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Litigation Section

News from the Section

State Bar of California Annual Meeting

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar of California 88th Annual Meeting
October 8-11, 2015
Anaheim, California

The State Bar of California returns to sunny Anaheim for the 2015 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a multiday showcase of continuing legal education courses, celebrity speakers, and noted legal scholars. Each day gives you several choices of courses and special events.

The Annual Meeting registration fee is structured to make it more affordable to attend. You can select either a Full Meeting Pass or a 2-Day Pass. Special fees are available for Young Lawyers and New Admittees. September 14 is the deadline for the lowest fee.

More than 100 programs are planned for the Annual Meeting, including these from the Litigation Section.

Program 11

Examining Opening Statement Strategies for Plaintiffs and Defense Attorneys      

Program 25

When Deals Go Bad: Drafting Contracts with Litigation in Mind

Program 78

Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Series: Voir Dire

Program 88

Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Series:  Closing Argument

Program 109

Ethics and Social Media:  Cybersleuthing, Predatory Friending and More

Program 119

Rule 3-110 and Substance Abuse:  A Judicial Perspective

Program 120

Advanced Civil and Criminal Writ Practice in the California Court of Appeal

For more information, see The State Bar of California Annual Meeting.

Webinar: Getting to Class - An Expert's Eye View of Damages Calculations

Thursday, October 29, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

This program offers 1 hour of participatory MCLE credit. You must REGISTER IN ADVANCE in order to participate.

Class certification battles in the "Food Court" often end up in a battle over whether the Comcast requirements for a viable damages methodology are met. Recent decisions indicate that some combination of hedonic regression and conjoint analysis are necessary, at least for cases where involving "price premium" claims. Come hear a panel of experts and attorneys in the field sort through these difficult issues.


  • William Choi
  • Sush Jain

Moderator: Christopher Van Gundy

Webinar: How to Win at Arbitration: Practical Tips for Litigators in Arbitration

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour of participatory MCLE credit. You must REGISTER IN ADVANCE in order to participate.

A tutorial on the differences between trial work and arbitration, including the differences, best practices for arbitration, as well as an overview of key AAA & JAMS arbitration rules.


  • Andrew S. Azarmi, Dentons US LLP
  • J. Craig Crawford, Carr McClellan P.C.

2015 Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame Dinner

Michael KahnThe Litigation Section is pleased to announce that Michael Kahn, Senior Counsel at Crowell & Moring LLP, has been chosen to receive this year's award.

The dinner and ceremony in his honor will take place at The Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, November 14, 2015.

Hosted Reception 6 p.m. -- 7 p.m.

Dinner and Presentation: 7 p.m. -- 10 p.m.

This event is by invitation only.

Michael Kahn is senior counsel at Crowell & Moring and is a member of the Commercial Litigation Group. Mr. Kahn's practice involves federal and state court proceedings throughout the United States. He has tried over twenty cases to verdict with a success rate of over ninety percent. He has also argued over a dozen appeals in State Supreme Court and Federal and State Courts of Appeal and has arbitrated over a dozen cases to decision (with over a 90 percent success rate). For more information about his illustrious career, see Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

New Standing Committee on Food Law

The Food Law Committee is a newly-formed Standing Committee of the Litigation Section, one of three, devoted to advancing a neutral forum for education and discussion concerning the growing body of law focused on food litigation, regulation and policy. Our active members are drawn not only from leading California attorneys representing and advising consumers and companies in litigation and regulatory counseling matters, but also from academia, science, and the bench.

We are currently planning numerous webinars addressing topics such as "Food Court" litigation, Prop 65, China Update, and Food Fraud, to name a few. The Litigation Section's 2015 California Litigation Review will feature analysis of the top food law cases and developments for 2014, and we plan on delivering to our members a weekly blog of case law summaries.

Members of the Litigation Section interested in taking a leading role in this committee, or just registering for an email distribution list, can contact the 2014-2015 Chairs Christopher G. Van Gundy (Keller and Heckman) or  Robert S. Niemann (Keller and Heckman), or 2014-2015 Vice-Chairs Rob Bader(Goodwin Procter) or Julie Hussey (Perkins Coie).  

Past Litigation Section Chair Robert M. Bodzin of Burnham Brown is a committee member and the liaison with the Litigation Section Executive Committee. He can be reached at State Bar Section Coordinator Mitch Wood oversees this committee on behalf of the Bar and he can be reached at

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

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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