This spring when the Contra Costa County Bar Association Board of Directors opened nominations for new members, it was pleased to receive ten letters of interest. This is a sign of a very healthy and active membership! The Board thanks all who applied for these positions and is looking forward to a very productive year ahead.
Mika’s practice focuses on Business, Corporate, Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Administration as an Associate Attorney at Watson, Hoffe & Hass. Previously, she served as a Deputy Attorney General in Sacramento representing the State in civil rights litigation. As an effective advocate, Mika draws upon her two decades of experience as a finance auditor, business owner, and publishing professional.
Mika has been a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for six years, serving on the Board of the Women’s Section for five years, including as Vice-President in 2014-2015 and as President in 2015-2016. As President of the Women’s Section, Mika worked on projects with the Women’s Section’s representatives on the California Women Lawyers (CWL) Governing Board, Summer C. Selleck and Suzette Z. Torres. CWL’s initiatives in our county include the Anti-Human Trafficking Film Screening and the Legal Career Paths Lecture Series. Under Mika’s inspiring leadership, the Women’s Section Board had a highly successful spring fundraiser for the Honorable Patricia Herron and the Honorable Ellen James Scholarship. Mika is thrilled to continue her service to the Women’s Section as Co-Affiliate Governor for the CWL. Mika has been an appointee to the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) for almost four years and has served as Vice-Chair of the Educational Standards Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the Examinations Subcommittee. Mika has served on numerous boards and remains an active member of the Queen’s Bench, the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court and the American Bar Association.
As a legal, business, and non-profit leader, Mika has demonstrated her selfless commitment to serve others. Her parents instilled in her a deep sense of devotion to her community. Mika’s mother worked as an educator, a CPA, and entrepreneur, and her father was as an investigative police officer and small business owner. Both parents led organizations aimed at providing service to disadvantaged individuals, Mika proudly recounts. “My parents worked tirelessly for the family and the community. In 1980, they immigrated to the United States from the Philippines and built a life creating jobs, helping to fund the studies of dozens of minority college students, and building centers to train immigrants with practical skills to enter the American work force.” Mika’s siblings also continue to be inspired by their parents’ legacy: her sister is a managing finance professional working for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, and her brother, a police officer for the City of San Bruno. Both siblings have also taken on leadership roles in their professional and community lives.
While working passionately to satisfy her perfectionist tendencies, Mika manages to maintain a pleasant and friendly demeanor. She attributes her well-balanced disposition to her decades of experience in theatre and music. Throughout her childhood and during undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, and as an International Scholar at the University of Burgundy in France, as well as while studying at John F. Kennedy College of Law, she continued her involvement with singing, theatre, and community service. “Theatre taught me to take on any well-researched role, give it my 100% devotion, and watch the impact that role has on the community,” she says. Mika lives in Emeryville with her husband, Anthony who works as a News Director for Univision. Mika is thrilled to serve on the CCCBA Board of Directors and is eager to continue her work with this year’s group of dynamic leaders.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
I believe that is true – that our greatest challenges can lead to our greatest accomplishments. Sometimes that is obvious, and sometimes it is not… and sometimes it can be really, really hard to see what those opportunities are. That’s when people need help and that’s why I focus my practice on mediation- helping people resolve not just legal disputes, but the issues underlying the conflict as well, and hopefully helping them find solutions that make their lives better. I mediate contract and business disputes, building on my previous life as a litigator, where I worked with firms both large and small, including Skadden Arps and (what was then called) Crosby Heafey Roach and May, as well as Garcia Law Group, a small firm in Pleasanton where I worked primarily with small businesses. I am also a trained elder mediator and I enjoy working with elders and families in dispute. Recently, I have also added divorce mediation to my practice so that I can continue to help families.
In addition to mediating, I have taught conflict resolution as an adjunct professor for about five years now. I love teaching, and probably would have been a teacher if I hadn’t gone to law school… but I guess I managed to do both! Long before I was a mediator, or a litigator, or a teacher… I was a student. I attended Bates College, in Maine, where I studied history and women’s studies. I then left the cold winters of Maine for… the even colder, darker winters of Ithaca, NY! There, I attended the Cornell Law School and met my husband of 18 years, Mike. Is it any wonder that after seven years in the tundra I jumped at the chance to leave the cold behind and move to sunny California? I do miss the snow sometimes though. Luckily, we are three short hours from Tahoe, so any time I want some snow, I can get to some… assuming Mother Nature is cooperating with us!
Since I opened my own mediation practice almost ten years ago, I have found the Bar Association to be an invaluable resource – and not just to get my MCLE credits! I got involved. My first experience was on the ADR Section Board many years ago. This helped me get to know my fellow mediators and practitioners and I got to take my love of teaching and help create (what I hope were) interesting MCLE opportunities as well. Next, I got involved as a member of the Editorial Board for the Contra Costa Lawyer, serving as either Editor or co-Editor for the last six years. That has also been very rewarding and I have learned a lot working with people from different practice areas and editing the articles that you all write. Although I will no longer be serving on the Editorial Board for the Contra Costa Lawyer, I do have the privilege of serving (again) on the ADR Board. This is a very interesting time for ADR, as the legislature considers potential restrictions on confidentiality, and that is something your ADR board is following closely. Finally, I now have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors and I am looking forward to continuing to provide excellent MCLE, networking and other opportunities for the Bar membership.
When I’m not mediating or teaching, I enjoy being with my family. Mike and I have lived in Walnut Creek for 17 years and have two boys, ages 11 and 14. I love going to baseball games and soccer matches (good thing, too!) and (when there are no games to go to) heading up to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the snow…in small doses!
When Craig Nevin was 11, he started working in construction; when he was about 12, he decided he wanted to be an attorney. For almost 30 years now, Craig has practiced in the area of real estate, construction and business litigation and transactions.
After referring clients who needed complex tax and estate planning work to the Youngman Ericsson Scott firm for over 25 years, in February of 2016, he merged his practice with and is now Senior Counsel at that firm. Since Craig’s merger with Youngman Ericsson Scott, LLP, he has expanded his practice in the areas of trust and estate litigation and representation of clients in front of the United States Tax Court.
Following undergraduate study at the University of California Berkeley, and after attending the University Of San Diego School Of Law’s Institute on International and Comparative Law in Paris, Craig obtained his law degree in 1987 from Western State University.
He is originally from Southern California and one of his first legal positions was Associate General Counsel for a major real estate developer based in Irvine. Early in his career, he distinguished himself by handling complex and sometimes high-profile litigation in state and federal courts. He has tried cases of negligence, breach of contract, foreclosure of mechanics’ liens, partnership fraud, partnership by estopple, professional negligence, and financial elder abuse, as well as cases involving many aspects of real estate and construction. Craig also frequently handles real estate and business transactions and entity formations.
Craig has a statewide practice that employs a unique blend of practical experience and insight. Whether litigating, quarterbacking a transaction, acting as outside general counsel or mediator, he utilizes a metric that focuses on clients’ needs, return on investment and interactive and goal-driven efforts.
He is active in both writing and teaching. He is the author of California Mechanics’ Liens and Related Construction Remedies, (CEB) 2012, Chapter 2, “Private Works Remedies” and he has written numerous articles related to his areas of practice. His teaching appointments include positions on the Building Industry Association’s Education Council, Certification for Instructing from the State of California Department of Real Estate and he is a former Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Law. He has presented numerous seminars concerning various aspects of business, real estate, construction, litigation and property development to his clients, who include owners, developers, investors, design professionals, contractors, real estate agents and brokers, title and escrow groups, financial institutions, and attorneys.
Craig has a life-long commitment to volunteer and pro bono work and he is a recipient of Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award. He is on the Board of Directors and Immediate Past-President of Contra Costa Senior Legal Services (and oversaw its recent expansion and move to Central Contra Costa County). He is former President and Board Member of The Law Center, is a former member of the CCCBA magazine’s Editorial Board and has been extremely involved in and has held all positions on the Board of the Real Estate Section of the CCCBA (two-times as President).
Craig has been designated and has testified at trial as an Expert in real estate in both Civil and Criminal trials, has been a Court Appointed Referee, and from October, 2001, to May, 2009, he was a Special Master to the Courts of San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. In his spare time, Craig enjoys sailing, real estate projects and travelling.
Having a state-wide practice has provided Craig a unique perspective — and during the more than 25 years that he has lived and practiced primarily in Northern California, Craig says he has never ceased to be impressed by the CCCBA. Its deep historical roots, the vast amount of MCLE opportunities it provides, its commitment to access to justice, and the collegiality and professionalism it fosters among both members of the bar and the bench, has resulted in Craig having the utmost appreciation for the CCCBA. He looks forward to serving the wider legal community as a member of the Bar Board.
If you don’t already know him, Craig looks forward to meeting you at CCCBA events in the near future. In the meantime, you can contact him at: CNevin@Youngman.com.
Filed Under: Featured