2023 Access to Justice Gala

Join Us For This Annual Celebration

Our annual Access to Justice Gala stands as a special occasion dedicated to honoring public servants. Our annual Access to Justice Gala stands as a special occasion dedicated to honoring public servants, individuals, and law firms who ardently champion the cause of justice. Beyond celebration, this event plays a pivotal role in providing essential funding to support the crucial work undertaken by LASSB.

Access To Justice Gala

This awards dinner is an opportunity for our organization to highlight individuals who have made a significant contribution to our community in securing and promoting justice for others, particularly the indigent and underserved.

We cordially invite you to attend the Access to Justice Award ceremony, where we will recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to our community by promoting and securing justice for the underserved, particularly the indigent. This event is a celebration of their tireless efforts to advance justice and make a positive impact on our community.

Special Performance

Troy Clark

Exciting news! We’re delighted to share that Troy Clarke Singer will be gracing us with a special performance. Discover more about our musical talent by clicking here and treat yourself to the enchanting sounds of smooth swing, jazz, and big band music right here.

Meet Our Access to Justice Honorees

Honoring Judge Michael A. Sachs

Superior Court of California
County of San Bernardino

Honoring Virginia Blumental

Blumenthal & Moore, APC

Honoring Connie S. Johnson

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

Become a Donor

 Participating in our upcoming Access to Justice Gala is not only meaningful but also an opportunity to stand behind our Access to Justice honorees, who tirelessly work to guarantee equal access to justice for low-income families.

You can make a substantial difference by becoming a sponsor, reserving a table, purchasing tickets, or making a donation. Click here to take action and contribute to this worthy cause.

Silent Auction

The doors to our Silent Auction swing open on the day of the event, offering a fantastic array of items up for bid. Your generous contributions through the auction directly bolster LASSB’s mission, allowing our dedicated advocates to extend free, top-tier legal services to a wider community. Get ready to bid on an enticing selection of prizes, including vacation packages, event tickets, fine wines, exquisite jewelry, and so much more!

Thank You To Our 2024 Sponsors

Champions of Justice

Law Offices of Michael A. Scafiddi, INC
Fullerton, Lemann, Schaefer & Dominick, LLP
The Myers Law Group

Leader of Justice

Supporter of Justice

Guardian of Justice

Friend of Legal Aid

Judicate West

Item Donor

Total Wine
Inland Empire Magazine
San Bernardino County Bar Association
Western San Bernardino County Bar Association

Honorable, Michael Sachs,
San Bernardino Superior Court

Judge Sachs is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Upon graduation he entered Western State University College of law where he received his J.D. Judge Sachs was admitted to the practice law in in 1988.

From 1988 until 1994, he worked at the Law Firm of Roberts and Morgan specializing in the defense of insureds and public entities. In 1994, he joined the Office of County Counsel where he was ultimately promoted to Principal Assistant County Counsel with supervision responsibilities for the office’s litigation unit. He remained at County Counsel until June of 2007 when he was appointed to one of the five newly created judicial positions for San Bernardino County Superior Court.

In the 2017, Judge Sachs was elected as the Assistant Presiding Judge of the San Bernardino Superior Court. In 2019, he was elected as the Presiding Judge. His term ended 12.31.2021. For the majority of his term, he had been responsible for implementing COVID Protocols for the court. His main emphasis was, to the best of his ability, insuring the health and safety of San Bernardino’s legal community including all court users, at the same time insuring access to justice for those needing court services. As Presiding Judge, he created the Court’s Elimination of Bias Committee. The first of its kind in Southern California. Along with Judge John Monterosso, Riverside Superior Court’s PJ, he also formed The Inland Counties Judicial Applicant program, geared toward recruiting qualified and diverse judicial candidates for appointment to San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial County Superior Courts.

He had previously been served on the Civil and Small Claims Advisory committee to the Judicial Council, and the Tribal Court –State Court Forum. Judge Sachs currently serves on the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee. Former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye appointed him to the forum and the committees.

Judge Sachs and his wife Michele, live is East Highland. They have two daughters, Jessica and Sarah. Jessica is married to Jordan Anderson, they have two children Jonah (3yrs) and Charlotte (8 mos).

Virginia Blumenthal

Virginia Blumenthal is the founding partner of Blumenthal & Moore, devoted exclusively to the defense of the accused.

Ms. Blumenthal, known for opening the first woman-owned law firm in the Inland area, has more than 45 years of trial experience and is recognized as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the United States.

She has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in America by the National Trial Lawyers, and her firm has been listed as a Top Ranking Law Firm in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. In 2023, she was chosen again for The Best Lawyers in America, an honor she has held for more than 30 years.

Ms. Blumenthal has been named Citizen of the Year by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and Alumnus of the Year by the Riverside Community College District. She has also received the Krieger Meritorious Service Award for outstanding community service – the highest honor of the Riverside County Bar Association.

In 2023, Ms. Blumenthal received multiple honors, including a Champion for Justice Award from the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County; the Civil Rights Law Giant Award from the Riverside County NAACP Youth Council; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Corona Chamber of Commerce. Her firm also received the Small Business Eagle Award from the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

In 2022, Ms. Blumenthal received the Roy Hord Volunteer of the Year Award from the Riverside Downtown Partnership and the Poly High School Bear of Distinction honor for outstanding alumni.

Ms. Blumenthal has also been named Riverside County Woman of the Year by the California Legislature. She has received the NAACP Law & Justice Award; the Honorary Life Member Award from the Fraternal Order of Police, Riverside, Lodge 8; the YWCA Women of Achievement “Person Who Makes a Difference” Award; and the Gold Key Award from Soroptimist International of Riverside.

In 2019, she argued before the California Supreme Court – a rarity for trial attorneys – in the matter of People v. Aranda. Three months later, the state high court issued a 6-1 decision in Ms. Blumenthal’s favor.

She serves as President of the Riverside County Philharmonic, is one of the founders of the Riverside County High School Mock Trial program, and is serving her fifth term on the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees. She also sits on a range of local boards, including those directing the UC Riverside Foundation, the Riverside University Hospital System Foundation, and the Riverside Unified School District Foundation.

Her work has been recognized by the President of the United States; the Governor of California; the Mayor of Riverside; the California State Assembly and State Senate; the Riverside County Board of Supervisors; and the Riverside City Council. She has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson grew up in a typical American household with her parents, two brothers and her little sister who had Down’s Syndrome and needed a lot of help. When she was ten years old, her kneecaps started dislocating and she spent the next 8 years in and out of the hospital in hopes it would one day stop. It didn’t. She found a passion in playing music and devoted herself to music to help her get through the days. She lost her little sister when Connie was 17 and her sister was 11 to congestive heart failure. Her passion for playing music saved her life during a very difficult time.

She married her first husband in 1986 and had her amazing son, Patrick in 1987. After divorcing in 1988, she began working in a defense workers’ compensation firm. Always desiring to seek out a more challenging career she was hired by Attorney Stanford E. Reichert (Judge Reichert) in 1997 in the insurance defense field. Once again, she found a passion. Judge Reichert trained her in all aspects of civil litigation and when closed his practice to take the bench, she accepted a position with Kinkle, Rodiger & Spriggs working for Claudia Spriggs for a year and then followed Ms. Spriggs to Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith where she worked for over 15 years. She currently works for Berman Berman Berman Schneider & Lowary’s Riverside office, still working in insurance defense where her passion started all of those years ago.

Connie has always had a desire to learn more and to help others whether it was working as a scout leader for her son or doing volunteer work for Special Olympics with her sister. Connie Joined the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals (ICAP) in 2008 serving as a director through 2017, and as President from 2013 through 2017. She received awards from the National Affiliated Associations Achievement award from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016 and received the Woman of the Year Award from the National Association of Professional Women in 2014 for dedication and work as a Professional Woman in the work force. Most recently, Connie won the Legal Assistant of the Year Award from the West San Bernardino County Bar Association for 2020/2021.

In 2014 Connie became a director/officer for the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino (LASSB). She again found her passion. “It has been my greatest joy to help those who have not been able to obtain help through any other means. As a prior single mother, I know the difficulty and struggle of getting through life day by day without letting your child know the amount of your struggle.” Connie always tried to keep a smile on her face, dealing with legs that did not always work the way they should.
Connie currently lives with the love of her life, Michael Johnson, who she married in 2000. Together they raised her son Patrick, and Michael’s children De Anna, Michael, Cindy and Chris, as well as their oldest granddaughter, Katrina. They have since been rewarded with their amazing grandchildren Wyatt, Cheyenne and Alora as well as their first great-grandchild, Ophelia.

Having to resign her position with LASSB was a very difficult decision. “My body has let me know that I have done enough, and it was time to stop. I miss the monthly meetings and just the comradery with the other board members who I miss terribly. I am glad I was able to help the thousands of people who came through Legal Aid in the years I was on the board. I hope I was able to make a positive change in their lives.”