MCLE Spectacular 2023

The 2023 Annual MCLE Spectacular – Refresh & Reimagine, is scheduled for November 3, 2023 – in person at the Hilton, Concord.

8:30 am Breakfast Kickoff Keynote

this program is available virtually

There Ought to be a Rule Against That, Right? A Look at Ethics and the U.S. Supreme Court

Hon. Peter Siggins (Ret.)

The Honorable Peter Siggins  (Ret.) – Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District – Division Three
Principal, Siggins Informed Resolutions

1 hour Legal Ethics MCLE creditlogo

Sponsored by Event Benefactor: JAMS

The speaker will explore the recent revelations of possible ethics breaches by Supreme Court Justices, analysis of those allegations under existing judicial canons, and prescriptions for possible remedies.

10:00  – 11:30 am – Concurrent Morning Seminars

orange flag Available Virtually

1 hour General and .5 hours Legal Ethics MCLE credit

CCCBA Appellate Section


Justice Mark SimonsRosanna W. Gan, attorneyGary Watt, attorneyGary Watt, attorney
Justice Mark Simons, California Court of Appeal, First District, Div. 5Rosanna W. Gan,
Hanson Bridgett
Don Willenburg,
Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
Gary A. Watt, Hanson Bridgett

Have you ever struggled to understand the rules of evidence? You’re in good company. Join Justice Mark Simons and appellate practitioners Don Willenburg, Gary Watt, and Rossana Gan for a discussion on an array of evidence issues. The program will examine recent California cases on topics such as authorized admissions, former testimony, official records, prior inconsistent statements, expert testimony, and the hearsay rule.  The goal will be to improve knowledge of recent decisions that may affect your practice and, with any luck, make your struggle with evidence more productive and possibly less painful!

1.5 hours General MCLE credit

CCCBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section


Stacie Feldman HausnerMediator Stacie Hausner Feldman,
ADR Services, Inc., Straus Institute

Mediator Stacie Feldman Hausner shares several of her most effective tactics for maximizing settlement outcomes.  Stacie draws information both from her own extensive mediation experiences, as well as the curriculum she developed for her courses on “Mediation” and “Advanced Mediation” at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School.  She will explore different strategies for use before and during mediation to enhance settlement results for your clients.

1.5 hours General MCLE credit

CCCBA Business Law Section


attorney Craig Nevinattorney Mike Kastinattorney Kimberleigh Ferrando
Craig Nevin, Kimball, Tirey & St. JohnMichael Kasin, Antero, Torney & Petrin PCKimberleigh A. Ferrando, Brothers Smith

A corporate client comes to see you.  Their corporation is rather old, showing signs of decay and ill-health (although the client doesn’t think so), and the client asks you, as the Juris Doctor, what can be done?  Our panel will start with triage and stabilizing of the company, bringing it into compliance with California law and then move into planning for the succession of your client upon retirement – but not soon enough.  During the succession process, the client dies.  What happens in large part depends on what you have done and what contingency plans you and the client have put in place. 

1.5 hours Legal Ethics MCLE credit

CCCBA Elder Law Section


Hon. Ruben SundeenChristina NalchajianAttorney Lara Heislerschofield
Hon. Ruben Sundeen Alameda County Superior CourtChristina Nalchajian Nalchajian Whitley LawLara Heisler Heisler Rosenfeld, LLPKathryn Schofield, Schofield Law Group

The recent changes to conservatorship law have changed the roles of Court Appointed Counsel, Guardians ad Litem and Court Investigators.  Those changes have many of us scratching our heads about the scope of our duties in the various roles. How are we supposed to interact with each other? How can we identify and address the ethical pitfalls? The panel discussion will tackle these issues and provide some much-needed direction.  

1 hour General and .5 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit

CCCBA Senior and Solo/Small Firm Sections


attorney Carol Langfordattorney George Chaffey, RetiredJulie Levin, MFT
Carol M. Langford, Law Office of Carol M. Langford, Adjunct Professor, USF, George Chaffey, Littler Mendelson (Retired)Julie Levin, MFT

This program will deal with three issues of leaving the practice of law.  First, how to ethically close your practice and what is required.  Second, one lawyer’s plan upon leaving law and his actual positive/negative experiences in following that plan.  Third, a mental health professional will identify the opportunities for finding meaning, identity and purpose in retirement. 

orange flag Available Virtually

1.5 hours Competence MCLE credit

CCCBA Women’s Section 


Any Leinen Guldner, Natasha Chee
Amy Guldner, J.D., This Naked MindNatasha Chee, Law Offices of Natasha S. Chee

How much is too much? This presentation will discuss the growing problem of alcohol in the legal profession, Amy’s personal story with alcohol, and the latest science on how alcohol impacts the brain and body. It will help attorneys identify patterns or behaviors that would impair their ability to perform their legal duties. It will also address ways attorneys can improve their mental, emotional, and physical abilities to practice law with greater competence.

Additionally, Natasha will talk specifically about identifying and detecting whether an attorney may be suffering from mental illness such as anxiety and/or depression.

12 noon – 1:30 pm – Luncheon Keynote

this program is available virtually

Behind The Judicial Curtain and In the Robing Room

Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, (Ret.)The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye (Ret.)
Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
President & CEO of The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), Neutral, ADR Services, Inc.

1 hour General MCLE credit

Sponsored by:  ADR Services, Inc.  

From Deputy District Attorney to Superior Court Judge, then on to the Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court, former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has engaged with the California courts in virtually every capacity possible. In this keynote presentation, she will share her unique insights into the judiciary and its overall position in relation to the other two branches of government. Practitioners of all levels can gain insight into specific considerations at the Superior, Appellate and Supreme Court levels. How are petitions for review received, handled and discussed? What does the court want to hear in an oral argument? Gain actionable insight as the former Chief Justice gives her perspective on these questions, and more, in this peek behind the judicial curtain and in the robing room.

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Concurrent Afternoon Seminars

orange flag Available Virtually

1 hour General and .5 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit

CCCBA Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections


Warren F. HodgesRobert A. McFarlane, attorneyMark Mathison, attorneyGary Watt, attorney
Warren F. Hodges, Hanson BridgettRobert A. McFarlane,
Hanson Bridgett
Mark P. Mathison, Law Office of Mark P. MathisonJoseph R. Snyder, Ph.D. Kilpatrick Townsend

This panel will provide a brief introduction to the basic concepts of Artificial Intelligence such as neural networks and deep learning. A discussion of cutting-edge intellectual property issues will include the obstacles to copyrighting and patenting AI-generated subject matter, the growth of AI-related patents, and an overview of the ways AI may transform the practice of law. Panelists will also look at currently available early-stage AI tools available to law firms.

orange flag Available Virtually

1.5 hours General MCLE credit

CCCBA Real Estate Law Section


Gabrielle Janssens, attorneyattorney Natasha Chee
Gabrielle Janssens, Goldfarb & Lipman LLPNazanin Salehi, Goldfarb & Lipman LLP

Residential real estate development and the related housing market crisis are regular topics in the news with issues that impact our lives and practices.   This program will focus on recent legislation designed to facilitate residential development and address obstacles that have existed in the past.   The panelists will focus on recently enacted housing and land use laws that will go into effect in 2024, other recent housing laws, and existing tools for residential development.

1.5 hours General MCLE credit

CCCBA Employment Law Section


Paul Garrison, attorneyGrover Margaret
Paul E. Garrison, Law Offices of Paul E. GarrisonMargaret Grover, Grover Workplace Solutions

Are claims under the California Private Attorneys’ General Act, Labor Code section 2698-2699.5, (PAGA) barred by an employment arbitration agreement? Decisions over the past 10 years have been inconsistent. In 2022, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcement of an employment arbitration agreement that waived an employee’s right to bring individual PAGA claims. Enforcement of the arbitration agreement meant that the employee no longer had standing to bring representative claims. In July 2023, the California Supreme Court held that the employee could pursue PAGA claims, even after their individual claims had been sent to arbitration.  

This seminar will discuss the recent decisions, potential future appellate decisions, possible revisions to employment arbitration agreements, and approaches to enforcing arbitration agreements or preserving PAGA claims in light of arbitration agreements.

1.5 hours General MCLE credit

CCCBA Estate Planning & Probate and Business Law Sections


attorney Michael Beuselinckattorney Marie Quashnockattorney Brandon Lee Spivack
Michael Beuselinck, Michael Beuselinck, P.C.Marie Quashnock, Alvis Quashnock and AssociatesBrandon Lee Spivack, Brothers Smith

This program addresses the dissolution and winding up of business entities and co-owned property after the death of an owner, including common post-mortem issues that often arise. The panel will share experiences with litigation resulting from business owner death and discuss business planning and estate planning tools that can be deployed to prevent disputes.

1.5 hours General or Criminal Law Specialization or Family Law Specialization MCLE credit

CCCBA Family Law Section and Criminal Section


Hon. Brian HaynesLaura MoranJason Sweetman
Hon. Brian Haynes Contra Costa County Superior CourtLaura Moran, Pagey Law OfficesJason Sweetman Soberlink

This presentation is designed to give legal professionals information on how to manage cases involving alcohol abuse, and to learn best practices around testing using current technology. Hear from a former prosecutor who now serves as a family law attorney and minor’s counsel, and a Contra Costa Superior Court judge discussing hypothetical scenarios on how driving under the influence cases can affect family law child custody matters. Learn the basics of how DUIs are prosecuted in California and how alcohol abuse is considered in child custody cases. 

Also, bar members will drink alcohol over the course of the program and provide a live demonstration of the most up-to-date testing equipment so that you will see how it works firsthand. The goal of this presentation is to understand the criminal side of a DUI, know what questions to ask about the nature of the conviction OR dismissal (it doesn’t always mean they are “innocent”) of the criminal case, and learn what alcohol-use terms are appropriate in family court to keep the children safe.  

1 hour Elimination of Bias  and .5 hour Legal Ethics MCLE credit

CCCBA Barristers Section


Sejal ThakkarSejal Thakkar,

In an increasingly complex legal world, civility isn’t just a nicety – it’s a proven strategy. Backed by compelling research and real-world results, this course unveils the true potential of civility in law.  Join Sejal as she addresses the growing prevalence of workplace incivility and offers actionable strategies to combat it. From tackling insensitive comments to eradicating discrimination and harassment, this workshop guides you along the spectrum of incivility while unraveling its root causes. This presentation isn’t about theory; it’s about giving you the tools to thrive.

3:45 – 4:45 pm Afternoon Plenary Keynote

this program is available virtually

Lose the Mask! Put on a Cape! Eradicating Implicit Bias

Natasha Prince

Tristan Higgins, CEO, Founder & Superhero – Metaclusive LLP

1 hour Implicit Bias MCLE credit

Sponsored by California Bank of Commerce


Join us for an energetic and dynamic presentation with Super Hero and JD. Tristan Higgins. She will work with us to help eradicate Implicit Bias, focusing on all types of diversity from the most commonly thought of race and gender, to the often forgotten types like military service, and communication style. As a superhero fanatic, Tristan has taken the title of “metahuman,” and all who experience this presentation earn the title as well. Capes will be provided but are optional!  At the conclusion of this session, in addition to donning a superhero cape, attendees will be able to:

  1. Define the concept of implicit bias as it relates to the legal profession.
  2. Identify at least three ways bias impacts relationships with clients and colleagues.
  3. Describe at least two bias interruption techniques that they can use in work and client interactions.

5:00 – 6:30 pm The Spectacular Social

Join us for a Spectacular Social under the lights of the Hilton’s outdoor courtyard. Firepits, couches and lounge chairs will be waiting for you. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, our 2023 Spectacular Mocktail and other libations of your choice. A great way to finish a Spectacular day!

Thank you to Our Generous Sponsors

Event Benefactor

Event Presenters

logo ADR Services Inc.
logo California Bank of Commerce