March 2019 Cover Story - Swing Into Action With the OCBA Charitable Fund

by Nikki Presley Miliband

Well, I certainly never thought I would be writing an article about golf, but here I am doing just that. While I have been known to be an avid skier (snow and water), tennis player, gymnast, along with other sports, golf is not “my thing.” In fact, while I hit a few golf balls several years ago at a driving range, I’ve never played on an actual golf course. Well, all of that is about to change! The Orange County Bar Association’s Charitable Fund (Charitable Fund) has two major fundraising events each year: the Kenneth Lae Golf Tournament, which is on April 1st at the newly reconfigured Santa Ana Country Club, and the Raise Your Glass wine event on August 22nd at the beautiful Newport Beach Country Club. Even though I don’t play golf, I have attended for many years the awards reception for the Kenneth Lae Golf Tournament, and I would encourage everyone who does not play golf to attend this fun and upbeat reception.

As Immediate Past President of the Orange County Bar Association, I have the great honor of being the 2019 President of the Charitable Fund. Because of this, I feel compelled to actually play golf this year and am looking forward to it. My husband and I were recently in Costa Rica for a vacation and I remembered the place we were staying had an Arnold Palmer golf course. I decided I would hire a golf pro to teach me to play while on vacation. Unfortunately, there was a pro-am tournament while we were there and I did not get to play a single hole. My second plan of action was to attend the OCBA travel seminar to Scotland and learn to play in the birthplace of the game. I then learned that you can’t play at the majority of the golf courses unless you are “really good,” which I am decidedly not. Now I have only a short time to try to come up with a plan to learn how to play, but I am determined that I will do so. Anyhow, it’s “best ball,” so I really only need to find teammates who know how to play, right?

Once I start playing, I have a feeling I will be able to identify with the quote by Gerald R. Ford that “I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.” Hopefully, I will not be hitting any spectators at the upcoming tournament.

I would encourage everyone to attend and play in the tournament or, if you are not a golfer and aren’t ready yet to learn, I would invite you to attend the award reception at the end of the day. This event sells out every year, so register now. We also have numerous sponsorship and underwriting opportunities available. All of the proceeds from the golf tournament go to support pro bono legal providers and legal related charities.

I would like to thank the Charitable Fund’s hard-working and amazing Golf Committee, co-chaired by James Pack of Fragomen and Christopher Ross of Knobbe Martens. They have done a great job organizing this tournament, assisted by their committee: Ashleigh Aitken, John Altstadt, Bill Artigliere, John Beckley, Thomas Bienert Jr., Cathrine Castaldi, Joseph Chairez, Matthew Fletcher, Todd Friedland, Kelly Galligan, Daniel Glassman, Eoin Kreditor, Danielle Mayer, Teresa McQueen, Sarah Nowels, Daniel Robinson, Beau Stockstill, Joseph Ursic, Lucia Valenzuela, and Dean Zipser.

The Charitable Fund was founded in 1995, having previously been OCBA Attorneys Contributing to Society (ACTS) Foundation. As the charitable giving and fundraising arm of the Orange County Bar Association, the OCBA Charitable Fund provides resources to organizations and programs in order to enhance the system of justice and promote equal justice for all. The Charitable Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Orange County Bar Association, overseeing and administering all charitable giving for the OCBA. The Charitable Fund is dedicated to bettering the Orange County community and legal profession by facilitating access to justice. This goal is achieved by making monetary contributions to carefully selected Orange County law-related organizations.

Since 2003, the Charitable Fund has given grants totaling almost $2 million to pro bono legal providers and legal related charities, which does not even count the funds the OCBA provides to pro bono legal providers from the proceeds of the OCBA Lawyer Referral Information Service (LRIS). In that same time frame, the OCBA has given $583,200 to Constitutional Rights Foundation-Orange County and $547,500 to the Public Law Center (again, not including the LRIS funds given to the Public Law Center), making them the top two grant recipients. Prior to when the Charitable Fund expanded its giving with a formalized grant application process, the Public Law Center and the Constitutional Rights Foundation were two of the few programs that received funding. This year, the Charitable Fund will be providing $222,000 in grants to 17 programs as follows:


Creating Leaders From Within
Providing a transformative experience for current and former foster youth through its dual goals of empowering youth and improving foster care.
Grant awarded: $5,000



Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic
Provides free legal representation, legal advice, and pro per workshops to indigent and low-income people and survivors of family violence, sexual assault, and trafficking.
Grant awarded: $12,000



Orange County Participant Assistance Program
Provides Orange County Superior Court, Collaborative Courts participants with support necessary to graduate and become productive members of society.
Grant awarded: $12,000



Legal Aid in Action to provide direct legal assistance to homeless individuals in Orange County
Helps Orange County neighbors fight injustice by providing compassionate, high-quality legal aid, and advocating for stronger communities.
Grant Awarded: $35,000



United We Stand: Civility, Citizenship and the Constitution
Empowers students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service and leadership.
Grant awarded: $2,000



Project: Civic Education
Provides civic and law-related educational programs made available to all high school students in Orange County including Mock Trial, Peer Court, Constitution Day, Law Day, and the Orange County Career Forum.
Grant awarded: $45,000



Mentor Advocate Program
Provides a voice for youth in the child welfare system through a unique one-on-one relationship with trained and supervised court-appointed volunteer advocates.
Grant awarded: $4,000



Senior Legal Clinic and Homeless Citation Legal Clinic
Provides access to justice and education through legal services for seniors, people with disabilities, and their families.
Grant awarded: $2,000



2019 HEALTH Initiative: Helping Expand Access to Lawyers, Treatment & Healthcare
Provides low-income families with free legal representation to increase their access to health care for critical medical conditions.
Grant awarded: $5,000



Legal Advocacy Program
Provides victims of domestic violence and late life family violence with education on legal rights, court accompaniment and support, direct assistance, and resources.
Grant awarded: $10,000



Legal Advocacy Program
Provides victims of domestic violence with a broad range of services and support to assist them in understanding and securing their legal rights so they can lead safe, productive, and violence-free lives.
Grant awarded: $10,000



Project SELF
Provides low-income and at-risk high school students with hands-on internships in the legal field.
Grant awarded: $5,000



Orange County Expanded Domestic Violence Assistance Project
Provides free civil legal services, including counseling, individual representation, community education, and strategic litigation and advocacy to challenge societal injustices.
Grant awarded: $25,000



Pre-Law Outreach Program (POP)
Provides assistance to undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare for the law school application and admissions process, and to understand the unique demands of legal education.
Grant awarded: $5,000



Saturday Academy of Law (SAL)
Provides an educational pipeline program for underserved ninth-grade students from Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove school districts.
Grant awarded: $5,000



Pro Bono Veterans Legal Mobile Clinics
Provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at-risk, disabled, and low-income veterans and service members. Seeks to eradicate barriers to housing, education, employment, and healthcare and to foster self-sufficiency.
Grant awarded: $30,000



Survivor Immigration Legal Services
Assists individuals and families to escape the depths of domestic violence and exploitation, and specifically assists survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking with immigration relief such as U-Visas, T-Visas, and VAWA petitions.
Grant awarded: $10,000


On February 13, 2019, the OCBA held a grant reception where each of these grants were awarded. Congratulations to the award recipients!

I hope to see you on the course on April 1st at the Santa Ana Country Club. And if you hear me yelling “fore,” be sure to duck!

Nikki Presley Miliband is the 2019 OCBA Charitable Fund President and a trust and estate litigator at Good Wildman. Reach her at nmiliband@goodwildman.com.