BHBA Barristers team up with LA County Teen Court Program
Volunteers are needed to support youth and change lives

Around the state, jails are overcrowded, courts have been shut down, and kids are getting lost in the shuffle. Nearly ninety thousand (86,823) juveniles were arrested in 2014 in California alone. Just shy of 80 percent of those arrests were for misdemeanors or status offenses (crimes only applicable to juveniles, such as truancy and curfew violations). As just one of hundreds being pushed through the courts daily, each child is not given the individual attention or support he or she needs.

That’s where Teen Court comes in. By casting trained, volunteer teenagers in the roles of attorneys and jurors, the program allows first-time juvenile defendants accused of misdemeanors to be represented and judged by the people who understand them best. Jurors ask a wide range of questions of the defendant as well as his/her parents, allowing them to get a complete picture of the person. The sentences exclude confinement or fines and are directed to rehabilitate rather than to punish. They range from a letter of apology to community service to counseling. If the sentence is carried out within six months, the defendants avoid a stain on their record.

This is great for everyone. People with convictions have a harder time getting admission to college and securing jobs and housing. Not only does Teen Court prevent those first-offense convictions from appearing on a student’s record, but studies have shown that Teen Court-style programs can help keep them out of trouble in the future.

While beneficial, Teen Court often lacks support from schools that can’t provide staff or classrooms; some schools are short on volunteers to guide the process. This is why the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Barristers have made it their mission this year to partner with Teen Courts around LA County. With plans to donate volunteers and resources, the Barristers’ partnership with Teen Court will help many dozens of students change their lives for the better.

We need your help! Volunteers make sure all court sessions proceed as intended. Volunteers can be attorneys, judicial officers, or even law students. All volunteers must attend a training session, which will take place on January 28, 2016. Currently we have planned to work most closely with the program at Santa Monica High School, and we are adding more schools all the time. Program schedules will be added to the calendar.

If you would like more information or to volunteer, please call the BHBA at (310) 601-BHBA (2422) or email Barristers President Wil Wenzel at wsw@wswlegal.com.

(SaMo)Shel’ing Out a Lot of Love

On the second Saturday of every month, the Barristers visit the Santa Monica Shelter (map), where we cook together in an industrial kitchen to bring a delicious meal to as many as 60 residents.  Check out the pictures of past visits below, and join us on Saturday, September 12 (tomorrow) at 3 p.m., when we get a Back to School-themed menu:

GRADE SCHOOL GRILLED CHEESE SAMMIES
ROASTED CHICKIE FINGERS w/ BBQ DIP
FRESH ROMA TOMATO SOUP
CLASSIC FRUIT CUP
(KINDER)GARDEN SALAD
YUMMY CHOCO CHIP COOKIES

Thank You for a Beautiful and Blessed Year | by Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliThis is my last piece in Bar Brief as the President of the BHBA Barristers. Accordingly, it is important to reflect on the successful and jovial year we have had as Barristers and express our deepest gratitude to our beloved Barristers BOG members for their profound dedication and sacrifice.

Even though it is rather impossible to bestow individual accolades on more than 20 committees and many MCLEs we spearheaded, here is a summary of our notable activities this past year.

Roxbury Park – Every first Saturday of the month William S. Wenzel, our wonderful President-Elect, along with ebullient Danielle Grabois, Co-Chaired this event to provide free legal services.

Samoshel – Every second Saturday of the month, our chef extraordinaire, LeRoy Williams, joined by amiable past President of Barristers, Jeanine Percival Wright, and superb Jeremiah Livesay prepared eclectic food and served around 60 homeless people at the Santa Monica Shelter.

Vintage Bouquet – Like previous years, our indomitable Co-Chairs, Dira Imam and Danielle Grabois, spearheaded another electrifying Vintage Bouquet along with our invaluable Elizabeth Peterson, Jeremiah Livesay, Eseigbe Omofoma, Lauren Gabbaian and Yan Goldshteyn. Special thanks to Leigh Leshner, John Grimball and Nicholas Francescon for their efforts during past years.

Pro Bono Committee – On a Saturday, during Law Week at L.A. Law Library, Autumn Ronda along with Elizabeth Peterson, Rachel Balchum, and Dira Imam, provided free legal advice to more than 100 people. In addition, with the diligence of Jack McMorrow and other members of this great Committee, we succeeded in continuing to inform the public of noble pro bono activities in our neighborhoods through our meticulously prepared Pro Bono Newsletters.

Power Lunch – Nearly every month Yan Goldshteyn and Brian Schaller planned a “Power Lawyer” lunch with legal titans for an intimate roundtable discussion.

Committee for the Arts – Anastasia Alen and Dira Imam brought to fruition an ethereal evening of memorable art, music and food at the former House of Blues.

Tolerance Through Education – Liana Yoon and Eseigbe Omofoma taught elementary school children the meaning of love, respect and tolerance through educational activities.

Meet the Judges – Megan Peitzke deftly assembled eight judges and two commissionaires for a private and rare evening at the Santa Monica Courthouse.

Brunch for Eight – Ariadne Giannis executed four separate Brunch for Eight programs with UCLA, USC, Loyola and Whittier law schools.

Mentorship Committee – Our tireless Zev Shechtman, Autumn Ronda and Diana Ovsepian sought to continue matching qualified mentors with receptive mentees.

Social Media Committee – Special thanks to Lauren Gabbaian for her expertise in supervising our Social Media.

Happy Hour – David Paletz, our convivial Chair, ensured every Thursday of the month that we all had a classy place to go to for professional networking.

Join me in my heartfelt thanks of our beloved and blessed BOG.


 

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.

Love, Bonhomie and Professionalism | By Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliThe salient characteristics of the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) Barristers Board of Governors (BOG) are the bonhomie, love and professionalism it permeates and promotes among its members. These indispensable characteristics suffuse the 20 committees and projects the BHBA BOG have embarked upon.

Vintage Bouquet

Given these noble attributes, the BHBA Barristers’ BOG continued the glamorous Annual Vintage Bouquet event this year on April 26, 2015 with exquisite food and wine. Special thanks to our fastidious Co-Chair’s Dira Imam and Danielle Grabois whose dedication, along with the invaluable devotion of our Barristers’ BOG members Eseigbe A Omofoma, Lauren Gabbaian, Elizabeth Hall Peterson and Jeremiah Livesay, made this event possible. Also it is incumbent upon us to thank our previous Chair of Vintage Bouquet, Leigh Leshner and BOG members Nick Francescon and John Grimball for the past years’ successes.

Meet the Judges

Furthermore, thanks to our indispensable Megan Peitzke and the BHBA Barristers “Meet the Judges of the West District” was held on May 14, 2015 at the Santa Monica Courthouse. Eight judges and two commissioners graciously shared with participants the insight into many aspects of trial practice from ethics to civil discovery to trial work. It was a rare and informal meeting that participants undoubtedly relished.

Brunch for Eight

Again, we had the pleasure of hosting a select group of law students from Whittier Law School on April 12, 2015 at the BHBA, which was our fourth Brunch for Eight event in a month. Our wonderful Ariadne Giannis, the Chair of the Section, successfully arranged it.

Roxbury Park and Samoshel

On the first Saturday of the month in April and May, our efficient President-Elect William Wenzel and invaluable Co-Chair Danielle Grabois provided the public with free legal advice in a loving and welcoming ambience, along with other volunteers.

The second Saturday in April and May, our very own chef extraordinaire Leroy Williams, Jeremiah Livesay and other great volunteers, prepared delicious and eclectic food and served nearly 60 homeless people at the Santa Monica Shelter.

MCLE and Power Lunch

Our dedicated Barristers executed at least six ‘nuts and bolts’ type of MCLEs in the past two months on legal topics as diverse as Immigration, Real Estate, Labor and Employment, Law Practice Management, and Entertainment.

Thanks to Yan Goldshteyn, President-Elect for 2016-2017, and formidable Co-Chair, Brian Schaller, “Power” attorneys in entertainment law continued to share the keys to their success with the participants.

Happy Hour

Like previous months, David Paletz put on another Happy Hour with panache and class. Our Happy Hours are usually the third Thursday of the month at the Hotel Sixty in Beverly Hills.

You are welcome to become a part of us. We will embrace you with love and make you feel welcome.


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

SaMoShelling Out the Good Stuff

At the September installment of SaMoShel, the Barristers rang in the start of football season with wings and nachos!

The Barristers always meet on the second Tuesday of the month at OPCC SaMoShel (Santa Monica Shelter) to cook and serve a meal to as many as 60 of Santa Monica’s homeless population.  Join us at our next meeting on Oct. 11, from 3-5 p.m.

Supercharged SaMoShel

We had a great turnout at our last SaMoShel event, and everyone was chopping, grilling, scooping SOMETHING to perfection.  The menu was Carribean themed, and everyone we served was so greatful we even got some applause!  Check out pictures from the event below, and remember: the next SaMoShel will be this weekend on August 9!

Batter Up!

Barristers from the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Bar Associations went head to head last Saturday in Santa Monica to play an epic game of softball.  Sadly, the home team won in the last inning, with a final score of 7-6, but the weather was great, the game was a blast, and both sides came together for a pizza party afterward.  Thanks to Jonathan Dennis for organizing, and stay tuned for details about a rematch later this year!

Check Out Pictures from This Month’s SaMoShel Visit!

Join us next month at SaMoShel on June 14!

Molto Bene!

The Barristers really came together this weekend to prepare dinner for about thirty homeless people at SaMoShel.  They got a delicious dinner of chicken parmasean, penne bolognese, Italian salad, and garlic bread, along with a healthy serving of vanilla-almond pudding (with a much fancier sounding name) for dessert.  We got cooking lessons from Roshni Gandhi, Anton Labrentz, and Leroy Williams.  Everyone had a blast!

Join us for the next SaMoShel meeting on Nov. 9!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

It was a tough fight, but BHBA lost to SMBA by only one point, scored in the last inning!  But we had a blast anyway, and everyone enjoyed our BBQ.