Continuing education has always been a priority for Don. His firm began holding educational seminars before MCLE was a requirement in California. When MCLE became a requirement, his law firm was certified to provide classes and programs based upon past history. That certification was transferred to the Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association after it was founded in 1990. The administration and seminars of the Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association have been operated out of his office from inception through 2010.
Lawyer Information and Referral Service (LRIS)
Don Ernst served as the San Luis Obispo County Bar President in 2002 and 2003. During his term, he founded the county’s first Lawyers Referral and Information Service. In addition to the corporate formation of the LIRS, his office provided the office space, computers and administrative services to get the LRIS operational. He served on the board of directors for years and still participates in the LRIS today.
Currently, Don Ernst is working with numerous other groups to set up a special Veteran’s Court in the County of San Luis Obispo. Participants in the setup include Dan Dowd and the District Attorneys’ Office, the Veteran Administration, the Probation Department, and the Sheriffs’ Department. Veterans returning from combat zones and overseas assignments regularly suffer from PTSD, alcohol, and drug dependency as a result of their military experience. They should be given special consideration under the law. Working with the District Attorney’s Office, the Defense Bar, the Bar Association, the Sheriff and other stakeholders, this Veteran’s Court is becoming a reality.