Professor Kevin Mohr has participated or will participate in eight separate educational programs designed to update members of the California Bar on the extensive changes to the California Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers that became effective on November 1, 2018. The programs’ sponsors include the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the Consumer Attorneys of California, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and The Rutter Group publishing house.
Professor Kevin Mohr has been appointed to the State Bar of California’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services. The Task Force is charged with identifying possible regulatory changes to enhance the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and the delivery of legal services online. Professor Mohr recently completed work on a multi-year State Bar project as a consultant to and member of the Rules Revision Commission, which resulted in the first comprehensive changes in nearly 30 years to California’s Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers. The work of the Access to Justice Task Force is scheduled to last until December 2019.
On October 11, Professor Jennifer Koh spoke on a panel entitled, “Bias in and Outside the Courtroom,” which explored implicit bias in the legal profession. The panel was organized by the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, and was attended by a number of Western State Law students. The other panelists were Judge Elizabeth Macias, Judge Andrew de la Cruz, and attorney Daniel Alexander.
On October 9, Professor Jennifer Koh was featured on the radio show, “Ask A Leader,” aired on KUCI FM and hosted by Claudia Shambaugh. She spoke about Irvine Mayor Don Wagner’s attempt to place discussion of the California Values Act (SB 54), a law that limits local and state law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration enforcement, on the agenda of the Irvine City Council. The show is available at: http://askaleader.com/?p=1443. Although the Irvine City Council meeting later that day was subsequently cancelled due to lack of a quorum, SB 54 was listed on its agenda for discussion at the time the show was aired.
On September 14, Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen spoke to about 80 lawyers on the topic, “The Attorney-Client Contract: The Intersection of Ethics and Risk Management.” Professor Pedersen gave the one-hour presentation at the California Lawyers Association Annual Conference, held in San Diego. The discussion included content related to required and recommended provisions in attorney-client contracts, as well as procedures to assure the most effective use of the agreement. The content came directly from a portion of the Law Practice Management and Technology class co-taught by Professor Pedersen and Adjunct Professor Carolyn Dillinger at Western State.
Professor Eunice Park presented on “Cultural Competence to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in Practice: Why, How, & Assessment,” at the 2018 Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, held at UC Irvine School of Law, from September 28-29. Professor Park’s presentation included discussion of appellate brief problems she drafted for Western State’s 1L Moot Court Competition.
On September 7, Professor Jennifer Koh filed an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of rehearing en banc in Martinez-de Ryan v. Sessions, 895 F.3d 1191 (9th Cir. 2018), in which the court found in a published opinion that the immigration law definition of “crimes involving moral turpitude” did not violate the void for vagueness doctrine. The amicus brief, filed on behalf of national and regional organizations the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and U.C. Davis Immigration Law Clinic, argued that the crime involving moral turpitude definition fails to provide the notice and fair enforcement required by the vagueness doctrine. Professor Koh co-authored the brief with Professor Evangeline Abriel, Clinical Professor at Santa Clara Law School. Western State student Juan Villanueva, who is currently enrolled in the Immigration Clinic, worked on the brief as well.