Bar Soap: June 2015

Admittedly, I have been remiss in preparing this Bar Soap column. Many things of interest have arisen within the past two months, and I am hopeful I can report on all of them, so let’s get started. The April Welcome Celebration for our new Bar Association Executive Director, Theresa Hurley, was a great success. Many thanks to the Brown, Church & Gee law firm for hosting that wonderful event. I was most impressed with all the new young faces present. That, of course, means the CCCBA continues to be a dynamic and ever evolving organization; nothing stale about it. It was also wonderful to see another generation taking leadership, as I chatted with the new Board President, Nick Casper, and with his father and former president, Stan Casper. My separate article on Coroner’s Inquests in our county was well received. … Continue reading

Bar Soap: February 2015

It does seem quite a while since I penned a Bar Soap column for the Contra Costa Lawyer. Perhaps so, but here goes the latest … and actually, I did not “pen” this article. My kids give me a hard enough time with my electronic skills or lack thereof, so I want to make it clear: I use a computer. I am a bit annoyed with a recent interview concerning a Coroner’s Inquest. In fact so annoyed, I penned a separate article (okay, I didn’t actually pen), on just the topic of Coroner’s Inquests. As a longtime Coroner’s Inquest Hearing Officer, I do not normally give interviews concerning specific Inquests, and in fact when you read about a Coroner’s Inquest in the Contra Costa Times, the hearing officer’s name is never mentioned. And that is as it should be. So … Continue reading

Bar Soap – March 2014

Always lots to talk about, so where to start? We continue to be disappointed with the meager reporting of civil jury verdicts. I often receive news of an interesting verdict, then reach out to the lawyers for details. More often than not, the lawyers are outside of the county and have no interest in reporting a local verdict. If you know of a local verdict, or an interesting settlement, please let me know. It really is of great interest to the readers. More about local verdicts later in this article. It once was that the biggest turnout of local lawyers at an event was either the annual Bar Association Party or the annual Zandonella Holiday Party. The Bar Association’s party was always at a local hotel and Zandonella’s party at the old Concord Elks Lodge. Now, I must say the Bar Association’s MCLE Spectacular takes the honors. What a wonderful event! It’s great to see all the faces and catch up with many of our … Continue reading

Sneak preview of upcoming Bar Soap article!

Feeling a bit like a beggar once again. For years I was begging members for reports on their Civil Jury verdicts. Then reports on Civil Bench trial verdicts. After that, begging for reports on interesting settlements and arbitrations. Finally I was reduced to asking for reports on kids soccer scores, just so I would have something to write about in Civil Jury verdicts. Now that we have Bar Soap, I can combine gossip with some interesting soccer scores. But I still need your input. Saw Lincoln, the film, not the community North of Sacramento. Not planning retirement any time soon. At any rate, I was struck by the concept that the rule of law controls in many situations. Lincoln often spoke of that  as a foundation for his decisions. That is what we do as lawyers. Keep it in mind. … Continue reading

Bar Soap – March 2012

Goodness! After years of begging for jury verdicts for my column, I have finally found out how to get people’s attention: Report that someone has moved and taken a new job. I think the strategy will be to say: “John Doe has just joined a new firm and has been nominated for ABODA, so if you want me to talk about you, send a jury verdict”. I am certain that will work. I cannot tell you the number of calls and messages I have recently received, complaining that I didn’t post some announcement in Bar Soap. I am thinking of telling my partners I have no time to contribute to firm business, as I must run down rumors of law firm changes in our local legal community. I am sure they will understand. (I am smiling as I write this, … Continue reading

Bar Soap – January 2012

It has been a while, so where to start? How about a solution for the Occupy Movement? Lots of vacant office space in the East Bay due to law firm break-ups. Simply move the folks in and voilá! In fact, 1331 N. California Boulevard in Walnut Creek is particularly in need of some occupation. The positive news is the announcement of new firms in our midst. It is always cause for celebration when lawyers get together to form a new venture among themselves. Remember the excitement and anticipation? George Cabot, formerly of Morgan Miller Blair (MMB) formed a new boutique firm entitledPremierCounsel, LLP. Greg Allio and Steve Gasser have joined George as partners. The principal office will be in San Francisco, with an “Auxiliary” office in Lafayette. The new firm will focus on corporate, securities, taxation and M&A transactions. Another important MMB spin-off is Brown, … Continue reading

Bar Soap – August 2011

Feeling a bit confused and confounded with this new column? So, let’s see: It’s a bit gossip, some facts about people on the move, some jury verdicts, some court verdicts, some interesting settlements and perhaps some not so interesting comments from me. Do I have that right? And when I have enough jury verdict reports, I will get one of those columns to you. Not sure if you saw the mention in our local newspaper of two local Bar Association members; Nadia Costa and Joshua Safran. Though the Habeas Project, they took on representation of a wrongfully incarcerated women. Their work, documented in the film “Crime After Crime”, was presented at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Happy to see another one of our own, Mark Ericsson was named a Super Lawyer. For those of you who have been nominated as a Super Lawyer in … Continue reading