Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County
Annual Installation Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser March 5, 2011
Vol. 2011, No. 1
In this issue...
Community Calendar & News
Job/Volunteer Opportunities
January 7, 2010
Meet Genoveva Meza Talbott Meet Genoveva Meza Talbott,
Our New HBA President
 By Carlos X. Colorado

A decade ago, two USC Law Students were plotting to take over the world.  Their first target: USC's La Raza Law Students Association.  Mission accomplished: Norma V. García became president and Genoveva Meza became vice president.  Three years ago, Norma (now, Norma García Guillén) became president of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association and Genoveva (now, Genoveva Meza Talbott) became vice president.  This year, Genoveva has stepped out on her own and takes the stage alone, as our new HBA president.

No HBA president in recent history has been as well prepared as Gen is for the position.  Forget the conspiracy for world domination, for a minute.  Forget the fact that Gen has been on the HBA electoral ballot every year since 2006, and has served on every major committee of the HBA board since 2005.  Forget that she has been HBA Secretary, and Vice-President (serving not one, but two terms in that position).  The fact of the matter is that Gen has it in her blood; the law is in her genes.  Her father, José María Meza Barron, founded a bar association (Colegio de Abogados Emilio Rabasa) in Mexico and was a founding law school faculty member of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.  Her grandfather, José María Meza Olmos, was an attorney, civic leader and educator.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Gen went to undergrad at UCLA, earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science and French (she is fluent in French and in Spanish).  But, to demonstrate her dexterity and complexity, Gen attended USC Law School-on a full-tuition merit scholarship.  She clerked in Washington, D.C. at the Office of the Chief Legislative Representative of the City of Los Angeles; interned with Judge David E. Perez, Santa Monica Superior Court; and clerked at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office in their Specialized Litigation Child Abduction Section.  After law school, Gen practiced high net worth family law litigation at a prominent boutique firm in Los Angeles. Then, she worked for CPT Group, Inc., a national class action administration company, where she rose to be Vice President and Senior Consultant.  Today, Gen has her own firm, Talbott + Kim LLP, specializing in family law practice.

And, saving the best for last, Gen is blessed with a wonderful family of her own.  Her husband Rolondo Talbott is an outstanding businessman and a great father.  In fact, he was recently profiled by O.C. Metro in its "movers and shakers" section, and by O.C. Family magazine in a feature on O.C. dads.  Gen and Rolondo live in Tustin with their daughter, Anaís.

Gen, is excited about the year ahead.  "I call on friends and colleagues one and all to join me in making 2011 another great year for the HBA," she said.  "Please join us at our installation dinner on Saturday, March 5.  Our dinner theme is Investing in Tomorrow...Our Future is Today, and we would love your investment in the HBA."
HBA's Belize Travel Seminar-The Hottest Ticket In Town


The HBA's 2011 Memorial Day Weekend Travel Seminar to Ambergris Caye, Belize, is filling up quickly.  Even the pricier packages are selling out: "I only have 2 spaces left in business class," reports Festival Travel's Robert White (714/221-6381), who helps the HBA book travel for its foreign seminars.  According to Trip Committee Chairman José González, Belize is the fastest-selling HBA seminar in recent years.

The HBA selected Belize after holding a survey to help the Board of Directors select a destination for the 2011 Memorial Weekend MCLE travel seminar.  A foreign location beat out a domestic trip for top preference by 67%-33% and Belize edged out several destinations for the respondents' preferred foreign destination.  Chairman González unveiled some of the details of the trip at the HBA's December Holiday Party, including the incredible member base price of $1,249.00 (plus taxes and MCLE fees for attorneys; complete details are available at http://ochba.org) and the 5 day/4 night travel itinerary of May 26-30, 2011 at the charming Ramon's Village in Ambergris Caye (an actual picture is shown with this article).

With the seats filling up quickly, González' Trip Committee is getting busy planning the MCLE seminars.  "Apart from the actual panelists who make formal presentations," González told HBA News, "just the folks who have registered so far would make for fascinating discussions at the back of the room."  Although he was coy to name names without prior approval, González noted that "several" judges have reserved their spots, with others promising they will.  Belize, which formerly was called "British Honduras," is the only Central American country where English is the official language, which makes it an attractive tourist destination, in addition to its pristine tropical location on the Yucatan Peninsula, adjacent to Mexico and Guatemala.  "For those for whom this kind of thing matters," González added, "we are holding all our seminars in the late afternoon to allow divers to go explore the famous Blue Hole in the morning, or go do whatever divers do."  The Blue Hole is a large, quarter of a mile diameter depression in the ocean at the center of center of Lighthouse Reef-one of the many natural wonders offered by Belize that will be accessible during the trip.

The HBA Invites You To Help Us Diversify The Legal Profession: Sponsor The 33rd Annual Dinner

The Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (HBA) will host its 33rd Annual Installation Dinner & Scholarship Fundraiser on March 5, 2011, at the Fairmont Newport Beach.  In keeping with tradition, the dinner will include a great silent auction and post-dinner dancing and cocktails.


We are proud to count on the support of the Southern California legal community, judges, commissioners, elected and other government officials, corporations, and members of the Orange County community.  This is our principal fundraiser for the Wallace (Wally) R. Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to exceptional Latino law students who have demonstrated a commitment to the Latino community.  We will be presenting scholarships to:  Francisco Balderama of UCI School of Law, Rosa Noyola of UCLA School of Law, and Leticia Ramirez of UCLA School of Law.


This year's impressive honorees will be:

Corporate Citizen of the Year


Attorney of the Year

Fred Sayre, Esq. of Sayre & Levitt

  Lifetime Achievement Award

Dolores Huerta

Guardián de Justicia

The Defense Team in Martinez v. UC Regents:
The winning team from Martinez v. UC Regents, which turned back a challenge to AB 540, a California law that makes it easier for undocumented students to attend public colleges and universities in California.  The victors included lawyers from the Office of the Attorney General, California State University Counsel, Regents' Counsel and Crowell & Moring LLP.

The 2011 Board will be installed by US District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford. The dinner will be emceed by Vikki Vargas, NBC4's Orange County Bureau Chief and recipient of the National Hispanic Media Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award.


In honor of our mission, this year's dinner theme will be "Investing in Tomorrow...Our Future is Today"  In order to diversify the legal profession, we must invest in our law students.  We hope you will invest with us and take steps toward a more diverse legal profession.  Please visit http://ochba.org/dinner2011/index.html to find more detailed information regarding sponsoring our dinner. If you would like to see a clip of last year's dinner, visit http://youtu.be/Z8SrNfOzXvo.  


2010 Installation Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser
Upcoming Events

The HBA is extremely proud to be a part of a 65th Anniversary Commemoration Session of the landmark Orange County civil rights case MENDEZ, et al vs. WESTMINSTER SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.  This event will be held on February 18, 2011, at the United States Courthouse & Ronald Reagan Federal Building. Spearheaded by Judge Frederick Aguirre, this event is being hosted by all the Judges in the United States District Court in Santa Ana, as well as a Judge of the US District Court in Los Angeles.  Speakers include, Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UCI School of Law, among others.Read more > 

We are pleased to announce that the HBA will team up once again with the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County and the Public Law Center to hold the Third El Sol Pro Bono Clinic at 6:30 P.M. Wednesday, February 2, at El Sol Academy, located at 1010 North Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701.  In March of last year, the HBA teamed up with the St. Thomas More Society, a Catholic lawyers' group, to staff one of the community legal clinics of the PLC.  Members and volunteers from both groups offered legal and intake services at the El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana.  The result was hailed as one of the most successful community clinics ever offered by the PLC.  A second El Sol clinic was held in July, and the results were so successful that all involved pledged to do it again.

Complete information on these and other upcoming events will follow soon and will be available on the events section of our web site.

HBA Holiday Party Spreads Cheer

2010 closed with a bang, thanks to 2010 board members Karin Khan, Diana López and the program committee (especially, HBA member Alexandra Armstrong)'s efforts in putting together the Holiday Party, which was a great success.  It was the second most attended event of last year (after the dinner).  Attendees included Orange County Superior Courts Presiding Judge Tom Borris, Judges Michael Hayes and Jose Urcis, "elected's" Vince Sarmiento and Claudia Alvarez, and Wylie and Betty Aiken, among others.

A number of 2010 HBA board members also attended, including: Eric Alderete, Erica Diaz, Martin Fontes, Jose Gonzalez, Karin Khan, Robert  Kollar, Diana Lopez, Theresa Lopez, Monica E. Lukoschek, Kristen Lara Myers, Leo Paredes, Javier Rivera-Carbone, Mayte Santacruz Benavidez, Genoveva Meza Talbott, and Eva Casas Sarmiento.  Also in attendance were former HBA presidents and 2011 board members.  "A great time was had by all," said HBA President Genoveva Meza Talbott.

Holiday Party
View photos from the event >
New Judges Installed

Newly appointed Orange County Superior Court Judges Joe T. Perez and Lon Hurwitz were recently sworn in and enrobed, in separate ceremonies.

Judge Perez' ceremony was held on Friday, December 10, 2010.  Judge Perez was sworn in by his father, Judge James Perez (Ret.), in a typically unassuming ceremony in Judge Perez' courtroom-the same courtroom where he had been a commissioner, at the end of his calendar on his last day as a commissioner.  One minute, he was taking a sentencing elocution and the next minute, he was being sworn in as a judge.  Then-president Carlos Colorado and incoming president Genoveva Meza Talbott represented the HBA, whom Judge Perez acknowledged as crucial supporters in his remarks after being sworn in.  The senior Judge Perez was a member of the HBA founders group, and the junior Judge Perez has been an active member of our contemporary group.

Judge Hurwitz' swearing-in was held on Thursday, January 6, in an illustrious ceremony. Prominent leaders in the legal community spoke on his behalf, and he was sworn in by retiring California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno.  Judge Hurwitz was elected to the bench in June, and his appointment will allow him to immediately assume the office. The ceremony, so well-attended that an overflow room with a live feed was set up, was followed by a cocktail reception at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. President Genoveva Meza Talbott and President-Elect José González led a delegation of the HBA which also included, Olivia Carrillo-Hickman (CFO), Kristen Lara Myers (board member), Lyo Figueroa (board member), and Leo Paredes (VP), among others.

Up in L.A., Yolanda Orozco, a friend of the HBA, also was sworn in as a California Superior Court judge on Thursday December 30, 2010 at the L.A. Court House. The daughter of bracero/immigrant parents, Judge Orozco worked as a federal public defender, in the U.S. Attorneys office and, lastly, as a Jones Day partner, where she attended the last three HBA dinners in support of Jones Day attorneys active in our group.  She was sworn in by Jones Day partner Elwood Lui, a former associate justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 3 and an associate justice, pro tempore, of the California Supreme Court.
Members In The News

As we reported last month, Judge Francisco P. Briseño has been awarded the Orange County legal community's highest honor, the Franklin G. West Award presented by the Orange County Bar Association at its Judge's Night on January 20.  Last year, the HBA awarded Judge Briseño its lifetime achievement award, and permanently named the prize "the Hon. Francisco P. Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award."

Please click here to see an Orange County Register feature that shows Judge Briseño being sworn in alongside his fellow Orange County judges.

2008 HBA president Norma García Guillén has been named to the UCI Law School Dean's Campaign Cabinet, a fundraising and advisory group assisting Dean Erwin Chemerinsky that is chaired by Senator Joseph Dunn (Ret.).  Other Cabinet members include Justice Sheila Prell Sonenshine (Ret.) and Senator Martha Escutia (Ret.).  Norma is a senior associate in the Business Trial and Latino Business Practice Groups in Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton's Orange County office.

Immediate past president Carlos X. Colorado has been named to Jones Day's firm-wide Diversity Task Force (DTF).  The DTF is composed of 21 Jones Day partners (and Carlos) who set priorities, determine strategy, and communicate critical information regarding local office issues and firm-wide diversity initiatives.  Carlos has recently been affiliated with the Orange County Diversity Task Force, of which Jones Day is a member, and currently is co-chair of the Orange County Bar Association's Diversity and Equal Justice Committee.  He is a senior associate in the trial practice of Jones Day.

Join/Renew Your Bar Memberships

This is a reminder to join or renew your HBA membership.  This is a chance to join an esteemed organization not only known for its social networking opportunities, but also for its involvement in the Orange County legal community.  The HBA is currently one of the largest affiliate bars to the Orange County Bar Association. We host multiple events throughout the year, including bar reviews, where our members come to network, socialize and meet new friends.  The HBA also affords its members the opportunity to have substantial community involvement. Last year, we held a softball tournament, a women's golf event, pro bono "social justice" clinics, several mixers, a historic commemoration of the Mendez desegregation case, and we entered a team in the "Race for the Cure."

We also encourage all our members to join or renew their membership in the Orange County Bar Association, and when you do, please check off the box that allows for $10 of your OCBA membership to be donated in your name to the HBA, which is an affiliate member of the OCBA (at no additional cost to you).

Community Calendar & News
'Community Calendar & News' is a courtesy bulletin board service provided by the HBA to its community partners.  The posters of these bulletins, not the HBA, are solely responsible for their content.  Unless otherwise noted, by publishing these billboard posts, the HBA does not endorse the views, services, products, causes, or candidates referenced therein.
HEEF On-Line Scholarship 2011-12 Application Available

The Orange County Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund (HEEF) serves students who live in Orange County (OC), California only. HEEF provides a limited number of competitive academic scholarships for OC high school and community college transfers who enroll at a four year college or university. HEEF also awards scholarships and  tuition grants for OC high school graduates to attend community college. The OC Hispanic Bar Association awards several scholarships for OC students to attend Law School. See the "Hispanic Bar Association /Wally Davis Memorial Legal Scholarship Fund" tab under 'Scholarships Available' at www.heef.org

The Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) On-Line Scholarship Application for 2011-12 is available on the HEEF website at www.heef.org.

After opening www.heef.org, proceed to Scholarship Information, to the tab 'Requirements' in order to access the hotlink to the HEEF On-Line application.

*****On-line applications will be accepted through Friday, March 04, 2011.*****
"Elimination of Legal Bias"

January 12, 2011 - 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration & Networking; 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Dinner
Radisson Hotel - Newport Beach (Corner of Birch & MacArthur)

By Mia Frances Yamamoto, Attorney at Law

Mia Frances Yamamoto (formerly Michael F. Yamamoto) was born in the Poston Relocation Camp, Arizona, 1943. She earned her B.S. in Government from California State University, Los Angeles in 1966. She served in the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division from 1966 - 68, earning the Army Commendation Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 1971. Her legal career has included service with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles from 1971 - 1974, as a Deputy Los Angeles County Public Defender and California State Public Defender from 1974 - 1984, and private practice since 1984.

Ms. Yamamoto is Past President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and Japanese American Bar Association. She has served on the California Judicial Council Statewide Task Forces on Jury Improvement, Fairness and Access. She is a frequent media commentator and law school lecturer on issues of criminal law, racial issues, cultural defenses and elimination of bias in the legal system.

PLEASE RSVP on our web site at www.newportbar.org
or mail your check, payable to SOCBA, with choice of entree to: Mark Bidwell, 2021 Business Center Drive, Suite 207, Irvine, CA 92612. Phone: (949) 474-0961; Fax: (949) 474-0963.
Spanish-English Courtroom Interpreters in Demand

Cal State Fullerton Extended Education offers the Legal Interpretation (Spanish-English) program that provides bilingual individuals with the necessary training to prepare for the state exam to become a legal interpreter in the courtroom and other legal settings. Internship opportunities offering hands-on experience are also available. To get started:
1) Register for the Program Orientation on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (Fullerton Campus, SGMH 1502, $35). The orientation features career information from professionals in the field and an overview of the program. Taking the orientation class does not obligate you to enroll in this program.
2) Register for the Bilingual Proficiency Test Saturday February 12, 2011 at 8 a.m.- 10 a.m. (Fullerton Campus, SGMH 1502, $50). This Spanish/English proficiency test is a requirement for any student entering into the Legal Interpretation Certificate program. The results will determine your eligibility.
For more information contact: Veronica Martinez: 657.278.3123 or vmartinez@fullerton.edu.
Register online today or call 657.278.2611.
Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is hosting a weekly clinic every Thursday afternoon for Legal Genie

Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is hosting a weekly clinic every Thursday afternoon for Legal Genie, a simple, affordable, and reliable online legal document preparation service for self-represented middle-income litigants who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford to hire an attorney. Legal Genie not only asks questions in a straightforward manner and completes the necessary legal documents about Family Law and Bankruptcy/Chapter 7 based on the client's answers, but also connects the client to LASOC's panel of attorneys who will review the documents and give one-on-one consultations by telephone.
Clients are invited to use Legal Genie on LASOC computers during the clinic, and staff will be available to assist with any questions about the service.  For more information, visit www.legalgenie.com or call (714) 489-2719.  By appointment only.
Join Our Mailing List

View OC HBA's profile on LinkedIn

Find us on Facebook!
Job/Volunteer Opportunities
Pro-Bono Opportunities for Attorneys
View current pro-bono opportunities here >
Job Opportunities for Attorneys - New Opportunities Posted!
View current job opportunities for OC HBA members here >
Our Sponsors

Adorno Yoss Alvarado & Smith      Aitken * Aitken * Cohn       Berman More Gonzalez      Carlton DiSante & Freudenberger LLP        Chapman University      Crowell Moring    Alba S. & Carlos X. Colorado        The Walt Disney Company       Fisher & Phillips LLP       The Garden City Group, Inc.        Jones Day       Judicate WestLatham & Watkins         Legal Aid Society of Orange County          Malcolm Cisneros          Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP          Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP     Snell & Wilmer          Troutman Sanders    Union Bank      Waldron & Bragg       Wells Fargo          Whittier Law School