By Ed Horowitz, Editor
In this issue, we look back for a summary of last year's activities, by Hugh Biele, our immediate past Chair, who with great modesty omits reference to his own leadership and contribution to every aspect of our activities. Hugh was an inspiration to us all, particularly as he performed his labors despite illness and injuries from a fall.
We also look ahead with a preview of our plans for events and programs during the coming year.
Plus health tips about sleep deprivation, a memory quiz and a little humor, because we should take care of ourselves, test ourselves, and laugh a little each day.
But first, a reminder that LACBA and the Senior Lawyers Section provide numerous opportunities for members to volunteer their time and talents to help those in need.
You can find a long list of pro bono and other volunteer activities on LACBA's website (www.lacba.org) under the volunteer opportunities page.
Two such opportunities have training programs in the near future, so I want to mention them now.
LACBA's Domestic Violence Project presents:
"Domestic Violence Training Seminar"
(3 hours CLE credit and dinner provided)
September 6, 2012, @ LACBA's Conference Center
1055 West 7th Street, 27th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Sign in and dinner: 5:15 - 6:00 p.m. Program: 6:00 - 9:15 p.m.
Register at www.lacba.org/DVSeminar
LACBA's Domestic Violence Project provides volunteer attorneys to assist pro per victims of domestic violence at two courthouse clinics. The Project assisted over 9,000 persons in 2011 and is the busiest such clinic in California. The need is even greater now due to the State's budget crisis and the LASC's declining ability to provide its own services to pro pers. This seminar will train volunteer attorneys to provide assistance and advice to these victims of domestic abuse, at one of the Project's courthouse clinics.
LACBA's Corporate Law Departments Section (co-sponsored by the Senior Lawyers Section and the Public Counsel Law Center) present:
"Training and Advocacy for L.A.'s Needy"
(1 hour CLE credit provided)
September 12, 2012, @ LACBA's Conference Center
1055 West 7th Street, 27th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Sign in: 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Program: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Register on LACBA's website or by calling Member Services ((213) 896-6560)
This is a special, limited legal advocacy program at which Public Counsel attorneys will prepare volunteers to assist clients with shelter, food, health, transportation and social services needs. By volunteering, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of some of the neediest people in Los Angeles County, help to prevent chronic homelessness, and help people to move toward self-sufficiency. This will require a very limited time commitment – attendance at the above 2.5 hour training program and a commitment to spend 4.5 hours on one day to provide advocacy for needy clients at the Downtown Los Angeles or West Los Angeles ffice of the DPSS on September 14 or 21, from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. (Volunteers will be covered by Public Counsel's malpractice insurance.)
A 2011-2012 Retrospective
by Hugh Biele, Immediate Past Chair
It may not be retrospective, but I should start with an introduction of the Senior Lawyers Section's (SLS's) officers for 2012-2013. The new Chair is Lola McAlpin-Grant, a Westside sole practitioner whose practice includes family law, probate, criminal law, employment and other civil litigation matters. Among her many past non-litigation credits is having served for 13 years as Assistant Dean of Loyola University's School of Law. Our new Vice-Chair is Edward J. Horowitz, an appellate attorney in sole practice in Pacific Palisades, who served several years as Chair of LACBA's State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee and also as Chair of the Appellate Courts Committee (now a Section). John Carson is our new Treasurer. He is of counsel with Foley & Lardner and practices primarily in the areas of intellectual property and patent law. He is a former President of LACBA. Last, but certainly not least is our new Secretary, William Lew Tan, a partner with Tan & Sakiyama in Pasadena, specializing in real property law.
The SLS's Executive Committee (EC) held its first "retreat" on July 16, 2011, which coincided with the presentation of the Dinosaur Digest's first issue. At the retreat, we focused on goals for the upcoming term and prepared a list of priorities. I am pleased to report that we completed virtually all of the top-ranked priorities, including the events described below.
SLS EC member Bob Berliner organized a fabulous event at the Magic Castle held on October 25, 2011. The event was a sellout. SLS members who attended enjoyed a delicious dinner, followed by numerous outstanding magic acts in an atmosphere with a Halloween theme. A great kickoff for the term.
Next, on November 9, SLS Secretary Pat Lobello-Lamb and SLS EC member Ellen Pansky, with assistance from many others, produced a two-hour program held at LACBA's Conference Center and entitled "Retirement 202: How to Find Gold Nuggets in Your Retirement Years." The program's panel included Pat, her partner tax attorney James Morris, Ellen, and SLS EC member Joseph Deering. The program covered elder law and tax law, and provided CLE ethics credit.
On February 2, 2012, we held our second Trailblazers of the Bar reception, honoring posthumously Y.C. (You Chung) Hong, his son Nowland Chin Hong, and Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein.
Y.C. Hong distinguished himself by being admitted to the practice of law in 1923, even before graduating from the USC School of Law, As the first person of Chinese descent to have passed the bar exam, he was considered to be the dean of lawyers of Chinese ancestry in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. He achieved personal success and renown, bringing about many landmark judicial decisions and legislative changes which removed many prejudicial barriers that had previously handicapped people of Chinese ancestry. He was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Times, which has been publishing a daily newspaper since 1924, with a nationwide circulation. Y.C. negotiated the transition of the Old Chinatown from the location where Union Station now stands and was instrumental in the construction of the iconic arch at the entrance to the present Chinatown.
Nowland C. Hong, Y.C.'s son, is of counsel with Best Best & Krieger LLP' Municipal & Redevelopment Law and Litigation Practice groups. During his five decades of practice, he has specialized in trials and appeals in state and federal courts, representing major public agencies and districts, and private corporate and individual clients in complex litigation, class actions and other representative suits encompassing a wide variety of substantive issues. Among the matters he has successfully handled are several class actions against the County of Los Angeles, such as: an action by outside contract service providers contending they were common law County employees entitled to salary and benefits, rather than being independent contractors; another in which employees claimed they were improperly convinced to enter into a non-contributory pension plan which had inferior benefits to the plans in which they originally belonged; and another by County firefighters claiming employment misclassification that precluded them from qualifying for higher pension rights and benefits.
Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein is nearing her 50th anniversary on the bench. She was the first UCLA Law School graduate to serve on the bench when, in 1963, Governor Pat Brown, Sr., appointed her to the Municipal Court, where she served until 1975 when she was elected to the Superior Court. Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to the Court of Appeal, as Presiding Justice of the Second District's Division Three, in 1978. Beginning in late childhood, she has fought for equal rights for all people, especially women. One early example involved a now defunct airline's exclusive executive commuter flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco that allowed cigar smoking on board, but no female passengers. Justice Klein called to make a reservation on that flight and was told it was exclusively for men. She responded that she intended to report such blatant discrimination to the FAA. She never heard back from anyone at the airline, but was pleased to learn that the airline had quickly cancelled those flights.
The Trailblazers program was sponsored by the Metropolitan News Company, Best Best & Keieger LLP, Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP, Horvitz & Levy LLP, Irell & Manella LLP, Hon. Lawrence Crispo (Ret.), Robert Berliner, Harry Hathaway, Robert Newell, Jr., Ellen Pansky, Patricia Phillips and me.
Our next program, with CLE credit, was "The Supreme Court and the Constitution: Medical Coverage, Access to Justice, and More." Presented at LACBA's Conference Center to a virtual sellout audience on March 19, 2012, it featured Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and former California State Bar President Howard MIller. They covered several topics, notably including a thorough and enlightening discussion of the then-upcoming decision in the Affordable Care Act ("Obama Care") case. The program's origin was a chance opportunity I had to speak with Dean Chemerinsky at another LACBA function. It was then coordinated by SLS member Marilyn Alper.
Our final CLE program, also presented at LACBA, was another in our "Frozen in Time" series. This one, held on May 22, 2012, was entitled, "The McMartin Trial and Its Implications for the Use of Children's Testimony in Criminal, Civil and Family Law Trials." Focusing on the McMartin trial and the delicate issues involved with children as witnesses, it provided a major overview of the subject, relevant to trial lawyers and other attorneys dealing with matters involving children. The panelists included Judge William Pounders, Deputy District Attorney Leal Rubin and Frank Velasco, Ph.D, who were involved in the court proceedings and who provided insights about what actually happened, including how evidence was gathered, how the children were interviewed during the pretrial process, and about the examination of the children in court. Judge Thomas Trent Lewis and Judge Margaret Henry, who sit in Family Court and Dependency Court, respectively, and Judge Henry Hall who sits in a criminal court, added their own perspectives regarding the evolving conditions for testimony of children since the 1980's, including new legislation and refined techniques for interviewing children in their courtrooms. Then-Vice Chair Lola McAlpin-Grant and former LACBA President and SLS Chair Patricia Phillips coordinated the program. Pat moderated the panel. The program was a great success.
Also during the past year, Patricia Phillips and former SLS EC member Ernestine Fields, along wilth former LACBA President Juge Margaret Morrow, organized a celebration at the LASC Children's Courthouse to honor deceased Judge Paul Boland, who was the inspiration for that courthouse. The event, held on June 13, 2012, featured the unveiling of a large portrait of Judge Boland, commissioned by Ms. Fields and Ms. Phillips. The unveiling was followed by a reception attended, among others, by members of the SLS.
None of these programs and other events would have been possible without the active advice and involvement of our SLS EC members and officers. I would like to thank particularly Bob Berliner, SLS Secretary Pat Lobello-Lamb, Roger Grace, Pat Phillips, Marilyn Alper, Lola McAlpin-Grant and Ed Horowitz, who were managers, coordinators and supervisors the SLS activities during this term. When I suffered a broken back, Lola and Ed provided invaluable support and assistance, making it possible for me to complete my term as Chair.
Finally, I would like to give special thanks to our section Program & Event Administrator, Gail Coleman, for her assistance and support in planning our programs and events, without which none of the programs I've discussed would have been so successful.
Mark your calendars for the following SLS events (formal announcements and registration information to come):
October 25, 2012: our annual evening at the Magic Castle.
November 14, 2012: our annual Frozen in Time program will begin with a social hour and then discuss the history of riots in the Los Angeles area (an CLE credit event).
January 30, 2013: our Trailblazers program and reception will honor pioneering members of our bar and judiciary, and give us an opportunity to socialize with our fellow members.
Spring 2013 (o.k., I know it's hard to mark your calendars for such an indeterminate date): two social hours and nuts and bolts CLE programs of special interest to SLS members.
Senior Lawyers Memory Exam
Name the movie in which each of the following lines was spoken. The answers are at the end of his issue. (No peeking.)
1. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
2. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
3. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
4. "There's no crying in baseball."
5. "A boy's best friend is his mother."
6. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
8. "Toga! Toga!"
9. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."
10. "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!"
Bonus question (if you answer this correctly, add two points to your score:
Name the actress who uttered No. 10.
(In case you've forgotten, the answers and scoring are below).
Health Tips for Seniors
Sleep deprivation is a major problem, as the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research reports that 40 million Americans regularly suffer from a sleep disorder and another 20-30 million occasionally struggle. The impact poor sleep has on health was often discounted until a few years ago when researchers began highlighting this under-recognized public health problem and linking it to an increased number of heart attacks, strokes and unintentional injuries. The latest research now indicates that sleep can also lead to memory problems.
Experts recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours sleep each night and that if you are having difficulties sleeping, you should discuss this with your doctor. You may also want to try the following nutrition tips:
• Avoid eating large amounts of food close to bedtime, especially those that are fattening, spicy or acidic.
• If you are hungry, consider selecting small amounts of these foods:
• Bananas, which contain potassium and magnesium, minerals that help the muscles relax, as well as an amino acid that helps the body relax. and melatonin, a hormone that helps facilitate circadian rhythms which serve as our biological clock, helping to regulate daily functions like sleep patterns.
• Cherries and cherry juice, which contain melatonin, too.
• Dairy products such as low-fat or skim milk, yogurt and cottage cheese, which contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid that will help the body relax.
• Nuts such as cashews, almonds, walnuts and peanuts, which also contain L-tryptophan. (These may not be for everyone as allergies exist.)
• Turkey also contains L-tryptophan. A turkey sandwich with whole-grain bread, or whole-grain cereal with low-fat or skim milk are also great options.
In our profession, stress can often interfere with sleep, but these suggestions may help.
A young associate in a large law firm was leaving the office late one evening (as usual), when he saw the senior partner standing in front of the shredder with a puzzled look on his face and a piece of paper in his hand.
The senior partner said, "Help me out here. This is a very sensitive document and my secretary has left for the day. Can you make this machine work?"
"Certainly," said the young associate, sensing an opportunity to impress his senior partner even in such a small way.
So, the young associate turned on the machine, took the document from the senior partner, inserted it into the machine, and hit the start button.
"Excellent," the senior partner said, as the document disappeared into the machine, "I only need one copy."
"Nothing is more responsible for the 'good old days' than a bad memory."
– Journalist Franklin Pierce Adams, quoted in NewYorker.com.
Sports reporter, to Yogi Berra: "Yogi, when you were young, what did you like best about school?"
Yogi: "When it was closed."
Answers to the Memory Exam
1. Gone With the Wind
2. Sunset Boulevard
4. A League of Their Own
6. A Streetcar Named Desire
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey
8. Animal House
9. King Kong
10. The Wizard of Oz
BONUS: Margaret Hamilton (worth 2 points)
11-12 points – you must have peeked.
9-10 points – your memory is intact.
7-8 points – your memory may be slipping.
5-6 points – spend more time watching the classic movies channel.
Less than 5 points – you should have peeked.
You can keep up with our section's doings between issues of the Dinosaur Digest by clicking here to visit our page on the LACBA website or to our Facebook page. To do that, click here and log in if you need to and you'll go right to the Senior Lawyers Facebook page. And be sure to "like" us if you haven't already.
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