Understanding SLAPPs (6th Annual): Process and Procedure from Initiation through Appeal (CA)

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

If you’d like the most current update and instruction on SLAPPS in California, we have a new program set for April 5, 2019 in San Francisco. You can register for that program or order the audio package here.


SLAPP actions (Strategic Law Suits Against Public Participation) and SLAPP-Backs – are a staple in every-day litigation. You can hardly avoid them these days, yet they remain overly-complicated. New opinions are continuously altering the standards or creating conflicts.

To help you stay up-to-date on both SLAPPS and SLAPP-Backs, Pincus Professional Education is holding its 6th annual SLAPPs skills and case-law update seminar, with a terrific faculty composed of specialists, state and federal trial and appellate judges.

If you’re a litigator or trial attorney, you need to know how to handle a SLAPP and a SLAPP-Back and you need stay current on the latest case-law. And, with two trial and two appellate judges – from the state and federal courts – you are sure to get the court’s perspective and insight at this program.

Join us at Pincus Professional Education’s: Understanding SLAPPs: Process and Procedure from Initiation through Appeal.

This program was recorded in 2013.


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What You Will Learn

  • SLAPP Background
  • Prong One of the Two-Pronged SLAPP Analysis
  • SLAPP Exceptions
  • Prong Two of the Two-Pronged SLAPP Analysis
  • Checklist for Defendants who File an Anti-SLAPP Motion
  • Checklist for Plaintiffs who Oppose an Anti-SLAPP Motion
  • Hearing and Trial Court Ruling on the Anti-SLAPP Motion, Part One
  • Hearing and Trial Court Ruling on the Anti-SLAPP Motion, Part Two
  • State Court Appeals from Anti-SLAPP Rulings
  • Anti-SLAPP Motions in Federal Court
  • Anti-SLAPP Appeals in Federal Court
  • Anti-SLAPP Fee Motions
  • SLAPP-Backs


“One of the best programs I have attended in years. Very good overview of SLAPPs and practical considerations discussed.”

“Outstanding!  Very, very helpful!  All speakers are excellent.”  David S. White, Esq.

“Good overview of intent of the law & unintended consequences.”  Elena Gerli, Esq.

”I came here for a general overview and to gain insight into how anti-SLAPP work in the real world, and I got
just that.” Susan Fritch, Esq.

”The conference exceeded my expectations- this has been one of the most knowledgeable informative collegial and interactive conference in memory on this or any other subject.” Carlo Coppo, Esq.

“Tricky subject; well qualified panel.” Peter Israel, Esq.

“Very satisfied.  I knew very little about this topic.  Case cites & practical application was helpful.”

“This is exactly what I was looking for.  You were right on!”  Charles R. Barrett, Esq.

”I am relatively new to the area, so the combination of overview and nuanced discussions were helpful” Kenneth Paul Nabity, Esq.

“Outstanding! Very, very helpful! All speakers are excellent.” – David S. White, Esq.

“Good overview of intent of the law & unintended consequences.” – Elena Gerli, Esq.

“Helpful appellate perspective.”

“Excellent- on point and well presented.”

“Great job everyone!”  Eva J. Lee, Esq.

“Good explanation of statute and application.”

“Very thorough and aimed at nuts and bolts.”

“Excellent panel & materials.”

“Speakers were extremely informative.”

“Very informative & practical.”  M. Wolf, Esq.

“Helpful perspective from Judge’s position.”

“The content was good and helpful.”

“Tricky subject; well qualified panel.” – Peter Israel, Esq.

“Excellent program. Outstanding speakers and content.”


Hon. Thadd A. Blizzard
California Superior Court Judge
Superior Court of California, Sacramento County

Before becoming a judge, Thadd Blizzard was seasoned litigator and a shareholder with Weintraub Genshlea Chediak, handling all aspects of complex civil litigation in state and federal courts as well as binding arbitrations and appeals. He was head of that firm’s Litigation Section from 1998 to 2004 and chaired the firm’s Writs and Appeals Practice Group.

Judge Blizzard is licensed to practice in California and New York and gained admission to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1985), the U.S. Circuit Court for the Second Circuit (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court (1987), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (1989), and the U.S. Circuit Court for the Ninth Circuit (1989). As a litigator, Judge Blizzard obtained many published decisions. He has authored multiple legal publications related to litigation, and he regularly speaks on litigation topics for bar associations, McGeorge School of law, Inn of Court Programs and at various other events.

Before entering private practice, Judge Blizzard served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Joseph A. Rattigan, Associate Justice at the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District in San Francisco. Judge Blizzard is a Founding and Executive Committee Member of the Milton L. Schwartz American Inn of Court, the Founding Chair of the Sacramento Bar Association’s Appellate Section, and the former President of the Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter. He also was a settlement judge, pro tem and a judicial arbitrator for many years.

Judge Blizzard received his LL.M. from New York University School of Law, where he was Law Review Editor, and his J.D. from McGeorge School of Law (University of the Pacific), where he also was Law Review Editor.

Hon. Peter Busch
Superior Court of California, San Francisco County

Judge Peter J. Busch has been a San Francisco Superior Court judge since 2000, where he previously presided over the civil law and motion department. In that capacity, Judge Busch ruled upon numerous anti-SLAPP motions. He served as a temporary judge with the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District for three months in 2006. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Busch spent 20 years as a civil litigator at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, where he also served as managing director.

Judge Busch received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Busch was a co-author, with Don Miles, of the chapter “Trial Exhibits” in California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial (3d ed.), published by C.E.B. in 1995, and he has taught various judicial and legal education programs.

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

As the first judge from the Eastern District of California to sit on the Court of Appeals since the elevation of the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy to the Supreme Court on February 3, 1988, Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President George W. Bush on May 22, 2003. Judge Callahan maintains her chambers at the United States Courthouse in Sacramento. She has participated in numerous SLAPP cases as an appellate jurist, both at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal. See, e.g., Manufactured Home Cmtys., Inc. v. County of San Diego, 544 F.3d 959 (9th Cir. 2008); Simmons v. Allstate Ins. Co., 92 Cal. App. 4th 1068 (2001).

Judge Callahan’s notable career has included the following key posts: Admitted to California Bar in December 1975; deputy city attorney, City of Stockton, 1975-76; deputy district attorney, San Joaquin County, 1976-82; supervisory district attorney, San Joaquin County, 1982-86; court commissioner, Municipal Court of Stockton, 1986-92; judge, California Superior Court, 1992-96; associate justice, California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District, 1996-2003; appointed by Chief Justice of California to serve as Pro Tem Justice to the California Supreme Court, May 1998.

Judge Callahan’s numerous professional involvements include: Board of Governors, San Joaquin County Bar Association, elected position held from 1983-1985; Treasurer and Board of Governors, Women Lawyers of San Joaquin County, elected position held 1980-1986; Stanford Women’s Association; California Women Lawyers; Sacramento Women Lawyers; CJER Conference on Children as Victims and Witnesses, Planning Committee; Member of Civil Institute Planning Committee, California Center for Judicial Education and Research, 1994-1995; Chairperson for 1994 Northern California Civil Law and Procedure Workshop; Member of Executive Legislative Action Network, Judicial Council of California, 1994-1996; California Judges Association, 1986 to present; Member of Executive Board of California Judges Association, 1995-1996.

Judge Callahan is highly involved with the community, including: Regent for the University of Pacific, 2005-present; San Joaquin County Child Abuse Prevention Center, past Board Member and President; Judge for “Red Ribbon Week” Competition, yearly campaign to prevent substance abuse; Master of the Bench, Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court; Judge for UC Davis Moot Court Orals, Texas Young Lawyers Association Regional Trial Competition, and Northern California High School Moot Court finals; Co-organizer of Government Day for Kids held May 15, 1998; Rotary International (Downtown Stockton); San Joaquin County Domestic Task Force; President of the McGeorge Alumni Association; and the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court (President from 2000 to 2003).

Judge Callahan received recognition by Governor Deukmejian for her work in establishing Victim-Witness Mobile Unit. She received the Susan B. Anthony award for legal services in 1987, the Juvenile Justice Commission award for her work in the fields of child abuse and sexual assault, and the Peacemaker of the Year Award from San Joaquin County Mediation Center in 1997. She has been an Instructor for the California Judicial Education and Research; an

Instructor for Delta College Police Academy; and a Lecturer at the University of the Pacific, UC Davis Law School, Humphreys College of the Law, and Delta College. She authored “Women in Law,” 1973, and is one of the four authors of The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide on Employment Litigation.

Judge Callahan earned her LL.M. from University of Virginia School of Law, her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and her B.A. from Stanford University.


Justice Stuart R. Pollak
Presiding Justice
First District Court of Appeal, Division Four

In 2018, Justice Pollak was appointed to the position of Presiding Justice for the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four of the California Court of Appeal. Justice Pollak had been an Associate Justice in the First District of the California Court of Appeal since 2002.

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

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

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

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.

Mark Goldowitz, Esq.
Founder and Director
California Anti-SLAPP Project (CASP)

Mark Goldowitz is the Founder and Director of the California Anti-SLAPP Project (CASP), a law firm that has specialized in defending against SLAPPs in California since the anti-SLAPP law took effect in 1993.  CASP led the coalition that won enactment of the California anti-SLAPP law in 1992 and subsequent amendments that strengthened anti-SLAPP protections in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2008.

He and his clients have prevailed in special motions to strike under the anti-SLAPP law in 23 counties throughout California and in decisions by four of the six district courts of appeal.  He and his clients have prevailed in nine published opinions under the anti-SLAPP statute, including two important decisions by the California Supreme Court: Briggs v. Eden Counsel for Hope & Opportunity (1999) 19 Cal.4th 1106, and Barrett v. Rosenthal (2006) 40 Cal.4th 33.  His anti-SLAPP expertise has been recognized in four appellate opinions.

He has published numerous articles on the anti-SLAPP law, and frequently lectures and consults on the subject.  He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1972.

Mr. Goldowitz is also founder and President of the Board of Directors of the Public Participation Project (PPP), which is leading the campaign for enactment of federal anti-SLAPP legislation.

Visit CASP’s website at www.casp.net.




Audio Course and Materials Package – Download: $425

Audio Course and Materials Package – CD: $425 $25

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

*New orders only, while supplies last.

CLE Credit

CA General: This program is approved for 6.0 general CLE units in California.

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.


$25.00$425.00 each

October 25, 2013  |  San Francisco, CA