Calling all Desert Area Attorneys! Volunteer for the RCLL’s “15 Minutes of Fame” legal clinic! Sign up to give members of the public free 15-minute legal consultations. All subject areas welcome.
Special need for:
trust & estate planning
Clinic will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Indio Branch, 46900-A Monroe Street, Indio, CA 92201. Sign up for one hour time slots (or more!) by March 28th. 760- 848-7151 or email@example.com.
The February 2014 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
All attorneys, paralegals and legal professionals are invited to attend the General Membership Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Program presented by the Desert Palm Legal Professionals Association, a local association of Legal Secretaries, Inc., on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Social at 5:30 p.m.; Dinner/Program at 6:00 p.m. The topic will be the E-Filing Program for Civil/Probate, presented by Michael Gilfillan, the current Civil/Probate Director, who was instrumental in creating the court's civil e-filing program. He will enlighten us with the ins and outs of how it works. Desert Falls County Club, 1111 Desert Falls Parkway (Country Club Drive & Desert Falls Parkway), Palm Desert, CA 92260. MENU: Buffet (non-alcoholic refreshment included). PRICE: $26. RSVP by Noon on Friday, March 7, 2014, to Mary Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-322-2275. To download the flyer for this event, please click here.
The January 2014 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
Ron (11/4/1930-1/23/2014) was born in New York City, N.Y. His parents were Louise E. Golan and Sylvia (Weinstein) Golan. Ron was an Attorney at Law for over 50 years and a member of the Desert Bar Association. Previous occupations include Trans World Airline Pilot, President of Golan Imports Company, and Commissioner of Palm Springs International Airport. As a young man he managed a water company that was on the site of what is now Sunnylands. He was also an entrepreneur and Real Estate Broker. Ron was a founding member of the NTSB Bar Association. He served his country as a U.S. Air force fighter pilot from 1951 - 1955. He was active duty during the Korean War. Ron attend The University of Southern California for both Undergraduate Studies and Law School. He was a graduate of Beverly Hills High School. Ron is survived by his companion Cheryl Parker of Palm Desert, Calif., daughter Terri Ann Dickson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., sons Jon Eric Golan of Long Beach, Calif., Peter Louis Golan of Vista, Calif., and sister Barbara "Joy" Escoe of Costa Mesa, Calif. He also has three grandchildren. Ron loved animals and leaves behind two dogs and three cats. He was a proud lifetime member of The Living Desert and always supported military organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the American Legion. Ron will be buried at Riverside National Cemetery. If you would like to honor his passing with a gift, the family asks that you please make a donation on Ronald Golan's behalf to Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
The votes have been tallied, and we are now happy to announce your incoming Officers and Board of Trustees of the Desert Bar Association for 2013-2014:
President - Patricia S. Muro
President Elect - Michael B. Rover
Secretary - Julie A. Rosser
Treasurer - Karen J. Sloat
Carlos L. Campos
James T. Latting
Kimberly T. Lee
Robert J. Gilliland, Jr.
Roger K. Tansey
Christoffer J. Thomsen
Edward H. Cross
Natalie S. Keller
The June 2013 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
Anthony E. Shafton, 72, of Palm Desert, California, passed away on July 17, 2013 in Rancho Mirage. He was born July 17, 1941 to Ellis Shafton and Edythe Brown in St. Louis, Missouri. He married Sandra Loos on September 2, 1990 in Los Angeles. He was a lawyer for 47 years and practiced at Berger Kahn Shafton Moss Figler Simon and Gladstone from 1975 to 2001. Thereafter he practiced law in Palm Desert. He was a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1960 as a PVT E-2. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Shafton of Palm Desert; daughter, Dr. Elizabeth (Jeffery) Shafton Bias of San Ramon, California; son, Brian (Jennifer) Shafton of Sherman Oaks, California; sister, Randy (Jiggs) Gallager of Palm Springs, California; grandchildren, Mitchell and Hallie of San Ramon. A Memorial Service will be held in Los Angeles at a later date. Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries.
Here is a link to download the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Hollingsworth v. Perry: http://db.tt/ezhkNan6
Here is a link to download the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Windsor: http://db.tt/qkHPkBWQ
Since 1994, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California has inducted one or more attorneys into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. This award is given to professionals who have excelled as trial lawyers and whose careers exemplify the highest of values and professional attainment.
The Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Thomas J. McDermott, Jr., will be inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. The reception and dinner in his honor and presentation of the award took place in Hollywood on June 22, 2013.
Tom McDermott has been practicing business law for 52 years, from the Los Angeles area, to New York, Washington DC and currently, in Palm Desert. He has litigated in state and federal courts in California, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin, and Indiana. During that time he has represented many diverse clients, including major corporations and diverse industries, government entities and prominent entertainers.
Tom helped found and was president of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL); he was the first editor of its Bulletin, president of the UCLA Law Alumni Association, chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California, chair of the Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and chair of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board. He has received the John Frank Award, given once a year by the Ninth Circuit to a lawyer for outstanding service to the federal courts. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Tom has written extensively for California Litigation, the publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California. Mr. McDermott was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Opera Company and represented it for many years. He served on the board of the Los Angeles Music Center Performing Arts Council.
Outside the law, he served in the Army in Korea, was the Barbeque Champion of the World, was an amateur magician, and he met his wife when both were taken hostage in a coup d'etat in the Philippines.
The May 2013 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
Victoria Williamson has been selected as the new Director for the Riverside County Law Library. Victoria began her career in Riverside with Best, Best & Krieger LLP where she ultimately became Director of Library Services. She went on to acquire positions as a Reference Librarian at the University of LaVerne College of Law, Assistant Director of Public Services, and later Assistant Director of Strategic Directions & Development at the San Diego Law Library. With over 22 years of experience, she has returned to Riverside ready to lead the Law Library in living up to its mission of providing free and open access to the law for all in the County. To read the entire announcement, please click here.
The Indio Branch of the Riverside County Law Library will be temporarily closed from April 3-14, 2013, as it moves to its new location at 46-900A Monroe St., Indio, CA 92201. Opening Day is Monday, April 15, 2013. Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm. Directions from Larsen Justice Center: Oasis St. south to Dr. Carreon Blvd. Turn right on Dr. Carreon Blvd. At Monroe St., turn right. Immediate right into Desert Courtyards parking area. It is the first building on the left hand side. Phone: 760-863-8316. For more information, click here.
The March 2013 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
The February 2013 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
The January 2013 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
The October 2012 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
San Francisco, Oct. 3, 2012 - The State Bar announced today that it has filed disciplinary charges against three attorneys as a result of stepped up enforcement of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.
The attorneys falsely reported to the bar that they had fulfilled the requirement to complete 25 hours of MCLE, according to charging documents filed Monday in State Bar Court. The three cases mark the first disciplinary action to result from the State Bar's increased scrutiny of MCLE compliance. More charges are expected in coming weeks. A total of 27 lawyers were referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel as a result of last year's random audit of 635 lawyers.
Charges were filed against Hal Erwin Wright, 58, of Davis (bar #157814); Leah Singer-Lamstein, 45, of San Rafael (bar #161413); and Jeffrey J. Parish, 68, of Alamo (bar #47046). Because the offense charged involves moral turpitude, it carries with it the possibility of actual suspension or disbarment, according to the bar's disciplinary standards.
"It is truly unfortunate that we need to take this action against any lawyer," State Bar Executive Director/CEO Joe Dunn said. "Lawyers can easily avoid this problem by simply meeting the well-known MCLE requirements that have been in place for 20 years."
The State Bar requires active attorneys, except those statutorily exempt, to take 25 hours of continuing education courses every three years, including four hours of legal ethics and an hour each of elimination of bias and detection and prevention of substance abuse or mental illness. Lawyers must keep documentation for at least a year after their compliance is due.
In July, the State Bar expanded its audit to 2,600 attorneys whose last names begin with the letters H through M. That audit, which represents 5 percent of attorneys whose MCLE requirements were due this year, is still in progress. Next year, the bar plans to audit 10 percent of attorneys whose MCLE requirements are due. Those attorneys' names begin with the letters A through G.
For more information about MCLE requirements and reporting, visit the State Bar's MCLE web page. http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/
The DBA sadly announces the passing of Commissioner Ronald D. Lorden, on July 26, 2012. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held this Sunday, August 5, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., at the residence of Dr. Robert Steinberg, in Rancho Mirage, California. Those planning on attending should RSVP no later than Friday morning to Jackie Steinberg, at email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of Ronald Lorden to the City of Hope, in Duarte, California.
The DBA was sad to learn that Mark Sullivan passed away this past weekend. The service for Mr. Sullivan will be this Friday, July 6, 2012, at 3:00pm at Forest Lawn in Cathedral City. A reception will immediately follow at Mr. Sullivan's office, located at 555 South Palm Canyon Drive, 2nd Floor, Palm Springs. For more information, please contact Heidi at (760) 327-1529.
The June 2012 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
You may download a copy of the latest issue of the DPLPA newsletter by clicking here. Warning: It is 3MB, so be prepared for a large download.
For those who have not heard, former magistrate judge JOHN C. RAYBURN passed away on Monday, May 14, 2012, at the age of 52. He was appointed as a United States magistrate judge for the Central District of California on October 13, 2006, and sat in the Court's Eastern Division in Riverside until his resignation in July 2008.
From October 1991 to his appointment as a magistrate judge, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. During this time, he served in all three offices - Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Riverside - including as a Deputy Chief in the Santa Ana branch office and as Chief of the Riverside branch office. After leaving the bench, he returned to the United States Attorney's Office and retired in 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Jennifer; sons, John and Joseph; and a large extended family.
Mr. Rayburn's funeral services were on Saturday, May 19th in Glendora. The U.S. Attorney's Office has suggested donations to the Alzheimer's Association, specifically the chapter at 17771 Cowan St, Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92614.
To download a copy of the In Memorium tribute to Mr. Rayburn, please click here.
The May 2012 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
The State Bar is taking a more aggressive approach to auditing MCLE compliance than it has historically. All California lawyers need to be aware of this change in the Bar’s MCLE auditing process.
The result of the State Bar’s recent 2011 MCLE audit of one percent or 635 lawyers has confirmed the need for increased auditing. Of the 635 audited attorneys, 539 provided the necessary documentation showing full compliance. Of the remaining 96 attorneys, five have been suspended due to their inability to show any compliance. Most of the remaining 91 attorneys had minor reporting deficiencies and received a cautionary letter from the MCLE compliance group about future compliance. Approximately 25 of the 91 are being referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for disciplinary action. Using simple math, we see that 15% of this reporting group were not in compliance.
This result is troubling and reaffirms the action being taken by the State Bar. In 2012, California attorneys can expect that five percent or roughly 3,000-4,000 lawyers to be audited. In 2013, the goal is to audit 10% which translates to 7,000-8,000 lawyers. Letters requesting proof of compliance for 2012 will be mailed in June.
The message is clear. California lawyers must fulfill and accurately document and report their MCLE requirements. No California attorney should be surprised if their compliance certificate is audited. For more information regarding MCLE requirements and reporting, visit the State Bar’s MCLE web page.
If you have any questions, please send an email to Carol Madeja, Managing Director of Bar Relations Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Lawyers Guild is a national, non-profit legal and political organization comprised of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers, now celebrating 75 years since the Guild’s founding. More information is available on their website at www.NLG.org.
Membership and New Local Chapter Formation: There must be a minimum of eight dues paying members to form a chapter. They are currently taking applications to form a chapter in the Inland Empire. Until a new chapter is formed, members can be designated as "at large". Chapter members can be lawyers, legal workers, law students, or jailhouse lawyers. For membership information, contact Jamie Munro at email@example.com or call (212) 679-5100.
Legal Observer Program: The Legal Observer® program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system. Legal Observers® are trained and directed by Guild attorneys, who often have established attorney-client relationships with activist organizations, or are in litigation challenging police tactics at mass assemblies. Local Training Date and Location: TBA. At this time they are planning for a teleconference training in this area. For Legal Observer Training, contact Jim Lafferty, Director of Los Angeles Chapter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The April 2012 edition of the Desert Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter is now available for download. To download, please click here.
California’s statutory summary judgment and adjudication provisions are found in Code of Civil Procedure section 437c. The statute was amended by the State Legislature effective January 1, 2012. The changes are significant.
Prior to the amendment, a party could move for summary adjudication of (1) one or more causes of action, (2) affirmative defenses, (3) claims for damages, or (4) issues of duty. In reality, this mainly translated into summary adjudication motions on certain causes of action, on punitive damages, or on straightforward affirmative defenses such as the statute of limitations.
The purpose of allowing such motions under the statute is to expedite litigation and eliminate needless trials. PMC, Inc. v. Saban Entertainment, Inc. (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 579, 590. However, despite the stated purpose of the statute, parties interested in having the court determine major issues that, if resolved, would not dispose of an entire cause of action or an entire affirmative defense, could not look at 437c for a mechanism for judicial resolution of the issue. Before the recent amendment, the only option to adjudicate issues was through a motion in limine.
Now, with the adoption of these changes to Section 437c, parties can move for summary adjudication of a legal issue or claim for damages even if that issue does not completely dispose of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, or an issue of duty, according to specified procedures. To read more on this topic, click here.
The State Bar Office of Legal Services has worked with legal aid advocates and the Practising Law Institute (PLI) to develop these training programs which are available on demand at the PLI website. Registration is free.
Advocating for Veterans - The Basics on Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Cultural Competency
Total MCLE Credits 6.25: Elimination of Bias 1.00; General 5.25
Family Law Series - The Basics: Pro Bono Representation in Low-Income Family Law Cases in California
MCLE Credits, General 9.25
Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Children
MCLE Credits: General 2.
Defending Unlawful Detainers: Training Pro Bono Attorneys to Help Families Avoid Homelessness
MCLE Credits: Total Credits 6.25: Elimination of Bias 1.00; General 5.25.
Protecting the Rights of Homeowners with Limited Scope Representation.
MCLE Credits 3.25 General.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Its Value and How It Benefits Low-Income Debtors.
MCLE Credits 6.25 General.
The general Ethics Information page at the State Bar website has added a new area dedicated to Ethics and Technology -- a collection of resources that address professional responsibility issues raised by the use of Internet websites, email, chat rooms and other technologies. The resources include advisory ethics opinions, articles and MCLE programs.
Most of the resources are internal links to other pages on the bar’s website and some are external links to local or specialty bar associations. The new page is organized both by the type of resource (ethics opinion, article, etc.) and by subject matter (law firm websites, electronic files, social networking, etc.).
The new service focuses on providing basic legal research leads on how the rules apply to new technologies rather than specific law office systems, hardware or software options. For the latter, the resources of the State Bar’s Law Practice Management & Technology Section can be considered.
To facilitate a lawyer’s ability to readily identify and address legal ethics issues, the State Bar has published an e-Reader version of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act. The e-Reader version of the rule book is compatible with the Kindle Reader App, a free e-Reader application available for iPads, iPhones, Blackberry phones, Android phones, Macbooks and PC laptops. The book also works on all versions of Amazon.com’s Kindle.
For a limited time, the e-Reader version of the rule book can be purchased at Amazon.com for $4.99, a quarter of the price of the hardcopy book. It offers several useful features including a search function, bookmarking, highlighting and annotating. In addition, once downloaded to a tablet, smart phone or other compatible device, the book can be accessed at any time, even without an Internet or cellular data signal.
The bar’s rule book has been published for more than 65 years. The 30-page edition published in 1949 has grown to 411 hard copy pages. In addition to the rules and State Bar Act, the book includes other related authorities such as selected Rules of Court, code sections, the Federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, the State Bar Pro Bono Resolution, the Lawyer Referral Service rules, MCLE rules and more.
Gov. Brown has signed a measure to authorize a $10 rebate on all California lawyer dues and to change how the State Bar is governed. SB 163 had earlier passed both houses of the legislature by votes of 39-0 in the Senate and 68-9 in the Assembly. The bar board of governors is expected to act on the bill Oct. 5 by formally setting the dues at the authorized level.
The $10 rebate means most active lawyers will pay dues of $400 next year. The reduction is also available to inactive lawyers, who will owe $115. A check-off box on the bill also will offer the option of donating $20 to legal services for the next two years. The current $10 check-off produced $1.6 million in 2011.
The measure also calls for the transfer of $2 million in both 2012 and 2013 from the bar’s insurance affinity program account (non-mandatory dues money) to IOLTA-funded legal services programs. Click here to read more.
"The issue here is the effect of the mediation confidentiality statutes on private discussions between a mediating client and attorneys who represented him in the mediation."
The [Court of Appeal] majority concluded, when a mediation disputant sues his own counsel for malpractice in connection with the mediation, the attorneys — already freed, by reason of the malpractice suit, from the attorney-client privilege — cannot use mediation confidentiality as a shield to exclude damaging evidence of their own entirely private conversations with the client. The dissenting justice urged that the majority had crafted an unwarranted judicial exception to the clear and absolute provisions of the mediation confidentiality statutes.
Though we understand the policy concerns advanced by the Court of Appeal majority, the plain language of the statutes compels us to agree with the dissent.
To read the entirety of the Court's opinion, please click here.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 8:02 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A woman who sued her employer claiming discrimination can’t shield her lawyer e-mails in the litigation because they were sent from her work e-mail account, a California appeals court has ruled.
The Sacramento-based appeals court said the e-mail was not a protected confidential communication because Holmes’ employer, the Petrovich Development Co., had warned that employee e-mails were not confidential and were subject to monitoring.
“The e-mails sent via company computer under the circumstances of this case were akin to consulting her lawyer in her employer's conference room, in a loud voice, with the door open, so that any reasonable person would expect that their discussion of her complaints about her employer would be overheard by him,” the court said.
Last March, the New Jersey Supreme Court protected e-mails sent from a personal account on a work computer to a lawyer. The court noted that the e-mails weren’t clearly covered by the employer’s policy, and they contained the standard warning that they were confidential attorney communications.
To view this article on the ABA Journal website, please click here.
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