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Interview with Tax Court Judge David Laro

Interview with Tax Court Judge David Laro

I had the honor and privilege of having Judge David Laro as one of my professors for Tax Policy and Valuation courses during my LL.M. studies at the University of San Diego. When I learned that I would be the guest editor for the Contra Costa Lawyer’s tax and business issue, my immediate thought was […]

Civil Jury Verdicts

Civil Jury Verdicts

There was a time I prepared a Civil Jury Verdicts Column every month. And in almost all cases, the reports came right out of our Superior Court in Martinez. Back then the Court statistics showed somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 or so civil cases to verdict in Martinez Superior Courts. As the years have […]

Developing a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Developing a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Are you happy? It sounds like a simple question, but it is a surprisingly difficult one for many people to answer.  We all have multi-faceted lives and being happy in one area of our lives may or may not correlate to being happy in another. Work is an area where many people find the concept […]

Lawyers: Six Tips for Workplace Health

Lawyers: Six Tips for Workplace Health

Employees in law offices spend a lot of time sitting at desks, staring at screens and poring over case documents. Add in long hours and the stress of deadlines, and an attorney’s workplace begins to pose serious health threats. Having a sedentary lifestyle (either because of work or personal choices) can put you at risk […]

You Knew this Could Happen

Assumption of Risk: You Knew This Could Happen

Some of us engage in the occasional risky activity, from skydiving to bungee jumping, or even texting while walking. Some active people participate in dangerous activities more frequently, like mountain biking or skateboarding. So if you get hurt while engaged in some activity in which there is a known risk, can you still recover for […]

Interview with Rebecca Thompson, General Counsel for Special Olympics

Interview with Rebecca Thompson, General Counsel for Special Olympics

The biggest difference for me between working with SONC and my early years in private practice is that, at the end of the day, my current work supports a program which enables children and adults with intellectual disabilities to break barriers and connect with others through sports. It’s extremely rewarding.

Summer Employment – Quick Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Summer Employment – Quick Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls

What should you do if you suspect an employee is using “sick time” for time off other than “sick,” such as for a beach visit or other non-health-related events?

Legal Aid for Low-Wage Pregnant Workers in Contra Costa County

Legal Aid for Low-Wage Pregnant Workers in Contra Costa County

A desire to empower low-wage families to access health-promoting workplace rights has resulted in a new partnership between Legal Aid at Work (formerly Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center) and Contra Costa County Health Services, Family, Maternal and Child Health Programs. This innovative model makes legal resources available for low-wage families at locations that pregnant women […]

Interview with US Bankruptcy Judge, Hon. Roger Efremsky

Interview with US Bankruptcy Judge, Hon. Roger Efremsky

The Honorable Roger L. Efremsky has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for over 10 years in the Northern District of California and is now serving as Chief Judge. The Contra Costa Bar Association is extremely pleased to present the following interview with Judge Efremsky conducted by Mary Ellmann Tang, a board member of […]

The Personal Injury Case and the Automatic Stay

The Personal Injury Case and the Automatic Stay

One of the trickiest snares that can spring up in the middle of a personal injury case is a bankruptcy stay. With a bankruptcy filing, all collection activity is stopped and litigation grinds to a halt. If the filer is the plaintiff, the ownership and control of the plaintiff’s action is transferred in an instant […]

Hospice East Bay

Hospice East Bay

Hospice East Bay is a pioneer hospice established in 1977 by community volunteers to create support for patients who wanted to die at home. In the 40 years since then, Hospice East Bay has been privileged to serve more than 25,000 patients and their families.

Reflections on Life and Death

Reflections on Life and Death

My interest in life and death started when I was a teenager and my grandmother moved in with us.[1] My mother took care of her for two years before she died of cancer. I watched as my mother balanced her career managing a medical lab with continuing to run a busy house with three of […]

An Insurance Defense Attorney's Perspective on Effective ADR

An Insurance Defense Attorney’s Perspective on Effective ADR

I would like to share my perspective on how to make the most of the ADR process.  In my 33 years as an insurance defense attorney I have participated in hundreds of mediations. I have also served as a volunteer mediator for the courts in over 100 cases.  In my view ADR is the most […]

Mediation: The Cure for What Ails Your Case

It comes up all the time: two parties who can’t be in the same room for more than 10 minutes without coming close to blows, but don’t have the money to continue to fund the litigation;  the client who, no matter how many times you explain logically and rationally that their position makes no sense, […]

MCLE Self Study: Ethical Pitfalls of Mediating with Self Represented Litigants

MCLE Self Study: Ethical Pitfalls of Mediating with Self Represented Litigants

Serving as a mediator in a case where one or both parties do not have counsel can create ethical dilemmas for the mediator. California has not adopted a code of ethics that governs mediators in private settings. Attorneys acting as mediators continue to be bound by the California Rules of Professional Conduct.