4/30/14 Sights and Sounds from the Courtroom

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In connection with the L.A. Law Library's Annual Law Week, the BHBA Barristers Committee for the Arts are honored to co-host this free reception, celebrating the rule of law, on April 30, 2014 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the L.A. Law Library. Please join us for an enchanting evening featuring the artwork of courtroom sketch artist, Bill Robles and the music of Gary Green Esq. and his Big Band of Barristers. 

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March Pro Bono Newsletter

Dear Barristers,

The Barristers Pro Bono Committee created this monthly newsletter to connect you with local legal aid organizations, and to encourage you to commit to performing pro bono work, which ultimately results in assistance to the thousands of Los Angeles residents who desperately need access to legal services. Moreover, we recognize that participation in pro bono activities is a great way for young and emerging lawyers to gain the professional experience they require to launch or further their careers.

We are excited to provide you with the March installment of our newsletter and hope that you will take advantage of one or more of the many opportunities listed below!

BHBA BARRISTERS

trainingBarristers/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic Training

TONIGHT! March 31, at 6 p.m. at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a FREE MCLE providing the training necessary to volunteer at Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. This training will provide attendees with an overview of the Limited Conservatorship process, including a basic overview of the substantive law and procedure related to conservatorship practice in Los Angeles County.  The MCLE is offered complimentary to attorneys who commit to volunteering with the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic.  For more information, and to sign up for the program, please click here!

Barristers/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Wage and Hour Training Session

On April 29, at 6 p.m. at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a FREE MCLE providing the training to participate in Bet Tzedek's Employment Rights Project, which advocates on behalf of various workers, including garment workers, day laborers, and janitors, to rectify labor law abuse. This training will prepare attorney volunteers to represent clients on a wage and hour matter, which requires drafting a trial brief and arguing the case at an administrative hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. The MCLE is offered complimentary to attorneys who commit to taking on a pro bono wage and hour matter through the Employment Rights Project.  For more information and to sign up for the program please click here!

Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer the first Saturday of each month at our very own BHBA Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions presented by the public! Join us Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  If you are interested in volunteering or want more information please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian SmithAnton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel

HARRIET BUHAI CENTER FOR FAMILY LAW

The Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law provides free family law assistance and legal education to the poor. The Center’s mission is to empower individuals and families living in poverty, improve access to the courts, and stop domestic violence. Volunteers may expect to address family problems including: divorce, custody and visitation, support, restraining orders, paternity, and division of property. For more information on volunteering, please contact the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator, Elizabeth Beaty.

April 2014 New Volunteer Training

The Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law is hosting a New Volunteer Training on Saturday, April 26th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Loyola Law School. The deadline for registration is April 23rd (space is limited; there will be no onsite registration). The all-day training for 5.5 MCLE credits provides participants with an introduction to California family law practice and procedure. Attendees will also receive the Center’s “Family Law Basics” manual, which provides detailed information about family law pleadings. To participate in the training, individuals must commit to volunteer with the Center by either completing 50 hours of pro per assistance within a year of the training or by accepting a pro bono case within a year of the training. The cost of this program is $100 for attorneys and $25 for law students.  Click here to view a flyer with details on the program.

PUBLIC COUNSEL

As many of you know, the BHBA was a founder of Public Counsel, which is the nation’s 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 level. Volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal professionals have the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects.

Volunteer Farsi Translator

Public Counsel is representing an Iranian asylum-seeker, and has five documents that need written translation from Farsi into English.  The volunteer need not be a court certified translator, but simply competent in both languages to do the translations.  Public Counsel needs the documents ideally by April 4, but if not, then by April 10.  For more information, please contact Kristen Jackson, Senior Staff Attorney in the Immigrants' Rights Project.

Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk and Clinic

Public Counsel seeks volunteer attorneys who wish to help individuals through the bankruptcy process, either by counseling individuals one-on-one at the self-help desk, or by presenting to a group in a workshop-style clinic. Volunteers will gain valuable client-counseling skills and increase the breadth of their bankruptcy knowledge due to the plethora of bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related issues that arise at the Bankruptcy Self-help Desk and Clinic. The Self-help Desk, located at the Federal Building, is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Clinics are held every other Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Public Counsel office.  Please contact Maggie Bordeaux for more information.

Bankruptcy Reaffirmation Hearings

Public Counsel is also seeking attorneys who want to gain valuable client-counseling skills by advising debtors regarding the consequences of reaffirming a particular debt prior to their reaffirmation hearing. Reaffirmation Hearings take place at the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court and the Woodland Hills Bankruptcy Court.  Please contact Maggie Bordeaux for more information.

ChildrenALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

The Alliance for Children's Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth. By providing free legal services and advocacy, the Alliance ensures that children have safe, stable homes, and access to the healthcare and education they need to thrive.  For more information on available opportunities, or if you are interested in volunteering or attending upcoming trainings listed below, please contact the Alliance's Pro bono Director, Laurel Adcock

Foster Care Benefits Advocacy MCLE

The Alliance is offering two FREE MCLE trainings on Foster Care Benefits Advocacy. The trainings are scheduled for April 30, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and May 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at 333 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 550. The MCLEs will train to represent caregivers on a pro bono basis, advocating for funding and services for children in need. After completing the training, attorneys will be eligible to work with the Alliance on foster care benefits cases.  Click here for more information.

BetBET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Bet Tzedek provides assistance to all eligible needy residents throughout Los Angeles County, 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 Angelenos 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.

Small Claims Spanish Clinic

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of Spanish-speaking attorneys to volunteer at the Spanish-language session of its Small Claims Clinic. The clinic is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Southwestern Law School. The next clinic is scheduled for April 17 (please note: for April, the clinic is on the third Thursday of the month).  Click here to find information regarding the clinic!

Advance Planning Clinic for Low-Income Seniors

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of individuals to help low-income seniors draft Advance Health Care Directives and Statutory Wills by volunteering at an Advance Planning Clinic to be held at the Glendale Senior Center on April 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  On April 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Bet Tzedek will be providing a FREE MCLE at the Bet Tzedek Legal Services Offices to provide training  on how to meet with, and prepare Advance Health Care Directives and Statutory Wills for, low-income seniors. This training and opportunity is open to attorneys and non-attorneys.

Conservatorship Case for Representation

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney to serve as pro bono counsel in a conservatorship case, which involves returning a developmentally disabled young man back to his home where he is supported by his father and can return to his school and support programs. You can view a memo on the issue by clicking here.

CHRISTIANCHRISTIAN LEGAL AID OF LOS ANGELES

Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (CLA-LA) believes that pursuing "justice for all" is the best way to offer a hand-up to the most vulnerable in society. CLA-LA is a non-profit corporation, which assists clients regardless of their religion, race, color, creed, national original, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age. CLA-LA offers free legal services to the poor throughout Los Angeles County and provides volunteers with training, fellowship, and FREE MCLE opportunities. For more information on CLA-LA and their offerings, please contact their Legal Fellow, Sarah McKendricks.

Legal URGENT Care Clinic & Training on Traffic & Expungement Issues

On April 5, starting at 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., CLA-LA will be hosting a Legal URGENT Care Clinic and FREE MCLE covering Traffic & Expungement Issues. The event will take place at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

Legal URGENT Care Office Hours

Each week, CLA-LA also hosts legal URGENT Care “office hours” throughout Los Angeles County. This month, office hours will be held at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 16 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, and on April 25 at the LA Law Library.

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

Very truly yours,

Rachel Balchum, Pro bono Committee Co-Chair, and

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

Who Needs a Mentor? | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Everyone! The importance of mentorship cannot be understated. Oftentimes it can mean the difference between a budding professional’s determination to succeed, and their tangible success. Though a mentor relationship can exist in many forms, it always guides the mentee to the most clear and advantageous path to attaining their goals and the mentor will find the experience equally enriching.

I am fortunate to have maintained mentorship relationships with both attorneys and non-legal professionals alike. Though I am glad to have mentors within my firm, having mentors outside of one’s organization is imperative. It is often these individuals who can provide the most impartial view of a problem or obstacle. Sometimes I ask my mentors to comment on the strategy I’ve selected for a particular client, edit something I’ve drafted, or simply brainstorm with me. Other times, I’m looking for advice on the “big picture.” Regardless of the scale of my request, their experienced opinions and helpful reassurances help me to achieve my short and long-term goals.

This all seems very one-sided, right? It seems impossible for one to reciprocate the generosity of someone who is willing to invest so much of themselves in other individuals, but the answer is simple; you can’t repay them, so you must pay it forward instead. Personally, I have mentored at least ten individuals in a meaningful way, so I know the feeling of gratification and accomplishment, which a mentor feels when their mentee succeeds, is immeasurable.

How can you find yourself in a mentor relationship like the ones I described above, you ask? To facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships among BHBA members, my Co-Chair, Zev Shechtman and I have formed the new Barristers Mentorship Committee. Participants will submit detailed applications and the program administrators will make appropriate and thoughtful matches. Student members will be matched with Barristers as mentors. Barristers will be matched with more experienced members as Mentors. Mentor/Mentee matches will design their own guidelines for their relationship and a social event will be held in the spring to “kick-off” the Mentorship Program.

Please go to www.bhba.org/mentorship to complete an application to become a mentor and/or mentee today. I promise, regardless of which end of the relationship you fall on, it will be one of the most beneficial things you do as a member of the BHBA!


Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at ar@vrmlaw.com or 310 277 8011.

Barristers Monthly Pro Bono Opportunities Newsletter

Dear Barristers, 

We hope your 2014 is off to a great start!

Since the the introduction of this monthly newsletter in October 2013, it has already proven to be an excellent resource for connecting Barristers with local pro bono opportunities through collaboration with various legal services organizations. In December 2013, the Barristers co-sponsored a CLE event with Bet Tzedek in which complimentary training and CLE was offered to a sizeable group of attorneys who each committed to take on a pro bono matter with the Bet Tzedek Guardianship Program. This year, we have more pro bono trainings for CLE credit planned for you! We are also working to team up with new legal aid organizations, so that Barristers can have even greater access to pro bono activities.

We encourage you to make pro bono work one of your 2014 resolutions, and take advantage of the following opportunities to volunteer at legal clinics, attend pro bono trainings, and to take on individual pro bono matters offered by the BHBA Barristers, Bet Tzedek, Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles and the Alliance for Children's Rights:

BHBABHBA BARRISTERS

Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer the first Saturday of each month at our very own BHBA Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions presented by the public! Join us next month on Saturday, March 1st from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian SmithAnton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel

trainingBarrister/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic Training

On March 31st at 6:00 pm at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a CLE providing the training necessary to volunteer at Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. This free CLE training will provide attendees with an overview of the Limited Conservatorship process, including a basic overview of the substantive law and procedure related to conservatorship practice in Los Angeles County. The CLE is free for those attorneys who commit to volunteer with the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. For more information, and to sign up for the program, please click here!

Barrister/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Wage and Hour Training Session

On April 29th at 6:00 pm at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a CLE providing the training to participate in Bet Tzedek's Employment Rights Project, which advocates on behalf of various such workers, including garment workers, day laborers, and janitors to rectify such abuse. This training will prepare attorney volunteers to represent clients on a wage and hour matter, which requires drafting a trial brief and arguing the case at an administrative hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. The CLE is free for those attorneys who commit to take on a pro bono wage and hour matter through the Employment Rights Project. For more information and to sign up for the program please click here!

BetBET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Bet Tzedek provides assistance to all eligible needy residents throughout Los Angeles County, 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 Angelenos 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. Bet Tzedek invites volunteer attorneys to participate in the following activities:

Identity Theft Matter Available for Pro Bono Placement

You can help a disabled senior expunge a fraudulent consumer bankruptcy by accepting this case. The matter involves an elderly woman who has been a victim of identity theft, which involves a fraudulently filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. In light of the timeline on the facts in the case, an attorney familiar with Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings is kindly requested to prepare the necessary motions immediately. Please find a full description of the case here.

Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of attorneys interested in volunteering with Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. Every month, Bet Tzedek holds a clinic workshop for litigants at its office located at 3250 Wilshire Blvd. The upcoming clinics for English-speaking families are scheduled for February 17 and March 17 from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. The next clinic for Spanish-speaking families will be held on February 24th, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.  For those interested in participating in a clinic, a training session can be arranged for the day of the clinic at 12:00 pm, with prior notice.

CHRISTIANCHRISTIAN LEGAL AID OF LOS ANGELES

Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (CLA-LA) believes that pursuing "justice for all" is the best way to offer a hand-up to the most vulnerable in society. CLA-LA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, and assists clients regardless of their religion, race, color, creed, national original, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation or age. CLA-LA offers free legal services to the poor throughout Los Angeles County and provides volunteers with training, fellowship, and free MCLE opportunities. For more information on CLA-LA and their offerings, please contact CLA-LA's Legal Fellow, Sarah McKendricks. To sign up to volunteer, or join CLA-LA's email list, please email volunteer@cla-la.org. This month, CLA-LA invites volunteer attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and law students to join them at the upcoming event:

Legal URGENT Care Clinic Office Hours

Each week, CLA-LA also hosts legal URGENT Care clinic "office hours" where clients are able to see an attorney for free regarding their legal matter. Office hours are held every Tuesday afternoon from 12:30 – 3:30 pm at Homeboy Industries near Downtown LA. Every Wednesday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm office hours are also held at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood.

ChildrenALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

The Alliance for Children's Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth. By providing free legal services and advocacy, the Alliance ensures that children have safe, stable homes, and access to the healthcare and education they need to thrive.The Alliance depends on generous volunteer lawyers to help clients. For more information on available opportunities, please contact the Alliance's Pro Bono Director, Laurel Adcock. All cases are extensively screened by Alliance staff and carefully supervised. Training manuals and sample documents are available. Two areas of current volunteer need at the Alliance are:

Probate Legal Guardianship

Over 300,000 children in Los Angeles County live with non-parent caregivers. Guardianship gives caregivers legal authority over a child's educational and medical welfare. It also allows guardians access to financial support, while providing vital emotional and physical security to children who have experienced trauma.  Pro bono attorneys prepare the petition and represent caregivers at hearing in unopposed cases. The typical time commitment is 15 to 20 hours over 2-4 months.

Foster Care Benefits

Financial benefits are routinely denied to children in out-of-home care, largely because of improper or inadequate assessments. Without legal advocacy, these children may never receive the appropriate level of support for their most basic needs. Pro bono attorneys prepare briefs, question experts and present evidence at administrative hearings.  The typical time commitment is 40-60 hours over 4-6 months.

We hope this newsletter helps you to help others and make a difference in our community!

All the best,

Rachel Balchum, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, and

Autumn Ronda, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair and Barristers President

Barristers…An Incubator for New Lawyers | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Each year, law schools continue to produce more and more graduates, and yet there are not enough jobs to employ these young and emerging lawyers. Many newly admitted attorneys are accepting job offers with salaries that do not even allow them to make the minimum payments on their student loans. Some new attorneys have been forced to take jobs outside of legal practice, while others are prematurely beginning solo practices in order to avoid a delay in their careers.

Given these unfortunate circumstances, the good work of the Barristers continues to be one of the most critical functions of the Bar. We offer these struggling new lawyers a place to come together and obtain the support they need to launch their careers, despite the grim state of the job market.

The Barristers is a unique division of the Bar because of the many ways it provides new lawyers with invaluable opportunities that can jump-start their careers, or further enhance their maturing professional practices. Barristers is not a section or committee restricted to a particular area of law, or with a specific mission or set of projects; rather, Barristers is what each Barrister chooses to make of it.

With the support of the Barristers Board, all Barristers have the opportunity to design a Continuing Legal Education program on virtually any legal topic of interest to them. The rewards Barristers can reap from chairing CLE programs are endless. For instance, Program Chairs locate and solicit a prominent professional, knowledgeable on the topic of choice, to serve as speaker for the program, thereby developing a relationship that may have not otherwise been enjoyed. Program Chairs also make themselves known within the Bar and the legal community as practitioners who are integral in the planning of valuable professional education programming. If qualified, they may even serve as co-speakers or moderators for the program.

Even more exciting, if a Barrister has a project that he or she is passionate about, and is willing to commit him or herself, the Barristers Board will provide the Barrister with the necessary support needed to design and form his or her own committee. These resources allow the Barrister to participate in community outreach, pro bono or other projects they personally feel are most important and valuable.

Because the Barristers are a group comprised of such enthusiastic, inclusive, diverse, and supportive Bar members, there is built-in flexibility which allows each member to focus on whatever is most personally meaningful to them, while simultaneously giving back to the legal profession and our community. For this and so many other reasons, I am proud to be a BHBA Barrister!


Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at ar@vrmlaw.com or 310 277 8011.

Special CLE on 12/16 at 6:00 p.m. Bet Tzedek Training Session: Representing Clients in Pro Bono Probate Guardianship Matters

This CLE will cover the basic aspects of a guardianship case providing the requisite training to participate in Bet Tzedek's Probate Guardianship Kinship Care program. Training includes completing the court forms, filing the forms with the Los Angeles Superior, providing notice to relevant parties, and what to expect at the court hearing.

WHEN - Monday, December 16, 2013, 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

WHERE - Beverly Hills Bar Association Center (Directions)

As a special training opportunity bonus, the program will be complimentary for attorneys who are willing

to commit to a Bet Tzedek pro bono matter. Volunteers will be contacted within the year following the date of the CLE to honor their commitment with Bet Tzedek.

In order to receive your complimentary MCLE credit, please call (310) 601-2422 or email events@bhba.org Be sure to indicate in your R.S.V.P. your willingness to sign up for a Bet Tzedek pro bono case.

1.5 Hours of General MCLE Credit 

For more information, and to register please click this link: http://www.bhba.org/intus/event3/signup.asp?event_id=3404

Barristers November Pro Bono Newsletter

Dear Barristers,

In an effort to keep you informed of all the wonderful pro bono legal services opportunities available for your participation, this is the second installment my new monthly series of newsletters highlighting some of the many volunteer options available at various legal aid organizations in Los Angeleas County. 

In addition to the organizations highlighted below, we encourage you to volunteer at our very own BHBA Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills on Saturday, December 7th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (and every first Saturday of the month thereafter)! If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian Smith, Anton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel

Bet Tzedek

Bet Tzedek provides assistance to all eligible needy residents throughout Los Angeles County, 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 Angelenos last year alone.  Barrister Rachel Balchum is our Liaison to Bet Tzedek and she can help you navigate your way through the various opportunities.

I would like to specifically highlight the following opportunities with Bet Tzedek:

Barrister co-hosted Training Session on Representing Clients in Probate Guardianship Matters: 

On December 16th at 6:00 p.m., at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a CLE providing the training necessary to participate in Bet Tzedek's Probate Guardianship Kinship Care program. This training will cover the basic aspects of a guardianship case, including completing the court forms, filing the forms with the Los Angeles Superior, providing notice to relevant parties, and what to expect at the court hearing. The CLE is free and open to those attorneys who commit to take on a pro bono guardianship case through the Probate Guardianship Kinship Care program.  Matters are heard in the Los Angeles Superior Court, are uncontested, and typically require between 25 and 35 hours to complete, over the course of approximately 2 to 3 months.  For more information and to sign up for the program please contact Pamela Weston.

Individual Pro Bono Estate Planning Cases

The following are two clients that are in need of pro bono representation for estate planning matters. If you are interested in assisting in either matter, please contact Bet Tzedek’s Pro bono Director, Diego Cartagena.

1.       Two developmentally disabled brothers currently live in a home left to them by their deceased parents.   The home was originally left to the two brothers and their older brother.  Older brother has since passed away.  Although high functioning, the two surviving brothers are not capable of managing the estate and would like a family friend to be appointed as successor trustee.  Deceased brother left debts and an account which may have trust assets co-mingled.  Bet Tzedek would like Pro bono assistance to review the trust, have a family friend appointed as the new trustee, and set up an estate plan (possibly a Special Needs Trust) to maintain the developmentally delayed brothers in the home with all possible services and support. 

2.       Dorothy is a lovely, low-income, disabled elderly widower, aged 79, whose Certified Public Accountant drafted a will, revocable living trust, power of attorney for health care, and general power of attorney for her several years ago. She would like to have these documents reviewed by an attorney in order to make sure they are appropriate.  In particular, Dorothy is a homeowner and wants to ensure her home passes to her 7 adult children with minimal taxes.

Public Counsel

As many of you know, the Beverly Hills Bar Association was a founder of Public Counsel. Public Counsel is now the largest pro bono law firm in the nation. Public Counsel’s staff of 61 attorneys and 52 support staff – including five social workers – along with over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals assists over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations every year.  Public Counsel has endless opportunities available for you to get involved and help those who are in need.  Former Barrister President, Jaison Benjamin is our Liaison to Public Counsel and she can help you navigate your way through the various opportunities.

I would like to specifically highlight the following opportunity with Public Counsel:

Foreclosure Prevention Clinic

Please join us at a Foreclosure Prevention Clinic presented by the California Consumer Justice Coalition (CCJC) on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the downtown offices of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), located at 3655 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 250, Los Angeles, CA 90007, to help provide pro bono assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. This event is a collaboration by the following nonprofit legal service organizations: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Bet Tzedek, Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation (LAFLA), and Public Counsel.

Pro bono volunteers will participate in a short training (don't worry, we will provide you all the information you will need) and then meet with homeowners to conduct an intake interview, provide legal advice and counsel as well as targeted referrals. Staff attorneys will be available at all times to provide assistance.

You don’t have to have expertise in this area of practice, and you don’t need to bring anything with you to the clinic –just your great legal mind and your enthusiasm for pro bonoSign up here!  

If you participate, please let Public Counsel know that you heard about this opportunity via the BHBA Barristers!

American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project

Los Angeles Lunch & Learn

Please join your colleagues in the Los Angeles legal community on December 4th or 5th for a lunchtime discussion about current pro bono opportunities that will assist prisoners on death row.  If you've never thought about working on a death penalty matter—or if you've rejected the idea in the past as either too expensive or too time-consuming—our conversation will surprise and inspire you.

There are now many different opportunities for law firms to make significant pro bono contributions, including challenging prison conditions, administrative regulations, and methods of execution; drafting amicus briefs and clemency petitions; and systemic litigation that will improve due process protections for vulnerable groups. Hundreds of mentally ill and intellectually disabled prisoners without counsel are also looking for volunteer lawyers to become their champions. Our new pro bono model means that firms working in some states will have expert assistance that will significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs and travel.

On December 4th, join us at 12:00 p.m. at Morris Polich & Purdy, 1055 West Seventh Street, Suite 2400, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

On December 5th, join us at 12:00 p.m. at Greenburg Traurig, 1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

Please RSVP here or email Kaitlin Sandin by Monday, December 2nd.

I hope this post helps you make a difference!

All the best,

Autumn Ronda

Barristers President

Beverly Hills Bar Association

 

Happy Holidays from Barristers President Autumn Ronda

Autumn-Ronda-2013I am enthusiastic, a bit nervous, and full of pride as I write this, my first Bar Brief article, addressing you in my new role as President of the BHBA Barristers. I speak for all my fellow Barristers when I say that this past year, under the leadership of our friend and collaborator, Jeanine Percival Wright, has been both personally and professionally rewarding.

Barristers Programs

Traditional Barristers programs such as Law Day, the New Admittee’s Reception, Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic, and Vintage Bouquet remained strong, while more recent projects such as the Community Outreach Committee and the Social Committee forged their place in Barristers history.

Early last year I put a new spin on the “Lunch With” program, expanding it beyond Entertainment Law, and establishing the program as a monthly
luncheon in which Barristers can join well-respected leaders in the legal community for a power lunch. As Committee Chair, Brian Schaller took the program to new heights and the Barristers have enjoyed tremendous success with these mini-mentoring sessions.

Lauren Gabbaian, took the lead on bringing the Barristers into the social media revolution by revamping our website, creating Barristers pages on
popular social media websites, and providing all of those outlets with continuous fresh content. With all of this to boast about, it is hard to see how the Barristers can do even more, but we have big plans to share with you!

Read more of Autumn's Bar Brief column here: 
http://www.bhba.org/images/pdf/November-December-2013.pdf

Thank you 2012-13 Executive Committee, and Congratulations to Roshni Gandi!

It was a great year for last year's Board, and such a fun meeting tonight! Next meeting Oct. 9.

And a big CONGRATULATIONS to Barristers member Roshni Gandhi, for being honored with the Barristers' Lawrence J. Blake Award! It will be presented to her officially at the BHBA Installation Dinner on Oct. 1.

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New Admittees Reception on March 14, 2013 a Success!!

The Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers proudly hosted their popular New Admittees Reception on March 14, 2013, garnering over 150 attendees.

Bar Leaders and Barristers of the BHBA warmly welcomed those newly admitted to the profession at the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s offices in the Rolex Building on Wilshire Boulevard.

The Honorable Judge John Segal addressed the attendees about the importance of community involvement and building lasting relationships in the legal profession, reinforcing some of the core values of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Bar Officers, Board of Governors Members and other Bar Leaders and Bar Staff were all present to welcome the New Admittees.

Guests mingled and networked with fellow constituents as they snacked on delicious hors d'oeuvres at the reception.

The Barristers would like to thank all those who attended as well as Lexis-Nexis, our generous sponsor, who contributed to the success of our event.

If you missed the New Admittees Reception, or even if you attended, but would like to learn more about what the Bar Association can do for you, please join us for our upcoming “Bar Camp.” More information can be found on our website at www.bhba.org.

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