Attorney Resources

Across the Bar is a publication of the San Joaquin County Bar Association, providing local legal news, educational content, and information about Bar Association events.

Apply Now: The Invaluable Benefits of the Bar's Mentorship Program

Apply Now: The Invaluable Benefits of the Bar's Mentorship Program
In 2012, the San Joaquin County Bar Association established a mentorship program. The program's purpose is to elevate the competence, professionalism, and success of the local Bar through engagement with each other. Mentoring is a two-way street: it allows the experienced attorney to provide professional guidance and share practical knowledge, and it provides the newer attorney with someone to ask questions of and learn from during a particularly vulnerable time in his or her career. The wo...
Continue reading
  1101 Hits
  0 Comments
1101 Hits
0 Comments

President's Message

President's Message
"Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?" --Bye Bye Birdie (1960)Lawyers should write like Ernest Hemingway. Pick up one of his books; open to a page at random; choose any paragraph; read it. See for yourself: "We packed the lunch and two bottles of wine in the rucksack, and Bill put it on. I carried the rodcase and the landing nets slung over my back. We started up the road and then went across a meadow and found a path that crossed the fields and went toward t...
Continue reading
  1357 Hits
  0 Comments
1357 Hits
0 Comments

President’s Message

President’s Message
Relevance. A word that Merriam-Webster defines as "relation to the matter at hand; practical and especially social applicability; pertinence; the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user." What are we to make of the word? How shall we apply it in the context of the San Joaquin County Bar Association? More specifically, does "relevance" apply? Are we relevant? As I began my tenure as president I set as a goal mak...
Continue reading
  1334 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — HarpreetSingh
I am a law student. I like the work SJCB is doing in term of helping law students like me to try to find the real world experience... Read More
Thursday, 14 July 2016 20:06
1334 Hits
1 Comment

San Joaquin County Homeless Veteran Resource Faire: 2016 “Stand Down”

San Joaquin County Homeless Veteran Resource Faire: 2016 “Stand Down”
​San Joaquin County's Homeless Veteran Stand Down—a biannual "benefit faire" for homeless veterans—was last held on September 26, 2014. The military term "Stand Down" stands for a grass-roots, community-based intervention program designed to help homeless veterans "combat" life on the streets. Like the first four events before it, the last Stand Down was a one-day event held in Stockton. The sixth, however, will be a three-day event beginning September 16, 2016 and ending Septembe...
Continue reading
  2670 Hits
  2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — JosephSmith
Are san joaquin county having standdown and 2016
Friday, 14 October 2016 02:53
Guest — JosephSmith
Are san joaquin county having a standdown for 2016
Friday, 14 October 2016 02:54
2670 Hits
2 Comments

New Laws and Rules for 2016

New Laws and Rules for 2016
Numerous changes in California statutes, statewide rules of court, and local court rules have recently gone into effect or soon will. This article summarizes several (but by no means all) of the changes likely to affect civil practitioners in San Joaquin County.Statewide Laws and Rules1. Demurrers. Prior to filing a demurrer, the demurring party must meet and confer with the plaintiff in person or by telephone. As part of that process, the demurring party must identify each c...
Continue reading
  2693 Hits
  0 Comments
2693 Hits
0 Comments

W-INN-ing!: SJC Callahan Inn of Court Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary

W-INN-ing!: SJC Callahan Inn of Court Celebrates
its Tenth Anniversary
In September 2015, the Consuelo M. Callahan Inn of Court kicked off its tenth year as it traditionally does: by bringing in a respected member of the legal community to Humphreys College Drivon School of Law to share his or her insights with the group. That night's guest, Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, captivated the approximately 90-member crowd of local judges, attorneys, and law students with stories of his career and professional advice. Throughout the y...
Continue reading
  1914 Hits
  0 Comments
1914 Hits
0 Comments

New Courthouse Progress

New Courthouse Progress
As you can see, work continues on our new Stockton Courthouse. The exterior is nearly complete. In fact, the building is now approximately 72% complete. The project continues to be on schedule with substantial completion expected by mid-November 2016.Judge Appel and I continue meeting with our architects and furniture vendor, UCF. Decisions about the various pieces of furniture for the entire building have and continue to be made. We have made literally hundreds of decis...
Continue reading
  2459 Hits
  0 Comments
2459 Hits
0 Comments

2015 Outstanding New Lawyer, Zoey Merrill

2015 Outstanding New Lawyer, Zoey Merrill
​If Zoey Merrill one day runs for elected office, she will have a difficult choice to make: what title should she use to describe herself? Enterpreneur? Law professor? Local celebrity? World-traveling adventurer? Former vegetarian?Perhaps she will choose the title recently bestowed upon her by the San Joaquin County Bar Association: SJCBA 2015 Outstanding New Lawyer. Zayante "Zoey" Merrill was announced as the latest recipient of the SJCBA's Outstanding New Lawyer Award ...
Continue reading
  2994 Hits
  0 Comments
2994 Hits
0 Comments

California's New Estate Planning Tool: The Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed

California's New Estate Planning Tool: 
The Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed
Estate planning attorneys likely have encountered the following scenario: a single client contacts you to set up an estate plan. He wants to ensure that his main asset—his personal residence—will pass to his children upon death without the need for a costly and time-consuming probate proceeding, but he does not want to spend a lot of money. As his attorney, you run through the potential nonprobate transfer devices that might be available to him. One option you consider is creating a revocable li...
Continue reading
  5655 Hits
  0 Comments
5655 Hits
0 Comments

New Requirements for Demurrers Effective January 1, 2016

Beginning January 1, 2016, parties will be required to meet and confer prior to filing a demurrer due to the recent passing of Senate Bill 383. The bill enacts a new section of the Code of Civil Procedure, section 430.41, and amends section 472.The main feature of the new law is a requirement that, at least five (5) days before a responsive pleading is due, the parties meet and confer to see if an agreement can be reached that would avoid the need for a demurrer. During the meet-and-confer proce...
Continue reading
  3639 Hits
  0 Comments
3639 Hits
0 Comments

SJC Court Reporters to Provide All Attorney Transcripts Electronically - Email Addresses Needed

San Joaquin County's official court reporters have partnered with YesLaw Online http://www.yeslaw.net/ to upload their transcripts to YesLaw Online's secure transcript depository. Beginning February 1, 2016, attorneys will be notified by the reporter via email that their transcripts have been uploaded and are available for download. The attorney, or his or her staff, can then log onto the site, using his or her credentials, which will be provided the first time the attorney is notified of an upl...
Continue reading
  4874 Hits
  0 Comments
4874 Hits
0 Comments

Recap: MCLE on Damages in Personal Injury Cases

About 50 attorneys attended a presentation on August 19, 2015, by Robert Buccola of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP on general damages in personal injury cases. Mr. Buccola has been recognized with numerous awards and has won some of the largest jury awards in the state. His presentation illustrated his skill at communicating with juries.Mr. Buccola began his presentation with advice on developing a "theme" of the case, keeping in mind that all members of the jury are judgmental. An advo...
Continue reading
  1446 Hits
  0 Comments
1446 Hits
0 Comments

Civility in Lawyers' Writing

Civility in Lawyers' Writing
A few years ago, American Bar Association President Stephen N. Zack decried the legal profession's "continuing slide into the gutter of incivility."1 An ABA resolution "affirm[ed] the principle of civility as a foundation for democracy and the rule of law, and urge[d] lawyers to set a high standard for civil discourse."2The ABA initiative echoes federal and state courts that call civility "a linchpin of our legal system,"3 a "bedrock principle,"4 and "a hallmark of professionalism."5 Justice Ant...
Continue reading
  2550 Hits
  0 Comments
2550 Hits
0 Comments

The Uber-Important Question: Independent Contractor or Employee?

The Uber-Important Question: Independent 
Contractor or Employee?
The California State Labor Commissioner's Office recently issued a ruling that is likely to be an Uber-headache for the industry's employers (while possibly providing a *Lyft* to the industry's drivers). What industry is that? It depends whom you ask.On the one hand, companies like Uber say they are a software company—the developer of a popular app that matches people who need transportation with drivers who are available to give rides. But if you ask some of the drivers, like Barbara Ann Berwic...
Continue reading
  1695 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1695 Hits
0 Comments

New Courthouse Progress

New Courthouse Progress
If you have driven on I-5 or the Crosstown Freeway, you have certainly seen the new Stockton Courthouse. To date, the building is approximately 60% complete. The "skin" or exterior was completed in October 2015 when the building was made water tight for the winter. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November or December 2016.Judge Appel and I have been busy every week meeting with the various furniture vendors. We hope to finalize all the decisions regarding furnishings by the en...
Continue reading
  1774 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1774 Hits
0 Comments

The Fledgling Practitioner

The Fledgling Practitioner
I lie in bed, eyes wide open staring at the ceiling like a twelve-year-old the night before summer camp. I had so diligently planned for eight hours of sleep, and now I am rolled on my side, staring into my hand at the blue glow of my cell phone staring back at me: 1:21 a.m. I select the clock icon and scroll another 10 minutes on the alarm wake-up time. I fall back into my pillow. I close my eyes. It feels like as soon as I set my phone down, I am picking it back up and turning off the alarm. I...
Continue reading
  1616 Hits
  0 Comments
1616 Hits
0 Comments

Recent Changes Expand Availability of Sheriff’s Alternative Work Program for “Low-Risk” Defendants

Recent Changes Expand Availability of Sheriff’s Alternative Work Program for “Low-Risk” Defendants
As many readers of Across the Bar know, the Sheriff’s Alternative Work Project has undergone changes in the past year. As part of an effort to reduce jail overcrowding in response to the so-called “realignment” that occurred in 2010-11, the Sheriff has expanded the programs and options available to those defendants who are deemed “low risk” and are not precluded by the Court from applying.Overall, the Sheriff still offers the same three alternatives to traditional jail sentences: (1) the Alterna...
Continue reading
  8853 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
8853 Hits
0 Comments

Newly Formed Veterans Court Seeks Mentors

Newly Formed Veterans Court Seeks Mentors
February 2, 2015 marked the commencement of San Joaquin County's first Veterans Treatment Court. For about five years, Judges Barbara Kronlund and Richard Vlavianos pondered how a veterans' court could be added to the list of collaborative courts that are presently being operated in San Joaquin County. There was always a basic problem—where to hold court? There was simply no room within the criminal departments to add another calendar.After about a year of meetings with the court's collaborative...
Continue reading
  1873 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1873 Hits
0 Comments

Find an Attorney now

Ready to get a Lawyer to assist with your legal issue? Fill out our referral request form and we'll match you with a qualified attorney who specializes in the area of law that you need assistance with.

Lawyer Referral Request Form

The SJCBA office is closed to the public in compliance with the state and county orders. Your staff is working from home and is able to serve your needs Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. The SJCBA will not be working on Fridays until further notice.

The office phone, 209-948-0125, is being monitored. Leave messages.

To reach any of your staff by email:
Robert Oakes -
Juanita Chavez -
Jarrod Corradi -
Linda Mussat -
Rose Ramirez -
Jennifer Riggs -
Natalie Vernon -

Thank you for your patience during this time. Please take care of yourself and those you love.
Robert E. Oakes, J.D., M.B.A.
Executive Director