Dec 4th: Hon. Mike Hanlon, The View from the Bench


DEC 4th: Mike Hanlon, The  View from the Bench
DEC 11th: Oak Dowling:  the Cross-Examination of the Nazi Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trial of 1946.
DEC 18th: Holiday Party


Hon. Daniel ''Mike'' Hanlon (Ret.) is known for his ability to settle complex cases involving a wide range of civil litigation issues. A former Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal and former Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, Justice Hanlon's ADR experience and qualifications come from his distinguished 28-year tenure on the California trial and appellate courts.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Conducted more than 2,800 settlement conferences and 200 mediations involving all types of civil litigation, including construction defect, insurance coverage, toxic tort, professional negligence, and personal injury matters
  • Served as San Francisco Superior Court Complex Litigation Judge for DES cases, AIDS blood bank cases, toxic tort, environmental cases, and complex insurance coverage cases. He conducted the only DES market share determination trial in the United States
  • Serves as Special Master in complex insurance, toxic tort, and construction defect cases
  • Serves as Neutral Arbitrator in complex insurance, as well as real estate and indemnity cases. Selected as Neutral Arbitrator for labor dispute under the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco

Representative Matters

  • Syntex Corp. v. Hartford Ins. Co., one of several toxic cleanup insurance coverage matters
  • Hitz v. First Interstate Bank, class action case involving commercial bank fees charged for loans and credit cards
  • Sugihara v. Kikkoman Corp., multimillion dollar contract dispute between a franchisee and an international corporation

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Chair, California Judges' Association, ADR Committee, 2006-present
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Appellate Law and Procedure, Empire College of Law, 2006-present
  • Alumnus of the Year, University of San Francisco, 1998
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Consumer Attorneys of California, 1995
  • Trial Judge of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers' Association, 1987
  • Member, Commission on Judicial Performance, California Supreme Court, March 1997-March 2001; Chair, February 1999-present
  • Member, California Judges Association's Civil Law and Procedure Committee, 1989-1995
  • Member, Advisory Committee, California Judicial Council on Business Courts, 1993-1996
  • Member, Corporate Board of Catholic Charities of Sonoma, Napa, and Lake Counties, 2007-Present
  • Board Member, Redwood Empire Food Bank, 2002-2006
  • Member, Edward J. McFertridge American Inn of Court, 1987-present (President, 1998-1999)
  • Faculty, Judicial College and Continuing Studies Program, Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) on complex litigation, toxic torts, environmental cases, and insurance overcharge issues
  • Adjunct Professor of Law (Juvenile Law), University of San Francisco, 1985-1991
  • Lectures locally and nationally on various aspects of ADR including ethics
  • International:
    • Lecturer on judicial ethics as part of an international judicial team and acted as an international monitor for the judicial reform examinations at the Europe and Eurasia Program (CEELI) in Tiblisi, Republic of Georgia, 1998
    • Lecturer on alternative dispute resolution and negotiations at the Indonesian Judges' Conference in Bali, 2001
    • Joined a team of professors from the University of San Francisco School of Law who taught Vietnamese judges the provisions of the new Civil Code of Vietnam, 1996


It appears this is becoming a new habit as Past President Bert Hill again gave the five minute warning.  President Harvey did make it up to the podium on time, but appeared to have a very concerned expression while he stared into his smart phone.  As a result this morning’s meeting started a couple of minutes late, once President Harvey completed his more pressing business.

Given today is the day before Thanksgiving and we knew a lot of our members are travelling; we did expect our attendance to be light.  Typically, the meeting held on the day before Thanksgiving tends to be light in terms of attendance, but usually it’s respectable.  We moved into the Crystal Lounge and Jorge was tempted to set only seven tables of seven.  Worried this wasn’t going to be enough, Jorge ended up adding an eighth seat to each table.  It wasn’t necessary though, as forty-nine seats would have been plenty.  Our total attendance was only twenty-nine.  A new record for the lowest GGBC attendance ever.      

We had but a single guest this morning; as promised by host Steve Shain our former member Jeanine Spencer.

I will make apologies in advance if I misquote any of you.  My two usual translators, or maybe I should say two better functioning sets of ears; Marty Mijalski and John McKnight were not here.  Marty is celebrating Thanksgiving with his family on the east coast and John is overseeing the Harbor Light Center’s turkey carving this morning.

Unfortunately, our speaker scheduled for this morning, our own Hedy Kaveh, had to make an emergency trip back to Iran, as his father has taken seriously ill.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Hedy and his family in this trying time.  Also, have you noticed that Jorge has been working alone for the past two weeks?  That’s because Elmer’s dad passed last week and Elmer is back in the Philippines.          

Today’s excuses; both via e-mail.  From Reg Young for Mike Hanlon who is celebrating Thanksgiving in the Pacific Northwest and from me for Alan GarberGarber is on his was to Santa Barbara to pickup his daughter and bring her back home for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.  This shows a surprising kinder and gentler side of Garber, who we would expect to say to his daughter, “here’s six bucks, maybe you can score one of those promotional fares on Bolt Bus”.   

Members that have returned; Bert Hill is back from Des Moines, Washington not Iowa, where he moved his Mom from the hospital to a nursing home.  Remember a few weeks back Bert mentioned his Mom had a case of pneumonia, then took a fall and broke four ribs and punctured a lung.  She’s doing better, but still has a long way to go towards recovery.  Dan Herling is finally home after making several trips to New England.  Dan posed a question; what’s the New England equivalent of “green” San Francisco?  The answer; Burlington, Vermont.

Guests at last Thursday’s sip and shop at the Showplace, Mike Mustacchi and his girl friend Honey. If you missed it, Chuck Mills says the next one is on December 19th.  Or, one day after the fabulous GGBC Holiday Party.  Why does Mustacchi call his girl friend HoneyJoel Panzer says it’s because Mike can’t remember her name.

Next year will mark Grant Hundley’s fiftieth year of working at Hundley Hardware.   It will also mark Grant’s fortieth anniversary of joining the GGBC and his thirtieth anniversary of joining Rotary.  If Arlan Kertz or Len Stec is curious as to what method of inventory accounting Hundley Hardware uses, Grant says it’s the FISH method; first in-still here.

Grant’s recitation of his string of anniversaries prompted a number of our other members to recite theirs.  Rickey Wilson is at thirty years worth of membership in the GGBC, of which for twenty-three, Rickey was a river rat.  What does Rickey miss the least about being a river rat?  Droughts and I-80.  

Celebrating his twentieth anniversary of being a member of the GGBC; Arlan Kertz.

Celebrating seventeen years of retirement; John CribbsRickey Wilson asked John what he considered his greatest accomplishment as Director of Public Works.  I was sure John was going to say the restoration of City Hall.  Good thing I’m not a betting man as John said it was the construction of Moscone Center.  Who delivered the first compactor to the brand spanking new Moscone Center in 1981?  If you’re a betting man and you said Pete Ratto, you’re a winner!         

An anniversary of sorts; Patricia Fripp started working at age fifteen and is still working at age sixty-eight.  So, that makes fifty-three years on working, or three years more than GrantFripp is also happy that her brother Robert and his wife will be joining her here in San Francisco for the holidays.

Tom Smegal says he’s got everyone beat when it comes to GGBC seniority.  Well, maybe out of those in attendance this morning.  Smegal joined in 1968, but even though he no longer attends meetings; Bruce Christensen joined in 1959.  Bruce was President in 1966, or two years before Smegal joined.     

Michael Mattis brought along some copies of an article he wrote for the North State Review about the changes in California.  A copy didn’t make it to my table, so I can’t give you the GGBC Member News review.    

During his self-introduction, Rich Corriea said his comments were not for public consumption and I should put my pen down.  I will include Rich’s concluding remarks though, since they are a matter of public record.  Rich has been inducted as a member of the George Washington High School Hall of Fame.  Joining such luminaries as Johnny Mathis and Lee Meriwether

Which other member of the GGBC is also a member of a Hall of Fame?  Mike Mustacchi, Galileo High School Sports Hall of Fame, with such luminaries as O. J. Simpson.

After the meeting Rich did say he does think I do accurately report what is said at the meetings, except I may on occasion spin some of the facts to emphasize the more embarrassing comments, while underemphasizing the complete set of comments putting everything into the proper context.  Which is why O. J. Simpson gets mentioned while Gino Cimoli does not.  This may also explain why a copy of Mike Mattis’ article didn’t make it to my table.      

Who will not be grilling his Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow?  Reg Young.  Seems three years ago Reg thought it would be a good idea to grill his turkey using his gas grill.  So, Reg pops in the turkey, turns the burners up to high, closes the hood and goes into the house to watch football.  When Reg went out to check the turkey, it was fully engulfed in flames.  Mrs. Young was not amused.  The turkey goes into the oven now.

Now that he’s a member of Rebuilding Together San Francisco’s board, J. J. Panzer is looking for sponsors and volunteers.  J. J. is also hoping to convince the Executive Director to join the GGBC, so the board meetings will be switched to another day.   Currently they are on Wednesday mornings.

Without Marty Mijalski here someone had to step up and deliver a joke.  Alex King told the old one about the guy who is sure his wife is going deaf.  The guy’s doc suggests he stand fifty feet away and ask his wife a question, then keeping moving ten feet closer until the wife can hear the question.  The guy asks “what’s for dinner?”  Then he follows the doc’s advice and keeps moving closer and closer asking the same question.  At five feet, the wife replies “chicken, I’ve told you five times.”       

I guess it is pretty quiet around town this morning.  Madeleine Savit reported that on her bike ride to the MMC, nobody honked at her, nobody came close to sideswiping her and she didn’t have to dodge any garbage trucks. 

Speaking of garbage trucks, Tom Jacobs says he missed the last two GGBC meetings because of accidents on 101 in Marin.  No garbage truck delays for Tom either.  Last weekend Tom attended the Reno Gun Show.  Tom says those guys are so conservative they make Garber look like a liberal.         

I will remind you again that Christmas is rapidly approaching, which means the GGBC’s Annual Holiday Extravaganza is rapidly approaching.  All of your GGBC favorites including Santa Claus himself will be here to entertain us all.  See me to sign up.  Regular price of $25.00 a head, but you can’t use your breakfast cards, as the Holiday Party is the GGBC’s last chance to bump up the treasury for our end of the year donations.    

Reg Young, subbing for Mike Hanlon, didn’t have any birthdays this morning. 

After breakfast I took a ride with Mike Mustacchi to the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center for the annual Thanksgiving turkey carving.  Orchestrated by John McKnight, enough turkey was sliced up for over 4,000 meals.  Thanks to Chiefs Joanne Hayes White and Greg Suhr who bring along enough firefighters and cops to do all the heavy lifting.  Even Rich Corriea carved up a couple of turkeys.  Our cadre of volunteers, including Christine Torrington, will have plenty to do Thanksgiving morning.  Even Mayor Lee was there to carve a turkey too!  And a special thanks to Mustacchi who always volunteers his time to photograph the event.     

Knuckleheads of the week; the contract negotiators for the San Francisco Unified School District who must have lifted the language right out of  Muni’s contract that allowed twelve percent of the teachers to call in and take the day before Thanksgiving off resulting in a mad scramble for substitutes to cover all the class assignments.