Chapter Bulletin

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Events and Programs in 2020
Best-laid plans...
Chapter Membership Meeting
As many of you know from the Spring Chapter Bulletin and other notices, we had several events and dinners planned for the year that were eventually cancelled due to COVID. Well, with the great suggestions from those on the Executive Committee as well as recruiting some talented and creative chapter members, we were able to put on a General Membership Meeting via zoom on October 15. We borrowed the “Cheers” theme to emphasize the importance of camaraderie, friendship, and fun. 

We were honored to have Luther Battiste (National President), Chris Wesierski (CAL-ABOTA President) and Peter Riley (Foundation President) as guests, with each providing comprehensive updates from their seats of leadership.

The night also included a Toast to the 7th Amendment, announcing the 2021 officers and sharing this year’s recipient of the Arthur W. Kelly, Jr. Civility Award (see below).

The highlight of the evening was the entertainment program put together by Judge John Pacheco. We were treated to three music-focused videos of accomplished chapter members: Bryan Reid showed off his dance moves and trumpet playing skills in a charitable event/competition of Dancing with the Redlands Stars (he won the Mirror Champion Ball in 2015 for this.); A music video showing member Bob Warford, an accomplished guitarist in the band behind Linda Ronstadt in her early years; and a highlight video of steel-guitar master, Bill Shapiro, playing gigs over several decades with his band, Thunder Road, and other prominent country rock performers.

During this presentation, Judge Pacheco raffled ten highly-prized gift cards. He closed with a short video of Florentino Garza, a true legend of the legal profession with his comments about the practice of law. We hope to continue this tradition of recognizing those in this Chapter’s history who have distinguished themselves as “legends.”

Thanks to all members who were able to attend. It was wonderful that we were able to spend some time together, albeit virtually. 
Civility Matters
In cooperation with sponsor, Array Arbitration and Mediation Services (formerly IVAMS), we were able to produce a wonderful panel and program on December 3, led by our Civility Matters coordinator, Steven Geeting. Array provided the Zoom feed, which was seen by over 100 attendees. The program offered 1.5 hours of MCLE in ethics. 

Joining Steve were James Tierney, Catherine Gayer, Gregory Rizio and Judge Pacheco. Steve also invited Jean Cha, an ethics lawyer from Orange County, who augmented our materials with great insight on ethical issues and dilemmas raised in the powerpoint. Fortuitously, in attendance was ABOTA lawyer, Doug DeGrave, from the Orange County Chapter who kindly discussed his personal involvement on behalf of ABOTA in developing the language added to the new attorney oath. His participation added a special perspective to this discussion.
2021 Officers and Other Members Involved in ABOTA Affairs 
We are excited to again announce the officers for the upcoming year:

  • President: Ms. Margaret (Margie) M. Warner
  • President Elect (2022): Hon. John M. Pacheco
  • Treasurer: Mr. Steven Geeting

* News Flash – The oath will be administered to the incoming officers by Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, the Hon. Martin J. Jenkins on January 7, 2021 at 5:30pm via Zoom. REGISTER HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Our National Board Representatives:
  • Mr. Richard L. Scott (2019-2021 term)
  • Hon. Christopher Warner, Ret. (2021-2023 term)

Civility Matters Coordinator(s)
  • To be announced by incoming president, Margie Warner

In addition, we are honored and proud to announce that several members have been selected to positions or roles in either CAL-ABOTA or National ABOTA as follows:

  • Mr. Gregory Rizio will serve as treasurer in CAL-ABOTA in 2021.

Incoming National President for 2021, Ms. Grace Weatherly has asked Mr. Bryan R. Reid and Mr. William (Bill) Shapiro to serve National as follows:

  • Bryan will be on the National Executive Committee. While his role will likely be expanded, he will co-chair the Professionalism, Civility and Ethics Committee and at the request of Foundation President, Doug DeGrave, will also co-chair the Foundation’s Fundraising Committee.
  • Bill will be returning to his previous appointment on the National Board and along with our National Representatives, will provide and report to us about National events and updates.

Congratulations to you all.  We look forward to your valuable leadership and guidance!
Member Awards and Recognition

Community Service Award (2nd year): This award recognizes either an individual, firm or chapter which has “undertaken a significant commitment of time, talent, effort and/or resources to make a meaningful impact upon the quality of life in the community or to support and enhance the effectiveness of existing charitable organizations.” Our Chapter nominated Bill Shapiro for this award. This year’s recipient was Kim Valentine of the Orange County Chapter for founding the Operation Helping Hands Program. She will be honored at the 2021 Hawaii Conference.                                               

Trial Lawyer of the Year: Unfortunately, selection of the TLOY was cancelled after a couple of hopeful attempts due to COVID in-person restrictions and will be picked up in 2021. Member, Michael J. Marlatt was our nominee this year.

Chapter Civility Award: Congratulations to Bill Shapiro who is this year’s recipient of the Arthur W. Kelly, Jr. Civility Award. Bill will be honored at the 2021 Dinner Meeting in March 2021.
National Meeting and Resources 
Chapter Leadership Conference and National Board Meeting – January 21 – 23, 2021 (virtual)

  • January 21: Chapter Leadership Conference. This is a must-do for our 2021 officers, those who desire to eventually serve in leadership and all others who may or want to be involved in Chapter Committees and other activities.
  • January 22-23: National Board Meeting - schedule of events will be forthcoming. 

Recommended webinars and material developed and/or presented in 2020. Do check out the National ABOTA website for the following articles and programs.  

  • Guidance for Conducting Civil Jury Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Jury Trials in the Age of Pandemics (webinar)
  • Conducting Expedited Jury Trials (webinar and materials)
  • Dismissed with Prejudice: A Discussion on Race and the Trial of Civil Cases (webinar)
Court Updates
Trial Update: Essentially, under this Court’s new program, all trials for the foreseeable future will be conducted remotely. The Court has set out new detailed rules of procedure, presentation, decorum, jury presence and deliberations in a document entitled Amendment to Trial Setting Order. This relates to any trial set to start while the Court is still under the pandemic protocol (i.e., the court is not yet conducting in-person trials by the time the trial date arrives). 

The tenor of the order is for strict compliance. Should the parties want a jury, they must be prepared to present it remotely when it is called for trial. If they are not prepared to present it remotely, the Court may find the parties have forfeited their right to a jury and thereby proceed as a bench trial. 

A request for a bench trial will proceed remotely. If the parties are incapable of proceeding to a bench trial remotely, they risk a dismissal of the action.

In the case of a non-jury trial, provided all parties agree, the trial may be conducted by presenting all evidence through stipulated facts, declarations, deposition transcripts, or some combination thereof, and by presenting all opening statements, objections, and arguments remotely. However, in the event the parties do not agree to dispense with live testimony, then they have to present the entire trial remotely. If a party is not prepared for this contingency, the Court may dismiss the case if the party is the plaintiff or bar a defendant from participating in trial. 

Despite these strict rules, the Court is going to face problems with the ability to produce enough jurors for selection and service given the pandemic and many prospective jurors are simply not responding to the jury summons.

Mandatory Settlement Conferences: Every case will be assigned an MSC date in Department 12. It may also be set in Department 1, Judge Craig Reimer, who is the presumptive trial judge so the parties can refuse to agree to him to hear the MSC.

MSCs are handled remotely by telephone or video.
This Court has not had a civil jury trial since the pandemic restrictions were instituted (a large trial with an apparent statutory preference started but eventually suspended when the preference no longer existed).  There are judges who are available to try civil cases and bench trials have gone forward.  Space and technology limitations, as well as availability of jurors prevent civil cases getting out. The Court is willing to try a remote jury trial under a pilot program however, no takers yet. The Court is also encouraging parties to stipulate to a jury panel less than 12.

MSCs are handled remotely via Blue Jeans. Several judges are doing them.
Donations to ABOTA Foundation and Others
In August of this year, the president of the ABOTA Foundation, Peter W. Riley, updated Chapter Presidents on the Foundation’s work on expanded programming to meet the fallout from COVID. The reality of the shutdowns across the board also meant a reduced ability to raise funds through normal fundraising sources. As a result, a shortfall was predicted leading to Mr. Riley requesting financial contributions from the Chapters. I am proud to again report that our Chapter donated $2,000 to the Foundation.

Note to Members: If you have not yet signed up to be an ABOTA Foundation Fellow, please consider doing so soon. Your donation goes to funding the educational programs the Foundation offers.

“The ABOTA Foundation offers professional education programs aimed at enhancing the advocacy skills of trial lawyers throughout the United States, promoting civility among ABOTA members and their colleagues, and training lawyers to meet the highest standards of professionalism and advocacy in the practice of law.”

Our Executive Committee also recognized two worthy non-profit organizations which provide free legal services and counseling on a pro bono basis to low-income residents. Attorneys and paralegals volunteer their time to help and assist the under-served in the Inland Empire. Many of our members have volunteered their time over the years. This year, we will be sending $250 each to Riverside Legal Aid and the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino.
Sponsor Recognition
Thanks again to the following sponsors who supported us this year:
We also wish to acknowledge Redlands Country Club, Riverside Art Museum and the Glendora Country Club, the venues we had selected for dinners and the joint golf tournament with LA ABOTA, which were willing, but unable, to accommodate our events due to the COVID lockdowns. 

As we all know, businesses and individuals who support us are important in not only providing excellent services to our members but also in sponsoring our events. Many of our regular vendors were and continue to be severely impacted by COVID. We wish them the best and hope to see the restrictions relaxed soon so they may return to their normal business.
In Memoriam
We remember Walter John Hogan, who died on July 1, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. Walt was a Loyola Law School graduate and entered practice in Los Angeles in 1975. When he relocated from Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, he joined former ABOTA members, Paul Walter (dec.) and Cyrus “Jack” Lemon. In 2000, he moved his practice to the High Desert and eventually joined the Ewaniszyk Law Firm in Victorville where he handled all levels of personal injury cases, medical malpractice and product defect cases.

Walt was invited into ABOTA in 1987, served as president in 1997 and achieved the rank of Advocate. He was survived by his wife, Pam and two adult children, Sean and Caroline.

Among other ABOTA members who left us this year, we were also saddened to learn of the recent passing of David Glickman, a well-known and respected trial attorney in the Los Angeles ABOTA Chapter who served in many roles both local and in National ABOTA.  He was a prominent member in CAALA, a mentor to many and recognized by LA ABOTA with both their Civility Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Facebook Page
As a reminder, we have a Facebook page exclusive for our Chapter. We want to get all members to join for great conversation and a place to check in on the happenings of our Chapter and more. To join, please make a request through your Facebook page. Go to:, click on +Join Group to gain entrance.
If you have trouble, please request invitation from

Do not forget to get updates from the internet websites for our Chapter, CAL-ABOTA and National.
Acknowledgements, Thank You’s and Signing Off
I want to thank the members of the Executive Committee (Margie Warner, Judge Pacheco, Jeff Erickson, Bryan Reid, John Lowenthal, Bill Shapiro, Judge Chris Warner, Richard Scott and Steve Geeting) for your support, counsel, advice, commentary and ideas you shared along the way. It was through your input and ideas that we were able to accomplish the items we did in the face of limiting circumstances. I also want to thank you for faithfully attending these meetings.  

I shall like to recognize the great leadership of National President, Luther Battiste, III and thank him for the fine stewardship he provided to ABOTA in the face of the COVID pandemic.  We saw ABOTA grow in stature due to his efforts. I had the privilege to meet Luther and his wife at the Leadership Conference in Charleston, South Carolina back in January 2020. They were very kind and welcoming, and I will always remember that. We also very much appreciate Luther making himself available to attend our “Cheers” Membership Meeting in October. 

I want to also acknowledge the fine leadership provided by CAL-ABOTA president, Chris Wesierski. Chris had several things to juggle with the COVID lockdown and he did a great job addressing those challenges. I looked forward to the board meetings as a great opportunity to meet and take from Chris and other CAL-ABOTA chapter leaders their experiences, great insights, and guidance.

I was also struck by the collaboration and energy these lawyers demonstrated to assure we were doing things to enhance the profession in line with ABOTA’s purpose and Code of Professionalism we all strive to adhere to.

I want to especially acknowledge and thank Jennifer (Jenny) Blevins our Executive Director, who managed the administrative operation of our Chapter. We could not have done the meetings and special events we did without Jenny and her staff at California Advocates Management Services, including Maddy and Tricia. It was Maddy who put together the notices and announcements as well as the Bulletins. Tricia took care of the financial part -- very appreciative to you all.

Finally, a big thank you to the members of this Chapter who allowed me to sit as your president this year. While I seemed to bother you more with cancelling activities and events, than anything else, I hope, in some way, our communications were at least informative and allowed you to keep up with our Chapter and ABOTA in general.

While I was mostly stuck behind a desk, on the telephone or in front of a computer on a virtual meeting for all things ABOTA, it has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the SB/RIV Chapter’s president this year.  

In closing, let us strive for peace on earth, good will toward all, and let us pursue the principles of ABOTA by coming together with dignity and respect for one another and practice civility in our interactions. May we also continue to reach out and help those less fortunate, including those affected by COVID.

May you have a pleasant holiday and Merry Christmas. Wishing all a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year with hope and dreams fulfilled.

Jay Korn
President, 2020 | San Bernardino/Riverside Chapter of ABOTA