In last year’s Criminal Justice issue of the Marin Lawyer, Anna Pletcher made the case for the reform of the money bail system in California. That reform has now arrived, if not exactly from the expected source. As many of our readers already know (not least from a lead headline in the Chronicle), a California appellate court declared the existing system of money bail unconstitutional. Charlie Dresow reports on the recently final bail decision In Re Humphrey and gives us a preliminary sense of what implementing it will look like while noting that legislative action (not to mention funding) is still very much needed.

Speaking of court funding, Presiding Judge Paul Haakenson reports on the state of the Marin court, noting that the court continues to function well even after years of funding cuts in large part because of the creativity and dedication of the court employees and Marin lawyers in developing and staffing a wide array of volunteer programs. (Take a moment now to sign up for the annual pro bono appreciation lunch here on March 28th, where you can thank all of these volunteers.) You might be surprised at the variety of volunteer programs; their sheer number might help convince you that they need your help. Judge Haakenson also notes the challenges ahead for the court while stating his determination to implement a new case management system during his tenure. And while any given annual Mock Trail Competition’s effects on the court may be years down the road in the form of future outstanding lawyers, the positive effects of this tremendous volunteer effort on all of the competitors are immediate. Be sure to read MCBA board member (and San Rafael High attorney coach) Anna Pletcher’s report on this year’s competition.

I would like to thank our guest editor this month, Christian Martinez, for a diverse selection of content (including a non-profit profile for all of you mariners out there.) As part of our cybersecurity theme this year, Samik Bhattacharyya gives us an overview of upcoming European Union requirements for protecting client data. In case you were thinking this is not relevant to you, even a tiny family-conflict mediator and estate planner like me is subject to the regulations because of clients who live in Europe and I’m sure plenty of other Marin lawyers are too. And Terrance Evans discusses the differences in various settlement approaches, including mediation, and points out that while mediation is confidential, mandatory settlement conferences are not.

Finally, where else can you read about a long-time Marin lawyer and Democratic politico playing a billionaire Republican industrialist? Check out our profile of Greg Brockbank and his upcoming portrayal of Daddy Warbucks.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me about content you’d like to see in the Marin Lawyer or with feedback on the content you’ve seen or if you’d like to create some content yourself!