The Bench Bar Historical Society of Santa Clara County

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Founded in 1987, this group of lawyers and judges preserve and display the history of the Santa Clara County bench and bar. It conducts oral histories, presents Then and Now Dinners, convenes the Court of Historical Inquiry, maintains a speakers bureau, and creates permanent historical displays. (The BBHS is a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is not formally affiliated with the SCCBA.) See list of officers at the end of the page.

Our Mission

Our Mission is preserve the history of the legal profession in Santa Clara County and to educate attorneys and members of the public about it.  We organize annual events about the history of the legal profession in Santa Clara County and conduct oral history interviews with local judges and attorneys that are archived locally.


Organization News

Thursday June 13, 2013

Historic Department 17

Old Santa Clara County Courthouse

161 North First Street

San Jose, California

12 noon to 1:15 p.m.

Admission is free, but space is limited!

Questions? Contact Cathy Prouty


Food and drink are NOT allowed in the


Winter 1846-1847

The members of the Donner Party are snow bound in the Sierra Nevada. Seventeen try to cross the mountains on snowshoes, but are caught by storms. Starving, they resort to cannibalism. But did they eat only the dead? Or did William Foster kill two members of “Snowshoe Party” in order to eat them?

The Defendant: William Foster, A member of the Donner Party

The Alleged Victims: Luis and Salvador, two young Indian wards of Captain John Sutter, sent to assist in the rescue of the Donner Party

Board Members

Executive Board members of the BBHS

Tom Hogan, Esq., President
Hon. Paul Bernal, Past President
Aana Pregliasco, Esq.,  Secretary
Jennifer Cunneen, Esq. Treasurer

Board of Directors:

Mike Warren
Phil Sims
Hon. Paul Bernal
Noel Gassett
Willys Peck
Christopher Arriola
Jennifer Cunneen
Hon. Philip Pennypacker
Aana Pregliasco
Tom Nolan

Questions or comments? Get in touch with us at:

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