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Upcoming Program


The California Supreme Court Historical Society is pleased to present the following program:

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 – Webinar
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

California Without Law: 1846 -1850

From the beginning of the Mexican War until the first California Legislature met, California was governed by an uncertain mixture of Mexican and military law. It was administered by “alcaldes” whose rulings were largely based on their instincts of justice. Many Americans considered it to be a system without law.

In addition, the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War, was negotiated by an envoy whose authority had been revoked; leading to a treaty signed without authority. More “lawlessness.”

This program addresses the law in California in those early days, how a society functions without an effective government, and what that teaches about the importance of the rule of law.

Introduction by Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero
Panelists: Judge Barry Goode (ret.) and John Caragozian

There is no charge for this program.
1 hour MCLE Credit is available to California Supreme Court Historical Society members at no charge. Non-members may purchase MCLE credit for $25.00

Program Registration for Webinar and MCLE credit

Program Flyer

This program is being co-sponsored by

The California Judges Association
The California Lawyers Association
The Los Angeles County Bar Association
Loyola Law School
The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
The U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California Historical Society

The California Supreme Court Historical Society is pleased to advise you of the following program, which it has agreed to co-sponsor:

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 – In-Person in San Francisco or by Webinar
5:00pm – 6:30pm

Upcoming Program: War Crimes


War Crimes: From the 1945 San Francisco U.N. Conference to Today

Do politics and diplomacy factor into our definition of war crimes? How are war crimes dealt with currently, compared to the past?


Prof. Laurel Fletcher | International Human Rights Clinic, Berkeley Law
Prof. David Cohen | Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University
Prof. Saira Mohamed | UC Berkeley School of Law

Moderator:  Ambassador (ret.) Jeff Bleich

Keynote:  Robert James, Esq.

There is no charge for this program.
MCLE Credit is available for $50

Program Flyer

This program is being co-sponsored by the Northern District of California Historical Society, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, the San Francisco Historical Society and the California Supreme Court Historical Society.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – Webinar
12:00pm – 1:00pm

The California Supreme Court’s Abortion Jurisprudence

This free presentation provides a review of California’s constitutional law as it relates to issues of reproductive rights.

1 Hour MCLE Credit
(no charge)

Moderator: David Ettinger


Michele Bratcher Goodwin
Brittny Mejia
Beth H. Parker


November 16, 2022
12 noon to 1 pm Webinar

Perez v. Sharp:  A California Landmark Case that Overturned a Century-Old Ban on Interracial Marriage

1 hour MCLE credit (Elimination of Bias)

In Perez v. Sharp (32 Cal. 2d 711 (1948)), the California Supreme Court found unconstitutional the state’s laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage. This program briefly sketches the history of racial discrimination in California and elsewhere, then turns its focus to how marriage illuminated a path for later, important civil rights cases.

The heart of the presentation addresses the recognition of bias and the legal theories that concern its elimination. The case also touches on marriage equality – as the issue was framed in 1947-1948. (see short articles on Perez v. Sharp and the attorney on the case, Daniel Marshall).

Program Introduction:   Justice Joshua Groban
Narrators:  Justice Teri L. Jackson and John S. Caragozian
Additional Remarks by:  Roland Brandel and Michael Traynor

California Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar (Ret.)
in conversation with Journalist/Biographer Jim Newton

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
5:00-8:00 pm

Mark Taper Auditorium
Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar served as a member of the California Supreme Court for 23 years, during which time she distinguished herself as a thoughtful and independent jurist.   Justice Werdegar authored some of the court’s most significant opinions in the areas of criminal law, environmental law, labor law, antitrust law, and civil liberties, as well as several notable  dissents, some later endorsed by the United States Supreme Court.  Justice Werdegar retired from the court on August 31, 2017.

Program flyer and reservations

Constitutional Governance and Judicial Power
November 15, 2016
5:00-7:30 pm
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and former Chief Justice Ronald M. George will discuss the California Supreme Court Historical Society’s recent book, Constitutional Governance and Judicial Power: The History of the California Supreme Court. This program is held in memory of former Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas (1927-2016).

Program flyer and reservations

Thirty Years After a Hundred Year Flood: Judicial Elections and the Administration of Justice

This program, which will be held at the California State Bar meeting in San Diego on October 2, 2016, discusses the California Constitution’s system for electing justices and judges, and how the elections can influence the administration of justice.

Featured speakers include UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and former California Supreme Court Justices Joesph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso.

Chief Justice David S. Terry and Federalism: A Life and Doctrine in Three Acts [PDF]
San Diego (September 12, 2014 – California State Bar Annual Meeting)
Fresno (January 30, 2014)
Los Angeles (June 25, 2013)
San Francisco (October 15, 2012)

Co-sponsored with the Northern District of California Historical Society, this unique presentation featured several state and federal judges, including California Supreme Court Justices Marvin Baxter and Kathryn Werdegar, in an investigation of federal-state relations in 19th century California.