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President Gabe Gregg

 

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Thank You For An Amazing 2019!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 5, 2019

 

By Gabe Gregg              2019 SCCBA President

  

Hello Silicon Valley Attorneys!


And … also … a fond goodbye given that this will be my final monthly message as the 2019 President of the SCCBA. My tenure expires shortly, and my very capable colleague and friend, Michael Lee, will be assuming the presidency starting in January.


I want to reserve the bulk of this last message to thank the many people that helped contribute to my great experience in 2019.  But before I jump into my gratitude-list, I’d like to share a handful of reflections and insights from this year.


First, lawyers are indeed awesome.  As some of you may remember, this maxim was my first presidential theme (see February President’s Message).  As an unlikely law student and lawyer (see January President’s Message), it has been a pleasure to spend my career interacting with smart, creative legal practitioners all over the world – but particularly in this special county since I moved here in 2006. My experiences this year have validated this conviction multifold. Certainly, no one can dispute that lawyers and judges (and legal processes generally) have played an important role in critical national issues this year. More locally, and especially viewed from the position of president, the lawyers and judges in Silicon Valley are among the most impressive and dedicated professionals that I have ever met.


This year, I gained particular insight into the quality of our local lawyers and judges by coordinating the consideration and selection of award winners for the SCCBA Judges’ Night which was held on November 21.  Reviewing the backgrounds and work-records of the many worthy award candidates really brought home the depth and quality of Santa Clara lawyers and judges. Congratulations again to our Judges’ Night awardees: Justice Eugene Premo (Lifetime Achievement); Mindy Morton (Diversity and Inclusion); Bernie Greenfield (Professional Lawyer of the Year); Hopkins & Carley (Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year); and Justice Mary Greenwood (Outstanding Jurist of the Year).  And another offer of thanks and congratulations to Chris Burdick who was presented with a special gift and honor by Santa Clara County Superior Court judges in appreciation of her 29-year tenure as our SCCBA CEO (see July President’s Message). 


Second, the SCCBA is a truly vital institution which uniquely benefits and bonds the lawyers and judges in this county.  I have been particularly struck this year regarding the depth of loyalty and affection that our members feel towards this bar association.  For those that need reminding, I wrote earlier this year about the many services offered by the SCCBA, along with suggestions on how you can expand your participation (see April President’s Message).  On that note, I wanted to remind you again that, as a volunteer organization, the SCCBA—of course—relies on our membership fees, our paid CLE events, and sponsorships. Please continue to consider the SCCBA as a worthy investment for your fees and your other financial support.  Our association literally cannot do any of its work without you.


Third (again, with your membership fees and other help), I am confident the SCCBA is positioned to flourish into the future.  It is fair to say that 2019 was a legacy year for our organization. In particular, with Chris’s retirement, the SCCBA leadership was charged with the task of finding our new CEO.  After a somewhat chaotic process, including a mid-year timetable adjustment, it was our great fortune to find and retain our wonderful new CEO and General Counsel, Sherry Diamond, who started in August (see August President’s Message).  I’m pleased to confirm that Sherry has hit the ground running. She is tenacious. She is charming. And she is highly-skilled. I know I speak for the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee in saying that we could not be more appreciative of her leadership.  If you haven’t met her yet, you’re missing out! I know that Sherry and her team can and will navigate the SCCBA to continue as a successful, and influential, bar association into the next decade and beyond.


So, now to the many thank yous.


I would first like to thank this year’s committed SCCBA Board of Trustees and excellent Executive Committee.  All of these volunteer members worked very hard and showed great flexibility and courtesy this year, especially in our CEO search. Special thanks to SCCBA ex-president Kate Wilson for her invaluable help in the CEO search.


Thank you to the SCCBA section and committee chairs who diligently rallied their members and assembled a packed schedule of successful CLE events (seminars and brown-bags) on important legal issues, and also arranged mixers and other social events that helped our members network and have some plain fun.


Thank you to the SCCBA staff for their hard work on behalf of our association. They are the capable and adept heart of our organization.


Thank you to the judges forumed in this county.  At a time in which the judicial branches of government are under unusual pressure, we should all acknowledge and celebrate the professional, calm, and competent administration of justice that goes on in this county day-after-day.  I would like to particularly thank Presiding Judge Debra Ryan and Assistant Presiding Judge Ted Zayner of the Santa Clara County Superior Court for their availability, support and assistance to the bar association, and to me, this year.  The close and positive historic relationship between the bench and the bar in this county is of critical importance and continues in good stead.


And thank you to all of you – the members of the SCCBA.  Again, you are vital to our mission, and we so appreciate your membership and your volunteer time and participation.  We are here for you, and thank you for being here for us.

 

Thank you to my beloved law firm, Rimon PC, for providing me freedom and backing in 2019, and in previous years, to spend time on SCCBA matters. Rimon is a truly ingenious and innovative law firm with a pioneering semi-virtual structure that provides genuine benefits to its lawyersemployees and clients (see February President’s Message). 


Finally, thank you to my family for their support and flexibility this year: my wife Raana, and my children Anahita and Gieve. They have been exceedingly tolerant of my time away from them on presidential tasks, and it would have been far harder to complete this year without their encouragement and sweetness.


Thank you again for providing me this unique experience. I wish all of you enjoyment and success in your legal practices, Happy Holidays, and a rewarding 2020!


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PLAN FOR A SPECIAL JUDGES’ NIGHT ON NOVEMBER 21!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 7, 2019

 

By Gabe Gregg              2019 SCCBA President

 

Dear Silicon Valley attorneys:


Happy November!  It seems hard to believe that we’re already bumping up on the holiday period and year-end.  I am personally amazed at how fast my term as SCCBA President is flying by. Most of all, I am incredibly pleased and grateful that, after a somewhat makeshift (but momentous) year, our beloved bar association has resumed smooth operation under the leadership of our fantastic new CEO, Sherry Diamond.


Of greatest significance this month, I wanted to remind all our members that Judges’ Night is November 21.  All of us have been working hard towards this signature annual event, and it is shaping up to be a particularly memorable, and perhaps heartfelt, evening.  Please do not miss the 2019 Judges’ Night – if you haven’t signed up yet (for a table or individually), now is the time! Here is the link to register.


https://sccba.site-ym.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1245274&group=  


In connection with Judges’ Night, I am thrilled to confirm that our esteemed former CEO, Chris Burdick, will be joining us for the evening.  This will be a wonderful opportunity for our membership to show their appreciation for her storied 29-year tenure.


I am also thrilled to make the following announcements to the full membership regarding the SCCBA’s Judges’ Night awardees who will be honored on November 21.


  • This year, we are presenting a brand new award – the SCCBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  I could not be more pleased to announce that the first recipient of this award is the Honorable Eugene M. Premo, Justice of the 6th District Court of Appeal, in recognition of his 50th Anniversary on the bench.  This is a remarkable achievement by a remarkable jurist.


  • The SCCBA Diversity & Inclusion Award is being awarded to Mindy M. Morton.  Mindy, a partner at Procopio, has spent her career advocating tirelessly for women and other underrepresented groups in the legal profession and elsewhere.


  • The SCCBA Pro Bono Service Award is being awarded to Hopkins & Carley for its Pro Bono Public Defender Program.  This award recognizes the very significant pro bono contributions by Hopkins & Carley attorneys, under the leadership of partner John Picone III, representing clients in partnership with the Santa Clara Country Public Defenders’ office.


  • The SCCBA Professional Lawyer of the Year Award goes to Bernard Greenfield.  Bernie exemplifies the criteria for this special recognition: a  respected practitioner of unimpeachable character, with a history of mentorship and service, to the bar association and others, and a tradition of ethical practice consistent with the SCCBA Code of Professionalism.


  • Finally, the SCCBA Jurist of the Year Award for Santa Clara County is awarded to the Honorable Mary Greenwood, Presiding Justice of the 6th District Court of Appeal.  If you’ve ever had a matter before Justice Greenwood, then you know as we do that she wholly exemplifies the qualities befitting the Jurist of the Year: fairness, impartiality and competence, combined with personal warmth, graciousness and humility.


Our keynote speaker is Judge William Alsup, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California.  Judge Alsup is a highly-admired jurist with a fascinating personal history, which is the subject of his recent memoir:  "Won Over: Reflections of a Federal Judge on His Journey from Jim Crow Mississippi."  Judge Alsup’s speech is anticipated to be a particularly thoughtful and moving reflection on important issues of our times.


We are looking forward to seeing all of you for Judges’ Night on November 21 at the San Jose Marriott.  You will not want to miss this special night!


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Fall Events, SCCBA's New Officers and Trustees

Posted By Ryker Heberle, Thursday, October 3, 2019

 

By Gabe Gregg

 2019 SCCBA President

 

Dear SCCBA Members,

With the onset of Autumn, SCCBA is gearing up for the holidays and beginning preparation and plans for the new year.

SCCBA officially began its 2020 Membership Renewal on October 1st! Please be sure to renew sooner rather than later, before the distraction of the holiday celebrations clutter the calendar. New CEO Sherry Diamond is working alongside President-Elect Michael Lee, myself and the Board of Trustees to expand membership opportunities, increase accessibility and introduce a few new committees and sections.

On everyone’s calendar should be SCCBAs Annual Judges’ Night! This year, on November 21st we will honor three worthy attorneys who will be recognized for their dedication to Professionalism, Diversity and for their Pro Bono service to our community. Nominations are currently open and being accepted through October 9th. Please consider nominating a deserving colleague. We will also honor SCCBAs Jurist of the Year (To be Announced!) Distinguished Federal District Court Judge William Alsup (Northern District, San Francisco) will give the keynote address, which promises to be moving and insightful. If you haven’t booked your table or your tickets – NOW is the time! We are hoping to see you all there!

Finally, SCCBA is pleased to announce the incoming 2020 Board of Trustees! Read on and learn about the terrific talent, and dedication that will lead our organization in the new year.

 

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President - S. Michael Lee

S. MICHAEL LEE is Secretary and General Counsel of Uniquify, an AI start up located in Silicon Valley.  He seeks to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal community and intends to make this his focus during his tenure as SCCBA President.  In addition to serving on the Santa Clara County Bar Association's Judiciary and Diversity Committees (having Chaired the latter) Michael has served on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Executive Committee.  He is the former SCCBA Secretary, Treasurer and currently serves as 2019 President-Elect. He received his BA from UC Berkeley with Honors in 1994 and graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1998. 

 

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President-Elect – Susana Inda

SUSANA INDA is a San Jose native who graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2013.  She is a Staff Attorney for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and serves on VTA’s Diversity Committee.  Susana was the Vice President and thereafter President of the Santa Clara County La Raza Lawyers Association (SCCLRLA) from 2016 through 2018 and currently sits as a Board Member of the Association and its Charitable Foundation counterpart. Susana has served on the Board of Trustees for the SCCBA since 2016 and as a SCCBA Executive Committee Member since 2017.

Diversity in the legal profession is a strong area of interest to Susana, and as such, she is also an attorney mentor for the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League (SVUDL). While sitting as the President-Elect for the SCCBA, Susana plans to carefully study the role of SCCBA President while seeking to further understand the needs and priorities of not just the legal community but our communities within the County. She also hopes to provide a supportive role to the SCCBA President in an aim to fulfill as many of the 2020 goals and themes as possible.

 

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Treasurer – Bruce MacLeod

BRUCE MACLEOD is a Senior Counsel with the San Jose firm of Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook.  In his more than 30 years as an attorney in San Jose, he has handled a broad range of civil matters, and his current practice emphasizes business litigation and the defense of legal malpractice actions.

Mr MacLeod recognizes that SCCBA, like other Bar Associations, is seeing changes in what attorneys expect from their local association, with the result that many have had to diversify and adjust goals and expectations in the sources of income.  Combined with the need to replace SCCBAs long-time C.E.O., 2019 was a very a challenging year for SCCBA. His goal in the next year is to work with the new C.E.O. to find ways to increase revenue by growing membership and adding even more value to its membership and the broader community.

 

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Secretary - Adam Davis

ADAM DAVIS is a member of Davis & Young, APLC in San Jose, focusing primarily on employment matters. He has served two terms as Co-chair of the SCCBA’s Barrister’s Committee and multiple terms as an elected member of the SCCBA Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of the Santa Clara University School of Law and a frequent lecturer at law schools and professional organizations throughout the Bay Area. During his career, Adam has received numerous awards and accolades, including the SCCBA’s Barrister of the Year award in 2014. He looks forward to joining the Executive Committee and continuing to serve the SCCBA.

 

2020 Incoming Trustees

 

B J Fadem

B J FADEM graduated from the Golden Gate University School of Law and has been practicing law since 1985. He has been certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in family law since 1999; he has practiced insurance defense, personal injury, criminal defense, general civil litigation, business litigation, property litigation, corporate transaction and litigation, and probate.  He has been the senior attorney of The Law Offices of B J Fadem & Associates, APC since he founded it in 1991.  He is the former Chair of the Family Law Section of the SCCBA, formerly served on the Family Law Executive Committee, Family Law Advisory Commission and Board of Legal Specialization for the State Bar of California.  He currently serves as the chair for the Family Law Legislation Committee, Family Law Education Committee and the Diversity Committee for the SCCBA

His offices are located in downtown San Jose, however, he is one of the few attorneys that practice in the area of international family law jurisdiction – including Hague proceedings. He has been representing minor children in family law proceedings for over 25 years. He has presented numerous classes and seminars throughout the country in all areas of family law, including domestic violence, inter-state and international jurisdiction, The Hague Treaty, and representation of minor children.

His passion is his international practice and serving as minors’ counsel in high conflict family law matters. Although his practice focuses upon the fall of marriages and relationships, he has been happily married for over 28 years with a daughter in college.  His hobbies include mixed martial arts, weight training, fencing, sword fighting, and teaching.

 

Patrick Hammon

PATRICK HAMMON has been a corporate litigator in the Palo Alto office of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom for the past 12 years.  His practice includes a wide range of litigation matters, including breach of contract, unfair competition, trademark, copyright, personal injury, and white-collar cases.  Some of his representative matters include his representation of Barry Bonds in his 2011 criminal trial; his representation of MGA in the 2008 intellectual property litigation regarding ownership of the Bratz doll; and his representation of the National Football League in various painkiller-related lawsuits filed between 2014 and 2018.  Patrick is an active member of the legal community; he has served on the Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Professionalism, taught torts at Lincoln Law School, and coached the Downtown College Prep mock trial team.

 

Josephine (Jo) Park

JOSEPHINE (JO) JIHAI CHARISSA PARK received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy from U.C. Berkeley in 2006 and a Juris Doctor from U.C. Hastings in 2010. She was admitted to the California Bar December 1, 2010.  She interned at the California Attorney General's Office, Logos Christian law firm in South Korea, and clerked at the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. Since becoming a practicing attorney, she prosecuted misdemeanors and business code violations at the San Jose City Attorney's Office, and then worked in worker's compensation defense until 2016 when she assumed her current position with The Law Firm of J. Hector Moreno, Jr. and Associates. Jo is very active in her church, Full Gospel Central Church of San Jose. 

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END-OF-SUMMER SCCBA UPDATE, INCLUDING HONORING CHRIS BURDICK

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

 

By Gabe Gregg                  2019 SCCBA President

 

 

Hello SCCBA Members,

 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to report that, as of September 1, the SCCBA’s new CEO, Sherry Diamond, is settled into her role full-time; having successfully completed both her relocation from Long Beach and her orientation with Chris Burdick over the last few weeks.

 

If you haven’t yet met Sherry, she invites you to drop by the SCCBA offices anytime.  Her door is (almost) always open.

 

While this is a very exciting time in the history of SCCBA, it is also admittedly bittersweet.  August 31 marked the completion of Chris Burdick’s support and consultation in the transition of leadership to Sherry (which has been notably seamless and successful).  Marking this transition is important, as so many members of this association have been mentored by and collaborated with Chris over the 29-years of her leadership.

 

It is a credit to Chris’ insight and innovation that the SCCBA is a model for many other bar associations both statewide and nationwide.  We know the membership at large join us in our desire to honor Chris’ legacy.  We have given a great deal of consideration of the ways our association might accomplish such honoring, and having talked with Chris about our ideas.  We have learned that it is Chris’ genuine wish to avoid fanfare and swan-songs and, after 29 years, Chris should certainly have a say in such decisions!  Chris has earned her right to rest, rejuvenate, and enjoy her retirement.

 

We believe that the best way we can thank Chris and celebrate her service is to tell her so.  Some members have already contacted us to ask how they might do that.  If you would like to share your personal appreciation for Chris, the SCCBA is happy to receive cards and notes addressed to her, and we will make sure to forward them.

 

In our view, the other best way to honor Chris’s legacy is to help ensure SCCBA’s longevity and continued success. To that end, we hope you have already renewed your annual membership for 2020.  If you have not yet done so, now is the time! Invoices will be going out soon.  

 

Another opportunity to be involved in our continued success is to become part of our Lawyer Referral Service panel.  We are particularly in need of attorneys that are willing to charge half their hourly rate for our Modest Means program.  Providing lawyer referrals is a major initiative for the SCCBA, and one that our community relies upon.  Please consider offering 30 minutes of your time meet with a prospective client matched to your practice area. You can call us at 408.971.6822 or go download the Attorney Application Form here.

 

You should also check our calendar for numerous exciting and timely upcoming Seminars and MCLEs.

 

Finally, please take time to book your seat or table now for our premiere annual event:  Judges’ Night.  This event will take place this year on November 21, and will feature our distinguished keynote speaker, San Francisco District Judge William Alsup.  While this date may seem far off, I can assure you that it will soon be right around the corner!

 

Thank you for reading, and have a great Fall!

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MEET THE SCCBA’S NEW CEO – SHERRY DIAMOND!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

 

By Gabe Gregg                  2019 SCCBA President

 

 

Hello Silicon Valley attorneys!

It is with enormous pleasure that I introduce you to the SCCBA’s new CEO and General Counsel, Sherry Diamond!

 

After an extensive interview/hiring process that started earlier this year, Sherry was selected from among a large pool of applicants by the SCCBA Executive Committee, and ratified by the full Board of Trustees on Thursday, August 1. The entire leadership of the SCCBA is delighted to have found Sherry and grateful that she has accepted our offer to assume these vital roles in our association. Sherry has already started working on orientation and transition with our recently retired CEO, Chris Burdick, and is due to start in her positions full time in the relative near term as she relocates to San Jose from her law practice and other work in Long Beach.

 

I am confident that Sherry will be a terrific bar leader. We look forward to providing opportunities for our members to get the chance to meet with Sherry at SCCBA events in the near future. For now, without further ado, here is Sherry’s opening message to all of you:

 

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By Sherry Diamond                        SCCBA CEO & General Counsel  

 

Dear SCCBA Community,

My name is Sherry Diamond, and I could not be more pleased to introduce myself as incoming CEO/General Counsel of this highly respected organization, especially at this crucial time in its history. I would like to express my gratitude to the SCCBA Board of Trustees for their confidence in me.  

 

I come to this role with over 25 years in nonprofit administration, and 10 years as an attorney, practicing nonprofit law. I have served as CEO/Executive Director, COO/Managing Director, Resource Development Director and in academia as a graduate school professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and most recently as Dean of Academics at Pacific University School of Law in Long Beach.

 

I have chaired and/or served on numerous Boards of Directors, locally, nationally and internationally, including the Board of Governors for the Long Beach Bar Association, and its LGBTQ Attorneys & Allies section.

 

Rest assured that I am committed to protecting Chris Burdick’s legacy borne of 29 years of service to this community and to building on those successes in an ever-changing legal landscape. I look forward to meeting all of you, and partnering with you, in our collective goal to maintain and build upon the stellar work for which SCCBA is known.

 

While I am from Long Beach, I have friends and colleagues here in the Bay Area and am very excited to explore and invest in my new community. I believe in community engagement, in creating and sustaining positive relationships, and find that the capacity for meaningful relationship is key to both a successful organization and a rich and gratifying life.

 

I am particularly passionate about arts, culture, diversity and inclusion and I am an avid traveler. I look forward to getting to know you and working together in service to SCCBA.

 

Warmly,

Sherry

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more Calendar

12/13/2019
2019 Annual Family Law Holiday Luncheon

Recent Recognitions
Susana Inda2018 Barrister of the Year
Hon. Mary E. Arand2018 Jurist of the Year

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