Lawyer Referral Service – A Community Resource

Lawyer Referral Service – A Community Resource

The year 2018 was a very fruitful one for the CCCBA’s LRIS. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making our LRIS so successful.

Family Law Training Series

In the fall of 2018 we were very fortunate to be able to offer our members a six-part seminar series in Family Law. Designed for those new to Family Law as well attorneys who wish to take on cases from our Moderate Means program, the series was well attended by attorneys as well as several of our judges. The series resulted in the LRIS adding 11 new Moderate Means attorneys to its roster.

Family Law attorneys David Erb, Billie Jean Lee, and Robin Birnbaum organized this training, lining up speakers from all aspects of Family Law, including Family Law judges, attorneys and court staff. Big thanks to David, Billie Jean, Robin and the staff at JFK University for making this training so successful.

LRIS Attorneys

The backbone of the LRIS are the attorneys who sign up each year to receive referrals in their areas of practice. They agree to give the client a 30-minute consultation, which may lead to being retained by the client. While some of our callers do not need more than the 30-minute consultation, our attorneys graciously meet with them to answer their questions about their legal issue. Even just a 30-minute consultation now may lead to a return client somewhere down the road. This year alone, we scheduled appointments for over 3,500 clients, with another 1,500 whom we redirected to another program or source of assistance.

LRIS Committee

Our dedicated LRIS Committee consists of nine CCCBA members who meet bi-monthly to help keep our LRIS on track, resolve any issues that may arise and generate new ideas for promoting our services. In 2018 the LRIS Committee members were Joe Wolch (chair), Steve Steinberg (co-chair), Carolyn Cain, David Erb, Bill Hickey, Kathryn Korn, John Kortum, Dan Pocklington, Laura Ramsey and Hon. James Marchiano (ret). Thank you for helping to keep the LRIS moving forward!

LRIS Staff

I also want to take a moment to express my appreciation for our long-time lawyer referral intake staff, who are the main contact point for clients looking to consult with an attorney. Day in and day out, these staff members, Emily Day, Jennifer Comages, Anne Wolf and JFKU work-study student Jennifer Spalding are on the phone, helping clients to determine what type of attorney they may need and then scheduling appointments with our LRIS attorneys.

We also added a new “member” to our staff, Sophie. Many of you may have met Sophie, a registered service dog. She has been very helpful in calming stressed clients when they come into the office, as well as playing the role of official greeter for the CCCBA. She has been a calming influence on our LRIS Staff, when they are taking a call from a difficult client.

Our LRIS clients often express their gratitude for the staff’s patience and understanding while taking these sometimes-stressful calls.

Our LRIS program is always on the lookout for new members

We have more than 53 main areas of practice to choose from and there are numerous subpanels that an attorney can join. Several practice areas always need referral attorneys, such as Tenant/Landlord, Consumer and Elder Law. Spanish-speaking attorneys are needed in every area of the law, most especially Family Law.

If you wish to become a member of our Lawyer Referral and Information Service, signing up is simple and can be done at the time you renew your CCCBA Membership, or at any other time of the year by contacting our office. If you have any questions about the LRIS contact me directly at (925) 370-2544 or

I look forward to working with all our dedicated attorneys and staff this year. Thank you all very much!