commitment to diversity.  In 1989, the Association’s Board and membership changed the Association by-laws to create trustee positions on the Board for all the local minority bar associations and SCCBA minority committees, in addition to the elected positions.  That significant step resulted in the Black Lawyers of Santa Clara County, the La Raza Lawyers of Santa Clara County, and the Women Lawyers’ Committee having dedicated, voting trustee positions. Since that time, as other minority bar associations and Association committees have been organized, trustee positions have been added, including the Asian Pacific Bar Association and the SCCBA Rainbow Committee, which addresses concerns related to gay, lesbian, and transgender attorneys.  That historic step has led to many, many milestones in the Association’s commitment to diversity.  That commitment remains one of the most important and defining initiatives for the SCCBA.

 Included among the milestones in the past 25 years are:  1) the implementation of the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program in 1990, which has placed hundreds of first year minority law students with dozens of large law firms in the Bay Area, giving these students experience and opportunities that they otherwise would not have had; 2)creation of the annual SCCBA Barristers Leadership Program in 1994, which provides new lawyers, in particular, new minority lawyers, with a four month intensive in leadership training and orientation to the SCCBA to given them the information and skills necessary to assume leadership roles in their firms, the community and the SCCBA; 3)creation of the Minority Access Committee in 1991 to focus SCCBA resources on advancing diversity in the profession and the Association; 4)creation of the first gay, lesbian transgender bar association committee (the Rainbow Committee) in the State of California in 1993; 5)creation in 1994/95 of the Gender Fairness Committee and Gender Fairness Complaint Procedure for the courts, which is now part of the local superior court rules;  6)creation in 2006 of the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity in the Legal Profession in Silicon Valley, co-chaired by Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, Carlos Moreno and Bruce Sewell, General Counsel for Intel, Inc. The work of the Commission culminated with a Diversity Conference in fall of 2006 and a comprehensive report with recommendations for further advancing the SCCBA’s commitment to diversity.

The SCCBA has also been a leader in taking positions to address inequality and discrimination in the profession and society.  Some of these efforts include: 1)a series of resolutions  to California Governors beginning in 1999, encouraging them to appointment more diverse candidates to the bench; 2)a resolution in 2002 condemning the hate mail being sent to certain Latino community members, including Latino attorneys; 3)a resolution supporting the ABA’s efforts in pipeline issues, specifically those to combat high rates of minority attrition and to ensure that admission policies do not have a disparate impact on minority acceptance rates; 4)a series of resolutions supporting the California Marriage Equality Act and opposing Propositions 22 and 8; and 5)filing of an amicus brief in the In Re Marriage Cases and participation in two other amicus briefs addressing the equal protection issues posed by Proposition 8.

The SCCBA has been fortunate to receive recognition for its efforts in diversity over the years, which has included the 1991 Award from the State Bar Ethnic Minority Relations Committee for Contributions Toward Enhancing Opportunities of Minority Attorneys; the State Bar of California Diversity Award in 2003 and 2007; the 2002 California Minority Council Program Award recognizing the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program; and in 2006, La Raza Lawyers of Santa Clara County recognized the SCCBA for its Silver Sponsorship of the La Raza Scholarship Dinner and For Commitment and Support to the Latino Community. 

In the fall of 2009, the SCCBA Diversity Committee (formerly the Minority Access Committee) submitted its three year report addressing the progress made on the recommendations from the 2006 President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity in the Legal Profession in Silicon Valley.  As outlined in that report, virtually all of the recommendations have been implemented or are in progress.  In addition the eighteen law firms, which pledged to implement best practices in advancing minority participation in their firms, are taking tangible steps to implement those best practices.

Those recommendations from the 2006 Commission that have been implemented or are ongoing include the following.

SCCBA Program Recommendations

Reorganize Minority Access Committee to Diversity Committee:   The Task Force recommended a modification to the governing structure for addressing diversity issues and implementing diversity recommendations already adopted.   This reorganization took effect in January, 2008. 

Annual Diversity Award:  The Task Force also recommended that the outstanding diversity efforts of firms, entities and individuals within the legal community be recognized with an annual award from the Bar Association.  Three Diversity Awards, on a one-time basis only, were presented at the 2006 Annual Judges’ Night.  The Board of Trustees in 2007 adopted a policy setting forth the composition of a selection committee and the criteria for selecting an awardee.  Three awards have been given since that time at the Association’s annual Judges’ Night.

Website Clearinghouse:  The Task Force recommended that the SCCBA Pro Bono website (www.probonomatch.org) also be used as a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities in diversity.  This was included in the design and development of Probonomatch.org, which launched in October 2007. 

Diversity Liaison Staff Position:  The Task Force recommended the creation within the SCCBA of a staff position to coordinate and disseminate information about new and existing diversity programs, and staff the Diversity Committee.  This position was created in 2006.

Diversity Employment Opportunities – Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program (BAMSCP):  This recommendation sought to have the SCCBA continue to support and revitalize the BAMSCP for 1L students, with particular focus on the Silicon Valley.  The program has an average of 16 participating employers with an average of 21 spots for 1st year minority law students. The program is in its 18th year. This continues to be one of the most important pipeline programs the SCCBA sponsors.

Mentorship Programs:  This recommendation was to work with existing mentorship programs like the Role Model Program, through the Diversity Committee and create mentorship opportunities for new attorneys in firms to interact with older attorneys, through networking and formal relationships.  Developing mentorship opportunities is an ongoing project for the Diversity Committee and one of its priorities for 2010.

Create Diversity Pledge, secure signatories and post signatories on website:  This recommendation was to post all law firm signatory members of the Diversity Pledge in the “Opportunities to Promote Diversity” section of Probonomatch.org and other prominent locations such as newsletters and e-mails.  This was accomplished in 2007.

Law Firm/Corporation Best Practices and Policies Recommendations

 To evaluate the level at which the signatories are implementing the recommended best practices or similar initiatives from the 2006 Commission’s Report, the 2009 Diversity Committee surveyed the 18 signatories to obtain that information.  The law firm signatories to the SCCBA Diversity Pledge include:  Bingham McCutchen; Fenwick & West; Google; Hewlett Packard, Inc.; Intel, Inc.; Law Foundation of Silicon Valley; McManis Faulkner; Morrison & Foerster; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Phoenix Technologies; Pillsbury Winthrop; City Attorney’s Office of San Jose; Office of County Counsel, Santa Clara County; Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office; Stanford Office of General Counsel; Sun Microsystems, Inc.; White & Case; and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.

 These firms reported the following efforts in implementing best practices to recruiting, retaining, and advancing minority attorneys within their law firms.

 

·          Diversity Policy w/succession plan:    All survey respondents have a diversity policy and that diversity policy includes a plan to promote minority partners to leadership and management positions (“succession plan”).

 

·          Best Practices in the following areas:

o         Mentorship Programs:   Pledge signatories should create and maintain programs that promote diversity and reward, either financially or with public acknowledgement, successful mentorship efforts.  Of the survey respondents, three have formal mentorship programs.

 

o         Business Networking for 1st Years:   Pledge signatories should create and promote effective business management training for first year associates, specifically including networking and business development. Five of the survey respondents reported having business management training that meets this best practice recommendation.

 

o         Work/Life Balance:   Pledge signatories should promote flexible work schedules for attorneys with families that do not inhibit advancement or leadership opportunities.  Five of the survey respondents report having some kind of flexible work policy.

 

o         Billable Hours Credit/Work Credit:  Pledge signatories should credit attorneys for Bar Association and diversity activities or mentoring, (whether internal or external) by allotting billable hours or some other method of recognition on performance reviews.  Four of the six survey respondents provide some kind of credit through billable hours or other positive performance recognition. 

 

·          Training:  Signatory firms should create and promote ongoing diversity training from the “top down.”  Signatory firms are encouraged to participate in CLE programs at the Bar Association to promote cross-pollination of ideas within the firm.

All these efforts should be applauded and our legal community can be proud of these accomplishments.  Still, and unfortunately, there is much to be done in advancing diversity in the legal profession, the bench and within the SCCBA as an organization.   Minority applications for law school are at an all time low, particularly among Latinos and Black students.  Minority attorneys are being disproportionately impacted by law firm layoffs during the economic downturn; minority attorneys are not advancing to partnerships in law firms in the same proportion as their numbers in hiring; minority attorneys are still not joining nor participating in the SCCBA in sufficient numbers to bring us close to having an integrated bar association.

The Santa Clara County Bar Association has a long standing, historic commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession.  This commitment remains and is reflected in these statements of the Association’s overall goals in diversity:

·          To have a fully integrated bar association that has credibility, integrity and influence with the local legal community and the local judiciary with respect to important mutual objectives in administering justice, which for 2010 are diversity in the association, the legal community and the judiciary, pro bono, and access to legal services and professionalism.

·          For the SCCBA, the local minority bar associations and minority attorney members to be engaged as partners in promoting diversity in the legal profession in Silicon Valley as well as in improving the administration of justice and access and fairness of the legal system for all people.

We should all find some way this year to contribute to the SCCBA diversity initiatives and assist in advancing these critically important goals.

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