Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) continues to expand as an attractive alternative to litigation. Private litigants increasingly turn to ADR to resolve their disputes. In many cases, parties obtain better results through ADR than through conventional litigation. With ADR, the parties may avoid the delay and expense of litigation, maintain confidentiality, control the process and achieve a better outcome through agreements reached as a result of their direct participation.
The ADR Section’s activities include: presenting educational programs for the continued professional development of its members; analyzing and commenting on proposals (including local court rules) related to ADR; drafting proposals for consideration by the court and the board of directors and identifying issues impacting ADR as an accessible, efficient and effective means of dispute resolution. Section members are lawyers who also serve as mediators, arbitrators, neutral case evaluators and special masters.
John S. Warnlof
2033 North Main Street., Suite 750
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
John S. Warnlof is an attorney and ADR neutral with offices in Walnut Creek . His practice emphasizes construction, real property, common interest developments, commercial litigation and business counseling to corporations, partnerships and individuals. John arbitrates and mediates real estate, construction, personal injury, employment and commercial disputes. He also serves as the hearing officer for the San Francisco Employees Retirement System. John is a frequent lecturer on various ADR topics. He is the Vice-Chair of the State Bar ADR Committee and serves on the Contra Costa Superior Court ADR Advisory Committee.
The Appellate Section – formed in 1991 – focuses on continuing education and the improvement of appellate advocacy. Members include attorneys whose practice is devoted to appeals and writs as well as trial lawyers interested in enriching their understanding of the appellate process and issues. The section hosts periodic MCLE seminars. Seminar speakers have included appellate court justices, appellate and supreme court research attorneys and attorneys with special expertise in appeals, writs and post-trial motions.
The Appellate Section welcomes all lawyers and law students to join and attend programs. Many programs have broad appeal to litigators and are presented in partnership with the Litigation Section. The section has been approved as a provider of appellate specialty MCLE credits, an extra benefit for attorneys who are, or are seeking to become, certified appellate specialists.
Gary A. Watt
2033 North Main Street, Suite 800
Walnut Creek ,CA 94596
Gary Watts is a member of the Archer Norris appellate practice section. He handles appeals in all the state appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, as well as the Ninth Circuit. Gary is director of the Hastings Appellate Project, Hastings College of the Law’s Ninth Circuit clinical program. Gary is also an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy at Hastings and faculty coach of Hastings’s National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition and Moot Court National Championship teams. His law practice articles are frequently published in the Daily Journal and his appellate musings can be found at www.caappellatelaw.com. He is a graduate of California State University, Hayward (economics) and received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Directors at Large
John T. Schreiber, 925.832.1882
Bryce C. Anderson, 925.757.7020
The Barristers/Young Lawyers Section seeks to provide attorneys in practice for six years or less with networking, education and mentoring opportunities. This section provides a great way for newer members to become involved in our local bar association. Membership is free to all CCCBA attorney members in practice for six years or less.
Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook
2121 N. California Blvd. Suite 1020
Walnut Creek CA 94596-7333
Nick Casper is an associate with the Plaintiffs’ Civil Litigation firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook in Walnut Creek.
See Nick’s full bio here: Meet Your New Board Members
BUSINESS LAW & CORPORATE COUNSEL
Corporate Counsel are among the most important members of a business team. They work with all key members of the enterprise to provide a wide range of strategic and legal insights to address and resolve routine as well as thorny matters facing entrepreneurs and developed businesses. The Business Law & Corporate Counsel (BLCC) Section’s mission is to provide up-todate information on issues facing Corporate Counsel in our competitive climate, to provide continuing legal education to attorneys in California and to provide opportunities for networking in our growing East Bay legal community.
The BLCC supports regular meetings, with experts in the wide variety of issues facing Corporate Counsel to support new ventures, to promote business development and to provide a basis for corporations taking advantage of the many new initiatives for business growth and development. Because Contra Cost County is in an ideal position to be a corporate growth center in Northern California, the BLCC strives to bring strategic and legal expertise to you.
During 2011, we plan to present programs addressing Corporate Formation, Corporate Reporting, Due Diligence, public offerings, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, protection of intangible Corporate Property (trade secrets, patents, copyrights, and trademarks) and other issues of topical importance. As incoming Chair of the Section, I hope to engage members of the Section in a series of interactive, enjoyable meetings to develop and support your practice in business and corporation law. As we develop our programming for the next year, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you about specific areas that are important to you and your clients.
D. Benjamin Borson, MA., J.D.,Ph.D.
Borson Law Group, PC
1078 Carol Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, California 93449-4760
Dr. Benjamin Borson is the founder and president of Borson Law Group, PC, a Lafayette-based law firm specializing in assisting companies in business strategies developing and exploiting intangible assets, including patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights. Dr. Borson has over 15 years of experience in the law and is counsel to numerous small and mid-sized companies in the life sciences and high-technology industries. Dr. Borson holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of California, San Francisco, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Dr. Borson is active in public service as Chair of the Legislation Committee of the State Bar of California Intellectual Property Law Section, is a frequent author and lecturer and is Adjunct Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law. Prior to entering the law, he was on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, where he trained students and post-doctoral fellows in scientific methodology, Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Physical Therapy, and ran a research program in basic medical science. He is the recipient of numerous grant awards, has published numerous scientific and legal articles and has worked with clients to obtain many patents and trademark registrations. He has authored numerous legal opinions relating to patent infringement, validity and licensing. Dr. Borson is also a member of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, where he advises the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the President and Congress on matters relating to the patent system.
The Bankruptcy Law Section is primarily comprised of attorneys who represent debtors and/or creditors in bankruptcy cases. The section has also had non-attorney members, including accountants and bankruptcy trustees. The purpose of the section is to provide a forum of fellowship and learning concerning topics of interest to attorneys who practice in bankruptcy court and non-attorneys who provide support to the bankruptcy bar. Formerly known as the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, the section includes commercial law as well as bankruptcy law issues within its scope. There are approximately forty members.
The section typically meets three to five times each year, usually for continuing education programs held at lunchtime at the JFKU School of Law in Pleasant Hill. At these luncheons, speakers discuss topics of interest to the bankruptcy bar. The programs are usually approved for one hour of MCLE credit. Past speakers have included bankruptcy judges and trustees, private practice attorneys in the area and other professionals. If you would like more information regarding the section, please contact the chair.
David A. Schuricht
Katzen & Schuricht
1981 N. Broadway, Suite 340
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
David Schuricht graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1974 and then served as a law clerk for the California State Court of Appeal. After several years with federally-funded legal services organizations, Mr. Schuricht moved into private practice in 1983. Before co-founding Katzen & Schuricht in 1996 (where he focuses his practice on bankruptcy matters), Mr. Schuricht spent more than 13 years handling real estate, business litigation, bankruptcy, and debtor-creditor problems. Mr. Schuricht has served as Chairman of the CCCBA Bankruptcy Law Section for the past several years. He is a member of the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum and the American Bankruptcy Institute and also serves on the Board of Directors of The Law Center, a non-profit organization devoted to helping persons of limited means secure assistance with civil legal problems.
CONSERVATORSHIP, GUARDIANSHIP, PROBATE & TRUST
The Conservatorship, Guardianship, Probate & Trust Section was established in 1993. Membership is open to practicing attorneys, private professional fiduciaries, accounting practitioners and law students. Section members and non-members are invited to attend our programs. Our programs begin in January each year at the Contra Costa Country Club with the annual Probate Bench Luncheon. This year the program will be of particular interest as we will learn of significant changes in the Probate Department and we will have opportunity to welcome, and become acquainted with, the Hon. John H. Sugiyama who comes to Dept. 61 in January.
Ever since 1994 our section, with co-sponsorship of The Mechanics Bank’s Trust Department, has presented an Annual Estate Planning Symposium. The symposium is held at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek each year in March. The event draws counsel, educators and professionals to present topics of current interest to the Bar, tax professionals and students. We are pleased to present this program with availability of specialization credit. Board members and section liaisons continue to provide volunteer service, each devoting time and energy to insure that our events provide broad continuing education opportunity for our members at a competitive cost. Our newest board member, Mark W. Frisbie, heads the Guardianship Clinic established to assist Pro Per petitioners complete the guardianship procedures. Counsel interested in providing such volunteer service should contact Mark.
The section continues its practice of donating to local legal service organizations through the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s “The Bar Fund”. In 2010 our $5,000.00 donation provided support to the reconstituted
Elder Law Center (ELC). Our section is broadly based among probate, estate planning, conservatorship, guardianship, and trust practitioners. We strive to present opportunities for members to obtain MCLE credits at programs that address these areas of practice and welcome suggestions from our membership.
Janice Crosetti Titmus
Law Offices of Crosetti & Titmus
889 Moraga Road
Janice Crosetti Titmus is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, with honors in English. She graduated from JFKU Law School in 1981. Before entering the practice of law, Janice acquired 14 years combined experience as a legal assistant for a probate attorney and as manager of the claims department for an insurance brokerage firm. She has been practicing in Contra Costa County since December of 1981, beginning in general practice and over time with emphasis in estate planning, probate, conservatorship and guardianship. In addition to serving as chair of this section, Janice is a past president of Soroptimist International Lamorinda; Lafayette Historical Society and former President of the Lafayette Senior Housing Association, Chateau Lafayette.
David J. Elefant, 925.943.1991
Ira L. Hillyer, 925.256.3033
Barbara L. Lanier, 510.527.7070
Oliver W. Bray, 925.228.2550
Norman Lundberg, 925.228.5354
Mark W. Frisbie, 925.947.1714
Court Liaison: Maurice E. Huguet, Jr. 925.228-3433
Probate Court Investigations Liaison: Kathleen U. Poling, 925.256-9217
The Criminal Law Section holds regular meetings at various locations in the county and features a wide variety of speakers with emphasis on education and training. Speakers include judges, attorneys, expert witnesses and county administrators. Additionally, our programs provide information specific to practicing law in our county courts. Our programs offer MCLE credit and are generally held as luncheons. The goal of this section is to provide information that can be of practical assistance to criminal defense attorneys in motions and trial practice and case management. Officers and all members of the section are eligible to run for vice chair and chair. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Johnson.
Law Office of Johnson & Johnson
801 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Ste. 101
Walnut Creek CA 94596
Peter Johnson begins his fourth term this year as president of the Criminal Law Section. He has practiced criminal defense in Contra Costa County since 1993. Peter is partners with his wife, Carin Johnson, at the Law Office of Johnson & Johnson, with offices in Pittsburg and Walnut Creek. Peter is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Public Defenders Association, National College of DUI Defense, and the California Association of DUI Lawyers. He graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1987 and received his J.D. from Golden Gate University in 1993.
Joseph Tully, 925.229.9700
With the encouragement and enthusiastic support from the CCCBA leadership, general membership, and the county judiciary, Diversity is the newest section. This section works to further the goals and interests of attorneys, law students, legal professionals, and residents of color and other under-represented groups within our county. We welcome all bar members to our section and look forward to your participation and input.
Mary Grace Guzman
Mary Grace Guzman graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology. She attended Santa Clara Law where she received a certificate in Social Justice and was awarded two Cali Awards for her research and writing. She completed a graduate fellowship at Santa Clara Law’s Center for Social Justice and Public Interest, assisting professors with their legal research for a book and co-creating a companion website to Women and Law Stories. She is now a solo practitioner specializing in small business law in Contra Costa County.
The purposes of the Elder Law Section are to present programs that help keep attorneys informed about elder law, create a forum for attorneys who are dealing with elder law issues and provide members with information personally helpful for retirement. Elder law issues will become increasingly important as our population ages. We are delighted to be joining the CCCBA and The Elder Law Center (ELC) in presenting a comprehensive 6-week elder law training series to recruit panelists for the ELC and the CCCBA’s new Elder Financial Abuse Moderate Means Panel. If you have other suggestions for programs, please contact the president.
Law Office of Arlene Segal
100 Pringle Avenue, Suite 780
Walnut Creek CA 94596
Arlene Segal, who has practiced in Contra Costa County since 1985, is a sole practicioner working in the areas of both litigation and mediation. Much of her practice involves the resolution of real property, trust and estate disputes and the financial abuse of elders.
The Employment Section is comprised of a mixture of plaintiff and defense bar attorneys. It holds monthly meetings which provide a forum for practitioners to gather and discuss current issues affecting labor law, employment law and workers’ compensation. The monthly meetings typically feature presentations by judges, arbitrators, representatives of state and federal enforcement agencies, and experienced practitioners. Benefits of membership include high quality, local educational programs and access to a solid network of skilled attorneys who are willing to share not only their knowledge and expertise, but also their questions and dilemmas.
Annual dues are $25. Affiliate membership is not permitted at this time. However, non-members are welcome to attend section programs. If you would like to become a member or learn more about this section, please contact the president.
Frankel & Goldware, LLP
6111 Bollinger Canyon Rd, Suite 475
San Ramon, CA 94583
Michelle Ferber is a partner with the law firm of Frankel & Goldware and specializes in employment law. Her 20-year practice covers a wide range of employment litigation, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and wage and hour disputes. Her clients include non-profit organizations and private employers and employees. Ms. Ferber is a former officer and board member of the CCCBA Women’s Section and has served as an officer and/or board member of other organizations including the Contra Costa County Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, Beth Chaim Congregation and the Diablo Vista Middle School P.T.A. She is the current Vice President of the Dougherty Valley High School Athletic Boosters, the attorney coach for the Dougherty Valley High School mock trial team and a current board member of a nonprofit organization, Chelsea’s Hope.
Membership in the Family Law Section is indispensable for anyone who practices family law in Contra Costa County. The most visible benefits of membership are:
- Dynamic monthly education seminars and periodic extended seminars led by experienced faculty
- Early notification of changes in rules
- Practice requirements in the family law departments
- Annual meeting and other programs with local family law judges.
The bench often uses these meetings as an opportunity to make announcements. MCLE and specialization credits are provided for attending. Also important is the monthly section newsletter, In Chancery, which keeps members abreast of section activities, news from the bench and educational opportunities. Section members receive exclusive use of the section website at www.familylawsectioncontracosta.org .
The section maintains ongoing liaison with the bench, Family Court Services, the Facilitator’s Office, the Department of Child Support Services, the Advisory Council Against Domestic Violence (ACAD) and the various legal aid providers in the county. Through its liaison with the court, the section is actively involved in reviewing court rules or policies and providing input and assistance in drafting new rules and changes to existing rules. The section has been active in developing creative and innovative services for family law litigants through a variety of mediation and unbundled legal services programs. It has also worked closely with the bench and professionals in other fields to develop top quality services in such as Custody / Visitation Special Masters, the CPA Pro Bono Program, and minor’s counsel. Affiliate memberships are limited to professionals in fields with significant family law related activities, e.g. accountants, therapists, appraisers.
Daniel S. Harkins
Harkins & Sargent
3160 Cow Canyon Place, Suite 205
San Ramon, CA 94583
Daniel Harkins exclusively practices family law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1981 and is an AV rated attorney. Dan’s practice emphasis is dissolution of marriage resolutions through negotiation and litigation and contested child custody matters. He also serves as a special master and is appointed by the court as counsel for minors. His office is located in San Ramon. Dan dislikes writing long bio’s about himself and longs for a return to the days when he will be excited to be a 49er fan again.
This CCCBA section is a resource for attorneys and others to learn, share, network, and strengthen their expertise in intellectual property. The goals for the section are to:
- Keep abreast of new legal developments;
- Share written resources through an online brief bank;
- Develop industry contacts and interaction between the members and the local business community;
- Pool resources in order to obtain discounts on continuing education programs;
- Develop contacts and interaction with local in-house counsel;
- Develop programs for law schools to further the practical training of future IP attorneys and
- Learn about the members’ own practice areas for the purpose of assisting in client referrals.
For further information, contact the section president.
Stuart J. West
West & Associates
2815 Mitchell Drive, Suite 209
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Stuart J. West formed West & Associates in February 2004. As managing attorney, he is responsible for coordinating prosecution, transactional and litigation matters. In addition to counseling clients in matters relating to litigation and licensing of intellectual property rights, his practice also includes counseling clients in obtaining, protecting and enforcing rights associated with patents, trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade secrets and copyrights.
Juvenile Law Section members are lawyers who represent parties who are before the court due to the abuse or neglect of a child, including children, parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives and others involved in juvenile dependency proceedings. Membership in our section provides beneficial continuing legal education and opportunities for professional development. Brown bag lunch MCLE programs are held monthly on such topics as case law and statutory reviews, techniques on interviewing children, the Indian Child Welfare Act, immigration laws and their effect on dependent children, and recognizing and treating substance abuse
in our clients. Speakers include experienced attorneys, therapists, and other professionals. Besides fulfilling state bar requirements, these programs go towards meeting the local court rules for mandatory competence of counsel. Members are admitted to these programs for free, while non-members are charged only $5.
During the holiday season, we also sponsor an annual toy drive for foster children and teens in need in our county. We participate in meetings between the bench, Social Services and the Legal Aid Society Dependency Program through representation at the “Judges’ Meeting.” We also participate in the Social Worker-Attorney Training Committee (SWATT ), as well as planning and evaluation of the county-wide Annual Cross Training for attorneys and social workers. If you would like further information, please contact the president.
Law Office of Rhonda Wilson-Rice
525 Marina Blvd.
Pittsburg CA 94565
Jeanne Olin, 925.376.6690
Rhonda Wilson-Rice grew up in Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After law school, she returned to the Bay Area and started her Pittsburg practice in 1991. Her practice has evolved over the years from criminal, civil, juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency to being primarily focused on juvenile dependency law, an area that has become quite specialized.
The Litigation Section provides a forum for civil trial attorneys to hone their advocacy skills, network and socialize. It presents seminars on trial practice featuring the county’s fast track judges and its most senior practitioners in live demonstrations on the art and science of trial practice. The section sponsors programs for civil practitioners of all experience levels and abilities. In past years, the Litigation Section has sponsored presentations regarding use of technology in the courtroom, jury trials, complex issues in breach of contract cases, taking and defending depositions, ADR, making the record for appeal, and litigating in federal court. The section also facilitates dialogue with the local Superior Court bench to keep pace with changing court procedures (including e-filing and related administrative developments) and ensures the efficient and fair administration of justice.
Members receive discounts to Litigation Section programs. For more information or if you have an interest in joining the board of directors, please contact Josh Cohen or Geoffrey Steele.
Morgan Miller Blair925.937-3600
Josh Cohen represents business, technology and real estate clients in litigation prevention, mediation, arbitration and trial.
He is Vice-Chair of Morgan Miller Blair’s Business & Technology Practice and is on the Board of Trustees of the California Shakespeare Theater.
Josh obtained his J.D. from UC Davis School of Law in 1996.
Nevin, Ramos & Steele
Geoffrey Steele is a partner in the Walnut Creek firm of Nevin, Ramos & Steele and represents business, technology and individual clients in civil litigation, commercial and residential real property issues, litigation avoidance, mediation, arbitration and trial.
He an Associate Professor at California State University as well as the President of the Board of Directors of The Law Center (TLC).
Philip Anderson, 415.267.3600
Theresa Baumgartner, 925.602.2727
Jay Chafetz, 925.933.5890
Stephen Fowler, 925.935.9000
Justin King, 925.718.1040
Justin Schnitzler, 925.937.3600
Adam Star, 925.935.9000
The Pro Bono Section brings together the legal services agencies, who serve thousands of poor individuals and families in Contra Costa County, and members of the private bar who want to use their valuable legal skills to help their community and promote access to justice. Pro Bono Section members include newly admitted attorneys and those with many years of experience, solo practitioners, public interest attorneys, retirees, associates and partners in small and large local firms. The Section members and allies share a common passion for social justice and the desire to make a difference.
There is a broad range of pro bono opportunities available in Contra Costa County including extended representation, limited scope representation or assistance [limited issue(s) or hearing(s)], mentorship of volunteers or legal services advocates with an area of expertise, cocounsel, community education and training and participation in a legal clinic or workshop.
There are opportunities for everyone in a range of legal subjects. For most opportunities, the Legal Services Agency provides training and ongoing mentorship throughout the pro bono assistance.
Make a difference this year – Get involved!
Questions? Please contact prior chair:
Genevieve Richardson, Esq
Director of Pro Bono Activities
Bay Area Legal Aid
The Real Estate Section offers monthly breakfast MCLE programs free to section members and open to other members of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and other guests, as well as networking and other activities related to the practice of real estate law. Our section is also proud to make annual charitable contributions to various groups and interests, including the bar’s Pro Bono Section.
This section meets the third Friday of most months, except July, August, November and December. Annual dues are $55, which cover the MCLE courses and related meals. The Contra Costa Lawyer solicits articles from members of the section on a regular basis. (Look for contributions from our section throughout the year, particularly in February and May)
Pippin C. Brehler
Senior Staff Counsel
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth St., MS-14
Sacramento, CA 95814
Pippin Brehler addresses all manner of sustainability concerns by providing legal counsel on energy, climate change, environmental, building and appliance energy and water efficiency, land use, eminent domain and real estate law. Pippin has practiced in California since 2005, after graduating from Michigan Law School and having the privilege of completing a two-year clerkship with the Michigan Supreme Court. Besides being an attorney, Pippin also loves spending time with his two little girls and wife, sailing the Bay, and playing hockey.
SOLO PRACTICE & SMALL FIRM
The Solo Practice & Small Firm Section – launched in 1996 – evolved from the recognition that many solo 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 able to offer assistance to other Section members.
A partnership with JFKU Law School allows members to have cost-effective and convenient access to legal resources through full use of the JFKU Law Library and we admit JFKU Law School students to the Section. Solo Practice & Small Firm Section members also receive an email newsletter, The Maverick, informing them of upcoming events and providing topical articles and a forum for comment and commentary. Members also have access to an email listserv.
The Section hosts after-work mixers and breakfasts in alternating months, as well as a quarterly MCLE luncheon and we participate in the Bar’s MCLE Spectacular each November. Our monthly meetings are open to both members and nonmembers. Solo Practice & Small Firm Section programs highlight issues of interest to solo and small firm attorneys, such as a roundtable discussion of fee agreements, a presentation on QuickBooks and Timeslips, and tips and tricks in billing. Our MCLE Spectacular programs have included panel discussions on how to open a law firm and how to prepare a small firm for death, disability, and disaster.
William A. Hickey
Law Offices of William A. Hickey
815 Court Street #6
Martinez CA 94553
David Pearson, 925.287.0051
Ann M. Dalsin, 925.933.9009
Heidi Coad-Hermelin, 925.228.6500
Bill Hickey has a general litigation practice, with a sub-specialty in the area of insurance coverage and related litigation. He was previously counsel to Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco and prior to that, he was a principal at Trucker Huss in San Francisco, specializing in insurance coverage and employee benefits issues. Bill was also an Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. In his free time, he enjoys remodeling his home and home office, originally built in 1923 on a lot purchased that year for a $10 gold piece.
CCCBA provides networking and internship opportunities for students through its Student Section. Of the 20+ sections of the bar association, the Student Section is active in many of the sections providing volunteer support and as-needed assistance for CCCBA programs and events.
The Student Section seeks student membership primarily from JFKU, Hastings, Boalt, Davis, and Golden Gate University School of Law. Student members of this section have access to information about internship opportunities, as well as some of the benefits offered to attorney members, such as group insurance and membership discounts. This section provides students with the chance to practice honing networking and interviewing skills through volunteer opportunities at many of the bar-hosted events. These events, such as the annual MCLE Spectacular, provide students with exposure to current issues in the field of law. CCCBA-sponsored “Free Legal Workshops” provide hands-on experience for students by working directly with an attorney in a consumer-oriented client setting. This is particularly helpful given that in law school, students generally have access only to practice seminars that approximate real-life lawyering.
The Student Section offers its members opportunities to expand the law school experience in significant and germane ways. As future attorneys, this section provides students and their future clients a unique opportunity to acquire real-world experience that will be invaluable at graduation. Affiliate membership is not allowed. Suggestions for presentation topics or student-related activities are welcomed and encouraged. Please contact your co-chairs.
Stevens, Drummond & Gifford
1910 Olympic Blvd., Suite 250
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Harpreet Sandhu is a second-year law student at John F. Kennedy University, School of Law. She is interested in pursuing a career in the fields of Property and Family Law. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Economics. She was employed by the Department of Labor prior to deciding to make the leap to law school. She has lived in Punjab and Brazil and is fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu. Her passions include running, traveling and enjoying life to the fullest.
Shannon Webster-White is a second-year law student at John F. Kennedy University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Shannon is the legal billing administrator at Stevens, Drummond & Gifford in Walnut Creek, where she has worked for three years. She sang professionally in the San Francisco Girls Chorus, has done kickboxing for over a decade and has lived abroad in both France and Mexico. She is fluent in French and Spanish. Her primary legal interests are immigration and civil rights.
The Taxation Section is one of the longest running sections of CCCBA. Its members meet regularly with tax agency leaders, skilled practitioners and legal scholars to discuss changes in tax laws and administration. The Taxation Section also holds regular joint meetings with a number of different sections, such as the Real Estate, Family Law, Bankruptcy, and Conservatorship, Guardianship, Probate and Trust Sections, to educate them on tax issues relevant to each section’s members. Speakers at events have included ranking members of the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board, and legal scholars and practitioners. Legal ethics, recent tax acts, and “practice pointers” are among the topics covered during the year.
The section invites all interested attorneys, accountants, financial advisors and others to join us for one of our luncheon meetings. Affiliate membership is open to accounting practitioners only.
Michael N. Gendelman
Law Offices of Michael N. Gendelman
3478 Buskirk Ave., Suite 1010
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Mark Ericsson, 925.930.6000
Michael J. Low, 925.930.6000
Nancy Gibbons, 925.279.3415
G. Scott Haislet, 925.283.1031
J. Virginia Peiser, 925.930.6600
Edward T. Perry, 925.472.6800
Michael N. Gendelman is a former IRS Senior Trial Attorney with a “Tax Audit and Collection Defense Boutique Firm.” He has over twenty five-years of experience including seven years as a trial lawyer with the Internal Revenue Service, fifteen years with Fortune 100 Company Pacific Bell/SBC Communications and over eight years in private practice, including three years as partner with a trial attorney from the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division. Mr. Gendelman is also a member of the Washington State Bar Association. He describes his practice as “a small but mighty firm” that listens to clients and cares about their individual needs. He works with his clients and the taxing agencies to develop customized solutions to meet his clients’ personal and business tax problems. He has a strong passion that drives him to succeed in providing his clients with the best customer service “one client at a time.”
The West County Section reestablished the connection between West County lawyers that had been missing since the West County Bar Association was consolidated with the Central and East County Bar Associations.
It is the only regional section, tasked with ensuring that the interests of lawyers practicing in the West Contra Costa area are represented within and considered by CCCBA. Meetings, which are generally held on a quarterly basis, are scheduled with a variety of continuing education presentations on topics including juveniles, family, real property, trust and estate matters, and other issues of general legal interest. Attorneys from West
County are invited and encouraged to contact the co-chairs with questions, suggestions, or comments.
Jeanne N. Mirante
Watson, Hoffe & Hass
3700 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94805-2297
Lyon & Quintero
10329 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito CA 94520
Jeanne Mirante was born in San Francisco and has lived in West Contra Costa County for more than 25 years. She practices Family Law, Civil Litigation, Estate Planning, Probate Litigation and Trust Litigation.
She received her law degree from John F. Kennedy University School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. She is also on the Board of Directors of Soroptimist International
Adriana Quintero was admittedto the Bar in 1992. She served as a legal aid attorney and attorney to the Public Administrator, Public Guardian and Public Conservator for both San Francisco and Yolo Counties. In 2006, Ms. Quintero went into private practice with Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law, Beverly Lyon. The El Cerrito firm Lyon & Quintero serves clients in West Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano and San Francisco Counties in estate planning, trust administration, probate, will contest and trust litigation matters. Ms. Quintero was born and raised in Martinez, California and likes to scuba dive in her spare time.
The Women’s Section has been a strong presence in the Contra Costa County Bar Association for over 25 years. Its membership includes attorneys practicing in all areas of the law who live or work in Contra Costa County. The goal of the section is to further the advancement of women in the legal profession and the judiciary. Men are always welcome to join. This section is an affiliate of California Women Lawyers, whose goal is to promote the rights and laws concerning women, children and diversity.
The section provides networking opportunities for its members to meet other attorneys and professionals. The section hosts informational programs and lunches, some offering MCLE credit and others focusing on matters of more personal interest, such as job opportunities and rainmaking. The Women’s Section annually awards the Hon. Patricia Herron and Hon. Ellen James Scholarship to deserving law students who have shown leadership potential, have achieved success academically and who have helped to advance women’s issues. The section hosts a scholarship fundraiser each year, usually in the form of a silent auction and wine-tasting. We gratefully accept donations to the Scholarship Fund any time and would like to thank all who have donated and supported this great scholarship.
All members are invited to attend the board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. If you’d like to serve on the board, or want further information, please contact the President.
Denae Hildebrand Budde
Alborg, Veiluva & Martin LLP
2121 N. California Blvd., Suite 1010
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Vice President – Megan Cohan, 925.945.1880
Treasurer – Jenny Kim, 510.237.3700
Secretary – Crystal Van Der Putten, 925.952.9880
Ex-Officio – Natasha Chee
Denae Hildebrand Budde has litigated a variety of civil and criminal cases throughout her career representing financial institutions, corporations, commercial insurers, title insurers and the People of the State of California. She is a partner with the law firm of Alborg Veiluva & Martin LLP in Walnut Creek. She has an affinity for women’s issue having three daughters of her own. While a senior deputy district attorney in Tulare County, she handled the domestic violence cases in the county and the sexual assault cases. She provided training and presentation on domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse to law enforcement, the community at large and rape crisis.
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