Public Law Section

News from the Section

The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting
September 29 - October 2, 2016
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

San Diego, California

Early Bird Pre-Regsitration and Hotel Registration Deadline: August 30, 2016 
Pre-Registration Deadline: September 8, 2016

The State Bar of California returns to beautiful San Diego for the 2016 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a multi-day 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 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.

Register by August 30, 2016 to take advantage of preferred pricing. Your registration includes:

  • 111 MCLE courses 
  • Up to 19 Hours of MCLE and Legal Specialization credit 
  • Dynamic Opening Day and Closing Day General Sessions 
  • Free Networking Lunch, Morning Coffee Breaks and Evening Happy Hours in the Exhibit Hall 
  • Social events hosted by the State Bar and its various Sections, local bar associations and law school alumni groups

The Section will be presenting:

Program 9

Avoiding Costly Mistakes in Public Agency Hiring and Drug Testing

Program 18

Effectively Navigating Adjudicative Hearings Under California’s Administrative Procedure Act

Program 19

Federal and State Regulation of Sex and Labor Trafficking

Program 28

Kicked to the Curb: Tree Root and Sidewalk Liability Made Easy

You can REGISTER ONLINE until September 8. For full information, see The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting.

Silvia Torres-Guillén, Special Counsel to Governor Brown, Named the 2016 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year

Sylvia Torres-Guillén, Special Counsel to the Office of the Governor, has been named the 2016 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section.

Torres-Guillén will be honored at a reception in September during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Public Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes Torres-Guillén as an exceptional attorney who has dedicated a significant portion of her career to public service.

“Sylvia Torres-Guillén is an exemplary public lawyer and wholly deserving of this award,” said Elizabeth G. Pianca, chair of the Public Law Section.  “Throughout her career, Ms. Torres-Guillén has served the public, both as a lawyer and educator, mentoring young lawyers for careers in public service.  From her early days of coaching criminal defense attorneys in trial techniques to her dedication to the protection of farm worker rights, Ms. Torres-Guillén embodies the mission of the Public Law section of the State Bar.  The Executive Committee is proud to honor her with the 2016 Public Lawyer of the Year Award.”

For a full biography of Torres-Guillén, see the press release about the award. For past recipients, see Public Lawyer of the Year.

Public Law Section Student Writing Competition

2016 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition Winner Announced

Congratulations to Michaela Goldstein of Loyola Law School! She is the winner of the 2016 Public Law Section’s Student Writing Competition. Ms. Goldstein’s article, The Anomalous Result: California Higher Education Student-on-Student Violence, will appear in a future edition of the Public Law Journal. Ms. Goldstein will be recognized at the Public Lawyer of the Year Awards Reception at The State Bar Annual Meeting in San Diego on September 30, 2016.

2017 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition

Win a $2,000 cash prize, get published in the Public Law Journal, and win a trip to the 2017 State Bar Annual Meeting! Deadline: Spring 2017 (date to be determined)

The California State Bar Public Law Section will seek 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 the fall of 2017 where the winner will be recognized at an awards reception; and publication in the Public Law Journal. Check back soon for a link to the 2017 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition. For more information, click here!

Public Law JournalCheck out the Spring 2016 Public Law Journal

The Spring 2016 Public Law Journal, Volume 39, Number 2, is available online in the Members Only Area. Section members should have received the Journal via email.

Look for the following features:

Gideon KrakovJordan R. SissonElizabeth PiancaCheryl A. LeanzaJoseph Van EatonLeonie Mulvihill with Dennis D. O'NeilJohn AppelbaumBonnie MalyEugene Park

MCLE Self-Study Article:
A Tax by Another Name: Beware of Excessive Fees Included in Exclusive Waste Hauling Franchise Contracts
By Gideon Kracov and Jordan R. Sisson

Message from the Chair
By Elizabeth G. Pianca

Weaving Together the Strands of Big Data Policy and Practice in Local Government
By Cheryl A. Leanza* and Joseph Van Eaton

Profiles in Public Law: An Interview With Dennis D. O’Neil
By Leonie Mulvihill

The Public Law Section Hosts Two Dynamic Conferences
By John M. Appelbaum

Kirby v. County of Fresno: Can a City or County Make It a Crime to Cultivate or Use Medical Marijuana?
By Bonnie C. Maly

Litigation & Case Law Update
By Eugene Park

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

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Join Us on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up-to-date on our latest news and events by joining us on Facebook at and following us on Twitter at

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:


The State Bar of California and the Public Law Section are approved State Bar of California MCLE providers.

Contact Us

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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