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The Complete Appeal: A practical civil appellate skills seminar (CA) (2011)

Includes comparisons between state and federal practice. Faculty includes sitting justices, staff attorneys, and some of the state's best appellate experts.

You may also be interested in:

Fed Court Boot Camp Conference (7th Annual)

Click here for more info.

“I appreciated the speakers from a variety of areas- law firm partners, staff attorneys, judges and law partners” – Deborah Bull, Esq. 

"Overall a very informative and helpful seminar."

"Helpful tips on what to include and how to formulate briefs."

"Great inside information & good practical delivery."

"Very on-point and strategic.  Excellent information.  Succinct!" - Anna Deckert, Esq.

"I liked the range of backgrounds - clerks, practitioners and justices." - Matthew Poelstra, Esq.

"Excellent help to an appellate practitioner." - Gary Bostwick, Esq.

"Very good; nice to hear about the inner workings of the Court of Appeal." - John Fagan, Duane Morris, LLP

"I thought the session was very informative and helpful." - Richard Rahm, Esq.

"Excellent seminar."


Dates and Times

To Be Announced


Course Summary

This intermediate level program will teach you sound strategies to improve your appellate practice, whether in state or federal court.  

Topics include: using the standard of review to your advantage, effectively briefing the appeal, appealability, writs v. appeals, stays, supersedeas, statements of decision, persuasive oral argument and handling a difficult bench at oral argument.

The panel focuses on civil appellate practice in California and the Federal Courts.

This seminar is an intermediate level course that will focus on expanding the participant's appellate practice knowledge and skills.  Participants hear the court’s perspective, as well as that of respected, experienced appellate attorneys and certified appellate specialists.

Special CA Supreme Court/USSC Session at SF program.  The last hour of the day in SF is focused on the CA Supreme Court and taught by staff attorneys and practitioners familiar with the court.

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What You Will Learn if You Attend This Seminar

Each area of appellate practice below will be discussed in terms of the differences between how they are handled at the state appellate courts and how they are handled at the federal appellate courts. 

  • The Main Differences between State and Federal Appeals
  • Making and Preserving the Record at Trial
  • Staying Judgments and Orders
  • Writs, Motions and Other Procedural Headaches
  • More Effective Brief-Writing (discussion lead by justices)
  • Persuasive Oral Argument (discussion lead by justices)
  • Loose Ends Session: What to do after the appeal is over and other loose ends
  • State v Federal Differences: Main differences discussed
  • San Francisco Only: SPECIAL CA SUPREME COURT SESSION 
    • Petitioning for review, including use of amici
    • Opposing review
    • Likelihood of review; trends and statistics
    • Briefing on the merits
    • Oral argument before the Supreme Court
    • The Court’s decision-making process

Our Supreme Court Session in San Francisco got excellent reviews. Buy the Home Study now! 

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Home Study Course

Purchase now »

San Francisco Program with Special Supreme Court Session:

Please note, when you get to the next page to order this program, the title of the program will appear as "State v. Federal Appeals: Winning in Either Venue (Intermediate Level) (CA) (2011)." We changed the name during the course of marketing this program.

Click the green "Purchase Now" button to order the audio recording, "The Complete Appeal: A practical civil appellate skills seminar (CA) (2011)." This is a live recording of our 2011 San Francisco seminar.

$415 plus CA tax and $7.50 shipping.

 

 

 


Los Angeles Program Recording:

Please note, when you get to the next page to order this program, the title of the program will appear as "State v. Federal Appeals: Winning in Either Venue (Intermediate Level) (CA) (2011)." We changed the name during the course of marketing this program.

Click the green "Purchase Now" button to order the audio recording, "The Complete Appeal: A practical civil appellate skills seminar (CA) (2011)."  This is a live recording of our 2011 Los Angeles seminar. 

$415 plus CA tax and $7.50 shipping. 

 

 

 


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Agenda

Each area of appellate practice below will be discussed in terms of the differences between how they are handled at the state appellate courts and how they are handled at the federal appellate courts. 

Morning session: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
  • State v Federal Differences: Main differences discussed 
  • Making and Preserving the Record at Trial
  • Staying Judgments and Orders 
  • Writs, Motions and Other Procedural Headaches 
 
Afternoon Session: 1:30 – 5:15 p.m.

Afternoon agenda fluctuates based on location.  There is a mock oral argument in Riverside, Orange County and Los Angeles.  There is a special session on the CA Supreme Court and USSC in San Francisco only. 
  • More Effective Brief-Writing (discussion lead by justices)
  • Persuasive Oral Argument (discussion lead by justices) 
  • Loose Ends Session: What to do after the appeal is over and other loose ends 
San Francisco Only: SPECIAL CA SUPREME COURT SESSION

The last segment of the day in San Francisco will include a discussion regarding practice before the California Supreme Court:

  • Petitioning for review, including use of amici
  • Opposing review
  • Likelihood of review; trends and statistics
  • Briefing on the merits
  • Oral argument before the Supreme Court
  • The Court’s decision-making process   

Our Supreme Court Session in San Francisco got excellent reviews. Buy the Home Study now!

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CLE Specialization Credit

Pincus Professional Education certifies that this seminar has been approved for 6.5 hours of Appellate Specialization Certification credit in California.

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MCLE Credit

Pincus Professional Education certifies that this seminar has been approved for 6.5 hours of MCLE credit in California.

Pincus Professional Education certifies that this seminar has been approved for 6.0 hours of MCLE credit in Washington.

Washington credit is valid through September 23, 2016. 

Upon request, we will assist attorneys in asking for CLE credit in other states.

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Instructors

Faculty:

Honey Kessler Amado, Esq.
Certified Specialist: Appellate Law Instructor Portrait

Honey Kessler Amado is a certified appellate law specialist, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, since 1997. In addition to representing clients in the review courts, Ms. Amado serves as a consultant on trial court issues or cases anticipated for appeal, reviews cases to advise on the merits for appeal, and assists with writing and editing complex memoranda of points and authorities and briefs.

Ms. Amado currently sits on the Appellate Courts Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and serves on the voluntary settlement and mediation panel of the California Court of Appeal, Second District. For a number of years, she sat on the Editorial Board of Los

Angeles Lawyer magazine, having served as Chair of the Editorial Board for the 2000-2001 term.

She enjoys an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is honored to have been named as a Super Lawyer of Southern California in appellate law each year since 2005.

Ms. Amado has authored a number of articles on legal issues relating to appellate law or family law, including co-authoring a chapter on Hague procedures in the United States in international custody disputes for an international treatise. She is a frequent speaker and panelist on various law-related issues, having presented for the American Bar Association, the California State Bar, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and other local bar associations, and at a number of local study groups. In addition, she has been a guest lecturer in various classes at California State University, Northridge, and was a visiting, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Osijek, in Osijek, Croatia, in Fall 2012.

Ms. Amado has a number of published opinions, including Kristine H. v. Superior Court (Lisa R.) (2005) 37 Cal.4th 156; Marriage of Nassimi (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 667; Marriage of Williamson (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1303; Marriage of Feldman (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1470; and Marriage of Abargil (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 1294.

Randee J. Barak, Esq.
Lead Appellate Attorney
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven

Randee Barak has been a Senior Appellate Attorney at the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District since 1999.  Prior to coming to the Court of Appeal, Ms. Barak specialized in business and health care litigation for Sidley Austin, working in both its Litigation and Appellate Practice groups.  Ms. Barak graduated with honors from UCLA School of Law in 1992 and, following graduation, served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge Arthur Alarcon on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  A member of the Los Angeles County Bar Appellate Courts Committee, she is the co-chair of the “Appellate Court Experience program (ACE),” a program developed in conjunction with the Constitutional Rights Foundation to educate Los Angeles County area high school students about the appellate court system.  In 2008 the Constitutional Rights Foundation honored Ms. Barak as “Lawyer of the Year for the Public Sector.”  She is the author of several articles on litigation and appellate practice. 

Daniel H. Bromberg, Esq.
Partner
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP
Instructor Portrait

Mr. Bromberg is an experienced appellate advocate who has argued before the United States Supreme Court as well as numerous federal and state appellate courts.  With more than a decade’s experience in the Supreme Court, Mr. Bromberg is familiar with all aspects of Supreme Court practice, including merits briefing, petitions for certiorari, and amicus briefs.  He also is experienced with practice in federal appeals courts and California appellate practice, including writ petitions, requests for depublication, and petitions for review.  

Mr. Bromberg’s practice focuses upon intellectual property, commercial disputes, constitutional law, and other complex legal matters at both the trial and appellate levels.  He has been involved in many of the patent cases before the Supreme Court in recent years, filing amicus briefs on behalf of high tech companies in both the eBay and KSR cases.  He also has litigated several groundbreaking copyright cases and is currently litigating appeals involving patents, trademarks, antitrust, and punitive damages.  

Gina M. Calvelli, Esq.
Senior Appellate Court Attorney
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four

Gina M. Calvelli has been a Senior Appellate Court Attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal since 2001.  She formerly worked for Associate Justice Richard M. Mosk in Division Five, and currently works for Associate Justice Thomas L. Willhite, Jr. in Division Four.

Before coming to the Court of Appeal, Ms. Calvelli was a partner at Riordan & McKinzie, where she specialized in Appellate Law.  She began her practice at Khourie, Crew & Jaeger, a San Francisco litigation firm specializing in antitrust, intellectual property, and consumer class actions.  Ms. Calvelli is a 1991 graduate of Stanford Law School.

Carin T. Fujisaki, Esq.
Judicial Staff Attorney
California Supreme Court
Instructor Portrait

Carin Fujisaki has been an appellate attorney with the California Supreme Court since 1990.  She spent her first year on the court’s civil central staff handling petitions for review, and has since served as a judicial staff attorney for Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter.  Prior to joining the court, Ms. Fujisaki worked as a litigation associate with the San Francisco law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson & Falk.

Ms. Fujisaki received her J.D. in 1985 from U.C. Hastings College of the Law, where she was an associate editor of the Hastings Law Journal.  In 2003, Governor Gray Davis appointed her to the Board of Directors of U.C. Hastings, where she currently serves as vice chair of the Board and is an active member of several other special committees.

Wendy C. Lascher, Esq.
Partner/State Bar Certified Specialist in Appellate Law
Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP
Instructor Portrait

Though Wendy Lascher is one of California's best-known appellate lawyers, her work on behalf of clients often begins well before an appeal. By crafting motions and consulting on trial strategy, Wendy helps clients either avoid appeals in the first place, or to be well-positioned to win cases on appeal. 

After nearly four-decades at her appellate-focused boutique, Lascher & Lascher, Wendy brought her practice to Ferguson Case Orr Paterson in 2011. She brought with her a California State Bar-certified appellate specialty in which she has represented clients in front of the United States Supreme Court, many times before the California Supreme Court, multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, and in every California Court of Appeal district. She has also handled cases in state and federal trial courts. 

Wendy has handled a wide range of appeals involving multinational corporations, municipalities and other government entities, complex family law, Death Row and other criminal cases, employment, real estate development, bankruptcies and other matters. 

Previously a president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, she regularly features in Los Angeles Magazine's "Super Lawyers" roundups of top lawyers as well as its listings of the "Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers" and "Top 50 Women Super Lawyers," and she is Av-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbard. She also regularly lectures at the Ventura and Santa Barbara Colleges of Law and regularly speaks about appellate law and other matters for a variety of legal organizations. Widely published in legal journals, she is also the long-time editor of CITATIONS, the newsletter of the Ventura County Bar Association. 

Wendy has been a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Ventura County since 2008. She has also served as a board member at First National Bank of Ventura, Channel Counties Legal Services, the KCLU advisory board, and the Planned Parenthood Ventura Advisory Council. When not working or volunteering, Wendy enjoys gardening, early morning workouts, hiking, and spending time with her family. She is also a student pilot and expects to acquire her private pilot’s license in 2017. 

Bar Admissions and Professional Memberships 

  • State Bar of California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • Certified Specialist in Appellate Law, California Board of Legal Specialization
  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (Past President)
  • American Inns of Court (Former Board Member)
  • California Academy of Appellate Lawyers (Past President)
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Editor, CITATIONS; Past President)
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers (Former Board Member)
  • 2005 National Conference on Appellate Justice (Member, Steering Committee)
  • State Bar of California, Appellate Law Advisory Commission (1994-1998)
  • California Litigation (Editorial Board, 1993-1996)
  • Lecturer, California Continuing Education of the Bar
  • Lecturer, Hastings Litigation Advocacy Program
  • Lecturer, Santa Barbara College of Law
  • Lecturer, Ventura College of Law

 

 

Amy E. Margolin, Esq.

Bien & Summers LLP

Amy Margolin practices at Bien & Summers, a civil appellate boutique headquartered in Marin County.    

Ms. Margolin has more than ten years of experience in civil appellate litigation, representing clients on appeal in a wide range of disputes, including complex commercial litigation, bankruptcy matters, business torts, family law, employment matters, trade secret disputes, arbitration issues, and constitutional litigation.  

She has successfully argued cases in the California Court of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, including before an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit.  Before joining Bien & Summers, Ms. Margolin was a director in the Appellate Practice Group of Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School, lectures frequently in the area of appellate practice, and since 2007 has been recognized in the annual “Super Lawyers” survey of Law & Politics as among the top five percent of lawyers practicing in Northern California in the area of civil appeals.

Paula M. Mitchell, Esq.
Councel
Reed Smith

Paula Mitchell has participated in the review and disposition of hundreds appeals filed in the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits as a career law clerk for Senior Judge Arthur L. Alarcón on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She has briefed and presented appeals, including recommended dispositions, to three-judge Ninth Circuit merits panels.  As a former BAP law clerk to Judge Erithe Smith on the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, Paula also has extensive experience reviewing and deciding  bankruptcy appeals.     

Prior to her clerkship, Paula practiced in major law firms in New York and Los Angeles, focusing on high-stakes litigation and appeals in both federal and state courts.  Her legal experience began when she worked on the Amoco Cadiz oil spill appeal in the Seventh Circuit on behalf of the Republic of France.  Paula was also part of the team responsible for obtaining a $5 billion punitive damages verdict against Exxon in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, an award partially vacated by the Ninth Circuit in  In re Exxon Valdez, 270 F.3d 1215 (9th Cir. 2001).

As an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, Paula teaches Habeas Corpus & Prisoner Civil Rights Litigation.  She and Judge Alarcón co-authored the recently published article, "Executing the Will of the Voters?:  A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion Dollar Death Penalty Debacle," 44 Loy. L. Rev. S41 (2011), which has received wide coverage in the press.  Paula has been instrumental in the founding of the Alarcón Advocacy Center at Loyola Law School, dedicated to providing exciting clinical legal education programs to students.

She is a graduate of Loyola Law School, received an M.A. in international history from The London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She is a member of the state bar in California, New York, the District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice before the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Paula is a member of the Appellate Courts Committee of the L.A. County Bar Association.
 

Tara Mitcheltree, Esq.
Former Law Clerk for Sr. Judge Arthur L. Alarcon
Law Office of Tara L. Mitcheltree

Ms. Mitcheltree has worked in law firms in Los Angeles and New York, focusing on high-stakes and international litigation and appeals, in both federal and state courts.  As a former law clerk for Judge Alarcón, she participated in the appellate review of numerous civil and criminal matters pending before the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits.  The civil appeals involved a variety of issues, including violations of Title VII, federal preemption, immigration, and habeas corpus.  The criminal appeals involved such issues as sentencing, violations of the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments of the United States Constitution, and tax evasion.

In addition to researching legal issues and standards of review, drafting memoranda and proposed dispositions and discussing recommendations with the judges on the appellate panels, Ms. Mitcheltree oversaw all administrative aspects of processing the cases on calendars, including handling motions and supplemental filings for the cases, assessing whether cases should be submitted without oral argument, and monitoring petitions for  rehearing by the panel or rehearing en banc.

Ms. Mitcheltree is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, New York (J.D. 2002), and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts (B.A. 1996). She is admitted to practice in California, New York, before the District Court for the Central District of California, and the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.
 

T. Peter Pierce, Esq.
Certified Appellate Specialist
Richards, Watson & Gershon
Instructor Portrait

T. Peter Pierce is a shareholder specializing in writs and appeals. Mr. Pierce, a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in appellate law in seven of the eight years from 2009 to 2016. 

Mr. Pierce represents public agencies and private clients across a broad range of cases involving business disputes, land use and zoning, inverse condemnation, constitutional law, telecommunications law, fair housing law, redevelopment dissolution, elections law, CEQA and other areas. He has litigated cases at the merits stage before the Supreme Court of the United States and the California Supreme Court. Mr. Pierce frequently appears before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the many divisions of the California Court of Appeal.

Mr. Pierce served on the California State Bar Appellate Law Advisory Commission from 2011 to 2014. He is a past Chair of the California State Bar Standing Committee on Appellate Courts on which he served from 2006-2010. Mr. Pierce is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's appellate courts section.

Mr. Pierce is a contributing author of the following CEB treaties: 

California Civil Appellate Practice (3d ed.)

California Civil Writ Practice (4th ed.)

California Administrative Mandamus (3d ed.)

Outside of his law practice, Mr. Pierce serves on the Board of Governors of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles. He is an avid triathlete and in each of the last four years completed a 549-mile, seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, raising over $70,000 for charity in the process. He competed in and finished his first half-ironman triathlon in Utah in May 2015. 

Immediately following law school, Mr. Pierce served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marcel Livaudais, Jr. on the United States District Court in New Orleans.

Before attending law school, Mr. Pierce was a broadcast journalist.

Kelley B. Poleynard, Esq
Professor of Lawyering Skills
Whittier Law School

Professor Poleynard teaches legal writing, professional skills, and pre-trial litigation to first year and upper division students at Whittier Law School. Before joining the faculty, Professor Poleynard practiced law in Los Angeles, focusing on high stakes litigation and appeals before state and federal courts in a variety of cases, such as, business, real estate, and employment matters. Among other things, as a practitioner she has written and handled several writs and motions before the California appellate court. Professor Poleynard clerked for United States District Judge Audrey B. Collins in the Central District of California (1997-1998). As a law clerk, she assisted with the Court’s law and motion calendar and trials, which involved an assortment of legal issues, including, violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VII, and the ADEA, intellectual property, First Amendment, state immunity and toxic torts. Professor Poleynard is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law (J.D., order of the coif, 1997) where she was a production editor for the Southern California Review of Law & Women’s Studies, and the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A. 1992). She is admitted to practice in California and before the District Court for the Central District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Justice Stuart R. Pollak
Justice
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three

Justice Pollak has been an Associate Justice in the First District of the California Court of Appeal since 2002.

Justice Pollak has spoken at several of Pincus Professional Education's Appellate seminars in the past. Relevant to the Pincus Pro Ed 2013 SLAPPs seminar, Justice Pollak has two published decisions involving SLAPP issues including: Birkner v. Lam (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 275, and Vivian v. Labucherie (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th267.

Prior to becoming an Associate Justice, Mr. Pollak was a Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court for twenty years. Prior to joining the court, he was a partner at Howard, Rice Nemerovski, Canady & Pollak for fourteen years. Before joining Howard Rice, Justice Pollak served on the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and was Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General from 1963 to 1965.

Justice Pollak received his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1962, Magna Cum Laude.

Hon. James A. Richman
Justice
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Two

Justice Richman was born and raised in San Francisco. He attended Saint Ignatius High School, the University of San Francisco, and its School of Law. He received his J.D in 1965, graduating first in the class, and was president of the McAuliffe Law Honor Society.

Following law school Justice Richman clerked for the Honorable Raymond L. Sullivan on the First District Court of Appeal, and then served a year as Assistant Professor at Gonzaga University School of Law. In June 1967, he joined the law firm now known as Cooley Godward LLP, where he became a partner in 1972, and where he practiced law until appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court in 1996. Justice Richman served on the Superior Court for nine years, in both criminal and civil assignments, the last seven years in the law and motion department. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in February 2006.

Justice Richman's practice at Cooley Godward was general commercial litigation, with emphasis on probate and trust litigation, primarily for charitable or non-profit institutions. His clients included the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, and Guide Dogs for the Blind; he also represented the University of San Francisco and the Pacific School of Religion. Justice Richman also handled insurance coverage and related issues for business clients of the firm, and was the lead attorney on over 40 cases in the California and federal appellate courts.

From 1972 to 1997, Justice Richman taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he taught Evidence, Torts, and Civil Procedure Before Trial; he also served on the faculty in 2000 as a Distinguished Visiting Professor. He has also taught at numerous legal education programs, teaching both lawyers and judges. Before his appointment to the court, Justice Richman was involved in many bar associations and legal professional societies, and is currently a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the Earl Warren American Inn of Court.

Hon. Laurence D. Rubin
Associate Justice
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight
Instructor Portrait

Associate Justice Laurence D. Rubin began his career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Stanley Mosk in 1971. Justice Rubin became Vice President of the CA Judges Association in 1996 and has served in the CA Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District, Division 8 since 2001.

Justice Rubin served as a Municipal Court Judge from 1982 to 2000 and a Superior Court Judge from 2000 to 2001. He also served as a Justice Pro Tem in the CA Court of Appeal between 1985 and 2000.

Justice Rubin is a faculty member at The CA Center for Judicial Education and Research, teaching courses on judicial ethics and technology since 1992. He has been a member of the Judicial Council of CA, Trial Court Coordination Advisory Committee and State Constitutional Amendment 4 Working Group. He served on the Board of Directors for the CA Judges Foundation and the CA Judges Association, and currently serves as a Judge in the Trial Advocacy Program at The UCLA School of Law.

Justice Rubin earned his J.D. from The UCLA School of Law in 1971, where he earned the Academic Achievement Award from the UCLA Alumni Association.

Hon. Ethan P. Schulman
Judge
San Francisco Superior Court
Instructor Portrait

Ethan P. Schulman is a partner in the San Francisco office of Crowell & Moring and is a member of the firm’s Litigation Group.  Mr. Schulman’s practice focuses on appeals, writs, and complex litigation, with an emphasis on constitutional and public law, class actions, and representation of law firms and lawyers.  Mr. Schulman is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California, and is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.  He has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer each year since 2004.  Mr. Schulman recently was named a recipient of the 2011 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award and of the Hispanic Bar Association’s Guardián de Justicia (Guardian of Justice) Award for his work on Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, 50 Cal. 4th 1277 (2010), which resulted in a unanimous ruling by the California Supreme Court upholding a state law that allows undocumented immigrant students to pay lower in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.  He is a graduate of Princeton University and of the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

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 (http://socal-appellate.blogspot.com).

John A. Taylor, Jr., Esq.
Partner/Certified Appellate Specialist
Horvitz & Levy LLP
Instructor Portrait

John Taylor is a partner at Horvitz & Levy, where he has been practicing since 1993.  He is a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist.

Mr. Taylor has been lead appellate counsel in dozens of appeals in a wide variety of areas (his name currently appears on over 40 published opinions and many more unpublished opinions), including matters involving entertainment law, the right of publicity, the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), breach of contract, insurance coverage, wage and hour law, employment discrimination, personal injury, California’s “lemon law,” arbitration awards, and trusts and estates.

In 2012, Mr. Taylor was lead counsel in Don Johnson Productions, Inc. v. Rysher Entertainment, obtaining a $37 million reduction of a $52 million judgment against his client.  Mr. Taylor has also participated in numerous cases before the California Supreme Court, and in 2009 was lead counsel in obtaining a closely watched decision overturning a $15 million judgment against a coffee manufacturer for the unauthorized use of the plaintiff’s photograph on the label of its coffee jar. In addition, he has authored amicus curiae briefs in the California Supreme Court on issues such as evidentiary requirements in product liability and wage and hour litigation; the scope and application of Proposition 64’s amendments to the UCL; public policy issues arising out of subcontractor indemnity provisions in residential construction contracts; the constitutionality of Proposition 5, the Indian gaming initiative; and the validity of the Seaman's tort. 

Mr. Taylor is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the Los Angeles County Bar Appellate Courts Section. In 2007, Mr. Taylor was appointed by Chief Justice Ronald George to serve on the Judicial Council Appellate Advisory Committee of California, as one of the three private civil attorneys on the committee, and in 2010 was reappointed to a second term.

In 2009, Mr. Taylor was named to the Top 100 list of leading lawyers in California by the Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal. He is “AV Preeminent” rated by Martindale Hubbell, has been listed every year since 2006 as a Super Lawyer and as a “Best Lawyer” by The Best Lawyers in America, and was included among the overall Top 100 Southern California lawyers for 2011 by Super Lawyers magazine. In 1994, Mr. Taylor was honored as the “Outstanding Young Lawyer” of the year by the Los Angeles Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.

Mr. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University (summa cum laude) and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude). Following law school, he held a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Patrick E. Higginbotham, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Before joining the firm, Mr. Taylor was a litigation associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He is admitted to practice in the California and Utah state courts, the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Todd E. Thompson, Esq.
Career Judicial Staff Attorney
First District Court of Appeal, San Francisco

Todd E. Thompson has been a Judicial Staff Attorney in the First District of the California Court of Appeal since 2003.  He currently works in the chambers of the Honorable Sandra L. Margulies.

Prior to joining the court, Mr. Thompson was a litigation partner at Howard, Rice Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin for eighteen years.  While at Howard, Rice, he had a broad commercial civil practice, with particular emphasis on land use and intellectual property law.  Although Mr. Thompson’s practice at Howard Rice was primarily in the trial court, he litigated a significant number of appeals, including two appeals challenging the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Holmes v. California National Guard, 90 Cal. App. 4th 297 (2001) and Holmes v. California Army National Guard, 124 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 1998), and cases in the Federal Circuit, such as Elekta Instrument S.A. v. O.U.R. Scientific International, Inc., 214 F.3d 1302 (Fed. Cir. 2000).  Prior to joining Howard Rice, Mr. Thompson served from 1983 to 1985 as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., in the US District Court, Southern District of New York.

Mr. Thompson is currently serving as a member of the State Bar’s Judicial Nominee Evaluation Commission and is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  He received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1983, Order of the Coif.  He also holds a M.S. in Agronomy from Cornell University and a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Santa Barbara.

Hon. Paul Turner
Presiding Justice
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Five
Instructor Portrait

Presiding Justice Paul Turner was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court at the age of 35. In 1984, he was challenged for his seat on the municipal court in the primary election. He won the June primary election after securing endorsements from virtually every side of the political spectrum and retained his seat with 67.18 percent of the vote. In 1984 and 1985, he was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to serve as the judicial representative to the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety. On March 1, 1985, at the age of 38, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court. While on that court, he was the first judge to serve in the night court project where felony cases were tried during the late afternoon and evening as part of an effort to reduce county jail crowding. Later, after serving one year as a law and motion civil judge, he was 1 of 25 civil judges assigned to the trial court delay reduction project. This program assigned civil cases to judges and gave them the responsibility of insuring that the lawsuits were promptly resolved. At the commencement of the program, civil cases were routinely taking five years to resolve. In then Judge Turner's court, virtually all new cases were resolved within one year rather than the normal five years that it had previously taken.

Justice Turner was appointed to Division Five of the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District by Governor George Deukmejian; he was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments as an Associate Justice and took office on November 2, 1989. He was elevated to the position of Presiding Justice and after confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and took office on January 6, 1991. For six years Justice Turner served as the Assistant Administrative Presiding Justice and as a Presiding Justice has sat by assignment on the California Supreme Court on seven occasions. He is currently a member of the Second Appellate District Executive Committee. He is a member of the California Judge's Association and has served on that group's civil law and procedure, criminal law, and election committees. On four separate occasions, he has been assigned by the California Supreme Court to act as a Special Master in hearings ordered by the Commission on Judicial Performance

Prior to taking his judicial appointment, Justice Turner was a litigator in private practice, where he litigated both criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts. He also represented principally criminal defendants in several hundred appeals. He represented the defendant in the case of People v. Barraza in which the California Supreme Court changed the test for entrapment in California courts. He also represented the California Retailers Association and former State Senator Newton Russell in the case of In re Deborah C. where the California Supreme Court held that Miranda warnings need not be given by store security guards.

Gary A. Watt, Esq.
Partner
Hanson Bridgett
Instructor Portrait

Gary A. Watt is a partner with Hanson Bridgett, working out of the San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices. Gary is a State Bar certified appellate specialist, and chair of the Contra Costa County Bar Association's appellate practice section. In additional to handling civil appeals and writs in both the state and federal appellate courts. Gary's practice include dispositive motions such as SLAPP, summary judgment, and post-trial motions.

Gary has been on the faculty at U.C. Hastings College of Law since 2001 teaching various appellate law courses, and serves as the director of U.S. Hastings' Ninth Circuit clinical program: the Hastings Appellate Project. As director, Gary supervises law students in the pro bono legal representation of otherwise unrepresented appellants. Since its founding seven years ago, the Hastings Appellate Project has obtained reversal in over half of its appeals. Gary is a frequent lecturer at MCLE presentations throughout the Bay Area, participating in several programs every year. He is also an avid contributor to the Daily Journal and The Recorder, with well over 50 published articles to date. 

Kelly White, Esq.
Assistant Regional Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Social Security Administration

Ms. White has practiced in major law firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco, focusing on high-stakes civil and white collar criminal litigation and appeals in federal and state courts.  She has also served as a Staff Attorney in the Motions Unit for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  As a Staff Attorney in the the Motions Unit, Ms. White managed a caseload of over 150 civil, criminal, and immigration appeals and presented motions during monthly calendars and on emergency bases to two- and three-judge panels.  Her diverse caseload included matters involving employment, bankruptcy, civil, agency, contract, regulatory, immigration, criminal and state law. 

Ms. White has also clerked for United States District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  As a law clerk for Judge Alarcon, she participated in the appellate review of matters pending before the Third, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits. 

Ms. White has guest lectured at Loyola Law School regarding Habeas Corpus and Prisoner Civil Rights Litigation, and authored "What Have you Done With My Lawyer?: The Grand Jury Witness's Right To Consult With Counsel," 32 LOY.LA.L. REV. 907 (1999).  

Ms. White is a graduate of Whittier College and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (J.D., maga cum laude, 1999) where she was Editor in Chief of the Loyola Law Review (1998-1999).  She is admitted to practice in California and before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Greg E. Wolff, Esq.
Career Judicial Attorney/Senior Research Attorney
California Supreme Court

A seasoned career court attorney, Greg Wolff has been a judicial attorney in both the Court of Appeal in Los Angeles and at the California Supreme Court for more than twenty five years.  He currently is a Supervising Judicial Attorney at the California Supreme Court.  As Supervisor of the Appellate Section of the Criminal Branch of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, and in the Appellate Section of the Civil Branch, Mr. Wolff has briefed and argued over 350 appeals and 100 writ proceedings.  He has been an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law since 2000, where he teaches Moot Court and Legal Writing & Research.  In 1977, Mr. Wolff received his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the law review.

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