This is the property of the Daily Journal Corporation and fully protected by copyright. It is made available only to Daily Journal subscribers for personal or collaborative purposes and may not be distributed, reproduced, modified, stored or transferred without written permission. Please click "Reprint" to order presentation-ready copies to distribute to clients or use in commercial marketing materials or for permission to post on a website. and copyright (showing year of publication) at the bottom.

Law Office Management

Mar. 2, 2015

Q&A: What do you do to alleviate stress?

Five lawyers discuss their stress-relievers

Marc E. Hankin

One of the ways that I maintain my work-life balance is to organize networking wine dinners. I bring together a group of one to three dozen professionals -- some are attorneys and some are not -- to a restaurant where they serve great food in a private room, and I bring wines from my extensive wine cellar paired to each course for an evening of networking, talking about wine, food, travel, and anything but our actual work.

Marc E. Hankin is the founder at Hankin Patent Law in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, where he practices intellectual property law.

Harley L. Bjelland

Ever since I was very, very young I made a commitment to participating in physical, athletic endeavors of various kinds. It helps me to release a lot of the tension that comes from practicing law. This is my 35th year [of practice]. Now what I do is play golf every Wednesday and Friday afternoon.

I find that keeps me more balanced and productive on the other days.

Harley Bjelland is owner of The ERISA Law Firm in Mission Viejo, where he practices employee benefits law.

Sarah B. Russo

I just had a new baby, so a lot of my normal stress relief tactics are kind of out the window. But when I normally do now is spend time with my baby, and I have two dogs, so I usually come home and walk the dogs with the baby ... And on the weekends I try to make sure that I have at least a little bit of time in the morning to drink my coffee and read the paper.

Sarah B. Russo is an associate at the Law Offices of Russo & Prince in Suisun City, where she practices family law.

Paul G. Carey

Exercise is a big part of it. During the week, I go to the gym; I try to get there at least three days a week, and I take a spin class there. I guard my time for recreational activities.It might sound goofy, but weekends are like little vacations; I try not to work on weekends. It's pretty important for me.

Paul G. Carey is a director at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Napa, where he practices civil litigation.

Danielle De Smeth

I do yoga. I carve out two nights a week, and the key for me has been keeping it with me even when I'm not practicing, or in class. Like just after a work call, if you take a deep breath and calm down, or in court when you're responding to a judge's question or an objection from opposing counsel.

Being grounded and deep breathing are techniques I've learned from yoga.

Danielle De Smeth is an associate at The Law Offices of Bamieh & Erickson in Ventura and Santa Barbara, where she practices criminal law and plaintiff's civil litigation.


Riley Guerin

Daily Journal Staff Writer

For reprint rights:

Email for prices.
Direct dial: 949-702-5390

If you would like to purchase a copy of your Daily Journal photo, call (213) 229-5558.

Send a letter to the editor: