It is the official policy of ACCTLA to fully support and encourage diversity and inclusion within our member ranks, on the Board, within our Executive Committee, and in the execution of our member services.
ACCTLA Board of Governors – July 2022
The Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association (ACCTLA) is committed to supporting reproductive rights and freedom in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and reversed half a century of legal protection of the right to abortion. This decision calls into question the right to privacy in our personal lives and to be free from government intrusion — valued tenets in our jurisprudence for over 130 years.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs represents the culmination of social conservatives’ decades-long campaign to overturn one of the most basic, fundamental rights one can imagine: the right of a woman to have complete and unapologetic control over her body and to choose whether and when to have a baby, without which she is reduced to something that is less than fully human, stripped of her liberty and right to participate in society as an equal person. The Dobbs decision is the first time a right has been taken away in our Supreme Court’s history. It is a huge red flag that other fundamental rights may be on the chopping block in the near future.
As attorneys committed to improving access to justice for all and promoting public education and awareness of the rule of law and our system of justice, ACCTLA recognizes that now more than ever before, we need to think outside the box and come up with creative legal solutions to combat the tide of injustice that will result from Dobbs, which will have an inordinate effect on people of color and those of limited financial means.
The Dobbs decision and others issued by the U.S. Supreme Court this term signal to all attorneys that we must remain informed, engaged, and vigilant in the fight to preserve basic human and civil rights in our country. ACCTLA welcomes further dialogue on how we can defend reproductive rights, prioritize protection of underserved and marginalized populations, strengthen community relationships, and seek out partnerships with like-minded groups. We will be joining discussions with our fellow trial lawyer associations and meeting in the next few months to develop concrete plans on how to respond to Dobbs and take a stand against further attacks on fundamental rights.
ACCTLA Executive Committee – April, 2021
Alameda Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association is encouraged by the guilty verdict reached in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd and reminded of the importance of the jury trial to bring justice to victims and to hold the powerful accountable. Today marked a long-awaited step towards justice in the arc of the Moral Universe. While we acknowledge this long-overdue victory in racial justice, we are cognizant of the continued destruction of Black lives and the devastation of Black families at the hands of police. We grieve with our Black colleagues for the senseless loss of life, for the past, present, and continued trauma of repeated violence against Black citizens, and for the culture of fear created by those who feign a commitment to serve and protect. We are also aware that our Asian Pacific Islander community is reeling from being targeted victims of race-based violence. And even two days ago, a Latino man in Alameda died during an altercation with police, the details of which are still unfolding. We know that there is significant work to be done to address the continued hate and intolerance that plague the BIPOC community. This organization is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion so that we may begin to root out systemic racism, address racial disparities in the legal profession, and promote leadership of BIPOC people within our organization and within the trial lawyer community. We encourage all of our members to reach out to us with their ideas of advancing these principles, to recruit diverse members to join the organization, and to attend the event we are co-sponsoring with ACBA this Friday regarding the wave of Anti-API violence and Xenophobia. https://bit.ly/32xo9oi Additionally, on Tuesday, April 27, we have an MCLE on micro-aggressions in the workplace. https://acctla.org/event/ It is important that our members attend these events. Anti-racism is not just issuing statements. It is showing up and doing the work. More events dedicated to diversity and inclusion and addressing hate and intolerance are in the planning stages. We are also seeking members of the BIPOC community to author articles for our next issue of the Verdict that will be dedicated to racial justice. In solidarity and onward, ACCTLA’s Executive Committee.
ACCTLA Board of Governors – June, 2020
Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association stands with the protestors, the Floyd Family, George Floyd, and the countless others who have been subjugated, brutalized, terrorized, and then marginalized by systematic and institutionalized racism. As Americans and members of the Bar we must finally reckon with the history of racism in this country and the role of our own profession in perpetuating the oppression of black and brown people. Unless we acknowledge, take responsibility for, and genuinely try to mend this past once and for all, as if our lives depended on it, the list of names to which George Floyd has been added will never end.
What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the result of a long history of brutalization starting in 1619 when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. In 155 years, we have merely moved from Jim Crow to a collective amnesia or pretending that this is not happening. If we stand by in silence or inaction, we are complicit.
As a Board of trial lawyers committed to fighting for justice, we recognize that many of us have white privilege and implicit and explicit biases. We must do better. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our organization, of our law firms and to fighting for the rights of the oppressed. Most importantly, we are committed to listening to and giving a seat at the table to those who have been oppressed. We stand together with our members and we stand with Black Lives Matter.
Benefits of Membership in ACCTLA
Judges’ Night and Social Events
One of the greatest services is the opportunity to meet socially with judges from both counties through our annual Judges’ Night each January and the Spring and Fall Socials in May and October. All members are invited to attend ACCTLA Board of Governors meetings which are monthly dinners in alternating counties.
The Members-Only Listserve
Through our e-mail discussion group, you can network with other members for help with research, law and motion, form pleadings, locating experts, and obtaining information on defense experts, mediators, arbitrators, and judges. This is an invaluable resource.
Our magazine is sent to members and judges in both counties. Articles keep members current on legal issues and member news provides exposure for recent verdicts, settlements or other achievements in our practice.
ACCTLA provides mentoring for new attorneys or attorneys new to a practice area.
ACCTLA provides continuing education throughout the year on relevant topics including the annual “What’s New in Tort and Trial” which reviews every appellate and Supreme Court case that impacts the trial practice.
ACCTLA represents the trial lawyers interests in local bench-bar activities.