I hope all of our readers had a joyous Thanksgiving although I certainly understand how hard it can be to feel grateful if you have suffered a loss from the fires. While all of the fires are out, their effects will linger for years, even lifetimes for some. For those who have lost their homes, the road is just beginning and I hope that what we offer in this issue of the Marin Lawyer will help.

Attorney and mediator Fred Hertz lost his home in the Oakland Hills Fire and he writes with wisdom about the tasks that need to be done after losing your home and how to approach some of them both legally and psychologically. MCBA’s Mike Estrada has written a comprehensive and clear primer (or as he notes, perhaps a refresher) on advising clients on homeowner insurance policy issues after a loss. Mike does an outstanding job of covering the issues and I recommend his article to all homeowners simply for the awareness he will raise about your own insurance. When I say comprehensive, I mean it: we have the first several paragraphs up on the web, followed by a link to a PDF of the full article, which weighs in at a hefty 8,000 words. I advise downloading the PDF, but not printing it, until you know what you’re getting into.

Many thanks to our guest editor this month, Patti Conway, who has also written a profile of one of MCBA’s non-attorney members, Kirsten Stewart. Stewart did not lose her home in the fires but came close and had pretty much every other aspect of her life disrupted. I also profile a young but dynamic, innovative and rapidly growing non-profit: ExtraFood delivers excess food from businesses to those in need and was able to step in and bring its expertise to the fire relief efforts.

On a lighter note, if you haven’t already, please welcome home Randy Wallace, MCBA Past-President and intrepid hiker. He entertains us with his latest top ten list: things he learned hiking 1250 miles this year. In the near future, we will be bringing you a short film he’s creating with images from his hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve seen the trailer and you will definitely want to watch the film.

And finally, I’d like to congratulate our President Dorothy Chou Proudfoot on a term well-served. She has kept MCBA a growing and vibrant organization, invigorated with engaged members, interesting programs, good works and yes, fun! Thank you.

I wish everyone Happy Holidays and a joyous, peaceful and loving 2018.