Sessions: Check out the sessions | Annual Meeting

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Thursday, September 21, 2023

9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Quest For Justice (featuring Bryan Stevenson)

Bryan Stevenson

1.25 Hours MCLE

Bryan Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and author of the critically acclaimed book Just Mercy. Mr. Stevenson has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating more than 125 wrongly condemned death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

Mr. Stevenson has initiated new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including major projects to educate communities about racial segregation. His work fighting poverty and challenging the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards.

We know CLA members will be deeply inspired by one of the world’s most influential people. A man referred to by Desmond Tutu as America’s young Nelson Mandela – Bryan Stevenson.

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Mr. Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the United States Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-imprisonment-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced. Mr. Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge inequality in America. He led the creation of two highly acclaimed cultural sites which opened in 2018: the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. These new national landmark institutions chronicle the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, and the connection to mass incarceration and contemporary issues of racial bias.

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | A Conversation With the Chief Justice of California, Patricia Guerrero

Patricia Guerrero

0.5 Hours MCLE

Join us for a conversation with the Chief Justice of California, Patricia Guerrero.

Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero is the 29th Chief Justice of California. She was sworn into office on January 2, 2023, making history as the first Latina to serve as California’s Chief Justice. She was nominated to office by Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2022. When she first joined the California Supreme Court as an associate justice in March 2022, Chief Justice Guerrero was also the first Latina to serve on the state’s high court.

In her first State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Guerrero highlighted her commitment to a more diverse and inclusive judicial branch, as well as technology that helped preserve access to justice for Californians during the pandemic. She has also adopted the Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative and has been active in the “Judges in the Classroom” civics program, which engages schools and encourages students to learn about the role of the judiciary.

Prior to being elevated to the California Supreme Court, Chief Justice Guerrero served as an associate justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One since December 2017. Before her appellate appointment, she served as a judge at the Superior Court of San Diego County from 2013 to 2017, and was the supervising judge of its Family Law Division in 2017.

Chief Justice Guerrero is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and was born and raised in California’s Imperial Valley. She attended the University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate and earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School.

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Networking Lunch – Get to Know the CLA Sections & Committees

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

A Year in Review: Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Ethics; Legal Specialization in Legal Malpractice

This program covers the more significant developments over the past year in legal ethics and professional responsibility. You will hear from members of the Ethics Committee of the California Lawyers Association on recent case law, rule changes, and advisory opinions that may impact your practice and risk management procedures.


  • Dianne Jackson McLean, Goldfarb & Lipman LLP
  • Suzanne Burke Spencer, Sall Spencer Callas & Krueger
  • Neil Wertlieb, Wertlieb Law Corp.
Navigating State and Federal Tax Controversy and Litigation

1.25 Hours MCLE; Legal Specialization in Taxation

The panel will go over the basics of taking a tax dispute through the administrative and legal processes on both the federal and state levels. The panel will cover how to file, resources available, and jurisdiction of the different taxing agencies.


  • Adria Price, Price & Associates, Attorneys At Law
  • Jackie Zumaeta, Franchise Tax Board, State of California
Recent Developments in Trusts and Estates

1.25 Hours MCLE; Legal Specialization in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate

Patrick A. Kohlmann and Vivian L. Thoreen will review recent developments that are most pertinent and relevant to trust and estate attorneys. This includes selected cases of interest and selected legislation of importance recently chaptered.


  • Vivian L. Thoreen, Holland & Knight
  • Patrick A. Kohlmann, Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann
What’s Trending in California Commercial Real Estate – Fall 2023 Edition

1.25 Hours MCLE

Commercial spaces are emptier, interest rates are rising, and news outlets are reporting a “credit crunch”. This panel – prepared for the newly-admitted attorney but helpful to all lawyers – will discuss what these factors might mean for the California commercial real estate market – from the tenant, landlord and lender perspective. In anticipation of more mergers and acquisitions activity, we’ll also discuss what needs to happen to transfer commercial leases when one business acquires another business. We’ll provide a step-by-step playbook for assigning or subleasing a lease or lease portfolio as part of a larger business acquisition.


  • J.J. Sherman, Law Offices of J.J .Sherman, P.C.
  • Holden Stein, Fathom Law PC
Law School Track #1: California Lawyers Association (CLA) 101

Did you know that the California Lawyers Association (CLA) offers FREE membership to students? As a member, students can attend educational and networking events at no cost and join up to 3 sections for free. CLA offers scholarships, internships, fellowships, a robust career center, student writing competition, training to assist with publications and e-briefs, and leadership roles within the association. There are also ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities for students, including; summer mixers and webinars to learn more about pathways into the various fields of the law. Participating in the association and connecting with attorney experts in various fields of the law could help you explore and refine your career options, and land your next internship or job! As a thought partner to these sections, you could be the next attorney influencer!

Learn more about the California Lawyers Association dynamic 18 sections that cover different law practice areas, legislative advocacy, membership benefits for students, and leadership roles and opportunities. A panel of members will discuss their leadership roles within the association and offer insight into how you can chart your own path within the association and future legal career.

  • Josh Bonnici, Managing Attorney Bonnici Law Group
  • Toni Jaramilla, Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation
  • Gladys Valentine, Initiatives Manager, California Lawyers Association

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Fostering Associate Growth Is the Best Way to Grow Your Practice

1.25 Hours MCLE

In today’s marketplace, experienced attorneys struggle to incorporate business development activities into an already active practice inundated with client demands. Top that with record high numbers of associates quitting and investing in genuine and meaningful relationships with the associates in your firm has never been more important. In this workshop we discuss the importance of associate development as well as ways to create a climate of inclusion that generates loyalty from your associates, expands your book of business, and ultimately improves your firm.


  • Lana Manganiello, Equinox Strategy Partners
  • Jonathan R. Fitzgarrald, Equinox Strategy Partners
Independent Workplace Investigations and The Attorney-Client Privilege

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Ethics

When attorneys conduct workplace investigations, the attorney-client privilege may apply. Advocates differ regarding this. Some believe it is essential (for example, to protect privacy rights) while others believe it influences investigators and undermines neutrality. This panel will explore these questions in the context of the ethical obligations that apply.


  • Amy Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer Investigations Group LLP
  • Latika Malkani, Siegel LeWitter Malkani
  • Timothy Davis, Burke Williams Sorensen
What Lawyers Can Learn from Actors

1.25 Hours MCLE

Whether in the courtroom or the boardroom, lawyers must communicate effectively. In this interactive program, you will learn how to use acting skills and techniques to connect with your audience and get better results for your clients.


  • Alan Blumenfeld, Act of Communication
  • Katherine James, Act of Communication
  • Sidney Kanazawa, Esq., ARC
The Jurisprudence and Legacy of California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin
Ming Chin

1.25 Hours MCLE

Bob Egelko, a legal affairs reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, who spent 30 years with the Associated Press, will interview recently retired Associate Justice Ming Chin about his career, his jurisprudence, and his legacy. This program should be of interest to all attorneys and will provide insights into the workings of the California Supreme Court and the significant decisions during Justice Chin’s 24 years on the California Supreme Court.

This session includes an introduction from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero.


  • Retired Justice Ming Chin
  • Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle
Law School Track #2: Design Your Future as a California Lawyer

What is the lifestyle of a corporate attorney? How do I choose a practice area of law? What are the differences between working at a small or large law firm, private or public sector? What cases and clients do government attorneys have? What training and courses are employers looking for in my resume? How do I start my own solo law practice? What is the pathway to become a judge or a professor of law? These are all common questions law students have as they prepare for their future career within a changing work landscape. Join us and connect with a panel of attorneys, some of the most highly regarded leaders in their legal field, who can answer these questions and help you design your future as California attorney! Panelists will share their personal journey to success within their field and provide an overview of “things to consider” when choosing a practice area, an employer, and how to prepare as a law student to enter the field of your choice.

  • Josh Bonnici, Managing Attorney Bonnici Law Group
  • Jerrilyn Malana, San Diego County District Attorney
  • Tristan Higgins, Metaclusive
  • Abiel Garcia, Kesselman Brantly Stockinger LLP

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Opening Night Reception in the Expo

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | California Women Lawyers Annual Dinner (Marriott Marquis Hotel)

CWL 2023 Annual Dinner: Fired Up: What are you fighting for? Keynote speaker: Hon. Kelli M. Evans, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, and 2023 Fay Stender Award Honoree Gloria Allred, founding partner, Allred, Maroko, and Goldberg

CWL is excited to announce registration for our 2023 Annual Dinner is now open. Our Annual Dinner will be at the San Diego Marriott Marquis, September 21. This year’s annual dinner theme – Fired Up: What Are You Fighting For? – reflects the times we’re living in. From continuing attacks on reproductive rights and hateful anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to misguided book bans and tragic gun violence, there are plenty of issues motivating women to stand up and speak out.

For additional event details or to register, please visit here.

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Optional Dine Around (Little Italy/Gaslamp)

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Friday, September 22, 2023

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. | Health and Wellness Activity

Join Jeena Cho, co-author of the best-selling book, The Anxious Lawyer, for a powerful 30-minute mindfulness session tailed just for lawyers. Release stress and anxiety while cultivating joy and a sense of belonging. You’ll learn to relax, embody presence, and navigate challenging thoughts and emotions through meditation and mindfulness practices. Nurture resilience and foster gratitude to enhance your well-being and build connections within the legal community. Prioritize self-care and discover the transformative power of mindfulness in just 30 minutes.

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast in the Expo

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | A Conversation with Trial Lawyer Camille Vasquez — Interview by CLA President Jeremy Evans

Camille Vasquez

1.25 Hours MCLE

Hear from trial lawyer extraordinaire, Camille Vasquez, about her role in some of the most-watched trials of the 21st century. These trials showed her skills as a litigator and negotiator, and captured the hearts and minds of the American people and the legal profession. Ms. Vasquez will share insights on how she approaches her cases for success, and talk about how her own pathway to being an under-40 lawyer representing high-profile clientele on defamation claims and other matters.

Speaker: Camille M. Vasquez, Brown Rudnick LLP
Moderator: Jeremy Evans, CLA President

Camille Vasquez is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group and co-chair of the Firm’s Brand & Reputation Management group. Her current practice focuses on plaintiff-side defamation suits, with additional experience litigating contract disputes, business-related torts, and employment-related claims. Camille is adept at formulating offensive and defensive litigation strategies for private clients. She also has extensive experience handling parallel reputation management and crisis communications issues arising from these engagements. Prior to joining Brown Rudnick, Camille was an attorney at a national firm in Los Angeles.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Pathways to Justice


Diversifying the profession and our bench is critical for all Californians. Join this Judicial Council session where panelists will share their paths to the bench, explain the role of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), discuss the current status of diversity in the judiciary, and provide insights into the judicial appointments process.

Moderator: Hon. Victor A. Rodriguez, Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three and Co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness


  • Hon. Erica R. Yew (she/her) – President of the California Judges Association, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
  • Justin A. Palmer (he/him) – Chair, State Bar JNE Commission
  • Luis Céspedes, Judicial Appointments Secretary in the Office of the Governor
Roots of Racism Series – Our Hispanic and Latinx Communities

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Elimination of Bias

CLA’s Racial Justice Committee in partnership with San Diego La Raza Lawyer Association presents an installment of CLA’s series on the Roots of Racism. We consider the laws, events, and conditions underlying racism and inequalities for our Hispanic and Latinx communities, the impact of systemic racism on those communities today, and the personal experiences and revelations of our speakers.


  • Professor Maria Linda Ontiveros, University of San Francisco School of Law 
  • Hon. Magdalena Reyes Bordeaux, United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California
  • Hon. Victor Torres, San Diego Superior Court Family Division
  • Erubey Lopez, Law Office of Erubey Lopez
Trends in “Greenwashing” Litigation

1.25 Hour MCLE

This program will analyze emerging trends in consumer and government litigation challenging environmental marketing claims. A diverse panel of expert practitioners — local and federal government attorneys, as well as private counsel — will discuss recent litigation, enforcement actions, and policy initiatives in this area. The program is intended to give attorneys a basic primer on consumer protection claims concerning environmental marketing.

Moderator: Aaron Chiu, Latham & Watkins LLP


  • Christina Tusan, Partner, Hammond Law
  • Camille Sippel, Attorney, Client Earth
  • Siobhan Amin, FTC
  • Surya Kundu, Steptoe
  • Eric A. Rivas, Latham & Watkins LLP
What You Don’t Know (and Need to Know) About the Government Claims Act

1.25 Hours MCLE

Presentation of claims for damages to public entities has been described as a trap for the unwary. Learn how to avoid the trap in this program on the intricacies of claim presentation under the Government Claims Act. Learn the challenges to overcome when presenting and litigating government claims, as well as the latest developments in case law and statutory amendments. If you sue or defend public entities, come join us.


  • Daniel P. Barer, Pollak, Vida & Barer
  • Shirley R. Sullinger, Deputy Attorney General, CA Attorney General’s Office

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Business Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon

You are invited to a lunch featuring a side of inspiration as the Business Law Section presents and honors the recipient of the Business Law Lifetime Achievement Award!

2023 Business Law Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient John F. Hartigan

John F. Hartigan is a partner in the Los Angeles Office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius where he advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, broker-dealer, investment advisor and securities law issues, and SEC enforcement matters. He has represented private equity funds, financial institutions, public and private companies and government entities. He also represents boards of directors and special committees in complex business transactions, corporate governance, sensitive internal investigations, responses to corporate activists and government investigations. He led the independent reviews of Drexel, Burnham, Lambert and other entities pursuant to their settlements with the SEC and other regulators. Learn more about John Hartigan here.

Moving Cannabis into the Business and Professions Code
Jessica C. McElfresh

In 2010, Jessica C. McElfresh of McElfresh Law, Inc. began practicing cannabis law in San Diego County with two goals: keep her clients out of criminal court and turn them into permitted operations with licenses posted on the wall.  Thirteen years later, she has helped numerous clients open legal cannabis businesses – and equally satisfying, Ms. McElfresh has kept many clients out of criminal court.  What she never expected was that she herself would wind up in state criminal court – in the defendant’s chair – alongside clients representing them.  Ms. McElfresh came out the other side – still representing cannabis businesses and with a renewed passion for the legal profession.

Through Ms. McElfresh’s story, learn about the journey of California’s cannabis industry from not-for-profit collectives clinging to an affirmative defense to criminal laws, to state-licensed and locally permitted businesses – and why she believes that attorneys and attorney-client privilege have been instrumental in California and the nation’s gradual journey to take cannabis beyond criminal law.

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Bankruptcy Pitfalls for Non-Bankruptcy Attorneys

1.25 Hours MCLE

Whether you are litigating a real estate case, in the middle of a divorce or a personal injury matter, workers compensation claim, or other employment litigation, attorneys need to know how bankruptcy may impact their cases. Bankruptcy has ramifications for settlement language when settling cases that could ultimately affect the ability to collect on a judgment, and there are potential malpractice pitfalls for the unwary that must be avoided. Additionally, the panel will discuss when a bankruptcy can help clients avoid continued litigation, how to back up a “reasonable settlement offer” with the appropriate exemption law, and analysis of what will be left over for creditors in a hypothetical bankruptcy, especially when the well has run dry!


  • R. Grace Rodriguez, Esq., Certified Bankruptcy Specialist Cal. Bar
  • Summer Shaw, Managing Attorney at Shaw & Hanover, PC
  • Kit Gardner, Law Offices of Kit J. Gardner
Human Trafficking and Corporate Compliance

1.25 Hours MCLE

This program will offer practitioners the latest information about federal, state and local initiatives to eliminate human trafficking. Attendees will hear how their business clients can best comply with anti-trafficking legislation and help to stop the practice of modern slavery.

Moderator: Payal Sinha, Tahirih Justice Center


  • Patrick Miller, Founding Attorney Impact Advocates
  • Shanish Aloor, Deputy District Attorney, San Diego Workplace Lead Prosecutor
Competency: Reaching Out When Times Get Tough

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Competence Issues

In this compelling presentation, you will learn about pressures and circumstances that foster substance use and abuse in the legal profession, how to recognize use and abuse of alcohol and other substances and why lawyers are prone to substance use disorders and mental health concerns.

Speaker: Greg Dorst, The Other Bar

Who Wrote This? AI and Aye Aye Aye

1.25 Hours MCLE

Join us for a panel discussion on what AI means for corporations, consumers and media companies. Panelists will discuss what the potential impacts are to intellectual property protections, data, private information and the likely implications of the notions of authorship


  • Ian C. Ballon, Co-Chair, Global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group
  • Relani Belous, Principal and Founder, Belous Law Corporation

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

What’s Next? Making Your Next Career Move in a Post-Pandemic World


Many attorneys are considering changing jobs. Some are concerned about law firms’ requirements to increase time in the office as hybrid and remote work options diminish. Other lawyers are affected by economic downturn with some firms cutting associates. Newer lawyers are particularly affected by these changes as many of them started their legal careers during the pandemic. This panel will share personal experiences and practical tips about recent career moves and discuss current trends in attorney job placement.


  • Dee Dee Dickey, Dickey Coaching & Consulting 
  • Paige Samblanet, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
  • Kate Reder Sheikh, Major, Lindsey & Africa
  • Jake Zindulka, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc
Roundtable: Global Perspectives on Legal Technology

1.25 Hours MCLE

A panel of attorneys from Asia, Europe and North America will discuss the uses of new technology in the courts and legal practices of their countries. Gain insights on the latest uses of legal technology from attorneys who are practicing in other parts of the world.

Moderator: Robert Bowen, Export and Trade Compliance Counsel at ServiceNow


  • Nuhad Ponce Kuri, Founding Partner of the Ponce Kuri Law Firm, Mexico City. President, National Association of Business Lawyers, Mexico (ANADE)
  • Jiri Novak, Partner, Sokol, Novák, Trojan, Doleček, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Nguyen Thi Thuy Huong (Rosie), Partner, Nguyen Van Hau & Associates. Head of Foreign Relations and Cooperation Department of the Vietnam Lawyers’ Commercial Arbitration Center (VLCAC), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The ABC’s of Beer, Spirits, and Wine Law in California

1 Hour MCLE

Come join us and learn about beer, spirits, and wine law in California including local and federal regulations, industry trends, and common pitfalls in the beverage industry. After the panel, panelists and program participants will head out onto the terrace for a networking mixer.

Moderator: Jeremy Evans, CLA President


  • Albert Ubieta, BALLAST POINT
  • Mark Kersey, Cask & Coast
  • Bahaneh Hobel, Partner, Head of Alcohol Beverage Law & Compliance, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty
  • Matthew Botting, California Department of Beverage Control

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

  • New Lawyers Section Reception | 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm | SAPPHIRE BALLROOM SOUTH TERRACE
  • Family Law Section Reception | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | COBALT MEETING ROOM 501A
  • Workers’ Compensations Awards | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | SAPPHIRE BALLROOM M
  • Litigation Section Awards Reception | 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm | COBALT MEETING ROOM 501B
  • International Law and Immigration Section Awards Reception | 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm | ELEVATION ROOM
  • Public Law Section Awards Reception | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm | SAPPHIRE MEETING ROOM 400A

6:40 p.m. | Padres Baseball Game Hispanic Heritage Night

Experience baseball, San Diego style! Join your colleagues attending Annual Meeting for a fun night at Petco Park and watch the Padres take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Limited tickets are available for nine innings of fun. All are welcome — friends, family, and of course lawyers! Pack your glove and reserve your seat today! (Exclusive to Annual Meeting attendees)

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Optional Dine Around – Island Hopper Night (Coronado via Boat Shuttle)

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Saturday, September 23, 2023

7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. | Health and Wellness Activity

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | AI and Machine Learning from Back of the Napkin Sketch to Rovers on Mars: Issues to Consider for Attorneys, the Legal Profession, and Beyond! (featuring Dr. Chris Mattmann)

Dr. Chris Mattman

1.25 Hours MCLE

To harness the power of AI (Artificial Intelligence), lawyers will need to understand what it is and how to use it. Dr. Chris Mattmann will explain how JPL’s Chief Technology and Innovation Office explores and researches AI, Analytics, and Innovation in the Information Technology and Solutions Directorate (ITSD) supports initiatives including advanced analytics, AI and Machine Learning for Smarter Rovers, and a Smarter Campus. He will also discuss what lawyers need to know about extraordinary advances in AI that are fundamentally reshaping the landscape for legal services, and what to anticipate as AI technologies advance even further. Don’t miss this cutting edge program!

Moderator: Osha Meserve

Speaker: Chris Mattmann, Ph.D. International Expert in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Author of Machine Learning with TensorFlow, 2nd edition

Chris Mattmann, International Expert in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Author of Machine Learning with TensorFlow 2nd edition; Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, his work has helped the world explore space, and helped journalists and governments track international financial crime amongst the world’s elite across the globe. He is best known for a 20-year career inventing the most downloaded software on the planet creating technology that powers all the data systems in the industry. Tika, the “digital babel fish” is the key technology that solved the Panama Papers and won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 2017.

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

2023 Family Law Year In Review

1.25 Hours MCLE; Legal Specialization in Family Law

The Family Law Section will provide a detailed review of the most compelling and impactful cases for the 2023 year presented by a judicial officer.

Speaker: Hon. Mark Juhas, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

The Successful Law Firm and Its Healthy Ecosystem: The Confluence of Strategy, Operations, Technology, and Total Rewards

1.25 Hours MCLE

Great law firms are intentional about their strategy, technology, operations, and how they care for their people. In short, the healthy law firm does not happen by accident! During this interactive workshop you will hear how start-up/small firms scaled to become thriving middle market firms, while another middle market firm has remained constant in the marketplace. Law Firm leaders will learn tips and tricks to overcome challenges and maximize productivity/profitability without sacrificing their firm’s overall health!


  • Angel Casarez, Managing Partner WC Law Corp
  • Josh Driskell, Managing Partner, Lagerlof
  • Corey Castillo, COO, Lagerlof
  • Jared Little, Bolton Insurance, Vice-Chair CLA Law Practice Management & Technology Executive Committee
  • Joy Murao, Founder, Practice Aligned Resources, Chair CLA Law Practice Management & Technology Executive Committee
Better Lawyering Through Mindfulness

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Competence Issues

In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn: The latest research on lawyer burnout, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and other issues lawyers face. Understanding the physiology of the stress response. How mindfulness can decrease distraction and increase productivity Practical mindfulness practices you can incorporate into your day to return to homeostasis. Using mindfulness to overcome feelings of self-doubt and negative thought patterns. Mindfulness strategies for breaking the negativity bias.

Speaker: Jeena Cho

Potent Privacy Perspicacities

1.25 Hours MCLE

The world of privacy law has had a tumultuous past few years and shows no sign of stabilizing. There are a myriad of state laws, both passed and emerging, that will test the most competent of any corporate compliance counsel. This is, of course, against the backdrop of a potential comprehensive federal privacy law, or at the very least, a dramatic strengthening of existing federal privacy laws. This panel will focus on the most surprising developments with takeaways fitting for individuals through corporate counsel.


  • Cody Venzke, Senior Policy Counsel, Surveillance, Privacy, Technology, ACLU
  • Brett Cook, Lead Security Counsel, Privacy and Security, ServiceNow
  • Paul Lanois, Global Cybersecurity, Data Privacy and Corporate Counsel 
  • Sheri Porath Rockwell, Counsel – Sidley Austin LLP 
Worker (Mis)classification: Industry Trends and Impact, Franchising and Other Models

1.25 Hours MCLE

Following Dynamex, the passage of AB5, and Proposition 22, California has fundamentally altered the landscape for classifying workers as employees, independent contractors, or “hybrid” workers. New laws are also on the horizon in the “fast food” industry to expand worker protections, as well as franchisee and franchisor liability. This presentation analyzes recent and pending legislation and case law in a discussion about developing trends in worker classification and expansion of employer responsibility, including the impact on franchising and other business models. The program will introduce non-employment law practitioners to worker misclassification law, and provide intermediate level discussion for business and employment attorneys.


  • Emily Patajo, Epstein Becker Green
  • Jessica Rosen, Lewitt Hackman
  • Timothy G. Williams, Berger & Williams
  • Doug Luther, Luther Lanard PC

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | CJA/CLA Joint Swearing-in Ceremony

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Protecting or Piercing the Corporate Veil

1.25 Hours MCLE

Individuals often hire lawyers to set up corporations or limited liability companies to avoid personal liability for the entities’ activities. However, the “corporate veil” that protects the individual owner can be broken, leading to the owner’s personal or “alter ego” liability. Looking at case law developments, we will break down the elements of alter ego liability and consider how to minimize this risk when setting up and advising businesses. We then will look at litigation strategies and approaches to advancing an alter ego claim or protecting a client from that claim.


  • Rachelle Cohen, Valensi Rose, PLC
  • Reza Gharakhani, Rostow & Auster LLP
Hate Crimes: What It Is, What Is Prosecutable and How to Defend in State and Federal Courts

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Elimination of Bias; Legal Specialization in Criminal Law

There has been an increase in Hate Crimes and Incidents in California and across this nation. This program will explain who are being targeted, whether based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation/identity and other protected class protections under our state and federal constitutions.

Moderator: Lei-Chala I. Wilson, NAACP San Diego


  • Alicia P Williams. Esq., Assistant US Attorney (Federal prosecutor – Hate Crimes Coalition)
  • Matthew Brown, Anti-Defamation League (Anti-Semitic concerns)
  • Ashanti Z Smith, Esq., San Diego Deputy Public Defender (County defense attorney)
  • Abigail Dillon, Esq., San Diego Deputy District Attorney (County prosecutor)
Emerging Topics in Alternative Dispute Resolution

1.25 Hours MCLE

This session will cover hot topics with a panel of five practicing ADR professionals, both an introduction for counsel with little experience and a helpful review for those who want to learn more about new developments in the field.

Moderator: Serena K. Lee


  • David Coher, Coher ADR
  • Jeffery Daar, Daar & Newman
  • Bob Gaglione, Gaglione ADR Group
  • Kristin Rizzo, Judicate West
  • Elsa Sardinha, Vancouver International Arbitration Centre 
Can ChatGPT Do That? How to Embed Human Values into AI: A Lawyer’s Guide to Privacy, Ethics and Software Development

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Ethics

This expert panel consisting of a computer scientist, communications law professor and privacy lawyer will discuss (1) emerging data privacy laws impacting the use of AI products and services in the US and globally; (2) regulations of the use of automated decision-making and digital surveillance; and (3) how businesses can embed human values and ethics into AI-powered software. Attendees will receive a practical set of guidelines to use when evaluating and advising on AI.


  • Jeeyun (Sophia) Baik, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of San Diego
  • Serge Egelman, Research Director, International Computer Science Institute, University of California at Berkeley
  • Jeewon Kim Serrato, Partner and Digital Transformation and Data Economy Practice Co-Lead, BakerHostetler
Happy Now? How to Use Your Humanity to Leverage Your Brand, Increase Diversity & Wellness and Reduce Bias in Your Practice

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Implicit Bias

Our humanity may be our greatest asset as a lawyer. It can almost be seen as our superpower. How can we use our humanity to grow our legal career, bring about wellness and diversity and reduce bias? Everyone has biases. It’s natural. While we might recognize some of our own explicit biases, the unconscious nature of our biases makes them easier to ignore. Unfortunately, ignoring our biases impacts not only our practice success, but our entire life and reputation. It also makes it very hard to create and thrive in a diverse legal practice. When we are able to take our humanity to recognize our own biases using our brand, and those of others, we can be in control of changing systematic biases within our workplace and society, allowing for a practice that grows with ease and flow and leaves us as happy and healthy lawyers.

Speaker: Katy Goshtasbi, CEO and Founder Puris Consulting

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch in the Expo (Exhibitor/Sponsor Raffle)

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | CJA/CLA President’s Fireside Chat

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

DIY Client Trust Accounting — A Hands-On Session!

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Ethics; Legal Specialization in Legal Malpractice

Join us in a hands-on practical session to trust accounting. We will focus on understanding the fundamentals of trust accounting, basic terms, and functions such as performing three-way reconciliations, ensuring what to test with trust accounting software, and avoiding common errors.


  • Jennifer Stalvey, State Bar of California
  • Hellen Hong, CEO Cal Bar Affinity, Inc.
Opportunities for Climate Resiliency Projects Under the Inflation Reduction Act — What Lawyers Need to Know

1.25 Hours MCLE

The IRA provides an incredible opportunity to advance and implement game-changing climate and conservation programs, and provides a steady 10-year framework to maximize benefits for individuals, local governments, nonprofits, and businesses. This panel will discuss IRS guidance, rebates, tax credits, and bonus incentives, as well the important role philanthropy must play. With more than $500B in new funding available to address climate change, the IRA provides a crucial opportunity to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by ~40%, and do so equitably.


  • Steve Recchia, Clark Hill
  • Bernice Diaz, Sheppard Mullin
  • David Beckman, President, Pisces Foundation
Writing for Experienced Litigators

1.25 Hours MCLE

This is an intermediate/advanced program on legal writing for litigators, based on several recent articles of mine (“The 33 Steps: Postgraduate Legal Writing,” L.A. Lawyer [Dec. 2021]; “Litigating Like A Textualist, For The Defense [Mar. 2021]; “Sixteen Things I Learned About Persuasive Writing,” For The Defense [Nov. 2020]). It is built around short, concrete subjects and practical advice for improving briefs and memoranda, with an emphasis on humor in the presentation.

Speaker: Steven Katz, Partner and Appellate Practice Group Chair Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Annual CLA & CJA Presidents Gala Reception


7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. | Annual CLA & CJA Presidents Gala Dinner and Awards

Presidents Gala: An Evening of Glamour and Law

Black Ties, Red Carpet, Judges and Lawyers are all invited to the Gala of the Year!


The Gala Returns! If a night where law meets glamour is what your September calls for, then the Presidents Gala is just for you. Get #gaLAWmorous with us!

Presented by California Lawyers Association and California Judges Association, the Presidents Gala is a red carpet kind of night featuring awards, dancing, and more.

Are you a law student? Learn more about our law student track specifically designed for you!

Thursday, September 21

9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Opening General Session
Speaker: Bryan Stevenson
9:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Law Student Track
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
General Session
Speaker: CA Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Networking Lunch – Get to Know The CLA Sections & Committees
1:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Opening Night Reception in the Expo

Friday, September 22

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Health and Wellness Activity
8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast in the Expo
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
General Session
Keynote Speaker: Camille Vasquez
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Ticketed Lunch: Business Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon
Lunch: Civics Engagement Community Outreach Program
1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
6:40 p.m.
San Diego Padres Baseball Game
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Optional Dine Around – Island Hopper Night (Coronado via Boat Shuttle)
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Optional Dine Around (Little Italy/Gaslamp)

Saturday, September 23

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Health and Wellness Activity
8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Chris Mattmann
10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
CJA/CLA Joint Swearing-in Ceremony: CJA Hosts at the Marriott Marquis
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Lunch in the Expo (Exhibitor/Sponsor Raffle)
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
CJA/CLA President’s Fireside Chat
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Annual CLA & CJA Presidents Gala Reception
(Requires additional fee)
7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Annual CLA & CJA Presidents Gala Dinner and Awards
(Requires additional fee)

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