LAWYER. Contra Costa. Your Bar Association. Member-Only Benefits page 23

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1 Contra Costa LAWYER Volume 28, Number 1 January 2015 Your Bar Association Member-Only Benefits page 23 Meet Your 2015 Board Members, Board President & Section Leaders pages 5, 9, 11

2 The headline says one thing. The story says something else. You want someone to help you make sense of it all. That s where we come in. the novak group at ubs financial services, inc. bringing confidence to your financial decisions. Perry A. Novak Senior Vice President, Wealth Management UBS Financial Services, Inc N. California Blvd., Suite 400 Walnut Creek, CA (925) Perry is an active member of CCCBA, currently serving on the board of the Business Law & Corporate Counsel Section. The Novak Group has been providing wealth planning and asset management services to affluent families, business owners and professionals since Please visit us at: ubs.com/team/thenovakgroup Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor any of its employees provide legal or tax advice. You should consult with your personal legal or tax advisor regarding your personal circumstances. UBS All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member SIPC. 2 JANUARY 2015

3 Contra Costa 2015 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nicholas Casper President Elva Harding President-Elect Philip Andersen Secretary Amanda Bevins Treasurer Stephen Steinberg Ex Officio Ericka Ackeret Dean Barbieri Oliver Bray Mary Carey Wendy McGuire Coats Michelle Ferber CCCBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley CCCBA main office Barbara Arsedo LRIS Coordinator Dawnell Blaylock Communications Coordinator Jennifer Comages Membership Coordinator Peter Hass Reneé Livingston David Marchiano Laura Ramsey Katherine Wenger James Wu Emily Day Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator Elizabeth Galliett Education and Programs Coordinator LAWYER Volume 28 Number 1 January 2015 FEATURES The official publication of the MEET YOUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS: Ericka Ackeret, Wendy McGuire Coats, David Marchiano and Laura Ramsey MEET YOUR NEW BOARD PRESIDENT: Nicholas Casper MEET YOUR 2015 SECTION LEADERS B A R A S S O C I A T I O N CONTRA COSTA LAWYER CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD Harvey Sohnen Nicole Mills BOARD LIAISON Candice Stoddard COURT LIAISON Stephen Nash PRINTING Steven s Printing PHOTOGRAPHER Moya Fotografx Suzanne Boucher Patricia Kelly David Pearson Samantha Sepehr Andrew Verriere James Wu YOUR CCCBA MEMBERSHIP 22 MEMBER-ONLY BENEFITS 23 GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE LAWYER REFERRAL & INFORMATION SERVICE 28 MEET YOUR CCCBA STAFF 30 The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN ) is published 12 times a year - 6 times online-only - by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to The CCCBA reserves the right to edit articles and letters sent in for publication. All editorial material, including editorial comment, appearing herein represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the CCCBA or the Board of Directors. Likewise, the publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement. Shown on the cover (left to right): Presiding Judge Steve Austin, CCCBA Executive Director Theresa Hurley and Board President Nicholas Casper DEPARTMENTS 20 CENTER MCLE Spectacular [photos] Barristers Section Holiday Party [photos] 32 INNS OF COURT by Matthew Talbot YEAR-END FINANCIAL REPORT SUSTAINING LAW FIRMS 36 CALENDAR 38 CLASSIFIEDS don t forget to renew your cccba membership CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 3

4 CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION ANNUAL OFFICER INSTALLATION Friday, January 23, 2015 FEATURING The Honorable Ignazio J. Ruvolo Presiding Justice of the 1st District Court of Appeal, Division 4 Commission on Judicial Performance Protecting the Public and the Integrity of the Judiciary 1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE Credit 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Contra Costa Country Club 801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill OFFICERS TO BE INSTALLED BOARD MEMBERS Nicholas Casper, President Elva Harding, President-Elect Philip Andersen, Secretary Amanda Bevins, Treasurer Stephen Steinberg, Ex Officio Ericka Ackeret Dean Barbieri Oliver Bray Mary Carey Wendy McGuire Coats Michelle Ferber Peter Hass Reneé Livingston David Marchiano Laura Ramsey Katherine Wenger James Wu SECTION LEADERS John Cavin, ADR Gary A. Watt, Appellate David Arietta, Bankruptcy Law Kosta Demiris, Barristers Kent Parr, Business Law & Corporate Counsel Mary P. Carey, Criminal Law Joseph Morrill, Elder Law Jessica Braverman, Employment Virginia George, Estate Planning & Probate Marcia Keefe, Family Law Stuart West, Intellectual Property Rhonda Wilson-Rice, Juvenile Geoffrey Steele, Litigation Chad Gallagher, Real Estate Andrew J. McCall & Eliza Gryko, Solo Practice & Small Firm Jennifer Navalle, Student Christina Weed, Taxation Adrienne Haddad & Karen Juster Hecht, West County Marta Vanegas, Women REGISTER TODAY! $40 CCCBA Members $50 Non-members 1 hour MCLE Credit Menu choices: Cuban Pork Loin Poached Salmon Filet ~ OR ~ Vegetable Wellington Photo Session for the Member Directory 11 am to noon ~ AND ~ 1:30 to 2 pm To register, contact Liz Galliett at (925) , or at 4 JANUARY 2015

5 BOARD MEMBERS MEET YOUR NEW Ericka Ackeret Ericka Ackeret has been practicing business law in Contra Costa County since Her practice focuses on general business counsel services, including transactional corporate counsel services, entity formation and planning, business succession planning, mergers, acquisitions and other business reorganizations, and business litigation. Ericka was born and raised in San Jose and attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving her B.S. in business administration and B.A. in German in She attended law school at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and was admitted to the California State Bar in Following graduation, Ericka moved to Walnut Creek to continue working in the business law group at the McNamara Law Firm, where she had worked during law school. Ericka currently works at Buchman Provine Brothers Smith, LLP, in Walnut Creek, where she has continued to expand her business law practice. Ericka has been actively involved in the CCCBA for several years, and is a former president of the Women s Section. While not working, she enjoys traveling, swimming with the Walnut Creek Masters and training for triathlons. Most recently, Ericka travelled to Australia, where she completed her third Ironman race. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 5

6 New Board Members, cont. from page 5 Wendy McGuire Coats dedicates her practice to appellate litigation. Her state and federal appellate practice includes civil and criminal writs and appeals as well as amicus representation; her pro bono appellate work includes asylum appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Wendy was born in upstate New York near the farm that has been in her family since She grew up in Columbia, Missouri, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri in After graduation, she began teaching 10th grade world literature in a team-taught interdisciplinary course that combined the study of English and world history. Wendy was recognized with her co-teacher as the district s Beginning Teacher of the Year. She was then selected as a founding faculty member of the Columbia Independent School where she taught speech, debate, acting and movement classes. Studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles brought Wendy and her husband, Daniel, to the West Coast. Wendy then pursued her other passion at Pepperdine University School of Law, where she built upon her conservatory training and excelled at appellate law. She won both of Pepperdine s moot court competitions and a national moot court competition in New York. Before graduating magna cum laude in 2005, she was a research assistant for her criminal law/criminal procedure professor and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review. After law school, Wendy honed her talent for legal writing and oral Wendy McGuire Coats Since 1949 Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell 736 Ferry Street Martinez, CA (fax) advocacy as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. After completing her clerkship, she worked on high-profile federal trials at the international law firm Howrey, LLP. Clean air, good schools and a combination of professional opportunities then precipitated a move north. In order to develop relationships within the Contra Costa County legal community, Wendy s singularly most important decision was joining the CCCBA. Wendy is also a member of the American Bar Association s Council of Appellate Lawyers (CAL) Publications Committee and regularly contributes to CAL s Appellate Issues. Ever the learner, Wendy is rarely without a book tucked into her bag. She is a devotee of ballet barre fitness classes and at age 40, she started taking piano lessons. Wendy and Daniel recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary and live in Alamo with their daughter, a joyous and fiercely independent kindergartner. Bray & Bray Oliver W. Bray* Over 25 years in practice Probate, Trust & Estate litigation and administration Elder Abuse Litigation Conservatorship establishment and litigation Fiduciary court accountings Estate Planning Free case evaluations for referring attorneys *Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization *Selected to Northern California Super Lawyers each year since JANUARY 2015

7 David Marchiano David Marchiano has been practicing civil litigation at Archer Norris in Walnut Creek since 2009, joining the firm shortly after graduating from law school. He handles a wide variety of cases, with issues stemming from business disputes and corporate dissolution to breach of contract, personal injury, wrongful death and construction defect. David has assisted clients through all phases of litigation, including trial and appeal. He particularly enjoys meeting with clients and discussing strategies for cost-effective resolution of disputes. David is a Contra Costa County native; he was born in Walnut Creek and raised in Lafayette. He attended the University of Notre Dame and earned a Bachelors of Arts in management from the Mendoza College of Business. In his junior year, he spent a semester abroad in Fremantle, Australia, and had the chance to visit Sydney, Bali and Singapore. In the summer before his senior year, he worked as a product management intern at LeapFrog Enterprises in Emeryville. After graduating from college, David worked at a large east bay insurance brokerage, where he was a licensed broker and assisted with marketing alternative risk insurance t o franchisees. After almost three years, however, he knew the insurance business was not his calling. David went onto law school, graduating from Mc- George School of Law in While in law school, David was a member of the moot court competition team and a participant in the ABA s presti- gious National Appellate Advocacy Competition. He interned in the Office of Legal Affairs for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he reviewed and analyzed decisions of the Board of Parole Hearings and made recommendations to the Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary. Elder Law is Alzheimer s Planning David is proud to carry on his father s legacy in the local legal community. He is a member of the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court, where he enjoys the educational presentations and social interaction with lawyers and judges in the community. David lives in Pleasant Hill with his wife, Erikka, a fund accountant for a San Francisco-based hedge fund. When not at work, you will likely find David on either the softball field or golf course. He also enjoys traveling, fitness, snowboarding and spending time with family and friends. He is an avid A s fan and hopes to one day watch a parade down Broadway instead of Market Street. David is honored to serve on the CCCBA Board of Directors and looks forward to giving back to the community in which he grew up and now practices. The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer s some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer s don t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer s Association, approximately one in ten families has a relative with this disease. Of the four million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer s disease, the majority live at home often receiving care from family members. If the diagnosis is Alzheimer s, call elder law attorney Michael J. Young Estate Planning, Disability, Medi-Cal, Long-term Care & VA Planning Protect your loved ones, home and independence. n San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 7

8 New Board Members, cont. from page 7 Laura Ramsey Laura Ramsey is an associate at Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP, having joined the firm in Laura practices family law exclusively and is certified by the State Bar of California Legal Certification as a Family Law Specialist. Laura is honored to be selected as a Rising Star by Northern California Super Lawyers for 2013 and While maintaining a litigation practice, primarily, Laura is a certified mediator after completing the 40-hour mediation training Mediating Disputes through the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Laura began practicing in Orange County (Newport Beach) after graduating from Whittier Law School. There she worked for a small family law firm and focused much of her practice on pro bono opportunities such as volunteering at the local women s domestic violence shelter and in the Lamoreaux Justice Center Guardianship Clinic. In 2010, Laura and her husband moved back to the Bay Area where they were both born and raised. They now reside in Alameda with their daughter and French Bulldog, Eiffel. In her free time, Laura enjoys bike riding, trips to the cabin (Lake Almanor) and taking her daughter to music class. Laura has served on the boards of the Alameda County Bar Association and Contra Costa Alameda Trial Lawyers Association. Laura is a former board member of the CCCBA s Women s Section and has also assisted in planning family law events with the CCCBA Family Law Section. Laura looks forward to her new role as a CCCBA director allowing her to expand her efforts and volunteer opportunities to our entire local bar. s 8 JANUARY 2015

9 BOARD PRESIDENT MEET YOUR NEW Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a Bay Area native my family lived in Berkeley for my first five years, then moved over the hill to Orinda, where I went to school K-12. After living in Los Angeles for about six years for UCLA and beyond, I moved up to San Francisco to begin my legal journey at USF Law. One of the parting gifts of studying at USF was an abiding love for what we all call the City. I have lived in San Francisco for the past 12 years, enduring eight years of a reverse commute to Walnut Creek. I feel that I have two homes, one in always-lively San Francisco, and one in Contra Costa, where I grew up and have planted my professional roots. I have always wanted to know: Are you related to Stan Casper? Seriously, is that your question? Well, you are the one ghost-writing as the interviewer Point taken. Yes, Stan is my dad, as well as one of my bosses at the plaintiffs civil litigation firm Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook. What is it like to work with your father? It has been a tremendous experience, and I feel fortunate to have the mentors that I do at the firm, including my dad. Adding a professional dimension to our relationship does come with its own unique challenges. For example, it can be difficult to maintain work and family boundaries, but we do make a point of not talking shop when we are with my mom. You can ask her how well we abide by this rule. Nicholas Casper Why did you get involved with the Bar Association? After I started at the firm, one of the first things the partners suggested was that I join the CCCBA, and not surprisingly, the advice was sound. I cannot stress enough the importance of being an active member in one s local legal community. While I practice throughout the Bay Area, Contra Costa is undoubtedly home base, and it is comforting to see familiar and friendly faces in the court hallways and on the bench in Martinez. It has also been gratifying to help improve the experience of practicing law in my backyard through the Bar Association. In that vein, what has been your involvement with the CCCBA? The first couple of years, I was active by attending as many Bar events and MCLEs as possible. I then took over as the chair of the Barristers Section, and since joining the Board of Directors in 2010, I have acted as the board liaison to the Barristers Section. One of the continuing priorities of the CCCBA is facilitating new lawyer participation in the Bar. I firmly believe that a healthy Barristers Section ensures long-term Bar vitality, and this is evident by various barristers becoming more involved in the leadership of the practicespecific sections. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 9

10 New Board President, cont. from page 9 I have also acted as chair of the Access to Justice Taskforce for the past three years, which we created to address the ongoing court budget crisis. Each year, the taskforce has met with state legislators representing portions of our county to highlight the hardships that the budget cuts have wrought on court functioning, and to advocate for a restoration of funds. Although the fate of the courts ultimately is decided by the somewhat-opaque political process in Sacramento, the Bar Association will continue the drumbeat of bringing awareness to legislators that the courts have been left underfunded and overburdened. Five years of crippling budget cuts have slowed the wheels of justice and harmed the county s most vulnerable populations. What are your greater goals for your term as Bar Board President, aside from fostering new lawyer involvement and petitioning for court funding? I feel that each year, the CCCBA has taken steps forward in improving the organization s usefulness to our members, whether it was through the expansion of programs, such as the popular Law Practice Management Series, or through keeping the Bar firmly in the 21st century with mobile improvements to its website. The adage if it isn t broke, don t fix it does come to mind, but at the same time, just don t sink the ship is not a very lofty aspiration. There is always room for improvement, and I hope to oversee the Bar s continued march forward. One early goal is to renew the CCCBA s commitment to helping the outside community by offering more pro bono opportunities. I also would like to see more Bench-Bar social opportunities. Yet my role as president is not one of unilateral action, but one of collaboration amongst the board, which is comprised of very engaged and committed volunteer attorneys who consistently move the CCCBA in new directions. We also have four new board members this year, which will undoubtedly bring an infusion of fresh perspectives. It is truly an honor to serve as 2015 Bar Board President, and I look forward to working hard for this vibrant organization that is near and dear to my heart. s 10 JANUARY 2015

11 SECTION LEADERS MEET YOUR 2015 Alternative Dispute Resolution John Cavin has been practicing law for 35 years, primarily in the fields of real estate, construction and business, both in-house and, for the past 23 years, in private practice. Over the past 15 years, he has expanded his practice to include mediation and has served the Contra Costa County courts as a neutral and John Cavin settlement mentor. John is a long time member of the CCCBA s ADR Section and has served on its Board of Directors for the past four years. Thoughout his career, John has participated in hundreds of mediations, as a client, attorney and as a mediator. Why should I join the ADR Section? If you are interested in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, as an advocate, mediator or arbitrator, then the ADR Section has something to offer you. In addition to sponsoring one or two seminars at the annual MCLE Spectacular, we sponsor a spring roundtable and a fall luncheon with speakers who have demonstrated excellence in the field of alternative dispute resolution. The ADR Section also typically sponsors or co-sponsors one or two additional training programs with other sections or other local bar associations, providing multiple continuing education opportunities in the field of alternative dispute resolution. Appellate Gary A. Watt Gary Watt is a partner at Archer Norris in Walnut Creek. An appellate lawyer and professor, Gary handles writs and appeals in all California appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Why should I join the Appellate Section? The Appellate Section provides both trial and appellate lawyers with insights on key statutory and case law developments by putting on MCLE seminars. The section also usually invites an appellate justice to join our MCLE Spectacular presentation. Bankruptcy Law 30 years experience Probate-Trust Paralegal 3445 Golden Gate Way Lafayette, CA (925) David Arietta is a native San Franciscan and attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. He graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley with a degree in finance and accounting and then went on to graduate from UC Davis School of Law. David is a certified specialist in bankruptcy law and his practice David Arietta encompasses comprehensive bankruptcy representation for individuals and businesses in Chapters 7, 11 and 13. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 11

12 2015 Section Leaders, cont. from page 11 Why should I join the Bankruptcy Law Section? The section puts on educational seminars related to the bankruptcy field that provide practical knowledge for its members. Bankruptcy is a specialized field. The section offers its members an opportunity to meet on a regular basis to network and discuss ideas, case law and practice issues. Members are a resource for each other and older members are to some extent mentors for those new to the bankruptcy field. Given that the bankruptcy court is in Oakland and that some members live or work in Alameda County, we have worked in conjunction with the bankruptcy section of the Alameda County Bar Association to offer cross-member pricing and to co-host certain programs. The section also gives members the opportunity to be a speaker for one of the monthly programs or write an article for the Contra Costa Lawyer. Barristers/Young Lawyers Kosta Demiris is a partner at Demiris & Moore in Walnut Creek. His firm s focus is on elder law, conservatorships, will and trust litigation, guardianship and general civil litigation. He was born and raised in the Bay Area, attended Cal where he made the football team as a walkon place-kicker, and attended Santa Kosta Demiris Clara University for law school. Kosta currently serves on the Contra Costa Superior Court s Conflicts Panel for conservatorships in both standard and complex cases. Kosta loves the Bay Area and feels truly blessed to work in Contra Costa County, doing the work he has always wanted to do with colleagues he respects and admires. Why should I join the Barristers Section? The Barristers Section is a great place to meet fellow young lawyers who want to be involved in their legal community, develop lasting relationships, and of course, have fun! I remember attending my first social event, just hoping to meet some fellow young lawyers and share war stories over a beverage. I ended up meeting an old friend from childhood and developing an incredible bond. Later that year, I needed to catch up on MCLE, so I attended the Barristers seminar at the MCLE Spectacular, where I met with local judges and practicing attorneys, who shared personal stories of their experiences as young lawyers, rising through the ranks. As luck would have it, I also met another young lawyer looking to make a mark on the profession and help the elderly. Years later, he is now a certified specialist in our field and has been a great friend and colleague of mine. I can t stress enough how invaluable the Barristers Section has been in my career and personal development. I invite all young lawyers (and those who are young at heart many of whom I work with) to come to our events in 2015 and experience all our wonderful section has to offer. Business Law & Corporate Counsel Kent Parr spent the first half of his career practicing business and real estate litigation. His focus is now on business and commercial transactions in a solo setting. Why should I join the Business Law Section? Kent Parr We sponsor continuing legal education programs pertinent to business lawyers. We also sponsor speakers from the business community, not necessarily lawyers, to provide their perspective on business matters. In 2014, we began a successful community educational program for budding entrepreneurs, which we hope to build upon in Criminal Law Mary P. Carey has practiced law in Contra Costa County for 28 years. She served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Contra Costa Public Defender s Office for 18 years, representing children and adults accused of crime. She has managed a thriving private practice in Walnut Creek for the past 10 years specializing in criminal, juvenile and civil litigation. Mary has Mary P. Carey extensive jury and bench trial experience. Why should I join the Criminal Law Section? The section offers a collegial atmosphere for criminal law practitioners to engage in continuing education and networking. Our recent MCLEs include Immigration Law for the Criminal Practitioner, What Every Criminal Attorney Needs to Know About Civil Rights Law and Kids for Cash, a documentary and panel discussion on juvenile law issues. 12 JANUARY 2015

13 Elder Law Joe Morrill s practice focuses on estate planning, conservatorships and litigation, particularly cases involving will and trust contests, financial elder abuse, fraud, deceit and other related claims. Joe has represented plaintiffs and defendants, including beneficiaries, Joseph Morrill trustees, executors, agents under durable powers of attorney, conservators, private professional fiduciaries, nursing homes, elders and the family members or friends of elders, in all aspects of litigation, including both bench and jury trials. Joe is also experienced in all aspects of settlement negotiation and mediation, and is certified as a mediator on the Contra Costa Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel of Neutrals. Why should I join the Elder Law Section? Generally, there are two areas of practice that we refer to as elder law. The first is transactional work, closely related to estate planning, which often focuses on eligibility for various benefits, such as Medi-Cal. The second is litigation, both financial elder abuse and physical elder abuse/neglect. In addition, elder law often overlaps with other practice areas when a client, or interested party, is over the age of 65. Given the breadth of what is, or can become, an elder law issue, and the increasing portion of the population considered elders, many practitioners can benefit from joining the Elder Law Section. Employment Law Jessica A. Braverman, Esq., of the California Employment Law Training Center, and Braverman Mediation & Consulting in Pleasant Hill, works with companies, small business owners and nonprofits to help them stay out of legal trouble. She offers preventative employment law advice, human resources support Jessica A. Braverman and employment law training. Jessica is also a trained Mediator/Settlement Conference Mentor who resolves litigated disputes in all civil type cases. She enjoys volunteering for the Contra Costa Superior Court. ESTATE PLANNER: WANT TO RETIRE? Leading Estate Planning Law Firm desires to purchase Estate Planning and Elder Law practices of retiring Contra Costa area attorneys. If you are interested, please contact Reed Scott at (925) for more information. Why should I join the Employment Law Section? The Employment Law Section is a congenial group of lawyers who enjoy offering valuable seminars on an array of employment law topics that also intersect with almost every other section of the law. Come check us out this year as we discuss interesting new and old laws and eat lunch. Estate Planning & Probate Virginia M. George is a partner at Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP. Prior to joining the firm, she sat as a judge pro tem in the Probate Department of the Contra Costa Superior Court. Before her time on the bench, Virginia worked as a fulltime professor at JFK School of Law, teaching evidence, criminal procedure and wills and trusts. Virginia George While at JFK, she supervised JFK s Elder Law Clinic, which provided pro bono services to elders who had been financially abused. Virginia began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County. Why should I join the Estate Planning & Probate Section? The Estate Planning & Probate Section is a collegial group that offers a variety of opportunities to attorneys practicing in the areas of probate, estate planning, conservatorship, guardianship and trust law. Our programs begin in January each year at the Contra Costa Country Club with the annual Probate Bench Luncheon. Every year since 1994, our section, with co-sponsorship of the Mechanics Bank s Trust Department, has also presented an Annual Estate Planning Symposium. The section offers members the ability to network and learn the latest about the ever-changing law in these intriguing areas of practice. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 13

14 2015 Section Leaders, cont. from page 13 Intellectual Property Family Law Chair: Marcia Keefe Marcia Keefe has served on the Family Law Section Board for over 10 years. She practices family law in Martinez. Why should I join the Family Law Section? All attorneys who practice family law in Contra Costa County should join the section so that they receive our monthly updates and informative magazine, In Chancery. Section members get advance notices of our lunch seminars and can attend at a discounted fee, and also sign up for our many pro bono opportunities which often provide the attorney with a one-on-one introduction to the current family law judges. Our frequent meeting and MCLE events are a good way to meet other family law attorneys and to network. As the head of the CCCBA IP Section for the past several years, Stuart West and the IP section members in conjunction with the Women s Initiative Program have assisted hundreds of solo inventors and small startup companies with their intellectual property needs on a pro bono basis. Stuart West Additionally, as a practicing patent attorney since 1999, licensed in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, Stuart has assisted small-scale and multinational clients with patent, trademark and copyright matters around the world. Why should I join the IP Section? The IP section is on the cutting edge of law changes that impact all areas of business. Every other month, the IP section presents topical presentations on current intellectual property issues. We hold our meetings during the breakfast hour in a centrally-located conference room in Walnut Creek and meetings are concluded by 9 am, so that you can attend the program and get to work Will & Trust Litigation Securities Litigation Elder Abuse Litigation BARR & YOUNG ATTORNEYS 318-C Diablo Road Danville, CA (925) JANUARY 2015

15 by a reasonable time. We strive to present topics that are of interest to a variety of businesses and practice areas and actively solicit and present on topics of interest to our members. Additionally, we provide pro bono services to solo inventors and startup businesses in conjunction with the Women s Initiative. Join our section and keep up to date with all the latest developments in Intellectual Property Law that may impact both you and/or your clients. Juvenile Law Rhonda Wilson-Rice is an attorney practicing in Pittsburg. Why should I join the Juvenile Law Section? Anyone interested in child welfare work and the families of Contra Costa would enjoy our meetings. We Rhonda Wilson-Rice have training relevant to Welfare and Institutions Code 300, and you can learn about resources available to foster care youth and/or their families. Litigation Geoffrey Steele is a partner at Steele George Schofield & Ramos, LLP. He is a civil litigator, with an emphasis on real property and financial elder abuse. Why should I join the Litigation Section? Geoffrey Steele The Litigation Section is the one section that crosses over most of the other disciplines, covering a wide variety of legal issues, including insights regarding practicing before the Contra Costa courts. The Litigation Section s MCLE programs and mixers are opportunities to meet attorneys that you might not otherwise get to know. In addition, the Litigation Section is involved in several of the pro bono workshops in Contra Costa County. Those workshops afford our members great opportunities to hone their skills and give back to the community. Real Estate Chad Gallagher is a transactional Shareholder in Miller Starr Regalia s Walnut Creek office. Chad represents clients including developers, property owners, and national and regional retailers in a variety of real estate and business transactions. Chad also represents banks and Chad Gallagher other lenders in the negotiation, documentation and modification of loan agreements. Chad resides in Oakland and enjoys spending his free time with his family, cycling and brewing beer. Why should I join the Real Estate Section? If your practice involves any aspect of real estate, you should consider joining the Real Estate Section because it offers its members MCLE-qualifying presentations with a complimentary breakfast included eight times per year. We have a large and active membership and would love to have you join us. Solo Practice & Small Firm Andrew J. McCall Andrew J. McCall is a recognized divorce attorney in Contra Costa and Solano counties, and has been since He enjoys resolving cases successfully for clients and helping them move on with their lives. He has been a member of CCCBA since 1998, and has been a sole practitioner since Why should I join the Solo Practice & Small Firm Section? The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section evolved from the recognition that many sole and small firm practitioners desired and at times needed the camaraderie, intellectual stimulation and informational exchange that attorneys generally find in larger law firms. By having consistent networking and fellowship opportunities, the section has evolved into a collegial organization resembling a firm, with specialists in various fields both willing and capable to offer assistance to other section members. The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section was launched in May A partnership has been forged with JFK Law School allowing members have cost-effective and convenient access to legal resources. Section members CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 15

16 2015 Section Leaders, cont. from page 15 Candice E. Stoddard are entitled to full use of the JFK Law Library (included in annual section dues). Incidentally, we admit JFK Law School students to the section. Solo Practice & Small Firm Section members receive a monthly newsletter, The Maverick, informing them of upcoming events, providing topical articles and a forum for comment and commentary, and collaterally an listserv for use by the Law Offices of Candice E. Stoddard 1350 Treat Blvd., Suite 420 Walnut Creek, CA members. The section hosts an after-work mixer and a breakfast, on alternating months. The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section participates in the CCCBA s MCLE Spectacular each November. Our monthly meetings are open to both members and non-members. Solo Practice & Small Firm Section programs highlight issues of interest to our members. The programs vary, including as examples a roundtable discussion of fee agreements, a presentation on Quickbooks and Timeslips, and tips and tricks in billing. Our MCLE Spectacular programs include panel discussions on how to open a law firm and how to prepare a small firm for death, disability and disaster, hopefully not all at the same time. Student Jennifer Navalle Jennifer Navalle is a fourth-year law student at JFK University. After graduation and upon successful entrance of the right of passage through the bar exam, she plans to continue her work with Hyden- Zakheim, LLP, in the area of family law. Why should I join the Student Section? There are students who go through law school without an idea as to what area of law they want to practice. There are also those who graduate, pass the bar and then may find themselves in a difficult position trying to get their foot into the profession. The CCCBA Student Section provides many opportunities for students to network with dedicated attorneys in the county, opportunities for mentorships and to learn about new topics in the law that are not mentioned in the classroom. Personal Injury Real Estate Litigation Trust and Estate Disputes Mediation n fax Practicing law in the East Bay for over 25 years With the different sections CCCBA has to offer, law student members have the chance to explore those areas of law for potential practice. Being a member of the Student Section allows the students to utilize a great tool to help build their future profession while still in law school. Taxation Christina Weed Christina Weed became the Chair of the Taxation Section in Christina s practice focuses on tax controversy and tax collection, as well as business law and estate planning and litigation. Christina works at the Law Offices of Chastity A. Schults in Walnut Creek. Why should I join the Taxation Section? The Taxation Section is a great section to join for those who are eager to learn, or who would like to obtain practical advice from colleagues or discuss current tax topics. If you do not practice tax law, joining this section would be a great way to familiarize yourself with other attorneys who may be able to assist you or your clients when an issue arises. The Taxation Section offers tax specialization and general MCLE credit. The section generally meets the second week of each month. Our meetings include lunch and a tax presentation. In addition, the Taxation Section participated in the 2014 MCLE Spectacular and hosted a joint networking mixer with the Business Law & Corporate Counsel section this past year. We are always happy to receive new and enthusiastic members. 16 JANUARY 2015

17 West County Adrienne Haddad has been practicing law for three years primarily family, but also the occasional other civil and criminal matter. She is especially interested in collaborative law and helping clients resolve their disputes with as little drama as possible. Adrienne Haddad That said, she does enjoy arguing (advocating) when necessary! Adrienne is excited to get to know the community of attorneys active in the West County section. Karen Juster Hecht became a lawyer so that she could help people. Her career path has included general civil litigation and business; she now practices family law in order to fulfill her goal of helping clients Karen Juster Hecht through difficult times. In addition to practicing law, she enjoys her three children and she pursues her passion for writing and photography. Karen loves being outside, walking, hiking and biking around the beautiful Bay Area. Why should I join the West County Section? Members should join the West County Section because the speakers at our section lunches are often sitting judges in Contra Costa County and they offer insights into what the courts look for in certain types of cases. And because our lunches and other section sponsored events are a lot of fun! You can network with local attorneys and meet a new business partner, a new client or a fine new professional to whom you can refer overflow cases. You can earn MCLEs locally no need to drive to Martinez! Support local businesses and get to know your neighbors. Women Marta Vanegas Marta Vanegas is a plaintiffs employment and civil rights attorney at the Law Offices of John F. Martin. She graduated from UC Davis Law School in 2011, and worked previously as Deputy Legislative Counsel in Sacramento. She is a past co-president of the Women s Section and immediate-past Chair of the Barristers Section. Marta lives in Concord with her husband and two daughters. Why should I join the Women s Section? The Women s section provides educational and networking opportunities and aims to empower women in the legal profession. We hold frequent power lunches, networking and fundraiser events, and MCLE lectures. The Women s Section also awards scholarships to deserving Contra Costa County law students. s WANTED Will/Estate Contests Conservatorships You handle the estate, we do the contest. Cases, except conservatorships, often handled on a contingent fee basis, but can be hourly. Referral fee where appropriate. Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP oldest partnership in Contra Costa County (since 1955) p f Golden Gate Way Lafayette, CA AV Martindale-Hubbell CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 17

18 Connecting just got easier! Introducing CCCBA s new mobile app, where you can: Register for events Search the member directory Access self-study MCLEs Read the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine online Review profiles on judges Download the CCCBA mobile app today! 18 JANUARY 2015

19 Banking and Commercial Mediator Dean Christopherson is a mediator with nearly thirty years experience handling banking and commercial disputes, including those arising from: Real Estate Secured Lending Auto Sales and Leasing Deposit Account and Safe Deposit Boxes, and Consumer Statute Claims His office is centrally located and ample conference room space is readily available. Call or to make arrangements for your mediation. Dean A. Christopherson Dawe & Christopherson LLp 1350 Treat Boulevard, Suite 420 Walnut Creek, CA telephone: (925) Tax & Estate Planning Attorneys Individual & Business Tax Issues Tax Preparation Tax Planning Tax Controversy Sophisticated Estate Planning Estate Administration Trust & Estate Litigation Probate YOUNGMAN & ERICSSON 1981 N. Broadway, Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA (925) Youngman.com Walter C. Youngman, Jr., Attorney-CPA Jean Claude B. Mallein, Jr., MBA, LL.M-Taxation Dani Altes, Paralegal State Bar Certified Specialist-Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Lisa Salvetti, Legal Secretary Tara H. Shine, Attorney Maudie Sullivan, Certified Tax Preparer CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER 19

20 20th Annual MCLE Spectacular! November 21, 2014 Walnut Creek Marriott For more photos, visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/CCCBA! Jerry Fishkin, Breakfast Kickoff Speaker Sergio Garcia and Lindsay Slatter Luncheon Speaker Jesse H. Choper 20 JANUARY 2015 Afternoon Plenary Speaker Dr. Jonathan Canick

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