June 2015 Pro Bono Newsletter

Dear Barristers,

Greetings from your Pro Bono Committee!  This is your June 2015 Pro Bono Newsletter.  We hope that you will take the opportunity to review the following important charitable opportunities, and even better, participate in one or more of them.

BHBA BARRISTERS–BARRISTERS MONTHLY FREE LEGAL CLINIC

Volunteer at our very own BHBA Monthly Free Legal Clinic at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions presented by the public!  Join us Saturday, July 11th, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  If you are interested in volunteering, or want more information, please feel free to contact co-chairs Will Wenzel or Danielle E. Grabois.

LA LAW LIBRARY / SOCAL PRO BONO MANAGERS

SoCal Pro Bono Managers and the LA Law Library presents “How Pro Bono Cases Can Build Strong Legal Skills”. This event will be held on June 10, 2015 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Los Angeles Law Library at 301 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.  Registration is free. To reserve your spot, please contact Pamela Marx.

LEGAL AID FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES

For 80 years, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) has been providing civil legal services to low-income residents of Los Angeles County.  LAFLA would love for you to participate in one or more of their upcoming pro bono projects to help domestic violence victims, as well as members of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.  For more information, or to volunteer for one of the listed opportunities, please contact LAFLA’s Pro Bono Director, Phong Wong.

Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Community Outreach Unit

LAFLA is looking for attorneys to conduct client interviews, provide counsel and advice, draft court pleadings, conduct legal research and writing, attend hearings and trials, as well as develop, conduct, and coordinate educational materials and outreach. Bilingual attorneys, especially those who speak Asian languages are highly encouraged to apply. The Unit operates out of the West Office located at 1102 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019, and is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Santa Monica Domestic Violence Clinic

LAFLA needs attorneys and law students to volunteer at their Domestic Violence Clinic in the Santa Monica courthouse, which is held every weekend morning. Volunteers at the DV clinic conduct client interviews, provide counsel and advice under supervision, draft domestic violence restraining order applications and provide guidance and support to people trying to survive and endure one of the most difficult times in their lives.

BET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Bet Tzedek provides aid to all eligible residents throughout Los Angeles County who are in need of legal assistance, regardless of racial, religious, or ethnic background.  Bet Tzedek’s pioneering projects combine direct legal representation with outreach, education, and legislative advocacy, resulting in equal access to justice for over 15,000 low-income Angelinos last year alone.  For more information, or to volunteer for one of the listed opportunities, please contact Bet Tzedek’s Pro Bono Director, Diego Cartagena.

Pro Bono Placement — Real Property and Probate

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney to serve as pro bono counsel to help a client gain title to property conveyed to him in 1985.  The matter may involve a probate proceeding.  You can find information on the matter by clicking HERE.

Pro Bono Placement — Estate Planning

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney with some estate planning experience to draft an estate plan for a 69-year-old woman who is an Israeli immigrant.  You can find information on the matter by clicking HERE.

Pro Bono Placement — Estate Planning

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney with some estate planning experience to draft a will and healthcare directive for a 68-year-old woman with limited assets.  You can find information on the matter by clicking HERE.

PUBLIC COUNSEL

As many of you know, the BHBA was a founder of Public Counsel, which is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation, and helps more than 30,000 people every year through the power of law.  Public Counsel’s activities are far-ranging, and impact a wide array of people who live at or below the poverty line.  Volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal professionals have the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects.  For more information on Public Counsel, please contact their Pro Bono Director David Daniels at (213) 385-2977 x101

Pro Bono Placement — Limited Scope / Research Opportunity

For years, Public Counsel has been seeking pro bono attorneys to help victims of the Zepeda brothers.  Now incarcerated, the Zepedas stole title to hundreds of homes.  The District Attorney entered a stipulation and order, by which each of the fraudulent deeds is voided.  Public Counsel seeks pro bono assistance to draft a self-help packet that we can distribute to the homeowners whose title is still in David Zepeda’s name.  If you would like, you may also use your research to do a “trial run” with one or two of our current clients who have this problem.  Contact Adelaide Anderson for more information.

Pro Bono Placement — Gym Forces Out Members Who Are Paying Lower Rates

Both Client and his father are longtime members of a national-name gym.  They paid approximately $100 a year for membership at the gym, which is located in an up-and-coming neighborhood.  A few years ago, Gym told Client’s father that he no longer was welcome at the facility, and it terminated his membership.  Now the same thing has happened to Client.  Both times, Gym gave reasons for terminating the membership that appear to be false.  Both times, Gym then said the person could rejoin, but only at a much higher rate. Contact Adelaide Anderson for more information.

Pro Bono Placement — Small Business Owner’s Contractor Will Not Uphold Warranty

Client is a small business owner.  Since Client has rented the storefront from landlord, Client has had trouble with a leaky roof.  Client’s landlord claims he is not responsible for fixing it.  Frustrated with water-damaged goods, Client hired a contractor who provided a one year guarantee for the roof repair.  After making the repair, the roof starting leaking again.  Contractor will not respond to Client’s calls to uphold the warranty.  Contact Natalie Klasky for more information.

 

We hope you find this newsletter valuable, and look forward to the Barristers taking active roles in these incredible opportunities!

Very truly yours,

Elizabeth Hall, Pro bono Committee Co-Chair,

Jack J. McMorrow, Pro bono Committee Member, and

Autumn Ronda, Pro bono Committee Co-Chair and Immediate Past Barristers President

 

Kudos To Our Incredible Barristers

Doron EghbaliThis article is dedicated to the noble work of our invaluable Barristers’ Board of Governors (“BOG”). The profound work of the BOG positively affects lawyers, law students and laymen alike. To demonstrate the lofty work of our Barristers’ BOG, let us review only about one week of the BOG’s accomplishments.

March 7 – The monthly Roxbury Park Free Legal Clinic helps the public with general legal services. It is Co-Chaired by our superb President-Elect William Wenzel and Danielle Grabois.

March 7 & 8 – Brunch for Eight is a BHBA Barristers’ program in which eight law-school students are invited to the BHBA to help them ascertain the salience of involvement in a local Bar Association and the noble work BHBA performs for “young and newer” attorneys. Two such brunches were held in March with students attending from Loyola Law School on the 7th and UCLA on the 8th. This year’s Chairperson is our able Ariadne Giannis. On both days, dignitaries from the BHBA and the Bench joined Ariadne and the students.

March 10 – Our superb Co-Chairs of the Committee for the Arts, Dira Imam and Anastasia Alen held an art and music event at the legendary House of Blues. This program was held in their architecturally beautiful Foundation Room and consisted of high quality music and ethereal artifacts put together by the homeless.

March 13 & 14 – The Barristers superbly led by Yan Goldshteyn, Lauren Gabbaian and Liana Yoon proudly represented BHBA at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium.

March 14 – Our chef extraordinaire, LeRoy Williams, chaired Samoshel at the Santa Monica Shelter. LeRoy, along with Jeanine Percival Wright (Barristers’ Past President), Jeremiah Livesay and other selfless volunteers served around 60 homeless people with a St. Patrick’s themed menu.

March 15 – Danielle Grabois, our diligent Chair of the Bench Bar Bike Ride, facilitated a fun and non-strenuous bike ride along Hermosa and Manhattan Beach.

In addition, the Barristers put on an MCLE program about how to start a law firm and another “Power Lunch” program with an entertainment “Power Lawyer,” ably Co-Chaired by Brian Schaller and Yan Goldshteyn.

Barristers have been preparing for the annual “Vintage Bouquet,” set for April 26, 2015. It is being Co-Chaired this year by our very own Dira Imam and Danielle Grabois.

Our invaluable Megan Peitzke is preparing an MCLE program with 11 judges of the West District for May 2015 on “Do’s and Don’ts” of court conduct.

Furthermore Leigh Leshner, Nick Francescon and John Grimball are planning an all-day seminar on the nuts and bolts of entertainment law for June 2015.

Thank you so much BOG for your lofty work.


Doron F. Eghbali is a Senior Partner at Law Advocate Group, LLP. He practices Business, Real Estate and Entertainment law. Contact him at DoronEghbali@LawAdvocateGroup.com, or 310 651 3065.

April 26, 2015 – The 27th Annual Vintage Bouquet™ Food and Wine Event

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An Invitation to Success | By Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliThe Barristers Board of Governors (BOG) consists of successful and kind-hearted Barristers whose noble objective is to espouse and implement the betterment of our legal community and the community at large. We meet every second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA). As a Barrister (i.e., younger attorney), you are welcome to attend the open part of the BOG meeting.

Invitation to BOG Meetings

We would love for you, as a diligent young lawyer, to intelligently appreciate what you are missing to further thrive personally and professionally. At the BOG meetings, we will embrace you as an honored guest and help you become acquainted with a few of our 20+ sections and committees which the Barristers run. Topics of discussion include:

  • Learning how to Manage a Potential Client while Helping the Community: Become involved in our Roxbury Park Legal Clinic. Barristers meet every first Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – noon to provide free general legal services to the community at large. Thanks to our invaluable President-Elect Wil S. Wenzel, and amiable Danielle Grabois, the Roxbury Clinic served at least 16 people with several lawyer volunteers, during January of 2015.
  • Feeding the Homeless: Join our SaMoShel Committee. Our selfless Barristers, under tutelage of our own chef extraordinaire LeRoy Williams and selfless past president Jeanine Percival Wright, meet every second Saturday of the month at Santa Monica Shelter from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. to cook delicious food and feed at least 60 homeless people. This is a sampling of our January 2015 menu:

Mama’s Herb Roasted Chicken
Uncle Lee’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Grandma’s String Bean Casserole
Cousin Tommy’s Tasty Salad
Aunt Millie’s Peach Crisp

  • Attending “Power Lunch” Series: You should seriously consider these revived series in which Barristers get a chance for a candid discussion with a “Power” lawyer in an informal setting to receive honest and practical answers for further professional career advancement. These series are organized by our very own superb Co-Chairs, Brian Schaller and Yan Goldshteyn, our Treasurer.
  • Having Fun, Food and Wine with our Vintage Bouquet Committee: Contemplate becoming involved with our Vintage Bouquet, run by our own able and affable Co-Chairs, Danielle Grabois and Nadira Imam.
  • Being a Mentee of and a Mentor to a Younger Lawyer: You may apply online at http://www.bhba.org/mentorship. Special thanks to our formidable past President, Autumn Ronda and invaluable Zev Shechtman, as Co-Chairs of the Mentorship Committee.

This list is just a small fraction of what our dedicated Barristers accomplish. Indeed, for instance, under the praiseworthy chairmanship of Autumn Ronda and Rachel Balchum, we had a very successful Grant-a-Wish drive in which we collectively fulfilled holiday wishes of thirty-nine boys ages 11-18.

If you would like to be part of our fun, fulfilling and educational committees, you should step forward and become involved. Hope to see you soon.


Doron F. Eghbali is a Senior Partner at Law Advocate Group, LLP in Beverly Hills and practices Business, Real Estate and Entertainment law. Contact him at DoronEghbali@LawAdvocateGroup.com, or 310 651 3065.

Volunteers Needed: Getting Low Bono Clients through the BHBA | Please respond by Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) seeks to form a Low Bono Project whose work benefits the community and young lawyers. The City of Beverly Hills would like to establish a closer relationship with the BHBA. In particular, the City is seeking legal education as well as referrals to attorneys in areas such as Employment Law, Immigration and Landlord Tenant Law. There will be a presentation for the City Council on Jan. 15, 2015.

The BHBA Barristers is spearheading this lofty endeavor. For that we need your active participation and we need several volunteers:

  • 1 Barristers Volunteer to attend the Beverly Hills City Council meeting on January 15, 2014.
  • 3-4 Barristers to help develop a feasible payment framework that could help the Barristers in need of low bono clients while not taking away from other beneficial clients. Note, the practice areas are not limited to Employment, Immigration and Landlord Tenant.

It is a win-win-win situation in which all interested parties benefit from this symbiosis and synergy. Let us make it a success and another avenue for further noble work and material benefit.

Please, kindly let me know of your interest or any questions you have.

Happy New Year.

Most respectfully,
Doron F. Eghbali
BHBA Barristers President

Barristers Can Facilitate Career Enhancement | By Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliMy friends and colleagues often ask me how their involvement in the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Barristers could help them with their career. My response to them is often simple: become sincerely involved and you will appreciate the tangible and intangible benefits.

In fact, given more than 20 projects and programs that our Barristers’ section offers members and non-members alike, any serious and sincere Barrister would find a program to get involved with or even spearhead, of course with our help and support.

Such Barristers’ programs not only help the community, but also reward those dedicated Barristers who spend their weekends or evenings planning and executing such programs with credibility in the eyes of their employers and clients. This credibility often translates into new and lucrative attorney-client relationships.

Community

Indeed, impeccable reputation and integrity are sine qua non for a successful legal career. Community involvement on the level that Barristers have accomplished undoubtedly helps those volunteers with name recognition.

For instance, on October 25, 2014, Rachel Balchum and Elizabeth Peterson diligently and deftly planned and executed a legal clinic involving more than 30 volunteer Barristers serving more than 100 people as part of L.A. Law Library Pro Bono week.

Kudos to Rachel and Elizabeth who undertook this colossal endeavor under the able aegis of Barristers Immediate Past President Autumn Ronda. In addition, on November 8, 2014, Barristers presented “What Every Tenant Needs to Know,” a substantive two-hour free Landlord-Tenant seminar to the public, at Roxbury Park.

The other examples of Barristers’ constant involvement in the community would be our monthly Roxbury Park Free Legal Clinic and Samoshel. Every first Saturday of the month our volunteers, run by our able Barristers’ President-Elect William S. Wenzel, provide free legal advice to the public.

Every second Saturday of the month, at Santa Monica Shelter, our dedicated Barristers’ volunteers cook and feed around 60 homeless people under the tutelage of our own chef extraordinaire, LeRoy Williams. Another project involved a toy drive in December, before the New Year, to help the greater Los Angeles’ impoverished children.

Legal Community

In addition to community involvement, Barristers are also involved in the legal community by planning and executing a few substantive MCLEs a month, geared mostly toward the needs of the younger attorneys. Our revived “Lunch with…” Power Lunch Series, run by our own Brian Schaller and Yan Goldshteyn, brings together illustrious attorneys in different practice areas with a small group of younger attorneys for an informal and candid round table discussion.

Career Enhancement

Given more than 20 or so events and programs the Barristers spearhead, any member of this proud and humble community should feel rewarded. Hence, when Barristers state these accomplishments on their resumes, LinkedIn, Avvo, Twitter, or Facebook pages, clients and employers take notice.

Clients know that such dedicated lawyers will steadfastly champion their rights, while employers realize that such competent and accomplished lawyers are invaluable assets to their law firms.


Doron F. Eghbali is a Senior Partner at Law Advocate Group, LLP in Beverly Hills and practices Business, Real Estate and Entertainment law. Contact him at DoronEghbali@LawAdvocateGroup.com, or 310 651 3065.

LA Veterans Stand Down — Volunteer Dec. 20 or 21

Dear BHBA Barristers,

We need your help to deliver free legal assistance to homeless veterans on December 20-21, 2014, at the “Los Angeles Stand Down” held at the LA Convention Center in Downtown LA.  We anticipate that 2500 homeless veterans will attend the LA Stand Down, and many will be seeking legal assistance. These veterans need help and we cannot do this alone. Please join us to serve those who have served us.

What is a Stand Down?  Stand Downs are typically one to three day events where homeless Veterans can receive food, shelter, clothing, health care, benefits counseling, legal assistance, respite, and more. These collaborative events bring together local Veterans Administration staff, other government agencies, and community-based organizations to provide comprehensive help and support to homeless Veterans.

How can I help?  At the Stand Down, volunteers will conduct intake interviews of veterans and help issue spot in the following areas:  (1) Veterans’ Benefits; (2) Citation defense; (3) Family law; (4) Housing/Evictions; and (5) Expungements.  All volunteers will receive training on how to spot these issues and learn answers to basic legal questions in these areas.  Volunteers also will receive reference materials that they can use and refer to during the intake interviews.

How do I sign up?  To register for the LA Stand Down, please visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EOkxQSkRhmVLAP8j7x8SNxDNTj7GU3-pWOnvqtdxYoU/viewform. The event is being coordinated by Legal Aid Foundation Los Angeles (“LAFLA”).  Your responses in the sign-up form are private and will be viewed by LAFLA staff only.

Volunteers must also register (on the google document) to attend a training on one of the following days:

  1. Monday, December 15th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at LAFLA, 1102 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
  2. Wednesday, December 17th, 5:30-7:00 pm at Patriotic Hall, 1816 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015

For more information about legal assistance at the LA Stand Down, contact Nicole M. Perez, LAFLA’s Veterans Justice Center Coordinator at nperez@lafla.org.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Stand Down!

2014StandDownFlyer

1.27.15 Veteran Advocate Training

See flyer below for details and click here for Agenda and Registration form: Veteran Advocate Training – Agenda and Registration Form 1.8

Veteran Advocacy Training

SaMoShel Thanksgiving

A lot of Barristers showed their support at November’s SaMoShel, preparing and serving a meal for as many as 60 shelter residents, proving there can never be too many cooks in THIS kitchen!

The residents of the Santa Monica Shelter (SaMoShel) have experienced difficulties that caused them to lose everything. SaMoShel provides food, a bed, work-life skills and helps people find jobs and housing to get them back on their feet. Come join the Barristers at 505 Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica on December 13 (the second Saturday of the month) and make a real difference! You’ll be glad you did!

For questions or more information, feel free to leave a comment below or on Facebook.

The Barristers Monthly Samoshel Homeless Project is a community service program of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, 9420 Wilshire Blvd, 2nd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Barristers Holiday Community Outreach Project

presents

Grant a wish for a boy at Hathaway-Sycamores: For over 110 years, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services has provided a loving home and compassionate care for abused and neglected children in Los Angeles County.  Send gifts to the boys at Hathaway-Sycamores through our Amazon Wish List!

The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but for children who are abused and neglected, and living in out-of-home care, it can be a very sad, difficult time.  This holiday season, the BHBA Barristers is joining forces with Hathaway-Sycamores to fulfill the special wishes of the thirty-nine boys, ages 11-18, who are currently residing in their group home.

Help us to support Hathaway-Sycamores, and ensure that the boys in their care greet the holidays with joy and anticipation.

With great care we have discovered the individual holiday wish of each boy living in the group home.  For example, Robert, age 14, expressed that he wants a Marvel Legos set, and Sean, age 17, wants a New England Patriots blanket.  We have already done the legwork by locating the products that most closely matched the boys’ wishes (factoring pricing and shipping options). We then created an Amazon online wish list where you can purchase these items (which average $35), and have them shipped directly to Hathaway-Sycamores! All you need to do to fulfill a holiday wish for a deserving child is browse the Amazon Wish List, select a child, click to purchase their special gift, pay, and have it sent directly to the home! For detailed instructions see the top of the Amazon Wish List, or click here.

Your support will ensure a brighter season for the boys living at Hathaway-Sycamores, who, with your help, will receive gifts they might not otherwise enjoy during this joyful season.

Please contact one of us at the following email addresses if you have any questions: Autumn Ronda ar@vrmlaw.com and Rachel Balchum Rachel.Balchum@gmail.com

More about Hathaway-Sycamores: Hathaway-Sycamores (Federal Tax I.D. #95-1691005) is a not-for-profit agency providing an array of services including residential treatment, therapy, special education, foster care, and in-home family support for emotionally disturbed children and their families. They are one of the largest private children’s mental health and welfare agencies in Los Angeles County, providing care and treatment of over 7,000 children and families a year. For more information visit their website at http://www.hathaway-sycamores.org/.