Attorneys from both sides of Ventura County gathered for the East County Bar Association (ECBA) Mixer at the Napa Tavern, in Westlake Village.

ECBA President Doug Bordner and Katie Clunen chaired the mixer to ensure Ventura County’s legal community is equally represented through events hosted on both sides of the Conejo Grade.

“The Conejo Grade is more than a hill. It acts as a symbolic Berlin Wall, separating our two areas of Ventura County,” says Judge Frederick Bysshe, who drove from Ojai to attend the mixer. “When I was president of the VCBA, I saw this, and made it one of our missions to bring both areas of the bar together.”

Judge Bysshe echoes the words and actions of last year’s VCBA President, Dien Le. One of Dien’s goals was to ensure countywide representation by showcasing events at different venues to get attorneys from all areas of the county actively involved, and he launched the effort with the very successful 2012 installation banquet held at the Hyatt in Westlake Village.

“It turned out to be a huge success, we  exceeded our goal, we had over 40 sponsors and raised over $22,000,” Le says. “At the time, going against the norm and taking a risk was what we needed. “Sure, plenty of folks were skeptical, but we proved them all wrong. I hope that others do the same, that they recognize the entire county, and mix it up, move events around every now and then.”

This goal has caught current VCBA President Joel Mark’s attention. Joel has furthered this goal by announcing the 2013 Installation Banquet’s mid-county location at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.

The ECBA will continue to host monthly mixers to promote unity. Clunen created a Facebook group for the East County Bar that the public can use to keep up to date on the section’s events. “Be on the lookout for more mixers and events where we will promote networking between east and west attorneys,” Clunen says.

Anyone wants to plan a joint event or get more information on ECBA happenings may contact Bordner at dabordner@sbcglobal.net or “Like” the East County Bar Facebook page.

Alfonso Martinez practices family and criminal law with the Law Office of Marc Dion in Westlake Village

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