Criminal Writs Boot Camp (CA)

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

Criminal Writs are tricky and complicated.  This program focuses on the basics of dealing with a criminal writ, what factors you should consider when filing one, how to prepare an adequate record, and the mechanics of drafting and filing a writ petition.  The faculty will also walk you through what happens at the Court of Appeal once you’ve filed your writ petition.

This program has expert practitioners and career attorneys from the Court of Appeal who handle writs every day.  You are guaranteed to learn from those who know how to do it right and what mistakes not to make.

This program was recorded in 2014.

For other appellate programs, you might want to check out the following:

2016 Advanced Appellate Conference, which was held and recorded in San Francisco and Los Angeles. You can get more information and order the audio package for either program here.
2017 2nd Annual Advanced Appellate Conference is scheduled for Jan. 26 in Los Angeles and Jan. 27 in San Francisco. You can get more information, register or order the audio package for either program here.

You might also like to learn about Administrative Writs of Appeal, which are not covered in the programs above.

The 2014 Administrative Writs of Mandamus program recording and information is here (civil).

The 2017 Administrative Writs of Mandamus  program registration, information and audio pre-order options can be found here (civil).

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What You Will Learn

  • Why writs are “extraordinary”– the differences between writs and appeals
  • When you should consider filing a writ petition
    • what factors and circumstances improve your possibility of success
    • what statutes provide for writ review
    • what cases provide for writ review
    • what cases prohibit writ review
  • Distinctions between discretionary petitions and petitions which serve in lieu of an appeal
  • How to prepare an adequate record for filing a writ petition
  • The mechanics of drafting and filing a writ petition
  • You filed your petition, now what happens to it?
    • How petitions are processed in the Courts of Appeal
  • The different types of orders the court uses to resolve petitions, and what they mean
  • Tales from the trenches:
    • what worked and didn’t work as told by criminal trial attorneys
  • An overview of pre and post conviction uses of habeas corpus


”Excellent materials and excellent class. All of the speakers were very knowledgeable and I was tremendously impressed.” – Daniel G. DeGriselles, Esq.

”Totally Satisfied.” – Randy Wadisay, Esq.

“I have utilized all of the service providers that I noted in the survey and truly felt I received great service from each.  My favorite continuing legal education seminar provider, Pincus Professional Education is particularly noteworthy though.  I have attended about five Pincus seminars.  Each was phenomenally packed with useful content and had presenters/speakers of the highest skill level.  I would unhesitatingly recommend Pincus to other lawyers and am already planning my next couple of seminars with this CLE provider.”  – Quote from The Recorder’s ‘Best of CA 2013′ survey.



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

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

Pablo Drobny, Esq.
Lead Appellate Court Attorney
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District

Pablo Drobny has been a Judicial Attorney for the California Court of Appeal, Second Judicial District, since 1983. Mr. Drobny is a writ specialist and has authored various legal articles on civil and criminal law practice, is a frequent lecturer and panelist on appellate law and procedure, and is past Chair of the California Judicial Attorneys Education Committee.  Mr. Drobny received a B.A. degree with highest honors from Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Law School.  After graduation from law school he engaged in academic work (with an international foundation inAmsterdam, Holland and at Boalt Law School).  He then entered into private practice with a law firm and as corporate counsel before coming to the Court of Appeal.

Dennis A. Fischer, Esq.
State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Certified Appellate Law Specialist
Law Offices of Dennis A. Fischer, APC

Dennis A. Fischer is a Member and Past President (1993-1994) of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.  For the past 40 years, he has focused exclusively on appellate practice and prefers criminal law.  He has filed approximately 1,000 appeals with just short of 100 published decisions, including 24 of his own cases argued before the California Supreme Court and many others as amicus curiae, and one case argued before the United States Supreme Court.

More of Mr. Fischer’s Honors and Recognitions include the following:  Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers since 1998. Currently (2012-2014) and past (1997-2000) member of Appellate Law Advisory Commission of the California Board of Legal Specialization.  Recently served on the California Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee. Previously appointed by Chief Justice George to the California Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules for Publication (2005-2006), and the Judicial Council’s Appellate Process Task Force (1997-2000) and Ad Hoc Task Force on Superior Court Appellate Divisions (1999-2001). Appointed by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas to chair curriculum committee in planning, development and production of a videotape training program for appointed counsel on capital case appeals (1994-1995). Certified as specialist in appellate law by California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.  Listed annually in Southern California Superlawyers, top 100 Lawyers in Southern California 2004, and Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Fischer’s publications include Appeals and Writs in Criminal Cases (C.E.B. 2d ed. 2000) – Criminal Appeals in California State Courts; auther of chapters One and Two of original 1982 edition.

Garrett J. Zelen, Esq.
State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Certified Criminal Law Specialist

Garrett Zelen is a State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Certified Criminal Law Specialist.

After clerking for the Federal Public Defender, a Federal Indigent Panel Attorney, and the firm of Talcott and Lightfoot, Garrett joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. In 1980, Garrett opened his own criminal defense firm, practicing in both State and Federal Courts throughout the country. His clients include corporate officers, sports figures, entertainment and media figures, investment fund managers, developers, health care professionals, doctors, attorneys, and, those wrongly convicted.

He has served as the President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Criminal Law Section, and as a Board Member of the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association.

Garrett graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles.



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

CD: plus $7.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

CLE Credit

CA General:  This program is approved for 3.75 units of general CLE in California.

CA Certified Legal Specialist:  This program is approved for 3.75 units of Certified Legal Specialist CLE in California as follows:

  • 3.75 hours of Certified Legal Specialist CLE in Appellate Law
  • 3.75 hours of Certified Legal Specialist CLE in Criminal Law in California.  This includes 3.75 hours Subfield D (Writs, Appeals & Ancillary Proceedings).

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 $7.50 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.

$295.00 each

Recorded in 2014.