The Orange County Bar Associations second annual Bench Bar Conference to be held Oct. 7-8 at the OCBA Center provides that opportunity.
Its an event that was well-received last year and a full agenda is on tap for this year. Topics include bankruptcy, appeals, business law, trusts, civil, probate and criminal issues.
The beauty of this is, one, it give the judges an opportunity to let lawyers who practice before them get knowledge on how that particular judge likes things done, said Frank Bedell, president of the Orange County Bar Association. It gives lawyers the opportunity to ask judges non-case specific questions. It serves the lawyers, who can do a better job for the clients they represent and it makes the judges jobs easier.
Bedell said the informal setting enables presenters and attendees to feel more comfortable, albeit there are a lot of topics to cover in two days. Last years event lasted three days.
In this day and age, people are so stretched for time, it’s hard to get out of the office for three days, Bedell said. One of the judges liked it so much he told us to give him plenty of advance notice so he could tell the criminal judges and they could block at least part of that Friday.
Bedell said the effort on the part of the event is the OCBAs way to help offset todays slowly dwindling opportunities for attorneys to be mentored.
Essentially it’s a vehicle for helpful candor between lawyer and judges, he said. There is less opportunity for true mentoring. This helps someone who has just hung out a shingle or is just out of law school, or even for experienced practitioners who are doing a different area of law.
On Thursday, the conference kicks off with registration and breakfast at 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. It is then followed by five sessions, and the day ends at 5 p.m. On Friday there will be registration from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., followed by four sessions and the conference winds down at 4 p.m.