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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.



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. 



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.



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.



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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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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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:




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.




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Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 10, 2019


By Gabe Gregg                  2019 SCCBA President


 Hello Silicon Valley attorneys – I hope that everyone is having a great Summer!

As many of you know, our CEO, Chris Burdick, officially retired a few weeks ago, on June 14.  It had been her hope and intent to retire in mid-August, but this earlier retirement date was regrettably necessitated by her deteriorating health. 

Given Chris’s overwhelming importance to the SCCBA over her almost 30-year tenure, it seemed appropriate to dedicate July’s President’s Message to a summary review of just some of the notable achievements of the SCCBA, and Chris’s professional accomplishments, during her three-decades as our Executive Director/CEO.


  • 1990 - Implementation of the first voluntary bar association in country Modest Means Program (developed in 1989 by Karen Drury Russel under the leadership of then President, now Judge, James Towery).  This program is still in place.
  • 1990 - Implementation of one of the first minority law student clerkship programs in the country by a bar association – the Bay Area Summer Minority Clerkship Program (BAMSCP) (developed in 1989 by Chris Compton, partner at Wilson Sonsini under the leadership of then President James Towery).  This program is still in place.
  • 1992 - Publication of the widely recognized and acclaimed SCCBA Code of Professionalism, approved by the Santa Clara County Superior Court and Northern District of California (developed and written under the leadership of then President, now Judge, Brian Walsh).
  • 1993 – SCCBA participated in hearings and supported the City of San Jose creation of an independent citizen police commission to review excessive force cases, resulting in the creation of the Office of the Independent Police Auditor, still functioning today (leadership of then President Sam Polverino and Brian Walsh)
  •  1993 - Established the first LGBT bar association committee in the State of California to address issues of concern to LGBT attorneys, later incorporated into the SCCBA Diversity Committee.
  • 1993 - Established the first Diversity Committee to address diversity issues/involvement of minority attorneys in the SCCBA and the legal profession.
  • 1994 – Implemented the Barristers’ Leadership Program to introduce new attorneys less than five years in practice and/or under the age of 36 to the SCCBA, leadership, civility, and networking to encourage them to take leadership roles in the SCCBA.  This program is still in place. 
  • 1994 - Created one of the first Work-Life Balance Task Forces by a bar association and held a first day long conference (under the leadership of then President Kathy Meier).
  • 1995 – 2001 - Began working on implementing new technology for the SCCBA to better serve its members and prepare them for the future of technology in legal practice.  Among the highlights:

o   Board of Trustees developed its first strategic plan regarding technology and the SCCBA, which is still in place.

o   Established its first web presence in 1996.

o   Launched access to on-line, on-demand CLE program, first voluntary bar association in country to provide this service to members.

o   Developed the first customized, integrated (with website) on-line membership database and association management system, allowing attorneys to register for events on-line, see all SCCBA activities on-line, access the on-line on demand CLE programs – SCCBA was first bar association in country to do this and received national recognition and provide demonstrations nationally to nation-wide voluntary bar associations.

o   First voluntary bar association to convert to electronic communications, in 2000.

o   Created on-line pictorial search membership directory to replace hard copy directory in 2001.

o   Implemented a VOIP telephone system (first bar association in country to do so; early adoption of VOIP).

  • SCCBA has received numerous awards recognizing programs and efforts in diversity by the State Bar and nationally.
  • SCCBA received the ABA National Association of Bar President’s Award for Innovative Partnerships in establishing the Campaign for Silicon Valley in conjunction with the county’s legal services agencies (CSV fundraises and makes grants to the various legal service agencies to supplement their other funding).
  • Developed and released Position Statement on Independence of the Judiciary and SCCBA Opposition to Recall of Aaron Persky.
  • Opposed Prop 8 – ban on same sex marriage in California.
  • Participated in amicus briefs to legalize same sex marriage in California.
  • Developed a bias in the court's procedure in 1997 in conjunction with the Superior Court; the bias in the court's procedure was completely revised in 2018 and approved by the SCCBA Board and Superior Court to be implemented in 2019/2020.


  • Chair, State Bar Committee on Women in the Law.
  •  Member, State Bar Futures Commission on the Future of the Practice of Law in California.
  •  Member, Judicial Council Standing Commission on Access to the Courts, chaired the drafting group of the Commission for the first ever in the country report on Access to California Courts by Gay and Lesbian Litigants and Attorneys.
  • Member, Judicial Council Task Force on Fair Election of Judges in California; SCCBA was highlighted as a model with its Fair Election Practices Commission & Procedure, which has been in place for over 40 years as the oldest and most successful such commission in the country.
  • Member, State Bar Committee on Professionalism and Rule of Conduct (COPRAC).
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Lincoln Law School, Ethics & Professionalism; chaired the Faculty Committee and helped draft and implement student Code of Conduct and hearing process for complaints.


Some past Presidents of the SCCBA have shared their appreciative sentiments about Chris.

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Towery expresses the impact of Chris’s tenure as follows:  “Chris was a leader and innovator at the helm of the Santa Clara Bar Association.  She championed the cause of legal ethics and did a wonderful job raising the standard of lawyers in our county.  Under her leadership, the SCCBA gained a national reputation as one of the best in the nation.”

Dianne Sweeney, managing partner of Palo Alto Office of Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw Pittman and community leader, comments: “For two decades, Chris has been a passionate voice of innovation, leadership, professionalism and unwavering commitment to the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Chris has inspired countless lawyers and judges to do more and reach farther—bringing so many of us together as professionals, as friends, as colleagues, as community leaders—she has made an indelible impression on my life and this legal community.”

Reflecting on Chris’s service to the SCCBA, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Julia Emede states: “Over her tenure, and in the face of rapidly changing technology and membership organization dynamics, Chris led the SCCBA through a number of reinventions at times when other bar associations declined or even ceased to exist.  Chris deserves great recognition and thanks for her visionary and tireless service and dedication to the SCCBA.”  

Incoming SCCBA President S. Michael Lee states: “Chris’ presence will be sorely missed.  She was a pillar of the legal community and strong ally in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal community.  You always knew she would be there when it was time to open closed doors and break glass ceilings.”



As you can see, under Chris’s leadership the SCCBA has played a very significant and positive role in the Silicon Valley legal landscape and nationally.  I hope you will join me in thanking Chris for her astonishing contributions to our organization and our membership.


The SCCBA plans to honor and celebrate Chris Burdick’s service at an event or events to be announced later this year – please stay tuned!

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The Bench and The Bar – A Strong and Collaborative Relationship

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 4, 2019


The Hon. Deborah A. Ryan  Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara


It was with great pleasure that I accepted President Gabriel Gregg's kind offer to write a guest column for the Santa Clara County Bar Association because it affords me the opportunity to reflect upon the strong and collaborative relationship that the SCCBA and the Santa Clara County Superior Court have enjoyed over the years. The SCCBA has always encouraged volunteerism to assist the court and the bar members have always responded by embracing that call.  I write this having been a part of the equation for the past forty plus years, with the first 22 years as a lawyer and bar association member and the last 19 as a judicial officer. While clearly so much has changed over the years, (I believe when I began the practice of law, we did not even use fax machines), the collaboration, relationship and spirit of volunteerism between the bench and the bar has remained intact.


In reviewing the guest columns written by past Presiding Judges Lucas and Pichon over the last few years there was a clear focus on budget issues that contributed to a loss of resources and a reduction of service. While we as a court and a branch are still underfunded, I am pleased to say that we continue to work with the judicial council, the governor and our legislators to remedy that situation. The May 2019 revision to Governor Gavin Newsom's budget (which still needs to be passed by the legislature and may well have by the time this goes to press) contains modest good news for the judicial branch.  There is increased funding including additional funding for 25 new judgeships, an increase in the cap on trial court reserve funds from 1% to 3%, funding  for the continued expansion of interpreter services in civil cases and to cover the additional costs in criminal cases, an increase in federal funds for court-appointed dependency counsel, additional funds for staff to help maintain trial court eligibility to collect federal reimbursements, an additional one time funding in the equal access fund to provide legal aid to renters in landlord tenant disputes and funds for the courts of appeal to address increased workloads and costs. These increases support the goal of the judiciary to provide equal access to justice to all.  These statewide changes may not translate into specific change for our local court in every area, but they will help to relieve the pressure we have experienced in attempting to provide high levels of service to the public with decreased funding. It is critical that we as a bench and bar continue to talk to our local legislators, who have been helpful in the past by recognizing our needs and how the lack of funding impacts the public that we all serve, and encourage them to continue to support adequate funding for our courts.


Our new case management system, Odyssey, which many of you know from the civil, family and traffic divisions of the court has now been implemented in our criminal division. As with any introduction of a new system, there have been challenges, but we are hopeful that when it is fully implemented we will see efficiencies and economies that will enable us to continue our efforts to reduce backlogs and provide improved pubic service. Our court recognizes that reduced funding has impacted all court users and we will continue to strive to lessen that impact as we move forward.


We are pleased that with assistance from the County of Santa Clara, we have been able to increase our self-help center hours to a full five days a week. Through the diligent efforts of its supervising attorney, Fariba Soroosh, and the excellent attorneys and staff working in self-help, we have been able to reach more self-represented litigants who need assistance and have expanded our advice and assistance in the fast-growing area of probate.


There is an important and substantive manner in which SCCBA members can continue to support and assist the court: volunteering for our temporary judge program. We are actively recruiting members of the bar with ten years of experience (an exception in some instances can be made to this requirement) who are interested in serving as a temporary judge in a number of areas. We are especially in need of temporary judges willing to serve in traffic and small claims. Benefits of choosing this type of public service include; an opportunity to make important decisions that impact lives and to determine if you like judging, a chance to serve the public and do much needed pro bono service for the court and free mcle credit when you take the necessary training. If you are interested, please see the court’s website for additional information about applying for the program.


Before I conclude, I want to offer thanks on behalf of myself personally and the court to the SCCBA’s Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel, Chris Burdick, and to wish her well in her upcoming retirement. For the past 29 years, Chris has been tireless in her dedication to serving Santa Clara County’s legal community and the public.  Her guidance and wisdom have helped to make the SCCBA an organization that is recognized for its excellence both at the state and national levels.  Chris is an institution and she will be missed. I know the search is on for her successor and all of us at the court look forward to forging the same type of bench/bar relationship that we have had under Chris’s leadership.


While the years ahead will undoubtedly continue to bring challenges to the practice of law and to the court system in general, we can rest assured that our bench and bar will be standing together to weather these challenges. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this tremendous legal community.

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2019 Annual Judges' Night Dinner

Recent Recognitions
Susana Inda2018 Barrister of the Year
Constance L. Carpenter2018 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

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