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Litigation Section

News from the Section

Litigation Update

The August Litigation Update (new window)  was recently sent to Section members. For back issues, see Litigation Update.

Meet Your Judges: The Honorable Cynthia A. Bashant, August 21, 2014, 12 noon - 1:15 p.m., San Diego

The San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, along with the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Litigation Section of The State Bar of Caifornia, are pleased to present a brown bag luncheon with The Honorable Cynthia A. Bashant United States District Court Southern District of California,

Judge Bashant was born in 1960. She received her A.B. from Smith College in 1982 and her J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in 1986. After completing law school, she went into private practice as an associate with the firm of Macdonald, Halsted & Laybourne from 1986 to 1988, and then with Baker & McKenzie from 1988 to 1989.

She left private practice in 1989 and worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California until 2000.

Judge Bashant became a Judge for the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego in 2000 and continued to serve there until 2014. President Obama nominated her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and on April 30, 2014, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed her nomination.

Judge Bashant will discuss practice and procedure in her courtroom, as well as the experiences and insights she brings to the federal bench. Submit your questions for Judge Bashant by emailing them in advance to

The luncheon will be held Thursday, August 21, 2014, 12 noon - 1:15 at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, Courtroom 4B, Fourth Floor, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101.

There is no cost. Space is limited to 80 attendees. Please RSVP online at For questions, please contact Blake Zollar ( One hour of general CLE credit will be provided.

Morgan Chu Inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Morgan ChuThe Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Morgan Chu, Partner with Irell & Manella LLP, was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

The reception and dinner in his honor and presentation of the award took place at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel on Friday, July 11, 2014.

For more information, see Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting, September 11-14, 2014, Grand Hyatt San Diego

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting
September 11-14, 2014
San Diego, California

Annual Meeting PreviewYou can now REGISTER ONLINE for the Annual Meeting.
Early-bird Pre-Registration Deadline (Save $100): August 13

The State Bar of California returns to San Diego for the 2014 Annual Meeting. The new meeting logo “My Annual Meeting” simply states that this is your annual meeting: an event for legal professionals that blends business, education, entertainment and the opportunity to meet and engage with law professionals from throughout California.

The four-day meeting will showcase an education agenda consisting of 143 MCLE seminars covering a variety of substantive topics, legal technology, access to justice, UPL, attorney advertising, and other key areas of interest.

The Annual Meeting Preview is now online! Be sure to see Special Events for information about luncheons, social events, the California Women Lawyers Annual DinnerAnnual Exhibit Show62st Annual Bench & Bar Art ExhibitConference of California Bar Associations (CCBA), and Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities. See Hotel and Travel for information about the Annual Meeting hotels, airline and rental car discounts.See the schedules for individual days for a chronological list of all programs, with descriptions: Schedule for ThursdaySchedule for FridaySchedule for SaturdaySchedule for Sunday.

The Section is presenting:

Program 17

Getting the Edge in Arbitration: Fees and 998 Offers

Program 38

Coaching for the New Practitioner

Program 106

Insurance Law for Litigators

Program 124

A Beginner’s Guide to Civil Writ Practice in the Courts of Appeal

Program 133

Summary Judgment: Recent Developments and the View from the Beach

Program 134

Elements of Brief Writing: Strategies and Tactics

Program 141

New Ethics Standards for Neutral Arbitrators

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

A Week in Legal London

Sunday, April 19 - Friday, April 24, 2015

Presented by The State Bar of California Litigation Section

By participating in this one program you can fulfill your entire 3-year MCLE requirement! All this is possible through a combination of participatory and self-study credits, which include all mandatory subjects.

Register now!

In its 26th year, A Week in Legal London is proud to continue its tradition of mixing exciting new opportunities with exceptional legal destinations and interactions. As a result of the special relationships we have formed over many years, we are able to provide access to people and places the general public does not have. In addition to the profound interactions the program presents, A Week in Legal London also provides one-of-a-kind professional experiences. We will spend time behind the scenes with prominent judges, barristers and solicitors.

For more information, see

We hope to see you in Legal London!


Webinar: Suing and Defending State and Local Public Entities: Dangerious Conditions of Public Property

Presented by the Public Law Section and the Litigation Section

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Webinar

This program offers 1.5 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

The Government Claims Act sets forth the unique elements that apply to suits against State and Local public entities for dangerous conditions of their property. These elements differ in important ways from premises liability suits brought against private property owners. This webinar will introduce the participants to legal and practical issues involved in suing and defending public entities under these highly specialized rules of law.


  • Kevin Reager
  • William R. Seligmann

WebinarWhat Every Litigator Needs to Know about Appellate Mediation Web

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 12 noon- 1 p.m.

This program offers one hour participatory MCLE Credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

A primer on the appellate mediation process.  Learn: (1) How appellate mediation works; (2) When cases are selected; (3) Where it makes sense; (4) Why parties succeed.


  • Dana Curtis, Dana Curtis Mediation;
  • Brendon Ishikawa, Attorney, Court of Appeal 3rd District;
  • Gary Weiner, Principal Mediator, The Appellate Mediation Group

Webinar: Litigating a Human Trafficking Case in California

Presented by the Litigation Section

Monday, November 17, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m. Webinar

This program offers 1 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

This webinar will include a general introduction about the trafficking issue in California; a segment on filing, litigating, settling and trying this type of case; a discussion of the substantive law; and a presentation about the wage and hour issues that arise in trafficking cases.


  • Dan Chaleff
  • Lawrence Glasner, Attorney
  • Kevin Rehwald

Member Benefit -  "Giving a Deposition" Video 

Giving a Deposition” is a benefit of your membership in the Litigation Section. It will hopefully save you and your clients time and money, and allow you to prepare witnesses more effectively for their depositions.

The video is intended to be shown to witnesses who have not had their depositions taken before, or for whom a refresher course would be worthwhile. Through a series of vignettes, the video explains the deposition process and provides advice about how to answer questions carefully, truthfully, and in a manner that expedites the completion of the deposition. The video obviously does not replace diligent witness preparation by lawyers and staff, but facilitates deposition preparation so that the lawyer’s time can be spent on the merits.

For more information, see "Giving a Deposition".

Other News

2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner

The Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Thomas J. McDermott, Jr. was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

The reception and dinner in his honor and presentation of the award took place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

For more information, see 2013 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner.

Advance Tapes: Special Offer to Litigation Section Members

Professor Steven FinzEvery two months, Professor Steven R. Finz issues a recorded talk in which he analyzes and discusses every decision published by the California state courts in the previous two months that is likely to be of interest to the busy litigator. The recordings in this series are titled Finz's ADVANCE TAPES on California Civil Procedure, Discovery, and Evidence, and are available as audio CD or audio tape.

The ordinary subscription price is $220 per year (six issues). But by arrangement with The Litigation Section, Professor Finz is making a special offer to Litigation Section Members. You can subscribe for half a year (three issues) for only $15. You'll also receive unlimited access to this website. . At the end of the introductory period, you will be given an opportunity to continue your subscription at a discounted price of $180 per year. BUT ONLY IF YOU SAY SO. Nothing will happen automatically.

For more information about this special offer, see Advance Tapes - Special Offer for Litigation Section Members.

E-Discovery Pocket Guide

In August, 2008, the Litigation Section of the California State Bar distributed to members its E-Discovery Pocket Guide which identifies specific issues and topics of which every California litigator, if not every lawyer, must be familiar and conversant. It includes ESI topics to discuss with clients, topics to discuss with opposing counsel at the meet and confer conference, and topics to cover in the initial case management conference with the court. The one page brochure is not exhaustive but illustrative of common issues and topics facing most civil litigators and courts.

California Litigation

California LitigationThe Litigation Section publishes California Litigation three times per year, under the supervision of the California Litigation Editorial Board. Each issue contains informative articles on themes of interest to litigators.

We have provided tables of contents from Volume 1, No. 1 to the present at California Litigation. And we have posted recent issues in our Members Only Area.

Copies of some back issues are still available. Please call 415- 538-2546 if you are interested in obtaining one or more.

California Litigation

California Litigation

California Litigation Review

California Litigation Review comes out annually and is sent to members of the Litigation Section as a benefit of membership. The Review provides an annual overview of developments of interest to California's civil litigators and a review of many areas of practice that we do not regularly encounter, but need to know!

We have  posted some back articles from  California Litigation Review in our Members Only Area.

For more information, see California Litigation Review.

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Litigation Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Litigation Section
State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
 San Francisco,  CA  94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368

The Litigation Section is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider.

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