Michael Colantuono is our Latest Featured Speaker

Our latest featured speaker is Michael Colantuono from Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley!

Michael spoke recently at our  Appellate Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam Four-Part Online Prep Course (CA) in August of 2023 as well as our February 2023 8th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice CA Webinar.

Michael is routinely rated as one of our most popular speaker – he is a fantastic teacher.  Because he is so popular, Michael is invited back time and again.  He’ll be speaking again at our upcoming 9th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice program, which has returned to an in-person with live streaming format in February of 2024. That program will be held in San Francisco on February 1st and in Sierra Madre/Pasadena on February 9th. It will also be live-streamed from both locations, if people cannot attend in person.

Thank you for joining us again, Michael!  We appreciate you coming back.

Michael is a shareholder at Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley where he specializes in municipal law. The Supreme Court appointed him the first Chair of the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California; he was previously President of the Bar.

The State Bar has certified Michael as an Appellate Specialist and he is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a prestigious association of fewer than 100 of California’s most distinguished appellate advocates.

In addition to his expertise in municipal law, Michael has mastery over a broad range of legal topics, including: local governments, constitutional law, land use regulation, open meetings, elections, conflicts of interest, public utilities, LAFCO issues, inverse condemnation, cannabis regulation, and various public finance issues involving taxes assessments, fees and charges.

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

We are excited to have him with us!

Rachel Gezerseh is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Rachel Gezerseh from Panish, Shea, Boyle, Ravipudi!

Rachel will be speaking at our upcoming 18th Annual Superior Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on October 13, 2023 in Sierra Madre/Pasadena, California. The program is also scheduled for October 27, 2023 in San Francisco, California (though Rachel is only speaking at the Sierra Madre/Pasadena location). This will be her first time speaking with us and she comes highly recommended by other long-time speakers.

Welcome, Rachel! We are excited to have you join us this year.

Rachel is a trial attorney with Panish, Shea, Boyle, Ravipudi LLP. Rachel specializes in litigating complex catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and products liability cases.

Throughout her career, Rachel has gained substantial experience in a broad range of litigation phases, including discovery, motion practice, mediation, and trial. She has taken and defended numerous party and corporate witness depositions and has extensive drafting experience with summary judgment and other critical motions at the trial level.

Rachel was previously an attorney at top international law firm, Jones Day, where she litigated large scale product liability and aviation disaster cases.  She regularly obtained outstanding results for her clients, which included consumer product and aircraft manufacturers, healthcare companies, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.  Rachel has now taken the skills she gained at Jones Day and dedicated her practice to vigorously seeking justice for individuals who have been wrongfully harmed.

Recognized by her peers as a Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Rachel  was named to the Super Lawyers list in 2020.  She has also been featured in Bloomberg Law and ABA for Law Students and is the author of the Law Career Playbook, the leading networking guide for law students and new lawyers.  Rachel is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.

Thank you for joining us, Rachel!

Matthew Slentz is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Matthew Slentz from Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley!

Matthew will be speaking at our upcoming 18th Annual Superior Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on October 13, 2023 in Sierra Madre/Pasadena, California. The program will also be held in San Francisco on October 27th (Matthew is speaking at our Sierra Madre/Pasadena program. Most recently, Matthew spoke last at our 17th Annual Superior Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program as well as our Art of Jury Selection in California: The Nuts and Bolts Webinar. Matthew has been consistently described as a knowledgeable and informative speaker.

We are excited to have him back with us!

Matthew is an associate with Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley’s litigation practice group. Matthew litigates a range of disputes for our public agency clients in both trial and appellate courts, including suits involving inverse condemnation, utility user taxes, Public Records Act disputes, post-redevelopment disputes, rates and fees, government contracts, land use and cannabis regulation.

Before joining CHW, Matthew served as Chief Deputy Public Defender for Stanislaus County. In this role, Matthew managed a team of attorneys defending misdemeanor cases, including violations of local ordinances, coordinated with city and county officials on nuisance abatement strategies, and helped formulate his agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a deputy public defender, Matthew conducted 25 jury trials to verdict in felony and misdemeanor cases. He has filed writs and appeals in local and appellate courts and has extensive motion-practice, including Pitchess motions and Cervantes hearings.

Thank you for joining us again, Matthew!

Andrew Friedman is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Andrew Friedman from Helmer Friedman!

Andrew will be speaking at our upcoming18th Annual Superior Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on October 13, 2023 in Sierra Madre, California. Most recently, Andrew spoke at our Employment Law Year in Review – 2022: New Cases and Laws (CA & Federal), which showcased a comprehensive review of the most significant developments in California and Federal employment law for 2022.  Andrew is so popular that he has also spoken at our Annual Superior Court Boot Camps for the past several years.

He is also scheduled to speak at our January 2024 Employment Law Year in Review for 2023.

We are excited to have him back with us!

Andrew is a partner with the law firm of Helmer Friedman LLP. He primarily represents employees in all aspects of employment law, including not only individual discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases but also complex multi-party wage and hour class actions. He also represents clients in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights, and product liability cases.

Through his extensive experience in employment-related litigation in state and federal courts, Andrew recently won (with Tony Lewis of The Lewis Law Firm) a $4.1 Million jury verdict in a fraud and breach of employment contract lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court and he also prevailed (along with his law partner, Gregory D. Helmer) in a three week sexual harassment jury trial in the Orange County Superior Court. He also settled a $2.4 Million wage and hour class action lawsuit in federal court (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California), a $1.575 Million class action discrimination lawsuit in the Orange County Superior Court and he recovered a $1.5 Million settlement in federal court (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California) in a wage and hour class action.

Andrew has received the highest possible Martindale-Hubble rating (“AV”), indicating that he is ranked at the highest level of professional excellence with “very high to preeminent legal ability” and “very high” ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar. Law & Politics Magazine and the publishers of Los Angeles Magazine selected Andrew as a 2006 – 2021 Southern California “Super Lawyer” in the category of Labor and Employment Law. 

Additionally, in 2020 & 2021, Super Lawyers named Andrew H. Friedman to its list of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Southern California and Lawdragon named Andrew to its list of the nation’s top 500 plaintiff employment and civil rights attorneys.

Thank you for joining us again, Andrew!

Judy Posner is our Latest Featured Speaker

Our latest featured speaker is Judy Posner from Benedon & Serlin!

Judy recently spoke at our Appellate Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam Four-Part Online Prep Course (CA) (Parts 1-3 held August 22, 23, 24 with Part 4 coming up on September 7, 2023). Judy received terrific reviews and we can’t wait to have her speak again.

Judy is a partner at Benedon & Serlin where she focuses her practice on appellate law. She is also a certified appellate specialist by the State Bar of California. Among her many accolades, Judy has been recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as “Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Law” as well as being selected as one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” in appellate law by Law & Politics. 

Before starting at Benedon & Serlin, Judy clerked with Hon. Melvin Brunetti (Dec.) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She previously worked as a Senior Judicial Attorney at the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, for Presiding Justice Frances Rothschild in Division One and for Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss in Division Seven. In addition, Judy was of counsel at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May and Reed Smith and an associate at Horvitz & Levy LLP and Sidley & Austin.

Thank you for joining us, Judy!

Athena Roussos is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Athena Roussos from C. Athena Roussos Appellate Law!

Athena will be speaking at our upcoming Appellate Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam Four-Part Online Prep Course (CA) on August 22, 23, 24 and September 7, 2023. Athena has spoken in the past at our CA Appellate Specialist Exam Prep Courses to rave reviews! She is incredibly organized and a wonderful teacher.  He has also helped write and grade the Legal Specialist exams for the bar in the past. 

We are excited to have her back with us!

Athena Roussos is a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice is focused on civil appeals and writs, and law and motion. She has handled numerous appeals in both state and federal appellate courts, and has obtained several reported decisions in favor of her clients. She has represented individuals, businesses, associations, and public agencies in a variety of civil matters.

Athena handles civil appeals of nearly every type, representing businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations in appellate courts throughout California. She also works closely with trial lawyers to formulate winning strategies in civil cases at all stages of litigation.  

Additionally, Athena serves as a court-appointed mediator for the Third District Court of Appeal and is a member of the Court’s Mediation Program Committee.  Athena is also a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She has been quoted by the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee on appellate law issues and has been honored as a top appellate attorney in Sacramento by Sacramento Magazine, the Sacramento Business Journal, and Northern California Super Lawyers.

Thank you for joining us, Athena!

Claudia Ribet is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Claudia Ribet from Complex Appellate Litigation Group!

Claudia will be speaking at our upcoming Appellate Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam Four-Part Online Prep Course (CA) on August 22, 23, 24 and September 7, 2023. Claudia will also be speaking at our 9th Annual Advanced Appellate program in February 2024, in San Francisco (in the works).  Claudia was highly recommended to us by many of our appellate specialist speakers so we are excited to have her join us!

Claudia is one of only four attorneys in California recognized by the State Bar as a certified specialist in both appellate law and family law!

Claudia is a counsel at Complex Appellate Litigation Group. Her dual qualification in appellate and family law gives her deep insight into effective presentation of complex arguments in high-stakes family law appeals. She wins a lot of the California family law appeals she litigates.

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

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

Thank you for joining us again, Claudia!

Peder Batalden is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Peder Batalden from Horvitz & Levy!

Peder will be speaking at our upcoming 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts Webinar on September 26 & 28. He most recently spoke at our 8th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar in California and was praised by the attendees for his knowledge and insight.  He also spoke at our 2021 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp to rave reviews.

We’re excited to have you with us again, Peder!

Peder is a partner at Horvitz & Levy. 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. 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.

Additionally, Peder is co-author of the leading treatise on civil appeals before the Ninth Circuit, the Rutter Group’s Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice. Because Peder is speaking at our 9th Circuit program, along with co-author John Querio, the Rutter Group will give attendees at that program 40% off the Guide.  Attendees will learn how to take advantage of this discount during the program.

He is also 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.

Throughout his career, 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.

Thank you for joining us again, Peder!

Swing Music, Dancing & Dining at the Cicada Club

Gary Greene, Esq. & his Big Band of Barristers
featuring vocalists
Mary Stanford & Roxy Darr
at the world-famous Cicada Club
617 S. Olive Street, Downtown Los Angeles
on Saturday, September 29
7:00 pm Doors Open
8:30 pm Showtime

Travel back in time to the 1930s, 40s and 50s for a night of fabulous entertainment at one of the top supper clubs in Los Angeles. Gary Greene, Esq. & His Big Band of Barristers is joining forces with retro jazz vocalist Mary Stanford to create an epic show featuring the Great American Songbook with music from the Golden Era of Big Bands at the world-famous Cicada Club. Sensational singer Roxy Darr will also be performing with the band. Enjoy an elegant evening of live big band music, swing dancing and dining inside the historic 1928 Art Deco Oviatt Building in downtown Los Angeles. They’re pulling out all their favorite tunes from the birth of swing through the Rat Pack era. It will be a night to remember!

Mary Stanford                                                                                         Roxy Darr

Buy Tickets

Admission tickets are $30, but for a limited time you can pay an Early Bird price of $25. (Admission tickets are required for each guest with or without dinner purchase.)

Dinner tickets are $64 (but not required). The price includes a delicious three-course dinner.

Ian Samson and Paul Traina are our latest Featured Speakers!

Our latest Featured Speakers are Ian Samson and Paul Traina of Stalwart Law Group!

Ian Samson is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer who will speak at our upcoming Mastering the Deposition seminar in Los Angeles, on February 23rd, 2018.

Ian first spoke for us back in 2016 for Federal Court Boot Camp and has been a repeat speaker for both federal and superior court boot camps since. Seminar attendees rave about his insight, clear examples, and knowledgeability.

Ian represents clients in catastrophic injury matters, whistleblower litigation, class actions, professional liability cases, and commercial litigation. Innovative, tireless, and always willing to go the extra mile for his clients, he has gone toe-to-toe with some of the most highly-regarded law firms in the nation.

Equally comfortable arguing a specific point of law to a federal court judge as he is explaining the big picture to a state court jury, he uses every aspect of his experience to get the best possible result for his clients. Ian is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Consumer Attorneys of California, and Public Justice.

And Paul Traina, an experienced, fiercely competitive litigator and trial lawyer, will also speak at our upcoming Mastering the Deposition seminar.

Paul first spoke for us a while back at our Wage & Hour Class Action seminar, and has returned to speak at many of our litigation related seminars year after year, due to his great evaluations.

Paul has practiced law for the past 25 years. He spent his first five years representing automobile manufacturers and insurance companies, and the last twenty years representing consumers on a pure contingency basis. Paul has obtained verdicts and recoveries for his clients totaling over 3 billion dollars. He has, and continues to represent clients in matters involving catastrophic injuries, defective products, whistleblower litigation, class actions, professional liability cases, and business/commercial litigation.

Paul is a frequent guest lecturer at Loyola Law School’s Trial Advocacy Class. He has lectured around the country about class actions, conflicts of interest, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross examinations of both lay and expert witnesses. Paul is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Consumer Attorneys of California.