Writs of Administrative of Mandamus Demystified: A Step by Step Guide (CA)

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

A Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandamus is a request that the Superior Court review and reverse the final decision or order of an administrative agency.  These petitions are brought under California Code of Civil Procedure §1094.5 and involve multiple steps and tests that can trip you and your client up along the way. Entire treatises are written on this subject alone.

This program will guide you through the process, from knowing when it is appropriate, to making your record, to filing and opposing a petition for writ of administrative mandamus, as well as other forms of judicial review mechanisms of California State and Local Agency Action.

You’ll learn about your available affirmative defenses, stay requests and opposition, and receive trips on drafting the briefs and replies involved.  You’ll learn about what to expect from the court at your hearing, the admissibility of new evidence and more.  The faculty will provide strategies and practical tips.

This program was recorded in 2017.

We also held a seminar on Administrative Law Hearings. Please click here to view that program.


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What You Will Learn

Introduction and The Basics

  • Terms and types
  • Uses and Prerequisites
  • Goals
  • Features, Rules, Procedure
  • Judicial Review of What?
  • Distinguished from Traditional Mandamus
  • Objections to Evidence
  • The Record

APA v. non-APA

  • APA v. non-APA cases
  • Admin proceedings other than APA
  • Writ petitions against private entities
  • Dealing with pro per petitioners

Medi-Cal Related Writs and the Administrative Process at DHCS

  • Administrative process at DHCS
  • Department & AG coordination on writ petitions

A Perspective from the Bench
Judge Jay Lee

Filing and opposing a petition for writ of administrative mandamus, including strategies and practical tips for practitioners

  • When to file a demurrer v. filing a return by way of answer
  • Inadequate notice of Actions
  • Publicity of petitions
  • Discovery
  • Strategy when petitions are combined (CCP § 1094.5 and 1085)
  • Strategy for attorney’s fees, Govt. Code 800 and §1021.5
    • Examples
    • Code sections for different actions (teachers, etc.)
  • Affirmative defenses
  • Stay requests, injunctions and oppositions
    • Under § 1085
    • Under § 5 

Standard of Review of agency determinations of fact and law and Standing to Seek Judicial Review

  • Fact Questions of basic fact – independent judgment and substantial evidence
  • Questions of law – Judicial deference to agency interpretations under the Yamaha test – how to balance the many factors
  • When the agency decision involves questions of discretion – the arbitrary & capricious test
  • Different tests
  • Appellate level complications as well

Schedules and Strategy: Briefs and Oral Advocacy

  • Briefing schedule differences between courts in different counties
  • Case strategy based upon briefing deadlines
  • Oral advocacy

At the End and After the Hearing

  • Attorneys fees
  • Preparing the Judgment
  • Preparing the Writ
  • Notice of Entry
  • When you file a Return v. an Appeal
  • When is remand appropriate? 


“The program offered both a thousand-foot overview, as well as specific and thought-provoking anecdotes by practicing professionals. Very enlightening.” – Jenna Eyrich, Esq.

“My sincere thanks to Pincus Professional Education for the generosity to inner city law center. This training will help us serve our vulnerable clients.” – David Aigboboh, Esq.

“Great course! Covered the basics very clearly and provided helpful practice tips. I represent a lot of clients in writs of administrative mandamus, and I wanted to learn new and helpful insights.”- Mark Allen, Esq.

“Very well done. Presenters were highly qualified and effective. Loved the practical experience shared with group as well as the law.” – Richard Hansberger, Esq.

“Thank you for offering scholarships for public interest attorneys. We greatly value access to these trainings to improve and grow the practice of our staff attorneys.”

“The content was relevant, useful and practical.”

“Came to see the Oracle again! Professor Asimow is always relevant to my State work!” – Tim Morgan, Esq.

“As a new attorney, this program has me looking forward to future CLE opportunities.”

“[Speaker did a] really great job moderating & presenting during her session – good use of examples & involving the panel. Very engaging… great at leading the group.”

“[Speaker was] clearly a wonderful educator & Professor. Knowledgeable, clear, practical, and had an excellent pace.”

“The speakers provided good practical examples… and were very knowledgeable and competent in their fields.”

”Speakers were very knowledgeable and articulate.” Larry Schapiro, Esq.

“This seminar was spot-on.” Carlo Coppo, Esq.

”I attended this seminar to better prepare for responding to Writ of Mandamus petitions by a County agency. This course was extremely informative as to the petitioner’s and respondent’s responsibility.” Kari Martin-Higgins, Litigation Paralegal.

“Good moderator! [Speaker was] great at adding humor to the topic.”

“Good speaker… engaging tone and informative slides.”

”Excellent presentations!” Edward J. Johnson, Esq.

”Excellent program!” Harrison D. Taylor, Esq.

“I appreciated the information on what to do in an Administrative Hearing. It will be useful at the time of writ proceedings.” Kimberly Smith, Esq.

”Great seminar. Every speaker was fantastic and covered all aspects of this topic in a logical, digestible manner. Very informative.”

”It was a good, thorough program.” Jeff Wilcox, Esq.

“Outstanding program – sorely needed!”

”Excellent panel all around.”

”All speakers were excellent. Completely satisfied.”

“More than satisfied!”

“Great command of materials and presentation of challenging ideas.”

“Very helpful.” Robert Jystad, Esq.

“Good basic course.”

“Useful.” Rachael Langston, Esq.


“Well organized.”

“Excellent and informative.”

“Great, clear, practical. Really excellent group.”

“Great organization & content.”


Michael Asimow, Esq.
Dean’s Executive Professor of Law
Santa Clara School of Law

Michael Asimow teaches at Santa Clara Law School.  He was previously a long-term visiting professor at Stanford Law School and is a professor of law emeritus at UCLA.   Asimow teaches contracts, administrative law, income tax, and law and popular culture. 

In the area of administrative law, he is a co-author of the California Practice Guide–Administrative Law, published by the Rutter Group.  He also co-authored a law school course book,  State and Federal Administrative Law (5th ed., 2020).  Asimow has written numerous articles on state and federal administrative law as well as comparative administrative law.  He is a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Lesley Beth Curtis, Esq.
Langenkamp, Curtis & Price, LLP

Lesley Beth Curtis practices labor and employment law on behalf of unions and employees, and specializes in plaintiff-side labor, employment and education law. She has represented employees in a wide range of employment issues, including in discipline, dismissal, and layoff actions, as well as in appeals of denial of disability benefits and other benefits before private arbitrators, the California State Office of Administrative Hearings, various public boards, the Superior Courts of numerous counties, and the Third District Court of Appeal. She has multiple published Court of Appeal decisions, and has worked to expand the rights of teachers and employees through advocacy. She has also represented private employees in gender discrimination and pregnancy discrimination suits. Ms. Curtis is a California Teachers Association Group Legal Services Attorney, and has defended teachers in layoff, tenure and discipline matters and has enforced the Education Code rights of faculty, teachers and classified aides in a variety of settings.

Education: Ms. Curtis obtained her undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College in 1993, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded the Berger Award for Outstanding Senior Woman and the William H. Alanshah award for Student Leadership.

Ms. Curtis is a 1996 graduate of the King Hall School of Law, University of California at Davis where she was on the Moot Court Team and Moot Court Board. She was selected by the law school as a National Member of the Order of the Barristers for excellence in oral advocacy. Immediately after graduating, Ms. Curtis served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Elaine Watters of the Sonoma County Superior Court in a multiple defendant capital trial.

Ms. Curtis was admitted to practice in California in December 1996, and is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the California Federal District Court of the Eastern District of California.

Eunice C. Majam-Simpson, Esq.
Daponde Simpson Rowe PC

Eunice C. Majam-Simpson is a partner at DSR Health Law. She is a seasoned attorney who has litigated cases to resolution, and consistently achieved favorable results for her clients in state and federal courts, administrative tribunals, and arbitrations. Eunice has successfully argued dispositive motions in both state and federal courts. Eunice focuses her practice on representing health plans in various facets of health care law, including regulatory advice and counseling, compliance matters, fair hearings, rate-setting, and general litigation. In her practice, Eunice represents some of the largest health plans in California in managed care payor/provider disputes and in regulatory actions against state agencies. Among Eunice’s achievements is her significant involvement in successfully defending against a health care provider’s underpayment claim that was in excess of seven figures.

Eunice’s wide litigation experience prior to focusing on health care law includes her advocacy on behalf of national retailers, manufacturers, financial institutions, and public entities at the state and county level. Eunice also has experience in prosecuting civil cases. She played an active role in representing plaintiffs in cases that were favorably resolved in excess of six figures. Having served as both plaintiff and defense counsel, Eunice has valuable experience and perspective representing clients on both ends of the spectrum. Her experience as plaintiff’s counsel in complex liability cases provides a unique insight with respect to a plaintiff’s mindset and strategies in prosecuting cases, which is invaluable in building a successful defense to a case.

Charles L. Post, Esq.
Weintraub Tobin

Chuck is a shareholder in the firm’s Litigation group and is the chair of the Labor and Employment group.  Chuck actively practices in the areas of labor and employment law, insurance coverage and appellate law.

His employment practice includes counseling employers in all areas of employment law and representing management in the defense of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, trade secret, and other employment disputes.  He has extensive experience defending multi-party complex litigation involving misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and corporate raiding.

Chuck was selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers for 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.  He was also named one of the Top 25 Sacramento Super Lawyers for 2013.  He was also recognized on the Best Lawyers in America® 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013 list in the area of Labor and Employment, and is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Chuck graduated Phi Beta Kappa in English from University of California at Irvine in 1986.  He received a Masters Degree in English from the University of California, Davis in 1988 and received his law degree from the same institution in 1992.  Chuck has taught legal writing on the faculty of the McGeorge School of Law and previously, taught composition at the University of California, Davis.

Steven L. Simas, Esq.
Founding Member
Simas & Associates Ltd.

Mr. Simas is the founding member of the firm and graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and King Hall, University of California, Davis School of Law with his Juris Doctorate. He served as a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) in the employment law section of the Office of the Attorney General in Sacramento and as the Chief Consultant to the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment in the California Legislature.

In 1997, he received a gubernatorial appointment as counsel to the Public Employment Relations Board where he served for two years. Mr. Simas has also served as a Temporary Judge for the Sacramento Superior Court, Small Claims and Traffic Divisions since 1998, and was the Chair of the Sacramento County Bar Association, Administrative Law Section in 2005 and 2006. He is also a member of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Vice President for the Sacramento Region of the California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals, and a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, and the American Veterinary Medical Legal Association.

Mr. Simas is admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Eastern and Central Districts of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He has three published appellate opinions in the California Supreme Court and courts of appeal. 

Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, Esq.
Attorney III, Administrative Litigation Team
Department of Health Care Services

Jon-Paul Valcarenghi is an attorney with the California Department of Health Care Services.  Mr. Valcarenghi is assigned to the DHCS Administrative Litigation team and regularly represents DHCS before the Department’s Office of Administrative Hearings and Appeals, the Office of Administrative Hearings and the State Personnel Board.  His work for DHCS includes Medi-Cal audit appeals, drug and alcohol licensing actions and employment law.

Prior to working for DHCS Mr. Valcarenghi represented licensed professionals in disciplinary proceedings by state and local county agencies.  He has appeared before many state licensing boards, the Superior Courts of numerous counties and the Third District Court of Appeal.



Audio Course and Materials Package – Download or CD: $425

CDs: plus $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

CLE Credit

CA General:  This program is approved for 7.5 MCLE credit hours in California.

CA Legal Specialist: This program is approved for 7.5 Certified Legal Specialist Units in Appellate Law.


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.


Terms and Policies

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

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

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available.  Conversions to CD require a $8.50 shipping fee, and in CA, 9% sales tax.

Downloads/CDs/DVDs – Refund policy:

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

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

$425.00 each

Recorded in 2017.