July 2014 Barristers Pro Bono Newsletter

Dear Barristers,

The mission if the Barristers Pro Bono Committee and this Newsletter is to match members of our community who are in need of free legal services, with the abundance of young lawyers who are in need of practical legal experience.  Read more about this ideal match in a recent Bar Brief article entitled, Match Made in Bar Heaven.

To facilitate said pairing, we encourage you to volunteer for pro bono work by taking advantage of one or more of the many opportunities listed below!


Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer the first Saturday of each month (note: July clinic held on second Saturday due to holiday) 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 12, 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 Smith, or Wil Wenzel.


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. For more information on Public Counsel, please contact their Pro Bono Director David Daniels.

Children’s Rights Project – Force for Foster Youth Team

Public Counsel’s Children’s Rights Project (CRP) is building a new team of 25 to 30 attorneys to help non-minor dependent youth resolve outstanding tickets and warrants in the courts. Volunteer attorneys should expect to take on up to four cases per year. Each individual case should no more than 7 to 10 hours to resolve – many of these tickets are dismissed by the courts outright in the interest of justice once the jurist learns of the foster youth status of the client. Want to join the team? Please contact CRP’s Senior Staff Attorney Ruth Cusick.

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.


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.

Real Estate Fraud/Financial Elder Abuse

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney with real estate experience who has litigated in probate court to serve as pro bono counsel in a real estate fraud and financial elder abuse matter. The case involves helping an elder veteran with Alzheimer’s disease remove a fraudulent deed of trust from his home, and obtain damages for elder abuse. You can view a memo on the issues by clicking here.

Estate Planning Matter

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney with estate planning experience to serve as pro bono counsel to help an elderly client with his estate planning needs. You can view a memo on the issue by clicking here.

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 clinics are scheduled for July 10 and August 14.  Click here to find information regarding the clinic!


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.

FREE MLCE Immigration Trainings at LA Law Library

Join CLA-LA for a full day of FREE MCLE training and lunch on Immigration at the LA Law Library on July 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Various attorneys and CLA volunteers will be teaching on a variety of immigration-related topics. Up to 2.5 MCLE credits available. Email info@cla-la.org to sign up.

Legal URGENT Care Clinic

CLA-LA is seeking the assistance of attorneys, law students and paralegals to volunteer at their upcoming Legal URGENT Care Clinics. Upcoming clinics will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 19 at the DREAM Center in Echo Park, on July 26 at the World Impact School in South Central LA and on August 9 at Cornerstone West LA in Santa Monica. Please email volunteer@cla-la.org to sign up.


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

Special Education Advocacy FREE MCLE

The Alliance is offering a FREE MCLE training on Pro Bono Special Education Advocacy. The training is scheduled for August 20, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 333 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 550. Attorneys will learn to gather necessary records, ensure completion of appropriate assessments, negotiate Individualized Family Service Plan (for children 0-3) and Individualized Education Plan (for children 3+), and challenge inappropriate denials or decisions. After completing the training, attendees will be eligible to work with the Alliance on Education Advocacy cases. Click here for more information.

Foster Care Benefits Cases for Representation

The Alliance is on the lookout for more pro bono attorneys to take benefits cases. By advocating for funding and services, attorneys can help provide a stable home to a child in need. Pro bono attorneys speak with the caregivers, obtain and analyze records, prepare letters, negotiate with the Department of Children and Family Services, draft briefs, prepare for hearing and ensure compliance with judges’ orders.

Legal Guardianship Cases for Representation

The Alliance is also seeking pro bono attorneys to help eligible caregivers obtain legal guardianship of their children by representing them in probate court. Pro bono attorneys meet with the family, prepare the Petition for Guardianship and represent the family at unopposed hearings in probate court. 

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

4/30/14 Sights and Sounds from the Courtroom


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. 


Tips for Negotiating Anything! – December 17 MCLE

Top 12 Tips for Negotiating Anything: How to Win Your Case Without Going to Court
Join our distinguished speaker
  • Jan Frankel Schau, Neutral, ADR Services
Daily Journal Top 50 Neutral in California, Jan Frankel Schau of ADR Services will present her top 12 tips for becoming a smooth negotiator. The discussion will include tips and pointers on using your mediator to achieve  optimal outcomes in litigated cases as well as communication techniques for achieving the best results in every negotiation.



WHEN – Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 6 pm to 7:30 pm 
WHERE –  Beverly Hills Bar Association Center (Directions


1.0 Hours of General MCLE Credit 
Barristers Program Chair: Lawrence W. Freiman, Esq.

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


BHBA PRESIDENT’S AWARD goes to Barristers Board of Governors Member, Doron Eghbali, Esq.

The Beverly Hills Bar Association's Barristers are proud to announce that Doron Eghbali was honored with the BHBA's President’s Award for his active participation since he first joined the BHBA.  In addition to Co-Chairing the Real Estate Section for the past two years, Doron has graciously volunteered on many other projects to expand his involvement with the BHBA. He is always willing to take a leadership role and follows through to do an excellent job.  He developed a very popular Tenants’ Rights program for the public, and also presents MCLE programs on Unlawful Detainer. He is a member of both the Barristers and the BHBA Boards of Governors. He also has played an active role leading our volunteers at the USC BHBA IELB Symposium and other events.  Congratulations Doron!

Doron is a principal at Law Advocate Group LLP in Beverly Hills where he practices business, real estate and entertainment law. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and California Western School of Law.

BHBA / Public Counsel MCLE: “Legal Leaders of the Entertainment Industry Discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of Entertainment Contract Drafting!”


Marc Steanberg, Jaison T. Benjamin, Christopher A. Murphy, Theodore A. Russell, Jonathan H. Anschell, David Daniels, Lisa C. Jochums, Hernan Vera, and Zachary S. McGee

Marc Steanberg, Jaison T. Benjamin, Christopher A. Murphy, Theodore A. Russell, Jonathan H. Anschell, David Daniels, Lisa C. Jochums, Hernan Vera, and Zachary S. McGee

In a collaborative effort, the BHBA and Public Counsel were pleased to have offered this unique opportunity to hear prominent entertainment legal insiders offering their candid perspectives on drafting and litigating entertainment contracts.  As part of this event, attendees were offered the chance to sign up for a meaningful and discrete pro bono matter that allow them to put into practice some of the important pointers given in the presentation.  Those who signed up for the pro bono experience received their MCLE credit for free.  Another similar opportunity will be offered soon!

BHBA Barristers 2012 LAW DAY Event, with Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmon – No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom!

In 1958 President Dwight Eisenhower established Law Day as “a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” Commemorated annually since that date, Law Day programs are conducted throughout the country by bar associations, courts, schools, and civic groups.

In celebration of the 55th annual Law Day, the Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers hosted a Law Day Event, with very special guest speaker, Honorable Lee Smalley Edmon.  In celebration of Law Day, the Barristers collaborated with LexisNexis in offering free MCLE for attendance at Judge Edmon's discussion on the California State Budget Crisis. 

During the Law Day presentation, Judge Edmon offered insight into the the state budget situation, the two-part plan proposed by the Administrative Office, the judicial Budget Working Group’s approach, and the importance of adequate response to the budget crisis to protect access to justice in California.  To download a copy of Judge Edmon's PowerPoint presentation, please visit http://www.bhba.org/images/pdf/BHBA-Law-Day-Budget-Presentation-2012.pdf.

February 21, 2012 MCLE: What’s New in Employment Law?

A review of the new 2012 discrimination and wage/hour laws.

The seminar will encompass a review and analysis of new 2012 FEHA and California labor code laws, and how these new laws may impact Plaintiffs and Defendants in future litigation. This seminar is for attorneys who represent Plaintiffs and Defendants in individual or class action matters.

Speaker: Ryan D. Saba, Esq., Partner of Rosen Saba LLP

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Registration/Dinner: 6:00 p.m.; Program: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Beverly Hills Bar Association, Conference Center

300 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 210, Beverly Hills

(Free 2-hour parking at 216 S. Beverly Drive)

Price: $55.00 for BHBA Barrister/Labor Section Members who pay in advance*

$65.00 for BHBA Members who pay in advance*

$35.00 for BHBA Law Students ($10 more for Non-BHBA Law Students)

$80.00 for Non BHBA members in advance* ($10.00 more for each at the door)

*MINIMUM 24 HOURS – Refund with 48 hours notice – Raincheck with 24 hours notice

This event is FREE for members of The Order of Distinguished Attorneys

Program Chair: Jonathan S. Dennis, Esq.

MCLE CREDIT: This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar California in the amount of 1.5 hours and the Beverly Hills Bar Association certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State of California governing minimum continuing legal education.