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 racis

Quarantini: Happy Hour with Deborah!

QUARANTINI: HAPPY HOUR WITH DEBORAH!

OCTOBER DATES:

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
&
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
5:30-6:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

The San Mateo County Bar Association is excited to introduce a new social event, QUARANTINI: HAPPY HOUR WITH DEBORAH!

Life during Covid-19 has been stressful, to say the least. We want to gather together (virtually, of course!) and build our community. What better way to get to know each other than a BYOB happy hour!

So pour yourself some of your favorite drink and join us on Zoom! We’ll talk about anything and everything. There really is no requirement for attending except for being 21+ years of age and open to chat. We look forward to seeing you there!

Zoom meeting number: 940-3997-7645
Zoom Passcode: 874571

Cannabis Law: Representing Businesses and Addressing Compliance Issues – November 18

CANNABIS LAW: REPRESENTING BUSINESSES AND ADDRESSING COMPLIANCE ISSUES
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

Please join the Business Section on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, for a presentation by Neda Shapourian and Kimberly R. Simms about Cannabis Law.

This program will provide key insights into representing small businesses, seed funding, patient’s rights and negotiations with government offices in this exciting new area of law. The presenters will discuss vital information to anyone already in, or interested in pursuing, a commercial cannabis business or representing such a business.  

Neda Shapourian advises emerging and small businesses on corporate formation, seed fundraising, venture capital finance, and strategic exits. She founded the firm’s cannabis practice group in 2017 which supports both “touch the plant” and ancillary businesses on corporate structuring, licensing and regulatory compliance, commercial transactions, and strategic risk management. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Cannabis, Alcohol, and Regulated Industries Barristers Section and frequently serves on panels to speak about legal issues facing the Cannabis community.

In her law practice, Kimberly R. Simms she has fought relentlessly for patients’ rights, negotiated with government officials to craft reasonable and effective regulations that allow for safe access, litigated complex land use and zoning cases, and advised hundreds of medical cannabis entrepreneurs.  Kimberly is a recognized expert in this emerging area of law.  She has taught courses and lead seminars which focus on how to comply with the ever-changing legal and regulatory requirements of the cannabis industry.  She is considered a trusted source by the media and has been interviewed by NPR, CNN and many San Diego media outlets.  Kimberly is a founding Board Member of the Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access, San Diego’s leading cannabis chamber of commerce and political advocacy organization. Kimberly is also proud to serve as co-founder for the San Diego Chapter of Women Grow. Women Grow was created to connect, educate and empower the next generation of female cannabis industry leaders by creating programs and events for aspiring and current business executives.

You will receive one hour of General Law Participatory MCLE credit for your attendance of this event. 

Due to continued Shelter-in-Place restrictions, this event will be hosted via Zoom.  Consistent with our prior virtual presentations that have qualified for MCLE credit, all attendees must register online prior to the event. You will be emailed your unique Zoom log-in link upon registration. The materials for the webinar will be emailed to attendees the day before and morning of the event.

Cost: $10 for Business Litigation Section members and $15 for non-section members

Registration: Please log in on the SMCBA website to register for this event. If you wish to pay by check, still, please 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 for and the name of the attendee.

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.

“A Higher Calling” Book Launch – Nov 20th

The book A Higher Calling: A Review of the Judges and Lawyers Who Shaped the San Mateo County Courts, written by California poet and journalist John Aiello, will be presented to San Mateo County Bar Association members on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

John Aiello’s book includes the San Mateo County’s early and rough political beginnings, biographies of the judges that have served here, the story of the courthouses, a review of the evolution of our court system, discussions with history makers of our current legal community and Judges, and profiles of lawyers of the SMCBA who rose to the Federal Branch and our local Appellate Courts. 

We hope you can join us for this free live virtual book launch with Author John Aiello!

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.

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.

Mandatory Workplace Arbitration: Pros and Cons, Risks and Rewards – September 24

MANDATORY WORKPLACE ARBITRATION: PROS AND CONS, RISKS AND REWARDS
Thursday, September 24, 2020
12:00-1:15 p.m.
Via Zoom

Please join the Labor & Employment Section for a virtual presentation on Thursday, September 24, 2020. The law on mandatory workplace arbitration continues to evolve on a state and national level. Our speaker, Jeff Polsky, will discuss recent developments in that law and describe the pros and cons of such programs.

Jeffrey Polsky, is a co-chair of Fox Rothschild LLP’s Labor and Employment Department. He focuses his practice on business and employment litigation and counseling. He has 30+ years’ experience drafting workplace arbitration provisions, arbitrating employment cases, and representing clients in disputes relating to claims of discrimination and harassment, trade secret violations, wage and hour compliance, wrongful discharge, and breach of contract.

Due to continued Shelter-in-Place restrictions, this event will be hosted via Zoom.  Consistent with our prior virtual presentations that have qualified for MCLE credit, all attendees must register online prior to the event. Online registration will close on the morning of the event.

COST: $20 for Labor & Employment section members, $30 for non-section members, and free for Law Student Members. 

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

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.