Job Opportunities

Circuit Mediator – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: The Ninth Circuit Mediation Office is seeking to fill two open positions. Qualified candidates should have substantial litigation or appellate experience in federal courts and formal mediation training. Travel throughout the Ninth Circuit is required. Deadline to apply is October 31, 2016. Learn More

CJA Supervising Attorney – United States District Court, Central District of California: The United States District Court, Central District of California, invites applications for the position of Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Supervising Attorney. The CJA Supervising Attorney is responsible for the oversight and administration of the panel of attorneys qualified for appointment to represent indigent defendants in cases pending before the Court, and must have or develop a thorough knowledge of the Criminal Justice Act and of criminal law and procedure. Learn More

Death Penalty Clinic Paralegal – Berkeley Law: The Death Penalty Clinic’s paralegal has primary responsibility for developing and maintaining the Clinic’s document management system, assisting faculty, fellows, investigators, and students in working with the documents, and collaborating with them in identifying facts contained in the documents that are relevant to the Clinic’s litigation. Experience working in a paralegal or investigative capacity for capital defense counsel is preferred. Learn More

Law Clerk to a U.S. Disctrict Judge – United States District Court, Central District of California: The U.S. District Court is seeking to fill one full-time, but temporary, law clerk position, available immediately and lasting until at least March 30, 2017 (subject to possible extension through September 30, 2017).  The position’s duties include, but are not limited to, drafting legal memoranda, opinions, and orders and analyzing statutes, regulations, and substantive issues in all areas of civil and criminal law.  The position also requires case management and other administrative duties. Learn More

Management Analyst (Grants Unit) – Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara: This grant-funded position will perform a variety of analyticval staff studies and/or projects in support of the improvement of management functions, practices, and services, or the implementation of program objectives. Qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Political Science, Justice Studies, Sociology, Public Administration, Business, Finance, or related field and a minimum of two years experience providing program or administrative support to management that included planning, research, and analysis of complex issues. Learn More

Oakland City Attorney’s Office – Neighborhood Law Corps Attorney: The Office of the Oakland City Attorney is seeking a highly qualified, innovative and community-oriented attorney who is interested in public service work for the position of Neighborhood Law Corps Attorney. Learn More

Counsel On Call – INSURANCE DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Counsel On Call seeks an insurance defense attorney to assist a corporate legal department in the Walnut Creek area. This is a full-time contract position available for at least four months. Travel is required, and the candidate may be asked to work on-site at the client’s office. Learn More

California Attorney General – DAG III: The California Department of Justice has several open Deputy Attorney General III positions for its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. Learn More

Let’s go to Cuba! Space is limited – Sign-up today

The Alameda County Bar Association, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Contra Costa Bar, invite you to visit Cuba, and learn about the legal community there! You may find the brochure here and the registration form here. We have a limited number of spaces.

Trip Dates for this unique visit are Saturday February 18 through Friday February 24, 2017.

We will be traveling under the auspices of Cuba Cultural Travel, an organization that has specialized in travel to Cuba since 1998. Other bar associations have traveled with them and have spoken highly of them. Our journey will take us to Havana, the capital of the country and its commercial and cultural center since colonial times. You will experience the wonderful rustic charm of a city that has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years. You will meet the Cuban people and learn about daily life in this amazing, complex city.

During our stay, we will be hosted by a variety of local scholars, attorneys and artists who will offer in-depth commentary on the Cuban legal system, art, history, architecture, and religion.

This trip will not only bring us together with the people of Cuba, but will enable us to develop friendships and a new understanding of the rich and varied cultural fabric of this unique island nation. A true people-to-people exchange!

Our private journey (space is limited) includes the following:*

  • Thought provoking lectures by renowned intellectuals, scholars and legal experts. NOTE: Many of our lectures will qualify for MCLE credit
  • Private performances and reception by prominent dance companies and musicians
  • Exploration of the fascinating neighborhoods of Havana in the company of an architect and historian
  • Day trip to the stunning Viñales Valley known for the finest tobacco produced in the world

Please contact Dani Perez ( for any logistical questions, programming requests, or substantive areas of law you may be interested in exploring further during our visit to Cuba.  The program can be adapted to the interests of those participating in this exclusive journey.

We will ask for a deposit to hold your place(s) to be received by October 21, 2016.  Following receipt of your reservation form and deposit, further information regarding travel arrangements and a detailed itinerary will be provided to each traveler.

Cuba Cultural TravelFor general information and frequently asked questions, please go to

* Please note that the quoted trip cost does not include airfare to/from Cuba. New commercial airfare routes into Havana from the West Coast will be announced soon. We anticipate fares being around $700 round trip and attendees may be eligible to use frequent flier miles as commercial airlines in the United States are awarded new direct routes to Cuba. Information about flights will be sent to you as soon as it is available.

ACBA Summer Reception Photos

It was another beautiful evening on Bocanova’s patio. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and to meet new friends! Click on the link below to be taken to the full set of photos.

Justice James Lambden, Tiela Chalmers, Judge Gregory Syren, and Judge Emillio Grillo

Justice James Lambden, Tiela Chalmers, Judge Gregory Syren, and Judge Emillio Grillo

Phong La, Olivia La, and ACBA President Stephanie Sato

Phong La, Olivia La, and ACBA President Stephanie Sato

ACBA Barristers Section: David Reagan, Alice Cheng, Norah Alyami, Jo-Anna Nieves, William Walgrave, and Patrick Bears

ACBA Barristers Section: David Reagan, Alice Cheng, Norah Alyami, Jo-Anna Nieves, William Walgrave, and Patrick Bears

Scott Jackson, Phil Hong, Paul Wellenkamp, and Cynthia Chandler

Scott Jackson, Phil Hong, Paul Wellenkamp, and Cynthia Chandler

New Local Rules for Alameda County

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, has updated its local rules.  The updates, effective July 1, 2016, will be available on theCourt’s website by June 30, 2016.  In the meantime, please see updated rules and forms and related documents linked below:



Title 1, Chapter 1 – General and Administrative Rules

Rule Number

Title of Rule



Presentation of Papers for Filing in Civil, Family Law, and Probate


Form Number Title

ALA CR-002


Misdemeanor Advisement of Rights, Waiver, and Plea

ALA FL-060


Stipulation to Commissioner to Sit as Temporary Judge for all Purposes


Beware of New Email Scammers

Scammers use real attorney IDs to cheat consumers

By Amy Yarbrough
Staff Writer

Earlier this year, Jordan N. Gray found himself in a situation attorneys dread: A complaint had been filed against him with the State Bar.

But as general counsel for an insurance brokerage company in South Pasadena, Gray hadn’t actually done anything wrong. The complaint against him by a fellow member of the State Bar sprang from an email fraudsters sent out using his name and information.

Although they don’t always result in State Bar complaints, such scams are hardly unique. Counterfeit check scams, in which someone poses as a client claiming to want to hire an attorney to help recover a large debt, have been a problem for years. In Gray’s case and in a couple other emails that recently came to the attention of the State Bar, the fraudsters used a slightly different tactic, sending an email that contained a legitimate attorney’s name and information in hopes of snaring another member of the bar.

Fraudulent emails sent out in February using Gray’s State Bar number and post office box claimed he was on vacation and that he had a client in need of urgent legal help. Gray said he is not sure why that attorney went so far as to make a complaint against him, noting there were some clues that could have raised red flags. The fraudster “didn’t seem sophisticated enough to understand how transactions work between attorneys and clients,” he said.

“When it first happened, I probably received calls from between five and 10 people trying to give me a heads up,” he added.

Although Gray concedes he waited too long to check his post office box and could have resolved the complaint sooner had he promptly retrieved a letter from a State Bar investigator, he said the biggest impact could have been on the email recipients.

“It doesn’t affect me as much as it does the other attorneys they are trying to scam,” he said.

Michael B. Gray, another attorney based in San Luis Obispo, saw his name attached to a more blatantly suspicious email sent to a lawyer in Quebec. The email promised a cash donation to supposedly continue the “good works” of a so-called Dr. Myles and Ruth Munroe.

The email “certainly did not come from me. I hope no one responds to this thing,” Michael Gray said. “I hope no one buys it.”

Even more alarming, another scam email has popped up in recent days in which fraudsters claim the recipient’s law practice is the subject of a State Bar complaint. The email, supposedly from State Bar President David Pasternak, contains official sounding language and invites the recipient to file a “rebuttal” to an attached complaint. According to one of the attorneys who received it, the attachment to the email is actually blank.

To curb identity theft, the State Bar does not divulge attorneys’ dates of birth or list their previous business addresses on its website. The State Bar also recommends attorneys take steps to protect the password they’ve set up to access their bar profile. Attorneys can also report cases of identity theft to local police.

The FBI urges people who’ve fallen victim to Internet scams to file a report with theInternet Crime Complaint Center. This 2011 Ethics Alert explains how some of the scams work.

Jordan Gray guesses the fraudster or fraudsters who used his name were either trying to launder money or pass a phony check. He said it’s frustrating that law enforcement can’t do more to punish them.

“I don’t know why they picked me and my number,” he added.

Bay Area Legal Incubator Ribbon Cutting

For additional information

Contact Cynthia Chandler, Mentoring Attorney, BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator

Cell: 510.325.4127,, website:

May 11, 2016


Unprecedented Collaboration of Bay Area Bar Associations, Law Schools and the County Announce Opening of New Legal Incubator Hub

Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation will be celebrating the growth of BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator and the launch of its new hub at the Alameda County Law Library, with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by the Bernard E & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation on May 17, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ribbon cutting at 7:00 p.m.).

BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator is an accelerator hub for attorneys launching modest means solo practices addressing many of the most challenging social justice issues impacting Bay Area communities.

The accelerator, which launched in Oakland in January 2016 after two years of planning, is the work product of an unprecedented collaboration in the legal community between the Alameda County Bar Association, Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, five Bay Area law schools (UC Berkeley School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Santa Clara Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law) and Alameda County Law Library. The accelerator’s new hub re-envisions 3,000 square feet of the Alameda County Law Library with support from the Bernard E & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation.

“It was essential at this time of economic divide and shifts in the legal economy for the diversity of the legal community to come together to launch an innovative legal center equipped to address both the growing justice gap and to support emerging modes of practice,” explains Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation CEO Tiela Chalmers, who originally conceived of BALI.

Fourteen attorneys joined the BALI community in January 2016. To date, the cohort has performed a staggering 3,100 hours of pro bono legal work for low-income Bay Area residents and has represented dozens of modest means clients earning below three-times the federal poverty level in a diversity of civil and criminal matters. Already it has become an invaluable resource in the Bay Area, increasing access to justice for those who otherwise would be without representation.

The legal profession has rallied around BALI’s launch. Over 50 attorneys and judges from across the Bay Area are volunteering to coach BALI attorneys. Free services from corporate partners are provided to participants, including LexisNexis, OnLaw, Clio, and more.

Cynthia Chandler, BALI Mentoring Attorney, is proud that, “we’re creating replicable models for sustainable, community-oriented practices and supporting a movement within the legal profession toward social justice and affordable legal services.”

The ribbon cutting celebration is open to the public. For more information about BALI, its design as a social mission incubator, and its recent successes, see



Applications Now Accepted for Guiding Hands Writing Mentors

Have you ever felt that your writing could use some polish? Or that you might not be analyzing legal problems as thoroughly as you could? Would you like to improve your presentation in writing, and increase your chances at rising through the profession?
Participants selected will be matched with an experienced attorney who will work with them on improving legal writing and analysis skills.
  • The program starts in June with a kick-off networking reception. Meet your mentor here for the first time!
  • Over the next 4 months, you and your mentor will meet every 2 weeks or so, with breaks for vacation as needed.  Most meetings will be in person, though some may be by phone.
  • You will bring a written product to the first meeting – something you have already written – and go over it with the mentor, who will make editing suggestions.
  • In between meetings you will implement the mentor’s suggestions, and bring the newly edited piece, or a new piece, to the next meeting.
  • The program will wrap up in early October with a session on job searches and paths to job success, followed by a networking session.
You will:
  • Be matched with an experienced attorney
  • Receive concrete feedback on one or more written products that you have already written
  • Increase your writing and analysis skills
  • Have at least one strong writing sample
  • Learn to edit yourself
  • Make connections with many accomplished attorneys, and get guidance from them on job searches and professional development
This program is for:
  • Attorneys 1 – 5 years out of law school, who have had law jobs
  • Those interested in taking their skills to the next level
  • Those interested in opening up opportunities to work in-house or at larger law firms
  • We particularly encourage attorneys from diverse backgrounds and/or underrepresented groups to apply
  • To apply you must be a member of the ACBA, CMCP, and one or more of the EBDBC bar associations. Discounts available.
Please send completed applications to Guiding Hands Writing Mentors, c/o Tiela Chalmers at, or 1000 Broadway, Suite 480, Oakland, CA 94607.
Co-sponsored by the

Attorneys Honored for Outstanding Pro Bono

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2016

**Media Alert**

What: Local attorneys will receive awards for pro bono work at the Justice for All: Celebrating Pro Bono event. A silent auction will precede dinner, an awards ceremony and keynote remarks from Associate Justice Martin Jenkins, First Appellate District, Division Three.

Where: Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, 2 Broadway, Jack London Square, Oakland

When: Thursday May 5, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Who: Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, the pro bono arm of the Alameda County Bar Association will present awards to the following attorneys for their service to Alameda County: Volunteer of the Year, Patricia Gutierrez de Sunseri, Sunseri Law; Volunteer of the Year – Rising Star, Christina Cisneros; and Pro Bono Leadership Award, Sally Elkington, Elkington Shepherd LLP. In addition, Wiley W. Manuel certificates will be awarded to those volunteers who performed fifty hours or more of pro bono service in the last twelve months.

For more information: Please contact Valerie Lescroart, Communications Administrator for the Alameda County Bar Association or (510) 302-2215. A copy of the full press release may be found here.

# # #

About the ACBA Volunteer Legal Services Corporation and the Alameda County Bar Association

The VLSC is the pro bono arm of the Alameda County Bar Association and is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in Alameda County.  VLSC provides free direct legal assistance to Alameda County’s low-income population by mobilizing volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono service. VLSC is governed by an independent Board of Directors.

Each year, more than 400 volunteers provide nearly $1 million in pro bono legal service through pro per advice clinics. More than eleven hundred low-income people in Alameda County received legal assistance through VLSC last year.

The Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) is a voluntary bar association, established in 1877, with a membership of more than 1,500 lawyers, judges, law students, and legal associates.  For more information about the Volunteer Legal Service Corporation and the Alameda County Bar Association, visit

BALI Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Celebrating the growth of BALI │Bay Area Legal Incubator as we commemorate the opening of our new hub within the Alameda County Law Library


Tuesday, May 17, 2016
6-8 pm, ribbon cutting at 7pm
Appetizers and sparkling wine

125 12th Street, Suite 100-BALI
Oakland, CA 94607

BALI attorneys are hard at work taking on modest-means clients, serving the community in their pro bono placements, and learning the ins and outs of opening their own law practice. Thanks to a generous donation from the Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation, we’re excited to share our new hub within the Alameda County Law Library with you!

BALI is an incubator community of solo attorneys dedicated to providing affordable legal services and promoting social justice. Attorneys benefit from resources and training, accelerating their law practice development. Local communities benefit from access to affordable legal assistance.

BALI is a project of Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation in collaboration with Berkeley Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Santa Clara Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, University of San Francisco School of Law and the Alameda County Law Library.

For more information about BALI, please visit our website:

All are welcome! Please RSVP at the link below by Thursday May 12th.