It is hard to believe that the year is over. It seems just like yesterday that we were all at the Andaz in Wailea, Maui with a memorable appearance of Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and one of the best final night dances I can remember. The dance floor was packed until the band finished its last set.  We also gave the first-ever Judicial Civility Award to our beloved Justice Bill Bedsworth of Orange County. My how time flies!
During 2018, I was fortunate to achieve each of my goals for CAL-ABOTA with the assistance of a great Board. The first thing I wanted to do was to establish a new 21 st Century digital CAL-ABOTA Newsletter going out to all 1,700 members of our organization. Maddy Dowler, who is the sister of Jennifer Blevins, our Executive Director, worked closely with me in getting this new quarterly publication up and running. One of the purposes of the Newsletter is to educate our members about who we are and what we do. Another important purpose is establishing a sense of fellowship by communication. Pictures tell the story better than anything, so this year we erred on the side of having as many photographs as possible.
The second thing I wanted to do is firmly establish our Rapid Response System to help our judges combat unfair criticism since they cannot do it themselves. They are virtually defenseless, and now they can look to us for help. Frank Pitre and his Civil Justice Committee not only perfected our existing program but also created new forms to make it easier to administer the program. We are, by far, the leading chapters nationally in upholding judicial independence by giving our judges the tools to defend themselves.
The third thing I wanted to do was establish a statewide CAL-ABOTA Teachers Law School . This is not an easy task because we need the cooperation of the schools and districts to make sure that the teachers attend. Our first program was in Sacramento in September 2017, followed by our second program in Los Angeles in September 2018. Both programs had excellent content and speakers and were well received.   

The next Program is scheduled for September 2019, in Northern California. It is essential that we continue to make efforts to fill the room completely with teachers. We have learned from the prior programs to have the event on a weekday, with the cooperation of the school districts, to make this an in-service day for educators. One of the goals was to encourage administrators to come to be able to share the information with as many teachers as possible. I remain convinced that if this program is to prosper in California, it must be led by CAL-ABOTA because it is too expensive for the chapters to put on individually.
My final goal was to visit each CAL-ABOTA chapter for one of their special events. I made it to all 8 chapters this year. This is one of the great benefits of being President. The chapters gave a lot of hospitality and I got the chance to really feel the differences between all 8 chapters. They are each unique.
In a coming edition you will be hearing from our new Treasurer, Don Carlson, about techniques you can use to encourage your younger lawyers to qualify for ABOTA. We are becoming too old and we must find a way to diversify by adding younger lawyers while always striving to become more racially and gender diverse.
2018 was the 60th anniversary of ABOTA, which started in our State, and the 41st anniversary of CAL-ABOTA, which, as you all know, is the biggest and oldest Regional ABOTA organization representing approximately 25% of National ABOTA.
All of our chapters are vital and two of them are in the top 5 in terms of percentage of Foundation giving. This year, our National President, Cynthia McGuinn, came from CAL-ABOTA, and next year’s National President, Mike Maguire, also is a CAL-ABOTAN. To top it all off, our biggest and oldest chapter, Los Angeles, won Chapter of the Year for 2019! 

I recently learned that I won the national election to become an ABOTA Foundation Trustee. I am honored and thank each and every CAL-ABOTAN who voted for me. I will do my best to represent you, and together, we will increase California’s contribution to the Foundation, which is the “engine” of ABOTA.
As ABOTANS, we have to remember our heritage of civility and professionalism and we must never stray from these important ABOTA Constitutional principles which set us apart. We are surrounded by political vitriol and incivility and it has invaded the practice of law. We must keep preaching and practicing civility every day.
Invite that new counsel to lunch or a drink and set the tone of civility by following the Golden Rule every day of your career. This approach to your practice will promote your mental and physical health to allow you to do a stellar job for your clients. It is up to you. Always remember: Civility Matters!

William B. Smith
CAL-ABOTA President
On September 12, 2018, the Cal Coast Chapter had a dinner meeting at the Wyndham Garden Ventura Pierpont Inn in Ventura on the ocean. Approximately 35 chapter members and guests attended along with President, Jill Friedman, President Elect, Dan Carobini and immediate Past President, Roy Ogden.

Last year’s fires and mudslides took a toll on chapter events. Dennis LaRochelle (CAL-ABOTA President in 2015) was also present and he is in the process of rebuilding his home which was destroyed by fire.

Several judges attended and Bill Smith lauded CAL-ABOTA'S Rapid Response program to protect jurists from unfair criticism. Ventura Superior Court judges Benjamin Coats and Matthew Guasco lectured after dinner about Ventura County’s new approach to technology in the courthouse. They welcome technology, but pointed out the risks of doing it incorrectly.

Cal Coast’s 2018 nominee for Trial Lawyer of the Year, John Howard, was present and he gave the chapter report. He is an active high school football coach but found time to join us in Hawaii in November.

The Cal Coast Chapter is one of our smaller chapters but it is a treasure given the close bonds the members have with each other.

It is a living example of the importance of civility and professionalism which sets us apart from other legal organizations.
Dennis LaRochelle, Bill Smith, Jill Friedman
and John Howard
Bill Smith, Dan Carobini, Jill Friedman,
Roy Ogden and Dennis LaRochelle
Judge Benjamin Coats & Judge Matthew Guasco
On 9/29/18 CAL-ABOTA held its second statewide Teachers’ Law School in Los Angeles co-sponsored by the LA Chapter.

For the second year in a row, Mike Maguire and Doug Adams presented the landmark Mendez v. Westminster case which preceded The US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. This year they brought Gonzalo Mendez with them.

Gonzalo won the right to attend an all-white school in Orange County at age 10 as a result of the case brought by his parents in the late 1940’s. Gonzalo’s comments were spellbinding as he is living history on the subject of the separate Mexican schools not being equal.

The presentation was videotaped and will be available to all ABOTA members.

The next presentation was Separation of Powers with Judge Huey Cotton of Los Angeles Superior Court and Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano.

This was followed by an inspiring talk by Justice Bill Bedsworth on Judicial Independence. As he noted, we would not have had desegregation or other unpopular changes without judicial independence.

Justice Art Scotland and LA Superior Court Judge Kevin Brazile put on a very interactive talk about civil discourse and how to teach it to young students.

Three teachers (Katelyn Reid, Donna Jacobson and Titia Murphy) ended the program by sharing how they go about presenting civics education material to their students.

Bryan Reid did a superb job as Master of Ceremonies. Next year the statewide TLS will be held in Northern California.
Bryan Reid, Mike Maguire, Bill Smith
People enjoy TLS
Justice Bill Bedsworth
Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano and Judge Huey Cotton
Mike Maguire, Gonzalo Mendez,
Doug Adams
Katelyn Reid, Titia Murphy, Donna Jacobson
On Friday 9/28/18 CAL-ABOTA sponsored a cocktail party in Los Angeles to welcome educators to our second statewide TLS.

It was an opportunity to meet the teachers before the program. We had several teachers who had been to both statewide TLS programs and one who had been to those plus another local one. The teachers love the program and our challenge is drawing more of them in the future.
On October 25, 2018 at the San Diego Yacht Club, the San Diego Chapter, led by President Judge Jim Mangione, inducted 7 new members, two of whom were female.

The chapter has a tradition of pelting new members with a volley of napkins and bread rolls just about when they are ready to give acceptance speeches that are never heard.

The San Diego Chapter was formed in 1962 as the second ABOTA chapter after Los Angeles. It is where we annually select the Trial Lawyer of the Year and it has been a source of great CAL-ABOTA presidents like Ed Chapin and Alan Brubaker.

It is obvious that the San Diego Chapter is a living example of civility and professionalism and this tone is set by President Judge Jim Mangione who is revered by the legal community.

We hope that the San Diego Chapter will consider hosting the 4th statewide CAL-ABOTA Teachers’ Law School in 2020 after San Francisco.
New members are welcomed with incoming napkin and bread missles.
VP George Brewster, President Judge Jim Mangione,
CAL-ABOTA President, Bill Smith, Secretary, Fred Schenk, and Steve Grebing.
CAL-ABOTA celebrated the 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year at its traditional Hawaiian home of the Mauna Kea on the Big Island from November 5-10, 2018. Chris Wesierski from the Orange County chapter was this year’s recipient. He brought his entire family to celebrate.

Vice President, Bryan Reid and his wife, Sue, were responsible for the week of festivities and they did a superb job. The educational program on Tuesday morning was one of our very best. We started with a fascinating astronomy talk from one of the principal engineers (Andrew Cooper) from the Keck Observatory located at over 14,000 feet on the Big Island. This was followed by an inspiring talk by Paralympic swimmer, Lindsay Grogan, from Georgia. She lost the use of her left leg due to a childhood disease and won a spot on the US Paralympic team with unswerving determination and participated in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The featured speaker this year was, Zak Ebrahim, who is the son of a Muslim terrorist who was involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in NYC. He explained that being raised with prejudice and hate does not condemn a child to become just like one of his parents. He found the way to separate himself from what was planned for him and has found a peaceful productive life. Zak's book on the subject is called, T he Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice.

The Reids went out of their way to plan a number of activities including a strenuous hike, a trip to the sugarcane field, flume canals near Havi, and swimming with the manta rays at the Mauna Kea. Of course, there was the usual Thursday golf tournament with Tom Dillard and Don Carlson in charge.

One of the highlights of the meeting was that representatives of the other Regional ABOTA organizations were present. This year Curt Fenley attended from TEX-ABOTA, Mike Mullen attended from FLABOTA and Ed Bowron attended from SEABOTA.

The Reids also planned two special musical events. The first was a performance of the Glenn Miller band and the second was a final night appearance of Beat-Lele, an all-ukulele band from Honolulu. 

Gil Jones from Los Angeles swore in the CAL-ABOTA officers for 2019. Replacing Bill Smith (San Francisco) as President will be Bryan Reid. Chris Wesierski will become the new President-Elect, Wally Yoka will become the new Vice President and Don Carlson will become the new Treasurer. Dennis LaRochelle attended his last board meeting as a past President. Dennis served CAL-ABOTA well for many years. 
Next year’s Trial Lawyer of the Year celebration will be in Kauai November 4-9, 2019 at The Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa. Calendar this conference like a trial and do your best to join us there. Once you attend, you will want to attend every year. The pictures tell the story.

Kristofer Kallman, California Coast
Steven L. Saldo, California Coast
Richard P. Booth, Orange County
Joseph R. Henderson, California Coast
Nelson C. Barry, San Francisco
George R. Hillsinger, Los Angeles
Peter Dixon, San Francisco
Thomas C. Nagle, San Francisco
Stephen T. Clifford, San Joaquin Valley
Barry Allen, Orange County
David Moore, San Bernardino/Riverside
Cavan Hardy, Sacramento Valley
Doug Welebir, San Bernardino/Riverside
Larry Langley, San Francisco
Patrick A. Long, Orange County
Major Langer, Orange County