Public Law Section  Embarks on New Laws  and Legal Frontiers

Public Law Section Embarks on New Laws and Legal Frontiers

Alison Leary is Deputy General Counsel, League of California Cities. She can be contacted at aleary@cacities.org.

by Alison Leary

The Public Law Section continues to feature presentations on new developments in the law. Recently, the section delivered a novel MCLE program on aerial drones. Katharine Killeen, a Senior Attorney at the California Department of Water Resources, spoke about public agency interest in the deployment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the Federal Aviation Administration regulatory framework, state legislation, and a public agency approach to policy, procedures, implementation, and compliance. Raiyn Bain-Moore, a Deputy State Attorney at CalTrans Division of Aeronautics, addressed beneficial uses, restrictions surrounding drones, and guidance to public entities. Tim Cromartie, then a Legislative Representative for the League of California Cities, explained local regulatory frameworks and offered perspectives and guidelines for local regulations.

In February 2018, the section again kicked off the calendar year with a legislative update of new laws impacting public agencies. Ashley E. Zambrano, who is an associate at Best Best & Krieger LLP, gave an insightful rundown of laws that impact a wide range of public law practice. Whether dealing with requirements or restrictions pertaining to public facilities, elections, transportation funding, post-government employment, public records, or a ban on asking about a job applicant’s salary history, there were topics of diverse practical value to the many attendees.

Thanks to Downey Brand and Best Best & Krieger for hosting these programs. The section looks forward to many more programs during this remarkable Centennial Year of the SCBA.   

Katharine Killeen, Raiyn Bain-Moore, and Tim Cromartie speak about public agency roles and regulations concerning drones

WMBA Reaches out to Sacramento-Area Law Students

WMBA Reaches out to Sacramento-Area Law Students

Maureen C. Onyeagbako is a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice and a Staff Editor of Sacramento Lawyer. She can be reached at Maureen.Onyeagbako@doj.ca.gov.

by Maureen C. Onyeagbako

Stepping up its outreach to local law students, the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association (WMBA) recently held events to facilitate job-search training and mentorship. As WMBA President Adrian Carpenter sees it, attorneys “sometimes forget how much support we needed when we were in law school. One of my goals . . . is to offer guidance to our future lawyers within the Sacramento community.”

WMBA President Adrian Carpenter speaks about scholarship opportunities at workshop

So, on January 20, 2018, WMBA hosted its first annual resumé and mock interview workshop at the Wilke Fleury law firm. Local attorneys and students met over a light breakfast to discuss a variety of topics related to legal careers. For example, Pacific McGeorge Adjunct Professor Wanda Hill Rouzan shared advice on navigating law school and the bar exam. Carpenter, who is Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary in the Governor’s Office, spoke of scholarship opportunities and encouraged students to take advantage of the mentors available within WMBA.

Next, students dressed in business-attire met individually with attorneys for mock interviews and resumé critiques. Carmen-Nicole Cox, Chief of the Office of Legislation at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, served as an advisor and found that students did not fully appreciate how their prior work history provided them with transferable skills. She focused her critiques on helping students understand what they have to offer and communicating that in resumés and interviews.

Law students seek advice from WMBA members at workshop

After the breakout sessions, the group reconvened to meet with Presiding Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal, Vance W. Raye. Justice Raye commended the students on investing in their careers by attending the workshop and reminded them that the job market is a buyer’s market. Thus, resumés should reflect the care and attention the students would put into the job they are applying for. Following up on the theme of care and attention, wardrobe stylist Chantera Gunn presented on dressing professionally and doing so on a budget. In all, the event helped alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with any job search.

WMBA board members welcome attendees at First Saturday Brunch

WMBA’s outreach efforts continued in February, with a First Saturday Brunch at a local attorney’s home. Law students were treated to beautiful weather, great food, and direct access to attorneys at all stages of their careers. WMBA understands that students may find it difficult to identify and reach out to potential mentors. This intimate and informal gathering brought potential mentors to the students and also facilitated interaction with students from different law schools. Students left the brunch energized and reassured that they have support and guidance throughout their legal journeys. WMBA plans to keep this momentum going and will hold additional events throughout the year. Join us.  

2018 State of the  Sacramento County  Superior Court (Civil Division)

2018 State of the Sacramento County Superior Court (Civil Division)

by Dan Glass

Dan Glass is the 2018 CCTLA Parliamentarian and its member on the SCBA Board of Directors. He can be contacted at dsglawyer@sbcglobal.net.

On March 23, 2018, the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association (CCTLA) hosted an annual presentation by Presiding Judge David De Alba and Assistant Presiding Judge David Abbott at the SCBA office. The two jurists touched on the usual subjects: trials, settlement conferences, the daily running of the civil division of the Sacramento County judiciary, and the new courthouse to be built in the future.

Sacramento County is considered a “medium” size county, not a Los Angeles or San Francisco, but also not Glenn or Yuba County. Although not back the pre-recession funding level, the court is doing well. The court has approval for 63 judicial officers, but only 61 positions are filled. The court has only one probate judge, but based on population, it could (should) have three.   

Assistant Presiding Judge David Abbott takes a question

The good news for those who try civil cases is that Sacramento  remains a court where it is highly likely you get a judge and courtroom on the date set for trial. Judge De Alba, like his predecessors over the past five years, makes it a priority not to have the litigants show up for the first day of trial only to find themselves “continued” to some future date months away. There is some “trailing” of cases for a day or two, but the Sacramento court remains one where there is better than a 95% – 98% chance of getting to trial on the date set – so be prepared.

Judge De Alba wondered why cases were only set for trials to commence on Mondays or Tuesdays. The judges are investigating whether it would be workable to have cases set to commence trial on other days of the week.

Judge De Alba stressed that Department 47 will not accept ex-parte requests to continue trial for cases set for trial eight or more weeks out.   Those requests for a continuance will be placed on the normal motion calendar of the court.   

The court has been reducing the ±1,700 stale cases in the system, and this remains a priority for Judges De Alba and Abbott. They are reviewing the cases and issuing Orders to Show Cause to determine the status of the cases. The backlog has been reduced to less than 600.

Finally, with regard to that new courthouse that every Presiding Judge has worked so hard to make happen, Sacramento County was one of five counties in the state’s budget for courthouses. One way to get the construction moving has become the issuance of Lease Revenue Bonds for financing. Sacramento County has acquired the land and has completed plans. However, even if everything goes as planned, it is likely that a new courthouse will not become a reality until 2022 – which really is not that far away.    

California Lawyers Association:  The State Bar Sections Reinvented

California Lawyers Association:  The State Bar Sections Reinvented

Heather L. Rosing is the President of the California Lawyers Association. She is a shareholder at Klinedinst PC and can be contacted at hrosing@klinedinstlaw.com

by Heather L. Rosing

The long-standing State Bar of California “Sections” are now the first statewide, all-attorney bar association in California – the California Lawyers Association (CLA). CLA came into existence pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 36, which was signed into law by Jerry Brown in late 2017. CLA’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession, and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law. Because the Section members transferred over to the new entity, CLA is already 60,000 members strong. Once the ranks of the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) are added to this number, CLA will be the largest state bar association in the country.

A nonprofit 501(c)(6), CLA is governed by a Board of Representatives, with a representative from each Section and one from the CYLA. On January 18, 2018, CLA elected its first slate of officers: Heather L Rosing as President, Emilio Varanini as Vice-President, Jim Hill as Chairman of the Board, Chip Wilkins as Vice-Chairman of the Board, Lee Berger as Secretary, and Betty Williams as Treasurer. Pam Wilson serves as the Interim Executive Director, and Tricia Horan is the Director of Operations. CLA is currently headquartered at the State Bar in San Francisco and anticipates moving its main operation to Sacramento.

THE HISTORY

The Sections have a long history of success, activity, and high quality educational programming through the State Bar. SB 36, also known as the State Bar fee bill, separated the Sections from the State Bar effective January 1, 2018, and gave CLA a mandate to provide low-cost and no-cost legal education in return for the continued inclusion of CLA on the State Bar’s dues statement. Since the split, the State Bar has transferred other professional association functions to CLA. All members of the Sections are automatically members of CLA and can continue to maintain membership in CLA through a simple payment on the State Bar’s dues statement. Attorneys can also join CLA directly through CLA’s website at www.CAlawyers.org.

We are extremely excited that CLA has officially launched, The State Bar is focused on its regulatory mission, and CLA can now act as a true Bar Association that engages in a variety of activities that were not possible in the State Bar context. While change is always difficult at some level, the State Bar, the Legislature, and the Sections worked very well together to effectuate the transition and separation. CLA is off and running in a very positive and exciting way.

CLA’S DEDICATION TO INNOVATION

CLA, its members, and its many volunteers are over four months into the work of building the organization and devising initiatives. The CLA leadership is working with Section members on enhancing the value of the organization and creating new platforms for dissemination of information. CLA, as a bar association, now has the freedom to adopt innovative ways to engage its constituents, educate them on the latest developments and trends, and attract and retain a diverse membership from across the state – including attorneys belonging to the Sacramento County Bar Association, now celebrating its 100th year.

“When we were part of the California Bar Association, we needed to ensure all of our communications between members were carefully planned and organized to comply with Bagley-Keene open meeting rules. We lost the impromptu nature of informal collaboration, email threads, and impromptu get-togethers,” said Jim Hill, Chairman of the Board. “We can freely communicate among leadership and members and have a flexible approach to our strategic plan now that we are a separate entity from the State Bar.”

CLA FOCUS AND ACTIVITIES

The organization’s primary focus is simple: to promote the professional advancement and education of attorneys practicing in California. In today’s competitive legal landscape, CLA offers a variety of resources and networking opportunities, while strengthening fellowship throughout California’s attorney community.

CLA is proud to offer several signature events. The first is the CLA Annual Meeting, which is based on the model built by the State Bar over many decades. The first CLA Annual Meeting will be in San Diego on September 14 and 15, 2018. The second CLA Annual Meeting is anticipated to take place in Monterey in the fall of 2019. CLA’s vision is to create an environment at the Annual Meeting where all attorneys, bar leaders, bar organizations, and judicial leaders are welcome and encouraged to network and participate in high-quality educational programming. CLA is in the process of reviving the Bar Leaders Conference, which is expected to premiere at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Another CLA signature event is the Small Firm and Solo Summit, again modeled on the successful event hosted by the State Bar for many years. Anticipated to take place in June 2019, this event will offer a variety of critical practice management tools, CLEs, mix and mingle opportunities, and more. It is a rapidly changing environment for small firms and solo practitioners, and CLA is excited to renew the Summit as a resource to this community.

In accordance with the CLA mission, the 16 Sections continue to regularly deliver high-quality programs, events, and resources. They are also continuously seeking new ways to expand its offerings – helping members maintain expertise in their fields, build contacts, and grow their practice while upholding the ideals of the legal profession and justice system.

Another priority for CLA is expanding and refining its communication tools for members, as well as the general public. CAlawyers.org already features more than 1,200 pages of resources, information on past meetings, and other valuable membership tools. Cognizant of the need to maintain a strong presence through social media, each CLA Section has developed a social media strategy designed to connect the organization with the younger generation of lawyers in particular.

Finally, CLA members should keep their eyes out for a variety of organization-wide initiatives in the areas of diversity, pro bono opportunities, bar collaboration, support of the judiciary, and advocacy at the Capitol. CLA is fortunate to have the members, volunteers, staff, and resources to make a substantial impact in California on cutting edge issues.

MAINTAINING AND BUILDING CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS

The CLA Board of Representatives has made working with the State Bar a priority. In particular, the State Bar and CLA have a shared interest in educating attorneys, developing young lawyers, providing the highest quality legal services, promoting diversity in the legal profession, and protecting the public.

One of CLA signature initiatives is bar collaboration, which involves bringing together bar associations, affinity organizations, and bar leaders across the state to discuss points of common interest, joint networking events, joint educational programming, and more. CLA is excited to continue to foster these relationships, including a relationship with the Sacramento County Bar Association.

CLA is also engaging in dialogue with other legally related groups and agencies across the state, in an effort to foster relationships that will assist CLA in achieving its mission and serve the profession of law.

CALIFORNIA YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (CYLA) HAS A NEW HOME, TOO

The future of the legal profession in California is in very good hands with CYLA. All California licensed lawyers 36 years old or admitted to practice for five years or less are automatically members of CYLA. The CYLA leadership and volunteers will continue to offer younger lawyers and new practitioners the best opportunities for involvement in the legal profession, as well as participation in public service at the state and local levels.

CYLA is also developing a program to appoint liaisons to each of the CLA Sections, to enhance the dialogue between CYLA and the Section membership. The Sections are very interested in cultivating young attorneys and providing mentorship. CLA’s heavy investment in CYLA will ensure that these future leaders will have access to expanded educational programs, as well as enhanced networking and advancement opportunities.

CLA encourages all attorneys and legal professionals in California to consider joining and taking advantage of not only all of the benefits and educational opportunities, but the energy and enthusiasm inherent in building a new and influential statewide Bar Association.

You can learn more by visiting CAlawyers.org or contacting the CLA at 415.795.7029.  

100th Birthday Party for the Sacramento County Bar Association

100th Birthday Party for the Sacramento County Bar Association

Sil Reggiardo, President,
Sacramento County Bar Association

100th Birthday Party for the Sacramento County Bar Association

by Sil Reggiardo, President

The SCBA is throwing a party on Monday, June 25, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Pavilion Tent at the Haggin Oaks golf Complex (3645 Fulton Avenue). This is the day after the SCBA turns 100 years old. We will celebrate 100 years of the SCBA in the Sacramento legal community.

I remember parties with teenagers packed so tightly into a house that there was no question someone was going to be in big trouble when the parents got home. Word got out quickly and people gathered. It was fun.

District of Columbia v. Wesby (2018) 138 S.Ct. 577 is a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that involved a party of the wildest sort. It was unclear whether this was a birthday party, a bachelor party, or just a party – or even whether someone named Peaches threw the party. Supreme Court Justice comments during oral argument showed some familiarity with and interest in parties. Justice Elena Kagan reminisced: “There are these parties that, once long ago, I used to be invited to where you didn’t … know the host, but you know Joe is having a party.” She added, “And I can say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?” Justice Anthony Kennedy asked: “So Peaches is the host at a bachelor party. Is that it?”

Our party will be much tamer, in part because we are lawyers and in part because we are just older. (No, we did not ask that the party end by 8:00 p.m. Haggin Oaks is graciously accommodating us but has its limits.)

Should we throw our own birthday party? Miss Manners (Judith Martin) was not wild about the idea but accepted it with limitations: “By all means, throw a party, … but then behave like a host … planning it for the enjoyment of the guests ….” (Miss Manners, March 17, 2013) And that is what we are doing.

We will have “BarStock – 3 Hours of Fun, Peace & Music,” featuring live music by Sacramento’s favorite lawyer bands. Festivities will include a three-hole putting contest, a long putting hole-in-one contest, festival games, and prizes. We will have raffle prizes and a silent auction. We will also have a hot buffet dinner. As Julia Child said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” We will have a special 100th Year Birthday Cake and will toast the SCBA. 

We are spreading the news about this party not by word of mouth but in print through this magazine and social media. We will not have wall-to-wall people, and this will not be the kind of party Justice Kagan recalled. But it will be a lot of fun.

For tickets or more information visit: www.sacbar.org or call (916) 564-3780.

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