California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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Front Page - October 1998
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George calls court funding failure 'betrayal'
Court rejects rule to bare secrets
Chief justice, 3 associates seek retention from voters
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You Need to Know
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Farewell to an independent bar
The last few gasps of a dues bill
A look toward the future
Getting leaner on our own
Justices and politics don't mix
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Letters to the Editor
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Legal Tech - Deconstructing computer leases
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New Products & Services
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MCLE Self-Study
Amending Irrevocable Trusts
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Ethics Byte - Clients still have right to secrecy
8-year attorney, disciplined 11 times, is finally disbarred
Attorney Discipline
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Service Awards
Neiman receives bar's top honor for helping others
13 attorneys, 2 law firms cited for pro bono efforts
Foundation presents 32 scholarships to California law school students
LA County Bar wins national recognition


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13 attorneys, 2 law firms cited for pro bono efforts
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In recognition of the substantial free legal assistance provided by California lawyers to people least able to afford it, the State Bar of California announced the names of 13 attorneys and two law firms as recipients of the 1998 President's Pro Bono Service Awards.

Outgoing State Bar President Marc Adelman, presenter of the awards at the bar's annual meeting, said "it is an honor to celebrate the contributions of these attorney volunteers. They have gone the extra mile to make a difference in the lives of people who would never be able to afford the legal help they needed.

"These lawyers are heroes in every sense of the word," Adelman added.

The prestigious awards were created by the bar 15 years ago to applaud the volunteer legal efforts of individual lawyers and law firms to deliver legal services to the poor.

The recipients are:

Andew Holcombe Andrew Holcombe of Chico has dedicated a significant portion of his practice to pro bono work. He has volunteered more than 300 hours providing legal services to indigent individuals served by Legal Services of Northern California and the Independent Living Center, both of which nominated him for the award. He also offered legal advice to the Community Housing Improvement Program and Catalyst, a women's advocate group.

J. Kevin Mendricks J. Kevin Mendricks of Sacramento provided family law services to 59 clients through Volunteer Legal Service Program (VLSP) of Sacra-mento during 1997. In addition to the pro bono client work, he gave significant time assisting in the daily administrative operation of VLSP. His work at the organization involves client interviews, case analysis and referrals. VLSP nominated Mendricks for the pro bono award.

Carol Federighi Carol Federighi of Oakland volunteered two days a week at Legal Services for Seniors during 1997, providing assistance with issues such as elder abuse, long-term health care and grandparent guardianships. She also volunteered at the Alameda County bar's legal services program where she focused on family law referrals. Leaders of both organizations nominated her for the State Bar award.

Barbara Bergstrom and Sally Anne Campbell of San Francisco, working as volunteers at the Bar Association of San Francisco's (BASF) Homeless Assistance Project, sought disability benefits for the homeless mentally ill. They put in many hours training and mentoring other attorneys who worked on SSI appeals following the implementation of welfare reform. Both attorneys have staffed many of BASF's bi-monthly Legal Clinics. They were nominated by the Homeless Advocacy Project for devoting more than 200 hours on behalf of the indigent.

Jack Daniel Jack Daniel of Fresno has a long history of providing services to some of California's most underserved communities. He volunteered extensively for prisoners' rights and created a legal intake program for the local African-American community. He has litigated more than 20 cases regarding prisoners' rights, including a substantial class action matter which affected the lives of poor women incarcerated in state facilities. He was nominated by Central California Legal Services and Legal Services for Prisoners With Children.

James R. Nichols of Santa Barbara, a longtime pro bono volunteer, in one case contributed nearly 200 hours of free legal assistance in a criminal appeals matter involving espionage. He also assisted a group of Santa Barbara residents in an environmental law case; that pro bono activity totaled 500 hours. Nichols was nominated by the Santa Barbara Bar Association for his more than 700 hours of pro bono work.

Kristine Reiser (left) and Gloria Cordova Gloria Cordova and Kristine Reiser of Diamond Bar accepted and completed 17 pro bono and two reduced-fee family law matters for the Legal Services Program for Pasadena and San Gabriel-Pomona. Many clients needed emergency restraining orders to prevent violence or removal of children from the court's jurisdiction. Cordova and Reiser were nominated by the Legal Services Program staff for providing 264 pro bono hours.

Jeanne Thomas of Santa Ana assisted more than 20 clients through the Public Law Center in 1997. Many of her cases--which focused on family law, child custody and child support issues--were extremely complex, requiring extraordinary preparation and multiple court appearances. She also serves on the board of the Orange County Women Lawyers which, together with the Public Law Center, nominated her for the award. She gave more than 200 volunteer hours.

Peggy Dolan of El Cajon donated more than 230 hours in 1997 managing the day-to-day operations of the San Diego County Bar's domestic violence prevention project. She gave client assistance, recruited, trained and mentored other volunteers, and coordinated services with other domestic violence programs. A domestic violence survivor herself, Dolan focuses in the area of family law. She was nominated by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.

Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco, with more than 33,000 hours of pro bono service, ranks among the highest performers ever to be nominated for the President's Pro Bono Service Award. The firm provided general pro bono assistance with special work in the past year on children's SSI issues, eviction defense work and children's rights services. The firm was nominated by the Bar Associ-ation of San Francisco's pro bono program.

Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, San Diego, has a rich tradition of pro bono services, providing thousands of hours of assistance during the past decade. Firm members helped establish the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. Partner Gary Wright was a founder of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program. In 1997, firm members tackled the needs of disabled children and people with AIDS and helped provide financial support. They were nominated by SDVLP for volunteering more than 1,000 hours of legal work.

Sally Brown, a retired lawyer from Oakland, provided 700 hours of legal assistance last year, primarily to seniors. She visited four different senior centers each month to give legal information and general advice. Brown deals regularly with issues of elder abuse and assists victim to seek protective orders against abusive relatives. She also gives guidance to grandparent caregivers charged with raising their own grandchildren. She was nominated by the Alameda County Bar Association.

Wallace Friedman, a retired attorney from Thousand Oaks, gives general civil legal assistance to clients of the Conejo Free Clinic, which nominated him for the President's Pro Bono Services Award. At each monthly clinic, he assists as many as 10 clients who lack funds to hire an attorney.