RSSArchive for 2017

Reflections on Mediation

Reflections on Mediation

Seldom, if ever, during my years on the bench, did I observe the congratulatory gestures, the high fives, handshakes and occasional hugs that follow a mediated settlement.   A successful mediation is in this sense, perfect justice.

Reflections on Retiring

Reflections on Retiring

One factor was especially important in choosing referral attorneys: relative youth, with at least five years of experience.  I did not want my clients to face the prospect of changing attorneys again within the next 20 years.

Reflections on the Contra Costa Lawyer

Reflections on the Contra Costa Lawyer

I was asked to join the board to write about technology and the practice of law. When I joined, other than the cover, our magazine consisted of 12 black and white print editions.

Changes to Legal Education and the California Bar Examination since 1980

Changes to Legal Education and the California Bar Examination since 1980

Today’s law students require much greater practical-skills training while in law school, and much more is expected of them by their prospective employers.

Perspectives from the Winners of the Women's Section Scholarships

Perspectives from the Winners of the Women’s Section Scholarships

Fast forward 20 years later to 2017 and approximately 45% of the 1500 attorneys in the Contra Costa County Bar Association are women and two of the past scholarship recipients have served as President of the Women’s Section.

Civil Jury Verdict Musings

Civil Jury Verdict Musings

Please send reports about trials, both in-county and out-of-county, both federal and state and even interesting settlements and arbitrations. The invitation still holds.

Pre-flections on the Law: Emily Lahl

Pre-flections on the Law: Emily Lahl

I initially became interested in pursuing a career in public service after interning for a non-profit organization, the Center for Bioethics and Culture. The organization focused on the ethical issues surrounding women and fertility and worked on awareness and policy. I was stunned at the lack of information available to women who were making huge […]

Pre-flections on the Law: Kate Mignani

Pre-flections on the Law: Kate Mignani

Six years ago, I suddenly became a single mother of four, with children ranging from 11 to 21.  Though I had a degree from U.C. Berkeley and a previous career in communications, my job as stay-at-home mom had lasted nearly two decades and I was at a loss as to what I would do to […]

Pre-flections on the Law: Chelsea Davis

Pre-flections on the Law: Chelsea Davis

At a young age I knew I wanted to become a protector of legal rights and a social justice advocate just like my honorable father who served as a police officer in Contra Costa County and Alameda County for 25 years. He frequently referred to me as “Judge Chelsea” because I never hesitated to voice […]

Reflections & "Pre-flections"

Reflections & “Pre-flections”

As we near the end of another year, many of us naturally tend to look back and reflect on the past year.  Regardless of your political affiliation, it is safe to say that 2017 was a year of great change – change that continues to shape our world, both personally and professionally. We, at the […]

Thank You

Thank You

This is my last President’s Message to you.[1] I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our 1,537 attorney members for your amazing work this year. I believe the true measure of success of any organization is how much its members give back, and by that measure this year has been a resounding […]

Civil Jury Verdicts – Musings

Just to be clear, I did not come up with the idea of a Civil Jury Verdicts column. In fact the column was a big hit long before I arrived on the scene. The person who was writing the column was leaving the area and I was asked if I could take over the column. […]

Bar Soap

Bar Soap

There are so many things to talk about in our local legal community, I am developing a case of mental paralysis. Things come up and I make a mental note to mention it in a Bar Soap. Then when it comes time to actually put pen to paper I freeze up. (Well okay, fingers to […]

Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court 20th Anniversary

Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court 20th Anniversary

On November 2, 2017, the Robert G. McGrath American Inns of Court held its 20th Anniversary celebration with a sit down dinner at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill. The Inn was formed by a group of judges and senior trial attorneys in Contra Costa and was originally called the Contra Costa County American Inn of […]

Exciting Times

Exciting Times

What a difference a year makes. Last year my only aspirations were to oversee sweetening the paychecks of the Court’s hard working employees and to improve services, including moving towards a new case management system. We made progress on those goals and saw many other developments as well. One of the most gratifying events was […]