Public Law Section

News from the Section

The State Bar of California Honors Wendy Patrick as 2014 Public Lawyer of the Year

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick has been named the 2014 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section.

The award will be presented at a reception in September at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Public Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes Patrick as an exceptional lawyer who has dedicated her career to serving the public by prosecuting the most horrible types of crimes and to promoting legal ethics and improving the legal community.

“Wendy Patrick has spent her entire legal career serving the public, first as a Deputy Public Defender and then for the last 17 years as a Deputy District Attorney,” said David Hirsch, chair of the Public Law Section. “We received nominations of many truly exceptional public law attorneys this year. We are pleased and honored to name Wendy Patrick as California’s Public Lawyer of the Year.”

For more information, see Public Lawyer of the Year.

OASIS Senior CenterLeveraging Gender Differences to Eliminate Advancement Bias

Monday, June 23, 2014

OASIS Center
100 Civic Center Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625

5 - 7 p.m.
5 p.m. Check-in
5:30 p.m. Panel Discussion

Earn MCLE credit and network over wine and cheese

You must register in order to receive the 1.0 hour of MCLE

Join Best Best & Krieger and the City of Newport Beach, and sponsors OCAA and State Bar of California, at the OASIS Senior Center for a wine and cheese reception and one hour of "elimination of bias" MCLE-approved panel.

Men and women approach work relationships and the pursuit of leadership opportunities differently. This program will focus on how a legal office can accommodate and even leverage these differences in order to provide equal opportunity for training and advancing attorneys.

Led by Dr. Monica Stallings (author of "Reaching Up: The influence of gender, status, and relationship type on men's and women's network preferences"), this panel will focus on the elimination of gender bias in the law practice through:  

  • Understanding and accommodating gender differences in the way men and women form and maintain working relationships.
  • Providing equal opportunities to incubate professional leadership.
  • Providing women and men equal pathways to success that take into account the distinct challenges inherent to each gender.


Keynote Panelist:
Monica Mullick Stallings, PhD., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Cynthia L. Henson, Lead Consultant, Henson Consulting Group
Craig Brown, Principal Consultant, LawVision
Sandra Schwartzmann, Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Santa Ana
Ruby Dunek, Retired, 30 years in Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing Management

Moderator: Scott Smith, Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Please click here to RSVP. You must register in order to receive the 1.0 hour of MCLE.

Webinar: Public Ethics on Trial: Where Public Service and Criminal Law Meet?

WebinarWednesday, June 25, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

This program explores ethical issues confronting public officials and their counsel, as examined through the real-life drama of high-profile Los Angeles corruption cases. Attorneys will learn where ethical boundaries exist and how best to advise their public clients.

Speaker: Max Huntsman

Moderator: John Appelbaum

WebinarWebinar: It's Elementary, Dear Watson: Essentials of Workplace Investigations

Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

This session will cover the obligations of managers to investigate complaints, principles for conducting adequate and lawful investigations, proper documentation of an investigation, and its role in employment litigation. With speakers Traci I. Park and Kelly Trainer.

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 10

The Present State of the Law and the Future of Affirmation Action

Program 85

The Case Against the Supreme Court

Program 86

Leading by Example: Ethical Issues for Public Agency Attorneys

Program 95

California’s Brown Act: An Overview of the Open Meeting Law

Program 96

Regulatory Takings: The Effects of Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Program 126

Walking Through the Minefield of Non-Commercial Sign Regulation

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

WebinarWebinar: Keep Calm and Update Your Status: Emerging Trends in Social Media

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

This session will focus on employment law issues related to social media, including employee privacy, cybervetting and hiring practices, employee discipline, free speech and use of social medial evidence in litigation. With speakers Traci I. Park and Kelly Trainer.

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

2014 Student Writing Competition

The Public Law Section 2014 Student Writing Competition is accepting submissions.  The Competition is open to all students at California-accredited law schools.  The winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize, transportation and hotel expenses for two nights at the State Bar Annual meeting in September where the winner will be recognized at an awards reception, and publication in the Public Law Journal.  More information is available at Student Writing Competition. The deadline for submissions is May 12, 2014.

Congratulations again to Jennifer Lai, winner of last year’s Student Writing Competition for her paper “California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) Reform: Standing As A Tool To Limit Cases Unrelated To CEQA’s Purpose.” Lai is a student at USC Gould School of Law. Ms. Lai has previously interned with the San Francisco City Planning Department and the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club. She is interested in pursuing environmental/land use law after graduation.

Public Law Section and California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) Mentoring Program Coming Soon!

The Public Law Section is in the process of instituting a new Mentoring Program in Conjunction with CYLA.  If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering, please contact Public Law Section Executive Committee Chair David Hirsch at or Public Law Section Coordinator Kristina Robledo at

Public Law Journal – Available Online

The Winter 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.

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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.

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 Public Law 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

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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