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2017 KCBA Board of Directors
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President: James Yoro (Chain Cohn Stiles)

Jim Yoro is a senior partner with the law firm of Chain, Cohn, Stiles where he has practiced law for over 30 years.  Jim grew up in Bakersfield attending local parochial schools including Garces Memorial High School.  He continued his education with a year at BC and then transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where he obtained both his undergraduate and law degree.


Jim is currently on the Board of Directors for GBLA and the California Applicant’s Attorneys Association (a statewide organization of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys dedicated to advancing the interests of injured workers throughout the state).  Jim has also been a past Board member for Kern Regional Center.  For the last 6 years Jim has had the privilege of serving the KCBA as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and as a director where he has been on various ad hoc committees and represented KCBA as a delegate at the 2012 CCBA Conference of Delegates.  Jim would be honored to continue his service to KCBA in the office of President.


Jim has been married to his lovely wife Reverie for 37 years and has two daughters, Kelsey, who recently graduated from law school, passed the Bar and is working in Sacramento and Carli, who just graduated from UC Berkeley and is working as an energy efficiency consultant for a Bay area environmental company.


Vice-President: Christopher Hagan (Brumfield & Hagan, LLP) 

I am of counsel with Brumfield & Hagan having joined the firm in February 2014.  I served two separate terms as a director for the KCBA. I am the former Chair of the KCBA’s MCLE committee and served as the Chair for the Officer Search Committee which, with the help of the entire board, was instrumental in locating and purchasing a building for the KCBA to call its own.  My wife (and fellow jurist) Kristin and I have a ten-year-old son, Jacob, and a six-year-old daughter, Avery.  I am honored to have been nominated for the position of Vice President and appreciate your vote.

Treasurer: Doug Gosling (Braun Harper Gosling, ALC)

Doug is the current Secretary for KCBA and a past President of the KCBA Young Lawyers Section where he served as an Officer and Director in 2007 – 2012.  He went on to serve on the KCBA Charitable Foundation Board of Directors in 2012-2013.  He is a recent recipient of the Bakersfield Life’s “20 Under 40 People to Watch.”   In 2015, Doug was nominated by his peers for inclusion in the Bakersfield Californian Best of Kern County Attorney Section.  Doug is also a graduate of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2013.  Doug was honored with a Martindale-Hubbell Rating: BV Distinguished in 2011.  He also served as the Fifth District Representative for the State Bar of California – California Young Lawyers Association in 2009-2011, where he was elected the association’s Outreach Committee Chair in 2011.  Doug is a graduate of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2007, was honored with a Witkin Award for Academic Excellence, and attained honors in Trial Advocacy.  He earned his B.A. from the University of Hawaii while competing on the WAC Conference Championship Warrior’s football team, was WAC Academic All-Conference and a three-time University of Hawaii Scholar Athlete Honoree.

Doug believes leaders are committed to engaging and educating others around them about the ideas and values that they cherish.  He is also persuaded that good leaders never stop learning.  Managing the conditions of our time requires learning, collaboration, and teamwork – KCBA provides all members with the opportunities to preserve and promote our wonderful legal community in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

Secretary: Joseph D. Hughes (Klein DeNatale Goldner)

Joe Hughes is a partner at Klein DeNatale Goldner.  He’s been practicing law since 1994.  He focuses his practice in the areas of water and public agency law.

Joe has served on the Kern County Bar Association Board of Directors since 2015.  He has been a member of the Kern County Law Library Board of Trustees since 2000, and served as a GBLA board member from 2000 to 2011.  He is a KCBA probate section past president.  Joe serves on the Kern County Museum Foundation Board of Trustees, and served on the Kern County Employees’ Retirement Association Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2012, and is past chair.  Joe has also volunteered as a mock trial attorney coach and as a small claims judge pro tem.

Joe has spent his entire legal career in Kern County developing local expertise and professional relationships within the community.  He looks forward to building new relationships and serving Kern County as KCBA Secretary.



Past-President: Isaac St. Lawrence (McMurtry, Hartsock & Worth)


Isaac St. Lawrence is an attorney at McMurtrey, Hartsock & Worth; practicing primarily in the areas of water law, civil litigation, and public agency representation.  Having grown up in Iowa, he moved to Bakersfield in 2002 and started practicing law shortly thereafter.  In 2004 Isaac St. Lawrence was instrumental in establishing the Young Lawyers Section of the Kern County Bar Association, and was elected as an inaugural member of its Board of Directors.  He continued to serve on the YLS Board of Directors for six years, including a term as President.  In 2010 he was elected to the Kern County Bar Associations Board of Directors and has served in such capacity for the past seven years.  In addition to his service in the local legal community, Mr. St. Lawrence enjoys playing soccer, golfing, and traveling. He and his wife Crystal have two beautiful little girls. 



(Term: 2016 - 2017):


Bernard Barmann, Jr.

Carol Bracy

Lynne Carrithers

Diane Dodds

Xochitl Garcia

Gabriel Godinez

T. Mark Smith

Alekxia Torres Stallings

David A Torres


Bernard Barmann, Jr.

Bernie Barmann is a civil and business litigation trial attorney and mediator with Kuhs & Parker who grew up in Bakersfield and has been practicing law for nearly twenty-six years. A graduate of West High School, Claremont McKenna College, and Columbia Law School, after practicing in Los Angeles for twenty years, Bernie is proud to have returned home to Bakersfield to continue practicing law. Upon graduating from Columbia in 1990 he joined O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he headed the Litigation Department’s annual new associate training program and led a seminar on the importance of civility in civil litigation. After more than nine years with O’Melveny, Mr. Barmann joined the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP in Century City, and was later a partner in the Los Angeles litigation boutique firm Hirschmann & Barmann LLP, before rejoining O’Melveny in 2008.

Since joining Kuhs & Parker in 2011, Mr. Barmann’s practice has focused on business litigation and trials, eminent domain proceedings, renewable energy, land use, and water law, and he is frequently called upon to advise local public agencies regarding a variety of issues. Bernie has served as a judge in the Kern County Mock Trial program and as an attorney coach for Frontier High School. He is the proud father of three amazing children—Andrew, a graduate of UC Santa Barbara; Patrick, a fabulous chef and graduate of the Bakersfield College culinary arts program; and Claire, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice at Marist College in New York. Bernie enjoys watching college football, drumming, cycling, swimming, and camping.

Bernie is honored to have been nominated as a candidate for the Kern County Bar Association’s Board of Directors. He welcomes the opportunity to serve the members of the local bar and our community at large by working with the KCBA leadership and members to continue building on their great work that makes a positive impact on our community.

Carol Bracy

I am a public interest attorney, practicing at Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance for the past 23 years, with 8 years before that at Legal Aid in San Diego. I am passionate about children and try to do what I can do to improve their lives. I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of the KCBA for a few years, and am willing to continue if you’ll have me. I try to bring the perspective of pro per and low-income litigants to the table. I loved being the KCBA representative in the formation of the STAR (mental health) court here in Kern County.

Lynne Carrithers

Lynne Carrithers is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Aera Energy LLC. Lynne is responsible for legal and government affairs for the company and also serves as Corporate Secretary. Lynne has practiced law in Kern County and has been a member of the bar association for 10 years, serving as a director since 2010. Prior to joining the Board as a director, Lynne served on the Board ex officio for two years as President and Immediate Past President of the Kern County Women Lawyers Association. Lynne is a founding member of the In-House Counsel Section and is currently serving in her second term as President. Lynne also serves on the Boards of Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. and the Kern County Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children. Lynne has been married to her wonderful husband, Jon, for 14 years and has two children, Adam who is a freshman at Pepperdine University, and Lily who is an eighth grader at Rio Bravo Greeley Middle School. Lynne has enjoyed serving on the Board and is committed to the association’s goal of fostering cooperation and goodwill between the legal profession and the community and disseminating information to the public.


Diane Dodds

Diane Dodds was raised in Long Beach, California and graduated from Stanford University and Yale Law School. She moved to Kern County in 1980 and has been a member of the Kern County Bar Association since then. For the last ten years, Diane was a partner in Jennison & Dodds, LLP, and now has opened her own solo practice in downtown Bakersfield. Her areas of concentration are estate planning, trust and probate, and family businesses. She is a new member of the Board, starting in the fall of 2016. Diane believes a strong bar association committed to community service enhances the public’s respect for attorneys. Diane chairs the Board’s committee on the Kern County Law Library andis especially interested in the needs of pro per litigants and in encouraging all attorneys to incorporate pro bono services in their regular practice


Xochitl Garcia

I would be honored to represent you as a KCBA director. I am a Kern County native and graduate of Arvin High School, class of 2001. After earning my J.D. from Thomson Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in 2009, I returned to Kern County to accept a position at Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. There I developed and managed partnership projects with the Kern County Superior Court to provide education and services pro per litigants.

In October of 2013, I opened my firm, The Law Office of Xochitl M. Garcia, with my primary area of practice in family law. In June of 2014, I was sworn in as a Kern County Planning Commissioner. In October 2014, I married my college sweetheart, Christian Silva, and I in 2015 I entered into a partnership with Karen Gaul Wallace.

I have been a proud and engaged member of our legal community since returning home after law school. I have worked yearly with the Foothill High School’s Mock Trial team.I will bring an energetic spirit and a commitment to promoting professional development, membership participation, and community improvement.


Gabriel Godinez

My name is Gabriel A. Godinez, I am originally from Arvin California and have been licensed attorney in good standing since 2006. I have had the pleasure of being a Board Member of Kern County Bar Association since 2011. I have been an active board member for the Kern County Bar Association for five years and currently serving as a member of on the IDP Oversite Committee as well as a member of Judicial Liaison Committee.


It would be an honor to serve our legal community for an additional term as a Kern County Bar Association Board Member. Your vote of confidence is greatly appreciated.


Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a partner at Clifford and Brown.He is a Bakersfield native and has been practicing law in Bakersfield for nearly twenty years. Prior to returning to Bakersfield he practiced in a national law firm in downtown Los Angeles for seven years. Mark is an experienced business litigator and has worked in a wide range of areas including land use, healthcare, professional liability and water rights. He is active in his church and several community organizations. Mark and his wife Juliet have three children and their activities revolve around school, their friends and the community. He believes that an active bar association is important to promote the image and visibility of lawyers in Bakersfield. Mark looks forward to working with the members and staff of the Kern County Bar Association.


Alekxia Torres Stallings

Alekxia Torres Stallings is a criminal defense trial attorney from Bakersfield, California.She was raised in Bakersfield and attended Stockdale High School. After high school, she attended the University of California at Irvine where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in European Studies. While at Irvine, she became an active member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the second largest sorority in the nation. She held various leadership positions within that organization and others while in college.

After graduating from Irvine, she accepted a position teaching English in Shenzhen, a city located in the Guangdong Province, in China, teaching English. She attended law school at Western Michigan University, Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While in law school she was active in the Student Bar Association holding almost every position, including President. She also participated in and was active on the Moot Court council. Upon graduation she earned the esteemed Leadership Award for her role in leadership throughout her schooling. During her final year in law school she completed an externship at the Washtenaw Public Defenders Office serving in the general felony unit.

Ms. Torres returned to Bakersfield following graduation. Upon her return, she clerked with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office handling misdemeanor cases and assisted in motion writing for Proposition 36 cases after the “Three Strikes” law was amended.After passing the California Bar Exam, she accepted an associate’s position with the Law Office of David A. Torres. There she practices state and federal criminal defense exclusively. In 2014 she was admitted to the federal Criminal Justice Act Panel where she serves as an attorney of record for initial appearances and detention hearings. In 2015 she was admitted to the Indigent Defense Panel in Kern County, where she serves as an attorney on conflict cases.

She has been a member of the Kern County Bar Association since 2012. She is currently serving as the President of the Women’s Lawyers Section of the Bar. She also currently serves as the Treasurer for the Young Lawyers Section of the Bar. Additionally, she is an active member of both the Criminal Law Section and the Multicultural Bar Alliance.

She has coached mock trial for Stockdale High School for the last three years. Their team placed seventh at the 2015 California State competition.

She is married to Brandon Stallings, a Deputy District Attorney with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. They have two dogs, Ruffles and Gizmo.


David A. Torres

David A. Torres earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from Cal State University, Fresno and his Juris Doctorate degree from Gonzaga University, School of Law in Spokane, Washington. He is an AV Preeminent rated California attorney who has practiced both state and federal criminal defense law for nearly thirty years, has tried over 150 felony trials to verdict and has argued successfully before the California Supreme Court. Mr. Torres is past President of the Kern County Bar Association and in 2010 was awarded the KCBA Bench and Bar Award, the highest award given by the local bar association. In 2013, Mr. Torres was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Merit Award from Gonzaga University. Mr. Torres has served a term as a Trustee for the State Bar of California and Chaired their Admissions and Education Committee. He is currently a member of the Committee of Bar Examiners, and was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the Central Valley Judicial Selection Application Committee as well as the Fair Board for the 15th Agricultural District which he currently chairs. Mr. Torres is a retired Lieutenant Colonel having served in the US Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps and has been recognized as a California Super Lawyer since 2012. Mr. Torres and his wife, Angelica, have been married for over 33 years and have 5 children. The eldest, Alekxia, is an associate in the Torres law firm.












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