(909) 483-0548

President’s Message

September 2020


By: Will Wooten, Esq.


Make sure to mark your calendars for October 1, 2020 so that you can participate in our virtual Installation of Officers and Awards Ceremony. Since we cannot safely gather 300 people in a ballroom this year, we are proceeding forward with our installation and awards ceremony in a virtual setting. We look forward to installing our new officers and directors, and also to presenting awards to Soheila Azizi (Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year), Bill Lemann (Lifetime Achievement Award), and Connie Johnson (Legal Assistant of the Year). Those “attending” this event will still be able socialize with friends and colleagues virtually before the actual ceremony commences, and there will be announcements made during the week leading up to the date of the event about the awards recipients and sponsors. This event is shaping up nicely. Purchase tickets early so you don’t miss out on anything. We have several different levels of sponsorships available for this event. If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact our Executive Director, Lindsay Partridge, at (909)483-0548.
Never in a million years did I think the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office would allow their employees to work from home. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing, law offices are continuing to find ways to social distance and keep their employees safe. When the majority of legal professionals in the United States began working from home this past spring, most people assumed that the office life they were accustomed to would return sooner rather than later. Recently, however, 91 percent of legal administrators in a poll by the Association of Legal Administrators said they believe the changes to professional practices brought about by the pandemic—including working remotely—are permanent. It appears that law firms are focusing on HOW the work gets done, rather than on WHERE it gets done.
Happily (and surprisingly), upper management in my office has seen the light and is allowing our attorneys to work, at times, from home. In the unit that I am assigned to, we work two weeks in the office, and then telecommute two weeks from home. This is a great solution that minimizes the number of employees in the office and in court each day, while also getting the same amount of work completed. Not only is this a safer way of conducting business, but it has boosted the morale of our attorneys tremendously. I personally save 2 hours of drive time each day, along with wear and tear on my car when I telecommute. I thank my boss, District Attorney Jason Anderson, for his leadership during these trying times.
Good news for law-abiding gun owners: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit confirmed that California’s ban on “large capacity” magazines violates the Second Amendment. In Duncan v. Becerra, a three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs challenging California Government Code §32310, which bans possession of large capacity magazines (“LCMs”) that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.
The panel held that Cal. Penal Code §32310 struck at the core right of law-abiding citizens to self-defend by banning LCM possession within the home. Second, the panel held that Section 32310’s near-categorical ban of LCMs substantially burdened core Second Amendment rights.
Circuit Judge Kenneth K. Lee wrote in his opinion, “In the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings, the state of California barred its citizens from owning so-called “large capacity magazines” (LCMs) that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. But even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster. California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment. Indeed, from pre-colonial times to today’s post-modern era, the right to defend hearth and home has remained paramount. California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense. The ban makes it criminal for Californians to own magazines that come standard in Glocks, Berettas, and other handguns that are staples of self-defense. Its scope is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California. Even law-abiding citizens, regardless of their training and track record, must alter or turn over to the state any LCMs that they may have legally owned for years — or face up to a year in jail. The state of California has latitude in enacting laws to curb the scourge of gun violence, and has done so by imposing waiting periods and many other limitations. But the Second Amendment limits the state’s ability to second-guess a citizen’s choice of arms if it imposes a substantial burden on her right to self-defense. Many Californians may find solace in the security of a handgun equipped with an LCM: those who live in rural areas where the local sheriff may be miles away, law-abiding citizens trapped in high-crime areas, communities that distrust or depend less on law enforcement, and many more who rely on their firearms to protect themselves and their families. California’s almost-blanket ban on LCMs goes too far in substantially burdening the people’s right to self-defense. We affirm the district court’s summary judgment, and hold that California Penal Code section 32310’s ban on LCMs runs afoul of the Second Amendment”.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Will Wooten

WSBCBA President