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The California Real Property Journal volunteer staff consists of Article Editors, Executive Editors, Issue Editors, one or two Managing Editors, and an Editor-in-Chief. Each position can have a team of two editors working on the same article or issue. All are volunteer positions. The Editorial Board consists of all positions except Article Editors. The term of service for the Board is three years. The first-year members of the Board are Executive Editors, while the second- and third-year members serve as Issue Editors, Managing Editor, or Editor-in-Chief.

The Board participates in monthly conference calls and has input into the style and content of each issue. Although each member has specific duties, the Journal’s Editorial Board is a team, and everyone helps out when and where needed when inevitable events occur such as sickness, trial, vacation, or overwhelming workloads. All editing is done on-screen which means there is generally no hard copy editing and drafts are sent back and forth over emails. Articles are reviewed using Microsoft Word in Track Changes with inserted comments when a more detailed point is needed.

A spreadsheet we call the Matrix is the tool for coordinating each issue. It is located online as a Google spreadsheet and contains all the details of each issue’s articles, authors’ information, article editors, notes, and status; the volume’s production schedule; and list of editors. It is the responsibility of the Issue Editors, Managing Editor, and Editor-in-Chief to keep the Matrix up to date. The articles and materials for each issue are housed in a Google Drive and divided by issue.

The Editorial Board relies on Sublime Designs as our publishing coordinator. Sublime (1) provides style editing for each article after it has gone through the substantive editing process, (2) Blue Books each article, (3) monitors the Google Drive, (4) prepares the production schedule, (5) puts each issue into proof and makes proof revisions until final, (6) coordinates with the Section and publisher to print each issue, (7) designs advertisements as requested, and (8) assembles author release, bios, summaries, and headshots.

Role description for substantive editors follow below.

Abbreviation key:

EIC: Editor-in-Chief
ME: Managing Editor
IE: Issue Editor
EE: Executive Editor
AE: Article Editor

Editorial Process Overview

  1. Content Generation. EIC and Section Executive Committee bring in article writers, and Ed Board members are also expected to bring in 1 new article during their term of service.
  2. Quality Control. EIC reviews and evaluates submissions for quality control and substance.
  3. Author Introduction. EIC makes first contact with authors and introduces them to our process.
  4. General Editor and Deadline Coordination. ME coordinates IEs and AEs at beginning of each year, so AEs are lined up for each quarterly publication when editing time begins.
  5. Issue Coordination. IE coordinates authors, AEs, and edits for particular issue. The issue’s EE assists the IE as needed and manages the Matrix for that issue.
  6. Substantive Edits. IE and AEs review each article to ensure it is structurally sound and IE works with author to finalize.
  7. Style Edits. Once structural edits for an issue’s articles are complete, IE provides to Sublime for style editing and bluebooking.
  8. Proofing. ME reviews style-edited article drafts before proof. ME and EIC review proofs before printing.

Role Descriptions

Article Editor

Estimated time commitment: 5 – 10 hours per article

    The Article Editor is invited by an Issue Editor to review, polish, and get an article ready for publication. If an Article Editor accepts the invitation, the Issue Editor will provide the review deadline for the Article Editor (typically 1 week).
  • The Article Editor provides structural edits to the article, which should be done by redlining and marking up the article in Track Changes. Emphasis should be placed on substantive edits, since Sublime will style edit and make sure the article meets the requirements of the Journal’s Style Guide. > Substantive editing is the editing of the article’s structure and organization to eliminate internal inconsistencies and discrepancies. It may require heavy editing or rewriting and entails reviewing the general outline of the article and ensuring that it flows logically from introduction to conclusion, both at the macro article level and within the individual sections and paragraphs.
  • If appropriate, Article Editors may provide suggested revisions for the article to make the article more useful for practicing lawyers.
  • The Article Editor is not responsible for Bluebooking or cite checking but should be able to spot obvious errors.
  • The Article Editor should be mindful of the substantive review deadline during the process. Usually the Article Editor’s process should take no more than one week.
  • The Article Editor provides their edits to the Issue Editor for review and the Issue Editor will coordinate communication with, and transmitting the revisions and deadline to, the author. If the second draft returned by the author contains substantial changes, the Issue Editor may request the Article Editor to do a second review of the revised article. The Article Editor is responsible for keeping the Issue Editor informed of the status of the article edits.
  • Article Editors receive masthead credit in the Journal.

Issue Editor

Estimated time commitment: 20 – 40 hours for one issue in a 3-month period, plus one monthly half-hour conference call with the Ed Board for the rest of the year

  • The primary responsibility of an Issue Editor is to be the ringmaster of a single issue. Typically, the Editor-in-Chief will assign articles to an issue, then the Issue Editor takes it from there. Each issue contains between 4 and 6 articles.
  • The Issue Editor will send an email to the author introducing him or herself, and let the author know what to expect; such as possible suggested revisions and the timeline for return of the article—usually within one to two weeks.
  • The Issue Editor will assign Article Editors to each article and usually chooses an Article Editor from the pool of editors assembled by the ME based on the Article Editor’s area of practice and interests. The Issue Editor should match the AE as closely as possible to the topic of the article and to the author.
  • Some articles need a lot of work and it is the Issue Editor’s task to find an Article Editor who is willing to put in the time to clean up the article. The Issue Editor is a resource for questions and for communicating deadlines and other information to author and Article Editor and sets deadlines for article editing to be completed and returned to the Issue Editor (based on the production schedule).
  • It is uncommon for an invitation to be turned down, but it can happen, so sometimes we must ask more than one Article Editor, or bring in a new Article Editor.
  • The Issue Editor will review the Article Editor’s edits and finalize before the Issue Editor sends the revised article to the author. If the author’s return draft contains substantial changes, the Issue Editor may elect to ask the Article Editor to review the second draft.
  • The Issue Editor will review and finalize all articles before submitting them to Sublime for style editing.
  • The Issue Editor will report to the Editorial Board as to whether particular Article Editors should be asked back or could use constructive feedback.
  • The Issue Editor, with guidance from the Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief, selects the article for MCLE credit and contacts the author to prepare questions and answers for submission to CLA.
  • After publication, the Issue Editor provides a PDF copy of the Journal and a thank you email to each Article Editor.
  • All Board Members receive masthead credit in the Journal.

Executive Editor

Estimated time commitment: 10 – 20 hours for one issue in a 3-month period, plus 5 – 10 hours to edit one article in another issue, and one monthly half-hour conference call with the Ed Board for the rest of the year

  • The Executive Editor is a first-year member of the Editorial Board. He or she has committed to a three-year term.
  • The Executive Editor will serve as an Article Editor for an article in each of two issues and will shadow an existing Issue Editor as co-issue editor.
  • The Executive Editor will maintain the Matrix for the issue he or she is shadowing.
  • The Executive Editor will assist the Issue Editor with author communications and article review as requested.
  • The Executive Editor will attend monthly Board calls and annual Board meetings.
  • All Board Members receive masthead credit in the Journal.

Managing Editor

Estimated time commitment: 20 – 40 hours throughout the year, including one monthly half-hour conference call with the Ed Board for the rest of the year

  • The Managing Editor reports directly to the Editor-in-Chief, oversees all aspects of publication, and gets the issues ready for the final stages of publication.
  • The Managing Editor keeps the Matrix updated and coordinates the work of the Issue Editors.
  • The Managing Editor manages the schedule for each issue, and proofreads each style-edited article prior to providing them to Sublime for preparation of the proof.
  • The Managing Editor assists with Board recruitment at Section events, trains new Board members, and provides editorial feedback to new editors.
  • All Board Members receive masthead credit in the Journal.


Estimated time commitment: 40 – 60 hours throughout the year

  • The Editor-in-Chief (and sometimes a member of the Journal Committee of the Executive Committee) solicits articles for submission. When proposed articles are submitted to the Journal, the Editor-in-Chief determines appropriateness for publication based on overall quality, clarity, and format. If inadequate, she/he may reject the article and return it to the author.
  • The Editor-in-Chief supervises the content, direction, and quality of the articles, provides structure, leadership, and sets policy.
  • The Editor-in-Chief works closely with the Managing Editor to supervise the production and scheduling of each issue.
  • The Editor-in-Chief reviews the final proof of each issue and coordinates publication with the Section and Sublime, including requesting two extra copies to be printed and mailed to each author.
  • The Editor-in-Chief also:
    • Communicates with and acts as the Journal’s liaison to the Section’s Executive Committee, including holding monthly conference calls with the Section’s Journal Committee and coordinating with the Section Business Editor to assemble Section materials and advertisements in the Journal;
    • May delegate Assistant Editors for solicitation of articles, sponsorships, and advertising;
    • Holds monthly conference calls with the Editorial Board and the publisher;
    • Rejects writing that appears to be plagiarized, ghostwritten, published elsewhere, or of little interest to readers; and
    • Contributes editorial pieces.
  • After publication, the Editor-in-Chief provides a PDF copy of the Journal and a thank you email to each author.

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