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An Unsettling Period for ‘Settled Law’

October 26, 2022 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Special low price! 1 Hour MCLE; 1 Legal Specialization in Appellate Law 

Recent cases from the United States Supreme Court have shown what has been considered “settled law” can nonetheless be overruled. This creates opportunities and pitfalls for practitioners. Counsel has an ethical duty to inform the court of controlling authority. Nonetheless, the existence of adverse controlling authority is not necessarily determinative. This seminar discusses what authority is controlling and how to handle adverse case law. Finally, this seminar discusses the philosophical and practical implications of a period when “settled law” is not so settled.

Non-Member Price – $25.00
Member Price – $15.00

Judge Helen E. Williams was appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2012. She has sat in civil and criminal assignments, served as the designated CEQA judge, and has served for eight years on the court’s Appellate Division, six of those as its Presiding Judge. As of September 1, 2022, Judge Williams began serving on assignment as a justice pro tempore at the Sixth District Court of Appeal.

As a lawyer, Judge Williams was certified as an appellate specialist. She worked as a research attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeal, and before that, engaged in 18 years of civil practice, focusing on appeals.

Judge Williams serves on the Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee. She served on CJER’s Appellate Practice Curriculum Committee, and on the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts, including as its vice-chair and chair, and on the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization Appellate Law Advisory Committee, including as its vice-chair and chair. Judge Williams is President-Elect of the William A. Ingram Inn of Court. She is on the Board of Editors of the California Litigation Journal. She has been a speaker for scores of legal/judicial education programs, principally on appellate topics.

Judge Williams received her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and earned her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Benjamin G. Shatz is a Certified Appellate Specialist and co-chair of the Appellate Practice at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles. He is a member of the American and California Academies of Appellate Lawyers. He has over 25 years of state and federal civil appellate experience and is a frequent lecturer and author on appellate practice.

Jonathan Grossman has been a staff attorney since 1999 at the Sixth District Appellate Program in San Jose, where he handles criminal and juvenile appeals. He has also handled habeas corpus petitions in state and federal court. He updates three chapters in CEB books: “Writs in California State Courts” and “Felony Appeals” in California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice, as well as “Federal Habeas Corpus: Overview” in Appeals and Writs in Criminal Cases.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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