Greetings, members of the MCBA: How are those New Year’s resolutions going so far? Is everyone returning client phone calls within 24 hours, sending sincere meet and confer letters to opposing counsel, and drafting concise and to the point motions in limine. Wait, what’s a motion in limine? Oh, that’s for another time.

Notes of Appreciation

For my initial President’s Message, I would like to begin by thanking our out-going President, Dorothy Chou Proudfoot. I first met Dorothy about fifteen years ago when she came to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office by way of Boalt Hall and the Cal Marching Band. We worked together for several years as prosecutors and I knew right away that DCP was a special attorney, someone who was devoted to her work and to providing the best advocacy on behalf of her clients, the People of the State of California. We can all agree that Dorothy has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the Marin legal community during her time at the District Attorney’s Office, on the Board of Directors and especially this past year as President. She has presided over an active Board which has seen an increase in membership in the MCBA by both attorneys and non-attorneys. She has been an excellent ambassador for the Bar. Please join me in congratulating Dorothy on a great job and wishing her well in her new position as an Administrative Law Judge (and recovering prosecutor) for the San Francisco City Rent Board.

I also wish to acknowledge those Board directors who are leaving the Board (but not the MCBA), having provided years of invaluable service. James Sell, Dotty LeMieux, Rodrigo Dias, Patricia Conway, Romy Taubman, and Marlene Getchell (Five-Year Past President) have all contributed to the success of the MCBA over the past few years. Finally, let’s welcome our new directors: Marie Barnes (profiled in this issue), Michael Wear, Nestor Schnasse, Greg Brockbank, Clayton Greene, and Jessica Karner (Five-Year Past President). I look forward to working with the new directors and the entire Board this coming year.

Resolutions for 2018

A few months ago, Past President Wanden Treanor candidly asked me what my goals were for the upcoming year. As a trial attorney, prone to thinking on his feet, I deftly dodged the question by offering up a vague comment about wanting to provide meaningful services to the membership. Turns out Wanden was not the only one who was interested in what I was focused on for 2018, as members of the bar who approached me at the MCLE Fair, the Holiday Mixer and other events over the past few months made similar inquiries.

Looking forward to 2018, this is both an exciting and challenging time to be an attorney. On a national scale, an investigation of the executive branch by special counsel Robert Mueller is ongoing, major constitutional issues such as immigration, gun rights, and technology challenges under the Fourth Amendment will be heard by the Supreme Court, sexual harassment investigations and litigation concerning well known individuals across all industries are occurring on a daily basis, and high stakes intellectual property battles between technology titans such as Uber and Waymo continue to be fought. Closer to home, our local courts and government attorneys are facing budgetary challenges, several significant criminal cases are working their way through the judicial system, and the devastating fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties will have lasting legal effects on our community.

In thinking of goals or resolutions for 2018, I’m reminded of the Marin County Bar Association’s Mission Statement: (1) To involve, encourage, and support Bar Association members; (2) To serve as a liaison to the Marin County courts; and (3) to educate the community and enhance access to legal services. To meet our Mission, I pledge to continue to provide innovative and interesting speakers to our membership and am thrilled to have enlisted Tom McInerney and Susan Feder to act as co-chairs of the Program Committee. Our first speaker for 2018 will be Dan Mogulof, Vice Chancellor at UC Berkeley who will address the membership on the many political and legal challenges facing the nation’s leading public university system. In the coming months, we will present speakers on other topical issues, including a candidate forum for our own upcoming District Attorney election.

We are continuing to develop a vibrant relationship with the Bench and will be having regular meetings with Presiding Judge Paul Haakenson and Court Executive Officer James Kim to discuss ways the Bar can further integrate with the Bench. Expect to see articles from the judges in The Marin Lawyer and updates from our Bench Bar Committee in the near future. Finally, through our Pro Bono Committee (chaired by Nestor Schnasse and Tim Nardell) and Public Outreach Committee (chaired by Anna Pletcher), the Board will continue to promote and support the very successful Lawyers in the Library Program, the annual Mock Trial competition and the Teens and the Law Programs that benefit so many members of Marin County.

In closing, I welcome all members to reach out to me directly with any comments or suggestions on ways to get involved and support the MCBA’s Mission Statement and I look forward to working with an engaged Board and membership in 2018. It’s a privilege to serve as President of the Marin County Bar Association.