We Are Moving

WE ARE MOVING ON MAY 17, 2021

The San Mateo County Bar Association is moving to a new suite in the same building on May 17, 2021. We do not anticipate any disruptions in our services during the move. Please update your contact information to reflect our new address.

New Address:
333 Bradford Street, Suite 150
Redwood City, CA 94063

Please note, only SMCBA team is moving from suite 200 to suite 150. The Private Defender Program team will not be impacted.

If you have any questions, please email us at membership@smcba.org.

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.

SMCBA’s Anti-Racism Statement

The San Mateo County Bar Association (SMCBA) is appalled by the persistent brutalization and oppression of people of color throughout America. The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless Black Americans before them provide incontrovertible evidence that we as a country are far from achieving equality for all. As attorneys, we all took an oath to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and State of California, both of which prohibit the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, as well as the denial of equal protection of the laws.  This responsibility was reiterated by our very own California Supreme Court on June 11, 2020: “Each of us has a duty to recognize there is much unfinished and essential work that must be done to make equality and inclusion an everyday reality for all.” As attorneys and legal professionals, we are in a unique position to educate, empower and advocate for our communities.

To that end, we commit to establishing a Race and Social Justice Task Force to develop a multifaceted approach to advance justice for all, including: 

• Conducting a series of CLEs which will focus on education and specific actions that members of our legal community can take to help dismantle systems of oppression. Topics will include: 

  • Understanding Implicit and Explicit Bias in legal institutions
  • Legal observer training
  • Diversity and inclusion in hiring
  • Jury selection and racial justice
  • Racial discrimination in the Criminal Justice System, Housing, Education, and Healthcare
  • Effective anti-racist ally-ship and advocacy

• Educating our communities of color through “Know Your Rights” workshops that include demonstration law, immigration law, housing law, voting rights and the criminal justice system. 

• Encouraging our members to support social justice organizations with their time and donations.

We reaffirm our mission to advance the fair and effective administration of justice for all, and will continue actively working to transform that mission into a reality. We support the diversity of humanity and stand together to reject all forms of racism, hatred, and discrimination. We stand with Black Lives Matter to support the movement to end State-sanctioned violence. We are committed to being part of the solution to end systemic racism.

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.

SMCBA Law Day 2021 Virtual Presentation – April 30

SMCBA Law Day 2021 Virtual Presentation

Friday, April 30, 2021
12:00 pm– 1:00 pm

Law Day is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law.  Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share.  Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.

Presentation of Mock Trial Awards
The high school students and teacher-advisors who participated in this year’s Mock Trial Competition will be honored guests.  

San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association Scholarship Program Presentation
Each year, the San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association presents scholarship awards to three high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in the law or criminal justice careers at this event. This year, the program will award $7,500 to the top three candidates. The San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of justice, preservation of the jury system, and the protection of the rights of the consumers and injury victims

This year, we would like for everyone to attend this popular event at no cost and offer our members the opportunity to “Sponsor a Team” and receive the following:

$200 Gold Sponsor will receive the Golden Package – 1 full-page ad in the Here-Say and Care Package which will include an SMCBA Tote, Journal, Pen, Hand Sanitizer, and Mask.

$150 Silver Sponsor will receive the Silver Package – ½ page ad in the Here-Say and Care Package which will include an SMCBA Journal, Pen, Hand Sanitizer, and Mask.

$100 Bronze Sponsor will receive the Bronze Package – Business Card size ad in the Here-Say and Care Package which will include SMCBA Pen, Hand Sanitizer, and Mask.

All proceeds will go to support the Mock Trial Competition Program.

Contributions to the SMCBA are not deductible as charitable contributions, but may be deductible under other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Pruno Project: Exonerated Prisoners Webinar – April 29

THE PRUNO PROJECT: EXONERATED PRISONERS WEBINAR
Thursday, April 29, 2021
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

The San Mateo County Bar Association’s Race & Social Justice Committee and the Private Defender Program invite you to attend The Pruno Project: Exonerated Prisoners webinar. The Pruno Fund is a non-profit dedicated to helping exonerees transition from prison to life on the outside. The thousands of men and women who have been exonerated of their wrongful convictions have a lot to teach us about perseverance, patience, and hope. Join us and listen to two amazing men, Zavion Johnson and Obie Anthony, who will share their unbelievable life experiences!

Obie Anthony was sentenced to life without parole for a murder he did not commit when he was 19 years old. California incarcerated him for 17 years. Upon exoneration, Obie dedicated himself to supporting other exonerees to meet their basic needs after release. Obie was instrumental in the passage of California Assembly Bill No. 672 (nicknamed and cited as “Obie’s Law”). The bill requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to assist exonerees with transitional services, including housing assistance, job training, and mental health services. In 2016, Obie founded Exonerated Nation, and is committed to transforming the experiences of exonerees after release and building a community that can provide safety, stability, and healing to wrongfully convicted Californians.

Zavion Johnson is an exoneree who served half his life falsely accused after being imprisoned at the age of 19. Losing his trial, Zavion was convicted of the false charges, sentenced to double life and sent off to serve his sentence at the most deadly maximum security level IV facilities. Being an innocent man, Zavion fought tirelessly to regain his freedom by filing numerous court documents and wrote to many organizations he felt could help him gain his freedom. Since his exoneration in late 2017, Zavion has spent time adjusting to life outside and educating California state legislators, attorneys, college students, and law school student to ensure that no one else suffers the injustice he endured. Zavion sits on the advisory board of Exonerated Nation, a nonprofit organization which helps exonerees like him with after care and re-entry services.

This event qualifies for 1 hour of Elimination of Bias MCLE credit. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Alameda County Bar Association and the California Lawyers Association.

Cost of Attendance: FREE for SMCBA members and $15 for non-SMCBA members. MCLE Credit is available for an additional $15.

Registration: Please log in on the SMCBA website to register for this event. If you wish to pay by check, please still register online first and send your check payable to SMCBA, to: 333 Bradford St., Ste. 200, Redwood City, CA 94063. Attn: Events. *Please note for which event you are paying and the name of the attendee.

Logistics: Your Zoom credentials will automatically be emailed to you shortly after you register online, as well as the day and hour before the event. Please note that you’ll need to be logged into a Zoom account to join the webinar. The written materials for the webinar will be emailed to attendees the morning of the event. 

Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours prior to the event for a full refund of the registration fee. If you do not cancel within 48 hours or do not show up to the event, you will be charged the full amount.

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.