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How to Pass the Appellate Specialization Exam (CA)

Learn how to study for the CA Appellate Specialization Exam

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The Complete Appeal - Intermediate level fall 2011 CA 4 locations

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"Don't even think about taking the California Bar Exam for Appellate Specialization without first taking the Pincus prep course. A one of a kind presentation by appellate experts who are familiar with the exam and will prepare you for the big test."  Jeffrey Lewis, Esq.

"I’m not sure if I ever told you just how helpful your study guide for the exam was for me.  It was just wonderful – and worked!"  Holly N. Boyer, Esq., Esner, Chang & Boyer

"I was just certified this year.  I did take your course two years ago and found it extremely helpful in preparing for the exam and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of becoming a certified appellate specialist."

"... I just finished my second listening to your Pincus program re the appellate specialization exam.  I sure do appreciate you putting the program together.  It helped shape my study plan and outline and is a great refresher.  Thanks for participating in it."  J. Lewis, Esq.

"I just learned that I passed the August Appellate Specialist Exam.  I didn't attend your course in person, I had the CD's; but the course really helped me pass the exam.  You did a nice job of treating the civil and criminal sides of the exam, I thought.  I found the course very useful and helpful.  Thanks to you and the panel who put it on."

"I passed the August Appellate Specialization Exam.  Ben Shatz, Jennifer King, and Scott Davenport gave a great program and provided very useful advice in preparing for the exam.  Thank you."

"The panel's appellate experience really showed!  Great advice."

"Great presentation!"

"I feel like I'm prepared to take the exam now.  Thank you!"

"Good materials.  The samples really help."

"Teachers were great!"

Dates and Times

To Be Announced

Course Summary

The CA Bar Appellate Specialization Exam is given every other year in odd years and the next exam is October 22, 2013.

Here is your chance to spend a day preparing for the Appellate Specialization Exam with two former chairs of the Specialization Committee that writes, grades and administers the exam (and a current chair of the Committee of Bar Examiners) as well as certified civil and criminal appellate specialists. 

Find out what to expect and how to prepare for the Appellate Specialization exam.  Get sample exam questions.  Eliminate the stress that goes with the unknown when preparing for an exam.

This specially tailored program will give you tips on how to take the exam as well as how to study for it.

Who should attend?

CA attorneys who are considering taking, or have signed up for, the CA Bar Association’s October 22, 2013 Appellate Specialization Exam. 

To register for the exam please go here.

Click here for the Bar’s requirements regarding the exam and qualifications to be a specialist.

For more information about the Appellate Specialization Exam, go to:



If you purchase(d) the 2009 audio course materials package and would like to attend the September 20, 2013 live seminar, you will receive 50% off your registration fee!  Please call (877) 858-3848 for details. 


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What You Will Learn if You Attend This Seminar

  • How the exam is written
  • How the exam is graded and on what schedule
  • How best to study for the exam, including using the old exam 
  • Questions we will provide
  • The exam's format and content, including
    • appellate ethics
    • tricky procedural topics
    • pre-briefing issues
    • motions and briefing
    • post-briefing topics
    • writs


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CLE Specialization Credit

This seminar is not available for specialization credit due to the content and purpose (exam prep) of the program.

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MCLE Credit

This seminar is not available for CLE credit due to the content and purpose (exam prep) of the program.

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Scott Wm. Davenport, Esq.
Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP

Mr. Davenport is a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist. 

Scott Wm. Davenport is the head of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. A Certified Specialist in Appellate Law, Mr. Davenport has served as the Chair of the California State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners and the Appellate Law Advisory Commission. He is an AV-Rated attorney and was selected by Los Angeles Magazine as a "Super Lawyer," one of Southern California’s Top Lawyers for 6 of the last 8 years. Throughout this career, Mr. Davenport has served as the lead counsel in approximately 400 appellate matters, many of which resulted in published opinions involving cases of first impression, including a per curiam summary reversal in the United States Supreme Court. He has also written multiple amicus briefs on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national organization known for its civil rights victories and tolerance education programs.

In addition to currently serving as an Appellate Settlement Officer with the Second District Court of Appeals, Mr. Davenport has served as a judge pro tem in the San Bernardino Superior Court. particular. Mr. Davenport recently co-authored a book for the Continuing Education of the Bar on the proper use of scientific evidence, is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Daily Journal and has recently been featured in the State Bar’s Ad Campaign, “What Kind of Lawyer Becomes a Certified Specialist?” He also served as a legal consultant on the CBS television series “The Guardian,” an activity which resulted in the drafting of a recurring character for the program named “Scott Davenport.” 

In 2006, Mr. Davenport was involved in three United States Supreme Court matters and one matter before the California Supreme Court. In 2007, Mr. Davenport was back in front of the High Court, this time obtaining a summary reversal in Rettele v. County of Los Angeles. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Davenport filed multiple briefs in the California Supreme Court in the Marriage Cases, as well as an Amicus Curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the subsequent constitutional challenge to Proposition 8.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Davenport served as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice and as a judicial extern with both the California Court of Appeal and the United States District Court. Based on this background, Mr. Davenport is often called upon to defend the State of California and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in extraordinary writ petitions venued in the variety of trial and appellate courts throughout the state. Mr. Davenport is also a licensed real estate broker who provides practical advice to the firm’s real estate clients.

In 2011, Mr. Davenport authored a book on Workers’ Compensation Appeals. He is also slated to present on the topic of workers’ compensation appeals at an attorney convention in December with Joseph Miller, the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (the equivalent of the Chief Justice of the WCAB).

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Davenport has coached youth baseball and soccer, and is a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner. A long-time hockey fan, Mr. Davenport finally strapped on the blades himself seven years ago and has been playing ice hockey at least once a week ever since. On two occasions, he was fortunate enough to play in exhibition games immediately following an Anaheim Duck regular season game. He also recently competed in his first half marathon. Mr. Davenport and his wife of 21 years reside in Irvine with their three children.

Benjamin G. Shatz, Esq.
Partner & Appellate Practice Group Co-Chair
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Instructor Portrait

Ben Shatz is a certified specialist in appellate law who has briefed hundreds of civil appeals, writs and petitions in state and federal courts covering areas of law including employment, entertainment, copyright, trademark, land use, banking, insurance, product liability, professional liability, wrongful death, punitive damages, class actions, anti-SLAPP and unfair competition. Before private practice he served as law clerk to Robert J. Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Nevada, and as extern to Dorothy W. Nelson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ben is Editor-in-Chief of California Litigation, the journal of the State Bar’s Litigation Section, chairs the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s State Appellate Judicial Evaluations Committee and serves on the executive committee of LACBA’s Appellate Courts Section. He is a past Chair of the State Bar Committee on Appellate Courts and the LACBA Appellate Courts Committee.

Since 2005, Ben has coordinated lawyer volunteers for the ACE (Appellate Court Experience) program, in which high school students visit the Second District Court of Appeal, for which he was honored as Lawyer of the Year (Private Sector 2008) by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. He has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in Appellate Practice (2004-2015); listed in Best Lawyers in America for appellate practice (2012-2015); and is AV-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Ben is a frequent lecturer and publisher of articles on appellate practice, is an editorial consultant for the Matthew Bender Practice Guide on California Civil Appeals & Writs, and blogs at Southern California Appellate News (

Jennifer Louise King, Esq.
SK Appellate Group, LLP
Instructor Portrait

Jennifer King is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She is an experienced appellate lawyer who has focused exclusively on appellate work for the past 20 years. Her experience has given her unique insight into all aspects of the appellate process.

She spent more than 10 years as a judicial attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal, where she worked on a wide range of civil matters, including those involving land use, labor and employment law, insurance coverage, medical malpractice and toxic torts. In private practice, she handled post-trial motions and appeals for clients including corporations, developers, insurance companies and public entities. She has appeared before the California Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. She clerked for the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler, formerly the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. 

Jennifer taught appellate advocacy at Loyola Law School, and legal research, writing and advocacy at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. For several years, she also taught a course on how to pass the appellate specialization exam. 

Beyond her practice, Jennifer is actively involved with the California State Bar. She is a member of the State Bar’s Committee on Access to Justice, and formerly served on the State Bar’s Committee on Appellate Courts. She chaired the State Bar’s Appellate Law Advisory Commission, which administers the appellate specialization program.

She served as the President of the Board of Directors of the California Supreme Court Historical Society, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting California’s legal and judicial history.

In her community, Jennifer serves as the city’s Mayor, and she previously served on her city’s Planning Commission. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peninsula Education Foundation and the President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of the Harbor Area and South Bay.

Jennifer graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science, with distinction. She received her law degree from Stanford Law School.

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Terms & Policies

Seminar, Webinar, Webcast Registration and Attendance Terms & Policies

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available.

Return/Refund Policy for Downloads/Tapes/CDs/DVDs:

Downloads are non-returnable/non-refundable once purchased and received. Tapes, CDs and DVDs are returnable for a full refund or replacement if defective, within 90 days of purchase.

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What Bill Foundation Does and who they are:

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