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Dear OC Members,

In recent Daily Journal and Register articles, comments made by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas at a political fundraiser and candidate forum were discussed. These comments reflected the DA's belief rulings made in the Dekraii murder case by Judge (now Justice) Thomas Goethals were because of personal bias against him, suggesting a reason was the DA's failure to hire Goethal's son; and later, that the Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, affirmed Goethals because of personal friendships. These comments were broadcast to the public by Rackauckas' opponent in the DA race Supervisor Todd Spitzer. This caused the OC Chapter's Rapid Response to Judicial Criticism Committee, chaired by Ed Leonard, to act. Because judicial officers are ethically prohibited from public comment regarding matters before them, the committee sent letters to both the DJ and Register objecting to personal attacks on the judiciary which claim bias as the reason for legal rulings, as this undermines the public's confidence in our legal system. The Committee also objected to Mr. Spitzer's broadcasting the comments for his political gain.

The CRF California State High School Mock Trial Championships were held in OC on March 16-17. ABOTA was very much involved. The finals were judged by a panel including our own Doug DeGrave. Tamalpais H.S. (Mill Valley) was the winner.

The Spring Dinner is Monday April 23 at the RED O in Newport Center. Be sure to sign up. This event is chaired by Yoshi Kubota. At the Spring Dinner we will also have our Annual Meeting and vote on the Proposed Amended Bylaws, which were last amended in 2002. The proposed amended bylaws are approved by the Executive Committee. The drafting effort was led by Mike Maguire.

The legendary OC ABOTA Golf Tournament is Monday May 14 at the Mission Viejo Country Club. Sign up fast as slots are filling up. This event is chaired by Gary Gregor and Tom Dillard.

Our Law School Postgraduate Program which provides recent OC law school graduates with rotating intern positions at a plaintiff firm, defense firm and the court is now picking up steam. Thanks to those law firms participating. This program is chaired by Eric Traut, Deb Tropp and Ed Leonard.

The OC Chapter and the SF Chapter are combining to sponsor Sean Emery of the OC Register to attend the Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School on June 6-9. This program offers a four day education in legal basics to professional journalists to assist in writing better and more accurate legal stories. Our involvement is chaired by Judge Nancy Zeltzer.

We are always seeking to grow our chapter membership. We are also trying to diversify our group. If you have any names to recommend, send them to Membership chair Bill Haggerty or any board member. Our Courthouse Steps Cocktail Party for future targets is set for June 14.

We need to increase our member participation/contribution to the ABOTA Foundation. More details to follow in the near future.

Our Teachers Law School, in combination with the Orange County Department of Education, is set for October 2. Stay tuned. This program is chaired by Judge Linda Marks.

Get involved in the best ABOTA chapter in the country.

Mike Strickroth
Orange County Chapter President 2018

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