In November, MCBA hosted the third annual virtual Bay Area MCLE Conference in partnership with the Alameda County Bar Association, California Women Lawyers, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Sonoma County Bar Association, Marin County Women Lawyers and the Bar Association of San Francisco. The conference presented 15 programs, which provided over 920 collective hours of CLE credit to the attendees, who overwhelmingly rated the speakers and program content as outstanding. As always, the conference covered a diverse array of topics, which together provided nearly all the specialty CLE credits the State Bar requires.

We were honored to have four stellar keynote speakers:

  • On day one, popular SCOTUS legal analyst Professor Rory Little joined Professor Radhika Rao to discuss the history of reproductive rights, the background leading to the controversial Dobbs decision, and its implications for the future.
  • On day two, Professor of Law and Anthropology Arzoo Osanloo spoke on The Crisis in Iran: The Neglected Relationship Between Culture and Rights. She traced the civil laws in Iran to origins in Europe and discussed the parallels between the Iranian legal system and the American legal system. She also discussed why the international legal response to the current protests in Iran has been so muted relative to other international crises.

  • On day three, Kim Brown, President of Brady United, discussed gun control in the United States, the challenges it faces, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision last year, including legislative activity around the country.

Our remaining programs offered many more fascinating topics and speakers:

  • Christopher Locke of Farella Braun & Martel moderated a stellar panel on the Climate Crisis and Resilience: Wildfires, Water Resources, and State and Federal Action with luminaries Michael Kiparsky, PhD; Kevin Poloncarz; and Michael W. Wara, PhD. Unlike virtually any other climate change program, this panel covered the concrete legal challenges in addressing specific climate change issues here in California, namely, water rights, wildfires, and gas emissions.

  • Senior Lab Consultant and Behavioral Scientist Caitlin Handron, PhD, of Ropes & Gray’s innovative Insights Lab, discussed the neuroscientific basis of implicit bias in Implicit Bias: Insights and Solutions from Neuroscience and how that informs her work—and can inform our own—effectively addressing its effects in organizations.

  • The State Bar provided a primer on its brand-new requirements in The Client Trust Account Protection Program. These requirements are now in effect and if aren’t familiar with them, it’s worth watching the recording of this program.

  • In The Work Life Balance: Oxymoron or Achievable with the Right Formula? Author and Law Professor Lara Bazelon in conversation with California Women Lawyers’ President Mika Domingo discussed how and why women lawyers try to do it all and offered insight into what we mean and what we want when we talk about work life balance.

  • Estate Planning Attorneys Michelle Lerman and Sarah Kern together with Malpractice Attorney Thomas D’Amato provided helpful insights on the Ethical Issues in Trusts and Estates Representation: Best Practices to Avoid Malpractice.

  • Professor Joshua Davis described the pathways and constraints of Artificial Intelligence and its ethical applications to the law in The Ethics of Robojudges and Robolawyers.

  • Panelists Diane K. Hanna, Kevin Haroff, Leah Rothstein, and Mary Sackett discussed the history of redlining and its impact on Golden Gate Village in The Local Impacts of Discriminatory Government Housing Policies.

  • Panelists Leslie Levy, Tom McInerney, and Jessica Stender (of Equal Rights Advocates) presented various views on new legislation and other changes in employment and labor law Five Years After Me Too Movement: What Inroads Have We Made--Or Not?

  • To fulfill our competency CLE requirement, Michelle Sicula, a therapist and former attorney, and Alameda County Bar Association CEO and General Counsel Tiela Chalmers discussed how to recognize substance abuse and cognitive decline, presenting various case scenarios on best practices to have that difficult conversation to encourage a person to seek assistance.

  • Trial Attorneys Morgan Daly and Emily Charley provided a comprehensive road map on the Top 10 Issues in Objections: A Hearsay Primer based on their survey of Bay Area judges.

  • Title Attorney Bryan Kreft and General Counsel of Lennar Title Suzette Torres discussed What Every Lawyer Should Know About Real Property Title: Avoiding and Fixing Common Problems. The speakers provided non-specialist lawyers with excellent practical advice based on examples of common title errors and solutions.

  • And finally, Ret. Judge Glen Reiser end the conference with a fascinating, if alarming, discussion of the Szyller and Breslin cases and their implications for non-participants in intra-family trust and probate litigation and mediation.
  • Thank you to the extraordinary MCLE conference committee, Tiela Chalmers, Sherry Diamond, Morgan Daly, Ahtossa Fullerton, Robert Rosborough, Nestor Schnasse, and Alex Vahdat, for putting on a truly interesting and informative conference.

    We also express special appreciation to our conference sponsors, without whom the conference would not have been such a success:

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP
    Farella Braun + Martel LLP
    Hanson Bridgett LLP
    Liuzzi Murphy Solomon Churton Hale & Winnett
    Ogletree Deakins
    Tyson & Mendes
    Resolution Remedies
    Prince Law & Mediation