The Governor Does it Again!

Just before leaving office, Governor Jerry Brown messed up CCCBA’s leadership plans once again. In early 2018, he appointed two of our section leaders to the CCC Superior Court (Hon. Virginia George and Hon. Leonard Marquez), and on December 7, 2018 he tapped Wendy McGuire Coats, our incoming 2019 President, for the position on the Contra Costa bench left vacant by Judge Goode’s retirement.

Wendy has been very active with the CCCBA’s Women’s Section and served on the CCCBA board from 2015 to 2018. At the time of her appointment to the bench she was a partner at Fisher and Phillips LLP. For the Governor’s official announcement, see here:

In preparation for her year as President, Wendy had a ‘Get to Know Your New President’ article penned and ready for publication. We’d like to include a few excerpts from her article so you can get to know her a bit better. (We will be providing more information about our newest Judges Linda Lye and Wendy McGuire Coats in upcoming editions):

My wish

If I could make one wish for 2019 and our Contra Costa County legal community it would be to significantly increase our participation in the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program (BAMSCP). The program is sponsored by the Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa County Bar Associations to provide first year minority law students experience in law firms that they might not otherwise be able to access. The program’s most important objective is to increase the number of minority attorneys in the hiring pipeline, giving them a better opportunity in subsequent years to be competitive for second year clerkships and post law school employment.

Last year as part of the CCCBA’s commitment to BAMSCP, CCCBA Board Member Dorian Peters and I volunteered as screening interviewers for applicants making it past the first round of paper application vetting. Our role was essentially to interview candidates and determine whether to send them on to interview at a firm. To say I was blown away by the candidates we interviewed was an understatement. The biggest challenge we faced was not having enough firm opportunities for the candidates.

If you’re reading this and would like to help move the needle on diversifying our profession by opening one door at a time, please do not hesitate. Please contact Theresa Hurley ASAP so that your firm is slotted to participate in late January – early February 2019.

My favorite quotes

(both by Helen Keller):
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

2019 President James Wu Part 2!

So, now you ask, who will be filling the role of 2019 President? The 2018 Board appointed James Wu to continue on as President for a second term. We are very grateful to James for his willingness to devote an additional year to leading the helm of the CCCBA. James is looking forward to another year of providing our members with opportunities to grow their practices, learn about new developments in the law, network, and give legal guidance and support to our community. He is particularly excited about continuing his push to organize and assist our most experienced attorneys with the creation of a new section, and to the unveiling of a new CCCBA logo and website.

James’s appointment to the President role left the Past President position open. Luckily, Nick Casper, CCCBA’s 2015 President, has agreed to come back to the board to serve as Past President for 2019. Nick served on the CCCBA Board of Directors from 2011-2016. Prior to that, Nick was the Chair of the Barristers section for two years. He has been on the Board of Governors of the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association since 2010.

Nick is a managing partner at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, where he has worked since 2007. As a plaintiffs’ attorney, Nick has been an active participant in the litigation of many of his firm’s largest cases. These cases involved wrongful death, catastrophic injury, products liability, child sexual abuse, and civil rights violations. Nick has been lead trial counsel in five civil jury trials in both state and federal court.

Even though we are sad to see an end to Wendy’s involvement in CCCBA leadership, we are very excited about her appointment and wish her the best of luck as she takes on a new ‘daring adventure’!