The SBCBA’s new Legislative Liaison Committee, led by Angela Roach, with members Sue McCollum, Jim Griffith and Emily Allen, got off to a successful start. In late May we met with Supervisor Janet Wolf to encourage the Board of Supervisors to provide additional funding to the Santa Barbara Legal Aid Foundation. We learned that there might be additional funding available, if the Legal Aid Foundation moved quickly to make a specific funding request. It did so, and we then supported that request with additional letters to the Supervisors. On June 11th, Legal Aid’s request for $30,000 to help fund its Legal Resource Center and for approximately $3,000 to help fund an attorney to assist with domestic violence cases in North County was considered and approved by the Board of Supervisors. We are both deeply gratified by the Board of Supervisor's decision and proud of our contribution to the process.

 

Jim Griffin heads our Bench-Bar Relations Committee. In that capacity, he has been encouraging the legislature on behalf of the SBCBA to restore adequate funding to the Courts. California’s budget process is intense, particularly from April through mid June. This year, as a result of outreach and lobbying by lots of interested parties, Jim and our Bench-Bar Relations Committee included, the legislature seems committed to restoring court funding. As of this writing, it is unclear how the battle will be resolved. Governor Brown has lots of leverage in the budget battles, and is holding tough on reducing court funding drastically. Regardless of the outcome this year, the signs are encouraging for some restoration in years to come. Jim has been giving lots of his time to trying to restore appropriate levels of funding for the California courts. If you see him around, thank him or buy him lunch, or both.

With luck, by the time you read this message we will be enjoying the fruits of our new Members Benefits program. We have been working on this program for about a year now, and hope that it will bring a great deal of additional value to your SBCBA membership. If any of you have ideas of the types of members benefits you would like us to offer, please contact the SBCBA. We are, in the final analysis, here to serve each of you.

We are fortunate to have such an incredible group of people volunteering their time as SBCBA directors. As a result of the work of these dedicated volunteers, we have this incredible magazine; a well run fee arbitration program; a profitable and beneficial Lawyer Referral Service; a useful, appreciated, and broad-based MCLE program; a relevant and credible connection to the Supervisors and the Legislators; a relevant and responsive connection with the local bench; and the greatly appreciated and anticipated events such as the Bench and Bar Conference, the Bar Barbecue, the Golf and Tennis Tournament, the Annual Justices’ Reception, and the Annual Dinner. Doing all this takes devotion, attention to detail, and vast amounts of time. I hope you will all join with me in thanking Lida Sideris, her assistant (and recent UCSB graduate) Melissa Hordynski, and the entire SBCBA Board of Directors for their dedication and hard work in making all these things happen.

First published in the July 2014 edition of Santa Barbara Lawyers Magazine

 

- Scott B. Campbell
  Rogers Sheffield & Campbell, LLP
  2014 SBCBA President

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Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, LLP primarily serves individuals, families and businesses up and down California's Central Coast and North Los Angeles County, including many Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura County communities.

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