Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, May 14, 2014





Cowboy Lawyers Celebrates 25 Years of Trail Riding


Cowboy Lawyers will be celebrating its 25th anniversary over the Memorial Day weekend, as members saddle up and ride the trials of Leona Valley.

To mark the occasion, the group’s first president, Jim Nichols, penned a piece he titles “Cowboy Lawyers: A Quarter of a Century in the Saddle”:

Had my wife birthed me another child the day she served breakfast to a handful of lawyers and judges in our home, that child would be twenty five years old, and perhaps graduating from law school.

That breakfast was the first gathering of lawyers and judges who put together an outfit called the Cowboy Lawyers Association. The CLA is a group of men and women from all sides of the Bar who share a love of the west, which includes riding horses, campfires, two-stepping and telling yarns under a full moon with a barking coyote on the ridge.

 We organize several day rides and camp-outs throughout the year at different locations throughout Southern California, in areas as far south as San Diego, eastwards to Temecula and Palm Desert, Westside to Malibu, and occasionally as far north as Point Reyes, north of San Francisco. The weekend rides are marked by cowboy coffee at daybreak, breathtaking rides, great catering, live entertainment round the campfire, and sometimes, yes, it’s true, we indulge in some adult beverages. You need not have a horse to partake, though horse-owners are welcome. We have a great stock provider—same provider for years. Has horses; will travel, all tack and service included.

We have one big shindig per annum where we hunker down at a country club in our frock coats and cowgirl finery to throw down drinks, chow down some fine food, elect new officers, and scoot around the floor to a lively western band.

In a world of time sheets, deadlines and sparky witnesses, riding with the Cowboy Lawyers is a wonderful way to “brush up” (cowboy term for a cow or horse relaxing in the shade).

So there you have it in a nut shell. As the first president of this collection of affable westerners and as the 2014 Honorary Ride Chairman, to all lawyers and judges who are—or who always wanted to be—cowboys, check us out.

The Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Section on May 27 will present the sixth in its series of “Frozen in Time” programs, this one on “Sex, Drugs, and Escaping Justice: The Tale of Roman Polanski.”

Retired Deputy District Attorney Lael Rubin, one of the prosecutors in the 1977 Polanski case, which entailed unlawful sex with a minor, will be moderator.

The program, which will begin at 5:45 p.m., will include a PowerPoint presentation by retired Deputy District Attorney Robert Schirn and remarks by Rubin, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, Deputy District Attorney Carol Burke, and retired District Attorney Public Information Officer Sandi Gibbons.

The venue will be the Los Angeles County Bar Association offices on the 27th Floor of 1055 West 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

The cost to attend varies from $30 to $140. There will be 3.25 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of ethics credit.

Information and registration are available by telephoning (213) 896-6560.

The Los Angeles Dragnet website ( has indicated disagreement with the MetNews’s decision to make no recommendation in the Los Angeles Superior Court race between Commissioner Emma Castro and Deputy District Attorney Joan Chrostek.

Writing as “Joe Friday,” Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David Berger acknowledges that Chrostek failed to leave notes in a file as to the dangerousness of a defendant on trial for spousal abuse or to convey that to the deputy filling in for her at a hearing; lacking that information, the prosecution agreed to a release of the man on his own recognizance before being sent to prison, pursuant to a negotiated sentence; the man proceeded to slay his wife.

“Yet Chrostek is endorsed by former District Attorney Steve Cooley and current District Attorney Jackie Lacey,” Berger writes. “They must be convinced that Chrostek’s error, as serious and devastating as any error can be, is a thing of the past.”

He continues:

“For that reason, we find ourselves in the somewhat unique situation of disagreeing with the Met News. While Chrostek made a mistake, there is nothing to suggest any repetition is likely. The same cannot be said of Commissioner Castro. Her evasiveness and inability to explain why she was found [by the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation] to be unqualified for the position, coupled with the criticisms associated with her demeanor on the bench, leaves us in no doubt; Joan Chrostek should be elected to Judge of the Superior Court on June 3, 2014.”

The International Footprint Association’s San Fernando Valley Chapter on May 27 will hear a talk by attorney Brent A. Braun, a retired FBI agent, on “Con Men: The Scammers We Love to Hate and How the FBI Deals With Them.”

The meeting will take place at Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd, in Echo Park.

Cocktails will be available at 6:30 p.m,, with dinner at 7 p.m. Entrée choices are pot roast, roast chicken or trout.

Reservations are due by noon on May 23 and are available by telephoning (818) 554-0419 or e-mailing


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