• Friday, February 05, 2016 9:06 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    In February, we had a three member panel speak on the ABCs of the ADA:

    What All Attorneys Need To Know.  Mediator/ADA expert, David Geffen, Esq., (center) plaintiff counsel, Anthony Goldsmith (right), and defense counsel, Amber Roller, Esq. (left) of Ogletree Deakins, gave a presentation through questions and answers, interaction with attendees, electronic visuals, and written materials…and prizes too! 

    David G. Geffen is an engaging and motivating speaker and educator who appears as an expert and commentator on television and radio, in magazine and newspaper interviews, and in film documentaries. No matter the media or the size of the group, he connects with the audience, relying upon humor and stories to illustrate, stimulate, and entertain.

    Amber Roller is an associate in the Labor and Employment practice in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Ms. Roller received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She went on to receive her J.D. from Southwestern Law School in 2010, where she graduated with honors. While attending Southwestern Law School, Ms. Roller was a member of the Southwestern Law School Moot Court Honors Program. Prior to practicing Labor and Employment, Ms. Roller practiced civil litigation in the area of insurance defense.

    Anthony Goldsmith is a civil rights attorney and member of the legislative committee of Californians for Disability Rights.

  • Wednesday, February 03, 2016 10:42 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    UCLA hosts an annual Mock Trial Tournament for the benefit of California schools.  Local and national mock trial tournaments were held at the UCLA Anderson School and Law School in January.  The Santa Monica Courthouse has been selected as the venue for the Opening Round of the National Championship (ORC) to be held March 12-13, 2016.

    Volunteer as a presiding trial judge or as a scoring judge at the Santa Monica Courthouse.

    This tournament determines which 6 teams in the Western U.S. will qualify for the National Championship.  Presiding judges will rule on objections and introduction of exhibits, while scoring judges will rate the students' performances. 

     This year's case involves a criminal prosecution of a bribery case. No prior criminal or trial experience is necessary.  You'll see college students present Openings, Closings, Direct Examinations, and Cross Examinations. Some of the top teams in the nation will compete, and most of the California colleges will be there (UCLA, USC, UCI, Cal, Stanford, etc.).  This tournament helps prepare all the local schools for the national tournaments.

    If you have any questions, please email Gonzalo Freixes, Associate Dean, UCLA Anderson School of Management.

  • Sunday, January 24, 2016 8:58 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    The PLATO Society of Los Angeles is sponsoring a symposium on Saturday March 5, 2016, entitled "What has happened to our criminal justice system? The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners.  How can it be fixed?".  Speakers include Mike Feuer, Rachel Metropol, Devon Carbide, and Alexandra Natapoff.  Click here to find out more.

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 12:28 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, from 6:00-7:30pm in Room 1314 of the UCLA School of Law, you are invited to meet a future generation of young attorneys, share professional experiences, and help students transition into the legal profession. There will be four 15-minute rounds of speed mentoring sessions where mentors will get to meet four different groups of students during the evening. At the end, there will be an opportunity for students to mix and mingle with any of the attorneys with whom they did not meet during the speed mentoring sessions. Light refreshments will be served. You can register HERE by 9:00 am on Tuesday February 9.

  • Thursday, January 14, 2016 12:25 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    If you would like a UCLA School of Law student to shadow you for a day at your office or in court to experience what it is really like to be in practice, please sign up HERE by Friday, January 29. UCLA School of Law will match you with a student interested in your practice area focus, and you can directly coordinate a time to be shadowed. This will provide invaluable experience for law students because they will see firsthand seasoned attorneys in practice, as well as allow students to explore various practice areas. Additionally, if you would like your assigned student to accompany you to a bar association or another networking event in addition to shadow you at work, please indicate so on the link above. Students will greatly benefit from meeting your contacts and learning to network with professionals.

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016 10:30 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    Thanks everyone for making the Toast to 2016 at the Wilshire such a success.  Here are some photos of the event.  If you have pictures, send them to the SMBA.  


    Thank you to our sponsors.

    Valet Sponsor


    Bar Sponsor

    Gold Sponsors

    Torrey Pines Bank smLexisNexis

    Silver Sponsor


  • Thursday, December 17, 2015 9:52 AM | Catherine Schmidt

    Become an arbitrator with the SMBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program.

    On Thursday, January 28, 2016, the California State Bar Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration is presenting the Basic Fee Arbitrator Training, at The State Bar of California, 845 S. Figueroa Street, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, [2.75 hours participatory MCLE credit, including 1 hour in Legal Ethics].  The program is free.  Click here to request more information.

  • Wednesday, December 16, 2015 1:23 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    On December 8, 2015, the SMBA hosted the Toast at the Bodega Wine Bar.  JAMS sponsored the event and gave away an Amazon Fire HD7 tablet.  The lucky winner was Gary David Denson.


  • Friday, December 04, 2015 2:06 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    Two often over-looked, key aspects of the mediation process are: Selection of the mediator; Preparation for the mediation. In this presentation, Mark Fingerman gave practical tips on the key qualities of a mediator to consider in the selection process and the core elements of mediation preparation, including inherent ethical factors. 

    Mark is a full-time mediator, at ADR Services, for civil disputes with an emphasis on business, personal injury, real estate, insurance coverage and intellectual property cases.

  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:00 PM | Catherine Schmidt

    The SMBA Board of Trustees hosted the annual Installation Dinner with keynote speaker California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla. Secretary Padilla was raised here in Los Angeles County, in the working class community of Pacoima.  In 1999, he was elected to serve on the Los Angeles City Council and served three terms as Council President.  From there he served in the California State Senate (2006-2014).  As Secretary of State, he is committed to modernizing the office, increasing voter registration and participation, and strengthening voting rights. 

    Click here to see photos of the event.

    Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees

    • Catherine Burke Schmidt as President
    • Stephen Weaver as President-Elect
    • Monica Mihell as Past President

    Board of Trustees

    • James Ahn
    • Kristen Marquis Dennis
    • Mark Fingerman
    • Alice Graham
    • Alex A. Herrera
    • Maria Jonsson
    • Kendra Leghart
    • Jennifer Millier
    • Michael Schwimer
    • Jennifer Skolnik
    • Debra Hartman Warfel. 

    Thank you to our Sponsors.

SMBA Administration

2461 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 529

Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ph. 310-450-9289 Arb. (310) 581-5163

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