Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (Recorded Package and OnDemand Streaming)

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

We have gathered another all-star panel together for our United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp, including four 9th Circuit judges, two authors of Federal Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice (The Rutter Group Practice Guide) and top-notch 9th Circuit appellate attorneys.

We are pleased to have the following 9th Circuit judges joining us: Hon. Consuelo M. Callahan, Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, Hon. John B. Owens, and Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw. Also joining us are several former judicial law clerks from the 9th.  You’ll also hear from a Chief Deputy Clerk on the panel who knows the court inside and out and will give you an inside look and essential advice related to post-decision practice.

And of course, you will hear from appellate attorneys steeped in 9th Circuit Practice, most of whom are Certified Legal Specialists in California.

This program will be a two-part webinar. Please click on the Agenda Tab above for a detailed list of what you will learn at this program.

On Day 1/Part 1, you will get an overview of the 9th Circuit Practice. You will then be walked through the process of initiating the appeal in civil cases. Your faculty then moves on to discuss the various forms of relief available.  You’ll learn about appellate Stays and Bonds and then you will get a deep dive into appellate motion practice – which makes up a good amount of your federal court appeals work.

On Day 2/Part 2, you will hear a quick run-down of the 9th Circuit’s Mediation Program, then your faculty will discuss brief writing and excerpts of records.  After that, you’ll get an inside look at Oral Argument, learning about the process and components, what you can expect and what the judges need from you, how to prepare, and how best to argue.  Your faculty will also provide a few tips about remote/online arguments.

Two 9th Circuit judges will be teaching this session – giving you an inside look at what they want from your oral argument.

Your faculty on Day 2/Part 2 will walk you through the critical post-decision practice tasks about which you must know, including Petitions for Panel Rehearing, Petitions for Rehearing en Banc, Petitions for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, Petitions for Certiorari and essential timelines.

This is an essential program for anyone new to practicing in the 9th Circuit, or anyone wanting an inside look at it or refresher.  For the latter though, please note that this is a beginner level course.




This program will be recorded live on September 26 & 28, 2023. The recorded packages will be available in two to three weeks in audio or video format and includes seminar materials.*

* The Video recording is a video of the webinar (including sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car). You can also purchase both formats together. Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.


Are you interested in enhancing your public speaking abilities? There’s no better moment than now to take action! Acquire a copy of Faith Pincus’ book, “Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys,” published by the ABA. ABA members can enjoy a special discount of 10%-20%.

Alternatively, you have the option to order a signed paperback directly from us at a discounted price, including free shipping.  Click here to order your signed copy directly from us.

The book is also conveniently available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your presentation skills in and out of court and Be Heard!

What You Will Learn

What You Will Learn

Part 1: September 26, 2023

An Overview of 9th Circuit Practice
John Querio

  • Overview of the structure of the 9th Circuit
  • 9th Circuit docket orders/time schedules demystified

Initiating the Appeal in Civil Cases
John Querio and Janet Schroer

  • Should you appeal?
  • Do you have an appeal as a matter of right?
  • If not, what are your options for interlocutory review?
  • Petitions for permission to appeal (28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f))
  • Entry of separate judgment as to fewer than all parties/claims (Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b))
  • Appeals from orders granting or denying preliminary injunctions
  • Initiating the appeal

The Court’s Decision—What Relief and in What Form?
Peder Batalden and Hon. John Owens

  • The five main dispositions—affirm, reverse, vacate, remand, and dismiss
  • Published opinions versus unpublished memoranda
  • Certifying state-law questions to state supreme courts
  • Practice tips: framing the relief your client needs

Appellate Stays and Bonds
Peder Batalden

  • When can enforcement of a judgment begin?
  • Staying a money judgment by providing security
  • Staying a money judgment without security
  • Staying (or creating) an injunction pending appeal
  • From which court do I request a stay?

9th Circuit Motion Practice
Johanna Schiavoni, Adam Hofmann and Hon. Margaret McKeown


  • Procedural
    • Extensions of time
    • Oversized briefs
    • Consolidation
    • Withdrawal / substitution of counsel
    • Stay of appellate proceedings
    • Strike
    • Limited remand
    • Expedite
    • In forma pauperis
  • Substantive motions
    • Dismiss
    • Summary affirmance / summary disposition
    • Stay / injunctive relief
    • Appointment of counsel
    • Bail
    • Fugitives
  • Original proceedings
    • Petitions for permission to appeal
      • 28 U.S.C. s. 1292(b), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f)
    • Mandamus petitions
  • Miscellaneous issues
    • If relief is needed on an “emergency” basis (fewer than 21 days)
    • Certificate of appealability in habeas cases
    • 42 U.S.C. § 1983 cases by prisoners – exhaustion administrative remedies


Part 2: September 28, 2023

The 9th Circuit Mediation Program
Robert Dato

Brief Writing
Polly Estes, Allison Ehlert and Robert Dato

  • 9th Circuit Rules v. State Rules Generally
  • How to decide what you’ll put in your briefs
  • Standard of review in briefs
  • Excerpt of Records requirement
  • A walk through of your briefs
  • What persuades your judges?
  • What does not persuade your judges?
  • Writing tips

Oral Argument
Brendan Begley, Hon. Consuelo Callahan and Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw

  • Process and components
    • Scheduling
    • Whether or not and why they get scheduled
    • How judges are picked
    • What happens after your argument?
  • How to prepare
  • What is the usual timing?
  • What are the most important rules?
  • What are judges are expecting from you?
  • In-person presentation tips
  • Additional tips for online arguments
    • Tech and what to expect from the court
    • Expectations of judges
    • Court reporters
    • Dress and presence
    • Your location and background choices
    • If you want to go the extra mile:
      • Standing/Podium
      • Professional cameras and lighting considerations

Post-Decision Practice
Paul Keller and Hon. John Owens

  • Petitions for panel rehearing
  • Petitions for rehearing en banc
  • Petitions for attorney fees
  • Cost bills
  • Petitions for certiorari
    • Making your appeal cert proof
  • Timelines



Here are just a couple testimonials from our 2023 program

“Speakers were all amazing. Very impressive people. All presented well.” – Carlos Navarro. Esq.

“I found the program exceptionally specific and detailed.” – Laura Coffin, Esq.

“I’m grateful the program is over two days, offers the amount of CLE credit it does and I enjoyed each speaker – knowledgeable and clear.” – Paula Boggs, Esq.

“All of the panelists were extremely well-prepared, smooth, and seamless. Great program this year. I’ve attended many Pincus programs. I thought I already knew everything I needed to know about Ninth Circuit practice having handled 200+ appeals there. But I learned so many new tips and inside information about the mechanics of the Court and attitudes of the justices. Very glad I’m attending!” – Robert C. Little, Esq.

“Great speakers and coverage.” – Yumeng Jiang, Esq.

“Excellent program.  I learned a lot and I feel much more prepared to practice before the Ninth Circuit.” –  Michelle Williams, Esq.

“Well done! Great content and knowledgeable speakers.”- Linda Kollar, Esq.

“Really excellent speakers and content, a great intro for newer attorneys or refresher for experienced ones.” – Robyn Stein, Esq.

“Great detail and focus. The speakers were concise.” – Arturo Benavidez, Esq.

“Very well done; all speakers very knowledgeable and very good speakers.” –  Linda Randlett Kollar, Esq.

“Helpful nuts and bolts.”- Ira Gottllieb, Esq.

“I thought this program was extremely well done. It was wonderful having insight from the Appellate Judges.” – Michelle Williams, Esq.

“Great program!” – John P Kinsey, Esq.

“Truly great Ninth Circuit Boot Camp.” – Robert Collings Little, Esq.

“Great stories from judges.” – Janice Bellucci, Esq.

“Worthwhile!” – Paula Boggs, Esq.

“Helpful content.” – Ira Gottlieb, Esq.

“Very good presentation and explanations about this complicated topic.”

“Great judges, they offered valuable insight.”

“Excellent speakers, great mix of practitioners and judges, excellent program.”

“Great program- LOVED the speakers and practical advice.”

“This was super helpful, particularly having current 9th Circuit Judge’s available and answering questions.”

“Good to have a “nuts and bolts” approach on this topic.”

“The information about briefing was especially engaging.”

“It was very helpful – especially appreciated hearing from the judges.”

“Great speakers. Lots of information, so the packet was helpful.”

“Professional, good content, and authoritative.”

“Very useful and informative.”

“Good content; excellent speakers.”

“Very helpful, learned a lot.”

“Very pleased with well outlined materials and presentations.”

“Loved the panelists and having judges with practical feedback.”

Testimonials from previous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals programs: 

“I liked the variety of speakers; each had expertise in the topics covered. Having multiple speakers kept things interesting. Great job! Thank you!” – Katherine Rabago, Esq. 

“The first day’s speakers were particularly outstanding.” – Stephen D. Watson, Esq. 

Great program. I especially appreciated day 2, where there was more pragmatic advice given.– Amy Michael, Esq. 

“Good program. Covered a lot of areas in a short periodDemonstrated a need for intense study to enter the field.” – Stephen J. Hansen, Esq. 

I really enjoy part 2 of the CLE today. I loved having the judges’ perspectives regarding procedure, tone and format of briefs, and other insights. It will be very helpful in my practice!

“Excellent speakers and presentation.” – Rebecca Wilson, Esq. 

Excellent. This was perhaps the most useful MCLE I’ve attended in my 32 years of practice. 

It was very helpful.” – Fraser Muir, Esq. 

“Well done presentation.” – Joshua Stevens, Esq. 

I rarely keep course materials, but I’ve found the material accompanying several chapters worth keeping. 

“Very clear and relevant presentation.” – Brian Beckwith, Esq. 

“Great program.” – Polly Estes, Esq.

“Fantastic speakers and materials. The judges’ perspectives were particularly helpful.

“This CLE is one of the best I’ve attended. Very well organized and well-paced.” 

“The speakers were all subject matter experts on their topics and the handout materials are detailed and well organized.” 

“The program was very broad, yet specific enough with details to remind me of issues to look for.” 

“Great, in-depth course with lots of experts and very professionally executed.

“I loved the variety of perspectives, from the lawyers in different sectors to the judges on different panels. Thank you!

“Loved this program.  It was very helpful to me.  It gave me a lot of insight into appellate practice generally as well as the 9th Circuit particularly.” 

“Very knowledgeable presenters, good pace, and appreciate extensive written materials.” 

“Very informative. I enjoyed the pace and being able to follow along with the handout.” 

“Excellent content.” 

Very good content, I enjoyed hearing different perspectives. 

“The speakers certainly knew what they were talking about.

“All the presenters were excellent.” 

“I thought all speakers were well-qualified experts. I enjoyed the presentation very much.” 

“Speakers were very knowledgeable on the topics.” 

“Well done.” 

“Very thorough.” 

“Great panel and speakers.” 

“Very efficient, good overview content.” 

“Good and informative.” 

“Very informative.” 

“Very helpful, practical, and informative.”  

“The judges’ contributions to the panels were a very good addition. The speakers were all very good.”

“It was very informative and helpful.” 

“All good and helpful information.” 

“Very useful for new appellate lawyers.” 

“Knowledgeable and experienced speakers.” 

“Great speakers.” 

“Very well done and informative.” 

“Loved part 2! Great judge and practitioners.”

High quality speakers.” 

“Good job overall.”



Hon. Consuelo M. Callahan
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan was nominated by President George W. Bush on February 12, 2003, to serve as a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.  In May of 2003, she was confirmed unanimously (99-0) by the United States Senate.  Judge Callahan lives in Stockton and has her chambers in Sacramento.  She was the first judge in San Joaquin County history to be appointed to the federal court.

Judge Callahan received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, her Juris Doctor from Pacific McGeorge School of Law, and her Masters of Law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Prior to being appointed to the federal bench, Judge Callahan was a state court judge, serving as a Justice for the Third District Court of Appeal for the State of California, a Superior Court Judge for San Joaquin County, and a Commissioner for Stockton Municipal Court.  Judge Callahan was the first woman and Latina to be appointed to the San Joaquin County Superior Court.  She was the first judge from San Joaquin County to be elevated to the Court of Appeal in 73 years.

Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Callahan was a Deputy Stockton City Attorney and a Deputy San Joaquin County District Attorney.  As a prosecutor, Judge Callahan prosecuted major felonies, including but not limited to child abuse, sexual assault, career criminal, and capital homicides.  Judge Callahan served on the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific for nine years.  She  currently serves as a Trustee for the American Inns of Court and Western University.  As well, Judge Callahan is a frequent instructor to judges and lawyers, both domestically and internationally, and is a Co-Author for the Rutter Group Employment Guide.

Judge Callahan has received numerous awards including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Legal Services, 1987; Peacemaker of the Year Award, 1997; Induction into the Mexican-American Hall of Fame, 1999; San Joaquin County Law Day Award, 2001; Action on Behalf of Children (ABC) Award, 2002; Italian Athletic Club Citizen of the Year, 2005; Pacific McGeorge School of Law Alumna of the Year Award, 2005; Sacramento Bar Association Judge of the Year, 2006; ABOTA Humanitarian Judge of the Year, 2008; ATHENA Award, 2009; American Inns of Court Ninth Circuit Professional Award, 2014; Judge Armendariz Award, 2016;  University of the Pacific Distinguished Public Service Award, 2017.


Hon. M. Margaret McKeown
Senior Judge
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Margaret McKeown was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Clinton and was confirmed by the United States Senate in 1998. She has lectured and taught extensively on intellectual property, international law,  international internet, human rights law, litigation, ethics, judicial administration, and constitutional law in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 

Judge McKeown is immediate past President of the Federal Judges Association and is currently Chair of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Board. She serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, the Executive Council for the American Society of International Law, the managerial board of the International Association of Women Judges, and the Editorial Board of Litigation Journal. She is vice-chair of the Georgetown Law of Board of Visitors and has received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown. 

She has been an advisor on several international projects of the American Law Institute: Intellectual Property: Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgements in Transnational Disputes; International Commercial Arbitration (ongoing); and Foreign Relations Law (ongoing). She is also as advisor on the Restatement of the Law for Copyright. 

Judge McKeown has received a number of prestigious awards, including the ABA Margaret Brent Women of Achievement Award, the Georgetown University John Carrol Award, the Georgetown University Law Center Drinan Award for Public Service, the California Bar Intellectual Property Vanguard Award, the University of Wyoming A & S Outstanding Alumnae, the Outstanding Mentor Award from Big Sisters, the Federal Bar Association Community Service Award, and the Girl Scouts “Cool Women” Award.

Hon. John B. Owens
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

The Honorable John B. Owens serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Prior to becoming a federal judge in 2014, he was a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (where he focused on white collar investigations and appellate matters), and a federal prosecutor for more than 11 years in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Diego. He served as the Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, and received two Director’s Awards for his work there. The television show American Greed featured two of his prosecutions, and he obtained the longest sentence for a white collar defendant in the history of the Southern District of California in United States v. Cao. 

Judge Owens graduated first in his class from Stanford Law School in 1996, where he was an Executive Editor on the Stanford Law Review. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States.

His written work has appeared in the California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, and other law reviews.

Hon Kim McLane Wardlaw
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw serves on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton on January 27, 1998. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 31, 1998, and appointed to the Court on August 3, 1998. Judge Wardlaw had previously served on the United States District Court for the Central District of California since January 3, 1996. Before joining the district court, she was a litigation partner of the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and was based in Los Angeles.There she enjoyed a general business litigation practice, with special emphases in intellectual property and media defense law. While in private practice, Judge Wardlaw served in various offices of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Women Lawyers Public Action Grant Foundation and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, from which she resigned as an officer upon assuming the bench. Also while in private practice, Judge Wardlaw was involved in numerous community, political and governmental activities, taking leaves of absence from her practice to join the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team, where she worked in the United States Justice Department, and serving as Mayor-elect Richard J. Riordan’s Government Liaison during his mayoral transition.

Judge Wardlaw graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with an A.B. in Communication Studies in 1976. She obtained her J.D. in 1979 from UCLA Law School, where she was awarded Order of the Coif and named Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 1979. She was a legal extern during law school for the late Honorable Joseph T. Sneed, III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and upon graduation, clerked for Honorable William P. Gray of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Peder K. Batalden, Esq.
Horvitz & Levy LLP

 For many institutional clients, Peder Batalden is the go-to lawyer to handle important federal appeals. In addition to taking the lead on briefing and arguing those appeals, he often works with clients before an appeal begins, advising them to preserve issues and present evidence in the best posture for appeal. And he routinely assists clients in responding to large money judgments, drawing upon a deep knowledge of federal jurisdiction and procedure to assist in staying enforcement of judgments and preparing post-trial motions so that issues for appeal are not lost.

Peder is a partner at the firm. He has successfully petitioned for review in the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has argued and won numerous appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits.

Peder has represented many significant companies, including AutoNation, Bank of America, Chevron, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, Hospital Corporation of America, Lyft, Media News Group, The Sherwin-Williams Company, Newell Brands, Sempra Energy, TASER International, Travelers, and Toyota Motor Sales. He has also represented government entities and employees in federal civil rights actions; major medical providers in healthcare matters; and insurers in coverage actions.

Peder is co-author of the leading treatise on civil appeals before the Ninth Circuit, the Rutter Group’s Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice. He is a past Chair of the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on the Federal Courts, which works to enhance bench-bar relations and studies proposed changes to federal rules. He also routinely comments on proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and to the Ninth Circuit rules.


Brendan J. Begley, Esq.
State Bar Certified Specialist in Appellate Law
Weintraub | Tobin

Brendan spearheads the Appeals and Writs group at Weintraub Tobin and is a member of his firm’s labor and employment, probate and trusts, and litigation groups. He is an Appellate Law Specialist certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and previously was President of the Sacramento County Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section. He has handled a number of anti-SLAPP motions and appeals, one of which resulted in a published opinion. See Vergos v. McNeal, 146 Cal. App. 4th 1387 (2007).

Brendan has delivered numerous public presentations to lawyers, executives, managers, and supervisors on the topics of anti-SLAPP motions, appellate law, and best employment practices. He is a senior contributing editor to The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide on Employment Litigation. He is admitted to the State Bar of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In litigation, Brendan has prevailed on numerous anti-SLAPP and dispositive motions and saw two jury trials through to successful verdicts. At the appellate stage, he has handled both briefing and oral argument before all manner of appellate courts. The U.S. Supreme Court granted Brendan’s petition for a writ of certiorari that led to the high court hearing and resolving the “Pledge of Allegiance” case in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, 540 U.S. 945 (2003).

Brendan received his J.D. (with honors) from the University of California at Davis, where he was a law-review writer. Prior to law school, Brendan worked as a newspaper reporter for The Sacramento Daily Recorder. While in law school, he worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. After law school, he served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable John M. Gerrard, Associate Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court, and later as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Connie M. Callahan, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Robert M. Dato, Esq.
Of Counsel

Robert M. Dato primarily represents clients in business litigation and employment matters, with particular emphasis on appeals and related proceedings. Mr. Dato, a Certified Appellate Specialist in California since 1996, has handled more than 400 appellate matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States and served as the national coordinating appellate counsel for two major pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Mr. Dato was previously a senior research attorney to Presiding Justice David G. Sills of the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana, where he prepared approximately 200 appellate opinions in substantive areas ranging from family law to complex business litigation matters. He also occasionally served as the court’s writ attorney, reviewing and making recommendations regarding writ petitions filed with the court.

Mr. Dato is the author of CEB’s Handling Civil Appeals: Action Guide, a co-author of CEB’s Civil Appellate Practice treatise, and a contributor to CEB’s “Civil Procedure During Trial” treatise. He is currently a member of the Orange County Bar Association’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee.  He is a past chair of the State Bar’s Committee on Administration of Justice and a past chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Appellate Law Section. Mr. Dato is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Dato was recognized as a 2016 and 2019-2021 Southern California Super Lawyer, as well as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media in conjunction with Martindale Hubbell.

Allison L. Ehlert, Esq.
Deputy City Attorney IV, Senior
Office of the City Attorney, Oakland

Allison Ehlert is an experienced appellate lawyer who devotes her practice to civil and criminal appeals in the federal courts and California state courts. She is currently with the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, handling its Ninth Circuit and state-court appeals and writs.

Previously, Allison was in private practice and has won precedent-setting victories on cases as diverse as those involving federal criminal-sentencing law and California wage-and-hour law. Her brief writing has been described as “exemplary” by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and she has been ranked as a “Super Lawyer” in each of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

After law school, Allison clerked for Chief Judge R. Guy Cole on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as well as Judge Algenon L. Marbley on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. She also spent several years as a trial and appellate litigator at one of San Francisco’s top law firms, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass.

Allison received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law and the Prosser Prize in Voting Rights. She received her B.A., Summa Cum Laude, in Politics & Government from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she graduated first in her class and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Allison is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, numerous federal district courts, and all California state courts.

When she’s not researching cases and polishing briefs, Allison enjoys reading novels and the New Yorker, hiking Bay Area trails, and especially, attempting to keep up with her young daughters.

Polly J. Estes, Esq.
Managing Partner
Estes Law Group

With 29 years of experience in state and federal courts, Polly has successfully tried numerous bench and jury trials in such diverse areas as class actions, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, securities fraud, tax regulation, riparian rights, eminent domain, professional liability, and high-dollar insurance bad faith.  But it is in the appellate arena where Polly really shines.  She has spent 15 years of her career working for state and federal appellate courts, where she helped judges evaluate the merits of more than 500 civil, criminal, and administrative appeals.  On a daily basis, Polly defended her analysis through oral presentations, extensive memoranda and proposed dispositions, often working under intense time pressure.  After debating the merits of cases with judges at all levels of the judiciary for more than two decades, Polly knows how to persuade both judges and juries successfully.  She knows how judges think, what questions they want answered, and the time constraints they face.  

Polly’s expertise has been recognized by the California State Bar.  She is Board Certified as an expert in Appellate Law.

Before starting Estes Law Group, Polly served as the Chief Law Clerk to the Honorable Carlos T. Bea on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for eight years.  As Judge Bea’s Chief Law Clerk, Polly supervised and trained the other law clerks and externs, a position she loved because it was essentially “teaching the best law school class ever.”  She was also the chief editor and “problem solver,” often called in to help the Judge and other clerks think through complex problems.  She also helped evaluate cases for en banc calls and wrote speeches for the judge, all while handling a full load of cases herself.

While at the Ninth Circuit, Polly participated in all aspects of the appellate process, including drafting bench and en banc memoranda, opinions, dissents, orders, and memorandum dispositions.  These cases spanned all areas of federal law, including securities fraud, antitrust, class actions, environmental, social security, and immigration, to name just a few.  She also handled several state law areas through diversity jurisdiction, such as insurance law and contracts.

Polly also served as a staff attorney in the Motions Unit at the Ninth Circuit for more than three years, a position which allowed her to work with each of the judges on the court.  As a motions attorney, Polly orally presented dozens of cases each month to a panel of three judges, explaining the case and the proposed disposition she had drafted.  She handled emergency motions, which often required her to call judges at home after hours so they could work through the emergency together on an expedited basis.  This position gave the judges on the court an opportunity to get to know Polly and to know how her mind works.  It also gave Polly a vast amount of experience in presenting cases to the judges.  She is therefore comfortable in oral arguments, which gives her a strong advantage over opposing counsel.

Polly also has state court experience, having served as a briefing attorney to The Honorable Catherine Stone at the Texas Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial District, and as an extern to The Honorable Lloyd Doggett at the Texas Supreme Court.

In addition to working for courts, Polly worked for six years for two prominent national law firms—Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons).  While at these firms, Polly handled a number of trials and appeals, most notably high-exposure bad faith insurance trials and appeals for State Farm, USAA, and Allstate.  She was often brought in to handle the appeal when another firm lost at trial.  Polly won each of these appeals.

Polly has extensive experience writing amicus curiae briefs in courts around the country to help shape the law that affected the firm’s clients.  Polly kept an eye on cases throughout the country and when one presented the appropriate facts, she brought it to her client’s attention and then wrote an amicus curiae brief on their behalf to assure the law developed in their favor.

Polly worked her way through college and law school.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado cum laude, with a double major in Marketing and International Business, and a minor in International Economics.  She received many honors during her time there, including Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key Honor Society.  She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin, where she served as an editor on the Texas International Law Journal and a recipient of the Robert S. Strauss Presidential Scholarship.  She studied at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of London through Duke’s study abroad program.

Polly is admitted to practice in California (2000), Texas (1993), the Northern District of California, the Western District of Texas, the Ninth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit.  She is a member of the San Francisco, Fifth Circuit, and Ninth Circuit Bar Associations, and the Texas State Bar College.

Polly’s publications include:  A Legal Theory of the Use of Experts in Insurance Claim Adjustment, Vol. 23 No. 5 Ins. Litig. Rep. 140 (2001);  Preservation of Error:  Filing a Lawsuit Through Presentation of Evidence, 30 St. Mary’s L.J. 997 (1999);  Homeowner’s Insurance:  Coverage and Liability, Texas State Bar’s Advanced Ins. Law Course (1997);  Handling Extra-Contractual Claims (Defense Perspective), U.T. Ins. Law Inst. (1996).


Adam W. Hofmann, Esq.
Deputy Judicial Appointments Secretary
Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom

Adam serves in the Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom as the Deputy Judicial Appointments Secretary, supporting the work of Judicial Appointments Secretary Luis Céspedes.Adam is an Appellate Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Previously, Adam served as the Co-Chair of Hanson Bridgett’s appellate practice group. He represented both public and private clients in civil writs, appeals, and mandate proceedings. He has briefed and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and every District Court of Appeal in California and has filed merits briefs in two U.S. Supreme Court cases.

His practice focused on representing cities, counties, and special districts in writs and appeals relating especially relating to public finance and revenue measures, as well as land use, civil rights, employee benefits, labor standards, and election law. He has represented water districts and cities in a range of disputes regarding rates, fees, and charges, including work on some of the leading cases interpreting related provisions of the California Constitution, including the California Supreme Court’s decisions in Jacks v. City of Santa Barbara and City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District.

Outside of the office, Adam has coached regionally and nationally competitive moot-court teams at UC Davis School of Law. He also speaks and writes on questions of local government authority and policy under the California Constitution and is an adjunct professor who taught courses in local government and land use law at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Prior to joining Hanson Bridgett, Adam was also an extern in the chambers of the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins.

Paul Keller, Esq.
Supervising Attorney
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Paul Keller is a longtime staff attorney with the Ninth Circuit, and has assisted Judge S.R. Thomas in coordinating the en banc process for over twenty years.  Between 1989 and 1990, he served as a law clerk to former Ninth Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin.  He taught courses in legal writing, moot court, and appellate advocacy at UC Law SF (formerly UC Hastings College of the Law) from 1999 to 2014. 

John F. Querio, Esq.
Horvitz & Levy LLP

Large public companies, small businesses, and trial counsel, as well as significant trade associations, have benefited from John Querio’s proficiency in a wide range of practice areas, including commercial contract disputes; arbitration and class actions; defense of claims based on professional conduct (including the anti-SLAPP statute and First Amendment issues, legal malpractice, and malicious prosecution); defense of insurance coverage and bad faith litigation; products and premises liability defense; civil rights litigation defense; and punitive damages. John works with clients and trial counsel before, during, and after an appeal to preserve issues and position the case for an optimal outcome.

John is a partner at the firm, where he has worked on dozens of civil appeals in state and federal court. He has special expertise in federal civil and appellate procedure and has argued numerous appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is co-author of the leading treatise on civil appeals before the Ninth Circuit, the Rutter Group’s Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice . He has also represented parties and amici curiae in numerous cases in the United States, California, and Nevada Supreme Courts.

John has counseled many significant companies on appellate matters, including Ford Motor Company, State Farm, American General Life Insurance Company, Hospital Corporation of America, QBE Insurance Corporation, Travelers, Kiewit, Dow Chemical Company, Philip Morris, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company. He has also represented cities, counties, and peace officers in federal civil rights actions; major hospitals and providers in healthcare matters; and large insurers in coverage disputes. He has worked with major trade associations to position cutting edge issues for appellate review, including the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar, the Washington Legal Foundation, the California Hospital Association, and the California New Car Dealers Association.

John is active in the legal community, authoring articles and making presentations at client venues, other law firms, and bar events. He has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, which brings together plaintiff and defense lawyers with judicial officers to promote civility, collegiality, and the fair and efficient administration of civil justice. In that capacity, he served as co-editor of the ABTL Report, which is the association’s quarterly publication dedicated to legal developments and civil practice issues.

Johanna Schiavoni, Esq.
Complex Appellate Litigation Group, LLP

 Johanna Schiavoni is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California and has nearly two decades of appellate experience. She has argued more than 30 cases in the state and federal appellate courts and has been the principal brief-writer in at least 70. She was the 2020 President of the San Diego County Bar Association, which serves nearly 10,000 members of the San Diego legal community.

Johanna regularly represents large companies, closely-held corporations, small businesses, and individuals in high-stakes appellate matters. She has participated in cases on subjects ranging from business torts to healthcare law to employment, insurance, contract, and intellectual property disputes. She has also represented clients in anti-SLAPP, unfair competition, securities, and public entity appeals, as well as administrative law and consumer class action litigation.

Johanna has obtained several recent appellate victories, including reversal of an anti-SLAPP order and accompanying judgment that had awarded nearly 5,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs against her client in a dispute arising out of a lease of a commercial lease. She also won reversal of a summary judgment in the California Court of Appeal in a sexual harassment and hostile work environment case, which resulted in a significant settlement for the client. Johanna also overturned a summary judgment in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which resulted in a favorable financial settlement for the client and brought seven years of litigation to a close.

Johanna has been named to the San Diego SuperLawyers list for Appellate Litigation in each of the past six years, an honor reserved for the top 5% of appellate attorneys and awarded based upon merit selection criteria in addition to review by peer attorneys. In each of 2018, 2019 and 2020, Johanna also was named by SuperLawyers one of San Diego’s “Top 25 Women Attorneys” and among the “Top 50 Attorneys” overall in the region.

Since 2019, Johanna has also served as an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a small group of attorneys selected by the Circuit’s judges to work on improving the administration of the court and to advance the interests of the appellate bar and clients who appear in the Ninth Circuit.

The San Diego County Bar Association previously awarded Johanna its Community Service Award for her commitment to advancing the interests of women and girls, her work on leadership development, and her commitment to supporting the performing arts. Notably, when elected as the 113th President of the San Diego County Bar Association, Johanna became only the fourteenth woman to serve in that role in the organization’s history.

In 2018, Johanna was appointed by San Diego’s Mayor, and unanimously confirmed by the City Council, to a position on the Board overseeing the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. She was unanimously reappointed for an additional three-year term in March of 2020. As a member of the Airport Authority’s Board, she routinely evaluates multi-million-dollar contracts, oversees implementation of a multi-billion-dollar terminal renovation project, and makes decisions on complex legal matters for the Airport Authority. She has served on the Finance and Audit Committees, as well as on the Advisory Committee working with external stakeholders in the community and as the Airport’s representative on the Transportation Committee of the San Diego Association of Governments. She also Chairs the Authority Board’s Executive Personnel and Compensation Committee.

Johanna is a 2002 graduate of the UCLA School of Law, and a 1998 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. She clerked for M. Margaret McKeown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego and Christina Snyder on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

Janet Schroer, Esq.
Hart Wagner LLP

Janet frequently serves the firm’s clients in the Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She also represents her clients’ business, professional and personal interests before various trial courts and professional licensing agencies.  Her practice requires that she often work closely with the client’s general counsel or trial lawyer on appellate matters, so she has developed a strong and long lasting relationship with other lawyers.

Janet has handled well over 50 cases to final decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She has argued over 30 cases and taken them to final opinion in the Oregon Supreme Court, and argued over 130 cases resulting in opinions in the Oregon Court of Appeals.  She has also handled appeals in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Idaho Supreme Court, Nevada Supreme Court, and Washington Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Janet defends doctors, lawyers and other professionals in Oregon state and federal trial courts.  She also handles all aspects of professional malpractice, commercial litigation, products liability and general litigation.

She also represents Oregon professionals in matters involving their licensing Boards. She works frequently with the various Oregon professional licensing Boards.


Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – DVD or Download:  $429

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

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

*The Video recording is a video of the webinar (with sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car).

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


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


This program will be recorded live on September 26 & 28, 2023.

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

All attendees will receive a 40% discount coupon on Rutter’s “Federal Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice Guide” – a $316 savings!  Two of the authors are speakers at your program!

CLE Credit

AK General: This program is approved for 7.0 units of general CLE in Alaska. (Expires 9-26-2028)

CA General: This program is approved for 7.0 units of general CLE in California.

CA Certified Legal Specialist Credit in Appellate Law – Participatory CLE: Approved for 7.0 Participatory units through September 25, 2025.

CA Certified Legal Specialist Credit in Appellate Law – Self-Study CLE: Approved for 7.0 Self-Study units through September 25, 2028.

NV General: The Recorded Package of this program is NOT approved for CLE in Nevada (live only – not the recorded package).

OR General: This program is approved for 7.0 units of general CLE in Oregon through September 29, 2026.

WA General: This program is approved for 7.0 units of general CLE in Washington through September 26, 2028.

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.0 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 September 26 & 28, 2023.