Newsletter of the Legal Community of San Diego's East County April, 2002



Family Law Section Meeting

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Department 6

El Cajon Superior Court


Estate Planning, Trust and

Probate Section Meeting

Thursday, April 11, 2002

12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Nancy Ewin's office

La Mesa



From the President. . . . . . . . .1

From the Court. . . . . . . . . . . . 2

East County Lawyering. . . . 2-4

Ads and Notices . . . . . . . . .2-4

Family Law Section. . . . . . . . .5

Estate Planning Section. . . . . 5


By Jack McCabe


 The time-worn adage that we are a nation of laws has never been more evident than today. Seventy years ago, all laws pertaining to divorce were embodied in approximately 50 pages of the Civil Code. In contrast, today, with things having been ‘simplified’ by notions of no fault and equality in allocation of assets and debts, there are several volumes of laws and rules and formulae applicable to terminating a marital relationship. For years I labored under a mistaken philosophy that because I was a lawyer I should be conversant with all areas of the law and I could not deem myself a complete lawyer unless I had done such things as defended a murder case, tried a medical malpractice claim, prepared a submission to the SEC on a stock issuance, merged two companies, spearheaded a reorganization under Chapter 11 and helped with adoptions and a variety of other matters. I did them all, but the sense of being ‘complete’ remained elusive. Finally the concept of ‘less is more’ sunk in and I limited my practice to matters pertaining to family law and administrative actions. Expanded rules of Professional Conduct relating to competency also prompted reining in my lofty and misguided standards. So too did the accumulated aggravation and toil of more than three decades in this profession.

So where is all this leading? I have no idea. I just know that my predecessor was allowed to wax philosophically without sanction, ergo I thought I would share some reflections that surface in the aging cerebrum from time to time. I will spare you this month, but be wary of future editions.

May 1st is Law Day and once again, lawyers throughout the county will celebrate in the manner than has become the norm for our community—in service to others. Volunteers to provide free consultations to local citizens are needed for May 1st. Consider devoting an hour or two of your time to give back some of the

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by Donna Morel



New legislation was codified this year providing individuals with greater legal options to seek compensation from unlicensed contractors. A new provision of the Business and Professions Code, Section 7031(b), provides that individuals who pay for the services of an unlicensed contractor may initiate legal action to recoup "all compensation paid to the unlicensed contractor for performance of any act or contract."

Prior to the enactment of this provision, Business and Professions Code Section 7031 prohibited an unlicensed contractor from suing for compensation for services rendered. The Code, however, did not allow individuals to bring

a legal action to recoup compensation provided to the unlicensed contractor.

The authors of the new legislative provision assert that the new law will deter contractors from performing work without a license. Existing law requires individuals who perform a variety of construction work to be licensed by the Contractors' State License Board when the services provided total $500 or more (Business & Professions Code Section 7048).

Prior to the enactment of Section 7031(b), recent case law ruled that an unlicensed contractor was not required to provide a refund for monies already paid Cooper v. Westbrook Torrey Hills 81 Cal. App. 4th, 1294. The authors of the new legislative provision assert that the new law will succeed in deterring unlicensed contractors from performing work to a greater extent than criminal sanctions have in the past.




On Wednesday, April 24, 2002, at 12:00 noon, at the El Cajon Superior Court, Department 6, the East County Lawyer's Club will have a brown bag lunch meeting. The speakers will be Dr. Marjorie Vego Krausz, Louise Oxhorn and Lynn Oxhorn-Ringwood, founders of the Co-Mommas Association. There is no fee for this brown bag meeting and one hour of MCLE credit will be given. For more information, please contact Justi Miller at (619) 229-2064.



by Carolyn Dulude

Wednesday, May 1, 2002 9:00 A.M.–4 P.M.


The East County Branch of the San Diego County Law Library will be hosting an Open House and Free Legal Clinic to celebrate “Assuring Equal Justice for All” Law Day 2002. It will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. The Foothill Bar Association has agreed to sponsor the Legal Clinic. Members should consider participating in this worthwhile event as practitioners in all legal areas are needed.


You may sign up for times that meet your schedule by contacting Jerry L. Carmody, Esq. at (619) 667-9600, on or before April 19, 2002. This is a great opportunity for local attorneys to participate in a worthwhile cause that benefits our local community. If you have any questions about the Open House, please call Carolyn Dulude, Branch Librarian at (619) 441-4451.


We look forward to seeing you at Law Day 2002!




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good that the law has provided you. Call Jerry Carmody at 667-9600 and let him know your practice interests and a time slot that works for you at the East County Courthouse facility. Trust me, it can prove to be a very gratifying experience.

Please also give serious consideration to celebrating in the more traditional manner that evening at the East County Performing Arts Center. The nationally acclaimed entertainers, The Capitol Steps, will bring their unique brand of humor to El Cajon. The show will follow what promises to be a super cocktail hour (heavy on hors d’oeuvres). The Foothills Bar Association is helping the San Diego County Bar with the event and a great turnout is expected. Please try to join us. Additional details will follow in flyers and mailings.

I suspect my problem with accounts receivable is not unique. While musing witty or incisive messages to include in aging billings that have become too frequently ignored, I recalled from law school days an incident involving Supreme Court Justice, Benjamin Cardozo. Opening his mail one morning, the Justice read:

“ Dear Judge Cardozo: I read in the newspapers that you are a liberal. Will you send me ten dollars, as I am really hard up?”

Which brings me to the concluding topic of this little exercise, the call for replenishment of the Wells Lyman retirement fund......(to be continued).


To facilitate communication between the bench, bar, court administration, probation department, and public law agencies, representatives from each of these groups periodically meet to share information and discuss changes at the El Cajon Courthouse. At the most-recent meeting on March 13, 2002, Judge Exharos expressed concern about the lack of parking, particularly at peak times. We will be losing the empty parking lot at Ballantyne and Park, but temporary arrangements have been made for overflow parking at the shopping center that houses the Krikorian Theatre. It was noted that this facility is not as accessible to the Court. Our new Executive Administration Officer, Robert Durant, was tasked with seeking a solution to the parking shortage.

On behalf of Foothills Bar Association, Garrison "Bud" Klueck suggested that there be an attorney line at the front door of the courthouse where attorneys could bypass the metal detectors (as is the practice at the Downtown Central Court). Security concerns and staffing costs will be examined.

On behalf of the Family Law Section members, Mr. Klueck also suggested that the family clerk's attorney line be open the entire day, instead of having limited hours as is the current practice.

On behalf of the Criminal Law Section members, Sheryl Graf asked about the possibility of offering the Literacy Intervention Program to our clients in El Cajon. This diversion program is currently being offered as a pilot project Downtown for non-violent offenders who have not earned a high school diploma. This will be further explored.



The Capital Steps will inject a little laughter into Law Week when the comedy troupe performs its unique brand of political humor May 1st at the East County Performing Arts Center. "An Evening With The Capitol Steps" is a special event for the legal community, beginning with a no host bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m.

Co-hosted with the FBA, the performance serves as the social highlight of Law Week, according to George Brewster, event coordinator. "It’s open to all of the legal community," Brewster said. "We’re reaching out to our other bar groups. We want to encourage members of the FBA to attend. Legal staff, attorneys, judges and their spouses are all welcome to attend."

The Capital Steps is the name of a comedy troupe made up of current and former congressional staffers turned comedians who will keep you laughing with their satirical take on the people and places that once employed them. The Capital Steps monitor events and personalities on Capitol Hill, in the Oval Office, and in other centers of power and prestige around the world and then take their show on the road, touring nation-wide with a humorous look at serious issues. "It’s a troupe of Mark Russell’s," said Brewster. A master political satirist, Mark Russell works live, fresh and topical, performing stand-up comedy while accompanying himself on the piano on his PBS programming. The Mark Russell Comedy Specials have consistently been among the top-rated shows on that network.

Ticket prices are $40.00 per person which includes the performance and hors d’oeuvres. All proceeds from the event will be donated to youth-oriented courthouse programs. Seating is limited so make your reservations early by calling the SDCBA, (619) 231-0781.



Close to courthouse in El Cajon. Contact Jim Miller at (619) 590-0383 for further details.


by Ed Torrence, Judith Klein and Dana Wynn, Co-Chairs

The next meeting of the Family Law Section will be on Tuesday, April 9, 2002 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Department 6 of the El Cajon Superior Court (second floor). Food is allowed and you are invited to bring your brown bag lunch.

The speaker will be Marc Kaplan, who is an attorney (non-practicing - Special Master assignments only) and CPA. The topic is "Determining income available for support from self-employment and other sources - hot tips and practical suggestions."

The meeting is free to members of the FBA. The cost is $10.00 for non members. Applications for FBA membership will be available at the door.

This activity has been approved for 1.0 hour of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. The FBA certifies this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing mandatory minimum continuing legal education.

If you have any suggestions for speakers or upcoming meetings, please contact Ed, Judi or Dana.



by Nancy Ewin, Joselina Medrano and Jerry Carmody, Co-Chairs

The next meeting of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section of the Foothills Bar will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2002 from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. at the Law Office of Nancy Ewin, 8166 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa, CA 91941. The office is in the La Mesa Plaza retail/office complex on the corner of Spring Street and La Mesa Boulevard. Bring your lunch (or pick it up prior to the meeting at any one of several sandwich shops in the center), enjoy the meeting and earn one hour of MCLE.

The scintillating topic is yet to be determined. We will call those who normally attend to let you know what the topic is. For the curious, call Nancy Ewin's office the week of the meeting for an update.

This activity has been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.0 hour Ethics or General Participatory. The FBA certifies this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing mandatory minimum continuing legal education.

These Section meetings are free for all FBA members, and $10.00 for non-members. Applications for FBA membership will be available at the door.

If you have any questions, please call the co-chairs of the Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section: Nancy Ewin [698-1788] or Joselina Medrano [562-9999].


John McCabe, Jr.          President           858-550-3030

Garrison Klueck             Vice-President   619-448-6500

Jerry Carmody             Secretary           619-667-9600

Joseph Fox                    Treasurer           619-466-9091


Daniel Cohen                                            619-697-0333

Sheryl Graf                                               619-440-5716

Judy Klein                                                 619-698-1882

Wells Lyman                             619-589-9984

Jocelyn Medrano                                      619-562-9999

Angelo Parise                                           858-674-6660

Ed Torrence                                              619-698-6059

Dana Wynn                                               858-485-5518


Wells Lyman, San Diego County Bar       619-589-9984

Sheryl Graf, East County Lawyers Club   619-440-5716

Foothills Bar Association

P.O. Box 1077

El Cajon, CA 92022



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