Committees and Sections of the RCBA


Listed below are some of the committees established by the RCBA:

CLE Committee

The Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee is responsible for overseeing the RCBA’s Minimum Continuing Legal Education program. The RCBA is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider. The committee meets monthly to discuss ideas for upcoming programs that will be interesting for RCBA members and will help them comply with State Bar educational requirements. The current committee consists of six active members: Melissa Cushman, DW Duke, Susan Exon, Abram Feuerstein (Co-Chair), L. Alexandra Fong (Co-Chair), and Brandon Mercer.

Every January, the CLE Committee holds an MCLE marathon, which consists of four of the six specialty (hard-to-get) topics: two hours of Ethics, one hour of Elimination of Bias, and one hour of Competence Issues (formerly known as the Prevention, Detection & Treatment of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness.) This CLE marathon will be held on Friday, January 15, 2016 at the low cost of $25 for members and $95 for non-members. Lunch will be provided. This marathon is co-sponsored by Jamee Rashi of Esquire Deposition Solutions.

Beginning in February 2016, the CLE Committee will present a series of CLE seminars focused on Motion Practice: Winning Strategies and Pitfalls. This series will be comprised of six seminars:

  1. Demurrers, Motions to Strike & Motions For Judgment on the Pleadings;;
  2. Anti-SLAPP motions;
  3. Motions to Compel;
  4. Motions for Summary Judgment;
  5. Pre-Trial Motions;
  6. Post-Judgment Motions;

If you are interested in learning about other topics, please contact the CLE Committee. If you are interested in joining the CLE Committee, monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month. The committee is always looking for new members and ideas for future MCLE programs that RCBA members will enjoy.

The CLE Committee is also looking for sponsors to provide lunch at the CLE seminars. Lunch is typically simple in nature (sandwiches, salads, etc.) and the cost of sponsorship is dependent upon the number of attendees at each seminar. It is preferred if the sponsor caters the lunch so that the sponsor can control his or her costs. Partial sponsorships are also available. If you are interested in sponsoring a CLE seminar, please contact Executive Director Charlene Nelson via email at or call (951) 682-1015.


The sections listed below are semi-autonomous from the RCBA, and are empowered to establish their own procedures subject only to compliance with the RCBA Bylaws and review by the Board of Directors. The activities of most of the sections are largely devoted to the presentation, discussion and study of matters pertaining to the practice of a substantive area of the law. Most sections use monthly meetings as a means to acquire MCLE credit.

Appellate Law Section

The Appellate Law Section is gearing up for monthly meetings in 2016. Most of the meetings will be held in the John Gabbert Gallery at the RCBA on the fourth Tuesday of the month. We hold a minimum of four MCLE presentations per year, which provide specialization credit. We are also currently working on a project to provide informational workshops and materials about civil appellate procedure to help self-represented civil appellate litigants navigate the treacherous waters of civil appeals. In addition, there will be regular meetings where we will discuss various matters of interest to the appellate bar, including proposed rule changes, trends in the Supreme Courts (both California’s and the United States), appellate procedures, and other matters of interest to local practitioners. Suggestions for meeting and MCLE topics in 2016 are most welcome. RCBA members are encouraged to contact the Section Chair, Carmela Simoncini, Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, at (951) 782-2603, or with input on possible topics and/or speakers.

Business Law Section

The Business Law Section is back, but it can use your help. We envision the section as providing valuable information regarding the practice of both transactional business law and business law litigation. In the past, we presented programs on issues such as e-discovery, state government aid available for businesses, business valuation, business formation, and liability insurance. But we would like your input on topics about which you would like to hear. Upcoming programs we are considering include marketing (the business side of law), managing an on-line reputation, and employment law for the small to mid-size business. Because we seek to serve the interests of our members, we would welcome any input you have regarding topics for future presentations and presenters. Please contact the section chair, Stefanie Field, at with any suggestions that you have. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with informative presentations and forums for discussion.

Civil Litigation Section

The Civil Litigation Section meets at Noon in the John Gabbert Gallery of the RCBA Building. Programs will feature a bench-and-bar format, aimed at providing our local practitioners with helpful tips and guidance regarding everyday litigation topics. We solicit your input and suggestions. It is our goal to make the Civil Litigation Section an invaluable resource for educational programs, networking opportunities, and the enjoyment of our wonderful profession. The Civil Litigation Section Chair is Dorothy McLaughlin; she can be reached at (951) 686-1450 or

Criminal Law Section

The Criminal Law Section sponsors meetings with speakers relevant to criminal law practitioners. Topics relevant to both prosecutors and defense attorneys are discussed at each meeting, featuring noted speakers of distinction in an area touching upon criminal law. Past speakers include Superior Court Judges, Justices of the Court of Appeals, experts in various disciplines, District Attorneys and others with interesting information on exciting topic to RCBA members. The section chairs are Paul Grech (he can be reached at 951-682-9311) and Lori Myers (she can be reached at

Environmental & Land Use Law Section

The joint Environmental & Land Use Law Sections of the Riverside and San Bernardino County Bar Associations provide local-area attorneys with both MCLE and a forum for discussion of topical issues related to the environment. Whether these issues relate to CEQA, CERCLA or natural resources, clean air or water, the sections strive to provide a place where environmental issues that are of local as well as state and national interest can be discussed. Guest speakers are often used to present a talk on areas of interest to all environmental attorneys, and we are always open to suggestions on how the section can grow and be more responsive to the needs of practicing environmental attorneys in the local area. The section meets during the lunch hour, alternating between Riverside and San Bernardino County. The section chair is Garry Brown who can be reached at (909) 890-4499 or

Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law Section

The Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law Section is co-chaired by Lauren Strickroth and Richard Egger. The section provides topical presentations, usually at Noon on the third Wednesday of each month (excepting summer months). In the upcoming year we are looking forward to providing speakers on estate planning issues, both transactional and litigation-related, as well as on elder law issues. Please contact Lauren Strickroth at (951) 826-8346 or if you have any questions or suggestions on what topics you would like to hear.

Family Law Section

The Family Law Section usually meets at Noon on the third Tuesday of the month. Attorneys who practice family law and the judicial officers from the Riverside Family Law Court are often guest speakers, discussing the latest developments in family law, evidence, civil procedure, and how family law interrelates with criminal law, bankruptcy, and probate issues. Suggestions for topics are always welcome. It is the goal of the Family Law Section to provide educational programs, encourage thoughtful discussion, and create civility and camaraderie among its members. The Family Law Section Chairs are David Ruegg ( and NaKesha Ruegg (

Human Rights Section

The Human Rights Section focuses on issues pertaining to human rights in our modern society. The goal of the Human Rights Section is to educate lawyers and others about such matters as human trafficking, child slavery, civil rights, political incarceration and related topics, and to provide an opportunity for attorneys to become involved. DW Duke is the section chair and he can be reached at

Immigration Law Section

The Immigration Law Section is chaired by Kelly O’Reilly, formerly an immigration officer and now a partner in the boutique immigration firm of Wilner & O’Reilly. As a result of Mr. O’Reilly’s former employment with the INS, the section is able to book current administrative supervisors and front-line officers to address real-world problems and to give best-practice advice to immigration attorneys and attorneys who have come across immigration issues. The goal of the section is to supply practical information and to develop agency contacts so that the practitioner will not only know how to solve a client’s problem, but have the contacts to make it happen quickly. The section meets bimonthly at Noon in the John Gabbert Gallery of the RCBA Building. For more information about the section, please contact Kelly O’Reilly at (714) 919-8880 or

Landlord & Tenant Law Section

The Landlord & Tenant Law Section of the RCBA meets eight times a year as a joint section with the San Bernardino County Bar Association. The meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month, January through May and September through November. About 25 members attend each meeting, with an equal amount from the tenant side and the landlord side. Meetings start at 6:00 p.m., alternating between the Cask ’n Cleaver in Riverside and Napoli’s in Loma Linda. Speakers have included various federal judges, state court judges and commissioners. There are various topics that cross over into landlord-tenant issues, and new experts come to the meetings to speak. Contact the section chair, Barry O’Connor, at 951-689-9644 or for further information and to be added to the section’s email list.

Solo & Small Firm Section

The Solo Practitioner/Small Firm Section is co-chaired by Chris Johnson and Dwight Kealy. The section focuses on topics and speakers that cater to the unique needs and interests of the solo practitioner and those in small firms. The section meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month. Chris and Dwight welcome all suggestions and ideas for section topics and speakers. Please contact Chris at (951) 676-3345 or, or Dwight at (877) 877-4056 or

Mentoring Program

In 2011, the RCBA began its Mentoring Program, in which attorneys who have practiced for five years or more can share their experience by mentoring a protégé. 

These mentoring opportunities include, but are not limited to, in-person meetings to discuss a variety of topics (such as ethics and professionalism, practice and law office management, etc.). A mentor may also provide a protégé with an opportunity to shadow him or her. Since the program’s inception, we have had 32 mentor-protégé pairings. 

We are always looking for new mentors and protégés. If you are interested in participating as a mentor, shaping a new attorney’s future in this legal community, or as a protégé, complete the application (click here).

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Riverside County Bar Association
4129 Main Street, Suite 100
Riverside, CA 92501
Telephone: (951) 682-1015