Exec’s Dot…Dot…Dot…

A trust has been established for Michael Lavenant’s three children, Brittany (12), Brianna (10), and Christian (7). Checks may be made payable to “Memorial Fund for Michael Lavenant” and mailed to County Commerce Bank, 2357-B, Pickwick Drive, Camarillo, Ca. 93010…Judge Gilbert Romero’s formal enrobement ceremony is scheduled for March 1 at 4 p.m. inside CR# 22…The 23rd Annual Strategic Planning Session of Bar Leaders is scheduled for Feb. 9, beginning at 8:30 a.m. inside the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard. Fifty board members and representatives from our sections, committees, affiliates, and friends will attend to chart our course for 2013- 2014 in addition to sharing information about their activities. The first session I orchestrated in 1991 was attended only by Bart Bleuel, Wendy Lascher, Roger Myers, Dennis LaRochelle, and Jim McBride at the Mandalay Bay in Oxnard…Annual Stella Awards (for those unfamiliar, these awards are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonalds in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee) for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. First Place? Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home from an OU football game, having driven on the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she could not actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her $1.75 million PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit…Please welcome Doug Bordner as the new President of the East County Bar Association. dabordner@sbcglobal.net or 496.0111… Probate and Estate Planning Section Chair, Amber Rodriguez was appointed by Judge Brian Back to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Ventura County Law Library…Lawyer John Tull nearly died after his diagnosis with bubonic plague during a visit to New York in November 2002. Tull fared worse than his wife, Lucinda Marker, who recovered in a few days. Tull was put in a medically induced coma and surgeons amputated his legs to curb the raging infections. “At one point I was on a respirator, I had a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. I was unconscious, and I was on a dialysis machine,” he told the New York Times. “Hell, I was hooked up to every damn machine in the hospital except the vacuum.” Authorities soon dispelled fears that the plague was related to terrorism. Tull and Marker were likely infected from fleas carried by a pack rat found on their property in Santa Fe, N.M., that summer. Today 63-year-old Tull drives his own car and goes on fishing trips. Have a nice day…Robert Ostrove had a letter to the editor published in the Los Angeles Times Dec. 14. Something about the Dodgers of course…

CITATIONS contributor Michael Sment has written “California Real Estate: Many Rules, Many New Laws, and the Top Ten Issues for Consumers,” a chapter in the recently published Representing Consumers in California Real Estate Transactions. In April, Mr. Sment will be teaching “Banking and Foreclosure Mediation,” a newly-created course for UCSB…In case you have been living in a cave – On Monday morning, Jan. 14, Justice Clarence Thomas broke nearly seven years of silence at the Supreme Court oral arguments. Problem is, what he said was apparently so funny that you had to be there. Really – the court’s official transcript didn’t catch his words. What we do know is that Justice Thomas was speaking to a lawyer representing the State of Louisiana. The State was arguing that its five-year failure to fund a lawyer for an indigent defendant facing the death penalty did not undermine the defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. Before Thomas spoke in Boyer v. Louisiana, Justice Antonin Scalia was asking the state’s attorney about the competency and experience of the lawyers for the capital defendant, Jonathan Edward Boyer. After learning that the lawyers went to Harvard and Yale law schools, Scalia said, “Son of a gun.” Then Thomas spoke. According to the transcript, he said, “Well – he did not –,” followed by laughter. Louisiana’s lawyer then responded, “I would refute that, Justice Thomas.”…Tina Rasnow donated money to the Volunteer Lawyers Services Program, Inc. in honor of Emeritus Attorney Jerry Cline’s 77th birthday…

Welcome if you will, to the new co-chairs of the bar’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance, Ed Elrod and Kim Shean. They may be reached at edward.elrod.law@gmail.com and duffy-shean@sbcglobal.net …Kim is also a new member of the bar’s board of directors. Joining her are new board members Rachel Coleman, Rennee Dehesa, Kata Kim, Robert Krimmer, Susan McCarthy, and Kathryn Clunen…A real estate investment trust partner in the Dallas office of Locke Ford has the highest billing rate in a new survey – $1,285 an hour. The National Law Journal survey also revealed the lowest rate for associates – $130 at Dinsmore & Shohl based in Cincinnati…CITATIONS’ editorial board is looking for a few good lawyers to pitch in. Contact Managing Editor Wendy Lascher at  wlascher@fcoplaw.com or 659.6800…Also at FCOP, Bret Anderson and Leslie McAdam have been named partners and Lauren Sims has been hired as an associate…

Steve Henderson has been the executive director and chief executive officer of the bar association and its affiliated organizations since November 1990. He has indeed admitted to Oprah a seven-year doping issue in the ‘90s leading to humongous revenues for the bar. Additionally, his girlfriend may be reached at NotreDame.com. He may be reached at steve@vcba.org, FB, Twitter at stevehendo1 and vcba1, or better yet,650.7599.

About Steve Henderson

Steve Henderson has been the executive director and chief executive office of the bar association and its affiliated organizations since November 1990. His 40th birthday is the 20th of the month and he will be vacationing this month with Rep. Todd Akin. BD gifts may be made payable to vcba/vlsp, inc. or small quantities of Red Stripe or Tecate. Henderson may be reached at steve@vcba.org, FB, LinkedIn, Twitter at stevehendo1or vcba1, or better yet, 650.7599.