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  • 31 Mar 2016 9:24 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Organization Description
    The Public Law Center (PLC), Orange County's non-profit pro bono law firm, is
    committed to providing access to justice for low-income residents. Through
    volunteers and staff, PLC provides free civil legal services, including counseling,
    individual representation, community education, and strategic litigation and advocacy to challenge societal injustices. Now in its 34th year of service, PLC works with more than 1,600 volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students from throughout the county who volunteer their time and expertise.

    The Immigration Unit provides assistance in the following areas: U visa, T visa,
    asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, DACA, naturalization, and some
    deportation defense. The staff attorney would be expected to provide assistance in these areas through direct representation and providing technical assistance to our pro bono volunteers.


    • Active membership in the California State Bar
    • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred
    • 1-3 years demonstrated experience in immigration law, including case preparation, legal research, and client representation before USCIS and EOIR
    • Demonstrated commitment to working with immigrant communities
    • Excellent oral/written communication skills
    • Strong public speaking skills and ability to train a variety of audiences, from clients to pro bono attorneys
    • Ability to manage multiple tasks and work independently
    • Must have own transportation, valid CA Driver’s license, insurance and good driving record

    Duties and Responsibilities

    • Provide direct legal services to low income clients in the areas of: SIJS petitions, asylum applications, U visa, T visa, DACA, and naturalization
    • Help organize and coordinate immigration legal services through clinics and workshops throughout Orange County
    • Provide training to pro bono attorneys and volunteers as needed
    • Represent PLC at legal networking and community outreach events
    • Full time position; occasional evening and weekend work required
    • Other duties as assigned

    Salary & Benefits

    • Salary dependent on experience
    • Full range of excellent benefits provided, including health, dental, vision, life and 403(b)
    • Generous holiday, vacation and flex plan policy allowing for periodic 3-day weekends
    • State and local Bar dues paid
    Please submit resume, cover letter and writing sample (10 pages or less) to
    glanda@publiclawcenter.org. Please no phone calls.
    APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled
  • 30 Mar 2016 11:12 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law’s Diversity Initiative Symposium and Publication hosted its inaugural symposium, Blinded Justice: A Discussion About Whether the Legal System Values and Protects Diverse Communities, on March 3, 2016. The symposium invited both legal practitioners and social activists for a candid discussion about unequal justice in diverse communities.

    Panel I: Inequalities: The Immigration and Asylum Process


    Panelists discuss the immigration and asylum process

    Asylum law is stacked against the poorest and most vulnerable of asylum seekers, panelists asserted in the first panel moderated by Orange County Hispanic Bar Association Chief Financial Officer Darrell P. White and Orange County Hispanic Bar Association Board Member Sasha Tymkowicz.

    Munmeeth Soni, an immigration advocate with the Public Law Center, opened the discussion with an overview of immigration procedures and the statutory grounds under which an applicant may qualify for asylum. Those seeking asylum after being threatened, beaten, raped or tortured often are unable to articulate their experience in a way that will satisfy current U.S. asylum statues, she noted.

    Gary Silbiger, a member of the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles Chapter’s Immigration Court Watch, said he has also documented numerous procedural abuses while observing in immigration court. He noted a failure of judges to provide the legal guidance to pro per applicants that the judges are supposed to provide. Shockingly, panelists explained, procedural shortcomings are so rampant in immigration court that having an attorney may not help. They spoke of the “rocket dockets” – courts noted for their speedy disposition of cases – that push asylum seekers, particularly undocumented children, through the court process without sufficient time to prepare their case. Likewise, attorneys may not have any chance to speak privately with their clients who appear in court from a distant location via video conference.

    Fatima Dadabhoy, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, discussed procedural abuses of those politically disfavored, particularly Muslim immigrants. She noted that she represents clients whose asylum and immigration applications have been delayed by years after the FBI demanded information that her clients did not have.


    Panelist Jorge Guitierrez speaks as part of the 2016 Social Justice Symposium

    Jorge Guitierrez, founder of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, pointed to the systemic abuses faced by gay men and transgender women, politically disfavored populations with high deportation rates.

    Panelists proposed a variety of solutions. At the top of their list was creative lawyering; panelists said they spend significant time conducting client interviews to find some way to connect their client’s abuse to a statutory ground for asylum. Their second suggestion was to incorporate into asylum law domestic violence protections for women and children subjected to abuse in home countries that not only fail to prosecute abusers but in fact tacitly approve of the violence. And finally, panelists encouraged others to get involved as volunteer attorneys to assist with asylum claims and representation for activists arrested at protests outside federal immigration facilities and private detention centers.

    View the webcast.

    Panel II: Inequities: The School to Prison Pipeline

    James Bell, founder and director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, and Stacey Lamont, who handles school expulsion defense cases at Moore Law For Children, addressed systemic causes of the school to prison pipeline and its impact on local youth.


    Panelists Stacey Lamont and James Bell discuss the school to prison pipeline

    At the heart of the crisis, Bell identified zero tolerance policies and the outsourcing of student discipline from schools to law enforcement. Zero tolerance policies criminalize the developmentally normal behavior problems of children. When school officials stop taking corrective measures within the school and instead rely on suspension or calling the police – whose tool bag is limited to warnings and arrest – the perfect storm is created that ensures large numbers of young people will have academic gaps and a criminal record. According to Lamont, whether a student receives a suspension, expulsion, or arrest, there is a ripple effect on the child’s future.

    The solutions Bell and Lamont recommended began with eliminating zero tolerance policies. Schools must reclaim responsibility for student discipline. The discipline employed must reflect an understanding of normal juvenile brain development and the goal of keeping children in school. At the same time, schools must increase academic standards and faculty diversity. If children are going to work for success in school, they must be challenged, engaged, and kept in school.

    View the webcast.

    Panel III: Impunity: The Failure of the Criminal and Civil Justice System to Respond to Violence Against Diverse Communities


    Panelists Margaret Prescod and Nana Gyamfi

    The final panel of the evening got to the heart of the symposium question, whether the justice system values and protects diverse communities. The overwhelming response from the panel: No. Margaret Prescod, founder of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders and host of the nationally syndicated Sojourner Truth radio show, put the question in context. She discussed the roots of policing in America which stem from the early slave patrols and developed from there as a means of social control.

    How does this system of social control relate to those listening today, particularly white listeners? Prescod spoke of social control being hierarchical, a pyramid in which those lacking equality of treatment were pacified by having their superiority to those lower in status made clear. Today, just as in the past, superiority is an illusion paid for with our own oppression. Her powerful and moving example was the extent of current media coverage for a white journalist that was videotaped nude, while little attention is being paid to the trial of a man who murdered numerous poor, black women in South Los Angeles. And how is the justice system implicated in this? The official police reports for the murders of those women in South Los Angeles list the crime as “NHI,” a police acronym for “No Human Involved.”

    Attorneys Nana Gyamfi and John Burris spoke of their work to hold police accountable for misconduct. Burris, who has been litigating high profile civil rights cases for more than 40 years, spoke of the revolution that video footage has had in these cases. Twenty years ago, when he was representing Rodney King – the first high profile police beating that was videotaped – the video had little impact. Today, video footage can make all the difference.

    Chapman University Fowler School of Law Professor Bobby Dexter moderates the final panel

    Chapman University Fowler School of Law Professor Bobby Dexter moderates the final panel

    Gyamfi was quick to point out that video recordings, particularly those from police dash cams and body cameras, are not a cure-all and in fact cause problems because rules are not clear on their usage. She discussed instances where prosecutors have denied having footage against one defendant, the relevant footage being used by the prosecutor in another related case. Her most troubling issue is with the selective use of the cameras. In one case the police turned the cameras on and off repeatedly throughout the course of their interaction with her client. The judge had no issue with the gaps in the footage the prosecutor seeks to use. Burris advises that the solution is to move forward with video usage and let rules be established through impact decisions.

    View the webcast.

    Keynote Presentation by Hamid Khan


    2016 Social Justice Symposium Keynote Speaker Hamid Khan

    Hamid Khan, activist and community organizer who has advocated for the empowerment of marginalized communities across Southern California for decades, delivered the keynote address at the 2016 Social Justice Symposium at Fowler School of Law.

    Khan began his discussion on the impact of modern policing with this supposition that police exist to protect and serve. But, he posed the question of whose interests are served. To arrive at the answer, and to see the systemic flaws in policing, Khan asked attendees to consider the structures of modern policing. Specifically, what informs those structures, how they are guided, how policies are created, who is involved in crafting those policies, and how those policies are financed and enforced.

    Khan began an examination of modern policing with a quote from Edward Banfield, who wrote, “The implication that lower-class culture is pathological seems fully warranted. Rather than waste time and public money implementing policies based on the false notion that all men were created equal, better to just face facts and acknowledge the natural divisions that exist. . . . And the police should feel free to crack down on young lower-class men.”

    The application of this “scientific” justification for state violence was guided by “the five faces of the ‘other’” that our society already had: the savage native face, the criminal black face, the manipulative Asian face, the illegal Latino face and the terrorist Muslim face. Khan pointed out that the list of ‘others’ is far more expansive and includes those who threaten the property-focused justice system. He shared a memo issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security in which officers were advised to open suspicious activity reports against anyone organizing against gentrification. The memo described opponents of gentrification as “anarchist extremists.”

    Increasingly the craftsmen of these policing policies are police officers and the architects of federal counter-intelligence/counter-insurgency policy. Khan noted the growing presence of police officers on the Los Angeles City Board, a city that leads the nation in killings by police.

    The cities are receiving federal financing for anti-terrorist policing, yet the policing disproportionately targets the black community and those who advocate for social change, he said. Khan noted that more than 30 percent of suspicious activity reports, a focus of the federally funded “anti-terrorism” program, were opened against black people. In addition to the surveillance, local police departments are the beneficiaries of tremendous amounts of military grade weaponry. The deployment of armed drones and militarized “Robocops” against the “other,” he said, belie any thought that the police are there to protect and serve marginalized communities.

    Khan urged attendees to consider the information they heard during the symposium as a call to action. He reminded guests that there is opportunity for collective learning and engagement, and advised everyone to get involved in some way, such as providing legal research, pro bono representation or committing to attend further education and action events. The onus is on each one of us to shed the shackle of passivity that a control centered system has placed on us, he said.

    View the keynote presentation webcast.

  • 25 Mar 2016 12:24 PM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Comments sought:
    Four (4) new proposals to amend the California Rules of Court and Judicial Council forms have been posted to the California Courts web site, at http://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-invitationstocomment.htm.
    The proposals are:
    SP16-02: Traffic and Criminal Procedure: Infraction Procedures Regarding Bail, Fines, and Assessments
    SP16-03: Traffic: Installment Payment of Bail Forfeiture and Traffic Violator School Fees
    SP16-04: Traffic: Online Installment Payment of Bail Forfeiture and Traffic Violator School Fees
    The deadline for these three proposals is 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
    SP16-05: Judicial Administration: Judicial Branch Contracting Manual
    The deadline for this proposal is 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, 2016.
    You are welcome to distribute this email to any other interested parties. If you have any questions, please contact Camilla Kieliger, at camilla.kieliger@jud.ca.gov, or at 415-865-7681.

  • 01 Mar 2016 9:55 PM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    The Rules and Forms Committee of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, has proposed revisions to its Local Rules of Court. The Court is seeking comments pursuant to rule 10.613, California Rules of Court, in the following areas listed below.
    Rule 180 – Photographing, Recording and Broadcasting in Court. The proposed revisions clarify what types of media events are permitted at the various justice centers, to conform to existing court policy. A definition of “media event” is added to the rule, along with a number of limitations as to when and under what circumstances media events can be held inside a justice center.
    Rule 250 – Conflict of Interest Code. The proposed revisions will change the language in Section D, Designated employees who must file a Statement of Economic Interest, by replacing eight managerial classifications with “Cost Center Managers” as designated employees. Court employees who are designated as Cost Center Managers may make or participate in making governmental decisions which may have a material effect on their personal financial interests. In addition, the proposed revision changes the disclosure categories for employees in the research attorney classifications. It requires research attorneys to disclose all interests in real property located in or within 2 miles of Orange County, and all investments, business positions, and sources of income; and deletes the former disclosure category for these employees. The revision deletes current provisions for Family Centered Case Resolution and makes it more flexible to implement procedures authorized by California Rules of Court, rule 5.83, and improves the ability to use technology to resolve family law cases in a timely, fair, and effective manner.
    Rule 708(D) – Expedited Judgments. Proposed rewrite of Local Rule 708(d) makes minor revisions to streamline submission of expedited attachments to family law judgments. The rule is being changed to make it current. Also, in event the Court needs to eventually renumber the expedited attachment forms, additional updates will be unnecessary.
    Rule 603.10 – Notice to Public Administrator. Proposed Revision to Local Rule 603.10 will reflect the change of the public administrator being consolidated with the district attorney’s office and will show the public administrator’s name. In addition, the mailing address is being removed.
    Attached please find copies of the proposed revisions and rules, which is posted on the Superior Court’s website at www.occourts.org. A form is available online to submit comments electronically or to download and submit in paper format. All comments concerning a proposed rule must be submitted no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2016. Comments submitted by U.S. mail should be directed to:
    Honorable Ronald Bauer
    Chair, Rules and Forms Committee
    Superior Court, County of Orange
    P. O. Box 1994
    Santa Ana, CA 92702-1994

  • 01 Mar 2016 11:50 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law hosted its annual Diversity Day on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Organized by the Office of Admission in conjunction with the Minority Law Students Association, the event was an inspiring and thought-provoking opportunity to shed light on diversity in the legal profession, illuminating the path to success for hundreds of Orange County’s future leaders.


    The Honorable Frank Ospino of the Orange County Superior Court addresses local high school students

    Diversity Day, co-sponsored by the Law School Admission Council’s DiscoverLaw.org, brought Latina and Latino judges and practitioners to speak at a panel and inspire more than 200 middle and high school students on the importance of higher education and community service. Panelists discussed legal practice and community involvement, and spoke candidly about their experiences growing up.

    Read More >

  • 29 Jan 2016 8:29 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Deadline is Tuesday February 16, 5pm.  Any diverse 3L who plans to practice public interest law in California, and who plans to take the July 2016 California Bar Exam, is eligible. Winners receive a free Barbri bar prep course along with a living stipend. Application can be found here: http://www.calbarfoundation.org/3l-diversity-scholarship.html
    And for the first time, the Foundation is thrilled to offer co-sponsored 3L Diversity scholarships with the following five affinity bar associations throughout California:
    Asian American Bar Association Law Foundation
    Orange County Asian American Bar Association
    East Bay La Raza Lawyers
    Black Women Lawyers Foundation
    The Charles Houston Bar Association
    In partnering with these groups, we are connecting with even more diverse law students throughout California. Specific criteria for these special co-sponsored scholarships are available on the application registration page.

  • 27 Jan 2016 10:35 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    The Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions has approved and posted its 28th release of proposed revisions and additions to the civil instructions (CACI) for public comment. This release includes proposed new and revised instructions and verdict forms in response to developments in the law over the last six months. We are very interested in your input.
    The proposed changes and additions are available for viewing on the internet at (http://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-invitationstocomment.htm). 
    Only these currently proposed changes and additions are being submitted for comment at this time. We will gladly accept other comments, but the committee will not be able to consider them until the next release cycle.
    civiljuryinstructions@jud.ca.gov Our preferred way of receiving your comments is in a Word file attached to an e-mail sent to civiljuryinstructions@jud.ca.gov. However, you may also respond online.  And we have also posted a comment form that you may use to comment on individual instruction or groups of instructions. Please do not comment by Reply All to this e-mail.
    Comments by letter or fax should be sent to:
    Mr. Bruce Greenlee, Attorney
    Judicial Council of California
    Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions
    455 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Fax:     415-865-7664
    The deadline for receiving comments is Friday, March 4, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

    All comments will be reviewed by the advisory committee, which will make recommendations to the Judicial Council's Rules and Projects Committee and then to the full council. Comments received will become part of the public record of the council's action.
    When submitting comments, please:
    Indicate whether you agree with the proposal, would agree with the proposal if it is modified, or do not agree with the proposal.
    Clearly identify the specific language in the instruction that you are commenting on.
    Suggest alternative language, if appropriate.
    Provide any applicable authority for your position.
    We encourage your comments and critique because they help us refine both the particular instructions and the more global choices about format and approach.  We appreciate your participation in this effort.
    On behalf of the Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions
    Hon. Martin J. Tangeman, Chair
    Camilla Kieliger, Analyst
    Legal Services | Leadership Services Division
    Judicial Council of California
    455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
    415-865-7681 | camilla.kieliger@jud.ca.gov | www.courts.ca.gov

  • 27 Jan 2016 10:14 AM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    The Eleventh Annual UCLA Law Firm Diversity Reception will take place Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
    Last year about 200 diverse students from UCLA, USC, and Loyola attended the reception.
    Please find attached an invitation for the Eleventh Annual Law Firm Diversity Reception and information about UCLA’s Law Fellows Program.
    Geneva Thompson
    UCLA School of Law
    Academic Outreach Resource Center
    (310) 825-0699

  • 22 Jan 2016 5:57 PM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)

    Santa Ana, Calif. – The judges of the Orange County Superior Court have elected Hon. Kirk Nakamura as Assistant Presiding Judge, announced the Court’s Presiding Judge, Hon. Charles Margines. Judge Nakamura begins serving immediately as he is filling a vacant position for the term that ends December 31, 2017.
    Judge Nakamura graduated from Duke University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1980 and from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science in 1977, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. Judge Nakamura grew up locally in Orange County and attended Walt Disney Elementary School, Brookhurst Junior High School, and Savanna High School in Anaheim. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Nakamura practiced civil litigation for 19 years.
    He was appointed as Planning Commissioner for the City of Yorba Linda. He is past president of the Orange County Japanese American Lawyers Association and the Orange County Asian American Bar Association. He was also a director of the Orange County Bar Association and a member of the Duke Alumni Interview Advisory Committee.
    Judge Nakamura was appointed to the Orange County Superior Court bench by Governor Gray Davis 2001. In his first assignment, he heard civil and criminal cases at the West Justice Center in Westminster. Since 2004, he has been assigned to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana and has heard limited and unlimited civil cases.
    As a judge, he has served as a member of the Superior Court Executive Committee, chair of the Temporary Judge Committee, chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, member of the Grand Jury Selection Committee, and member of the Jury Orientation Committee. He was an adjunct professor for Chapman Law School teaching Construction Law in 2004. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the Orange County Asian American Bar Association in 2008, the Constitutional Rights Foundation-Orange County Judge of the Year in 2010, and the Trailblazer Award from National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2011. He has presided over numerous mock trials for high school, college, and law students and has supervised more than 20 law school interns at the Court.

  • 14 Jan 2016 8:03 PM | Amelia Montgomery (Administrator)


    Judge Cheri Pham, will provide her observations about all aspects of felony trials from the Bench perspective.
    Bring your questions, your friends and associates for this very informative presentation.

    Wednesday Jan. 20, 2016 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    1 Hour MCLE (Networking from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Palm Garden Room with a HOSTED BAR)

    When & Where
    DATE: Wednesday January 20, 2016
    TIME: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
    LOCATION: Radisson Hotel – Newport Beach
    4545 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660
    Member - $50 with RSVP
    Member without RSVP - $55
    Non-Member with RSVP and advance payment $55
    Non-Member without RSVP pay at door $60
    Sitting & Retired Bench Officers $45

    Questions: Contact John R. Cogorno, President NHBA
    (714) 892-2936

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