The Contra Costa County Bar Association

Interview With New Judge Leonard Marquez


Interview With New Judge Leonard Marquez

On February 27, 2018, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced the appointment of 25 California Superior Court Judges, including one in Contra Costa County: Leonard E. Marquez.  On April 5, 2018, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Jill Fannin administered the oath to Judge Leonard Marquez.  Immediately, our newest Judge began his assignment in Department 34 in the Pittsburg Courthouse. Judge Marquez is the second new judge in 2018.

Judge Marquez was an extremely active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and was Section Leader of the Litigation Section. In true CCCBA spirit, Judge Marquez was happy to share some of his background and advice for the May 2018 edition of my President’s Message in the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine: An Interview With Our Newest Judge, Hon. Leonard Marquez.

Interview with New Judge Virginia George


Interview with New Judge Virginia George

On December 22, 2017, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced the appointment of 33 California Superior Court Judges, including one in Contra Costa County: Virginia M. George.  Judge George was officially sworn in by Presiding Judge Jill Fannin on January 29, 2018, and she began her assignment in Department 30 in the Richmond Courthouse.  Judge George graciously took time to answer a few questions I asked of her for the “Women and the Law” themed Contra Costa Lawyer magazine.  For the full interview/article, click on this link:  Candid Interview With Our Newest Judge, Hon. Virginia George.

Virginia was a long-time volunteer with the Contra Costa County Bar Association, and before she was called upon by the Governor’s Office, she was set to be the Section Leader of the Estate Planning and Probate Section.  We know you will serve the citizens of Contra Costa County well in your new role.

 

2018 President of the Contra Costa County Bar Association


2018 President of the Contra Costa County Bar Association

On Friday, January 26, 2018, James Y. Wu, Owner of the the Law Office of James Y. Wu, was officially installed as the President of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA).  James has served on the CCCBA Board of Directors for over six years, and has served on a variety of Board committees including the following:  Editorial Board of the CC Lawyer Magazine, Personnel Committee, Communications Committee, Membership & Education Committee, Diversity Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and the Criminal Conflicts Panel (CCP) Contract Committee.  James joined the CCCBA in the early 2000’s, and also served on the Board of the Employment Law Section, and was President of the Employment Law Section in 2008.  James has practiced employment law for over 22 years, and has practiced in Contra Costa County since 2001.

Great CCCBA Staff and Member Volunteers

For 2018 at the CCCBA, James is very excited to be working with the dedicated staff, lead by Theresa Hurley, Executive Director.  Theresa’s team keeps the CCCBA running at top performance to serve the members, the public, and the Bench.  Additionally, James is lucky to have an outstanding Board of Directors, including a top-notch Executive Committee of Wendy McGuire Coats, Oliver Greenwood, Laura Ramsey, and Philip Andersen, and a fantastic Board in general.

Amazing 2017

The Board and all the Section Leaders, and other volunteers truly make the CCCBA one-of-a-kind and one of the most active bar associations in the country.  As an example, in 2017, CCCBA Members donated a total of approximately $106,000.00 to various local non-profit organizations and scholarships.  Members also donated at least 2,300 hours volunteering in the Superior Court of Contra Costa County by serving as Discovery Facilitators, Pro Tem Judges, at the Family Law Self-Represented Litigant Calendar and Clinic, and by providing Legal Workshops.  Additionally, Board, committee, and section members spent over 1,500 hours managing programs and planning for the future, and the 20 CCCBA Sections held over 100 events in 2017.

Also, in 2017, the CCCBA developed and presented the first ever Diversity Award to recognize law firms who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the legal profession.  James is proud that his firm (under the previous name of Wu Castillo, P.C.) was one of ten firms recognized with a Diversity Award.

Focus on 2018

For 2018, in addition to maintaining and building upon the tremendous work and success that the CCCBA has enjoyed over the years, James has created a committee focused on addressing the needs of the County’s most experienced/senior attorneys.  In 2017, approximately 76% of CCCBA members were over 41 years old, and 34% were over 60 years old.  James has tasked a committee to analyze what we can do to keep these members engaged with the CCCBA, what programs (social, educational, or otherwise) do these members desire, and opportunities for the CCCBA to tap the incredible wealth of experience and knowledge of these attorneys, and harnessing their experience to benefit less experienced attorneys, the public, and the Bench.

James also has placed an emphasis on strengthening the CCCBA’s presence and activities in West Contra Costa County and also East Contra Costa County, and hopes that a new “East County” Section will be created.  Furthermore, James is focused on getting the CCCBA more “social media” savvy so that the members and the public learn more about the fantastic work performed by the nearly 1,800 volunteer members of the CCCBA, the dedicated staff, and the Judges in our County.

To learn more about James, please read the “Interview with Incoming Board President James Wu” published by the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine.

Cheers to 2018!  #cccba4you

Egg-Freezing: Will It Help Women at Work?


Egg-Freezing: Will It Help Women at Work?

Apple, Facebook, and other employers have often struggled to recruit and retain female employees in a male-dominated industry. Recently, these companies – as well as others including law and financial services firms – have been adding new employee benefits to attract high-quality, professional women to keep on their payroll.

One of the newest benefits offered is cryo-preservation, also known as egg-freezing. Some believe this new benefit is great for women who want to have a career and delay raising children, and for those women who have not yet found the right partner with whom to start a family. Others see this “benefit” as another way of forcing women to choose career over family, insinuating that women cannot have both a career and family simultaneously.

In my article titled “Egg-Freezing: Is it Truly an Employee Benefit,” co-author Claudia Castillo and I examine some of the social, economic, and legal issues surrounding this new employee benefit. We encourage you to read the article published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine and add your own comments to the conversation.

It’s About People: Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine


It’s About People: Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine

As many of you may know, currently I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA). Our local bar association is one of the most vibrant and collegial associations in the state, and perhaps, the nation.

This summer I had the honor to serve as the official “Guest Editor” of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. Specifically, the September 2014 edition was devoted to Employment Law in its entirety. While I am an appointed member to the magazine’s Editorial Board, as Guest Editor of this edition, I had primary responsibility for lining up content for the magazine, reviewing submitted articles and writing the “Inside” column, which I titled “It’s About People”. Fortunately, I was able to rely on many amazing local employment attorneys in putting the magazine together, and I summarized their excellent work in my column.

I also had the privilege of writing only a few words (darn word count and page limits!) about our amazing Executive Director, Lisa Reep, who has devoted decades to the CCCBA and to serving our community. Lisa will be missed greatly. Thankfully, however, Theresa Hurley, who has been with the CCCBA for a few years, will take the reigns and serve as the next Executive Director, so we are in great hands.

Please feel free to contact me, or the CCCBA directly, to learn more about the CCCBA and the many programs it offers to the public and to attorneys.