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Monday, Jun 5, 2023

Local Judges Do Their Best to Ensure Justice Still Available to All

We’re lucky to have a lot of good judges in San Diego County Superior Court. Department 69 has one of the best. Judge Jeffrey Barton not only works hard during the day and shows up at law schools as a speaker at night, he’s also pushing to make things better.

In August, Judge Barton launched the court’s pilot project to accept cases electronically. It’s called the new Court Case Management System, or CCMS. “Once fully implemented, the court will provide full electronic remote access for both filing documents and reviewing court files …” Barton told San Diego Lawyer, the San Diego County Bar Association newsletter. “Court files will be available 24 hours a day.”

Barton and Judges Steven Denton and Randa Trapp also participated recently in a roundtable about the success of “one-day” trials. Justice is often denied to claims held by folks who are middle income or less, unless the claims are under the small claims limits. Barton, Denton, Trapp and the other judges in Superior Court have offered these “limited-issue” one-day trials to bridge the gap.

Parties can stipulate to most issues, including a limited number of jurors, and get the central issue decided by a panel in a day. With state revenues on the decline, this type of innovation is how we’ll still be able to provide justice for all.

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This is cool. Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP partner Christina Denning received her OSHA 10 Certification. Designed for construction employees, supervisors, safety coordinators and others, the training gives unique, first-hand knowledge of the issues and concerns clients face on a daily basis. It’ll be easier to understand clients when you’ve walked in their shoes … and know when you’re getting your leg pulled by either side of an issue.

I can’t resist: what a steal. Stoel Rives LLP was able to attract Wayne Rosenbaum, a local expert on water and natural resources issues, to its San Diego offices. The firm got Elizabeth Cason, too. Rosenbaum, a partner, and Cason, of counsel, will practice in its Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group.

The duo adds particular depth to the areas of water quality, environmental regulatory compliance and land use related to infrastructure and energy projects. 

Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel is adding four attorneys to its ranks. Wilson Schooley and associates Jennifer Chang, Elvira Cortez and Malcolm Roberts recently joined the San Diego office.

Schooley joins the firm as an of counsel attorney. His practice includes complex business, real property, constitutional, criminal, and environmental litigation at the trial and appellate levels.

Chang practices in the business transaction group with a focus on corporate and real estate transactions and in the litigation group with a focus on estate and probate disputes.

Cortez is a member of the construction, insurance and litigation transaction groups. She focuses her practice on construction defect actions, construction claims and insurance coverage disputes.

Roberts practices in the construction, insurance, real estate and commercial business litigation practice groups.

The California Special Districts Association has selected Paula de Sousa, a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP, to join a working group that will advise the organization’s Local Agency Formation Commissions, commonly known as LAFCOs. She is one of only two attorneys and the only attorney from San Diego County selected for this working group of 29 members.

The small, experienced team of LAFCO professionals will research, review, discuss and analyze critical policy issues confronting the special district community in the area of agency formation and reorganization.

A partner in the special districts practice group of BB&K, de Sousa practices in most areas of public agency representation.

Randy C. Frisch is the president and publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho. He can be reached at rfrisch@sdbj.com.


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