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2019 California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting

Set against the gorgeous coastline of Monterey, California at the beautiful Portola Hotel & Spa, the 2019 California Lawyers Association (CLA) Annual Meeting had a small town feel of something much bigger. In fact, this year’s annual meeting marked some major milestones as the CLA fully peeled away from the prior management of the State Bar of California in compliance with SB36 put into place January 1, 2018.  

At the helm of this largest statewide voluntary bar association is CEO and executive director Ona Alston Dosunmu who left the Brookings Institute VP-GC position to help guide the CLA in its post-separation. One of her early endeavors was to rapidly hire and onboard new professionals as the on-loan State Bar employees returned to their organization early this year. That bridge-gap allowed the CLA to move forward as its new structure took shape.

Today’s CLA has 100,000 members and 17 sections, comprised of the California Young Lawyers Association and the 16 separate practice area groups. In addition, they are branching out with collaborative active partnerships which were forbidden under the former regulatory framework. This new ability allows the CLA to team up with other organizations such as the California Judges Association, Pepperdine, local bar associations, the California Legislature, the American Bar Association, and many more to create educational programs, member benefits, access to justice initiatives, and increased diversity and inclusion within the profession.

This year’s annual meeting was the second since the separation but, in many ways, it could be considered the first since the full transition of management and staffing was completed. The standard attendance was up from 600 to 800 this year, but with new found collaborations from additional organizations including the California Judges Association, there were 1,300 legal professionals gathered to participate in cross-over programming designed to benefit everyone involved. 

Of special note, it was our pleasure to record podcast episodes with many of the CLA sections this year. Rather than simply being interviewed, most of the groups opted to record/host their own podcast with us. In these episodes, they discussed updates in specific areas of law as well as shared upcoming events and programs within their sections. The leadership and content creation displayed is a solid indicator that the sections are doing their part to drive the CLA’s objectives. 

Last and definitely not least, we had the opportunity to catch up with my legal hero Erwin Chemerinsky, the Dean of Berkeley Law, as we discussed his topic presented at the Alexander F. Morrison lecture series entitled Closing the Courthouse Doors. During our time, we did a deep-dive on the various ways that court redress is closed off from citizens seeking relief against federal, state, and local governing bodies.

Below are links to our complete collection of podcasts recorded from the 2019 California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting as well as a list of the 45 participants who contributed. Thank you to all CLA leadership and sections who joined us. We hope you enjoy!

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Updates from CLA Leadership

CLA Leadership stops by to discuss progress made since separating from the State Bar of California, new programs and benefits, and the succession of leaders as the torches are passed. {Participants include: CEO & Executive Director Ona Alston Dosunmu, Immediate Past President Heather L. Rosing, Immediate Past Chair Jim Hill, President Emilio Varanini, Chair Chip Wilkins, and Vice President Jeremy M. Evans}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky–“Closing the Courthouse Door”

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law, discusses his presentation from the Alexander F. Morrison lecture series titled, Closing the Courthouse Doors.

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Environmental Law Section

The Environmental Law Section hosts an episode about their CLE programming at the CLA Annual Meeting as well as their other educational programs and networking opportunities, including their very popular annual Yosemite Environmental Law Conference. {Hosted by Jennifer Novak with guests Allison Smith, Paige Samblanet, and Miles Hogan}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Real Property Law–California’s Varied Short-Term Rental Regulations

The Real Property Law Section hosts an episode about legislative updates in short-term rentals, horror stories in rental property, and compliance insights under the current rules. {Hosted by Tara Burd with guests Ashley M. Peterson and Anna Liu}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Trusts & Estates Section

The Trusts & Estates Section hosts an episode about Barefoot v. Jennings and its potential legal impact. In addition, they discuss the section’s involvement monitoring legislation, drafting legislative proposals, and creating new educational programs for its membership. {Hosted by Herb Stroh with guests Ciarán O’Sullivan, Howard Kipnis, and Mary K. deLeo}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Workers’ Comp Section

The Workers’ Compensation Section hosts an episode discussing emerging trends in their area of practice as well as their upcoming educational programs and member benefits. {Hosted by Maria Sager with guests Judge Sharon Velzy, Randy Pollak, and Jack Goodchild}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Intellectual Property Law Section

The Intellectual Property Law Section hosts a podcast where they talk about their member benefits, publications, and their new program ‘IP Without Borders’. {Hosted by Erica Bristol with guest Heather Antoine}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: The Intersection of Criminal and Family Law in Domestic Violence Cases

Los Angeles Public Defender Albert Camacho sits down with host Laurence Colletti to talk about the Criminal Law Section’s cross-over educational programs with the Family Law Section and their discussion about protective orders and the unique impact of domestic violence in family law and immigration matters.  

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Recent Developments in Family Law

The Family Law Section hosts their podcast episode on recent practice area developments and possible changes and trends stemming from key cases. They also discuss the section’s CLE programming from the CLA Annual Meeting. {Hosted by Stephen Montagna with guest Judge Mark A. Juhas}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Antitrust Section

The Antitrust Section hosts their podcast featuring representatives from companies like Samsung Next, Microsoft, and eBay talking about GDPR, greater demand for privacy protections, and the unveiling of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). {Hosted by Jeewon Kim Serrato with guests Jose Lopez, Njeri Mutura, and Alisa Hall}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: CYLA–Evidence Strategy Tips and Section Updates

The California Young Lawyers Association hosts their own podcast where they discuss evidence strategy for estate planning, trusts, and probate law. In addition, they talk about the upcoming updates for the section. {Hosted by Martin Behn with guests Lydia Lockett and Nick Oliver}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Labor & Employment Law Section

Ramit Mizrahi and Adam Fiss join host Laurence Colletti for a conversation about California’s bill AB 5 relating to independent contractor designations and its impact on employers and employees. They also discuss bills SB 142, AB 9, and AB 51. 

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Litigation Section–CLE Highlights and Section Updates

The Litigation Section hosts their own podcast featuring a discussion about how to connect and build trust with your jury. In addition, they talk about their section’s future events and projects. {Hosted by Norman Rodich with guests Jennifer Keller and US Department of Justice attorney Thomas Greene}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Solo & Small Firm Section

The Solo & Small Firm Section hosts an episode about their CLE presentation on managing both the legal and business roles in small firm life as well as current section projects and available resources from their website. {Hosted by Renee Stackhouse with guests Jeremy M. Evans and Nancy Goldstein}

CLA 2019 Annual Meeting: Business Law Section

The Business Law Section hosts a podcast about international trade practices relating to increased transaction speeds and subsequent reviews to keep policies up to date. In addition, they discuss their section’s future goals for community involvement. {Hosted by Monique Jewett-Brewster with guests Walter K. Oetzell and Corey Weber} 


List of Participants (in alphabetical order):

  1. Heather Antoine 
  2. Martin Behn 
  3. Monique Jewett-Brewster 
  4. Tara Burd 
  5. Erica Bristol 
  6. Albert Camacho Jr. 
  7. Erwin Chemerinsky 
  8. Laurence Colletti 
  9. Mary K. deLeo 
  10. Ona Alston Dosunmu 
  11. Jeremy M. Evans 
  12. Adam J. Fiss 
  13. Nancy Goldstein 
  14. Jack Goodchild 
  15. Thomas Greene 
  16. Alisa Hall 
  17. Jim Hill 
  18. Miles Hogan 
  19. Judge Mark A. Juhas 
  20. Jennifer Keller 
  21. Howard Kipnis 
  22. Anna Liu 
  23. Lydia Lockett 
  24. Jose Lopez 
  25. Ramit Mizrahi 
  26. Stephen Montagna 
  27. Njeri Mutura 
  28. Jennifer Novak 
  29. Walter K. Oetzell 
  30. Nick Oliver 
  31. Ciarán O’Sullivan 
  32. Ashley Peterson 
  33. Randy Pollak 
  34. Norman Rodich 
  35. Heather L. Rosing 
  36. Maria Sager 
  37. Paige Samblanet 
  38. Jeewon Kim Serrato 
  39. Allison Smith 
  40. Renee Stackhouse 
  41. Herb Stroh 
  42. Emilio Varanini 
  43. Judge Sharon Velzy 
  44. Corey Weber 
  45. Chip Wilkins 
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After receiving his J.D. and MBA, Laurence Colletti went into solo practice with emphasis in general business and commercial real estate. He has always carried a strong passion for web-based media with a particular interest in podcasting and video. Laurence leverages his legal background against that passion to help bring sophisticated, relevant content to Legal Talk Network podcasts. You can follow Laurence on Twitter at @LaurenceEsq.