If you are not familiar with restorative justice, this month’s issue is your opportunity to learn more about it while also learning more about our candidates for District Attorney. Since several of our articles address it, I’ll refrain from defining it here but if you think that restorative justice is some sort of new age alternative to the “real” justice system, you might be surprised. More and more research is being done on the criminal justice system and we are learning more and more about what works and what doesn’t, from how lineups are conducted to sentencing guidelines. One thing in particular that strikes me about restorative justice is not just its lower rate of recidivism over prison but the higher rate of victim satisfaction. For those who read my article on the integrative law movement, you’ll recognize restorative justice as an integrative practice that seeks to more fully address the needs of our citizens and society than traditional criminal proceedings.

A special thanks to this month’s guest editor, Marie Barnes, who had the inspiration and wherewithal to get each of Marin’s candidates for District Attorney to write about restorative justice. With the primary election just over a month away, you can learn something about each of the candidates while exploring the topic of restorative justice. And a big thank you to each of the candidates for taking the time to write for us. Marie has also written a recap of MCBA’s April membership luncheon, which was a forum for each of the candidates to discuss their positions on a variety of issues. Far too much was said for us to relay any detail on the candidates’ positions so if you didn’t make it to the luncheon, I encourage you to attend one of the other candidate forums scheduled throughout Marin. But take a look at the article to get a sense of the candidates and insight into a couple of the issues. And in keeping with our restorative justice theme, instead of profiling an MCBA member, Marie has profiled Cindy Ayala, the Probation Department’s Restorative Justice Coordinator and leader in developing restorative justice in Marin County.

If you tire of reading about restorative justice, Megan Yip addresses an important issue for all of us, not just in estate planning, but in our lives: the dangers of relying on password sharing. Megan is an expert on digital assets but of course password sharing can affect assets like cold hard cash too. This article will give you an overview of the problem and some tips for addressing it and I highly recommend it to all of our readers, not just estate planners. We hope to bring you some more detailed advice on all things digital later this year.

And finally, I’d like to remind our readers that we welcome unsolicited articles as well as input on what you’d like to see (or not see!) in the Marin Lawyer. Feel free to express your opinion to me, pro or con, on anything when you see me at events or by phone (415.673.5081) or email.