Our recent rains extinguished the last of the North Bay fires. While I have no doubt that collectively our neighbors to the north will recover, rebuild and ultimately thrive, the journeys of many individuals will be full of challenges. Some of those challenges will be psychological, some will be practical, some legal, and many will be all of these. And for most, those challenges will not be over soon. Beyond human kindness and compassion, what can we as lawyers and allied professionals do to help that makes use of our particular skills?

One thing you can do: volunteer for the legal advice hotline that the State Bar and several bar associations (including MCBA) are sponsoring. You can learn more about it in Mee Mee Wong’s article here.

I also invite you to consider what knowledge and skills you have to share with us so that more of us can advise fire victims on issues they are likely to face. Do you have insights about dealing with insurers? Contractors? Permitting agencies? Please share them with the Marin Lawyer so that your knowledge can help as many as possible. I encourage articles that give us a primer on relevant law, but even if you have just a few words of advice, we can publish the advice collectively.

As for this issue of the Marin Lawyer, we have reports on several MCBA events. If you missed our annual Judges Luncheon, be sure to check out my recap of the event, which includes Judge Simmons’ hilarious Top 10 Judges’ Pet Peeves. As they say, comedy relies on truth and it behooves all who appear in court to take heed when a judge tells you not to do something, or more accurately, ten things.

Incoming MCBA President Tom Brown reports on the MCLE Fair, including current President Dorothy Chou Proudfoot’s informative and entertaining conversation with the Warriors’ General Counsel, David Kelly. Mr. Kelly spoke thoughtfully and candidly about his job, the Warriors and such delicate topics as the “take a knee” protests.

And in this post-Harvey Weinstein era, Jeanne Grove’s report on the joint MCBA-MCWL Diversity Roundtable on gender bias has an important conclusion from our evening discussing the topic: if you experience or observe an instance of discrimination, say something. While the event and Jeanne’s report preceeded the Weinstein story, they now are more timely than ever.

One of MCBA’s newest members, Joseph Manuel, a CPA and attorney, has written a short primer on what we all should know about U.S. taxation of foreign income, using Paul Manafort’s current troubles to illustrate the reporting requirements. And Charlie Dresow has some thoughts on what real-life lessons we can learn from good fictional closing arguments.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you at MCBA’s December 5 holiday party.