Support SDLRLA 2016 Endorsed Candidates...

Oct 13, 2015 by

For San Diego City Attorney: Mara Elliot Click here for more information about Deputy City Attorney, Mara Ellliot. For National City Council: Jerry Cano Click here for more information about National City Vice Mayor, Jerry Cano. For San Diego City Council, District 3: Chris Ward Congratulations to SDLRLA endorsed candidate, Chris Ward, for being elected as Council Member for...

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SDLRLA Press Release Re: Donald Trump...

Oct 12, 2015 by

San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and Community Organizations Respond to Trump Attacks

San Diego, CA – The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association along with Tom Homann LGBT Law Association and Justicia Criminal Defense Lawyers announce a response to Donald Trump’s misleading remarks about the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and his repeated comments regarding U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

By Luis O. Osuna, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association President:

In recent days our organization and Judge Curiel have become the targets of Donald Trump’s attacks. The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature. Given the amount of attention that Trump’s remarks have produced, this statement seeks to clarify who we are as an association, our purpose and the abject impropriety of Trump’s criticism of Judge Curiel and his attacks on the independence of the judiciary.

A part of the general public has made assumptions about our organization based on our association’s name. It is important to note that while the term “La Raza” literally translates into “the race”, its literal translation does not reflect its cultural meaning. In that context, La Raza refers to the concept of the power of the people working together in the name of justice and in the face of adversity. It is in this sense that our association invokes “La Raza.”

The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) is a local diversity bar association whose reputation among the San Diego legal community is highly regarded. Our focus is “to advance the cause of equality, empowerment and justice for Latino attorneys and the Latino community in San Diego County through service and advocacy. We are dedicated to promoting diversity on both the bench and bar…” (http://sdlrla.com/about/mission-statement/).

SDLRLA’s membership consists of lawyers, judges, law students and other professionals who work with lawyers in a professional capacity. Our membership of about 300 individuals is not monolithic, consisting of members with diverse backgrounds–conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats and Latinos and non-Latinos alike.

We provide our members with professional development seminars, professional networking events, mentorship programs, and award scholarships and bar stipends open to law students of all ethnic backgrounds. In addition, we provide the Latino community with information about legal resources, organize “Know Your Rights” seminars and host candidate debates during local elections that focus on issues primarily affecting the Latino community. While our association is non-partisan, we do endorse candidates whose values align with our mission statement; however, such endorsements have included candidates from both major political parties.

Contrary to what Trump has stated, we are not affiliated with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). NCLR is a wholly independent civil rights and advocacy non-profit organization. (http://www.nclr.org/about-us/who-we-are/). SDLRLA has not been involved in organizing any Trump protests, nor do we work in conjunction with NCLR.

As an association that provides limited services, we direct members of the Latino community in need of help to other organizations. As such, on our website we have a page titled, “For the Community,” which lists links to numerous organizations across the country that serve the Latino community. These organizations focus on various issues, including police practices, healthcare, immigration and human trafficking, to name a few. On this page there is a link to NCLR’s website, constituting the only tenuous connection SDLRLA has to NCLR.

Furthermore, SDLRLA does not condone any of the violence exhibited by both sides of the protests taking place outside of Trump rallies throughout the country. Our association is committed to effecting change through lawful means and firmly believes that violence only serves to undercut otherwise legitimate concerns.

Regarding Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel. Judge Curiel is a member of our association, as are many other local attorneys and judges of all ethnic backgrounds. By now, most people are aware of the barrage of attacks levied by Trump. Specifically, Trump’s racist remarks claiming that Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage makes him incapable of acting in an unbiased manner while presiding over two of the Trump University lawsuits.
Appropriately so, the judicial code of conduct does not allow Judge Curiel to respond to Trump’s unjustified attacks. Nevertheless, it is imperative to clarify that we are not speaking for Judge Curiel, but rather, we are speaking as legal professionals concerned about the baseless attacks on a man of integrity and their wider implications. As fellow members of the professional legal community, it is incumbent upon us to defend Judge Curiel’s unimpeachable integrity and to highlight the dangers of such criticism of a federal judge by a presumptive presidential nominee.

Judge Curiel, who is a U.S.-born citizen, is a well respected member of the legal community. His reputation is held in high esteem by attorneys who have encountered him both as a federal prosecutor and as a state or federal judge. He is an exemplar of public service who risked his life in prosecuting members of the Arellano-Felix drug cartel. A task he courageously and successfully undertook took to protect all Americans–his own Mexican heritage notwithstanding.

The notion that Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage precludes him from being impartial as he presides over the Trump University lawsuits is completely at odds with the views of legal experts across the nation and untethered from reality. African–American judges have presided over civil rights cases; female judges have presided over gender discrimination matters; both have done so impartially. One need only look to Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court who has repeatedly ruled to strike down laws enacted to protect the rights of African-Americans, despite his own ethnic background.

If we allow Trump’s comments to become perfunctory within the normal parameters of political discourse, we then risk descending into a country that reduces every individual down to their ethnic heritage, gender, religion or political ideology. Inevitably, this will lead to the improper use of these metrics to measure an individual’s abilities.

Trump’s repeated accusations of Judge Curiel display an utter lack of understanding for the role we play as attorneys and judges sworn to follow the law and uphold the Constitution. We do not question Trump’s First Amendment right to give his opinion as a named defendant in a civil suit; however, Trump is not the average civilian––he is the presumptive presidential nominee for one of the two major political parties.

This fact should raise concerns among all Americans on both ends of the political spectrum. His persistent attacks on Judge Curiel are not only racist, but they provide an ominous portent of how Trump may use the power of the presidency to intimidate federal judges. Such abuse of executive power poses a threat to all Americans. It is an independent judiciary and a respect of the separation of powers mandated by the Constitution that secures the civil liberties and freedom of the American people. Moreover, Trump’s comments only serve to foment the public’s distrust in our nation’s judicial system, thereby undermining one of the three pillars of our democracy.

For the foregoing reasons, we call on other bar associations to join us in denouncing Trump’s comments and demand that he retract his remarks.

Sincerely,
Luis O. Osuna, SDLRLA President

Media: To schedule an interview or request more information, please contact Luis Osuna at 619-948-7668 or luiso.osuna@gmail.com.

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Run for the Board!

Aug 21, 2015 by

Dear SDLRLA Members, This year has flown by! I have been honored to serve as President of SDLRLA and to work with such a talented Board of Directors and our other San Diego bar association leaders. We have consistently put on fantastic events that have engaged our membership and community at large and I hope that we continue our long history of community leadership in the years to come. There are five open director seats this year. If you have any questions about the commitment, the work involved or anything else, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or to anyone on the Board. You can learn about the requirements to run for the Board here. Let’s keep growing our organization and its influence in the San Diego legal community! Yours Truly, Rodrigo...

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Judiciary Reception – RSVP today!...

Jun 1, 2015 by

Please join us for the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Judiciary Reception! Date: May 25, 2016 Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Location: Klinedinst PC-501 W. Broadway, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92101 RSVP to larazalawyers@gmail.com. This year we are proud to be honoring Judge Gonzalo Curiel at our reception and recognizing him for his leadership and support to the community and to our Association! Thank you to our sponsors: Golper, Sullivan & Rivera, GP & The Law Offices of Sergio Feria,...

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SF Bar Stipends Return!

Mar 24, 2015 by

The SDLRLA Scholarship Fund proudly announces the sixth year of its Bar Stipend Scholarship Program! The bar stipend is awarded to law students in their final year of study to assist with bar examination related expenses. In awarding bar stipends, the Fund will consider the applicant’s financial need, academic achievement, community service, leadership experience and any hardship experienced in pursuing an education. Stipends typically range from $500 to $1,000. Bar stipend recipients will be honored at a joint event in May 2016 along with SDLRLA Annual Judiciary Reception. All law students will be welcome. ELIGIBILITY 1) Third or fourth year law student currently enrolled in an ABA accredited law school in San Diego County; or a law student currently enrolled in an ABA accredited law with ties to San Diego or Imperial Counties; 2) Of Latino...

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2016 Platinum Sponsor: Catherine Arambula of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company...

Feb 2, 2015 by

  “As a Northwestern Mutual Financial Representative, I focus my practice on successful professionals and businesses, helping to create, protect and manage their wealth.  Professional women and their families are especially important to me, since I understand that professional women do not follow a traditional life stage road map.  I will work with you to help identify your financial goals, suggest a solution to help you reach those goals, and show you ways to implement them.” -Catherine Arambula Financial Advisor North Western Mutual Wealth Management Company 600 W. Broadway, Ste. 600 San Diego, CA 92101 T: 619-204-4048 Fax: 888-687-1931 Email:  catherine.arambula@nm.com Click here for more information! Thank you to our 2016 Gold Sponsor: WestPac Wealth Partners For more information on how WestPac could help you, please contact Luis Alcala: Luis Alcala| Financial Representative WestPac Wealth Partners, LLC 750...

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