A group of attorneys I meet with each week for lunch and professional discussion in our diverse areas of law appointed me as “President” to handle the great challenge of reserving our monthly luncheon venue, writing up the notifications, and paying the restaurant tab for the next 12 months of 2016.  This honor came to me because I was the greenest member of the group, and absent during the vote. This is the democracy at its thinnest.  We just had an annual Christmas gathering, this year at Muldoon’s in Fashion Island.

I completed session two of 4 presentations I’m facilitating this month to a group of judges and attorneys that meet for breakfast or lunch in south, north, and west Orange County.  We discussed the 15 spiritual illnesses outlined by Pope Francis in his 2014 Christmas message, delivered to his Cardinals and the Curia.  [The discussion group is non-denominational, and is comprised of believers of numerous faiths]. Our meetings are informal, cordial, and virtually leaderless.  The “organization,” known as “Daniel’s Inn” has no officers.  But volunteers present topics each month.  There is also an annual conference at which judges and lawyers speak from the heart about how God has entered the struggles and setbacks of their lives, as well as the victories and recoveries.  The next annual conference will be at Chapman University, Fowler School of Law, Orange CA.  For more information go to Daniels Inn.

AVVO is an internet attorney ranking resource that rates attorneys on several criteria, including posted client reviews. On Dec. 11, 2015, I received the following email:


Avvo Advisor
Clients’ Choice Award
We are pleased to present you with the
Clients’ Choice Award.

Clients' Choice Award
Your Clients’ Choice Badge
Congratulations Francis!

Your client reviews have earned you the Clients’ Choice Award.Show off your award with the Clients’ Choice Badge. It’s simple: just copy and paste a few lines of code to your website or blog.

Your badge is also a link that will direct people to your Avvo profile where they can read your client reviews and find more information about you.

Finally, this is the first week of my former law clerk, Sachiyo Miller, acting in her new capacity as Sachiyo Miller, Attorney at Law.  I was honored to be in attendance at Whittier School of Law to witness her “swearing in” ceremony presided over by two judges, each giving an oath of office for the federal bar and the state bar respectively.  Sachiyo is a remarkable attorney who demonstrates a capacity for hard work and quick learning.  But what I currently most appreciate is her focus and organization.  I am so pleased she accepted my offer of employment.  By the way, as I listened to the opening remarks of the two jurists before the oath, I was led to reflect on how my 38 years of practice may (or may not) have met the four main concerns they urged the new lawyers to pursue:  reputation, civility, preparation, and pro bono service.

Oh, the reference to “Francis” in the AVVO rating is to California Employment Lawyer Frank Pray.  As the Pope stole my name, and as I have no heart for bringing an intellectual property suit for trademark infringement, and as his brand slightly better known, I’ve decided to focused on other matters.