NOTA BENE Asian Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento by jennyyingdi


									                                                N o ta b e n e
                  We’re on the Web!                                                                                                      June 20 , 2012

                     ABAS & NAPABA Leadership:
                                                                                                                            What’s Inside:
                           Past & Future                                                                                    President’s Corner        2

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Nights at My      2
                                                                                                                            Sister’s House

                                                                                                                            Message from the          2

                                                                                                                            Past President Profile:   3
                                                                                                                            Curtis Namba

                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                            Environment: San
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
community involvement.
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
rich traditions.

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,
initially “met.”
                                     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-
                                                                                tution Society!
                        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).
                                                                                tions welcome!!
                         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            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
Washington, D.C.,
from November
15-18, 2012.

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-
ful consideration.

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 For
more information about the I’m for the River campaign, please contact Meghan Hertel, Audubon California at 916-471-8935 or

                                                      2012 ABAS Board
     President                                           Treasurer                                             Steven Tsuyuki
     Angela Lai                                          Sophia Kwan
                                                                                                               Department of Social Services
     Department of Managed Health Care                   Seyfarth Shaw                                                    

     President-Elect                                     Directors at Large                                    Ex Officio Members
     Kara Ueda                                           Stephen Lau
     Best Best & Krieger LLP                                                                                   Jeannie Lee Jones
                                                         Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud LLP                                                                                      CA Department of Water Resources
     Vice President                                      Chris Lee
     Jeffrey Javinar                                     Department of Managed Health Care                     Teresa Chan
     CA Department of Justice
                                                                                     ICF International
                                                         Joshua Kaizuka
     Secretary                                           Law Offices of Denis White
     Colleen Howard                                                                                            Immediate Past President
     Porter Scott
                                                                                                               Grace Arupo


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