Public Law Section

News from the Section

Webinar: Which Writ for What

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

A webinar discussing Superior Court writ practice and procedure for the government practitioner.  Specifically, the webinar will discuss the various writs available to a civil practitioner and the different purposes and procedures of each writ.  The webinar will focus mainly on writs of mandate under CCP §1085 and administrative writs under CCP §1094.5 but will also touch on various other writs available in the Superior Court (e.g., writs of prohibition, writs of attachment, etc.).

Moderator: Kendall DeMatteo Levan

Speakers: Edward B. Kang and Joan S. Smyth

2017 California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference

Friday, May 19, 2017
UC Berkeley School of Law—Booth Auditorium
2770 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Earn 6 hours MCLE credit, including one hour in Legal Ethics!


Registration deadline is Friday, May 12, 2017.

Program Schedule | Essential Info | Printable Brochure | Mail/Fax Reg. Form 

Click here for all the details, including sponsors and speakers!

Save the Date June 2, 2017 for the Use of Force and Public Liability Conference

Public Law Section is proud to present the Use of Force and Public Liability Conference on June 2, 2017 at the University of Southern California. The keynote speaker for this event will be Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine, School of Law.

Check out the Fall 2016 Public Law Journal

Public Law Journal

Volume 39, Number 4 - Posted in the Members Only Area

Claire GibsonJohn AppelbaumScott DickeySylvia Torres GuillenMichaela GoldsteinChristopher WhitmanDonna Mooney

Look for the following features:

MCLE Self-Study Article:
Bid Problems Don’t Have to be Big Problems
Part Two: Managing Bid Protests

By Clare M. Gibson
This article is available in our online catalog for self-study MCLE credit.

Message from the Chair
By John Appelbum

Sylvia Torres-Guillén Honored as the 2016 Public Lawyer of the Year
By Scott Dickey

Remarks of the 2016 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient Sylvia Torres-Guillén
By Sylvia Torres-Guillén

Loyola Law School Student Michaela Goldstein Wins Public Law Student Writing Competition

The Anomalous Result: California Higher Education Student-on-Student Violence
By Michaela Goldstein

Four Members Appointed to the Public Law Section Executive Committe

Law School Events

Litigation & Case Law Update
By Christopher Whitman and Donna Mooney

On-line Billing and Payment for 2017 Fees

The State Bar will be launching  a new on-line billing and payment application for 2017 fees.  Paper billing statements will not be sent to members. Instead, statements will be available online through My State Bar Profile. Individual members will continue to be able to make payments online through My State Bar Profile. Attorneys should make sure that the email they have provided for State Bar communications is up to date.

Law firms and agencies will be able to use the State Bar’s new Agency Billing system where they can calculate billing costs and make payments for a group of attorneys.

Please be sure your Section Membership Fees are included in your payment.

Once an attorney’s fees are paid, a paper bar card will be conveniently available for download through My State Bar Profile. Plastic bar cards will still be made available, but only upon request and can also be ordered through My State Bar Profile.

The online billing system makes it easier than ever for individual attorneys and agencies to help make the justice system available to everyone.  When paying your bill, please consider making a contribution in support of legal services for low income Californians.  Your support is a lifeline that can help prevent homelessness, keep kids in school, protect elders from fraud and abuse, and connect veterans to services, among other critical legal assistance.

It is anticipated that the on-line agency and billing application will be available through the State Bar’s website by mid-December.

Go to for more information, or contact Member Records and Compliance at 1-888-800-3400.

Serve on the Public Law Section Executive Committee

Make a difference and network with other public law practitioners. Apply to serve on the executive committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California.

The deadline to submit applications for appointment to the Public Law Section executive committee is January 27, 2017. For more information visit:

Attention Law Students -- 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 was 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

We are seeking submissions from law students for the Public Law Section Student Writing Competition. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2017. The winner will be presented with the award at the Public Lawyer of the Year Reception in the fall.

  • Law students can submit a 2000-3000 word article about a public law topic.
  • Law students can write about and learn about an interesting public law topic of their choice.
  • Winner gets published – great for the resume.
  • Winner gets honored at a reception.
  • Winner gets $2000!
  • Winner gets to collaborate with a public law practitioner on final editing of article – an additional great learning experience.

Full information can be found here.

Need MCLE Credits?

Get instant access to high-quality public law courses by visiting the Public Law Section’s catalog of MCLEs. Self-study articles, streaming audio and video courses are available.

For more information visit: 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The Public Law Section thanks the sponsors of our law student and new lawyer Careers in Public Law panels and receptions.

  • Best Best & Krieger
  • McDougal Love Eckis Boehmer & Foley
  • Rutan & Tucker

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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 was 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 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.

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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