9th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice Program (Recorded Package) (CA)

Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)

Prefer to stream video in your browser? Try our OnDemand version of this product!

We are thrilled to announce the assembly of an exceptional panel once again, as we prepare for the 9th Annual Advanced Appellate Seminar.

Our esteemed speakers encompass a distinguished group of justices and judges from across the state, including former CA Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, now retired and acting as a neutral with ADR Services. This year we are happy to announced the following CA Appellate Court Justices joining our program: Hon. Jon. B Streeter, Hon. Kathleen Banke, Hon. Elizabeth Grimes, Hon. Douglas Miller, Hon. Michael Raphael, and Hon. John Segal. Also joining us this year are two Superior Court Judges who are Certified Legal Specialists in Appellate Law: Hon. Helen Williams and return speaker Hon. Kira Klatchko.

The program will also be taught by a host of seasoned appellate attorneys. The majority among them hold the distinction of being Certified Legal Specialists in Appellate Law, and many have previously served as staff attorneys for various appellate justices.

Designed for those well-versed in appellate practice, this seminar delves into intermediate to advanced levels of appellate law, and assumes attendees already have a foundational understanding of the subject matter.

This program will be recorded live with our Northern CA Faculty online on February 1st and in person in Sierra Madre/Pasadena with our Southern CA faculty on February 9th. The recorded packages, including seminar materials, will be available approximately two-three weeks after each live program date.

If you or someone you know is interested in knowing more about how to practice in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, we held a terrific two-part webinar boot camp on that in the fall of 2023. You can learn about that program and see the testimonials here.

Sponsored every year by:

Interested in a prior program?  You can order the full bundle – all eight prior programs here. Or you can choose four or more of our past Annual Advanced Appellate Practice Recorded Packages – links below – and get 30% off your total order – use coupon code 2023AppSpec30 after you add the programs to your cart.*

Our 1st Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2016) audio recording can be purchased here.
Our 2nd Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2017) audio recording can be purchased here.
Our 3rd Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2018) audio recording can be purchased here.
Our 4th Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2019) audio recording can be purchased here.
Our 5th Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2020) audio recording can be purchased here.
Our 6th Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2021) video or audio recorded package can be purchased here.
Our 7th Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2022) video or audio recorded package can be purchased here.
Our 8th Annual Advanced Appellate Conference (2023) video or audio recorded package can be purchased here.

*New orders only.

 

What You Will Learn

Program Faculty:

No. CA Faculty Webinar:
Practitioners: Kirstin Ault, Harry Chamberlain II, Michael G. Colantuono, Susan Gelmis, Susan Horst, Kirk Jenkins, Richard M. Pearl, Sean M. SeLegue, Leah Spero and Gary A. Watt 

Justices / 9th Circuit Judges: Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (Ret.),Hon. Kathleen M. Banke, Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes (via zoom), Hon. Jon B. Streeter, Hon. Marsha S. Berzon
Judges: Hon. Helen E. Williams

 

Los Angeles (Sierra Madre and Live Streaming):
Practitioners: 
Harry Chamberlain II, Susan Gelmis, Mira Hashmall, Rex S. Heinke, Dan Lawton, Richard M. Pearl, Claudia Ribet, Gerald M. Serlin, Benjamin G. Shatz, John A. Taylor Jr. and Cory L. Webster

Justices / 9th Circuit Judges: Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes (via zoom), Hon. Doug P. Miller, Hon. Jacqueline H. Nguyen, Hon. Michael J. Raphael, Hon. John L. Segal
Judges: Hon. Kira L. Klatchko

 

9:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Advanced Oral Argument Skills

  • What judges are trying to accomplish at oral argument
  • How to quickly categorize a question
  • How to identify the type of question you are getting, so you can answer it strategically.
  • How to best to answer hypothetical questions of different flavors
  • How to address policy concerns
  • How best to pivot when a judge has you on the ropes
  • How to approach Oral Argument when there is a Tentative Opinion or Focus Letter
  • How to maximize the few minutes you have without wasting time
  • Preparation and Practice Strategies:
    • Effectively using moot courts when preparing
  • Hybrid Arguments – pros, cons and policy changes

10:05 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.
Advanced Briefing Topics

  • Crafting Effective Introductions in Appellate Briefs
    • Understand the purpose of an introduction and when to include one
    • Learn the keys to a strong and persuasive introduction
  • Improving fact statements and argument headings
    • Hear practical tips from judges and practitioners
  • Effective use of legislative history on appeal
  • Effective use of the standard of review
  • The limits of judicial notice

11:05 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
BREAK

11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Behind the Scenes at the 9th Circuit

  • Recent and upcoming rule changes
  • New case management system (ACMS)
  • Extensions policy update
  • Remote hearings update
  • Latest court statistics
  • The court’s screening panel process
  • The court’s motions panel process
  • Internal processes for court mediations
  • How clerks evaluate cases in chambers
  • How Judges prepare for oral argument
  • Best/worst practices for briefing or argument

12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Lunch 

1:20 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Attorney Fees and Costs: Challenging and preserving trial court awards and seeking fees and costs on appeal

  • Record keeping to obtain fee award
  • Evaluating prevailing party determinations
  • The role of experts in determining the amount of fees
  • When is an undertaking needed to stay an award of fees or costs during appeal
  • Timing fee and cost appeals
  • Special considerations in seeking appellate fees and cost 
  • Appealing Attorney Fee Decisions:
    • Pros and cons of appealing fee award
    • Relation to merits appeals
    • Building a record on the motion
    • Standard of review
    • Tips on briefing
    • Post-appeal considerations

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
BREAK 

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Statements of Decision: The Ideal and the Reality

  • Why you need a statement of decision
  • Getting trial lawyers and trial judges to do it right
  • Objections to proposed statements of decision
  • Handling appeals with defective or missing statements of decision
  • Effect of P. v. Monier

3:45 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
BREAK

3:50 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
AI and the Appellate Process

  • What is generative AI and what is all the fuss about?
  • What products are in the marketplace to apply generative AI to law practice?
  • What are these current products useful for in appellate practice and how reliable are they?
  • What does the future hold for law tech and generative AI?
  • Ethical issues associated with the use of AI in appellate practice.

 

Sponsored by:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testimonials

“I look forward to this program every year.  The speakers are always fantastic, the topics are always interesting and useful, and the appellate specialization credit is a huge bonus.  This year’s program more than lived up to my expectations.” – Tiffany J. Gates, Esq.

“Fantastic seminar. One of the best I’ve ever seen.” – Kym Speer, Esq.

“Pincus consistently provides first-rate, legal education programs on timely topics with excellent speakers. After attending its programs in multiple states for nearly two decades, I can confidently say Pincus always delivers, and I am a better attorney for having regularly followed its programs.” Robert Little, California

“Very useful information and insights, including what happens inside appellate courts, from the BEST, most knowledgeable sources.” – Jay-Allen Eisen, Esq.

“Useful insights from an insider in the 9th Circuit. Briefs session was hugely satisfying for my inner appellate nerd. I particularly enjoyed how Justice Banke compared what she used to think was important as a practitioner vs. what she now finds important as an appellate court justice. Very helpful! I greatly appreciated Justice Streeter’s openness and honesty. I’ve seen Justice Chin speak several times, and he never disappoints! Always a pleasure to watch.” – Tiffany J. Gates, Esq.

“I often attend MCLE just to get the credits. Pincus programs are interesting, useful, have excellent handouts, and the time is used wisely.” Christopher D. Lockwood, Esq.

“Excellent presenters and relevant subject matter, helping keep me current and sharp on crucial appellate issues.” – Glenn Danas, Esq.

“Very useful, informative program. Every speaker was excellent!” – Kevin Meek, Esq.

“Consistently the best live CLE I attend each year. Not to be missed! This isn’t just a refresher on the basics. This brings clarity to real challenges in appellate practice with the top experts in the field.” – Joshua Furman, Esq.

“As always, excellent speakers and content. Very informative with practical and useful anecdotes.” – Marisa Janine-Page, Esq.

“Excellent program; topics that don’t merely rehash the usual, but provide a deeper discussion of issues important to appellate lawyers.” – Glenn Danas, Esq.

I have participated in this course just about every year since its inception, and it consistently meets my objectives.” – Robert Collings Little, Esq. 

“Excellent!  I look forward to attending other Pincus programs.” – David M. Arbogast, Esq.

“This is always my favorite program of the year. The variety of topics and the quality of the speakers provide interesting insights and excellent practical advice.” – Lori Sebransky, Esq.

“Every year, this program provides impactful feedback from active appellate justices that I incorporate into my practice. Thank you very much for organizing.” – Jenna Parker, Esq.

“Beyond our expectations. Very useful to us. To Stephen Mayer – Wow. Thank you for waking up the right mindset and strategy. Justice Banke’s perspective was on target.” – Larry Peluso, Esq.

“If you only attend one live CLE a year, make sure it is the Pincus Advanced Appellate Seminar.” – Joshua R. Furman, Esq.

“Excellent programs. The presenters are top rate and it is always nice to get insight form the actual judges and justices about things happening behind the curtains.” – Jeremy Robinson, Esq.

“Excellent seminar. It’s one of the best I have attended.” – Bob Lucas, Esq.

“I was aiming to gain insight on the appellate system and gain tips to assist my future endeavors in the court. I feel much more confident in my abilities! The handbook was very helpful and informative. I enjoyed the webinar format.” – Gina Simas, Esq.

“Every year this program has great topics from excellent speakers with practical and useful information” – Sarah Birmingham, Esq.

“Great job, as usual!” – John Kinsey, Esq.

“All the speakers were good, and the material was appropriate.” – Paul A Lax, Esq.

“It is a good range of topics and excellent speakers. I have never been to a bad Pincus program.” – Christopher D. Lockwood, Esq.

“Excellent speakers…Great handouts.” – Ira Salzman, Esq.

“Excellent presenters and relevant subject matter, helping keep me current and sharp on crucial appellate issues.” – Glenn Danas, Esq.

“I have participated in this course just about every year since its inception, and it consistently meets my objectives.” – Robert Collings Little, Esq.

“My personal objectives were to listen, learn, and gain new insights to improve my practice. Mission accomplished.” Jenna E. Parker, Esq.

“Fantastic sophisticated advice for practitioners.”

“Excellent, as always!” – Marisa Janine-Page, Esq.

“Recognized appellate speakers. Good content and practical insights.” – David Lantzer, Esq.

“I loved it. thank you!” – Alex Volkov, Esq.

“Excellent, informative program. Presentations from judges were especially useful, and Ben Shatz is a very good moderator.” – Ryan Wu, Esq.

“I attend lots of CLE courses – significantly more than required. This program was outstanding! Careful selection of topics and presenters. This was my first Pincus course. It will not be my last.” – Steven Finell, Esq.

“This was a great program.  I feel charged up for my next appellate matter and armed with many tips.” – Amanda F. Benedict, Esq.

“Great use of knowledgeable and credible presenters. Truly an excellent program; well-thought out with valuable information.”

“I attended last year’s appellate conference. It was so helpful and informative that I wanted to attend this year’s conference.” – Linda N. Wisotsky, Esq.

“I attended the seminar to learn about cutting-edge appellate issues. The seminar exceeded my expectations and I learned a ton. I greatly enjoyed the seminar and look forward to attending in the future.” – Kevin Meek, Esq.

“Excellent as usual. The insights from Justices and expert practitioners are so valuable.” – Lori A. Sebransky, Esq.

“Another great program – you never disappoint.”

“Surpassed my expectation. This was an excellent program.” – Bruce Finch, Esq.

“Thank you. The program, panelists, and participants were excellent.” – Teresa Stinson, Esq.

All were excellent!– Stephen V. Masterson, Esq.  

“Excellent coverage of COVID 19 issues.” Douglas Everett Klein, Esq. 

“Great interactive dialogue between the speakers.” Amanda F. Benedict, Esq.  

“As always, a worthwhile seminar and glad I could attend remotely. Very much looking forward to Part II.”

“I found the first part on the collateral order doctrine the most useful and informative.  The appellate writ section was most useful for the notion that asking for a suggestive Palma order should be considered for writs in general.  The Supreme Court section was useful for the grant and hold discussion.”

“It was a wonderful and very informative program. The speakers were loaded with so much information that you cannot acquire without being an attendee. Great speakers!” – Blanca C. Vaughan, Esq.

“It was an informative seminar, full of practical information. Excellent program.” – John Yasuda, Esq.

“Having Justice Groban on to explain the process before the Supreme Court was immensely informative.”

“Excellent. A++.”

“Justice Rivera was very good, detailed, and interesting. Harry Chamberlain was a very good speaker. This was a terrific panel!” – Steve Mayer, Esq.

“Great to hear about recent changes. Justice Miller had thoughtful comments. Justice Grimes’ perspective was helpful.”

“Excellent and comprehensive, as usual.” – Brian Beckwith, Esq.

“As usual, addresses the ‘advanced’ issues facing appellate attorneys. And as always, knowledgeable presenters.”

“Still one of the best CLE programs.” – Joshua R. Furman, Esq.

“Ben Shatz was an absolutely fantastic moderator. The first two panels also were fantastic – so interesting, organized, and the content was unique, useful, and delivered efficiently.”

“Excellent content, expertly presented, excellent program! I’m trying to resume active appellate practice after years of preoccupation with family care issues – this program was a great start!” – Bruce Finch, Esq.

“Such useful information (on the 9th Circuit). Thank you! Love all the anecdotal wisdom Wendy Lascher shares. Kent Richland had great practical experience and excellent tips. Thank you for including Justice Miller! So helpful to hear that side. Judge Klatchko is so smart and I love all the rules and guides she contributed to the presentation. Harry Chamberlain is always amazing! It’s impressive how Effie Cogan knows every detail of every appellate case. I love when she’s a panelist!” – Marisa Janine-Page, Esq.

“The best part was the inside the Ninth Circuit program. I do a lot of work in that court and found the descriptions of its operations fascinating.” – Richard L Antognini, Esq.

“Having a ‘behind-the-scenes’ perspective on the appellate courts’ workings is very valuable. I handle 2-3 writs/appeals per month and this subject matter is useful. Very engaging speakers. The judicial perspective is highly informative.” – Sean Collins, Esq.

“Thank you. The program, panelists, and participants were excellent.” – Teresa Stinson, Esq.

“Greatly appreciated the program, it was right on the edge of what is happening today. I am coming back!” – Alex Vollkov, Esq.

“Having appellate court justices on the panels (both state and federal) have been extremely illuminating this year.”

“Year in, year out this is the best MCLE seminar for experienced appellate lawyers.” – Tom Freeman, Esq.

“I appreciated the opening discussion on federal (9th Circuit) law and procedure.” – Justin R. Sarno, Esq.

“A fast-moving program – covered a lot of ground.”  – Lisa Ungerer, Esq.

“A very good panel of speakers with good diversity in topics.” – Robert Mata, Esq.

“Very informative. Definitely one of the better or best CLE I have attended.”

“All great topics.” – Richard P. Fisher, Esq.

“Excellent as always!” – Lori Sebransky, Esq.

“All presenters are great. There were a lot of good nuggets that I will use in my practice.” – Linda Conrad, Esq.

“I am an appellate specialist, and this program provides updates on changes in appellate procedures as well as helpful tips on appellate practice.” 

“Well done as always. Nice selection of topics.” – Deborah Bull, Esq.

“The program was wonderful, as usual. I liked that it was split up into two separate parts/days.  That made it much easier to fit into my schedule.  Additionally, the topics were truly “advanced” and timely — particularly the discussion about presenting remote oral arguments.  The whole program was great!  I look forward to attending again next year. :-)” – Tiffany J. Gates, Esq.

“The speakers are always dynamic — I particularly enjoyed the mix of practitioners and judges/justices this year — and the topics are always helpful to my practice.  This year was no exception.”

“The state and federal court appellate practice mix was just right. Great to hear from judges and court staff about real-world issues (COVID arguments, procedures, etc.) we all are dealing with (we go work to present our cases at the same place the court’s people do, good to hear what makes it easier)” – Harry Chamberlain, Esq

“The topics were interesting and helpful to my practice.” – Jessica Simon, Esq.

“This is an excellent program. I would recommend it. I found the panel to be very thoughtful and engaged with the purpose of educating the audience.” – Elizabeth Rhodes, Esq.

“My personal objectives were to listen, learn, and gain new insights to improve my practice. Mission accomplished.” Jenna E. Parker, Esq.

“Excellent coverage of COVID 19 issues.” – Douglas Everett Klein, Esq.

“Great interactive dialogue between the speakers.” – Amanda F. Benedict, Esq.

“Great to hear directly from the justices about their in-house practices; the kitchen sink, that’s a hoot!” – Harry Chamberlain, Esq.

“All were excellent!” – Stephen V. Masterson, Esq.

“This is precisely the kind of extra training I need, especially with the handouts. I have confidence that this will be my first step in research when these issues come across my desk because I will know exactly what the Judges are looking for.”

“This program exceeded my expectations. The speakers were dynamic and brilliant, and the topics were incredibly helpful to my practice. I’ll be using this information for years to come… It was great!” – Tiffany J. Gates, Esq.

“Highly professional and substantive presentation.”

“I always take away important ideas and tweak my practices following a Pincus Appellate Summit.” – Leslie Ellen Shear, Esq.

“The content at this program was very useful.” – Sarah Birmingham, Esq.

“This is a great advanced seminar. Very high-level, informative presentations.” – Tom Freeman, Esq.

“This is always an excellent seminar! Great practical advice by the masters.” – Marisa Janine-Page, Esq.

“The program lived up to the description, which is high praise.” – Madeline Miller, Esq.

“Enjoyed some of the more arcane subjects. Excellent review of the more familiar subjects.”

“Enjoyed the program. Enjoyed Judge Klatchko’s discussion of standards of review. Great program.  Particularly on the Supreme Court and Standards of Review.”

“I was very impressed with the discussion on statutory interpretation.” – John L. Jones II, Esq.

“I’m glad I came and definitely glad I joined the networking lunch.” – Rochelle Wilcox, Esq.

“Excellent and different than ‘the usual’. Very innovative choice of subjects of importance to appellate specialists.”

“Enjoyed the program. Enjoyed Judge Klatchko’s discussion of standards of review.”

“One of the best CLEs every year.” – Sarah Birmingham, Esq.

Every year this program has great topics from excellent speakers with practical and useful information.” – Sarah Birmingham, Esq. 

“I love Pincus-produced lectures and seminars. Excellent appellate information, very thorough handouts and materials.”

“Excellent and relevant as usual.” – Brian Beckwith, Esq.

“Good content and speakers.” – Tom Freeman, Esq.

“I learned a lot, and enjoyed the variety of topics discussed. I also appreciated hearing from speakers with ‘boots on the ground’ perspective about the various technical issues the court has seen arise now that most proceedings are remote.”

“Excellent and well put together seminar.”

“Great stuff.” – Abram Genser, Esq.

“Wonderful. The program was very enlightening and amazing. The tips are incredible and very refreshing and although they seemed intuitive, they truly are not.” – Francisco Javier Aldana, Esq.

“I chose this program because I’m a previous attendee and have enjoyed it.”

“Second year taking this course. Great information, speakers, and lots of ideas, tips and suggestions. Thanks, I’ll be back next year!” – John Stobart, Esq.

“As usual all of the speakers were excellent in both knowledge and presentation. I was also impressed with your staff. My secretary inadvertently signed me up for a recording rather than attending live. That was quickly and efficiently remedied.”

“I am an appellate specialist, and this program provides updates on changes in appellate procedures as well as helpful tips on appellate practice.”

“Excellent comprehensive program.”

“Broader (and better) scope than expected. Another excellent program.” – Marisa Janine-Page, Esq.

“I’ve been to several of these seminars over the years and I’ve generally enjoyed them.”

“Excellent content and delivery; very practical information and insight.”

“I really enjoyed the conversational feel between the speakers.”

“Excellent content and very up to date advice (Covid changes to procedures)”- Shirley Gauvin, Esq.

“Great program as always.” – Susan Horst, Esq.

“While advanced, this was a great overview of appellate issues.” – Brian Mahler, Esq.

“Year in and year out this is the most useful and interesting of the many CLE seminars I’ve attended.”

“Great program, wouldn’t change anything.” – Glenn Danas, Esq.

“Lovely and pleasant, very satisfied. Thanks.” – Nathan W. Gabbard, Esq.

“Excellent information all around. The insight from Justice Segal about his division’s and his personal decision-making process and considerations was extremely useful.”

“Good, vigorous discussion.”

“Much better than the average MCLE courses. It was well thought out and well-presented. I look forward to taking more Pincus courses.” – Earl L. Roberts, Esq.

“Great job, as usual!” – John Kinsey, Esq.  

“All the speakers were good, and the material was appropriate.” Paul A Lax, Esq.  

“Excellent presentations.”

“Great program.” – Sara Birmingham, Esq.

“The program is great and incredibly informative.”

“The program lived up to my expectations. The topics were interesting, and the speakers were engaging (a particularly tough task in this virtual world).  I’m looking forward to Part 2 on Thursday!” – Tiffany J. Gates, Esq.

“Great seminar!! So much great, practical information I can use.”

“This program was very helpful.” – Ellen R. Serbin, Esq.

“Great program, very good content.”

“Overall, great program. The second day’s program provided engaging discussions and helpful information on the advanced appellate practice issues I hoped would be covered when I signed up.”

“Day 2 was fantastic. So much good information and insights.”

“Excellent program – good choice of topics and speakers.”

“Faith Pincus always puts on a great program. I like the recordings on CD. I listen to them in the car.”

“Excellent program and great speakers.”

“Greg Wolff was worth the price of admission on his own.”

“Excellent program and great speakers.” – (Thomas) Christopher Johns, Esq.

“I like the speakers and how they each bring a different perspective. It helps when they all discuss their own opinion on a topic to hear different takes.”

“Excellent program, I wouldn’t change anything.”

“Learned a lot and will definitely recommend.”

“Excellent program.  Last three panels were especially good.” – Deborah Drooz, Esq.

“Learned some valuable things.” – Lawrence P. Hellman, Esq.

“Good speakers, good topics, right length. Breaking it across two days is great for video conferences.”

“Liked the diversity of opinion with the other panelist.”

“Excellent program!”

“Great mix of topics!”

“Excellent program. Great information and insight for high-level practicing appellate attorneys.”

“Good choice of topics.” – Wendy Lascher, Esq.

“Excellent program. I wouldn’t change anything.”

“I hoped to have a good panel on oral argument, and another on agency appeals. These were great.” – Daniel Trump, Esq.

“Fantastic sophisticated advice for practitioners.”

“Appreciated the practical and timely remote appearance advice.”

“Excellent program. I’ve just started appellate work and wanted to learn more. This program was quite good. Thank you!”

“Good to hear tips for video arguments and the discussion Justice Groban was enlightening.”

“I enjoyed the program, particularly the variety of speakers and mix of discussion about both technical and legally substantive issues.”

“Excellent program. Very practical stuff.”

“I enjoyed the practical tips and suggestions on brief writing.”

“Excellent program.” – Shirley A. Gauvin, Esq.

“I gained resources that will be extremely helpful regarding timing of motions.”

“Excellent, informative, enjoyable – all of the speakers did a great job.”

“Excellent program.”

“I especially like having some justices and some practitioners and the interaction among them.”

“Good discussion and insight.”

“It’s informative and useful for my practice.”

“It was very good, particularly the oral argument section.”

“As usual, very information and excellent panelists.”

“As always, an excellent program with important information provided by excellent panelists.”

“Excellent!”

“Great, as always. Thank you very much for doing this, Faith and your team.”

“Excellent.” – Ryan Artola, Esq.

“Good, clean presentation with useful discussion feel as opposed to lecturing on and on.”

“For me, the discussion by Colantuono, Chamberlin and Ming was most interesting.”

“Found issues related to trial court level and what might become appellate issues as a result very interesting and helpful. Also great advice on how to handle a writ when docs/transcripts are missing was excellent.”

“Good and thorough program.”

“Good solid program.”

“I thought it was a great overview of all the different topics. The resource material looks to be very thorough and will be a good reference.”

“Great content, very informative.”

“Very practical and would definitely attend again and recommend to others.”

“Great presentations overall. I have been practicing civil litigation for one year and had many “aha!” moments.”

“Great program.  Particularly on the Supreme Court and Standards of Review.”

“I am coming back!”

“Great seminar. Simply an excellent program, good choice of topics and the speakers were great.”

“I thought it was really good. The speakers were well prepared, and not rambling, and the presentations were on point.”

“Great seminar.”

“I really appreciated the real-world portions of the program.”

“John Taylor did a wonderful job of explaining complex appellate issues to a non-appellate attorney, such as myself. I greatly enjoyed his presentation.” – Kevin Meek, Esq.

“I am a practicing appellate attorney and I heard good things about this seminar. All the speakers were very knowledgeable and presented well and kept my interest – and the materials in the appendix were very useful.”

“I appreciate the program’s practical advice on navigating online oral argument.”

“The justices are incredibly valuable. Thanks to them for participating.”

“I enjoyed hearing thoughts from the judges and other attorneys on each topic presented.”

“The program was excellent.” – Tom Freeman, Esq.

“I learned a lot about advanced appellate practice.” – John L Jones II, Esq.

“I liked hearing from the judges – it’s always interesting to hear their points of view.”

“It was great to hear direct practice advice and pointers from experienced lawyers and judges. I also thought the deposition and summary judgment sections were very helpful.”

“It’s always helpful to have judges and attorneys who have worked at an appellate court speak at programs like this as it’s helpful to have the view from the inside.”

“Excellent program.” 

“I love the format and the pace!”

“I loved it.”

“Anna-Rose Mathieson was very helpful and interesting!”

“I really enjoyed the practical sections regarding brief writing and virtual oral arguments.”

“Great program and location. The lunch itself was great, as was the opportunity to network.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion during ethics regarding plagiarism and ghost writing. I think it was the most interesting conversation all day.”

“I thought it was all great.” – Polly Estes, Esq.

“Wonderful!” – Chris Lim, Esq.

“I thought the program was excellent.” – Ellen R. Serbin, Esq.

“I was happy to have the speakers answer questions quickly, and to provide many secondary resources to look for after the webinar.”

“The program was very good.  Very thorough.” – Thomas Anthony Trapani, Esq.

“Informative, but more specific to the speakers, they are good at speaking and take into consideration the listener and things that might be annoying on a webinar.”

“It was a nice run down of key components of litigation.”

“Justice Streeter is really interesting and provides great insight and information.” – Sarah Birmingham, Esq.

“I liked the mix of appellate practitioners and judges.”

“It was great, super informative. I really appreciated all of the individual insight.”

“Mr. Colantuano and Judge Klatchko were very good and helpful.”

“It was very informative. I especially enjoyed the sections on oral argument.”

“What I appreciate the most from these trainings is the multiple perspectives from various justices and practicing attorneys.” – Cynthia Vargas, Esq.

“Really great program. Wonderful insights into thinking of judges and practitioners.”

“It’s great to have presentations targeting experienced appellate lawyers.  Tremendously useful.” – Tom Freeman, Esq.

“Recommended by colleagues. Really great program. Wonderful insights into thinking of judges and practitioners.”

“Justice Miller was delightful. Justice Grimes and John Taylor were effective. Judge Klatchko was an utterly delightful teacher.”

“Speakers were excellent.”

“Justice Streeter was great! Watt and Chamberlain were very good.”

“Really good, varied program.”

“Nice job. The program was easy to follow. I much appreciated receiving the materials in advance. I printed them out and made notes on them.”

“Organization and administration were excellent and very efficient.”

“Panelists were all terrific – one of the best MCLE classes I have taken!”

“The presentations were high quality as always.” – Brian C. Unitt, Esq.

“Program was excellent – good speakers.”

“So far it has been great! Especially getting the hard copy and handout. When it comes up in practice, I can go back and listen and read about the specific area.”

“The judges are the draw, but some advocates are really strong, too — like John Taylor, Mira Hashmall, Susan Horst, Robin Meadow.” – Michael G. Colantuono, Esq.

“Really great presenters.”

“The program was very informative. I learned something new.”

“Terrific, as always.”

“Received a lot of good, practical information and advice regarding handling of appeals and appellate issues.”

“The first program with the three justices regarding virtual oral argument was really good I thought. The last section with Justice Groban was interesting to get an insider view on how the Cal. Sup. court operates behind the scenes.”

“Simply an excellent program, good choice of topics and the speakers were great.”

“Speakers are great.”

“Speakers seemed knowledgeable, and it was organized well.”

“The nuts and bolts for arguing before the court of appeal was helpful, as I’m preparing for my first argument.”

“The program is always very valuable and insightful as appellate practitioners tend to encounter tricky, interesting, and challenging issues that are excellent topics for discussion with colleagues and peers.”

“Stephen Mayer was very engaging. Justice Chin gave invaluable insight. Very engaging.”

“Substantive and consistent with the billing.”

“Very informative with practical and useful anecdotes.”

“Terrific!”

“The “insider” information was excellent. The program was also well organized. It was informative.”

“Very informative and it was great to hear from various members of the legal community.”

“The 3-hour, remote format made it more convenient to attend.”

“Very thorough. Well done.” – Eric Troff, Esq.

“This was an excellent program. All speakers did a great job!”

“The Justice Grimes/Segal part was great.”

“Excellent panels.”

“Great discussions today on oral argument and PIs.”

“Very happy with the program.”

“Excellent as usual.”

“Excellent as always.”

“Great speakers and content.”

“Great expertise and balanced panels.”

“The discussion regarding remote versus in-person appearances for oral argument was excellent.”

“Informative.  I found the preliminary injunction section helpful.”

“Great panel today!”

“Great insights; so appreciated.”

“The program was excellent.”

“Very practical and very helpful.”

“The oral arguments by video was useful, the lighting/audio/image information was useful.”

“Timely. The substance of the final segment on forms of Supreme Court relief other than grant of review was the most interesting part of the program for me.”

“Very organized. Thank you!”

“Thought the content was very good and topical.”

“Video argument sessions were great.”

“The program was very informative, and I definitely learned something new.”

“Very high quality – appreciate the thoughtfulness of speakers.”

“Today’s program was good as well. Interesting discussions about brief-writing and statutory construction, among other things.”

“This was an excellent program. Speakers did a great job.” – Christopher Johns, Esq.

“Very good program.” – Paul Young, Esq.

“Thoughtful, informative, and helpful.”

“Very current and useful information.”

“Was an excellent presentation, especially remotely.”

“I thought it was all very helpful.”

“Truly useful with Wendy’s segment as the most valuable.” – Leslie Ellen Shear, Esq.

“Very good materials.”

“Wonderful speakers, and content was extremely relevant and helpful to my practice.”

“Very much enjoyed the program.”

“The speakers are fabulous.”

“Very informative program filled with practical and helpful information.”

“I felt that the topics and the issues were very helpful and focused. I like the trend to include federal appellate content, and I encourage this to continue.”

“Very informative. “

“All the speakers were great and provided a lot of insight on their respective presentation.”

“Wonderful appellate presentations; insightful and helpful for the daily practitioner.”

“I enjoy hearing from all the appellate justices you have and would enjoy the opportunity to hear from new ones as well.”

“It was nice to see Judges from various courts.”

“Excellent.”

“I liked the timeliness and variety of topics from knowledgeable and prepared speakers.”

“Well-organized, good speakers.”

“Excellent speakers and interesting topics.”

“Excellent panelists and content.”

“Another fabulous program.  Loved hearing from Justice Chin!”

“Very helpful and an impressive group of speakers.”

“Informative and easy to listen to.”

“Very interesting discussion on remote oral argument procedures especially. Lots of good tips.”

“Always fabulous!”

“Very interesting and informative, as always.”

“Very satisfied with the program.” – Dennis Beaty, Esq.

“All the speakers were so engaging. Content was great.”

“Very good program. I really liked all the advice the judges and attorneys gave.”

“Wonderful program.”

Faculty

San Francisco Faculty (scroll down for Sierra Madre/Pasadena faculty):

Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (Ret.)
Retired Chief Justice, California Supreme Court
Neutral, ADR Services, Inc.

 Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (Ret.) is the former 28th Chief Justice of California.  She retired in 2023 and now serves as a Neutral at  ADR Services, Inc. after a lifelong career of serving the law with integrity. .

A native of Sacramento, California, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in rhetoric before earning her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law. She began her legal career as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento County, where she spent four years prosecuting numerous felony and misdemeanor cases in jury trials to verdict. After that, she served on the senior staff of Governor George Deukmejian in two capacities: first as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary and later as Deputy Legislative Affairs Secretary.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has served for 32 years on California appellate and trial courts, and has been appointed or elevated to higher office by three governors. In 1990, Governor Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court and in 1997, Governor Pete Wilson elevated her to the Superior Court of Sacramento County. As a Superior Court Judge, she established and presided over the first court in Sacramento dedicated solely to domestic violence issues. In addition, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye chaired the court’s criminal law committee and was a member of the Presiding Judge’s task force on domestic violence and the Home Court committee. In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the Third District Court of Appeal.

After Governor Schwarzenegger nominated her as Chief Justice of California on July 22, 2010, the California State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission rated her as exceptionally well-qualified for the position. At a public hearing on August 25, 2010, she was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, and in a statewide general election on November 2, 2010, she was elected by an overwhelming majority of California voters. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, becoming the first person of color, first Asian-Filipina American, and the second woman to serve as the state’s Chief Justice.

As Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye was responsible for all administrative, budget, and policy decisions of the highest court in the state, while maintaining the same caseload and duties as the Associate Justices, including deciding petitions for review, extraordinary writs, and authoring court opinions that resolved the most important and conflicted areas of California law. Her tenure on the Supreme Court was marked by her rigorous analysis of legal issues and her commitment to upholding the rule of law. Additionally, she served as Chair of the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

As head of the California judiciary, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has championed judicial reform, working to improve access to justice, advocating for greater transparency, and reforming state court funding models that disproportionately impacted low-income individuals. She was a leader in revitalizing civic learning through her Power of Democracy initiative, which was developed to inform Californians about the courts and the role of the judiciary. In an effort to improve transparency, she opened meetings of the Judicial Council and its advisory bodies that were once closed to the public and made public comment more accessible.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s leadership has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including the 2012 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the highest award bestowed by the American Bar Association in recognition of the accomplishments of women lawyers in the nation who have excelled in their field. In 2022, she was the recipient of the California Lawyers Association’s inaugural Judicial Excellence

Award, which was established to recognize a member of the California Judicial Branch who exemplifies commitment to the improvement of the administration of justice and preserving the rule of law.

Throughout her career, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has remained committed to the principles of fairness, integrity, and justice. Her unwavering dedication to these values has made her a respected and influential figure in the legal community, and an exemplar for aspiring judges and attorneys.

 


Hon. Marsha S. Berzon
Judge
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Marsha S. Berzon was confirmed as a judge of the Ninth Circuit on March 9, 2000. 

Judge Marsha S. Berzon is a graduate of Radcliffe College and the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was Articles Editor of the California Law Review. She served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., of the United States Supreme Court and for Judge James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Before joining the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Berzon was an appellate and Supreme Court advocate at Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Berzon & Rubin, a San Francisco law firm. She presented cases in most of the federal circuit courts and the appellate courts of California and several other states. She filed briefs in dozens of cases in the United States Supreme Court, appearing four times as an oral advocate before the Court. Among the cases in which Judge Berzon participated were many setting important precedents in the fields of labor and employment, environmental, women’s rights (including the landmark employment discrimination case, UAW v. Johnson Controls), and free speech law. While in practice, Judge Berzon served as Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO; as a member of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Labor and Employment Law Section; as co- chair of the Appellate Courts Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco; as Treasurer of the Labor and Employment Law Sectionof the State Bar of California; as a member of the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco; as Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California; and as a member of the California Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession and the State Bar.

 

In the Fall of 1994, Judge Berzon was practitioner in residence at Cornell Law School, where she taught Supreme Court litigation; in the Fall of 1998, she was a practitioner in residence at Indiana University Law School; in the Fall of 2003, she was the Alvin B. and Janice Rubin Lecturer at the Paul F. Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University. She has taught at Berkeley Law and currently teaches C u r r e n t Constitutional Cases as an adjunct professor at UC Hastings Law School. Judge Berzon received the Faye Stender Award from the California Women Lawyers’ Association for her contribution to establishing the legal rights of women; the American Jewish Committee’s Learned Hand Award; the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award; and the Berkeley Law Jensen Award for Public Service for 2022. Judge Berzon gave the Madison Lecture at New York University Law School in 2008, and the David Feller lecture at Berkeley Law in 2003. She has written many law review articles and book chapters.

 

She is currently a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Law Institute, and has been a member of the Board of Advisors to the Center on Law and Information Policy.

 

 


Hon. Kathleen M. Banke
Justice
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division One

Kathleen M. Banke was appointed as an Associate Justice to the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division One, in June 2009. Prior to being elevated to the appellate bench, Justice Banke sat on the Alameda County Superior Court, to which she was appointed in June 2006. During her last year on the superior court bench, she was one of three judges appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court’s Appellate Division and was an elected member of the Court’s Executive Committee. Justice Banke now serves, by appointment, on the Center for Judicial Education and Research’s Appellate Advisory Committee and is the chair of the Legislative and Privacy subcommittees.  She previously served on and was chair of the Appellate Practice Curriculum Committee.  She is very active in judicial education and has helped produce numerous educational videos for the appellate bench and often speaks at statewide appellate programs.  

Before being appointed to the bench, Justice Banke was a partner at Reed Smith LLP, and before that, at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May, which merged with Reed Smith. She specialized in appellate practice for more than 20 years, was the practice group leader for the Crosby, Heafey statewide, and then the Reed Smith nationwide, Appellate Practice Group, and represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, and all districts of the California Court of Appeal. She was counsel of record or co-counsel on more than 200 appeals and writs, many of which resulted in published opinions. She also regularly consulted with trial lawyers to help shape trial presentations and make the best record possible for an eventual appeal. These consultations included briefing and arguing issues in the trial courts, and preparing and arguing post-trial motions. She also handled complex civil law and motion matters and writ proceedings. She was a certified specialist in appellate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and was an active member (and is now an ex officio member) of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Justice Banke has written numerous articles on civil appellate and writ practice. She is the chief consulting and updating editor and a contributing author of the significantly revised and expanded California Civil Writ Practice (CEB 4th ed. 2008), a contributing author and updating editor of Civil Procedure Before Trial: Statutes of Limitations (TRG 2016), and a contributing author to California Civil Appellate Practice (CEB 3d ed. 1996), Employment Litigation (TRG 2001), and Federal Civil Trials and Evidence (TRG 2000). Justice Banke served as a practitioner-advisor in appellate advocacy at Boalt Hall School of Law for three years, and before that as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Hastings College of the Law for three years teaching civil appellate advocacy. She continues to participate as a moot court judge for local law schools and other moot court competitions. 


Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes
Justice
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight

Beth Grimes was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, in April 2010.  She was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in December 1997.  Justice Grimes’ first judicial assignment was to the dependency court, after which she presided over a felony calendar court and independent calendar general jurisdiction courtrooms in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and the Santa Monica Courthouse.  From August 2004 through March 2005, Justice Grimes was assigned as a justice pro tempore to Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal.

Before her appointment to the bench, Justice Grimes was a partner in the Litigation Department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, engaged in a business litigation practice since joining the firm in 1980.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Justice Grimes received her law degree in 1980 from Stanford Law School, where she was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review.  She also attended the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, for one semester during her senior year, and she attended Mount Holyoke College her freshman year of college.


Hon. Jon B. Streeter
Justice
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four

The Honorable Jon B. Streeter is an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 4. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in November 2014, and prior to that, was a commercial litigator based in San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute, and a former President of the State Bar of California.

In private practice, Mr. Streeter was a partner at Keker & Van Nest for many years, and before that, with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Mr. Streeter earned an A.B. degree from Stanford University in 1978 and a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley in 1981. He is a former law clerk to Senior Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1982-83).


Hon. Helen E. Williams
Judge
Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County

Judge Helen E. Williams was appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2012. She has sat in unlimited civil and criminal assignments, served as the court’s designated CEQA judge, and has served for nine years on the court’s Appellate Division, eight of those as its Presiding Judge. In 2022-2023, Judge Williams sat on assignment as a pro tem justice at the Sixth District Court of Appeal, authoring her own opinions without research assistance. Before joining the bench, Judge Williams, who is certified as an appellate specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, worked in chambers for eight years as a research attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeal, focusing on civil and criminal cases and drafting opinions in those cases for the authoring justice. Before that, Judge Williams engaged in civil practice for 18 years beginning with a small litigation firm with her father and moving to larger firms with increasing focus on appellate specialization and dispositive motions such as summary judgment and anti-SLAPP, along with post-trial motions and other trial matters such as critical in limine motions and jury instructions. 

Judge Williams currently serves as a member of the Judicial Council of California’s Appellate Advisory Committee and previously served as a member of the Center for Judicial Education & Research’s Appellate Practice Curriculum Committee. She also served for six years on the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts, including terms as its vice-chair and chair. She further served for five years on the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization Appellate Law Advisory Committee, including terms as its vice-chair and chair. Judge Williams also served as the vice-chair and chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Appellate Courts Section and as co-chair of the Appellate Court’s Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Judge Williams also currently serves as President Elect of the William Ingram Inn of Court, of which she has been a member for many years, and she is a member of the Board of Editors of the California Litigation Journal, now a publication of the California Lawyers Association Litigation Section. Judge Williams has served on panels for scores of MCLE and judicial education programs, principally on appellate topics. 

Judge Williams received her Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She earned her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, and is one of four members of that School’s class of 1986 to serve on the Santa Clara Superior Court bench. While in law school, Judge Williams served as an Articles Editor for the Santa Clara Law Review and, along with her brother, received the Moot Court award for Best Brief.


Kirstin Ault, Esq.
Counsel
Complex Appellate Litigation Group LLP

Kirstin Ault spent more than a decade handling criminal appeals for the federal government.

Kirstin has over 20 years of appellate experience, and has litigated more than 50 appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She spent 15 of those years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, where her work included, along with direct criminal appeals, challenges to sentencing, restitution orders, and conditions of supervised release and probation, as well as interlocutory appeals challenging bail conditions and rulings on trial motions.

She has special expertise in constitutional challenges to criminal convictions and statutory interpretation.

As the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the vagueness doctrine evolved to impact a variety of criminal and immigration statutes, Kirstin coordinated with other offices in the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Department of Justice to develop a coherent strategy for adapting to a rapidly changing area of constitutional law. Kirstin also served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes and Securities Fraud section where, as Health Care Fraud Coordinator, she oversaw the Northern District’s health care fraud litigation and handled a variety of white-collar cases.

Kirstin has also tried over 20 federal jury trials, and brings that trial strategy and motions experience to benefit her consulting and appellate clients.

Kirstin was recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the California Daily Journal in 2014. She received the Executive Office of United States Attorneys Director’s Award in 2016. She currently serves on the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Amicus Committee and the Women’s White Collar Defense Association Small Firms Initiative Committee.

Kirstin is an Adjunct Professor at UC College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings College of the Law), where she teaches Corporate Crime and Regulation.

Since 2016, Kirstin has regularly served as an instructor for Stanford’s Trial Advocacy seminar and moot court competitions. Kirstin graduated from Stanford Law School in 1999 and clerked for the Honorable Joel Flaum on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.


Harry W.R. Chamberlain II, Esq.
Shareholder, Certified Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Buchalter

Harry Chamberlain is a Shareholder of Buchalter, an Am Law 150 firm, with eleven Western U.S. offices. For over 40 years, he has served as trial and appellate counsel for Fortune 500 companies, and a variety of public and private sector clients in complex litigation matters. He is certified as an Appellate Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, handling hundreds of appeals across the country, including numerous cases before the California Supreme Court and the highest courts of other states.                                                           

Before joining Buchalter, Harry was general counsel for California‐based professional liability insurers, and managed the law department of a national group of commercial insurance and financial service companies. He is past president of California Defense Counsel and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, preeminent associations of civil defense trial and appellate lawyers. He writes and lectures widely on topics regarding complex litigation, professional responsibility and insurance law.


Michael G. Colantuono, Esq.
Partner, Certified Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC

Michael G. Colantuono is a shareholder in Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, a municipal law firm with offices in Pasadena and Grass Valley. Chief Justice Ronald M. George presented him with the 2010 Public Lawyer of the Year award on behalf of the California State Bar Association. The Los Angeles Daily Journal named him one of “California’s Top Municipal Lawyers” every year since its list began in 2011. The Supreme Court appointed him the first Chair of the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California; he was previously President of the Bar. The State Bar has certified him as an Appellate Specialist and he is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a prestigious association of fewer than 100 of California’s most distinguished appellate advocates.

Michael is one of California’s leading experts on municipal revenues and has appeared in all six Courts of Appeal in California. In addition, he has argued nine public finance cases in the California Supreme Court since 2004 and briefed two others.

Michael is City Attorney of Auburn and Grass Valley and general counsel of a number of LAFCOs and special districts and previously served six other cities and many special districts. He serves as special counsel to counties, cities and special districts around California.

Michael served as President of the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities in 2003–2004 and established its first Ethics Committee.

He served on the Commission on Local Governance in the 21st Century, the recommendations of which led to substantial revisions of the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act. Michael is General Counsel of the Calaveras and San Diego LAFCOs and serves as outside counsel to several other LAFCOs.

Michael graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in Government and received his law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law of the University of California at Berkeley.

He frequently posts comments on local government and municipal finance topics to Twitter ( @MColantuono ) and LinkedIn ( Michael Colantuono ).


Susan V. Gelmis, Esq.
Chief Deputy Clerk, Operations
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Susan Gelmis is the Chief Deputy Clerk for Operations at the Ninth Circuit. 

She has been with the court for over 30 years, previously serving as supervisor of the Motions and Pro Se Units in the Staff Attorneys’ Office and as director of the Circuit’s Pro Bono Program for 22 years.

Susan has served on numerous Circuit wide committees and task forces relating to prisoner and pro se litigation, and as liaison to the pro se law clerks in the district courts, organizing and speaking at Circuit wide and national conferences.

Since 2015, Susan has served as Chief Deputy Clerk, overseeing all docketing and filing and calendaring systems and procedures, staffing the Circuit Advisory Rules Committee and Appellate Lawyer Representatives, and organizing and speaking at CLE programs around the Circuit. Susan is a 1987 graduate of NYU Law School and originally a native of New York.


Susan Horst, Esq.
Counsel
Complex Appellate Litigation Group, LLP

Susan Horst is a specialist in writs of mandamus and prohibition in the California appellate courts. For more than 31 years, Susan served as the writ attorney for the California Court of Appeal for the First District, Division One, in San Francisco. Susan is one of the only practicing attorneys in California to have devoted virtually her entire career to appellate writs. As writ attorney in the First District, Susan evaluated thousands of pre- and post- trial writ petitions in all types of civil and criminal matters. In the process, she learned precisely what the justices on the Court of Appeal look for before taking the extraordinary step of granting writ relief — and what an opposing party needs to highlight to have the best shot at getting a petition denied.

Susan’s three decades at the Court of Appeal gave her both extensive writing experience and a wide-ranging knowledge of substantive law. Susan’s casework ran the gamut from business and commercial litigation, to personal injury and employment matters, to real estate, insurance, and products liability cases, to professional negligence, disqualification, and privilege issues. The procedural postures of the writ petitions she handled were equally wide-ranging, and included pleading defects and class certification, sealing of court records, discovery disputes, summary judgment, settlement, and enforcement of judgments.

Her practice today focuses on writ petition consulting in the appellate courts and trial court work in anticipation of writ relief. Susan also lectures widely on writ practice and procedure. She has presented seminars to the San Francisco City Attorney, District Attorney and Public Defender Offices, the State Bar of California, California Continuing Education of the Bar, The Rutter Group, PINCUS Professional Education, bar associations across California, and the Center for Judicial Education and Research. She is the co-author of Chapters for Continuing Education of the Bar publications, as well as training materials for numerous continuing education lectures.

Susan’s career at the Court of Appeal followed motion and jury trial skills she developed early on as an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco. She holds her J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude — even though she attended law school part-time at night, while working as a full-time administrator at Stanford University during the day. She also has her B.A. in English from Stanford.

In her spare time, Susan is an adviser to the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the California Lawyer’s Association.She also volunteers on the Advisory Board of Advokids, a foster children’s advocacy group, and provides pro bono advice and representation through the Advokids Appellate Project.


Kirk Jenkins, Esq.

Formerly with Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

 Kirk Jenkins brings a wealth of experience to his appellate practice, which focuses on antitrust and constitutional law, as well as products liability, RICO, price fixing, information sharing among competitors and class certification. In addition to handling appeals, he also regularly works with trial teams to ensure that important issues are properly presented and preserved for appellate review.  Mr. Jenkins is a pioneer in the application of data analytics to appellate decisionmaking and writes two analytics blogs, the California Supreme Court Reviewand the Illinois Supreme Court Review, as well as regularly writing for various legal publications.

Mr. Jenkins received his J.D. from Harvard and is a past President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.  Is is also the CA State Chair of the ABA’s Council of Appellate Laywers and an elected member of the American Law Institute.

 


Richard M. Pearl, Esq.
Principal
Law Offices of Richard M. Pearl

Richard M. Pearl is the Principal of the Law Offices of Richard M. Pearl in Berkeley, California. He received his J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley in 1969 and was admitted to both the Georgia and California State Bars in 1970.

For the past thirty years, his practice has focused on cases involving reasonable attorneys’ fees, either court-awarded, claimed as damages, or at issue in attorney-client disputes. He is the author of California Attorney Fee Awards, 3d Ed., published by California’s Continuing Education of the Bar in 2010, and updated annually. As an expert witness on fees, his testimony has been accepted by innumerable courts and arbitrators. including Kerkeles v. City of San Jose, 243 Cal. App. 4th 88, 96, 105 (2015) and Wit v. United Behav.Health, 578 F.Supp.3d 1060, 1079 (N.D. Cal. 2022).

He also has been appellate counsel in many of the leading cases on attorneys’ fees in both the California and federal courts.


Sean SeLegue, Esq.
Partner
Arnold & Porter

Sean SeLegue, described as a "very astute lawyer" in Chambers,* has developed two distinct areas of focus over more than 30 years of law practice.

Appeals. Mr. SeLegue brings rigorous analysis, lively writing and creativity to his appellate practice. He emphasizes teamwork with trial counsel while ensuring the client gets objective advice based on a fresh assessment of the matter. Chambers casts him as a "a top-flight appellate attorney." He is a certified appellate specialist, State Bar of California, a member and officer of the selective California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a member of the invitation-only American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Mr. SeLegue began his career in appellate law in 1991 with a clerkship for Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Since then, he has handled appeals in many areas, including energy law, products liability, real estate, partnership disputes, securities law, contract law and high-asset community property disputes in marital dissolution (divorce) cases.

Attorney Liability And Ethics. A former Chair of the State Bar of California Board of Trustees and the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, Mr. SeLegue has advised and represented dozens of lawyers and law firms. He has extensive experience in defending malpractice and malicious prosecution actions and attorney discipline defense. He has overseen internal investigations for law firms and has advised firms and appeared on their behalf, in investigations and inquiries by the State Bar and federal judges. Mr. SeLegue also has served as an expert witness.

*Chambers Ranking in Litigation: California Appellate category


Leah Spero, Esq.

Spero Law Office

Leah Spero represents clients in criminal and civil matters, focusing on appellate proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the California Courts of Appeal. To every case, Leah brings outstanding legal research and writing, sound judgment, and a keen ability to assess and frame the strongest arguments for her clients.

Leah has unique insights into presenting appeals based on her experience working for the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court, and representing clients on appeal at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. To every case, Leah brings outstanding legal research and writing, sound judgment, and a keen ability to assess the strongest arguments for her clients. She has represented a broad array of plaintiffs and defendants, including major corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. Leah also represents many indigent clients through court appointments and pro bono cases.

 


Gary A. Watt, Esq.
Partner
Hanson Bridgett

Gary serves as Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice. He is a State Bar approved Certified Appellate Specialist, handling writs and appeals in all of the California appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His practice also includes dispositive motions such as SLAPP, summary judgment, and post-trial motions. His appellate experience gives him unique insights into complex cases and esoteric disputes. He excels at issue spotting and arrives at thoughtful solutions to business problems. His practice includes risk management such as interpreting contracts, indemnity provisions, and more.

A passionate appellate lawyer and law professor, Gary has been on the faculty at U.C. Hastings College of the Law since 2001 teaching various appellate law courses and coaching intercollegiate moot court competition teams. Consistent with Hanson Bridgett’s commitment to pro bono work, Gary currently serves as Director of U.C. Hastings’ Ninth Circuit clinical program: the Hastings Appellate Project. As Director, he supervises law students in the pro bono legal representation of appellants. He is also a frequent lecturer at MCLE presentations throughout the Bay Area, and has taught hundreds of lawyers over the years on a vast array of appellate and litigation best practices.

Gary is also Chair of the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s appellate practice section. A prolific writer, Gary is a frequent contributor to the Daily Journal, The Recorder, and other legal publications, with over 75 published articles to date. 


 


Los Angeles Faculty:

Hon. Jacqueline H. Nguyen
Judge
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Nguyen was confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on May 7, 2012. She received her commission on May 14, 2012, becoming the first Asian American woman to serve on a federal court of appeals. Prior to her confirmation to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Nguyen was a district judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She also served previously as a trial judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, from 2002 to 2009. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Nguyen spent seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where she was also a Deputy Chief in charge of training new AUSAs. Judge Nguyen began her legal career in private practice.

 

Judge Nguyen received her A.B. from Occidental College in 1987 and earned her J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1991.

 

Judge Nguyen has long been actively engaged in the legal community. As a lawyer, she served on various boards including the Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles County, the Southern California Chinese Lawyers’ Association, and the Japanese American Bar Association. She co-founded and served as the President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association from 1999 to 2000. As a judge, she continues to be engaged in a number of organizations, including the ABA’s Appellate Judges Conference, the Appellate Judges Education Institute, the American Law Institute, and the Federal Judges Association. She is also on a number of court committees, including the Ninth Circuit Federal Defenders Committee and the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules.


Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes
Justice
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight

Beth Grimes was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, in April 2010.  She was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in December 1997.  Justice Grimes’ first judicial assignment was to the dependency court, after which she presided over a felony calendar court and independent calendar general jurisdiction courtrooms in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and the Santa Monica Courthouse.  From August 2004 through March 2005, Justice Grimes was assigned as a justice pro tempore to Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal.

Before her appointment to the bench, Justice Grimes was a partner in the Litigation Department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, engaged in a business litigation practice since joining the firm in 1980.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Justice Grimes received her law degree in 1980 from Stanford Law School, where she was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review.  She also attended the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, for one semester during her senior year, and she attended Mount Holyoke College her freshman year of college.


Hon. Douglas P. Miller
Justice
California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two

Justice Miller was born in Whittier, California, and grew up in Glendora, California.  He attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1975.  Justice Miller was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1978 from Pepperdine University School of Law.  He practiced law at the Law Offices of Thomas T. Anderson in Indio, California, from 1978 through 1995.

In 1995 Justice Miller was appointed to the Riverside Superior Court by Governor Pete Wilson.  His first year he was assigned criminal trials but the remainder of his time with the superior court was spent in primarily civil trials.  He served as the Presiding Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court from January1, 2003, through December 31, 2004.  In 2006 Justice Miller was voted Trial Judge of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Inland County.  In June of 2006 Justice Miller was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Justice Miller has served on many state and local committees including the California Judges Association.  He is currently serving on the Judicial Council, as Chair of the Executive and Planning Committee; the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System; Chair of the Commission for Impartial Courts’ Task Force on Judicial Candidate Campaign Conduct; the Commission on Access to Justice; Chair of the of the California Court Case Management System Justice Partner Advisory Committee; and Vice Chair of the Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions. 

Justice Miller is also active in many local programs including the Boys & Girls Club, of which he is currently the President and also on the National Area Council Committee; and he is a founding member of the Warren E. Slaughter American Inn of Court.  In his spare time, Justice Miller enjoys fly-fishing, tennis and hiking.

 


Hon. Michael J. Raphael
Justice
California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two

Justice Raphael is the fourth generation of his family to live in Southern California, though he is the first lawyer or judge.  Justice Raphael graduated in 1990 from Rice University and in 1993 from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and an editor of the Yale Journal of Law & Policy.

Justice Raphael began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Justice Raphael then practiced as a trial and appellate litigator in the Washington D.C. office of a national law firm.

Justice Raphael next worked as an investigative counsel for the Government Reform Committee of the United States House of Representatives, handling the investigation of campaign fundraising that arose from the 1996 Presidential election.  During that time, Justice Raphael also taught writing and advocacy courses as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law.

In 1999, Justice Raphael returned to the Los Angeles area and spent over twelve years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, prosecuting over 60 federal felony cases in trial court.  Justice Raphael also was appointed as special counsel in the Northern District of California (San Francisco) and successfully investigated and prosecuted the illegal leak of grand jury testimony provided by Barry Bonds and other athletes in the course of a government investigation of steroids in sports.

As an AUSA, Justice Raphael served as chief of the Criminal Appeals Section from 2007 to 2012 after serving as deputy chief from 2005 to 2007.  As chief, Justice Raphael oversaw an annual appellate docket of roughly 300 briefs and 100 oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Justice Raphael personally argued 41 cases in Ninth Circuit on behalf of the United States, including three en banc cases presented to an 11-judge panel.  Justice Raphael co-taught Advanced Appellate Advocacy at the Gould School of Law at the University of California in 2005 and 2006; he also co-taught a seminar in criminal sentencing in 2008.  Justice Raphael lectured frequently on appellate brief writing and oral argument while an attorney.

In 2012, Justice Raphael became a Judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court upon his appointment by Governor Jerry Brown.   On that court, Justice Raphael initially handled assignments that included small claims, limited civil, unlawful detainer, and criminal misdemeanors.  He then served in the downtown civil “law and motion” courts that handled pretrial cases for the entire county in limited civil and personal injury cases.  For Justice Raphael’s last three years on the trial bench, he was assigned to a downtown civil independent calendar court, with a docket of a wide variety of civil cases.  While on the trial court, Justice Raphael was twice appointed to serve as a pro tem Justice in Division Five of the Second District Court of Appeal.

In 2018, Governor Brown nominated Justice Raphael to serve as an Associate Justice on the Court of Appeal, and he was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, after receiving an “exceptionally well qualified” rating from the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission.

While on the trial and appellate bench, Justice Raphael has authored several dozen articles in legal publications, has taught several judicial education courses, and has spoken frequently at legal education events for attorneys.


Hon. John L. Segal
Justice
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven

Justice Segal has served as an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal since 2015.

In 2000 Justice Segal was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he served as a trial judge until 2015 and presided over civil and criminal cases. His assignments on the Superior Court included 12 years in unlimited civil individual calendar courts in the Stanley Mosk, Santa Monica, and West Los Angeles courthouses. He also served as a justice pro tem in the Court of Appeal from January 2010 to June 2010, August 2012 to March 2013, and May 2013 to December 2014.

In May 2015 Justice Segal was nominated to the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven. The Commission on Judicial Appointments confirmed his nomination in July 2015.

Justice Segal is actively involved in state and local bar associations. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Section of Litigation of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and as an advisor to the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California. He is participates in the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Trial Practice Inn of Court and the Beverly Hills Bar Association Southern California Business Litigation Inn of Court.

Justice Segal was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Williams College in 1982, and his law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1987. After law school he served as a law clerk for Judge Robert S. Vance of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from 1987 to 1988. He was an associate from 1988 to 1995, and then a partner from 1995 to 2000, with the law firm of Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, where he helped run the Appellate Practice Group.

Justice Segal is married to Chief United States Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. They have two adult children. Justice Segal teaches Remedies at the University of Southern California School of Law, sings tenor in a congregational choir, and plays third base for his softball team.


Hon. Kira L. Klatchko
Judge and Certified Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Superior Court of California, Riverside County

Judge Kira Klatchko was appointed to Riverside County Superior Court in 2016. She currently sits in Palm Springs in an unlimited civil department.

Before joining the bench, Judge Klatchko was a Civil Appellate Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and handled both state and federal appeals arising from all areas of civil practice for clients as varied as cities, businesses and families. Judge Klatchko was a partner at Lewis Brisbois, and served as was vice chair of the firm’s national Appellate Practice Litigation group. Prior to joining Lewis Brisbois, Judge Klatchko was a partner at Best Best & Krieger where she served as chair of the firm’s appellate group. She served for six years on the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts, including a term as its chair.

Judge Klatchko is co-author of the “California” chapter of the “Appellate Practice Compendium” (ABA 2012), an insider’s guide to appellate practice. She is co-contributing editor of “California Civil Appeals and Writs” (Matthew Bender 2014), a comprehensive two-volume practice guide for appellate counsel and general litigators. Judge Klatchko was repeatedly named to the list of Super Lawyers for Southern California in Appellate Law. She is a former president of the Riverside County Bar Association, and previously served five terms as chair of the Riverside County Bar Association Appellate Section. Judge Klatchko was also a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Judge Klatchko has served as an adjunct professor at La Verne College of Law, teaching legal research and writing. She has also lectured on appellate ethics and practice at numerous conferences and seminars, including the California State Bar Annual Convention, the State and Local Legal Center Supreme Court Practice Seminar, and Pincus Professional Education’s Annual Advanced Appellate Conferences in Los Angeles.  

In 2014, Judge Klatchko was inducted into the Desert Bar Association Hall of Fame, as Outstanding Young Attorney of the year. In 2010, Judge Klatchko was recognized by the City of Palm Springs and Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce with the Athena International Award for Young Professional Leadership, recognizing her professional success and work in the community. 

Judge Klatchko received her bachelor’s degree in political science, with distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from the Executive Management Program at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. She earned her law degree at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the U.C. Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy.


Harry W.R. Chamberlain II, Esq.
Shareholder, Certified Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Buchalter

Harry Chamberlain is a Shareholder of Buchalter, an Am Law 150 firm, with eleven Western U.S. offices. For over 40 years, he has served as trial and appellate counsel for Fortune 500 companies, and a variety of public and private sector clients in complex litigation matters. He is certified as an Appellate Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, handling hundreds of appeals across the country, including numerous cases before the California Supreme Court and the highest courts of other states.                                                           

Before joining Buchalter, Harry was general counsel for California‐based professional liability insurers, and managed the law department of a national group of commercial insurance and financial service companies. He is past president of California Defense Counsel and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, preeminent associations of civil defense trial and appellate lawyers. He writes and lectures widely on topics regarding complex litigation, professional responsibility and insurance law.


Susan V. Gelmis, Esq.
Chief Deputy Clerk, Operations
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Susan Gelmis is the Chief Deputy Clerk for Operations at the Ninth Circuit. 

She has been with the court for over 30 years, previously serving as supervisor of the Motions and Pro Se Units in the Staff Attorneys’ Office and as director of the Circuit’s Pro Bono Program for 22 years.

Susan has served on numerous Circuit wide committees and task forces relating to prisoner and pro se litigation, and as liaison to the pro se law clerks in the district courts, organizing and speaking at Circuit wide and national conferences.

Since 2015, Susan has served as Chief Deputy Clerk, overseeing all docketing and filing and calendaring systems and procedures, staffing the Circuit Advisory Rules Committee and Appellate Lawyer Representatives, and organizing and speaking at CLE programs around the Circuit. Susan is a 1987 graduate of NYU Law School and originally a native of New York.


Mira Hashmall, Esq.
Partner
Miller | Barondess LLP

Mira Hashmall is an accomplished trial lawyer with a record of success in federal and state courts, and in arbitration.  She has been honored by the Daily Journal on its lists of Top 100 Lawyers in California, Top Women Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40, and Top Labor and Employment Lawyers.  Los Angeles Business Journal has recognized Mira on its lists of Top Litigators, Minority Leaders of Influence, Leaders in Law, Women’s Council & Awards, and Most Influential Women Lawyers.  Mira was honored by the Century City Bar Association as Employment Lawyer of the Year 2021.

Mira began her practice at a large, international law firm representing clients in complex litigation matters and defending employers in labor and employment disputes.  Since joining Miller Barondess, Mira has continued to diversify her practice and has achieved Top Verdict recognition on both the plaintiff and defense side.  She represents clients at every stage of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling to appellate proceedings, and is sought out to handle complex litigation involving business matters that have a broad legal impact.

In addition to her complex business practice, Mira defends private and public employers in high stakes litigation involving claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, and wrongful termination.  She also defends cases involving disability discrimination and accommodation, and family and medical leave rights.

Mira has a sophisticated appellate practice and is a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Her federal appellate experience includes First Amendment, defamation and libel claims, insurance coverage issues, and employment disputes.  She has handled appeals involving real estate developments, contract disputes, whistle-blower actions, and malicious prosecution claims.  Mira also has extensive experience in anti-SLAPP litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Mira is admitted to practice before all U.S. District Courts in California.  She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.


Rex S. Heinke, Esq.
Partner
Complex Appellate Litigation Group LLP

Rex Heinke is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished and experienced appellate practitioners in California, and among the best in the nation. He has argued more than 150 appeals in federal and state courts across the country. Between 2001 and 2020, Rex was co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s nationally renowned Supreme Court and Appellate practice.

He is regularly called on to defend major corporations and high-profile individuals in some of their most hotly contested appellate matters.Rex has extensive experience before the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as other federal and state appellate courts. Rex’s victories have led to reversals of individual judgments worth more than billion and dramatic changes in law to the benefit of his clients.

Rex is also a respected leader in First Amendment, intellectual property, entertainment, media, and Internet-related appellate litigation. He has frequently represented newspapers, magazines, television networks, motion picture studios, websites, and entertainment production and distribution companies in their litigation and appellate work. He is the author of BNA’s treatise on Media Law.

He has received many awards for his accomplishments.

Chambers USA has named Rex one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the “Litigation: Appellate” section every year since 2012. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America guide for nearly 30 years, and in 2018 was named to both the Daily Journal‘s list of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and the National Law Journal‘s Appellate Hot List. The Legal 500 business litigation guide has included him as one of the nation’s top appellate lawyers for state and federal Supreme Courts since 2019. And he was twice named California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine. In 2019, the Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library awarded Rex with the prestigious Beacon of Justice Award, in honor of his “vision, advocacy and passion for justice.” In 2020, Public Counsel Law Center awarded him its Pro Bono Award for “providing outstanding and impactful service to those in need.”

Rex is a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and member of the California Judicial Council and State Bar Board of Governors.He serves on the boards of directors of the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, and the Topsy Foundation, a children’s charitable organization in South Africa.

Rex received his law degree from Columbia Law School.

He clerked after law school for the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Frederick Heebe. His undergraduate degree is from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he was the student body president and an anti-apartheid activist.


Dan Lawton, Esq.
Shareholder, Certified Specialist in Appellate Law
Klinedinst PC

 Throughout his career in private practice, Dan Lawton has focused on civil trial work and complex commercial and intellectual property litigation on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He also has a deep background in civil appeals, and is certified as a legal specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar’s California Board of Legal Specialization. The certification is a distinction held by only 36 lawyers in San Diego County. His first job out of law school was a clerkship with Ninth Circuit Judge Thomas Tang.

Dan regularly counsels both corporate and individual clients in a variety of settings, often in negotiations and sometimes in transactions. His corporate clients have included companies whose stock is publicly-traded and companies whose stock is closely-held. They have included life sciences companies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and distributors of various products, landowners and property developers, large corporations, a local major league baseball franchise, automobile dealerships, and “mom-and-pop” businesses. His individual clients have included officers, directors, and shareholders (both majority and minority) of corporations, bankers, elected officials, politicians, professional athletes and coaches, attorneys, accountants, land owners, entrepreneurs, and entertainers.

Dan has tried multiple jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations, and litigated many cases to disposition short of trial (by way of motions to dismiss and for summary judgment). Dan has obtained settlements and judgments in his clients’ favor totaling tens of millions of dollars, and obtained what is believed to be the third-largest jury verdict in the legal history of Imperial County (for ,286,461, after a nine-week jury trial). Over the span of more than 30 years, his caseload has included cases involving patent infringement, copyright infringement, trade secret theft, unfair competition, defamation, and business torts (such as trade libel and intentional interference with contractual relations). Dan has handled civil appeals and writs in both the California and federal courts. Dan has successfully litigated cases against some of the largest law firms and government agencies in the State of California.

In January 2009, Dan learned of his nomination for inclusion in 2009 San Diego Super Lawyers based on anonymous peer evaluation. He was so honored again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in the primary practice area of intellectual property litigation. Nominations for SuperLawyer designation are peer-driven, and fewer than 5% of lawyers in California earn the distinction. In 1997, two years after opening his own practice, Dan earned an “AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Dan has been a team leader in the J. Clifford Wallace Chapter of the American Inns of Court since 2015. In that role, he has been responsible for putting on mandatory continuing legal education programs for the Inn, a group whose membership consists of lawyers and Judges and is by invitation only. In September 2015, Dan won an award for Best Program via anonymous peer vote for a short documentary he produced entitled “Avoiding Deathbed Regrets and Having Work/Life Balance.” The documentary combined excerpts of interviews with 25 local lawyers and Judges with data concerning work/life balance for attorneys and jurists.

Active within the legal and business community. Dan has participated in numerous charitable and pro bono programs. Dan has earned multiple Wiley W. Manuel awards for community service from the State Bar of California for pro bono work on behalf of indigent refugees fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States. The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program awarded Dan its Distinguished Service Award in three separate years for his pro bono work on behalf of refugees.


Claudia Ribet, Esq.
Counsel
Complex Appellate Litigation Group LLP

Claudia Ribet is one of only four attorneys in California recognized by the State Bar as a certified specialist in both appellate law and family law. This dual qualification gives Claudia deep insight into effective presentation of complex arguments in high-stakes family law appeals. She wins a lot of the California family law appeals she litigates. 

Claudia authored an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court where the Court ruled in her client’s favor, holding a Special Juvenile Immigrant Status proceeding could go forward in the absence of the father. She is also a frequent author of articles about family law appellate issues, having penned more than a dozen for the Daily Journal, Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, and Family Law News.

Claudia has been a member of the State Bar’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission (the “JNE Commission”) and, for many years was Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee (“SAJEC”). She is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Claudia graduated from Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree in philosophy with high honors from Oberlin College.


Gerald M. Serlin, Esq.
Founding Attorney
Benedon & Serlin LLP

Gerald (Gerry) is a founding member of Benedon & Serlin, LLP, an appellate boutique law firm established in 1993. Following law school, Gerry served as a law clerk to Acting Presiding Justice Robert E. Rickles (1985-1986) and Associate Justice John H. Hews (1987), at the California Court of Appeal. In addition, he was an associate at Horvitz & Levy LLP (1990-1993) and Kelley Drye & Warren (1987-1990). Gerry attended the University of California, Berkeley (B.A., History, magna cum laude and B.A., Political Economy, cum laude 1980), and the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (J.D., 1985), where he was a member of the University of Southern California Law Review.  Gerry is a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He has been selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers, in Appellate Law (2004 – present), and included in the Top 100: Southern California Super Lawyers (2021 – present). He also has been recognized by Best lawyers in America, in Appellate Law (2016 – present), received a CLAY Award (Daily Journal and California Lawyer) Attorney of the Year for Extraordinary Achievement in 2015 in Appellate Practice, and was a Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles – Nominee for 2009 Appellate Lawyer of the Year.


Benjamin G. Shatz, Esq.
Partner, Certified Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

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 Legal Specialist in Appellate Law
Horvitz & Levy LLP

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 million reduction of a 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 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.


Cory L. Webster, Esq.
Member
Dykema Gossett PLLC.

 As a former judicial law clerk for both trial and appellate courts, Cory Webster knows how to persuade judges. Clients call on him to win appeals and key trial motions in complex commercial litigation.  

Cory frequently drafts appellate briefs in the California Court of Appeal, California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit, as well as post-trial motions and letter briefs to appellate courts.

He advises clients and trial counsel on appellate options after adverse non-dispositive rulings, and he prepares and defends against writ petitions in appellate courts.

Cory also helps develop and carry out litigation strategies in trial court and serves as embedded appellate counsel at trial.

In addition to his appellate work, Cory has significant experience in products liability, IP, real estate, eminent domain, and business litigation.

Cory joined Dykema after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Consuelo M. Callahan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Before his appellate clerkship, Cory worked in private practice and also served several judges as a judicial law clerk with the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

While in law school, Cory authored the case problem for the National Entertainment Moot Court Competition. He also served as a teaching assistant in legal research and writing and appellate advocacy courses.

Cory earned is law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, and was on the Pepperdine Law Review, as associate editor.


Fees

Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429

Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429

Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download:  $479

 

* The Video Package includes the video recording of the webinar (including sound of course).  The Audio Package is a separate audio-only recorded package, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car).

You can also purchase both recorded packages for only $50.00 more!

Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device. 

For CDs/DVDs, please add $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

This program will be recorded live on February 1, 2024 (San Francisco) and February 9, 2024 (Los Angeles).

(Recorded packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held.)

CLE Credit

CA General:  This program is approved for 5.25 units of general CLE in California.

CA Technology: This program is approved for 1.0 unit of Technology in California.

CA Participatory Certified Legal Specialist: This program is approved for 6.25 hours of Legal Specialization Credit in Appellate Law. (Expires 01/31/2026)

CA Self Study (only) Certified Legal Specialist: This program is approved for 6.25 hours of Legal Specialization Credit in Appellate Law. (Expires 01/31/2029)

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for up to 6.25 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above. Many attorneys ask for this and are approved in other states.

$429.00$479.00 each

Recording/Recorded on February 1, 2024 (No. CA Faculty Webinar) & February 9, 2024 (So. CA Faculty in-person in Sierra Madre/Pasadena).

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