N o ta b e n e
We’re on the Web! June 20 , 2012
ABAS & NAPABA Leadership:
Past & Future President’s Corner 2
Tuesday Nights at My 2
Message from the 2
Past President Profile: 3
Judge Jacqueline H. 3
Current California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue after receiving the 2003 NAPABA Trailblazer
Meet Angela M. Lai 4
Award in Hawaii, with ABAS past Presidents: Administrative Law Judge Rebecca Westmore, Judge Richard K.
Sueyoshi, Darrel Woo, Judge Russell Hom. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakayue was a Superior Court Judge at the time and
went on to become an Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal and Chief Justice of California. Eye on the 6
By Judge Richard K. Sueyoshi Even before that meeting in 1988, APA lawyers in Joaquin River
Sacramento were laying the groundwork for a
Nearly two-and-a-half decades ago, Restoration Program
national APA legal association. Seven years earlier, a
approximately 30 APA attorneys gathered (Op-Ed)
small but strong group of Sacramento APA
together while attending a national conference of
attorneys had formed ABAS. ABAS’s leaders took
minority bar leaders sponsored by the American
part in forming the vision and building the
Bar Association. Coming from cities across the Judges, Prosecutors, 7
foundation for NAPABA. Former NAPABA
country, this core group of attorneys discussed Defense Lawyers,
President Ruthe Ashley recounts: “ABAS was very
the possible formation of a national APA bar Consumer Advocates
instrumental in the formation of NAPABA as
association – an idea and effort that had been
California was the state with the greatest number of Rally to Protect
developing in previous years. By the end of that
active APA lawyers. . . . ABAS was a driving force Access to 'Justice' in
meeting, these APA leaders announced their
because of people like Jerry [Chong] and Toso the Face of Budget
agreement to form a new nationwide APA
[Himel] who were already leading the way.” Indeed,
professional organization. It was 1988 -- Cuts
the founding members of NAPABA included
President Ronald Reagan was in office; “Rain
ABAS’s own Jerry Chong, Yoshinori “Toso” Himel,
Man” won the Academy Award for Best Picture; Announcements & 8
Jeff Ogata, Rick Uno, Curtis Namba, Clement Kong,
Bobby McFerrin’s “Don't Worry, Be Happy” was
Tosh Yamamoto, and others. It was only through Other News
the top music video -- and critical to the future
their unwavering dedication and commitment, and
of APA judges, lawyers, and law students
that of others like them throughout the country, that Membership Form 9
everywhere, the National Asian Pacific American
the dream of NAPABA became a reality.
Bar Association, or “NAPABA,” was born.
Since those early days, NAPABA has grown to
As we approach NAPABA’s 24th annual
become one of the most successful and influential
convention, which will be held in Washington,
legal professional associations in the country.
D.C. in November, this is a good time to reflect
Today, NAPABA stands as the national association
upon the significant role that ABAS members
of APA attorneys, judges, law professors, and law
have had in NAPABA over the years. And
students, providing a national network for its
equally important, we should recognize that our
members and affiliates. NAPABA advocates for the
new generation of ABAS members are poised to
legal needs and interests of the APA community and
carry on Sacramento’s tradition of active
represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and
participation and leadership in NAPABA.
Cont. on page 5
P r e s i d e n t ’s C o r n e r
Tuesday Nights at
As promised, ABAS has had a busy and energized first half of the year, including our
heightened involvement in our support for access to justice.
My Sister’s House
Last month, we celebrated the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The By Thanh Huynh, Staff Attorney
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated in 1978 when Congress
directed the President to issue a proclamation designating a week in May – Asian/Pacific My Sister’s House is an organization that helps
American Heritage Week – to recognize the significant role Asian Americans and Pacific victims of domestic violence and focuses on the
Islanders (APIs) have played in the creation of a dynamic and pluralistic American society. Asian and Pacific Islander population. During the
week, each member of the My Sister’s House’s
In 1990, the observance of Asian/Pacific Heritage Week was expanded to the month of May.
team is busy playing a part in making an impact in
As we remember the challenges and celebrate the achievements that define our history, we the community. We are out doing outreach, partici-
bear in mind the vital role we play in our society. pating in collaborative meetings, fighting for the
rights of our clients in court, and assisting clients
To this end, ABAS strives to continue to play a vital role in our society, in our legal
with their individual needs. But Tuesday nights are
profession, and in our judicial system. Indeed, it was because of this recognition of our role a family affair. We are all in one place, meeting,
that ABAS joined forces with the judicial branch and our partners in the bar at a rally on the catching up, eating together, laughing together, yet
steps of the Sacramento County courthouse on June 13. Organized by the Sacramento still working…
County Bar Association’s Advocacy Committee, chaired by ABAS board member Joshua
Kaizuka, along with the State Bar of California and others, the Sacramento rally drew The night starts off with food being delivered to our
meeting place. As we take the food to the kitchen,
lawyers from rival camps in the legal community and joined them in one unified voice in
we greet our clients who arrive one by one, with
support of access to justice. ABAS was proud to be a co-sponsor of this important work.
news of their accomplishments during the week.
In keeping with our efforts in promoting the betterment of the legal profession and the API One client announces that she is moving to a new
place, another mentions that a wrongful criminal
community, and in having our voices heard, ABAS is also committed to continue our long
charge was dismissed, and yet another shows more
tradition of active participation in NAPABA. Thanks to ABAS Past President Judge Richard confidence in the way she expresses herself.
Sueyoshi, whose feature article in this edition of Nota Bene highlights ABAS’s role in the
formation and development of one of the most influential legal professional associations in Once our clients complete their meal, they head to
the nation, and highlights the importance of our continued involvement in NAPABA. We the conference room where they proceed with the
strongly encourage our members to join us at the 24th annual NAPABA convention on Women to Work program. Those who need legal
November 15-18, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
advice or assistance sign up for the service when
they walk in. If they qualify for legal services, they
ABAS continues to be active and energized, and anticipates a busy rest of the year. Please are able to meet with an attorney. Currently, My
visit our website and look for ABAS’s email announcements for updates on events and Sister’s House has one attorney on staff and is fortu-
activities, communicate with us on Facebook, and join us in continuing the rich traditions of nate to have several amazing volunteer attorneys.
ABAS to make our profession and our community better. These volunteers have completed the mandatory
forty-hour domestic violence training and devote
their time on Tuesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30
Angela M. Lai p.m. to meet with our clients and give legal advice.
They help fill out Family Law forms for matters
such as divorce, child custody, child support, re-
M e s s a g e f ro m t h e E d i t o r s straining orders, and more.
No matter how many years you’ve practiced—you probably still recall the first summer after law Many attorneys believe that helping victims of do-
school. Whether it was spent studying for the Bar Exam, looking for a job, traveling the world, mestic violence is about listening and being com-
starting your first “real” law job, or all of the above—it was a time to reflect on what lessons had passionate. Although these are important attributes,
been learned and to look ahead and set goals for the kind of career you wanted to have. In keeping the main skill that best helps victims of domestic
with this theme of reflection and looking ahead, this issue includes an article about ABAS and NA- violence is the ability to understand the individual’s
PABA Leadership by Judge Richard Sueyoshi, one of ABAS’ past presidents. We also are featuring weakness and empower him or her despite the cir-
an article about the legal clinic at My Sister’s House; a report by our Civil Rights contributor, Josh cumstances. As an attorney, you will provide a
Kaizuka following up on budget cuts to our courts; a profile on Curt Namba by Administrative Law legal solution and show victims how to stand up for
Judge “Dee” Brown; as well as our first op-ed piece on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. their rights in court and how to tell their story to a
judge who will decide whether they are a credible
As we bring your our “third” issue of Nota Bene (since it has come back into existence), we would witness to their own case.
like to extend our sincere gratitude to our contributing writers, both regular and special feature.
We are so humbled by the time and effort that you all put into your articles and helping to make Surely, we are continuously looking to adopt new
this publication thoughtful, interesting and inspirational for our readers. Whether you have contrib- members who want to be part of changing the lives
uted in response to a request (read: repeated harassment) or whether you have been inspired to of our clients. If you are available Tuesday nights
submit an article of your own accord, we wholeheartedly thank you and hope we will see more from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., you are welcome to
articles from you (and others we haven’t heard from yet!) in issues to come. join our team.
Your humble editors,
Jeff, Stephen & Teresa
ABAS Past President’s Profile: CURTIS NAMBA
By Administrative Law Judge Danette “Dee” Brown attorneys in this town over the
“Awe,” “distinguished,” and “admirable” are just some of the words decades. There are so many
that come to mind when speaking with Curtis Namba, the subject of of us that worked with him as
this month’s Nota Bene past presidents’ profile. “Curt,” as most of us law clerks and attorneys.
know him, is one of the persons responsible for the formation of Myself, Judge Shellyanne
ABAS, over 31 years ago. Yes folks, he has been around the legal Chang, Don Masuda, Rick
community THAT long, although he has retained his youthful looks Uno, Carol Hisatomi, Mark
and spirit. Hagiya and Gary Hori, to
name a few! Tosh gave us our
Curt graduated from UCLA in 1976 and UC Davis Law School in start. I met Tosh after law
1980. He has been in private practice since 1980, representing clients school, looking for a job. I
in personal injury, small business, immigration, and drunk driving contacted every Asian attorney
defense. He has been involved in numerous community and in town in the phone book
professional organizations. From 1988 to 1993 he was a and directories. We didn’t
commissioner on the Sacramento County Civil Service Commission. have the internet or email
From 1993 to 1995, he was a commissioner for the State Bar back then. When I graduated
Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE). He taught in 1980, there was only one
personnel law to UC Davis staff. He is a past president of ABAS and Asian attorney in Sacramento
Florin Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). He was a working for a law firm with
founding Board of Governor for the National Asian Pacific American more than four lawyers. All
Bar Association (NAPABA). He was a NAPABA Trailblazer others were either government
Awardee in 2001. He has been on the boards of the Sacramento or sole practitioners. I worked
Children’s Home and the Boys & Girls Club of Sacramento. The list for Tosh as a law clerk and
of his involvement in public service and community affairs is too long later as an attorney. Tosh continues to be a close friend, a resource, and mentor
to mention here, but suffice it to say that Curt has dedicated his entire 30 years later.
professional career to the advancement of Asian Pacific Islander (API)
attorneys in the profession, as well as public service to the greater API DEE: How did you become involved in ABAS?
and Sacramento community. CURT: I was involved with the founding attorneys looking to form ABAS. I
With that, I asked Curt a few questions, which I hope shed some light became a member, then Vice President and President. Jerry Chong and I ran as a
on the motivation behind this legendary figure. slate. He president and me, vice president. Our ABAS events became very well-
known because of the attendance of so many judges and we always had an open
bar, courtesy of Tosh Yamamoto! I was membership chair. My goal was 100%
membership of every API attorney in the area. I would go through every directory
DEE: Who were your mentors? Anyone in particular inspire I could find seeking members. It was around 1985. There were maybe 130 to140
you as a law student or young lawyer? Asian attorneys in the area. I would call, write, and hound people to become
CURT: Tosh Yamamoto. Tosh has mentored so many API members. I got 121 attorneys to join ABAS! One of the humorous incidents I
Continued on pg. 6
Congratulations Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen!
ABAS joins NAPABA and AAJC in applauding the confirmation of Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to be
a Circuit Court Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "For the first time in
American history, an Asian Pacific American woman will serve as a federal appellate court judge.
We are confident that Judge Nguyen will serve the country well in this new role," said Mee Moua,
president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the
Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
Judge Nguyen has made history in many of her positions. She has served as a federal district court
judge for the Central District of California since 2009, where she was the first Vietnamese Ameri-
can Article III judge in the country and the first Asian Pacific American female Article III judge in
California. Prior to that, she served as a California state court judge for seven years, where she
was the first Vietnamese American female state court judge in the country. Judge Nguyen was born
in Dalat, South Vietnam, the daughter of a South Vietnamese Army major who worked closely with
U.S. intelligence officers. She escaped the fall of South Vietnam with her family in a harrowing trip, that included a plane ride filled wall
to wall with people, temporary separation from her father, through a chaotic Saigon, to the Philippines, to Guam, and eventually, to
Camp Pendleton, California. In the U.S., Judge Nguyen worked hard to achieve the American dream, assisting her mother in cleaning
dental offices and at a family donut shop, earning a four-year full tuition college scholarship, and then graduating from UCLA School of
MEET ANGEL A M. LAI
By Ruthe Catolico Ashley
“I’m having such fun,” she beams as we meet for our interview. ANGELA M. LAI,
current president of the Asian Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento (ABAS), then con-
tinues to talk about her active, participative board of directors, the revived Nota Bene
that just issued its first e-newsletter, the committees that are reaching out for special
projects such as funding in the judicial branch, and the people she is meeting. She mar-
vels at the support and the involvement of so many of ABAS past presidents and deems
herself “so lucky.” She articulates her priorities for her presidential year as “more visi-
bility and credibility for the ABAS in the region, state, and nationally” and a substantial
increase in membership.
Having known Angela since she first arrived on the Sacramento legal scene, I know these
priorities are already happening. From the beginning, she eagerly sought areas where
she could serve, and many local organizations including Women Lawyers of Sacramento,
California Women Lawyers and the Sacramento County Bar Association were the happy
recipients of her energy and enthusiasm. The ABAS presidency is her first time in this
leadership position and by all accounts, Angela is making things happen.
Angela Lai with her family at the opening of her exhibit “East Meets West:
Born in Hong Kong of a famous Chinese watercolor painting artist (Ming Lai) and a l'Étude de Nature ” in Foster City, CA, which featured her paintings, drawing
mother who is also an artist, Angela and her younger brother were destined to also and calligraphy.
become artists. How good is she? Her art has been displayed at numerous events
including the State Bar of California’s annual artist showcase. She is not limited to one media (watercolor, drawing, calligraphy) and she has been named one
of the top 200 calligraphers in China. With art in her genes, law was not a first choice. In fact, she wanted to become a physician. In a twist of culture, her
parents did not want that for her.
Hers is a typical immigrant story. At the age of 17, Angela, who calls herself a non-conformist and independent soul, left Hong Kong alone with a student visa
and ended up at the University of Wisconsin to study medicine. However, due to personal reasons, she had a change of heart and chose, instead, to pursue
law. From the time she was a child, she had been the family translator for legal documents, contracts and other things. Law seemed a good second choice.
Within a year, her parents won the green card lottery (the Diversity Immigrant Visa program) and were able to join her in Wisconsin with their green cards.
After graduation from law school in 2005, the family looked for a warmer climate and Angela looked for a city similar in size to Madison, Wisconsin. Without
knowing anyone in California, she received reciprocity at a California law schools career office and found job postings in both Irvine and Sacramento. She
applied for an associate position at the Sacramento firm of Nossaman LLP and found herself working with John Wagner, another Wisconsin law school gradu-
ate. There was the connection.
2008 was an eventful year for Angela. She left Nossaman for a position as Staff Counsel at the California Department of Managed Health Care where she
continues to happily learn all she can about this arena. More importantly, she married her college sweetheart, Kai Yam, in Hong Kong. It is with Kai that she
practices her other art – cooking. She cooks anything that Kai wants to eat…and in a gourmet way. Eating Angela’s cooking is as delicious as eating at any 4-
star restaurant. She can even turn beef brisket into a mouth-watering meal. It is also Kai that she credits for his unwavering support of her professional and
Is Angela “lucky?” Angela creates the environment that brings in her “luck” and ABAS and the Sacramento legal community are “lucky” to have Angela as one
of our own. Her commitment to community service and giving back to the profession in so many ways will continue to positively impact all of us who are
“lucky” to know her.
ABAS & NAPABA Leadership, page 1
64 APA bar associations. Since 1988, NAPABA has been at the forefront of issues impacting
and relating to civil rights, hate crimes, diversity in the judiciary, and professional development.
NAPABA has also formed a coalition with the Hispanic National Bar Association, National
Native American Bar Association, and National Bar Association to address issues of mutual
concern and to advocate shared interests on matters impacting multiple minority communities.
Just as with the association’s inception, ABAS members have played an important part in
NAPABA’s success through the years. In fact, ABAS leaders have also held the highest
positions of leadership in NAPABA. Former ABAS President Nancy Lee ascended to the
NAPABA Presidency in 1994, guiding NAPABA’s development in size, organizational
strength, and national influence. Former ABAS President Ruthe Ashley became NAPABA
President in 2002, leading the association to new heights in its partnerships within the business
and legal professions and in its efforts to promote diversity nationwide. And both Nancy and
ABAS Past Presidents Jeannie Lee Jones and Kathryn Ruthe continue to serve as part of NAPABA’s Leadership Advisory Council, which plays a
Doi at the 2010 NAPABA Convention in Los Angeles critical part in the association’s long-term leadership development and strategic planning.
Over the years, other ABAS members also have served in NAPABA leadership. Patty Tsubokawa Reeves, Lara Diaz Dunbar, Kathryn Doi,
and Dee Brown have each served as NAPABA Regional Governor
for Eastern California & Nevada. Judge Russell Hom has served as
Vice-Chair of the NAPABA Judicial Council. Additionally, ABAS
had the rare honor of hosting the NAPABA annual convention in
Sacramento in 1994, and of co-hosting the convention in Las Vegas
in 2007. These monumental feats were accomplished only through
the hard work of the ABAS board and membership. Our joint
effort in 2007 with our friends at the Asian Bar Association of Las
Vegas resulted in one of the most successful and well-attended
conventions in NAPABA history.
Undoubtedly most indicative of the impact that ABAS has had in
NAPABA circles is the select group of ABAS members and friends
upon whom NAPABA has bestowed its highest annual honor, the
NAPABA Trailblazer Award. The Trailblazer Award recognizes
the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of
individuals who have paved the way for the advancement of other
APAs. The award is presented to those whose career and
contributions have demonstrated vision, courage and tenacity,
resulting in substantial and lasting contributions to the APA legal
profession, as well as the broader APA community. The list of McGeorge APALSA students and ABAS Past Presidents Judge Russell Hom, School Board
honorees from our region is a literal “Who’s Who” of prominent Member Darrel Woo, Mark Morodomi, Ruthe Ashley, ALJ Danette "Dee" Brown, Jeannie
and accomplished APA leaders: Jerry Chong, Justice Joyce Lee Jones, and Judge Richard Sueyoshi at the 2007 NAPABA Convention held in Las
Kennard, Yoshinori “Toso” Himel, Judge Charles Kobayashi, Vegas, which ABAS co-hosted. Also pictured is La Raza Past President Michael Terhorst.
Ruthe Ashley, Nancy Lee, Michael Yamaki, Curtis Namba, Judge
Russell Hom, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Judge Shelleyanne Chang, Floyd Shimomura, Chief Judge Anthony Ishii, Judge Mike
Nakagawa, Councilmember Robert K. Fong, Jessie Morris, Jr., and Judge Mikio Uchiyama. These ABAS members and friends are role
models and a true inspiration for APAs nationally.
Without question, the past 24 years of NAPABA are replete with significant contributions,
accomplishments, and leadership from ABAS members. Now it is time to look forward to
the next 24 years. Today, ABAS continues to be a thriving and energetic association under
the strong leadership of President Angela Lai and the 2012 ABAS officers, board members,
and committee chairs. As we look to the future, our new generation of ABAS leaders will
have the opportunity to continue ABAS’s long tradition of active participation and
leadership at the NAPABA level. The value and importance of getting involved in
NAPABA is immeasurable. As former NAPABA President Ruthe Ashley puts it: “ABAS
and NAPABA give us the opportunity to better the profession, give back to the community,
be role models and mentors and build valuable relationships. . . . Because of NAPABA, we
have a voice at the highest level of government, politics, and business. Because of
NAPABA, the face of the legal profession is changing to reflect the demographics that we
Administrative Law Judge Danette “Dee” Brown with
We urge our new generation of ABAS members and friends to get involved with NAPABA
Trailblazer Judge Mikio Uchiyama (Ret.) from Fresno at
the 2010 NAPABA Convention in Los Angeles if you have not done so already. Join the ABAS contingent to the 24th annual NAPABA
convention. If you cannot make it to Washington, D.C. this year, make attendance at the
convention one of your professional goals for 2013, and look for other opportunities to get involved regionally. ABAS and NAPABA are
strong organizations. But they only continue to be because of the energy, motivation, and participation of each of you who continue their
Curtis Namba, p. 3
remember was attempting to
contact an attorney by the
Eye on the Environment:
name of Stephen Chew. I kept
calling and writing, but he
never responded. One day I San Joaquin River Restoration Program
called, again, and spoke to his
secretary. I asked her why Mr. Opinion/Editorial by Environment Elle
Chew never responded. She
said he was “probably not For Sacramento residents, summertime activities revolve a great deal around the rivers that flow through and around
interested.” I asked her (with
some attitude), “Mind telling our city. As soon as the weather begins to get warm, on almost any weekend from May through August, you will find
me why?” She said “Mr. Chew people drawn to the river to go fishing; floating with friends on inflatable rafts and inner-tubes; hiking and biking, and
is very flattered by your enjoying the scenic beauty that a river brings; and enjoying numerous other recreational activities that are a benefit to
invitations, but he is GREEK.”
Stephen and I later served living in this beautiful area.
together on the Sacramento
County Bar Council and As a Sacramento resident and an environmental lawyer, I see California rivers as truly being our lifeblood. Not only
became friends. We always had are they an enormous part of our quality of life, but Californians have harnessed the rivers and as a result, managed to
a good laugh about how we become an agricultural mainstay for the country. On less than one percent of the total farmland in the United States,
the Central Valley produces 25 percent of the nation’s table food. (“Land Subsidence in the United States” Galloway,
After Jerry’s term, I became et al. USGS Circular 1182, 1999) The Central Valley is the primary source for a number of food products throughout
President and later Public
Appointments Chair. Serving as the country, including tomatoes, almonds, grapes, apricots, and asparagus.
Public Appointments Chair,
serving on the JNE From its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada to its meeting with the Sacramento River in the San Francisco Bay-Delta, the
commission, and working with San Joaquin River stretches over 350 miles through the heart of our state and is the second-longest river in California.
the Governors’ Appointment However, since the 1940s, nearly 95 percent of the river’s flow has been diverted by Friant Dam. While the Dam has
Secretaries has been one of my
most meaningful experiences. I helped to support the creation of one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world, it has also
have had the privilege of resulted in 60 miles of the river running dry, the loss of the second largest salmon population in the state, and a signifi-
serving as a resource for API, cant decline in local fish and wildlife populations with some species entirely extripated from the region. Decreased
minority, women, and other
judicial candidates locally and water flows and resulting poor water quality also impacted downstream farms and communities.
statewide for over 25 years.
In 1988, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit against the federal government and led a
DEE: What do you like coalition of environmental and fishing groups in an effort to restore flows and salmon to the river. In 2006, after eight-
about your job? If you had a
“do over,” would you? een years of legal battles and technical studies, a settlement agreement was reached between farmers, environmental
groups and the federal government. The Settlement Agreement attempts to achieve several key goals:
CURT: I went to law school
with the idea that I would Restoration - California’s salmon populations are threatened with extinction. A 2012 study found that eighty-one
become an attorney and help
real people. I never aspired to percent are in trouble due to excessive
represent corporate America. I water diversions and poorly construct-
wanted to represent real people ed water supply structures and dams
in the community. That is why
I went to law school. More that block fish from reaching important
than 35 years later, that is habitat. The Settlement calls for the re-
exactly what I have been able establishment of healthy and self-
to do. I feel very, very
fortunate. sustaining populations of both fall run
and spring run Chinook salmon with
DEE: Any words of wisdom
for the law students and new the long-term goal of restoring runs of
lawyers out there? up to 30,000 fish annually.
CURT: I have a philosophy in Water Management - Under the Settle-
life that has served me well. My
favorite quote. “Show me who you ment agreement the river will get back
walk with, and I will tell you who about 18% of its historic flows. Howev-
you are.” I am blessed to have er, recognizing the importance of
the most wonderful friends and
family. At the end of the day, continuing to provide water to a key
In 2009, the first water ran down the San Joaquin River for environ-
that is how we are measured. agricultural area of California, one of the
mental purposes since 1942.
two primary goals of the Settlement is to
develop and implement water management projects to reduce or avoid water supply impacts to farmers who
In conclusion, congratulations
Curt, on a long and were previously using water provided by the Friant Dam.
distinguished career in law. May
we all aspire to the standards Restoration Flows – What do you see when you drive down I-5? As you can probably tell, the Central Valley
you have set for the API legal has California’s lowest ratio of parkland to population, resulting in few public places for children, adults, and
profession. We are indebted to families living there to enjoy the outdoors. By restoring flows to a formerly dry section of the public waterway,
you for your continued
Cont. on page 10
commitment to ABAS.
Judges, Prosecutors, Defense Lawyers, Consumer
Advocates Rally in Sacramento June 13 to Protect Access
to 'Justice' in the Face of Draconian Budget Cuts
By Josh Kaizuka
On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, a coalition of judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, public law and
consumer advocates held a rally to “Support Adequate Court Funding” at the main Sacramento
courthouse where hundreds rallied to support the courts. “What's at risk…is, frankly, what we
ABAS joined as a sponsor of the rally spearheaded by the Sacramento County Bar Association and as a nation believe is our true
Open Courts Coalition. Sponsors also included
California Defense Counsel, California Women
identity…the balance between liberty
Lawyers, Capitol City Trial Lawyers Associa- and justice.”
tion, Consumer Attorneys of California, Just-
Build California Coalition, La Raza Lawyers
Association, SacLEGAL, Sacramento County Attorney’s Association, South Asian Bar Association of Sacramento,
State Building and Construction Trades Council, and Wiley Manuel Bar Association.
Senator Joseph Dunn, retired and now executive director of the State Bar of California said “What's at risk…is,
frankly, what we as a nation believe is our true identity…the balance between liberty and justice.” Presiding Judge of
the Sacramento Superior Court Laurie Earl added
that “the underfunding of the judicial branch does
not just threaten justice it threatens our system of
democracy as a whole.”
State Bar President Jon Steeter said that “the
crisis in court funding threatens our justice system
to a degree that none of us has ever seen before in
our lives, to such an extent that the very rule of
Senator Joseph Dunn (ret.) speaking at the rally in
law is imperiled” and that the problem is
front of the main Sacramento courthouse on June
13, 2012. “escalating by the hour.” He added that, “we
are looking at these doors being shut.” It ap-
pears, he said, “we are abandoning our dedication to justice.”
Sacramento County District Attorney, Jan Scully, voicing her
“Depriving the courts of the funds necessary to adequately function goes to the very heart of our concerns on the ability of the justice system to continue to operate
system of government” added SCBA Vice President Bruce Timm. in light of budget cuts.
Speakers including District Attorney Jan Scully, Public Defender Paulino Duran, and Leslie Jacobs, Director of the Capital Center for Public Law & Policy at
McGeorge School of Law, expressed their concerns about access to the justice system. Those speakers spoke about potential impacts to the civil and criminal justice
system should the budgets not be restored to a level to allow the courts to operate day to day operations in a way to provide timely justice to those who most need ac-
Layoff notices have been sent out to court staff throughout California, and Sacramento County is
no exception with layoff notices going out to those with less than 5 ½ years on the job, effective
at the end of June.
We hope that the two other branches of government will come to realize the impact that their
draconian cuts will have on the third branch of government. If those cuts remain, the price to be
paid by Californians will be high: a denial of access to the courts, an inability to be made whole in
a timely manner, and a denial of liberty, due process, and justice.
Mark Your Calendars!
July 15, 2012: The National American Pacific American Bar Associ- Potato Fries with Blueberry Ketchup/Hummus with Herbed Flat-
ation (NAPABA) is accepting nominations for election to the officer bread/Pulled Pork Slider/Fried Chicken Wings with Maple Syrup
positions of NAPABA for the 2012-13 term. Candidates are required
But that’s not all! We are
to submit a completed nomination petition form and a personal
making August a joint mixer
statement by July 16, 2012.
with the Sacramento Lawyer
Chapter of the American Consti-
July 21, 2012, 12-3pm: Please save the date
for our annual ABAS Membership BBQ .
2012 ABAS members: Free September 5, 2012, 5:30
pm: Monthly ABAS Membership happy hour. Location TBA, sugges-
ABAS sponsored-guest: $5 (limit 1).
The event will be hosted in Natomas at the
home of Jeffrey Javinar, ABAS Vice President . Space is limited. RSVP
to Jeffrey Javinar by Friday, July 13, 2012, at email@example.com. September 9, 2012: ABAS Invitational Golf Tournament. Please
More details to follow. mark your calendar for ABAS’s 24th Annual Invitational Golf Tour-
nament, which will take place on Sunday, September 9, 2012. The
tournament will be held at the Turkey Creek Golf Club in Lincoln,
July 31, 2012: Deadline to submit a scholarship application for the
2012 NAPABA Convention. The 24th Annual NAPABA Convention
will be held in
created a fund to
help defray costs
for eligible attendees. Scholarships may include full or partial regis-
tration waivers, travel stipends, and lodging stipends. Scholarships
are available only to individuals who are NAPABA members (either
direct or affiliate) as of the application deadline. ABAS is an affiliate
California. The golf tournament is one of the primary fundraising
Please click here for the scholarship application. We hope to see events that funds the ABAS Law Foundation’s scholarship program.
you at the NAPABA Convention this year! Stay tuned for more information!
August 1, 2012, 5:30 pm: Our ABAS membership happy hour at October 3, 2012, 5:30pm: Monthly
the new Firestone Public House was such a hit that we’ve decided to ABAS Membership happy hour. Location
mix it up even more to close TBA, suggestions welcome!!
out the summer! Our August
ABAS membership happy hour
will be held at the newest October 25, 2012, 5-8pm: The Unity
Paragary restaurant/bar, K-Bar , Bar will be celebrating its 25th anniver-
located on the K Street Mall. sary dinner this year at the Doubletree
Hotel on Arden Way. Retired California
Happy hour bites include: Salt
Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno
& Spice Peanut Caramel Corn/
will be the keynote speaker and Justice Elena Duarte will be the
House-made Potato Chips
emcee for the evening. Stay tuned for more details!
with French Onion Dip/Sweet
Have you renewed your membership yet? If not...
Eye on the Environment, page 6
additional opportunities for enjoying boating, fishing, and wildlife are created. In all but the driest of years, there will be year-round flows that re-
connect the river all the way to the San Francisco Bay Delta. In the wetter years sufficient water will be provided to restore the forests that once
lined the banks of the San Joaquin.
Improvement Projects - The San Joaquin River historically supported a vast wetland and riparian ecosystem that provided habitat for over 225
different species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Over the last century, land use and water supply development has eliminated about
95% of wetland and riparian habitats, severely impacting fish and wildlife populations. The San Joaquin River Restoration provides a unique oppor-
tunity to restore a significant amount of riparian habitat through structural improvement projects that will support not only salmon and other fish in
the river but will also have greater wildlife benefits for the substantial number of species that depend on riparian areas for nesting, feeding, and
In 2009, water began to run through a riverbed that had been dry for decades. This year, salmon were slated to make their return to the river. Howev-
er, politicians are currently pondering several bills which would drastically alter the ability of the federal government to carry out the settlement agree-
ment. Their stated concerns are over project delays, budget, and feasibility.
As with any large project, implementation of the settlement agreement has not been without its challenges. Things take longer than they are first antici-
pated to, requiring additional funding; environmental effects that were not initially expected occasionally present themselves necessitating creativity and
innovation in problem-solving; and as with all things in life—there are no guarantees as to outcome despite the best available science and years of care-
But progress is not made by stopping every time something goes slightly awry or fails to go exactly according to plan. As lawyers, we are familiar with
constantly reassessing the situation, reacting to roadblocks, and adapting to changed situations. We are also well acquainted with having to recognize a
case as a losing one—and adjusting our (and our clients’) expectations and settling for less than we had originally made a play for.
However, this is not one of those instances. Although the San Joaquin River Restoration Program has faced its share of setbacks, the project managers
are continuing to make progress in furtherance of the settlement agreement’s goals. These are not objectives that have proven non-obtainable. As a
legal advocate for the environment and a lover of the Sacramento region, I believe that despite any hiccups that have been encountered, the San Joaquin
River is worth saving and rather than bringing a halt to the progress we have already made, we should continue to forge ahead an realize the goal of
having a living, thriving river once again.
For additional information on how you can support the continued efforts of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, please visit www.imfortheriver.org. For
more information about the I’m for the River campaign, please contact Meghan Hertel, Audubon California at 916-471-8935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 ABAS Board
President Treasurer Steven Tsuyuki
Angela Lai Sophia Kwan
Department of Social Services
Department of Managed Health Care Seyfarth Shaw
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
President-Elect Directors at Large Ex Officio Members
Kara Ueda Stephen Lau
Best Best & Krieger LLP Jeannie Lee Jones
Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud LLP
firstname.lastname@example.org CA Department of Water Resources
Vice President Chris Lee
Jeffrey Javinar Department of Managed Health Care Teresa Chan
CA Department of Justice
email@example.com ICF International
Secretary Law Offices of Denis White
Colleen Howard Immediate Past President