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  • 18 Aug 2016 8:44 PM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    Please click on the link below to access the Notice from the Clerk re Changes to Local Rules Proposed to Become Effective December 1, 2016.

  • 12 Aug 2016 11:06 AM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    In published opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses judgment of the
    Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and raises concerns over the County's actions

    Santa Ana, CA - The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded on August 10, 2016 that a mother's debt to Orange County arising from her son's involuntary juvenile detention is not a "domestic support obligation" and thus excepted from discharge in bankruptcy. Brett H. Ramsaur and Todd E. Lundell of Snell & Wilmer briefed and argued on Ms. Rivera's behalf in front of the Court of Appeals after Caroline Djang of Rutan & Tucker briefed the trial court case. PLC's Leigh Ferrin and EmmaElizabeth Gonzalez served as co-counsel throughout the case, including briefing and arguing before the trial court and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.
    "This is huge win for not only our client but countless 'honest but unfortunate' debtors in Orange County and throughout the Ninth Circuit," said Ferrin, Directing Attorney of PLC's Consumer Law Unit.
    In the published opinion, the panel reversed the judgment of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, which had affirmed the bankruptcy court's denial of Ms. Rivera's motion to sanction Orange County for persisting post-discharge in its efforts to collect the debt. Upon her son's release from detention, the County sent Ms. Rivera a bill for $16,372. Ms. Rivera sold her house to pay for $9,508 of the bill, and her ex-husband paid the bill down further.
    Ms. Rivera, who had to quit her job to take care of her ill son, filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case and received her discharge. Nevertheless, the County continued to hound Ms. Rivera with collection-agent type tactics. The panel noted that "in relentlessly pursuing [Ms. Rivera's] collection and opposing its discharge, the County raises yet another obstacle to [Ms.] Rivera's efforts to provide her son with the support about which the County claims to be so deeply concerned."

    While Brett Ramsaur of Snell & Wilmer is ecstatic with the outcome, he is particularly proud of the relief it will provide Maria, saying "we are grateful for the opportunity to fight for Maria in front of the Ninth Circuit and couldn't be happier with the result."
    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the Bankruptcy Code Amendments of 2005 did not "change the fundamental requirement that Domestic Support Obligations be for the purposes of child or family support." The panel further explained that Ms. Rivera "incurred her debt through no fault of her own. It was her son's actions, not hers, that led to his detention in juvenile hall, and thus his actions, not hers, that enabled the County to burden her with this debt. Nevertheless, in the wake of her child's incarceration, Ms. Rivera made a good faith effort to pay her bill [and] paid over half of it at great personal sacrifice. Rivera's debt thus arises in precisely the circumstance in which the Bankruptcy Code seeks to provide a fresh start."
    Caroline Djang of Rutan & Tucker summed it up when she said "Rutan could not have asked for a better result for Ms. Rivera. Not only does the opinion vindicate our argument, i.e. that the debt to the County did not fit within the spirit of the law excepting 'domestic support obligations' from discharge, but it also states in no uncertain terms that the County acted in a manner contrary to the objectives of the Bankruptcy Code. Every now and then in this profession, we encounter a truly "feel-good" win. This is one of those wins."  

    # # #

    Public Law Center
    601 Civic Center Drive West,
    Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (714) 541-1010

  • 12 Aug 2016 11:04 AM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    The 2016 Academy is on six consecutive Wednesday afternoons/evenings in September/October, as explained in the attached letter.  The application deadline has been extended to August 18.

    Application Form

  • 10 Aug 2016 10:29 AM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    Help immigrants achieve the American dream!

    Join PLC and earn 1.0 CLE credit at our upcoming training on naturalization law.  The training is complementary in exchange for volunteering at our Saturday, August 27 Naturalization Clinic.

    Training Date

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    Registration: 5:30 pm; Training: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Chapman University
    Dale E. Fowler School of Law
    One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866
    (Details will be sent in a separate confirmation email)   

    Clinic Date

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    (morning and afternoon shifts available)
    Sycamore Jr High School
    1801 E Sycamore St
    Anaheim, CA 92805
    (Details will be sent in a separate confirmation email)


    • Basic requirements of naturalization
    • Screening for "red flag" issues
    • Intersection of criminal law
    • Benefits and process of applying
    • What to expect at the Clinic
    • Completing applications in one day


    • Jacquelyn Santos, Esq., Staff Attorney, Public Law Center
    • Roxana Rosas, Project Coordinator, Public Law Center

    >> Register NOW! <<

    For questions, please contact Grace Landa.

  • 09 Aug 2016 9:50 AM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    The Salvation Army is offering 5 free CLE credits at a symposium to be held 9/21 at it's Western Territorial Headquarters in Long Beach.

    The Salvation Army Southern California Division
    180 E. Ocean Blvd., Ste. 500, Long Beach, CA 90802
    C: 805.769.4274  O: 800.275.3197  F: 562.264.3804

    Download Flyer

  • 05 Aug 2016 3:35 PM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    Comments sought:
    Three new proposals to amend the California Rules of Court and Judicial Council forms have been posted to the California Courts web site, at
    SP16-08: Traffic and Criminal Procedure: Infraction Procedures Regarding Bail, Fines, Fees, and Assessments; Mandatory Courtesy Notices; and Ability to Pay Determinations
    SP16-09: Traffic: Installment Payment of Bail Forfeiture and Traffic Violator School Fees
    SP16-10: Traffic: Online Installment Payment of Bail Forfeiture and Traffic Violator School Fees
    You are welcome to distribute this within your court and to any other interested parties. The deadline for comment is 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2016.
    If you have any questions, please contact Camilla Kieliger, at, or at 415-865-7681.
    We greatly appreciate your time and dedication to the continued improvement of administration of justice in California.

  • 02 Aug 2016 8:58 AM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    The Judicial Council of California is honoring Superior Court of Orange County Juvenile Presiding Judge Maria D. Hernandez and Chief Executive Officer Alan Carlson with its 2016 Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Carlson and Robert Oyung, Chief Information Officer of the Superior Court of Santa Clara, are being honored jointly. This is the highest award presented by the Judicial Council of California.

    The Judicial Council of California News Release includes the following information about the selection of Judge Hernandez and Mr. Carlson:

    Judge Maria D. Hernandez has displayed personal dedication and extraordinary commitment to advancing and improving the juvenile justice system. In 2015, she convened the first Orange County Juvenile Justice Summit, bringing together more than 400 court leaders, attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement, and education and treatment professionals to talk about improving outcomes for juveniles. In addition to supervising Orange County’s juvenile court judicial officers, Judge Hernandez is a member of many state and local committees, including the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness and the Chief Justice’s “Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court” Steering Committee. She has also served as faculty and speaker on issues affecting families and children in the justice system. Judge Hernandez was appointed to the Superior Court of Orange County as a commissioner in 2006 and later a judge by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009.

    Alan Carlson and Robert Oyung have been leaders in using technology to modernize and enhance court operations. Mr. Carlson is a state and national leader in the field of public access to court records and e-filing. His court piloted and adopted mandatory e-filing in civil, probate, and mental health cases in 2013.
    The Distinguished Service Award honors California judicial branch members; federal, state, or local justice partners; or individuals for their extraordinary dedication, outstanding leadership, and significant contributions to advancing the council's strategic goals for the judicial branch:

    • Access, fairness, and diversity;
    • Independence and accountability;
    • Modernization of management and administration;
    • Quality of justice and service to the public;
    • Education for branchwide professional excellence;
    • Branchwide infrastructure for service excellence; and
    • Adequate, stable and predictable funding for a fully functioning branch.

    The awards will be presented by the Judicial Council of California at a special ceremony on August 25 in San Francisco.

  • 28 Jul 2016 8:43 PM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    Dear HBA Member,
    The 2017 Dinner Committee and the Board of Directors are accepting nominations for the following awards which will be presented at the OCHBA's 39th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser & Installation Dinner on Saturday, March 4, 2017:

    • Attorney of the Year Award
    • Guardián de Justicia Award
    • Corporate Citizen Award
    • Hon. Francisco Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Criteria for The HBA Installation & Scholarship Dinner Awards are as follows: 

    The Hispanic Bar Association Attorney of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding Orange County attorney who has made a significant contribution to the legal community and/or has enhanced the quality of life of the Latino community. This attorney has demonstrated a long-term commitment to and involvement in the community; has used the legal profession to protect the rights of others, or whose contribution has expanded the educational and professional opportunities for Latinos.

    The Hispanic Bar Association Guardián de Justicia Award recognizes an outstanding community member who has dedicated his or her life to protecting the rights of others and encouraging civic responsibility. This individual has worked tirelessly to encourage and empower the Latino community and whose commitment to justice is a model for others to follow.

    The Hispanic Bar Association Hon. Francisco Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a remarkable individual who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to enhancing the quality of life of our community. This individual is a pioneer in his/her own right and has given generously of his/her time and talent to the community. He/she has been a model for others to emulate and without whom the world would be a very different place.

    The Hispanic Bar Association Corporate Citizen Award recognizes a corporation that is leading the way in terms of corporate responsibility. This corporation continues to make significant contributions to the Latino community and is an industry leader in increasing diversity within their industry. This corporation is committed to these values and believes diversity is the catalyst for long-term economic sustainability.

    Please send your nomination(s), including the reasons for your nomination(s), to no later than August 15, 2016.  To learn more about Past Honorees and other Annual Dinner information, please visit our website at
    We look forward to hearing from you.
    Eric M. Dominguez
    2016 President-Elect
    Chair, 2017 Dinner Committee
  • 28 Jul 2016 1:53 PM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    The Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions has approved and posted for public comment its 29th release of proposed revisions and additions to the civil instructions (CACI). This release includes proposed new and revised instructions and verdict forms in response to developments in the law over the last six months. The committee is very interested in your input.
    The proposed changes and additions are available for viewing on the internet at 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.
    Our preferred way of receiving your comments is in a Word file attached to an e-mail sent to 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 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
    The deadline for receiving comments is Friday, August 26, 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

  • 12 Jul 2016 5:30 PM | OCHBA Administrator (Administrator)

    THURSDAY, JULY, 21, 2016 from 6 to 9pm


    ● Update on DACA + and DAPA
    ● “Notario” Fraud prevention
    ● How to effectively outreach for legal assistance
    ● What to do if you have criminal record
    ● Family petitions,601-Waiver
    ● U-Visa, domestic Violence
    ● Others forms of Relief

    To reserve your spot for a free consultation call and leave a Message. (714) 833-9739.

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