COVID-19 Announcement

Friends, Members, and Community:

We know you, our members, clients and staff are contending with disruption and great uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly appreciate all of you and extend our heartfelt well -wishes.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the San Mateo County Bar Association is closed to the public but continues to work remotely.  The closure will remain in effect until the San Mateo County Health Department’s “Shelter At Home” order is lifted. We are closely monitoring recommendations from local and national health authorities, such as the San Mateo County Health Department, John Hopkins University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Wold Health Organization (WHO).

SMCBA continues to be here to help! We have been operating with less than usual staff and we are doing everything in our power to keep our programs running.  Please rest assured that the San Mateo County Bar Association remains active and continues to take calls and e-mails from potential clients, members, and those with urgent matters.

SMCBA has cancelled all non-essential meetings. Committee and Section meetings are conducted virtually.  The Bar Association and its various sections continue to offer our members a variety of legal education webinars.  Visit our Calendar of Events for the latest event information.

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program continues to issue referrals online and over the phone. Please note, for now now, consultations will only be provided by phone. To obtain a referral to a lawyer, please contact the Lawyer Referral Service at (650) 369-4149 Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm or obtain a self-referral online.  We are doing our best to handle the volume of phone calls we have been receiving. Please bear with us as you may experience longer than usual phone wait times.

For the latest information on how to get legal help and access resources click on our “Other Resources” page.

SMCBA members are encouraged to do business by phone (650) 298-4030, email membership@smcba.org or by fax (65) 368-3892.

Thank you for your patience and for helping us keep SMCBA a healthy and safe place for all. Please be safe and healthy!

Your SMCBA Team.

Drinks Are On Us!

The San Mateo County Bar Association is proud to bring back the popular membership referral program, DRINKS ARE ON US.

How it works: Invite someone to become a member of the Bar Association or renew their lapsed membership (someone who has not been a member since 2017 or prior).  If that person becomes a member, you will receive a $10 gift card for either Jamba Juice, Peet’s or Starbucks (your choice).  You must send an email to the Membership Department at membership@smcba.org indicating your name, contact information, and the name of the person referred; remember to specify which gift card you would like!

There is no limit on the number of gift cards or referrals. Gift card(s) will be sent out upon confirmation of new or renewal of membership. This offer is good for both attorney and non-attorney membership referrals.  So go out there and ask your friends – “Are you a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association?”

Remember, membership for new attorneys is FREE for the first twelve (12) months!

For more information about membership with SMCBA, please visit our membership page.

We Are Hiring!

The San Mateo County Bar Association has two (2) job openings for its Private Defender Program (PDP).

 

Assistant Managing Attorney 
The Assistant Managing Attorney is a new position that will work with and report directly to the Managing Attorney of the Adult Division and will be responsible for implementing and overseeing the PDP mentorship program for misdemeanor and low-level felony attorneys.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist in the recruitment, training, development, and evaluation of PDP panel attorneys.
  • Regularly attend court proceedings to observe panel attorneys’ interactions with judges, opposing counsel, and clients.
  • Provide support and mentorship to panel attorneys and monitor caseloads of attorneys to ensure compliance with caseload standards.
  • Arrange for the presentation of continuing legal education seminars relevant to the needs of panel attorneys.
  • Monitor developments in the laws that impact the representation of our clients. Where appropriate, they will devise trainings and develop plans for implementing those changes.
Click Here to Apply

 

Supervising Social Worker
The Supervising Social Worker is a new position that will work collaboratively with the program administrators and report directly to the Chief Defender. The supervising social worker will develop collaborative relationships with other justice system partners to include the court’s mental health treatment team, the district attorney, and probation; will be knowledgeable about community-based resources, forge relationships with providers and facilitate client enrollment. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Create a new panel of social workers who will work with attorneys representing indigent defendants as part of an interdisciplinary team including investigators, experts and paralegals.
  • Recruit qualified social workers to join the panel, and then oversee the work to ensure the social workers on the panel provide high quality work.
  • Create policies and procedures for the panel of social workers.
  • Train PDP attorneys and investigators on how to identify the existence of specific mental and developmental disorders and/or disabilities, and how social workers can assist in the defense of clients. 
Click Here to Apply
 
How to Apply:

Email:
(1) cover letter explaining qualifications and interest;
(2) current resume; 
(3) four references who are familiar with your legal work and at least one who you have supervised or mentored; and 
(4) a writing sample consisting of original legal writing. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

Apply through LinkedIn

Competitive Salary and Benefits. 
-Principals only. Recruiters please don’t contact job poster.
-Do not contact us with unsolicited services or offers.
-No phone calls please.
Respond by March 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

The San Mateo County Bar Association – Private Defender Program is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants for employment will be considered without regard to race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

To learn more about the Private Defender Program, please visit the PDP’s website.

 

Message from Executive Director

Dear San Mateo County Bar Association members,

Effective immediately, the San Mateo County Bar Association (SMCBA) is cancelling all non-essential meetings. Committee Chairs will be provided with virtual meeting platform software to conduct meetings on behalf of the Association. Section Chairs will also be provided with software and should use their discretion when planning meetings. Please stay tuned for more information regarding Law Day (May 1st) and Judges’ Night (June 4th).

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) Program will not accept walk-in clients this month. If you are part of the LRS panel, we will continue to make referrals online and over the phone. We urge our members to meet with the LRS referrals by phone only until further notice.

Likewise, walk-in members are encouraged to do business by phone (650-298-4030), email (membership@smcba.org) or by fax (650-368-3892).

Thank you for your patience and for helping us keep SMCBA a healthy and safe place for all.

Deborah Kemper
Executive Director

Status Conference Volunteers Needed

Calling all Family Law Attorneys:

Department 15 urgently needs status conference volunteers.

Volunteering at the Status Conferences is a great way to give back and learn or refresh your skills.

This is a great opportunity to feel a real sense of accomplishment as you help pro per litigants with their disclosures, answer their family law questions, help them resolve disputes and reach settlement, and assist them with their judgment packages.  If this is your first time volunteering, Judge Franchi or other volunteers will be there to assist you.

Also, if you are planning on being at Court for a Status Conference in another Department, they will try to get you in towards the beginning of their calendars if you inform their Clerks that you are scheduled to volunteer in Department 15.

Snacks will be provided.

Please click on this link to sign-up.

MCLE Reporting Deadline

How do I report my compliance for the 2018-2021 Reporting Period?

If you are in Group 2 (H-M), the deadline to submit your report of compliance is February 01, 2021. To submit your report of compliance,  log into My State Bar Profile on the State Bar of California website and complete the Online Summary Log.

All active attorneys practicing law in California are required to complete a total of 25 hours every three years.  If you are in Group 2, your 25 hours  must be completed between February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2021.

  • At least 12.5 MCLE hours must be “participatory” CLE credit.
  • As part of the 25 hour requirement, attorneys must complete the following:
    • Legal Ethics: 4 hours (required)
    • Competence Issues (formerly known as Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness): 1 hour (required)
    • Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society: 1 hour (required)

Attorneys are responsible for tracking their own hours and must report compliance to the State Bar of California. The State Bar of California provides a Personal MCLE Log Form that can be downloaded and used to track MCLE hours. SMCBA members can view and download MCLE certificates by logging into their SMCBA profiles. View the Instructions on How to Print MCLE Certificates.

For more information on credit details, exemptions and modified requirements, please visit the State Bar of California’s website.

Funky Credit Day 2021 – Jan 22-23

Friday, January 22, 2021
&
Saturday, January 23, 2021
9:00 am– 5:00 pm each day

Funky Credit Day is SMCBA’s premier educational event and is held every year for California attorneys who are actively practicing law. It is where you get those “funky,” hard to find credits, have a good time and meet with old friends. Our 2021 program will feature various presenters including attorneys and judges from San Mateo County Superior Court. This year, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will deliver our annual event virtually.

This two-day Special MCLE Program will feature a total of 12 hours:
6 hours of Legal Ethics
2 hours of Competence Issues
3 hours of Recognition & Elimination of Bias
1 hour of General Law

Click here to view the Agenda!

Cost:
$125 Early Bird Special*: Payment must be received by 11/30/2020
$150 Pre-Registration*: Payment must be received by 12/31/2020
$175 Registration* received after 1/1/2021
* Additional $50 for Non-SMCBA Members.

**Santa Clara County attorneys are offered SMCBA membership rates. Please contact our office to receive member rate.

It’s never too early to meet your MCLE requirement!

Registration:
Please login on the SMCBA website to register for this event or submit the registration form. If you wish to pay by check, please send your check payable to SMCBA, to: 333 Bradford St., Ste. 200, Redwood City, CA 94063, Attn: Funky Credit Day.

Cancellations must be received no later than 01/1/2021 for full refund of registration.

What Does “Defund the Police” Really Mean? – Dec 18th

Friday, December 18, 2020
12:00 p.m.
Live Webinar

The SMCBA’s Race and Social Justice Task Force invites you to join Marc Philpart, Managing Director at PolicyLink, and coordinator of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, for a discussion to radically reimagine community safety by defunding the police and investing in the education, jobs, housing, and social services that low income people and communities of color need to thrive.

Please note, this event does not qualify for MCLE credit.

All attorney members are invited to attend for free. We look forward to your virtual attendance!

This event is brought to you by the SMCBA Race & Social Justice Task Force in partnership with PolicyLink , Alliance for Boys and Men of Color & the California Lawyers Association’s Racial Justice Committee.

 

 

Resources:

The Abolition Movement
https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2020/08/the-abolition-movement

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-abolish-defund-police.amp.html

Abolishing Policing Also Means Abolishing Family Regulation
https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/abolishing-policing-also-means-abolishing-family-regulation/44480

Fighting Anti-Blackness Through Budget Justice
https://www.policylink.org/covid19-and-race/commentary/budget-justice

Healing, not Policing: A Transformative Approach to Intimate Partner Violence
https://www.policylink.org/node/61386

The State of the Court Meeting w/ San Mateo County Court Leadership – Dec 15th

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
12:00pm – 1:15pm
Live Webinar
 
Please join the San Mateo County Superior Court and the San Mateo County Bar Association on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:00pm for a presentation by Honorable Jonathan Karesh, Presiding Judge, Honorable Leland Davis III, Assistant Presiding Judge, and Honorable Nancy Fineman, Civil Law & Motion Judge for a state of the court address.
 
Hear information you desperately need to practice law in San Mateo County Superior Courts. Find out how jury trials are conducted. Learn about the new COVID-19 procedures and how you can help to keep your clients safe during trial.
 
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in advance. Please send your questions to events@smcba.org with the subject line “12/15/2020 State of the Court Advanced Questions” no later than Friday, December 11, 2020. 
 
This event qualifies for 1 hour of MCLE credit. Due to continued Covid-19 pandemic, this event will be hosted via Zoom. All attendees must register online prior to the event.
 
Cost: Everyone is invited to attend for FREE, however you must register in advance through the SMCBA website. Non-SMCBA members who wish to obtain MCLE credit must pay $10.