Bar Soap (Aug ’18)

Bar Soap (Aug ’18)

Hard to believe summer is upon us already.

I did receive my annual jury summons. I reported dutifully to Pittsburg. What a beautiful courthouse. Did confirm the Family Law cases are all directed back to Martinez, so plenty of available courtrooms.

I have received an overwhelming response to my last Civil Jury Verdicts mention of needing trial reports. That response has come from the court, judges and trial attorneys. Thanks to all. Looks like we will have a Civil Jury Verdicts column long into the future. I certainly know there are lots of trials taking place in our civil courtrooms.

Very pleased to see my former colleague Virginia George appointed to our Superior Court Bench. I enjoyed her official swearing-in ceremony in the Board of Supervisors chambers. However, I must confess I didn’t recognize half the judges seated in front of us. And I don’t think it is my failing memory. I simply do not know many of our judges. The good news is we have a diverse bench peopled by many with varied legal backgrounds.

My partner Erika Portillo and I gave presentations on “Immigration” to the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek and to Leadership Contra Costa. Leadership Contra Costa is the annual Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce sponsored program. For the past ten years or so Erika has focused her law practice on immigration law. The main title of our talk was: “A non-political look at immigration.”   One of the important themes of our presentations was the “Myths” surrounding immigration law. At any rate we were well received at both events.

The Bar Association’s annual Bench Bar program took place May 15 at noon in Department 39. That is Judge Weil’s department. He is now our civil complex litigation judge. I will say I must be out of the loop as I did not know Judge Goode was retiring until I heard at Virginia George’s swearing in ceremony. And I am supposed to be in the loop as that Bar Soap guy.

The Bench Bar lunch meeting is simply not to be missed by civil practitioners. Lot’s happening of interest and of note. Of course we always hear about the “new computer system” coming on line soon. I recall I first heard about the new computer system when I was a Deputy DA back in the 80’s. Hope springs eternal!

I like to see what starting salaries are for “elite law students” each year. How many of you started at $190,000? How many of you have a base salary of $190,000? I thought so! Latest published information reflects starting salaries for the most elite students with several national law firms at $190,000. But, fewer firms have rushed to match that number this year. Well, that’s a relief!