Taylor Fuller is named to the Santa Barbara County Bar Association’s Board of Directors

Herring Law Group is proud to report that Taylor Fuller has been appointed to the 2021 Board of Directors for the SBCBA. Taylor joined HLG in the summer of 2019. She has established herself as a rising star in our firm, as well as in the Santa Barbara legal community. Clients, judicial officers, and court personnel, alike, regularly express their appreciation for her interpersonal, as well as her legal, skills.

The century old SBCBA’s mission is to preserve the integrity of the legal profession and respect for the law, advance the professional growth and education of its members, encourage civility and collegiality, promote equal access to justice, and protect the independence of the legal profession and judiciary. Its membership stands at about 600 attorneys, judges, legal administrators, paralegals, law students, and various other professionals. It is a nonprofit organization that administers many programs and activities to benefit attorneys and the community. SBCBA members work to improve the legal profession, the communities in which they live, and the administration of justice in society.

The SBCBA:

  • Operates as a professional association.
  • Improves public understanding of the legal system, the substantive law and the role of lawyers.
  • Ethically promotes education and discussion in various fields of law.
  • Advances the science of jurisprudence.
  • Promotes the fair and efficient administration of justice.
  • Encourages observance of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Fosters cooperation between the bar, bench and governmental agencies.

We applaud the SBCBA for its good work, and we congratulate Taylor for this apt recognition!

The Passing of Stephen Kolodny

HLG was shocked and saddened at the passing of our friend, Stephen Kolodny, one week ago. Steve was a larger than life presence in our family law world – his offices were in Beverly Hills, but he had a statewide, national, and international presence. Paraphrasing our AAML Southern California President, Eleanor Stegmeier, he was a strong advocate for his clients and for all family law attorneys. Steve believed strongly in our right to bring our clients to trial when trial is warranted, and to advocate strongly and to be given time within the court system to present our clients’ cases.

He was a long-time Fellow of our Southern California chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers. His list of credentials, writings, programs, and other family law activities is a mile long.

As his “number two” attorney and our friend, Bill Glucksman, put it, Steve was a leader among leaders, a lawyer’s lawyer whose word was as good as gold. He had a commanding, decisive presence – confident, but not arrogant. A Los Angeles judge reported, “If I was involved in a case with Steve, I knew I had to be on my toes at all times, and that kind of challenge makes us all better participants in the legal process.”

I have worked to emulate Steve in all those ways. I will never stop.

My first encounter with him was in 2006 at a national AAML seminar in Chicago. He rose in the middle of a presentation that mentioned “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and set the panel and all 200+ attendees straight – Steve had previously helped to debunk the notion of a “syndrome” in the courts as junk science. I thought, well there’s a force! I made it a point to get to know him.

He flattered me by reciprocating in the years that followed. We exchanged ideas for family law programs and projects, we discussed all manner of family law and AAML issues, and he championed me in important ways.

I had occasion to both litigate against Steve in one of HLG’s initial barnburner cases, and with him and his law firm as “local counsel” last year in a victorious multi-week trial. All our cases were hard-fought, and it was an accomplishment to have reached that level.

As our AAML Southern California Chapter’s Immediate Past President in 2015, I considered him an obvious choice for our Family Law Person of the Year award. It makes me happy, knowing how pleased he was with it.

Steve’s passing is a reminder to appreciate all our great friendships and professional relationships. Hold these things close.

Community Support — PK Studios Jewelry

As our HLG website will soon reflect (we are adding a new “tab” on the topic), we substantially support a number of local and other non-profit groups. HLG is community-minded and involved. We are fortunate, and we appreciate our success. “Giving” is a way of supporting and applauding all who give their time, funds, and energy toward building and maintaining the social fabric — especially in these fraught times.

Pitching in is my awesome wife, Penny.  A designer and artist, she is selling her handmade jewelry creations on Instagram and donating all profits to aid Help of Ojai’s Community Assistance Program. She uses precious metal clay and kilns it in exquisitely detailed brass molds from Afghanistan. She purchased the molds at weekend markets in the 1990’s while living with her then-expat family in Islamabad, Pakistan — but that is another story!

Her Instagram site is @pkherring. As she describes it: “Handmade fine silver earrings with 24k gold vermeil ear wires. Everything is marked down 40%. Payments can be through Venmo or personal check. I can mail to directly to purchaser or to gift recipient. I will be posting more in the coming days!”

We do what we can, and we can do a lot. Thanks, Penny, for doing this one part!

HLG Participates in the California AFCC’s Annual Conference: “Difficult Conversations”

Erin Schaden, Certified Divorce Coach © and Herring Law Group’s Executive Director, attended the February 2020 Annual Conference of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCCnet.org) in San Francisco. Yes, that now seems like a million years ago! HLG has always routinely participated in these cutting-edge events. We will resume our involvement after the public emergency recedes.

HLG is a member of the AFCC, which is the “interdisciplinary, international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.” It focuses on “serving the needs of children among those who work in and with family law systems, encouraging education, research and innovation and identifying best practices.” The AFCC narrowly focuses on children, custody, and parenting.

The Conference’s presenters included many of the nationally-prominent mental health and parenting/custody professionals with whom HLG regularly works.

The Conference focused on child custody and parenting professional’s never-ending need to accomplish difficult conversations. As the AFCC illuminated it, we are tasked with engaging in one after another with clients, counsel, experts, courts and even internal office staff. Part of our job is teaching parents how to communicate more effectively with each other for the benefit of their children. Of course, before we can begin to have those difficult conversations, we have to be willing to have them in the first place!

The Conference highlighted how difficult conversations can help create and strengthen relationships, even at their legal end. They can also lead to more empathy in our practices, in our client’s cases, and in their lives going forward. Though uncomfortable or charged, difficult conversations can initiate greater clarity and peace of mind in ourselves and those with whom we work.

This is Erin’s wheelhouse. It is exactly what we seek to achieve for HLG’s clients in their always-emotional custody and parenting disputes. With Erin’s input, we continue to develop strategies for improving our communications both within the firm, as well as with our clients, other counsel, consulting professionals, and the courts.
HLG is proud to actively update ourselves and our clients regarding these advanced professional topics. HLG remains a strong supporter of the AFCC. We thank Erin for her enthusiastic participation!

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