The State of the Court – July 30th

The State of the Court Meeting w/ San Mateo County Court Leadership

Thursday, July 30, 2020
12:15pm

Please join the San Mateo County Superior Court and the San Mateo County Bar Association on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 12:15pm for a presentation by Honorable Jonathan Karesh, Presiding Judge, Honorable Leland Davis III, Assistant Presiding Judge, and Honorable Nancy Fineman, Civil Law & Motion Judge for a state of the court address. 

Hear information you desperately need to practice law in San Mateo County Superior Courts. Learn about the new Covid-19 procedures and how you can help to keep your clients safe during trial. Find out how jury trials are conducted.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in advance. Please send your questions to events@smcba.org with the subject line “7/30/2020 Court Event Advanced Questions” no later than Friday, July 24, 2020.  All attendees must register online prior to the event.

This event qualifies for 1 hour General MCLE credit. Due to continued Shelter-in-Place restrictions, this event will be a brown bag event and will be hosted via Zoom.

Cost: Free for all SMCBA members and non-members who register in advance through the SMCBA website. However, non-members who wish to obtain MCLE credit must pay $10.

Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours prior to the event for a full refund of the registration fee. If you do not cancel within 48 hours or do not show up to the event, you will be charged the full amount.

SMCBA’s Anti-Racism Statement

The San Mateo County Bar Association (SMCBA) is appalled by the persistent brutalization and oppression of people of color throughout America. The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless Black Americans before them provide incontrovertible evidence that we as a country are far from achieving equality for all. As attorneys, we all took an oath to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and State of California, both of which prohibit the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, as well as the denial of equal protection of the laws.  This responsibility was reiterated by our very own California Supreme Court on June 11, 2020: “Each of us has a duty to recognize there is much unfinished and essential work that must be done to make equality and inclusion an everyday reality for all.” As attorneys and legal professionals, we are in a unique position to educate, empower and advocate for our communities.

To that end, we commit to establishing a Race and Social Justice Task Force to develop a multifaceted approach to advance justice for all, including: 

• Conducting a series of CLEs which will focus on education and specific actions that members of our legal community can take to help dismantle systems of oppression. Topics will include: 

  • Understanding Implicit and Explicit Bias in legal institutions
  • Legal observer training
  • Diversity and inclusion in hiring
  • Jury selection and racial justice
  • Racial discrimination in the Criminal Justice System, Housing, Education, and Healthcare
  • Effective anti-racist ally-ship and advocacy

• Educating our communities of color through “Know Your Rights” workshops that include demonstration law, immigration law, housing law, voting rights and the criminal justice system. 

• Encouraging our members to support social justice organizations with their time and donations.

We reaffirm our mission to advance the fair and effective administration of justice for all, and will continue actively working to transform that mission into a reality. We support the diversity of humanity and stand together to reject all forms of racism, hatred, and discrimination. We stand with Black Lives Matter to support the movement to end State-sanctioned violence. We are committed to being part of the solution to end systemic racis

COVID-19 Announcement

Friends, Members, and Community:

We know you, our members, clients and staff are contending with disruption and great uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly appreciate all of you and extend our heartfelt well -wishes.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the San Mateo County Bar Association is closed to the public but continues to work remotely.  The closure will remain in effect until the San Mateo County Health Department’s “Shelter At Home” order is lifted. We are closely monitoring recommendations from local and national health authorities, such as the San Mateo County Health Department, John Hopkins University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Wold Health Organization (WHO).

SMCBA continues to be here to help! We have been operating with less than usual staff and we are doing everything in our power to keep our programs running.  Please rest assured that the San Mateo County Bar Association remains active and continues to take calls and e-mails from potential clients, members, and those with urgent matters.

SMCBA has cancelled all non-essential meetings. Committee and Section meetings are conducted virtually.  The Bar Association and its various sections continue to offer our members a variety of legal education webinars.  Visit our Calendar of Events for the latest event information.

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program continues to issue referrals online and over the phone. Please note, for now now, consultations will only be provided by phone. To obtain a referral to a lawyer, please contact the Lawyer Referral Service at (650) 369-4149 Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm or obtain a self-referral online.  We are doing our best to handle the volume of phone calls we have been receiving. Please bear with us as you may experience longer than usual phone wait times.

For the latest information on how to get legal help and access resources click on our “Other Resources” page.

SMCBA members are encouraged to do business by phone (650) 298-4030, email membership@smcba.org or by fax (65) 368-3892.

Thank you for your patience and for helping us keep SMCBA a healthy and safe place for all. Please be safe and healthy!

Your SMCBA Team.

Drinks Are On Us!

The San Mateo County Bar Association is proud to bring back the popular membership referral program, DRINKS ARE ON US.

How it works: Invite someone to become a member of the Bar Association or renew their lapsed membership (someone who has not been a member since 2017 or prior).  If that person becomes a member, you will receive a $10 gift card for either Jamba Juice, Peet’s or Starbucks (your choice).  You must send an email to the Membership Department at membership@smcba.org indicating your name, contact information, and the name of the person referred; remember to specify which gift card you would like!

There is no limit on the number of gift cards or referrals. Gift card(s) will be sent out upon confirmation of new or renewal of membership. This offer is good for both attorney and non-attorney membership referrals.  So go out there and ask your friends – “Are you a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association?”

Remember, membership for new attorneys is FREE for the first twelve (12) months!

For more information about membership with SMCBA, please visit our membership page.

Message from Executive Director

Dear San Mateo County Bar Association members,

Effective immediately, the San Mateo County Bar Association (SMCBA) is cancelling all non-essential meetings. Committee Chairs will be provided with virtual meeting platform software to conduct meetings on behalf of the Association. Section Chairs will also be provided with software and should use their discretion when planning meetings. Please stay tuned for more information regarding Law Day (May 1st) and Judges’ Night (June 4th).

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program will not accept walk-in clients this month. If you are part of the LRS panel, we will continue to make referrals online and over the phone. We urge our members to meet with the LRS referrals by phone only until further notice.

Likewise, walk-in members are encouraged to do business by phone (650-298-4030), email (membership@smcba.org) or by fax (650-368-3892).

Thank you for your patience and for helping us keep SMCBA a healthy and safe place for all.

Deborah Kemper
Executive Director

Status Conference Volunteers Needed

Calling all Family Law Attorneys:

Department 15 urgently needs status conference volunteers.

Volunteering at the Status Conferences is a great way to give back and learn or refresh your skills.

This is a great opportunity to feel a real sense of accomplishment as you help pro per litigants with their disclosures, answer their family law questions, help them resolve disputes and reach settlement, and assist them with their judgment packages.  If this is your first time volunteering, Judge Franchi or other volunteers will be there to assist you.

Also, if you are planning on being at Court for a Status Conference in another Department, they will try to get you in towards the beginning of their calendars if you inform their Clerks that you are scheduled to volunteer in Department 15.

Snacks will be provided.

Please click on this link to sign-up.

Do’s and Don’ts of FCS Mediation – July 10th

Friday, July 10, 2020
Via Zoom
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Please join the Family Law Section on Friday, July 10, 2020, for a presentation by Tanya Both and Lisa Bergman, LMFT, on tips and tricks for Family Court Services (FCS) mediation.

This is a unique opportunity for the Members of the Family Law Section to engage with the professionals intimately in charge of custody mediation services for the Court.  Our presenters will cover the following topics:

  1. FCS basics (common mistakes);
  2. Statutory bases for mediation services;
  3. Tips for preparing clients for FCS mediation; and
  4. COVID-19 related updates for FCS mediation.

Lisa Bergman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s Degree in psychology.  She began working for FCS in 1988 for the Superior Court of California, Riverside County.  In addition to working for the Court, she has worked in private practice, for non-profit agencies, county mental health, and hospitals, both in-patient and outpatient services, providing family, marriage and individual therapy for adults, teenagers and children.  She has taught psychology for community college as an associate instructor.  In 2011, she graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a Master’s Degree in Political Psychology.  Upon her return to the United States, she worked as the Director of Family Court Services for the Superior Court of California, Butte County.  In 2015, she began her current position as Supervising Child Custody Recommending Counselor for the Superior Court of California, San Mateo County.

Tanya Both worked as a family law and medical-legal partnership attorney before joining the Family Law Facilitator’s office in 2012.  In 2019, she joined the Superior Court of California, San Mateo County as Managing Attorney for FCS, the Family Law Facilitator’s office, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and the Probate Court Investigators.

One hour of MCLE Credit will be provided for attendance.

Due to continued Shelter-in-Place restrictions, this event will be hosted via Zoom.  Consistent with our prior virtual presentations that have qualified for MCLE credit, all attendees must register online prior to the event.

To further verify attendance, please listen for three “keywords” to be announced at the beginning, middle, and end of the presentation.  A Survey Monkey survey will be circulated by the SMCBA, which will request confirmation of those three keywords.  You will be given MCLE credit upon successful completion of the survey and will be able to access your MCLE certificate on the SMCBA website thereafter.

Cost: $30 for Family Law Section members and $40 for non-members.

Registration: Please log-in on the SMCBA website to register for this event. The Zoom invite and materials for the webinar will be emailed to attendees 1 day before the event.

If you wish to pay by check, please send your check payable to SMCBA, to: 333 Bradford St., Ste. 200, Redwood City, CA 94063. Attn: Events. *Please note what event you are paying for and the name of the attendee.

Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours prior to the event for a full refund of the registration fee. If you do not cancel within 48 hours or do not show up to the event, you will be charged the full amount.

What Your Appellate Attorney Wants You to Know – June 12th

WHAT YOUR APPELLATE ATTORNEY WANTS YOU TO KNOW
Friday, June 12, 2020
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Via Zoom

Please join the Family Law Section on Friday, June 12, 2020, for a live webinar about family law appeals, with leading certified appellate specialist Robert A. Roth, Esq.

Robert will present to the Family Law Section a program focusing on what family law attorneys can do at the trial court level to set the stage for a successful appeal. Robert’s insights will give practitioners guidance for avoiding missteps that can have an impact on a potential appeal, and also tips on measures that can be helpful for future modification proceedings.

With over 30 years’ experience as an appellate practitioner and more than 25 published appellate opinions that bear his name, Robert A. Roth is widely regarded as one of the leading family law appellate specialists in California. He has won twice in the California Supreme Court, and represented the successful respondent in In re Marriage of Ostler and Smith (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 33, which established the method California courts use to calculate division of bonus income.

Robert was one of the first attorneys in California certified as an appellate specialist by the State Bar, and he has remained a certified appellate specialist for more than two decades. In addition to family law appeals, Rob has substantial experience handling probate, real property, business transaction, tort insurance, admiralty, and State Bar appeals.

Due to continued Shelter-in-Place restrictions, this event will be hosted via Zoom.  Consistent with our prior virtual presentations that have qualified for MCLE credit, all attendees must register online prior to the event. The Zoom invite and materials for the event will be provided by the SMCBA prior to the event.

Cost: $10 for Family Law Section members and $15 for non-section members.

Registration: Please log-in on the SMCBA website to register for this event no later than Tuesday, June 9, 2020. If you wish to pay by check, please send your check payable to SMCBA, to: 333 Bradford St., Ste. 200, Redwood City, CA 94063. Attn: Events. If you are sending a check, make sure to note what event you are paying for and the name of the attendee.

Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours prior to the event for a full refund of the registration fee. If you do not cancel within 48 hours or do not show up to the event, you will be charged the full amount.