6th Annual Picnic and Softball Throwdown

Join us after work for laughter, drinks, and good food!
Proceeds Benefit the Sonoma County Law Library

Date: Friday, September 4, 2015

Time: 3:00 PM—7:00 PM

Place: Galvin Park, 3330 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Cost: $25 Adults | $10 Children | Children 3 and under are Free

Student: No Student Discount Available

Online Registration is Unavailable for this Event. Please Click Here to Download the Registration Flyer.

General Law

The Evolving NLRB: It’s Not Just About Unions Anymore

What All Employers Should Know to Avoid Liability

This program’s discussion will include recent decisions of a revitalized NLRB, affecting the rights of all employees and creating potential liability for employers, including:

Broader definitions of what constitutes “protected, concerted activity,” such as an
employee’s actions to seek support in a sexual harassment claim.

The perils of disciplinary action involving employees’ social media use.

When can an employer’s insistence of confidentiality in an investigatory interview become coercive?

What rules or policies, such as those in employee handbooks, can be viewed as
impinging on an employee’s Section 7 rights under the NLRA?

When employer prohibitions on filing joint class or collective actions are unlawful under the NLRA.

Joseph Frankl

Nancy Watson

Date: Friday, October 23, 2015

Time: Check-In: 11:45 am; Presentation: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Joseph Frankl, Regional Director, NLRB, Region 20
Nancy Watson, Partner, Law Offices of Nancy E. Watson

Place: SCBA, 37 Old Courthouse Sq., Ste. 100, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Cost: $55–SCBA Members; $65–Public

Student: $20 (The student discount is now available online for SCBA Student Members. Students who are not members of SCBA may utilize the student discount by downloading the registration form and submitting it with proof of current enrollment to the SCBA Offices. For more information on becoming a member of SCBA, please contact Susan Demers at (707) 542-1190 ext. 18.)

Click Here to Register
Click Here to Download the Registration Flyer


2015 Pro Bono Awards Luncheon

Presenting Special Recognition Awards to Outstanding Legal Volunteers

Participating Organizations
California Rural Legal Assistance
Council on Aging, Senior Legal Services
Disability Services & Legal Center
Empire College School of Law
Family Justice Center Sonoma County
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
Recourse Mediation Services
Sonoma County Bar Association
Sonoma County Legal Services Foundation
The Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma

General Membership Meeting
The SCBA Membership will be asked at the annual meeting on November 6, 2015, to approve the nominations to positions on the SCBA Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2016

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General Law

Mediation: Successes, Challenges, Trends and the Next Generation

The American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution has designated the third week of October as a time to promote and celebrate peaceful conflict resolution practices worldwide. Please join us in participating in ABA Mediation Week through this interactive discussion of the evolution of mediation and prospects for the future.

Larry Mills, Esq.

Mr. Mills brings to his ADR practice an accomplished and multi-faceted career of over 35 years as a lawyer specializing in litigation and business counseling, and over 25 years of experience as an arbitrator and mediator. He has mediated and arbitrated a wide variety of cases such as business and commercial disputes, real estate matters, professional liability disputes, and cases involving environmental issues and government entities. Mr. Mills is well known in the ADR field, and, in addition to being a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a Distinguished Fellow in International Academy of Mediators, he has served as Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.

Brian J. Purtill, Esq.
Arbitration & Mediation Center

Mr. Purtill has been an Arbitrator and Mediator with Santa Rosa’s Arbitration & Mediation Center since 1996, and a civil litigator in Sonoma County since 1984, the last ten years of which were spent as “of counsel” to the Santa Rosa firm of Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP up until July 31, 2014. He now devotes himself full-time to his ADR work, which, like his litigation career, includes a variety of claims, including: personal injury; trusts and estates claims; real estate sales disputes; partnership dissolution; landlord/tenant claims; and other personal and business disputes. Mr. Purtill was recently re-appointed to the Sonoma County Court ADR Committee, and currently sits on the Board of the Sonoma County Bar Association, where he is serving his second year as Chair of its ADR Section.

»Continue reading Mediation: Successes, Challenges, Trends and the Next Generation

General Law

Comprehensive Family Law Practice Series, Part 1 of 3

An Advanced Skills Course for Family Law

Part 1— Intake, Initial Client Interview, and Retainer Agreement
Part 2—What Proceeding to Bring? Jurisdiction & Venue?
Part 3—Preparing the Initial Pleadings and Service
Part 4—Challenging Improper Pleadings, Joinder, and Notification Protecting Party Rights
Part 5—Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure
Part 6—Request for Order
Part 7—Family Court Services, Custody Evaluation Request, and Neutrals
Part 8—Evidentiary Hearings

Date: Friday, November 13, 2015

Time: Check-In: 8:00 am ; Program: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Reception: 5:00 pm—5:30 pm

Hon. Shelly Averill, Sonoma County Superior Court
Leo Bartolotta, Geary Shea O’Donnell, Grattan & Mitchell
Hon. James Bertoli, Sonoma County Superior Court
Brandon Blevans, Blevans & Blevans
Hon. Robert Boyd, Sonoma County Superior Court
Carla Boyd Terre, Terre Family Law
Daniel Chester, Family Court Services, Sonoma County Superior Court
Hon. Bradford DeMeo
Sharon Mah, Law Offices of Sharon F. Mah
Lawrence Moskowitz
Nancy Nugent, Law Office of Nancy A. Nugent
Sondra Persons
Hon. David Riemenschneider
Peggy Roth
A. Peter Trombetta
Lulu Wong
Hon. Beverly Wood
Thomas Wright

Moderator: John Johnson, Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz

Place: The Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Cost: $295–SCBA Members; $395–Public

Click Here to Register
Click Here to Download the Registration Flyer


»Continue reading Comprehensive Family Law Practice Series, Part 1 of 3

General Law

Legislative Updates in Labor & Employment

Each year the California legislature adds to the myriad laws involving employment, making practice in this area interesting and challenging. Join Valorie Bader in the review and commentary of the new laws created in the 2014-2015 session.

Valorie Bader
McMillan Shureen LLP

Ms. Bader began her practice in 1987, and has worked in the areas of employment and business counseling, training, mechanic liens, and employment litigation. Her current practice includes mandated sexual harassment training and other trainings, investigations, mediation and arbitration, as well as other alternatives for conflict resolution. Ms. Bader continues to counsel businesses and individuals and litigates in court and before administrative agencies such as the Labor Commissioner, the Employment Development Department, the Workers Compensation Appeals Board, Cal-OSHA, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, CA Department of Licensing, CA Department of Insurance, Cal-PERS and other Retirement Associations and before the California State Personnel Board and other public entities. Ms. Bader has performed numerous workshops and trainings for the Personnel Perspective, Lorman Business Seminars and the Personnel Association of Sonoma County (PASCO), in diverse topics related to employment issues and has taught specific employment law classes for the Santa Rosa Junior College. She has also written extensively in the subjects of employment law, and appeared in the Sonoma Business Journal and the Press Democrat.

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Ethics for Attorney’s Practicing Marijuana Law

Omar Figueroa
Law Offices of Omar Figueroa

Mr. Figueroa’s passion is defending human beings facing criminal charges in federal, state and juvenile courts, specializing in cannabis, counterculture, and cybercrime cases. He has been a criminal defense lawyer since 1998, having represented defendants in Superior Courts all over the State of California and in several federal courts, including the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California, and the District of Wyoming. Before establishing a successful practice in Sonoma County in early 2010, he worked independently in San Francisco, specializing in aggressive criminal defense. Mr. Figueroa is a member of the California State Bar, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Sonoma County Bar Association, California NORML, Cannabis Action Network, Americans for Safe Access, Stanford Alumni Association, Association of Yale Alumni, and a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee. He is also a member of the Board of the ACLU of Sonoma County. In 2006, Mr. Figueroa graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, which is considered the most prestigious and selective trial advocacy college in America.

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Civility Matters V

The goal of this program is to illustrate with real life (and colorful!) examples that civility begins and ends with you. For the fifth installment of this program, come prepared to describe your own experiences of extreme incivility by other attorneys and clients, and to share the strategies you have developed to deal appropriately with them.

John F. “Jack” DeMeo
DeMeo, DeMeo & West

John F. (“Jack”) DeMeo was born in Santa Rosa and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1959. A 1958 graduate of Hastings College of Law, Mr. DeMeo was a member of the Order of the Coif and Thurston Honor Society and was a Justice of Temple Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. He has co-authored “California Deposition and Discovery Practice” published by Matthew Bender & Co. Mr. DeMeo is a past faculty member of the Hastings Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy and has lectured on the law including Continuing Education of the Bar programs. He has also served as a member of the Sonoma and Marin County Superior Court Bench-Bar Settlement Conference Panels, served as Judge Pro Tem, Discovery Referee, and with the Judicial Arbitration Program of the Superior Court in Sonoma County, in addition to numerous private arbitration and mediation.

Ralph A. Lombardi
Lombardi, Loper & Conant, LLP

Ralph A. Lombardi is a Bay Area native who is a 1970 graduate of Boalt Hall. With the exception of active duty in the United States Air Force during 1971-1972, he has been engaged in a litigation practice in the East Bay since admission to the Bar in January of 1971. His practice focuses on medical malpractice and product liability defense, as well as on insurance coverage and bad faith issues for both insurers and policyholders. He has written the annual supplement to the CEB California Automobile Law Insurance Guide for the past 25 years, and is the author of the Second Edition of that publication. Like his co-panelists, Jack DeMeo and Bill Smith, he is a past president of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

William Smith
Abramson Smith Waldsmith, LLP

William Smith has been a trial attorney representing consumers in San Francisco since 1973. His practice focuses on plaintiff personal injury and wrongful death. Over the last 41 years he has represented clients up and down the State of California, all over the United States, Canada and Europe. Mr. Smith has been included in the national publication The Best Lawyers in America for the last 20 years, named the Best San Francisco Personal Injury Litigator for San Francisco by The Best Lawyers publication for 2011, been selected to be in the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California for every year the publication has existed and has been selected to be one of the top 500 plaintiffs’ lawyers in the nation by Lawdragon Magazine for 2006-2008. Mr. Smith believes in paying back the system and has devoted himself to teaching trial practice courses at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and Stanford University Law School. He also serves as a Pro Tem judge in two Bay Area counties. He is one of a handful of lawyers in California who has been honored by being elected by his peers to be a member of the four key national trial lawyer organizations: The American Board of Trial Advocates, The American College of Trial Lawyers, The International Academy of Trial Lawyers and The International Society of Barristers. Mr. Smith also frequently acts as a mediator and has mediated cases involving millions of dollars.

»Continue reading Civility Matters V

Elimination of Bias

Separating with Hearts and Smarts: A Guide for LGBTQ Couples

The US Supreme Court has made marriage equality a reality nationwide! But what particular issues do LGBTQ families face during the major life shifts of separation or divorce? How can we, as individuals and as a community, make these transitions with Hearts and Smarts? This workshop is appropriate for people with or without kids who are in any stage of separation, as well as the friends, family, and professionals supporting these families. For our community’s future, safety and well-being, let us resolve our disputes well and support each other in the process

Dylan Miles
Attorney and Mediator
Miles Family Law and Mediation

Mr. Miles is passionate about finding effective ways to help clients create solid beginnings and move through change fully informed and with heart. He serves on the Board of Collaborative Practice San Francisco, teaches mediation through Community Boards, one of the nation’s oldest community mediation organizations, and mediates for the San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Superior Courts. Before focusing his practice on family law and mediation, Mr. Miles was a civil rights advocate. Mr. Miles also teaches students at Stanford University how to communicate clearly and respectfully with clients.

Charles Spiegel
Attorney and Mediator

Mr. Spiegel’s San Francisco practice includes divorce and custody mediation, adoption and real estate matters. He served as Co-Chair of the National Board of Lambda Legal, and was a founding Executive Director of Our Family, the bay area’s LGBT family organization. He serves on the Board of Collaborative Practice San Francisco, and recently on the Boards of KidsTurn and Collaborative Practice California. Mr. Spiegel has had 20 years of wide experience in real estate since graduating New York University School of Law with honors. He received a Fammy award from San Francisco’s Jewish Family & Children’s Services in 2009 for his advocacy for families.

»Continue reading Separating with Hearts and Smarts: A Guide for LGBTQ Couples