Public Law Section

News from the Section

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2015 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award

The Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California is pleased to announce the 2015 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award. Recently retired Chief Justice George’s name was added to the Public Lawyer of the Year Award in 2008 in recognition of his distinguished career dedicated to serving the public and longtime support of the Public Law Section. The Executive Committee is honored to invite members of the Public Law Section, the State Bar and the public at large to submit nominations for the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award for 2015. We have now posted the Nomination Form . For information about the award criteria, see Public Lawyer of the Year Award.  

Two Successful Receptions for New Lawyers and Students Held in San Francisco and San Diego in October

In October, the Public Law Section held two successful new lawyer and law student receptions, one at U.C. Hastings on October 14th and the other at the San Diego Office of Best, Best & Krieger LLP on October 16th.  We want to thank both outstanding panels for sharing their experiences, including the benefits of public service. We learned how these top practitioners got their start, the challenges they had to overcome, and the experience they look for when hiring, including pointers on seeking public-service related employment.  The panelists truly provided invaluable guidance to those present. As always, after the panel discussion, students had the opportunity to meet individually with the panelists.  Thanks again to the law firms of Renne Sloan, Holtzman, Sakai LLP, Burke, Williams & Sorenson, Best, Best & Krieger LLP and McDougal, Love, Eckis, Boehmer & Foley for their generous support and efforts.

(From Left to Right:  Tom Montgomery- San Diego County Counsel, Jan Goldsmith- San Diego City Attorney, Laura Duffy- United States Attorney, Cristina Talley- Best, Best & Krieger Attorney and Former City Attorney for Anaheim and Pasadena, and Morgan Foley- City Attorney for El Cajon/Coronado and Poway.)

(From Left to Right:  Counsel Elise Traynum- Moderator and U.C. Hastings General Counsel, Manuela Albuquerque- former Berkeley City Attorney and Partner at Burke, Williams & Sorenson, Eric Danly- City of Petaluma City Attorney, Scott Dickey- Of Counsel and Chair of the State Bar Public Law Section, George Gascon- San Francisco District Attorney, Melinda Haag- U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, and Donna Ziegler- County of Alameda County Counsel.)

New Lawyer and Law Student Reception to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 from 12:10-1:30 at the UCLA School of Law

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 12:10 - 1:30 p.m.
UCLA School of Law | Room 1420 | 385 Charles E. Young Dr. East| Los Angeles 90095

Join us for a lunch program for new lawyers and students pursuing public service careers!

The Public Law Section’s Executive Committee is hosting a lunch program at UCLA School of Law for new lawyers and students. Lunch is included. The panel will be moderated by Vice Dean Ann E. Carlson and panelists will discuss their own careers and the public service career path.

Please RSVP by February 2, 2015 HERE. For your convenience, we've provided a printable flyer for the event. We thank our event sponsors, Rutan & Tucker and Richards, Watson & Gershon.

Featured Panelists:

  • Stephanie Yonekura, United States Attorney
  • Michael Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney
  • Roxanne Diaz, Partner, Richards, Watson & Gershon
  • Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender
  • Bill Marticorena, Partner, Rutan & Tucker

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet influential public officials and private attorneys specializing in public law. Attendees who
qualify will also receive:

  • Free membership to the Public Law Section
  • 10% discount on CEB programs co-sponsored by the Public Law Section, as well as discounts on select CEB publications
  • Free subscription to the quarterly Public Law Journal, with MCLE credit available in each issue
  • Access to the Public Law Section’s Members Only pages of the State Bar website, including an archive of past issues of the Public Law Journal
  • E-news Public Law Section updates
  • MCLE programs offered at the State Bar Annual Meeting
  • Webinars and a self-study online catalog offering MCLE credits throughout the year
  • Discounted admission to the annual California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference

Webinar: Local Public Employee Discipline, Discharge, and Procedure: Avoiding Costly Mistakes

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

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

Sloppy disciplinary practices can have disastrous consequences. This program will provide a procedural overview of local public agency progressive discipline and discharge, along with practical advice for avoiding common mistakes that lead to costly litigation. Attendees will learn effective techniques to manage and document employees, including drafting meaningful performance reviews, investigating misconduct, and complying with procedural requirements which must be fulfilled before imposing progressive discipline and discharge. Obtain useful tips in managing difficult employees and properly documenting behavior.

Speaker: Samantha Zutler. Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen

Webinar: New California Sustainability Laws

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

Over the past decade, California has enacted a comprehensive set of laws and regulations that are transforming the economy.  This informative webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of such sustainability laws and regulations which have generated funding for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures in our buildings, and the implementation of clean transportation programs. With speaker Ted Senet and moderator David King.

The Public Law Section Is Seeking Entries for 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 is Seeking Applicants for Service on the Public Law Executive Committee

The Public Law Section is now accepting applications for 2015-2016 appointments to the Public Law Section Executive Committee.  The mission of the Public Law Section is to ensure that the laws relating to the function and operation of public agencies are clear, effective and serve the public interest; to advance public service through public law practice; and to enhance the effectiveness of public law practitioners.

The Public Law Section:

  • Focuses on administrative law, municipal law, open meeting laws, political law, education law, state and federal legislation, public employment, government contracts, tort liability and regulations, land use/environment issues, and public lawyer ethics;
  • Provides topical educational programs, conferences, seminars and resource materials;
  • works to enhance the recognition of, and participation by, public sector lawyers in the State Bar;
  • Presents its annual "Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year" award to public lawyers who have made significant and continuous contributions to the profession; and publishes the quarterly Public Law Journal;
  • Sponsors an annual Student Writing Competition, awarding the winning student a cash prize and publishing his or her article in the Public Law Journal.
Lawyers throughout California who can meet these requirements and who can make the time commitment are encouraged to apply.  Applications are due by February 2, 2015.  The term of new members will begin October 11, 2015 (at the Annual State Bar Meeting). 

If you have any questions, please contact Kristina Robledo at  For applications, please 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

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:

Contact Us

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

CLE Calendar
Join a Section
Sections Bookstore
My State Bar Profile
Online CLE
Self Study CLE Online
Sections Home Page
My State Bar Profile

Member Number


My State Bar Profile

Member Number