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					                                                                       The Marin Lawyer


        The Marin Lawyer                  An Official Publication of the Marin County Bar Association

                                                                                                                            V o lu m e 3 4 , Is s u e 7

L E G A L S E L F H E L P C E N T E R O P E N S IN                                          M A R IN
By Temma Davis


      On June 18, 2003, the Legal Self Help Center of Marin opened its doors at 30
North San Pedro Road, Suite 160 in San Rafael, across the street from the Civic
Center in the new Justice building. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-                                  C A L E N D A R S
6:00 p.m., closed from 11:30-12:30. The telephone number is 415-492-1111.
      The Self Help Center is a free service for self-represented litigants and indi-
viduals who need legal information about a specific legal concern. The Center is                                    Sept. 24 (W) Past President’s Lunch
designed to help individuals learn about the law and court procedures related to                                    12:00 - 1:30 Speaker: TBA
their legal matter. The Center will be available to anyone who is not represented
by an attorney and who needs assistance with legal information and procedures.                                      Oct. 29 (W) Speaker: TBA
      Legal resources in the Center include assessment and referral to the appro-                                   12:00 - 1:30 Topic: Domestic Violence
priate services, reference books, videos, legal forms and information packets on
various areas of the law. Computers with legal software and access to internet                                      Nov. 19 (W) Judge’s Lunch
sites are also available. Legal information will be available in Spanish and English.                               12:00 - 1:30
The Center will also offer legal workshops on a variety of legal issues. Mediation
services will be available at the Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 a.m.-4:00                                   Dec. 11 (Th) Holiday Party
p.m.                                                                                                                5:30 - 7:30
      The Center is a unique collaboration of the Marin County Superior Court, the
County of Marin, and many community agencies that work with Marin residents
who are in need of assistance to settle their legal issues in Court without an attor-                                    Listed above are the dates and guest
ney.                                                                                                                speakers for the 2003 membership meet-
                                                                                                                    ings. Look for details each month in
      The Mission Statement of the Legal Self Help Center is to deliver legal                                       The Marin Lawyer.
resources in Marin County through a seamless system and make them accessible
to all by: assisting Marin residents who want to act as their own attorney; provid-
ing legal information, self-guided computer research, bilingual and bicultural assis-
tance; offering legal literacy clinics and document preparation workshops; and
connecting them with appropriate social service providers and community
organizations.

                                                                  N O M IN A T IO N S S O U G H T F O R L A W                      Y E R O F T H E
President’s Message................................. 2             Y E A R A W A R D
Pro Bono .................................................... 3
Giving Back................................................ 4
Top Ten Things ......................................... 7              The Public Information Committee of The Marin County Bar Association is
Jury Verdicts .............................................. 8    inviting nominations for the 2003 Marin County Bar Association “Lawyer of the
Change of Scene ..................................... 11          Year Award.” The award is intended to honor an attorney who is a member of the
New Members ......................................... 11          MCBA, and whose multidimensional career includes achievements both within
LRS Section ............................................. 13      law and achievements which have contributed to society at large. Relevant crite-
The Market Place .................................... 15          ria for choosing the recipient include: long-standing excellence as a legal practitio-
                                                                  ner, as well as recent significant achievements in the law; efforts toward public
 Debra Bogaards was guest editor of                               service, particularly in the Marin community; demonstrated leadership; integrity;
 this issue of The Marin Lawyer. Dan                              and professionalism.
 Harris is Series Editor for 2003.                                                                                           (Nomination Form on page11.)
                                                                                                                                                           1
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

                        T H E S T A T E B U D G E T               portion of the budget cannot be cut. This means that all cuts
                                                                  come from the 39% that is unrestricted, which results in a
                         C R IS IS :                              reduction of over 25% in the budgets for discretionary pro-
                                                                  grams. And this means that the programs that help the poor
                        A V E R Y R E A L                         find equal justice are the programs that face dramatic cuts.
                         T H R E A T T O J U S T IC E             Moreover, because criminal cases are the highest priority for
                                                                  public safety reasons and must be adjudicated pursuant to
                          By David F. Feingold, MCBA President
                          Ragghianti · Freitas · Macias · Wallace timelines established in federal law, civil and family courts are
                                                                  disproportionately impacted by funding cuts. Thus, despite
                                                                  Justice Rutledge’s admonition that equal access to justice is
                                                                  not discretionary, that is exactly what it is — from a funding
      “Equality before the law in a true democracy is a
                                                                  standpoint.
matter of right. It cannot be a matter of charity or of
favor or of grace or of discretion.”
      (United States Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge,              Another and perhaps more serious concern is the threat
speaking to the American Bar Association, September 29, to our independent judiciary that is the natural result of relying
1941.)                                                            on partisan politics in Sacramento to control court funding.
                                                                  The Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997 es-
      We have been hearing about the dramatic cuts in trial
                                                                  tablished the Trial Court Trust Fund to support the operation
and appellate court funding since the California budget crisis
                                                                  of the trial courts. This act shifted fiscal responsibility for
became front page news. In the coming months Marin County
                                                                  support of the trial courts from the counties to the state.
lawyers, and the Marin County Bar Association, will be called
upon to uphold the principles of equal justice, and to support
an independent judiciary in the face of these steep budget              State Senator Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, recently
cuts.                                                             told the California State Bar Board of Governors that leaving
      One of the most immediate issues is the loss of funds to funding of the court system in the hands of a relatively inex-
pay for discretionary programs that support equal justice. perienced and partisan legislature threatens the balance of
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George has powers upon which our democratic system is built. “You
encouraged developing programs that promote equal justice – should be scared, very scared,” is the message Senator Dunn
programs such as family law mediators, self-help litigant cen- brought to the State Bar.
ters, the equal access fund, and children’s courts. Local groups
have taken up the call and mobilized to create these equal            Senator Dunn, a former trial attorney, sees the legisla-
justice programs in counties throughout the state.               ture as hostile to the interests of the legal profession, and
                                                                 recognizes that when it comes to choosing priorities between
       However, these are “unrestricted” or “discretionary” funding an elementary school or a police department or the
programs when it comes to state funding. That is, about 61% courts, the courts will lose. Politicians do not consider the
of the budget for the judicial branch is restricted. This in- court system to be a political constituency that must be satis-
cludes rents, salaries, and similar expenses. The restricted fied, and may lack a deep appreciation for the justice system.

                                                                        Stay tuned. On a state level, lawyers must become more
                                                                  politically motivated and get the message to lawmakers that
                                                                  the judicial branch is a critical political constituency, and that
                                                                  no less than the preservation of our democratic system of
                                                                  government is at stake. On the local level, you will be hearing
                                                                  much more in the coming months about the opening of the
                                                                  new Justice Center at 30 North San Pedro Road. The Marin
          C O U N T Y B A R A S S O C IA T IO N
                                                                  County Bar Association has moved its office to the Justice
         To involve, encourage, and support bar                   Center, and will lend its support to various equal access to
                  association members,                            justice programs based there. Look to future issues of The
    to serve as a liaison to the Marin County courts,             Marin Lawyer for more on the Justice Center and how Marin
                                                                  lawyers are working to ensure equal justice for all in the face
       and to educate the community and enhance
                                                                  of the budget crisis.
                 access to legal services.

2
                                                      The Marin Lawyer

                             P R O B O N O N IG H T A R O U S IN G S U C C E S S
By Michael L. Marowitz


                                                                      The evening was especially uplifting for the many
                                                                 lawyers in attendance, who listened to a number of
                                                                 speakers, including Andrew Giacomini, President of Legal
                                                                 Aid of Marin’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Tom Peters,
                                                                 who heads the Marin Community Foundation, which funds
                                                                 many of the pro bono activities being honored during the
                                                                 evening. Among the many honorees were: Hussein
                                                                 Saffouri, for devoting 443 hours of his time last year (579
                                                                 hours in 2001!) in the service of a group of indigent
                                                                 clients; Craig Daniel, for 542 hours of service; Jean
                                                                 Bordon, for 393 hours; and MCBA members David Baer
Peter Flaxman, Renee Chernus, Catherine Flaxman, Jean Bordon and
David Bordon                                                     and George John. Several others were honored for legal
                                                                 projects that they had worked on for hundreds of hours.
      On May 31, 2003, the Marin County Bar Association Richard Marcantonio was also honored for his 9 years of
co-sponsored a dinner program with Legal Aid of the North service at Legal Aid of Marin, specializing in housing issues
Bay that honored lawyers who had volunteered their and public benefits. [See the May 2003 edition of The Marin
professional services for clients who couldn’t afford to hire Lawyer for a more complete listing of honorees.]
them. The event, which drew a crowd of 190 people, was
held at Cline Cellars in Sonoma amidst a beautifully
landscaped garden, a pond with turtles, and a deck with
bistro tables. Those attending enjoyed a fine meal surrounded
by giant wine barrels. Cline Cellars made everyone feel like
an honored guest by generously pouring bottles of their wine
upon request at no cost. Cline Cellars also proved the
consummate host by not blanching when other wines were
sold as part of a blind auction which included items ranging
from a Bay Club Marin membership to Roy Chernus’
baseball bat to a weekend at Judge Dufficy’s place in the
hills. The auction raised about $7,500 for Legal Aid of the
North Bay.                                                       Legal Aid Pro Bono Coordinator Nancy Murphy and MCBA Director
                                                                   Lynn Pfeifer

                                                                        It was hard not to feel proud to be a lawyer that evening,
                                                                   as everyone attending learned of and recognized the
                                                                   remarkable dedication of lawyers who had given freely and
                                                                   generously of themselves to make justice a reality for those
                                                                   who can least afford quality legal services. Reserve a space
                                                                   on your calendar next year if you couldn’t attend this year.
                                                                   It’s well worth the price of admission, which was a
                                                                   reasonable $50 a head.

                                                                       Michael L. Marowitz is a Member of the MCBA Board
                                                                   of Directors




Silent Auction Chair, Temma Davis and Legal Aid Attorney Candice
Greenberg
                                                                                                                                3
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

                                                                          This year, his daughter, Lindsay, played one of the or-
                                                                    phans, Kate, in “Annie.” You probably saw Kate, as she is
By Debra Bogaards                                                   the orphan who holds up the dead rat in front of Ms. Hannigan.
                                                                    Greg plays five different characters with seven different cos-
          After devoting numerous hours to the successful Law       tume changes. Greg wants to point out that he also plays
Day 2003 event, a computer friend of mine asked why it is           Lewis Howe, F.D.R.’s personal assistant. He says the play
that lawyers tend to be so involved in community activities         is historically accurate. For example, the female cabinet mem-
and service. It caused me to stop for a moment, and wonder          ber in the play is representative of F.D.R.’s appointment of
if lawyers tend to be more involved in community service            the first female cabinet member.
than other professionals. While I don’t have an answer to                 While Annie was a hugely successful production, some
that question, I decided it would be fun to interview a few of      of us wished Annie’s dog would be on stage more often. Greg
our past and present Board Directors who are involved in a          explained that Kelly, the dog, came from the pound as a puppy.
wide variety of community service activites. In doing so, I         She is now a professionally trained dog, and the highest paid
realized that in each of my interviewee’s unique choice of          member of the Annie cast.
community service, giving back to community enriches their                Greg managed to enjoy six weeks of rehearsals, which
lives, as much as the lives of others.                              included three week nights, and both full days on the week-
          GREG WOLFF is a judicial attorney for the Cali-           end. Of course, when you’re undertaking such a huge com-
fornia Supreme Court. When he was pursuing his under-               mitment of time, it is easy and pleasurable to do when you’re
graduate degree in Physics at U.C.L.A., he took voice les-          able to do it with your children. Greg pointed out that Sarah
sons. As a lark, he starred in Music Man and Three Penny            Smithton, who plays the lead role of Annie, was able to enjoy
Opera at U.C.L.A. Much later in his life, his son Eric was          time with a local Marin attorney who happens to be her dad,
selected to play the lead role of Oliver in The Mountain Play       Robert Smithton, who also had small roles. There was also a
three years ago. Greg decided to try out, and won some small        mother-daughter team, Kelly and Casey Casperian.
roles in the men’s chorus, including a role of “knife-grinder.”           PAULA WEAVER recently moved her law practice to
A highlight was when he was given one to two solo singing           Sausalito. She has become very active with the Tam High
lines in “Who Will Buy?” His son, Eric, had the main solo, so       Foundation. When you drive by Tam High School, it has a
they were able to sing together on stage.                           beautiful exterior, but the interior is in need of improvement.
      The next year, in “Bye Bye Birdie,” his son Eric played       Paula could have chosen to raise money for the excellent
the role of Harvey Johnson, and Greg played the role of his         C.T.E. drama program, the music program, or the Boosters
father, Mr. Johnson. You also may have noticed Greg in              for athletics. Instead, she was interested in fundraising to
Maude’s Quartet.                                                    support the broadest base of students. Tam High Foundation
                                                                    raises money, for example, for what teachers need inside of
                                                                    the science labs. The teachers have a $50,000 wish list, which
                                                                    includes some basics like a white board, or a smart board,
                                                                    and an LCD projector. Paula points out that Mary Werth is
                                                                    just one professor who happens to be a superb science teacher,
                                                                    honored recently at the White House. Paula believes it is
                                                                    really important for us to support academics, in addition to the
                                                                    drama, music and athletics at our local high schools.
                                                                          WANDEN TREANOR shares a light, airy office on
                                                                    Lincoln Street in San Rafael with her partner, Faye D’Opal.
                                                                    It’s all a family affair, as her younger sister is temporarily
                                                                    helping out as her administrative assistant. Interestingly, Paula
                                                                    Weaver and Wanden Treanor went to San Dominican High
                                                                    School together.
                                                                          Wanden’s father was a well-known physiatrist and neu-
                                                                    rologist, who testified as an expert for Bruce Walkup of the
                                                                    well-known Walkup law firm of San Francisco. While Wanden
                                                                    was encouraged to become a lawyer in the field of medical
                                                                    malpractice or personal injury, her legal path took a different
Here’s a photo of Greg Wolff as one of Oliver Warbuck’s butlers.    turn. Wanden was a volunteer for V.I.S.T.A. (Volunteers In
From left to right it’s Peter Sorensen (partially obscured), Rana   Service To America), a non-profit organization focusing on
Kangas-kent, Jeremy Berrick, Gloria Wood, Robert Smithton (an at-   increasing low income housing through cooperatives in a self-
torney & Annie’s father) .

4
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

help housing program. She explained that ten low income                     To short-circuit listing her many accomplishments in
families would help build their own low income housing. So,        community service, you can go to the California History Room
when she graduated from law school, since she had direct           where she is honored in the Marin County Women’s Hall of
knowledge of the construction industry through V.I.S.T.A.,         Fame. Faye certainly lives her dream of working to make a
she naturally began working in the construction defect field.      difference in the community.
She moved from there to becoming general counsel to                         Debra Bogaards is a member of the MCBA Board
homeowners associations. This seems like a natural pro-            of Directors.
gression, since she knows you “can’t make a community with
pieces of paper.” V.I.S.T.A. taught her how you get along in
and build your community.
          Wanden has been very active in the legal commu-
nity. She was President of Legal Aid, after serving on its
board for 16 years. She has been on the board of the Marin                In Memoriam
County Women Lawyers for ten years. Of course, she is a
past President of the Marin County Bar Association.                       The Marin legal community mourns the loss of
          Wanden is also involved in other community service.        Richard A. Hirsch. Richard passed away on June 6,
She is on the board of the Marin Education Fund, which is            2003, with his sons Adam and John by his side, as the
the scholarship arm of the Marin Community Foundation.               result of a sudden illness. Richard was a champion of
This fund assists those that are the first in their family to go     legal rights and active in the Marin legal community
to college. The foundation serves as an economic bridge to           since his arrival in Marin in 1973 when he assumed the
unrepresented young people: “Education is where we’ll see            directorship of the Marin County Legal Aid Society. He
equity in society.” This is a natural segue to her involvement       was a member of the Terra Linda Rotary Club, instru-
with College of Marin, which she describes as a “gateway             mental in the operations of the Pigskin Club (a booster
for non-English speaking people, people of color, and re-en-         club for Redwood High School Football) and involved in
try of older women.”                                                 other areas of both the legal and general communities
          For Wanden, “thinking of others” was ingrained in          in Marin. He will truly be missed.
her by her parents and the nuns at San Dominican. With her
exhausting pace each week with her community involvement,
she still manages to “create time together” with Faye, sailing
on their 23' ranger, “Thalassa” (peaceful inlets in Greek),
that they purchased from Glen Youngling.
          FAYE D’OPAL is the first and only Center Staff
Attorney at the new Legal Self Help Center of Marin. Mazel
tov to Faye, and to Judge Verna Adams, who worked so hard
with their committee to make this center a reality.
          The Legal Self Help Center is housed, along with
the Marin County Bar Association, Legal Aid of Marin, and
other legal groups, in the new Justice Center.
          Faye D’Opal’s volunteerism started at the young age
of 7, when she picked blackberries with two friends. They
sold the blackberries to help rent an old car, so that a neigh-
bor could watch her grandchild play at the park. So it comes
as no surprise that Faye chose to devote 12 years as a young
adult to the Peace Corps. Faye became the first female
volunteer to the Peace Corps in 1963. She traveled to North-
ern Columbia, Latin America, the Carribean, Ireland, Costa
Rica, and other adventurous locales.
          When she returned to the U.S., she became involved
in co-op management in Berkeley, Puget Sound, and other
places.
          While raising her two children (now adults in their
early 30s, pursuing a Ph.D., (in music), and a master’s de-
gree (in theater arts), she became involved in education.
                                                                                                                               5
                                                    The Marin Lawyer


                                                                    ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR
                                                                    PRACTICE’S INFORMATION INTEGRITY?
                    HELLO OUT THERE!
                    (This is your staff calling.)                   COMPUTER VIRUSES AND INTERNET INTRUSIONS ARE
                                                                    A REAL THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS!
                                                                    If your computers are not well secured, they can be
      Hi! You know me. I’m your right hand guy, your gal
Friday, your legal assistant, paralegal, or legal secretary. I’m    easily accessed from the outside, and your sensitive
that person who helps you keep on track with your calendar          information will be compromised. Imagine a competitor
and clients, be where you need to be at the right time with         or even an opposing party in litigation gaining access to
the right file, wade through the details of forms, procedures,      your computer systems. Every other day now, we see
and court rules. And you know what? I like it!                      news about some new malicious virus popping up.
      I like working in a law office. It’s interesting and chal-    Downtime and damage caused by computer viruses can
lenging. I like working with you on all these different cases       cost tens of thousands of dollars. Many small businesses
and learning about the legal system. Sure, the clients drive        think “it won’t happen to them”. Unfortunately, that is
us nuts sometimes, but hey, they’re just people who need            not so.
help. And I like that part, too, being of service to you and        According to a 2002 annual computer crime and security
your clients.                                                       survey, over 90% of businesses disclosed they had
      Say, I’ve heard there is a professional organization, simi-   experienced major security breaches during the year. You
lar to your bar association, for me. It’s called the Marin          might assume your regular “computer guy” takes care of
County Legal Professionals Association, and they just elected       security as well; but almost always that’s not the case.
new officers and started their fiscal year. They meet once a
                                                                    My name is Semyon Galperin, and I’m an
month for dinner and listen to a speaker. They also have
                                                                    Information Security Consultant. Let me secure
monthly brown bag luncheons where legal assistants can meet
                                                                    your computers and Internet communications. Give
informally to discuss issues they have in common. Don’t             me a call at 415-472-6085, and I will send you a
worry, they don’t sit around bashing employers or talking           free no-obligation report on Computer Security.
about clients. They have a code of ethics that reminds each
member that they are bound by the same confidentiality and
professional conduct rules that attorneys are. Dues are only
$35 a year and they are part of a statewide group called
Legal Secretaries, Inc., which offers continuing education
and a whole host of benefits I might be interested in, like
dental insurance and retirement plans. I could attend some
workshops, pick up some helpful information, and bring it
back to the office. Do you think we should check it out?
      For more information, contact Kristi L. Edwards, CCLS
President, at 663-8252, kristi@bf-law.net or Jennifer Page,
Membership Chair, 898-1010.




6
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

T O P T E N T H IN G S J U D G E S T H IN K                             6. In trial, be mindful of redundancy during voir
                                                                   dire:
 L A W Y E R S C A N D O B E T T E R                                        Don’t insult or underestimate the jurors during voir
By Debra Bogaards                                                  dire by using repetitive questioning with all jurors or overuse
                                                                   of a particular “theme” issue. (Judge Jim Ritchie)
      1. Be respectful:                                                 7. In trial, keep to the main points in closing argu-
         You might think the judge is an idiot, the witness is a   ment:
liar, and opposing counsel is a jerk. But in a court of law, be             Use an organized and logical approach to final argu-
professional at all times. Maintain an attitude of respect, re-    ment rather than throwing in every possible nuance in the
gardless of your personal feelings. Time and time again, ju-       case on the off-chance that someone on the jury will buy one.
rors report extreme dissatisfaction with bickering, rude law-      (Judge Jim Ritchie)
yers. (Judge Lynn Duryee)                                               8. Be succinct.
      2. Maximize your chance for a successful settle-                      During trial, lawyers should know when to stop, and
ment conference:                                                   not repeat themselves. In Marin County, we tend to have
         Very few lawyers turn in thoughtful and timely settle-    very well-educated juries. They get it the first time. (Judge
ment conference statements; those who do have the grati-           Verna Adams)
tude and enthusiasm of the court and panelists. (Judge Lynn             9. Define legal terms to the jury.
Duryee and Judge Lynn Taylor) Take time to write a con-
                                                                            For example, when an exhibit is received into evi-
cise and intelligent settlement conference statement. Have
                                                                   dence, the lawyer will have no problem having the “exhibit
all the necessary parties with you when you arrive. Be pre-
                                                                   published to the jury.” But jurors don’t speak the same lan-
pared to spend the day talking about your case in depth. Try
                                                                   guage. Tell the jury that publish means “to show.” (Judge
to set aside your natural impulse to argue and use the confer-
                                                                   Verna Adams)
ence to listen to the court’s assessment of the strengths and
weaknesses of your case. (Judge Lynn Duryee)                            10.Use plain English.
      3. Highlight exhibits to settlement conference                    When talking to the judge and/or jury, use plain English.
statements:                                                        A pet peeve is the overuse of the term “motor vehicle.” Say
                                                                   what it is: SUV, car, truck, etc. (This is also a good tip for use
         When you attach a medical record or deposition tran-
                                                                   in writing briefs.) (Judge Verna Adams)
script, please highlight the key information for the panelists’
and judge’s ease. Sometimes lawyers attach the entire depo-
sition transcript! Make the life of the panelists and judge             Debra Bogaards is a trial lawyer, doing some plaintiff’s
easier, and help your case, by focusing our attention. (Judge      cases and mostly insurance defense at Pave & Bogaards.
Lynn Taylor)
      4. Be ready to discuss ADR or trial dates at your                  AUTHOR’S NOTE: I thought that this topic would
case management conference:                                        put me on easy street; one tip from each of the 10 judges.
         At your first CMC, be reasonable about ADR op-            How perfect - The list would practically write itself! But I
tions – do not try to convince the judge that you shouldn’t        was mistaken. A few judges called me to say that lawyers in
have to “waste your time in ADR” for your 20-day jury trial.       Marin County do an excellent job, so there is no need to pro-
If you haven’t done the previously-ordered ADR, explain to         vide criticism. One judge (who I convinced to contribute a
the judge why you haven’t and come to court with a plan for        few tips anyway) added that she likes attorneys: she was an
its completion. If your case is on for trial setting, be com-      attorney before becoming a judge, her husband is an attorney,
pletely familiar with trial counsel’s calendar. Remember that      and one of her children is an attorney. I am proud to report
the CMC is not the time for your opening statement or to vent      that the judges on our Marin County Bench think very highly
your frustration at opposing counsel’s failure to provide an-      of the members of our Marin County Bar.
swers to interrogatories. If you need a court order, make a
motion. (Judge Lynn Duryee)                                             For these reasons, I am especially grateful to the judges
      5. In trial, maintain your credibility:                      who contributed helpful tips anyway. We can all benefit from
         Focus on what’s important in your case and don’t use      these common sense, but often forgotten, reminders.
up your credibility (with the judge OR the jury) on minor or
insignificant matters. (Judge Jim Ritchie)

                                                                                                                                    7
                                             The Marin Lawyer

                                                            Date & Time of Incident: 7/24/01
M A R IN C O U N T Y J U R Y V E R D IC T S
                                                            Type of Action: Auto accident, personal injuries
Complete Title of Plaintiff(s): Carolyn Cohn
                                                            Location of Accident/Incident: Tiburon Boulevard,
Complete Title of Defendant(s): Ada-Beth Kilpatrick         Tiburon
Case Number: CV022012                                       Plaintiff(s); Age(s): 60 Occupation: Homemaker
Insurance Carrier: Farmers Insurance Exchange               Residence: Tiburon

Plaintiff Attorney(s) PH#: Alexander Anolik, Esq. 415       Facts of Case: Ada-Beth Kilpatrick rear-ended Plaintiff
673-3333                                                    on Tiburon Boulevard.

Defendant Attorney(s) PH#: Steven M. Perl, Esq., King       Plaintiff(s) Contention(s) as to Liability: Defendant
& Perl, 707 544-0524                                        was inattentive.

Plaintiff Doctor(s), Field, Address: Tracy Newkirk, M.D.,   Defendant(s) Contention(s) as to Liability: Liability
Neurologist, San Rafael; Edward Demayo, M.D., Orthope-      admitted.
dic Surgeon, Greenbrae                                      Jury Deliberated: 2 hours
Defendant Doctor(s), Field, Address: Robert Ansel, M.D.,    Length of Jury Trial: 3 days
Neurologist, Oakland
                                                            Plaintiff Attorney asked the Jury to Award: $38,000.00
Plaintiff Expert(s), Field, Address: None
                                                            Defendant Attorney Asked the Jury to Award: $0, or
Defendant Expert(s), Field, Address: Sean Shimada,          alternatively, $300-$1,400.00
Ph.D., Biomechanist, Davis; Kirk Barry, Accident
                                                            Injuries/Damages: Plaintiff’s neurologist stated that plain-
Reconstructionist, Roseville
                                                            tiff suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome and cervical strain
Judge: Michael Dufficy                                      as a result of the accident. Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon
                                                            stated that plaintiff suffered from an aggravation of her un-
                                                            derlying cervical arthritis from the accident.
                                                            Defendant’s accident reconstructionist stated that the impact
                                                            speed was 2 miles per hour, and the damage to plaintiff’s
                                                            vehicle could not have been caused in this accident.
                                                            Defendant’s biomechanist testified that the forces involved in
                                                            this accident were insufficient to cause the claimed injuries.
                                                            Defendant’s neurologist testified that, based on the history
                                                            plaintiff gave to her physicians, she could have sustained at
                                                            most a minor, short-lived aggravation of her underlying cervi-
                                                            cal arthritis, but there was no evidence of any actual injury
                                                            suffered.
                                                            Residuals: Plaintiff claimed residual cervical and thoracic
                                                            outlet problems, and treatment was continuing.
                                                            Specials/Damages: Plaintiff claimed $3,800.00 in medical
                                                            specials after reduction under Nishihama. She also claimed
                                                            $3,000-$5,000 in future medical treatment.
                                                            Settlement Talks: Demand: $15,000.00 (C.C.P. §998;)
                                                            Offer: $2,000.00 (C.C.P. §998)
                                                            Result: Defense verdict.
                                                            Poll Result: 10-2           Verdict Date: 2/21/03
                                                            Defendant filed cost bill under C.C.P. §998 for $20,344.58.
                                                            Plaintiff’s motions for JNOV, new trial and to tax costs all
                                                            denied. Judgment entered against plaintiff in favor of
                                                            defendant for $20,344.58.

8
                                                   The Marin Lawyer

              T R IA L S D IG E S T P U B L IS H IN G ,            Defendant: Patrick A. Lanius, Lanius & Associates, El
                                                                   Dorado Hills. Scott E. Murray, Donnelly & Nelson, LLP,
               IN C .’S B A Y A R E A V E R D IC T S               Walnut Creek.

  Alameda                                                          FACTS/CONTENTIONS
  Premises Liability                           $600,000            According to defendant: A patient alleged that his hospital
                                                                   and orthopedic surgeon breached the standard of care re-
                                                                   garding both informed consent and treatment. The plaintiff
    San Francisco                                                  was Arthur Norman Aronsen, III, a 25-year-old computer
    Real Property                                $43,545           operator. The defendants were NorthBay Healthcare Group
    Real Property                               Defense            dba VacaValley Hospital, a general acute care hospital, and
                                                                   Lawrence Tkach, M.D., orthopedic surgeon. Plaintiff re-
    San Mateo                                                      quested the removal of three previously placed pins in his
                                                                   right hip to allow him to enlist in the military in 1998. Through
    Employment                                 $120,000
                                                                   his health plan he was directed to defendant Tkach, then a
                                                                   member of the Fairfield Medical Group. Plaintiff alleged that
    Santa Clara                                                    defendant improperly obtained his informed consent by stat-
    Vehicle Negligence                         $950,000            ing that it was generally recommended that one have such
    Vehicle Negligence                           $35,000           hardware removed (pins to treat a slipped capital femoral
                                                                   epiphysis [SCFE], which had been placed in 1991). He also
    Santa Cruz                                                     claimed that defendant’s statement that if it was his son, he
                                                                   would have the pins removed, violated the standard of care
    Premises Liability                         $481,987            for obtaining informed consent. The surgery was performed
                                                                   on May 27, 1998 in VacaValley Hospital. Plaintiff alleged that
    Solano                                                         defendant was negligent in removing so much bone in the
    Medical Malpractice                         Defense            efforts to remove the pins, which ultimately proved unsuc-
    Vehicle Negligence                          Defense            cessful. Plaintiff further alleged that continuing with efforts to
                                                                   remove the other pins when the doctor could not remove the
    For a 1-3 page report on any case listed or to report one of first pin breached the standard of care. The doctor was able
    your verdicts, settlements or arbitrations, call Trials Digest to remove only one of the pins. Plaintiff also alleged that
    Publishing, Inc. 510-420-1800.                                 defendant’s post-operative orders to obtain A/P and lateral x-
                                                                   rays of the right hip were negligent, given the extent of bone
                                                                   removal, and that he should have ordered a portable x-ray
P A T IE N T A L L E G E S H O S P ITA L A N D                     and/or taken measures to fixate the femur to prevent a post-
 S U R G E O N B R E A C H E D S T A N D A R D O F C A R E         operative fracture.
                                                                   The next morning, three hospital employees—the attending
  Medical Malpractice                                              RN, an RN supervisor and a CNA—began to transfer the
  Hospital/Orthopedist/Orthopedic Surgeon                          patient via a slider board for the radiology study. When plain-
  Surgery/Procedures                                               tiff was turned slightly to the operative side, according to his
  Miscellaneous                                                    testimony he reached up and attempted to relieve pressure on
                                                                   his right side by pulling up on a trapeze that the doctor had
  Solano County Superior Court                                     ordered. Upon doing so, he experienced and heard a pop in
  Aronsen v. NorthBay Healthcare Group, No. L12680. his right hip area and his pain increased from non-existent to
  Franklin R. Taft. Jury trial: 10 days. Verdict/judgment: 2/28/ substantial. The transfer was completed and an x-ray of
  2003.                                                            plaintiff’s hip showed a subtrochanteric fracture of the right
                                                                   femur. Defendant took the patient back to surgery on May 29
                                                                   after acquiring additional equipment and hardware and re-
  VERDICT/JUDGMENT: Defense
                                                                   moved another screw, attempted to remove the remaining one
  Vote: Mixed poll. Deliberations: 9.5 hours.
                                                                   that broke, and inserted an intramedullary rod in the right fe-
                                                                   mur for fixation. Plaintiff experienced substantial blood loss
  TRIAL COUNSEL                                                    and nearly required a transfusion. He was discharged on June
  Plaintiff: Michelle Jenni, Wilcoxen, Callahan, Montgomery & 6, 1998. He returned to college in the fall and was off crutches
  Deacon, Sacramento.                                              by then. He has done well except for occasional discomfort

                                                                                                                                   9
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

when sleeping on his right side or walking long distances. He       complied with the standard of care and that the various intra-
has abandoned riding horses altogether.                             operative decisions about attempting to remove other screws
                                                                    in hopes of releasing pressure that may have prevented prior
CLAIMED INJURIES                                                    screws from being removed were within the standard of care.
According to defendant: Fractured femur; rodding of femur;          He also testified that there are varying schools of thought
interference with all physical activities to varying degrees;       about information provided to patients when they inquire
pain and suffering. No further medical treatment was ever           whether the physician would have his or her own family mem-
sought or proven to be likely in the future.                        bers undergo the procedure. He also testified that the method
                                                                    of transfer by the nurses in the hospital was appropriate and
CLAIMED DAMAGES                                                     within the standard of care.
According to defendant: $50,000 ($10,000 per year for five
years) past pain and suffering; $245,000 ($5,000 per year for COMMENTS
                                                              According to defendant: The jury voted 12 to 0 in favor of
average life expectancy of 49 years) future pain and suffering.
                                                              defendant VacaValley and 11 to 1 in favor of defendant Tkach.
SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS                                        The insurance carrier for defendant VacaValley was Califor-
According to defendant: Demand: $124,999 (CCP§998) to nia Healthcare Insurance Company, Inc.; the claims special-
defendant VacaValley Hospital; $74,999 (CCP§998) to de- ist was Tricia Keefe. The insurance carrier for defendant
fendant Tkach. Offer: waiver of costs in return for dismissal Tkach was Medical Insurance Exchange of California; the
(CCP¤998) by both defendants.                                 claims specialist was Debbie Cringle.
                                                              Scott E. Murray represented defendant Tkach. Patrick A.
TRIAL EXPERTS                                                 Lanius represented defendant VacaValley and provided the
Plaintiff: Robert L. Cameto, orthopedic surgeon, Carmichael information for this report.
(916) 965-4000. Gale R. Smith, nurse, Portola Valley (650)
851-4683.                                                     Copyright (C) 2003 Trials Digest Publishing, Inc. All Rights
                                                              Reserved. Reprinted with Permission.
DEFENDANT: Thomas G. Sampson, orthopedic surgeon,
San Francisco (415) 921-1800. Katherine A. Kelly, nurse,
Grass Valley (530) 270-1561.

EXPERT TESTIMONY
According to defendant: Plaintiff’s expert Smith testified that
the nursing staff breached the standard of care in the manner
in which they transferred plaintiff for his x-rays and in failing
to request that the doctor order portable x-rays. The basis for
her opinion was that she had never seen a transfer done in the
manner described at Stanford University Medical Center
where she worked on a Med-Surg floor and where orthope-
dic patients are primarily on a designated ortho floor, to which
she floated approximately 23 times over 25 years. Plaintiff’s
expert Cameto testified that Dr. Tkach breached the stan-
dard of care in securing the informed consent, continuing with
efforts to remove screws upon failing to extricate the first
screw and in failing to fixate the femur and order portable
post-op x-rays. He testified that the method of transfer used
by the nurses is the safest method known and was not below
the standard of care.
Defendant VacaValley Hospital’s expert, Kelly, practices in
ERs and teaches Med-Surg nursing at the University of Ne-
vada in Reno. She testified that the nursing care plaintiff re-
ceived comported with the standard of care and the method
of transfer is routine and safe since it stabilizes the operative
side anatomy.
Defendant Tkach’s expert, Sampson, testified that Dr. Tkach

10
                                               The Marin Lawyer


  N E W    M E M B E R S

Spencer Scheer                    Thomas A. Cohen
Scheer & Imfeld                   639 Front Street, 4th Floor
1401 Los Gamos Drive, Ste.202     San Francisco, CA 94111
San Rafael, CA 94903              777-1997
491-8900; Fax 491-8910
                                  Wayne McIntosh
Carole Scagnetti                  Marin Family Lawyers
Law Offices of Carole Scagnetti   616 19th Avenue
50 California Street, Ste.1500    San Francisco, CA 94121
San Francisco, CA 94111           377-1825
5354-5354; Fax: 439-5386
                                  Laura Farrow
Simone Katherine Gros-Bathazard   Mediation Law Offices
20 Cazneau Ave.                   34 Forrest Street
Sausalito, CA 94965               Mill Valley, CA 94941
332-0451                          383-1301; Fax: 383-4946


C H A N G E O F S C E N E

Michael Malone
Mediation Services
52 Canyon Oak Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903




 Please submit your nomination by returning this form by September 15, 2003, to the Public Information Committee,
 c/o Marin County Bar Association, 30 N. San Pedro Road, Ste. 140, San Rafael, CA 94903, identifying the achievements
 and qualities that make the nominee appropriate as Lawyer of the Year. For further information, contact Matt White at
 (415) 453-1010.

 NOMINATION FOR LAWYER OF THE YEAR: _____________________________________________
  __________________________________________________________________________________



 Qualifications:__ ______________________________________________________________________
  __________________________________________________________________________________
  __________________________________________________________________________________
  __________________________________________________________________________________

 Submit your name if you wish to be contacted for further information:________________________________
  __________________________________________________________________________________


                                                                                                                         11
                                                  The Marin Lawyer

L R S S E C T IO N                                                D E L E G A T E S N E E D E D
                                                                       Each year the Marin County Bar sends up to 14 del-
G R E E T IN G S F R O M T H E C U R R E N T C H A IR      O F   egates to the annual Conference of Delegates of California
 T H E L A W Y E R R E F E R R A L S E R V IC E                  Bar Associations. At the Conference, delegates consider over
by Ron Kamins                                                    100 proposals for changes in California law. Approved reso-
                                                                 lutions are taken to the legislature. In past years, sixty to sev-
      This is my third year on the Lawyer Referral Service enty percent of the approved proposals have become law.
Committee and my first as the Chair. I also have been on
several LRS panels, including estate planning and personal
                                                                       This year the Conference and Annual Meeting will be
injury, for many years.
                                                                 held in Anaheim, California, from Friday, September 5 to Sun-
      Being on the Committee and meeting many potential new day, September 7, 2003. It will be held in conjunction with the
clients as a panel member have been rewarding experiences, State Bar Annual Meeting. A highlight of the Annual Meeting
and I would urge all of my colleagues to consider joining pan- is the large number (150+) of free continuing legal education
els of the LRS, not only to provide a service to the public, but programs, all of which are available to delegates.
also to generate business for your office.
      New applications were sent out in April and now would
                                                                       If you would like to learn more or want to be one of the
be a good time for many of you to consider joining. We par-
                                                                 delegates from Marin, contact Lynn Pfeifer at the Bar office
ticularly need attorneys to join the panels for landlord-tenant,
                                                                 (499-1314) or Ken Drexler, Chair of the Legislation Commit-
collections, labor and employment law, and conservatorships.
                                                                 tee (485-1330).
      Over the years, I’ve generated a great deal of business
as a panel member of the LRS and have met many interesting
people. One particularly interesting estate planning client was
an elderly gentleman from San Anselmo who wanted me to
re-do his will to disinherit his grandchildren and leave his en-
tire estate to a young couple who lived on his property as his
caretakers.
      He was a widower, whose only child had died. He was
not particularly close to his two surviving grandchildren and
was very fond of the young couple who were living in a cot-
tage on his property and who had been taking care of him.
                                                                        DOES YOUR CLIENT NEED A TRIAL
This was obviously a situation that made me suspicious. It                                 LAWYER?
took many months and many meetings before I was comfort-            . . . But you prefer to stay out of the courtroom,
able with the notion that he was competent to disinherit his        using your time and resources where they can bet-
family and was not under the undue influence of the caretak-        ter serve your clients.
ers. Eventually I amended his will, and I tape recorded my
meeting with him during which I questioned him about the            We can help. The lawyers at JusVox are litigation special-
nature and extent of his estate and his reasons for disinherit-     ists, with extensive experience in contract, employment,
ing his grandchildren. After my client passed away, the grand-      insurance, tortious injury and property damage matters.
children were disappointed with their grandfather’s decision,
but were eventually convinced to resolve their potential will       We will:
contest.                                                                 ? Help you evaluate whether a jury trial is the best
      I also handled a personal injury case for a 70 year old                 way to protect or pursue your clients’ interests.
gentleman who was badly injured in a motor vehicle accident.             ? Provide skilled trial lawyers, in the event of trial.
The case was being litigated, and my client asked me if it          You will:
would help his case if he had surgery. I tried to impress upon           ? Control costs and attorney’s fees.
him that it wouldn’t really help his case at all if he died in
                                                                         ? Maintain your relationship with your clients.
surgery, which was a risk given his heart condition. He pru-
dently decided not to have surgery, and his case was success-
fully settled.                                                      Call Francis Doherty at (415) 453-2300 for free
      So, the moral of the story is: Join the LRS as a panel        information about our services and what we can
member, provide a service for the public, and generate new          do for you and your clients.
business. You can contact LRS at 499-1813.                                JusVox, 36 Woodland Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901

                                                                                                                                13
                                                       The Marin Lawyer



W    H O W A N T T O S T A Y C U R R E N T

     ESTATE PLANNING ROUNDTABLE/MENTOR
GROUP CONTINUES IN FULL SWING
     WHEN: The second Tuesday of each month 12 to 1:30
     WHAT: Informative roundtable discussions of current
estate planning issues affecting our clients. Bring your lunch.
     WHERE: The venue has been changed to the Marin
Community Foundation located at 5 Hamilton Landing, Suite
200, Novato, the next exit after Marinwood (San Rafael).
Easy access with plenty of parking. Directions: 101N Hamilton
Field/Nave Dr. Exit. Continue on Nave Dr north, parallel to
101. Turn right at Main Gate Road, leading into Hamilton.
Continue to Arts Center bearing right onto South Palm Drive.
Go right onto Hanger Avenue. Take immediate left into park-
ing lot. MCF is in Hanger 5. Entrance is down the path be-
tween Hanger 5 and Hanger 6.

    For more information, and to RSVP, e-mail Michelle
Lerman: michelle@lermanlaw.com (415) 492-4505.



S C H E D U L E O F S P E A K E R S /D IS C U S S IO N L E A D E R S
 D A T E           S P E A K E R      T O P IC           P H O N E

July 8             Ira Hillyer V.P., Choosing a Trustee
                   Mechanics Bank                249-0319
Aug 12             Richard Julien Latest Thoughts of the
                   Smart Ones: A summary of highlights of
                   ABA meetings(Aug. 8,10) 421-1312,
                        421-1317fax rj@julien.com
Sept 9             Terence Colyer Family Law Issues that
                   affect Estate Planning        454-8980
Oct 14             TBA
Nov 11             TBA




14
                                                   The Marin Lawyer

                                                                         NEWLY REDECORATED conference room to
T H E M A R K E T P L A C E                                         meet clients. Easy highway access. Plenty of free park-
                                                                    ing. Four attorney office makes its conference room and
                                                                    address available to limited number of Marin solos who
     LEGAL SECRETARY & Office Administrator desired.                want a professional environment in which to meet and
12-15 hrs/wk., for partner in Mill Valley law firm. Good sal-       greet clients. $150.00 per month. Call (415) 457-2668.
ary & work environment. Fax resume to (415) 332-6611.
                                                                          DOWNTOWN SAN RAFAEL LAW FIRM seeks
      COURTHOUSE SQUARE: Corner office on top floor                 to sublease 1-2 fully furnished attorney offices in attrac-
of tallest office building in San Rafael. Views of the Mission      tive older building. Adjacent secretarial space available if
and Mt. Tamalpais from office. Views of bay, bridge and             needed. Amenities included. Support services available.
Oakland from conference room. We also have a second large           Please call (415) 454-2294.
office with views of the bay and city. This suite of 10 attor-
neys enjoy luxurious furnishings and high quality finishes                 ATTORNEY OFFICE FOR RENT
throughout. There are receptionist services, library, covered
                                                                           $550 PER MONTH
parking, high-speed copier and fax. The building also provides
a second oversized conference room. (415) 459-2000.                        Share a two attorney office in the woodsy and quiet
                                                                     Creekside Center office building with Civil Litigation
                                                                     attorney Sydney E. Fairbairn. The address is Seven Mt.
     EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CENTERS - 700 Larkspur                       Lassen Drive, Ste. A-110, San Rafael, California. (Off
Landing Circle- Suite 199. Join other attorneys at our facility;     Lucas Valley Road) Your office would be 10 X 11 feet.
nicely appointed mediation/conference rooms, prestigious pri-        A 9 X 20 room serves as the reception, secretary and file
vate offices w/flexible lease terms, complete office services.       and copy area. The complex has a large conference room
Call Sandy at 464-4900.                                              and kitchen at no extra charge. Office has a copy
                                                                     machine, fax machine, hot water dispenser, microwave,
     OFFICE WITH A VIEW - Smith Ranch area, San                      and refrigerator. The landlord provides janitorial service
Rafael office, 4 attorneys, nicely furnished and all amenities,      once per week and pays for electricity. The site is flat
conference room, excellent parking for tenants and clients.          with good handicapped access and parking. Other
Private office with or without secretarial space. Call Jim at        attorneys in the building.
472-4140.                                                                  Available June 10, 2003.
                                                                           Call (415) 479-0940.
     OFFICE SPACE NEAR CIVIC CENTER- office
available now in five-attorney office near Civic Center. Con-
ference Room, Library, Secretarial Space, Kitchen, Copier                  PREMIER OFFICE SPACE
and Fax on site. Inquiries to Pat (415) 472-6655.
                                                                           DOWNTOWN SAN RAFAEL
     CORTE MADERA - Professional office for rent with                        First Class Historic Building
secretarial space, in law office with all amenities. Telephone               One Office Available Now
927-9449.
                                                                           FIVE-ATTORNEY SUITE
     RESEARCH AND WRITING: Experienced contract                               Large, Beautifully Finished Offices
attorney, local references. $55 an hour for first 40 hours, $65              Receptionist
thereafter. Call Marta Weiss Paul at (415) 459-6255.
                                                                             Conference Room
                                                                              Law Library
     DOWNTOWN SAN RAFAEL Law Firm seeks to
                                                                             Secretarial Space Available
sublease 1-2 fully furnished attorney offices in attractive older
building. Adjacent secretarial space available if needed.                     High Speed Copier
Amenities included. Support services available. Please call                  Basement Storage Area Available
(415) 454-2294.
                                                                           $1500 per month
    10% OFF first Notarized signature! Notary Signing
Agent will travel to your home/office! Please call before 9:00             Inquiries: (415) 459-5223
pm @ 415-246-2831. Your business is greatly appreciated!
                                                                                                                                   15
                                                   Express Printing

                                                                            Phone: (707) 585-3248
                                                                             Fax: (707) 585-0844
                                                                           E-mail: express@sonic.net
                                                                                                               9
                                                                               The Marin Lawyer




                                                                                                   FIRST CLASS
Marin County Bar Association                                                                       U.S.POSTAGE
30 North San Pedro Road, Ste. 40                                                                      PAID
San Rafael, CA 94903                                                                                PERmIT #26
                                                                                                  SAn RAFAEL CA
                       published by
             The Marin County Bar Association                                                     DATED MATERIAL
             415-499-1314 Fax 415-499-1614
                    www.marinbar.org
                  MCBA Officers
 Edward S. Berberian      President
 Marlene P. Getchell      President Elect
 Beth S. Jordan           Treasurer
 Otis Bruce Jr.           Secretary
 Jeffrey H. Lerman        Past President
 David Feingold           5 Year Past President
                Board of Directors
 Elizabeth Brekhus        Renee Giacomini Brewer
 David I. Brown           Timothy J. Chambers
 Houman Chitsaz           Philip R. Diamond
 Todd Duplanty            Michael Fish
 Louis S. Franecke        Joel Gumbiner
 Jessica Karner           Dennis Kavanagh
 Jordan A. Lavinsky       Andrew C. McCullough
 Eric Sternberger
                Executive Director
                   Robynn Gaspar
         Production       Express Printing
         Advertising      Pat Stone
 MCBA encourages submission of articles that may interest the legal
 community. Letters to the Editor are also welcome and may be
 published if space permits. Submissions will not be returned. The
 Editor reserves the right to publish, decline to publish, edit or otherwise
 modify any submission. Editorial material should be sent to the Marin
 County Bar Association at the above address.


20

				
DOCUMENT INFO