Public Law Section

News from the Section

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: AB 52's New CEQA Requirement

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

Starting in July 2015, AB 52 will require all public agencies acting as lead agencies under CEQA to enter into consultation with requesting tribes prior to the release of a negative declaration or an EIR. Consultation may concern the level of environmental review necessary, the significance of a tribal cultural resource and of a project's impact on that resource, and project alternatives and/or mitigation, including those recommended by the tribe. A "tribal cultural resource" – a new term for CEQA – is any site, feature, place, cultural landscape, sacred place, or object with cultural value to a California Native American tribe. Significantly, AB 52 applies not just to federally recognized tribes (as is the case with Section 106 review under the National Historic Preservation Act), but to all tribes on the California Native American Heritage Commission's "contact list."

Speaker: Sarah Owsowitz, Best Best & Krieger

Moderator: Christopher J. Diaz, Best Best & Krieger

The Public Law Section Is Seeking Entries for the 2015 Student Writing Competition

The Public Law Section is seeking entries for its annual Student Writing Competition. The competition is open to students at all California-accredited law schools, and the winner receives a $2,000 cash prize; transportation and hotel expenses for two nights at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Anaheim in October where the winner will be recognized at an awards reception; and publication in the Public Law Journal.

The deadline is May 12, 2015. For more information, see the 2015 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition.

Public Law Section Executive Committee Seeks Nominations for the 2015 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year

2014 Public Lawyer of the year award winner Wendy Patrick The Public Law Section Executive Committee is accepting nominations for the 2015 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year.  The annual award recognizes an exceptional lawyer who has dedicated a significant portion of his or her career to public service.  Award recipients are lawyers who represent the highest level of professional and ethical standards and who are inspirational advocates for the public interest. The Public Law Section recognizes the award recipient at a reception held at the State Bar’s annual conference in the fall.

The 2014 award was given to San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick (pictured).  Other recent Public Lawyer of the Year Award honorees include: San Francisco Deputy City Attorney Burk E. “Buck” Delventhal (2013), Phyllis Cheng (2012), Richard Winnie (2011), Michael Colantuono (2010), Patricia Sturdevant (2009), Jeff Thom (2008), Ann Miller Ravel (2007), Clara Slifkin (2006), Manuela Albuquerque (2005), Roderick Walston (2004), Ariel Pierre Calonne (2003), Herschel Elkins (2002), and Jayne W. Williams (2001).

Nominations are due March 13, 2015. For more information on eligibility for the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award or to nominate a colleague or friend, click here.

Need MCLE? Check out the Public Law Section’s Catalog of Courses

A growing catalog of courses from the Public Law Section is available for purchase online. The programs offer participatory CLE credits. To view current offerings, see the Public Law Online Catalog.

Public Law JournalCheck out the Fall Public Law Journal

The Fall Public Law Journal is available online in the Members Only Area. Section members should have received the Journal via email. If not, you can click here.  Check out the following articles:

  • “‘Grandfathering’ of Emergency Medical Services under ‘Section 201’ of the Emergency Medical Services Act” by Derek Cole
  • “Community Choice Aggregation – An Alternative Way to Providing Electricity Service by Local Government” by Greg Stepanicich
  • “Leggo My Home Rule: Charter Cities and State Municipal Interference” by Catherine Ferguson
  • “To Ban or Not to Ban: How California Cities and Counties Can Effectively Regulate Oil and Gas Fracking Activity without the Risk of a Total Ban” by Dr. Robert H. Freilich & Neil M. Popowitz

California Public Records and Open Meetings Conference

UCLA Campus PhotoThe Public Law Section’s popular full-day conference returns on Friday, June 19, 2015 at UCLA in Los Angeles.  The conference will feature leading experts and counsel discussing the California Public Records Act and Open Meeting Laws.  Speakers include Michael Colantuono, Michael Jenkins, Christi Hogin, Ted Prim, Michelle Mitchell, and many others.  More details to come!

Public Law Section and California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) Mentoring Program is Recruiting

The Public Law Section and CYLA have implemented a new Mentoring Program.  If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor to a young lawyer, please contact Public Law Section Executive Committee Chair Scott Dickey at or Section Administrator Kristina Robledo at

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Online CLE & Podcasts Available for Public Law Section Programs

A growing catalog of courses from the Public Law Section is available for purchase online. The programs offer participatory CLE credits. To view current offerings, see the Public Law Online Catalog.

CEB Offers Discounts for Young Lawyers

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersGetting started in your career is exciting and challenging. CEB can help! You are eligible for all these offers if you were admitted to the State Bar of California within the last five years: (1) OnLAW® online library FREE for one year; (2) Discounts on practice books and forms; (3) Discounts on CLE programs and passports; and, (4) How-to-Guides FREE. To take advantage of these exciting offers, go to:

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

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