Chain | Cohn | Stiles participates in community ‘Real Talk’ discussions focused on race relations in America

September 16, 2020 | 10:00 am


Following the death of George Floyd while in police custody, and the nationwide protests that followed, Bakersfield College aimed to bring us all together. With the help of local media personality Danny Morrison, the college organized a full week of conversations, events, and celebrations for Juneteenth, a commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

BC continued with a two-week virtual series called “Real Talk” to discuss racism and violence, and ways to overcome these issues; to “Light A Candle” and “Shine A Light” so to speak.

“It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward,” Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian wrote on her blog. “But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.”

Chain | Cohn | Stiles was proud to join in on the conversations as well. Attorney Matt Clark joined Morrison and Bob Prater — author of “A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation” — to discuss white peoples’ roles in the ongoing racial conversation. Topics during the discussion included the Black Lives Matter movement, white identity, white supremacy, exploitation, and reverse racism.

“We understand this is a process and that people of color and people of all religions and races and backgrounds and creeds and socioeconomic backgrounds can all come together as one,” Morrison told local media about the series.

You can watch the full discussion at this link on the Chain | Cohn | Stiles YouTube page, or below.

And you can watch all of the “Real Talk” discussions on the Danny Morrison Media Facebook page by clicking here.

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If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form at chainlaw.com.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles files claims on behalf of two students wrongfully arrested by Bakersfield police

February 1, 2017 | 9:35 am


Chain | Cohn | Stiles and the Bakersfield Chapter of NAACP announced the filing of government claims for wrongful arrest, excessive force and racial profiling against the city of Bakersfield and Bakersfield Police Department on behalf of two local college students.

After a night of studying on Dec. 5, Bakersfield College students Timothy Grismore, 21, and Xavier Hines, 19, were walking on the sidewalk on their way to get something to eat at Taco Bell when an unmarked patrol car approached them on Valhalla Drive, behind West High School, and shined lights on them. Two individuals, who later identified themselves as police officers, asked if Grismore and Hines were on probation or parole, and began to search them. The officers then slammed Grismore on the ground and struck him with batons, after he asked why he was being searched. He suffered bruises on his body and needed stitches to close wounds on his face and. Both young men were detained overnight.

The Kern County District Attorney’s Office refused to file charges against them, stating the young men violated no laws, and the officers had no right to stop the two, search them or detain them.

“There was no reason whatsoever for these two young men to be stopped, let alone assaulted and detained overnight,” said Neil K. Gehlawat, Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney for Grismore and Hines. “But perhaps what is most troubling is that the actions of these officers that night appeared to be racially motivated. The officers did what they did because they believed that Timothy and Xavier were affiliated with a gang – a conclusion we feel they reached only because the two young men were black.”

The announcement of the filing of the claim comes one month after the state Attorney General’s Office announced its civil rights investigation into the “pattern and practice” of excessive force by local law enforcement.

With the help of NAACP Bakersfield, the young men posted a video discussing the wrongful arrest, which has garnered nearly 250,000 views on the organization’s Facebook page.

The night of the claim filing, NAACP Bakersfield Chapter President Patrick Jackson — along with Hines, Grismore and members of the community — rallied and spoke at the Bakersfield City Council meeting.

The case is ongoing.

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UPDATE

The FBI began investigating the case in January. Gehlawat told The Bakersfield Californian he doesn’t think it’s at all common for the FBI to conduct investigations like this. Hines and Grismore were interviewed by agents.

“I imagine they would be looking to see if there was any criminal conduct on the part of any of the parties,” Gehlawat told The Californian. “We’re obviously hopeful they’ll find some wrongdoing on the part of the officers because we think that all the evidence from that night suggests these officers had no reason to ever apprehend Xavier or Timothy, let alone physically assault them.”

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MEDIA COVERAGE — ARREST/VIDEO

MEDIA COVERAGE — CLAIM FILED

UPDATES

Chain | Cohn | Stiles joins first-ever Bakersfield Marathon

November 2, 2016 | 9:02 am


For the first time in the history of Kern County, Bakersfield will be host to its first-ever 26-mile marathon that will run its course throughout the Greater Bakersfield area.

The Bakersfield Marathon — scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 13 — will take participants throughout iconic areas of Bakersfield including Stockdale Financial District, Kern County MuseumBakersfield College, and near Chain | Cohn | Stiles in downtown Bakersfield, among other locations. In fact, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to support the Bakersfield Marathon by sponsoring a water station in downtown Bakersfield.

The marathon will also feature tons of amenities for participants, onlookers and attendees alike. Learn more about the marathon and its features below.

 

MARATHON MUST-KNOW

The marathon will begin at the California State University, Bakersfield campus, with the finish at Kern River Parkway. This USATF-certified full marathon will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.

The marathon will give local runners participate in a Boston-qualifying marathon in their hometown, earning an official USA Track & Field certification. Cash and other prizes will be given to marathon, half-marathon and 5K winners, including overall and age category winners.

The full event includes:

  • Full marathon (26.2 miles), beginning at 7 a.m.
  • Half marathon (13.1 miles), beginning at 7:15 a.m.
  • 2-person half-marathon relay (13.1 miles)
  • 5K fun run (3.1 miles), beginning at 7:30 a.m.
  • Children’s quarter-mile and half-mile marathons, beginning at 10 a.m., for children ages 5 to 12 years old, and sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County. All participants will receive a medal.
  • Walker friendly course (around CSUB campus)

A festival area at CSU Bakersfield for the general public will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday, with food and beer area open shortly after. A health and fitness expo and packet pick-up event will also take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.

Nearly 1,000 runners from 55 cities, nine states and Canada have pre-registered for the marathon, according to a report from The Bakersfield Californian. Organizers David Milazzo and Charles Brown said they expected between 1,500 and 2,000 registrants by race day. Portions of the proceeds will benefit the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunner Scholarship Fund.

  • For street closures starting at 5 a.m. on race day in the Bakersfield area, click here. And to see a map of the marathon route, with street closures, click here.
  • To sign up to volunteer for the event, click here.
  • And to donate toward the cause, click here.

 

SPONSOR CHAIN | COHN | STILES

Having been in Bakersfield for more than 80 years, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is one with its community. The law firm year after year donates thousands to local causes, including several races, such as the annual Fog Run and Kern County Cancer Run. For the past three years, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has been a key organizer and sponsor of the annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

This year, we’re proud to sponsor and be a part of the inaugural Bakersfield Marathon, and helping keep runner hydrated during the race through a sponsored water station. Also, Chain | Cohn | Stiles’ own marketing director Jorge Barrientos, with wife Carla, were featured on the marathon promotional video, “I’ll Be Running,” which you can see here.

We hope you can join in, too, to make the first Bakersfield Marathon a huge success.

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MEDIA COVERAGE

OTHER RELATED COMMUNITY EVENTS

Chain | Cohn | Stiles welcomes back Bakersfield College students

August 26, 2014 | 8:52 am


Bakersfield College is welcoming back students this week for the 2014-15 school year, and Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to join in the welcoming party.

The Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles is informing Bakersfield College students and staff of the benefits they can receive as part of the Group Law Service partnership between the college and the law firm.

As part of the Group Law Services partnership, students and staff at Bakersfield College get the following benefits and services:

  • Free initial consultation.
  • Free notary service: Simply call our office and make an appointment.
  • 24-hour legal hotline: Bakersfield College students and staff can simply call our 24-hour number (661-323-4000).
  • Reduced legal fees.

Bakersfield College is “holding steady” in year-over-year enrollment, according to media reports. Student enrollment for the fall semester is 17,500, which will increase in the first weeks of the semester. BC also added 16 courses and hired 14 new faculty this fall, BakersfieldNow.com reported.

The Bakersfield Californian reported that BC enrollment has increased by between 500 and 700 students for the last three years.

As thousands of students and staff readjust to school life, you can find a Chain | Cohn | Stiles informational table during the college’s Welcome Week in the foyer in Campus Center, near the cafeteria and Fireside Room, on campus. Chain | Cohn | Stiles will be handing out goodies to students and staff, and answering any questions they may have about the law firm and services and benefits offered through Group Law Services.

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Group Law Services

Chain | Cohn | Stiles pioneered Group Law Services more than 45 years ago to provide quality legal help for working people in Kern County, including those who belong to local credit unions, labor unions and service organizations.

For a list of Group Law Services partners, go HERE.

If you are currently not a member but are interested in becoming a member and partner with Chain | Cohn | Stiles, please direct membership requests to Chain | Cohn | Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos at 661-323-4000.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles partners with Bakersfield College ‘Renegades’ this season

August 11, 2014 | 10:10 am


Bakersfield College recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. The Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles this year is celebrating 80 years.

For the two local institutions, a partnership is only natural. The two Bakersfield staples are partnering this year to help bring all Bakersfield College “Renegades” football games to the people of Kern County.

The BC and Chain | Cohn | Stiles partnership is made possible because of another partnership between Bakersfield staples — BC and The Bakersfield Californian. The local newspaper, its affiliated publication and digital products (together called TBC Media) are partnering to bring Renegades football games in video to Bakersfield.com for the 2014 season.

For the first time, all 10 of Bakersfield College’s 2014 football games will be live streamed in video on Bakersfield.com and GoGades.com, where video highlights from the games will also be available for instant viewing.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles for the 2014-15 season has signed on to sponsor the Renegade football team. You’ll see local law firm in the football game programs distributed at each game (the picture above is from the full-page ad that will be highlighted in the football program — see it full screen here). You’ll see the newest commercials from the law firm airing during the live streamed football games. And you’ll also hear the law firm’s radio commercials when the games are broadcast on Newstalk KERN 1180 AM.

You can watch all of the law firm’s latest commercials by visiting a previous Blogging For Justice post HERE.

To listen to our two radio commercials that will air on KERN 1180, click the links below:

For Chain | Cohn | Stiles, the partnership is also natural because the law firm’s founder Morris Chain is credited for inventing the name “Renegades” for Bakersfield College. Chain played BC football for three years himself. Recently, the law firm accepted the “100 Stars Award” on Chain’s behalf (he died in 1977), awarded to 100 alumni, retirees and community members who had a great impact on Bakersfield College. See a previous blog post about this HERE.

The Renegades start their 2014 season at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 on road at Riverside City College. Bakersfield College returns to Memorial Stadium the following week, Sept. 13, for a 6 p.m. game against Golden West. Each game webcast will feature pre-game and post-game show.

To watch the games online, go to Bakersfield.com. TBC Media will build a section where all of the highlights, full games and other content will be stored for on-demand viewing.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles founder Morris Chain honored with ‘100 Stars Award’

May 19, 2014 | 9:27 am


Bakersfield College hosted its 100th commencement on Friday, and Chain | Cohn | Stiles congratulates all of the graduates who took part in this special ceremony. The Bakersfield junior college is especially significant for our law firm, as our founder — Morris Chain — and managing partner David K. Cohn are graduates of the college.

As part of its centennial celebration, acknowledging the college’s accomplishments and impact in our community, college officials recognized 100 alumni, retirees and community members who had a great impact on Bakersfield College.

Each recipient of the 100 Stars Award received a medal from BC President Sonya Christian, and their biographies and pictures are placed in the trophy cabinet in the campus library, and also featured on the BC website.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to have Morris Chain featured as one of the 100 Stars. Chain died in 1977, and he has no immediate family in Bakersfield. Cohn accepted the award on his family’s behalf during the Bakersfield College student scholarship awards Honor Reception on May 9 in the Gil Bishop Gymnasium. Here is Morris Chain biography that was read during the awards ceremony.

It’s safe to say that without Morris B. Chain, one of the most prominent lawyers in Kern County history, there would be no Bakersfield College Renegades.

That’s because Chain, who played BC football for three years, dubbed the team as the “Renegades” in the 1920s.

Chain, who attended elementary and secondary schools in Bakersfield, also graduated from BC. He studied law at University of Southern California and eventually returned to Bakersfield, where he founded his own law firm in 1934.

He quickly rose to prominence throughout our community and in local courts, building his reputation as a champion of the underdog and laying the foundation for what has become San Joaquin Valley’s leading law firm. Awarded the coveted Bar and Bench Award by the Kern County Bar Association in 1976, local dignitaries described Chain as “one of the most remarkable men in the history of the community, and certainly in the history of the legal community of Kern County.”

Chain died in 1977. Today, Chain | Cohn | Stiles – celebrating its 80-year anniversary this year – carries on Morris Chain’s tradition of justice and community service.

Chain joined 99 other BC standouts who have made tremendous impacts in our community, and throughout the country. They include Congressman Kevin McCarthy, baseball player George Culver and Mayor Harvey Hall, among many others.