The History of Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association

The Wiley Manuel Bar Association of Sacramento County, formerly known as the Sacramento Association of Black Attorneys, (SABA), was founded in the fall of 1977, through the initial efforts of four attorneys in the Sacramento area, David Seals, Milton Armistead, Nathaniel Colley and Joseph Russell. These four attorneys saw a need for a bar association which would address the concerns of the Black community as well as the Black lawyers in the Sacramento area and along with thirteen others, held the first meeting of SABA. The seventeen individuals in attendance were: David Seals (President), Milton Armistead (Vice President), Harold Machen (Parliamentarian), Otis Benning, Clarence Brown, Timothy Chandler, Nathaniel Colley, Randolph Cooke, Joseph Cooper, Amos Freeman, L’Archie Harris, James Long, Gary Ransom, Vance Raye, Joseph Russell, Renard Shepard, and Herman Smith.

The stated purpose of the organization was “to provide an organized bar affiliation to represent the professional interests of the legal community in Sacramento, with special emphasis on Black attorneys; to promote the administration of justice; and to make use of legal tools and Legal discipline for the advancement of the economic, political, educational, and social interest of Sacramento, especially the Black community.”

In 1981, after the untimely death that year of Justice Wiley William Manuel, the first African American appointed to the California Supreme Court, the SABA changed its name to the Wiley Manuel Law Society. Justice Manuel was a distinguished leader in the legal field in the never-ending battle for equality and justice for all people, regardless of race, creed or national origin. It was this leadership that prompted the association to change its name in his honor. The next year, the Society affiliated with the State Bar of California and became the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association of Sacramento County. In 1984, Wiley Manual Bar Association (WMBA) became affiliated with the Sacramento County Bar Association. It also maintains affiliate status with the National Bar Association and was founding affiliate association to the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), which was also established in 1977, WMBA and its members continue to be a vital part of the Sacramento legal community.

Wiley William Manuel was the first African-American to be appointed as a justice to the California Supreme Court.

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed Wiley Manuel to the California Supreme Court on February 12, 1977. On November 7, 1978, Justice Manuel was elected to a twelve-year term on the California Supreme Court.

Justice Manuel received his Bachelor of Law degree from Hastings College of Law in 1953. Prior to his appointment to the California Supreme Court, he enjoyed a 23-year career with the California Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief Assistant Attorney General in the San Francisco office.

Justice Manuel’s twelve-year term would have expired in 1990. However, on January 5, 1981, he succumbed to a strenuous battle with cancer.

Justice Manuel’s legal career and his personal life were marked by dedication to hard work, public service and concept of equal justice for all segments of society.

In addition to the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association of Sacramento County, there is also a non-profit scholarship foundation in Northern California, and an Oakland courthouse named in his honor.

About Us/Our Staff

2016 WMBA Board of Directors

President
Gary P. Lindsey, Jr.
Senior Deputy City Attorney
City of Sacramento
sacwmba@gmail.com

1st Vice President
Heather Thomas
Attorney
Legislative Intent Services, Inc.

2nd Vice President
Yuri Hill
Attorney
Law Office of Keith J. Staten

Secretary
Maureen Onyeabako
Deputy Attorney General
State of California

Treasurer
Dianne Dobbs
Attorney
Department of Consumer Affairs

Financial Secretary
Bianca Watts
Associate
Wilke Fleury Hoffelt Gould & Birney

Member-At-Large
Adrian Carpenter
Deputy City Attorney
City of Sacramento

Sergeant-At-Arms
Keith Staten
Attorney
Law Office of Keith J. Staten

Parliamentarian
DeLonda K. Coleman
Attorney
Law Offices of DeLonda K. Coleman

Attorney Referral List

Curtis Howard
Law Office of Curtis Howard Jr
3609 Bradshaw Road Ste. H #422
Sacramento, CA 95827
(925) 755-6119

Dustin Johnson
Experienced State and Federal Criminal Defense
Phone: 916-436-1647
www.sacramentodefender.com

George H. Jones
Practice Areas: Employment Law / Criminal Law / Civil Litigation
4321 Auburn Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95841
Office (888) 675-2456
Cell (818) 384-2959
Fax (877) 291-0481
georgej2034@gmail.com

Mike Laux
Laux Law Group
www.lauxlawgroup.com
773-354-2129
Civil rights/police-involved shootings

Keith Staten
916 443-5600
Criminal/ administrative law/DMV issues
Recipient of the Attorney of the Year Award Twice

Justin Ward
The Ward Firm
Personal Injury and Criminal Defense
Over 12 years of experience. Former Prosecutor
901 H Street, Suite 601
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-2474 office
justin@jlwardfirm.com

News & Newsletters

We honor the legacy of renowned Sacramento civil rights lawyer, Nathaniel Colley.

The Colley Papers Exhibit

The Time is Now Documentary

Visit the Sacramento Observer for more news.
Sacramento Observer Website

Archives

Our Black Lawyer Quarterly Newsletter features information relevant to African American
Attorneys.

Tribute to Noble Vision
Sacramento Lawyer Article on The Wiley Manual Bar Association

Dr. Clarence B. Jones

In a distinguished and heralded career, Dr. Clarence B. Jones served as political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through his work in the civil rights movement, Dr. Jones dramatically impacted the course of American history. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, Alabama. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, Dr. Jones drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Dr. King to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. Dr. Jones also assisted Dr. King in drafting the celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that Dr. King delivered at the March On Washington on August 28, 1963.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW DR. JONES’ SPEECH THAT WAS PRESENTED AT THE UNITY BAR DINNER AND GALA ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9TH 2014.

Calendar of Events

DECEMBER 2016

Final General Body Meeting of the Year
December 8, 2016
Location: TBD
Food and drinks provided.
Email sacwmba@gmail.com for more information.

NOVEMBER 2016

Executive Board Meeting
November 3, 2016

SEPTEMBER 2016

LEGAL FUSION: A Celebration of Scholarship and Service at Firehouse Restaurant
September 29, 2016

Executive Board Meeting
September 8, 2016

AUGUST 2016

General Body Meeting
August 17, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: TBD

Executive Board Meeting
August 11, 2016

JULY 2016

Executive Board Meeting
July 7, 2016

MAY 2016

Executive Board Meeting
May 19, 2016

APRIL 2016

39th Annual Conference: California Association of Black Attorneys
April 28th – May 1st
Hilton Garden Inn
Emeryville, CA 94608

Law Day BBQ & Mixer
April 16, 2016
Food and drinks provided.
Email sacwmba@gmail.com for more information.

General Body Meeting
901 G Street
April 7, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

MARCH 2016

Executive Board Meeting
March 24, 2016
Hilton Garden Inn
Emeryville, CA 94608

Meet and Greet with the California Association of Black Attorneys for Legislative Day
Honorees: Fredericka McGee and Dia Poole

March 14, 2016

4th Annual Book Drive for Sacramento Juvenile Hall
2814 35th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
March 3, 2016
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

FEBRUARY 2016

General Body Meeting
901 G Street
February 10, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

JANUARY 2016

Contracts for Success
January 31, 2016

Executive Board Meeting
January 19, 2016

MLK 365 March
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Boulevard
January 18, 2016

WMBA Past Presidents

*served two terms

David Seals
Milton Armistead
Ramona Armistead
Honorable Gary Ransom
Samuel Jackson
David Brown
Joseph Russell
Windie O. Scott
Jessie Morris
Doreathea Johnson
Honorable Renard Shepard
Barbara Yonemura

Thelma Bailey
Mark Harris
Ben Johnson
Carol Widemon
Greg Finch
Warren Quann*
Aleshia (Poole) White
Clarence Brown* (dec.)
G. Cat Stokes
Mark Ambrose
Honorable Bunmi Awoniyi
Keith Staten*

Renee C.T. Carter*
Dana L. Flanagan-McBeth
Jean-Pierre Francillette*
Dale McKinney
Fredericka McGee
Dianne Dobbs
Alana Mathews
June R. Powells-Mays
Shanae Buffington
Carlton Davis

*served two terms

David Seals
Milton Armistead
Ramona Armistead
Honorable Gary Ransom
Samuel Jackson
David Brown
Joseph Russell
Windie O. Scott
Jessie Morris
Doreathea Johnson
Honorable Renard Shepard
Barbara Yonemura
Thelma Bailey
Mark Harris
Ben Johnson
Carol Widemon
Greg Finch
Warren Quann*
Aleshia (Poole) White
Clarence Brown* (dec.)
G. Cat Stokes
Mark Ambrose
Honorable Bunmi Awoniyi
Keith Staten*
Renee C.T. Carter*
Dana L. Flanagan-McBeth
Jean-Pierre Francillette*
Dale McKinney
Fredericka McGee
Dianne Dobbs
Alana Mathews
June R. Powells-Mays
Shanae Buffington

Contact Us

Click To Email Us

Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association of Sacramento County
P.O. Box 188032
Sacramento, CA 95818