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Riverside County, CA June 3, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for John W. Vineyard

Candidate for
Judge of the Superior Court; County of Riverside; Office 18

This information is provided by the candidate

I am a native of the Inland Empire, born in San Bernardino. My mother is a lifelong teacher and my father was a lawyer in San Bernardino for 35 years, until his death in 1995. My grandfather was a career police officer in San Bernardino, and my father was a police officer while attending college.

I attended public schools in San Bernardino, Louisiana and Redlands. I am a 1979 graduate of Redlands High School. Following high school, I attended Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana. I graduated cum laude in 1985. I worked as a substitute teacher in the Barstow Unified School District for a year before starting law school.

I attended law school at the University of California, Davis, graduating in 1989. While in law school, I worked as a summer law clerk with two Inland Empire law firms. After graduation, I returned to Riverside permanently.

I met my wife in Riverside, and we were married at the Mission Inn. We have been married for 14 years and live in Riverside with our two children, who attend Alcott Elementary School.

I graduated cum laude from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana in 1985. While attending college, I worked at a variety of jobs including construction, fast food service, retail sales, and as a dispatcher/operator for the Northeast Louisiana University Police Department.

I attended law school at the University of California, Davis School of Law. I graduated in 1989.

Since beginning my career as a lawyer, I have continued to take courses to keep current on the law. I also have completed a mediation certification course to help me become a more effective mediator.

In 1994 and 2006 I participated in programs sponsored by the Riverside Superior Court to train temporary judges.

I began my legal career in Riverside, as an associate with Dye, Thomas, Luebs and Mort, a small, local firm. I worked with exceptional lawyers that gave me excellent training in business and real estate law. More importantly, the firm's partners stressed the importance of service to our community and created an environment where I could devote time to important issues and organizations. I became at partner of the firm, then known as Thomas, Mort, Prosser and Knudsen, in 1996.

In 1998, that firm merged with a Los Angeles based firm, and several of the partners left the firm. I joined Peter Mort to create the Riverside office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, a multi national law firm. From 1998 to 2005 I managed the firm's Riverside office and represented the firm's clients in local business and real estate matters.

In February 2005, I left Akin Gump and opened John W. Vineyard, APLC, my own law practice in Riverside. As a solo practitioner, I have been able to focus my practice on helping individuals and small businesses, and to provide them with quality representation at an affordable cost. I have also been able to devote more time and resources to pro bono representation and community service activities.

I was raised in a tradition of community service, as both of my parents participated in many community organizations and devoted their time to important causes. That beginning was nurtured by the partners of Dye, Thomas, Luebs and Mort, and I have enjoyed the service I have given to our community + both the legal community and the non-legal community.

I have been a member of the Riverside Sunrise Rotary Club since 1995, and served as Club President in 2004-2005. Our small club supports both local and international projects that focus on literacy and children's issues.

In 2005 I was appointed by the Riverside City Council to a four year term on the Board of Library Trustees. The Trustees are responsible for oversight of the library system for the City of Riverside.

The Alcott Elementary School Foundation raises funds to support teachers and students at Alcott. Funds are used for classroom materials, field trips and class enrichment activities. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since 2006.

In 2007 I was elected as a Parent Representative to the Alcott Elementary School Site Council. The Site Council oversees the school budget and curriculum.

I served on the Board of Directors of Riverside Hospice from 2002 to 2004, including service as President in 2003-2004. I continue to support the good work that Riverside Hospice does in our community.

I served three years on the Board of Directors of the University of California, Riverside, Athletic Association (1990-1993), an organization devoted to raising funds to support student athletes.

I am a graduate (1993) of Leadership Riverside; a year-long leadership training program sponsored the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. I have been a member of the Chamber, either through my employers or my own firm, since 1989.

I am a founding member of the Legacy Society of the YWCA of Riverside County, and have supported the programs of the YWCA.

I have been active in the Riverside County Bar Association since I began practicing law in Riverside. I have actively served on numerous committees, such as the Publications Committee which publishes the Association's monthly magazine. I was Chair of the Publications Committee from 1991 to 1999. I served as President of the Association in 1999-2000.

I have also served on the Litigation Section (1989-Present), Fee Arbitration Panel (1993-Present), Mock Trial Steering Committee (1991, 2000), Judicial Liaison Committee (1993-1994), Judicial Evaluation Committee (1993-1996, 2003-2006), Krieger Meritorious Service Award Committee (Chair, 2006-Present), Public Bar Relations Committee (1990-Present, Chair, 2005-Present) and the Lawyer Referral Service (1998-1999, 2005-Present, Chair, 1998-1999, 2007-Present).

As a young lawyer in Riverside, I was active in the Riverside County Barristers Association, which, among other projects, sponsored a free legal clinic at the University of California, Riverside. I served as President in 1993-1994.

I have served as a volunteer on two committees of the State Bar of California: the Committee on Administration of Justice (1997-1998) and the Committee on Rules and Procedures of Court (1995-1997).

I have volunteered as a Temporary Judge for the Riverside County Superior Court for the past two years.

VIP Mentors is a statewide organization that matches volunteer attorneys with parolees in a mentoring relationship. The organization began a program in Riverside County in 1999. I have served on the Local Advisory Committee since the Riverside program began. I have mentored several parolees and received recognition as the Attorney Volunteer of the Year twice. I am a member of VIP's state Board of Directors and served as Chair from 2004 to 2007.

Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association sponsors a weekly free legal clinic in Riverside. I have volunteered at the clinic since 1989. I currently volunteer one night per month. I received the Attorney Volunteer of the Year award in 2004, and have received the Wiley Manuel Pro Bono Service Award twice.

The Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court was formed in Riverside in 1992 as part of the American Inns of Court, a national organization devoted to fostering civility in the practice of law. I was an Associate Member from 1992 to 1994.

I have been a member of the American Bar Association since I joined as a law student at the University of California, Davis.

Inland Counties Legal Services coordinates and provides legal services for low income Riverside and San Bernardino County residents. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since 2005.

I have taught courses at the University of California, Riverside, Extension in Construction Law (1992), Landlord-Tenant Law (1994) and Business Law (1995). I also taught Civil Procedure at California Southern School of Law in Riverside (1990-1991).

I have directly provided pro bono legal services to low income individuals and non profit organizations including churches, charitable organizations and Magnolia Center Little League.

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