Exec’s Dot…Dot…Dot… by Steve Henderson, Executive Director, M.A., CAE

Do us all a tremendous favor and attend the bar’s Annual Installation and Awards Dinner scheduled for Saturday evening, November 23, beginning at 6:00 p.m. inside the Spanish Hills Country Club. We will be honoring Monte Widders as the recipient of the Ben E. Nordman Public Service Award in addition to recognizing Kathleen Barrett and Alfonso Martinez with the James Loebl Pro Bono Award. Monte was nominated by Jill Friedman, a partner. There is also the opportunity to thank the out-going VCBA Board members who served the last two years and those new board members who have signed-on for the next two years. There will also be the Silent Auction with proceeds benefitting the VLSP, Inc. and donations may still be made by contacting Chair Don Hurley at 659.4695 or don_hurley@yahoo. com. Invitations were mailed October 19, but if you’d like to call the bar to register directly, ask for Nadia at 650.7599 or bar@vcba.org.

Attending the Animal Law Section luncheon October 16 inside the bar offices was Deborah Parker. Her personal plate on the Benz was ANML.VR…Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison, including 12 on death row, for a gruesome multiple murder he didn’t commit. Thanks to Nicole Casarez, a Houston attorney and journalism professor who spent eight years clearing his name, Graves was exonerated and awarded $1.45 million by the Texas Legislature in 2011. Graves wanted to do something for Casarez, but as he told texas Monthly, “I knew she never accept money from me.” After consulting with her husband, Rueben, Graves came up with a generous honor for his “defender, friend, sister and angel” – a scholarship in law studies to the University of Texas, endowed in her name. Graves surprised her with the certificate for the scholarship among a gathering of her friends and family, a certificate significantly emblazoned with the quote, “Never underestimate the power of dedicated people working for good.”…  Susan McCarthy, VCTLA President and a Director on the VCBA Board, managed a 2:36:34 in the SF Nike Women’s Half Marathon despite breaking her big toe about the time she started training. CITATIONS Managing Editor Wendy Lascher turned in a respectable 2:42:04…

Israel or Jordan? David Shain at 659.6800 or dshain@fcoplaw.com…A burglar who was sentenced to nearly 39 years in prison as a habitual offender is asking a federal appeals court to reverse his conviction due to the conduct of a California lawyer who served as foreman of the jury that convicted him. Defendant Donald McNeely initially filed the habeas corpus pro se, contending, among other claims, that the foreman violated his constitutional rights by failing to identify himself as a practicing lawyer during voir dire and blogging about the case, both before and after it was decided. A report by a federal magistrate recaps posts by the unidentified attorney, who writes at one point: “Nowhere do I recall the jury instructions mandating that I can’t post comments in my blog about the trial.” While the attorney apparently told the truth about where he worked when questioned during voir dire, he didn’t volunteer information that likely would have resulted in his being struck by defense counsel. For example, the foreman was still winding down his private law practice, and had worked as a lawyer representing the technology company at which he was then employed…Patrick Loughman, nominated by his staff, won the Ventura County Legal Professionals’ Boss of the Year Award presented October 16. The Secretary of the Year was Cindy Frazier, nominated by Susan Witting

If you are looking for John Howard, effective December 2, he may be reached at Lowthorp Richards……Our very own Associate Executive Director, Sandra Rubio, designed the new VLSP, Inc. Champions logo. It was approved by the board in September and will debut in Tony Strauss’s article in January 2014…

Departed Oxnard attorney Jorge Alvarado has been selected as New Mexico’s Public Defender. He had been the managing attorney for a legal aid office in Albuquerque. Jorge was appointed unanimously by an  eleven-member commission. New Mexico’s Public Defender Department has a budget of nearly $42 million and a staff of nearly  400…A lawyer for a Utah man convicted of lewdness for showing children his Elmo diaper says the conduct may have been odd, but it doesn’t support a conviction for felony lewdness. Lawyer Joanna Landau sought to overturn her client’s lewdness conviction in oral arguments earlier in October before the Utah Supreme Court. “It was not sexual, it was just strange,” Landau said. Landau’s client, Barton Bagness, 36, was accused of pulling down his pants to show two 8-yearold children his diaper in May 2009. At the time, Bagness was sucking a candy pacifier and throwing paper airplanes onto lawns. A lawyer for the state, Ryan Tenny, said, “This is why you have mothers pulling their kids away from Victoria’s Secret at the mall.”… Anne Pierce’s fifteen-year run as a Research Attorney for the VC Superior Court ended September 30…

Mike O’Brien was inducted October 20 into the 2013 Hall of Fame of Santa Clara High School. Class of 1965. Long overdue!…A contractor who found historical documents chronicling the life of a pioneering African American lawyer is now threatening to torch many of the papers because Harvard’s offer to buy them was too low. The contractor, Rufus McDonald, said he will “roast and burn” the documents because of an insulting $7,500 offer from Harvard University. McDonald found the documents inside a steamer trunk in an attic of an abandoned home slated for demolition. He took the documents to a rare book dealer and learned the papers once belonged to Richard T. Greener, who was the first African American to graduate from Harvard in 1870…David Ossentjuk and Aaron Botti have joined forces and may now be reached at 805.557.8081 in Westlake Village…

 

Steve Henderson has been the executive director and chief executive of the bar association and their affiliated organizations since November 1990. He will be celebrating his 10th year on the job November 16 and any kind of suds may be delivered to his office or a donation to the vcba/vlsp, inc. is tax deductible. He may be reached at steve@vcba.org, FB, twitter at stevehendo1, LinkedIn, or better yet, 650.7599.

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