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SENATOR DOESN’T SPARE THE CHEESE WITH JUDICIAL ADVICE Politicians need love, too. That’s what state Sen. Judiciary Chair Joe Dunn, D-Garden Grove, tried to explain to about 30 judges attending a seminar on legislative outreach held as part of the Judicial Branch conference in San Diego two weekends ago. Dunn, a strong advocate for the branch, regaled judges with tips for networking with their local legislators. And he didn’t spare the cheese. First, Dunn said, get to know your local legislator � or at least his key staff or district manager. “You want to follow it up,” he said, “the same way when you were practicing law, you nurtured business relationships.” How to do that? “Invite them to your holiday work party,” he advised. “Don’t worry, we won’t come, but the fact that we got an invitation keeps you on our radar.” Dunn also told the judges to feel free to send birthday cards to lawmakers � even something bought by an office assistant and brought to the judge for a signature. “I know it’s an insincere birthday card,” Dunn conceded. “But guess what? We don’t get very many insincere birthday cards. If you remembered � that’s what it’s all about. And Dunn’s birthday? That was on Sept. 5. Better luck next year. � Jill Duman TAKING NOTES The largest class action against Wal-Mart � and the first of its kind, too � is getting plenty of attention in Oakland. In the wage-and-hour lawsuit before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sabraw, the plaintiffs allege Wal-Mart failed to pay overtime wages and are seeking pay for missed meal breaks. The case is Savaglio v. Wal-Mart, C-835687-7. According to plaintiff attorney Jessica Grant of The Furth Firm in San Francisco, attorneys from other states handling additional cases against the retailer are lining up. “[They're] watching and looking at the trial exhibits to see Wal-Mart’s strategy,” she said. Meanwhile, it was a case of big-box store mix-up during jury selection last week. Teresa Beaudet of Los Angeles firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw was interviewing prospective jurors when she addressed an Asian woman in her 40s about her questionnaire: Wasn’t it true she shopped at the Wal-Mart in Alameda? “Actually,” the woman said to the court’s amusement, “I think it was Kmart.” � Warren Lutz IT PAYS TO PAY ATTENTION Each lawyer attending the Sept. 10 session of the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations in San Diego backed a resolution supporting the independence of an embattled judiciary. Hundreds of them stood proudly hoisting their red paper ballots in approval � even San Ramon solo practitioner Helen Peters. But when Chairman James Aguirre called for an opposition vote, a distracted Peters, who was talking to another woman at a microphone near the back of the room, remained standing and waving her red ballot. Anxious shouts of “Helen, Helen” finally brought Peters, a delegate from the Contra Costa County Bar Association, back from the clouds, and she quickly sat down, obviously not meaning to take both a pro and con stand. Aguirre, a lawyer with Los Angeles’ Richardson, Bambrick, Cermak & Fair, remarked that he “just knew” Peters’ solitary opposition “was a mistake.” Everyone laughed as an embarrassed Peters smiled. A few minutes later, friends had placed a yellow sweatshirt on Peters. The words on the front: “My train of thought just derailed.” � Mike McKee

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