Meet José Gonzalez, the New President of the HBA
By: Genoveva Meza Talbott
It should come as no surprise that the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County has elected for its President a hardworking, dedicated attorney to lead the organization in 2012. The son of Mexican immigrants, José's path to the law was far from traditional. Growing up in Orange, California, José spoke only Spanish until the third grade. Although José had attended college, he was unable to graduate. Instead, José was hired to work as a file clerk for a personal injury and worker compensation law firm in Orange County, California. This is where his interest in the law was first sparked. As his career blossomed, he showed promise of being a great attorney by moving from file clerk to legal assistant representing clients in administrative law court. The partners he worked for recognized the makings of an outstanding attorney and encouraged José to apply to law school. José applied and was accepted to Trinity Law School. He put himself through law school while working full time at the firm. After graduating and passing the bar in 2005, José continued working at the same firm where he quickly became a name partner.
José embodies this year's installation and scholarship fundraising dinner theme "Marking the Path to Success." In 2009, José was appointed to the Board of Directors of Orange County Bar Association and elected to the Executive Board of the HBA. He is also serving as Co-Chair of the Workers' Compensation Section of the Orange County Bar Association. As a partner of Berman More Gonzalez, José and his partner Keith More, former President of the OCTLA, work tirelessly to represent the interests of their clients whose lives have been shattered by devastating injuries.
Arguably, José's greatest accomplishment is his family- he is happily married to his wife Patricia and has two daughters, Alexis and Kaylie. Yes, he is outnumbered! He finds time to coach his daughters' softball teams, and enjoys spending his weekends with his extended family. "Like many of us, my success has been fueled by my desire to improve my family's lives and surround myself with their support and encouragement," said Gonzalez.
José will take on a new chapter in his life with great passion. "My focus this year is to continue building on the revamped mentor program which was reignited in 2011," he said. "Another equally important issue is to strengthen our efforts to identify and encourage more Latina(o) judicial candidate applicants to ensure that qualified applicants stand ready and able to be considered for judicial appointments by our governor."
We all look forward to seeing the HBA continue to grow and enrich the Orange County legal community with José at the helm.
|34th Annual Installation Dinner & Scholarship Fundraiser: "Marking the Path to Success"|
The Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (HBA) will host its 34th Annual Installation Dinner & Scholarship Fundraiser on March 3, 2012, at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim.
As in previous years, this special night will include a cocktail reception, a silent auction, installation of the new Board of Directors and an inspiring dinner program including presentation of awards to the following outstanding community leaders:
Corporate Citizen of the Year:
The Coca-Cola Company
Attorney of the Year:
Hector Villagra of American Civil Liberties Union
Hon. Francisco Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award:
Arte Moreno of Angels Baseball
Guardián de Justicia:
This year's dinner theme of Marking the Path to Success highlights the importance of our responsibility as mentors to new generations of Latino law students and young attorneys that join our ranks. A common experience of our chosen profession is that we share vivid memories of those individuals in our own lives that marked our paths through wise counsel and encouragement that fortified and hardened our commitment to succeed. It is the HBA's commitment to foster in our legal community the satisfaction and fulfillment of becoming markers in the lives of law students and young attorneys.
A corner stone of the HBA's efforts in marking the path to success for many law students is the Wallace (Wally) R. Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund. As you know, this annual dinner is our principal fundraiser for the scholarship fund which provides financial assistance to Latino law students who have demonstrated a commitment to the Latino Community. The dinner will showcase our exceptional 2012 Wally Davis Scholarship recipients Stephanie Delgado, Cornell Law School, and Danila Toscano, University of California, Irvine School of Law.
The dinner will be emceed by Pepe Serna, a renowned actor, comedian and artist, who has participated in numerous motion picture films including Scarface and American Me. The 2012 Board of Directors will be installed by our very own Honorable Greg Muñoz. "I asked that Judge Muñoz administer the oath of office to the officers and directors because I thought it was fitting that since he was the judge that swore me in as an attorney, that he would do me the honor of swearing me in to the presidency of the same organization that he himself presided over in its infancy," said President José González. Post program entertainment for the event will feature Charanga Cubana playing many salsa/cumbia favorites to delight the after party. We look forward to toasting to another successful year along side of our supporters, friends and colleagues with our renowned Tequila Toast!
Please visit http://ochba.org/dinner2012 to find more detailed information regarding sponsorship opportunities. We hope that you will help us this year in Marking the Path to Success.
|HBA's MCLE Travel Seminar - San Juan, Puerto Rico|
Preparations are under way for the 2012 Memorial Day HBA Travel Seminar to sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico. The 2012 MCLE trip will take place May 23- 28, 2012, and offers 5 Days/4 Nights at the InterContinental San Juan Resort and Casino, in Isla Verde, for the incredible HBA member price of $1492.00, including roundtrip airfare and ground transportation.
Known as "La Isla del Encanto" (the Isle of Enchantment), Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which makes going to the Island a cinch for American travelers. "They speak English," said HBA President José González (acknowledging that Spanish is the primary language), "they use dollars, and you don't even need a passport or immunizations to get there!" (Although no passport is necessary for a U.S. citizen or national traveling to Puerto Rico, travelling with a U.S. passport is recommended.)
"There is no better way to see an exotic destination than to have a local as your guide," said President González, "and the HBA has the unique advantage that HBA Board Member Javier Rivera-Carbone, a native of Puerto Rico, who moved to Orange County a few years ago, is on our trip planning committee." In fact, Mr. Rivera-Carbone, was Partner in the labor and employment law department of the largest Hispanic owned law firm in the world, McConnell Valdes LLC, in San Juan, where he resided and practiced law for 10 years.
"With Javier's help," President González continued, "we are planning a dynamic social calendar that takes in the best restaurants and night spots on the island, but also aims for a robust and insightful MCLE program." In recent trips to Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize, HBA study programs have included high level court visits, exchanges with local practitioners and judges with U.S. counterparts, as well as informative and interesting presentations by U.S. lawyers, all for 8 hours of California MCLE credit.
|New Judicial Appointments |
On December 27, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Justice Kathleen O'Leary as the new Presiding Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three, and the judicial appointment of Holly J. Fujie to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Justice O'Leary, of Santa Ana, was appointed to the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, in December 1999. Her appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments on January 21, 2000. Prior to her appointment to the appellate court, Justice O'Leary served on the Orange County Superior Court from 1986 to 2000, where she served as presiding judge from 1998 to 2000. Justice O'Leary began her judicial career at the West Orange County Municipal Court in 1981, where she also served both as the Presiding Judge and the Assistant Presiding Judge. Justice O'Leary served as a deputy public defender for the Orange County Public Defender's Office from 1976 to 1981.
This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez. Subject to her confirmation, Justice O'Leary will be the first female presiding justice in the history of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three.
Justice O'Leary attended Marymount College at Loyola University, now Loyola Marymount University, and received her law degree from Southwestern University School of Law.
Congratulations Justice O'Leary!
Justice Fujie, of Los Angeles, has been an equity shareholder for Buchalter Nemer since 1991, where her practice focuses on general and complex litigation with an emphasis on insurance and surety-related litigation. She was an associate, then equity shareholder, for Rosen Wachtell and Gilbert from 1985 to 1991. Justice Fujie was an associate for Rogers and Wells from 1981 to 1985, Morgan Lewis and Bockius from 1980 to 1981 and Adams Duque and Hazeltine from 1978 to 1980. Justice Fujie served as president of the State Bar of California from 2008 to 2009. She was the third woman and the first Asian American to serve as California State Bar President. While serving as President of the State Bar, Justice Fujie was the keynote speaker of the HBA's 31st Annual Installation and Fundraiser Dinner.
Justice Fujie received her A.B. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975 with a double major in Political Science (Highest Honors) and Economics (Honors), and her law degree in 1978 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as Articles Editor of the California Law Review.
Congratulations Judge Fujie!
|Join/Renew Your Bar Memberships|
This is a reminder to join or renew your HBA membership. Take this opportunity to join an esteemed organization known for its social networking opportunities and 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, the HBA participated in pro bono "social justice" clinics in conjunction with the St. Thomas More Society and the Public Law Center, a softball tournament, a women's golf event and "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).
You may renew your HBA membership on-line by visiting http://ochba.org/Membership_and_Sponsorship/BecomeHBAmember.html. The membership year is from January to December. If you have any questions about the HBA membership process, please contact the HBA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your membership dues assist the HBA fulfill its mission as the voice of the Hispanic legal community in Orange County. We look forward to your support in 2012.
|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.
|CRF-OC's Mock Trial 31st Annual Awards Luncheon|
Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Sheriff's Academy, 15991 Armstrong Ave., Tustin, CA 92782
|Lex Romana Presents Its Inaugural Travel Program: CLE in Sicily|
April 9-15, 2012
Download more information
|UCI Extension launches an online pre-law course|
June 25, 2012 to August 6, 2012
Location: Online Course
'Prepare to Excel as a 1L' is designed to help students lay the groundwork for a successful first year of law school.
|Serve your community as an Orange County Grand Juror: Apply now for the July 2012-June 2013 term!|
The Orange County Grand Jury provides an oversight role for local government agencies and districts and participates in the criminal indictment process. Applications are being accepted for the 2012/2013 Grand Jury. For more information and an application, visit the Grand Jury Website, www.ocgrandjury.org (or call Grand Jury hotline, 714-834-6747, to have an application packet mailed to you).
Completed applications must be received no later than Friday, January 13, 2012. To be eligible, applicants must be 18 or older, a U.S. Citizen, a resident of Orange County for at least a year, able to communicate in the English language, and of sound judgment and character.
Download informational flyer & timeline
|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.
|Pro-Bono Opportunities for Attorneys|
View all current pro-bono opportunities here >
Volunteers Sought for Old Orange County Courthouse ExhibitThe Museum of Teaching and Learning is currently looking for volunteers. Docents are needed to interact with visitors at the Old Orange County Courthouse for the exhibit, "A Class Action: The Grassroots Struggle for School Desegregation in California." They are requesting a commitment of two to five hours for one day a week.
All volunteers will receive training on the history of the exhibit and successfully engage visitors. The exhibit will run through June 2012. For more information, please contact Carolina Zatary at (909) 287-9509 or email email@example.com.
|Job Opportunities for Attorneys - New Opportunities Posted! |
View current job opportunities for OC HBA members here >