Category: Campus News

SBA Election Update: Original Election Outcome Remains Intact Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

The outcome of the 2018/19 SBA election, which named Edgar Lopez and Sahar Hassanzada as SBA President and Vice President, will remain unchanged — now that SBA candidates Jeff Linton and Mark Simpliciano have withdrawn their calls for a re-election stemming from allegedly unfair election practices that resulted in Linton’s disqualification the night before the election.

Linton, an original candidate for the vice president position alongside Hassanzada, was disqualified from the election because he discussed his candidacy inside a CWSL classroom and discussed his candidacy after 5 p.m. March 22, both of which were contrary to the rules in the candidate instructions packet that all SBA candidates received roughly two weeks before the election and submitted signed consent to.

The election took place as planned on March 23 — with only Hassanzada running for vice president, and Simpliciano and Lopez vying for the president position. Lopez and Hassanzada were unofficial runningmates, as were Simpliciano and Linton, prior to Linton’s disqualification. Lopez and Hassanzada both won their respective positions.

Vice President Candidate’s Appeal

After the election, Linton submitted a complaint appealing his disqualification. In his complaint, Linton first argued that the two rules he violated were unenforceable because they are not included in the SBA By-Laws, which includes Section 14.3 delineating SBA campaign regulations. Second, Linton claimed that SBA Vice President Valerie Gurrola enforced the campaign regulations discriminatorily by not also disqualifying candidates Lopez and Hassanzada, who allegedly campaigned outside of the permissible time period and affixed a promotional poster to a campus fixture in violation of the rules. Continue reading “SBA Election Update: Original Election Outcome Remains Intact Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity”

Pro Bono & Public Service Honor Societies Recognize 90+ Students for 12,000+ Collective Volunteer Hours

By Erin LeClair

The Career and Professional Development Office held the annual Pro Bono and PublicIMG_0580 Service Honor Society induction ceremony on April 5. The Pro Bono Honor Society recognized 60 students who each volunteered more than 50 hours to help nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or private interests groups dedicated to the needs of persons of limited means. These 60 students collectively worked 6,118 hours, averaging double the required number of hours. The Public Service Honor Society recognized 38 students who each volunteered with city, county, state, and federal government organizations, including the judiciary. These 38 students collectively volunteered over 5,972 hours, completing well beyond the required 50 hours per student.

It is clear that students at California Western go above and beyond the call to service.  They are students who serve their community—volunteering more than 12,000 hours—in addition to going to classes and taking part in CWSL community events. Continue reading “Pro Bono & Public Service Honor Societies Recognize 90+ Students for 12,000+ Collective Volunteer Hours”

SBA elections corner – Vote 3/23/18!

UPDATE: Edgar Lopez was announced as next year’s SBA President, winning the only contested position. All other candidates won their respective positions. Students interested in filling the vacancies in the positions of Treasurer, Administrator, Ombudsman, Federal Bar Association Representative, Intramural Athletics Director, Activities Director, or Alumni Representative can apply to be appointed to these positions for 2018-2019. More details to come.

Vote for next year’s Student Bar Association (SBA) members on Friday, March 23 via an email sent out by SBA! Voting is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that The Commentary,  a program of SBA, does not endorse any particular candidates. All candidates were given an equal opportunity to submit materials to The Commentary. Continue reading “SBA elections corner – Vote 3/23/18!”

Barrister’s Ball – A Dream Come True


By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

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Organizing Barrister’s Ball had been a dream for Student Bar Association (SBA) vice president Valerie Gurrola since her 1L year.

“I was on the Barrister’s Ball committee as a 1L and 2L, and I knew this was a big part of why I wanted to be Vice President of the SBA as a 3L,” she said. “I got to work right after Barrister’s Ball 2017, reaching out to venues, even without knowing whether I’d be elected as VP. After I won the election, I formed the Barrister’s Ball committee, open to all students.”

Valerie BB 2
SBA Vice President Valerie Gurrola

Gurrola and the committee started touring venues last summer and finalized a contract in the fall.

“I wanted an upscale venue, indoors, with one common area, in Downtown, and that fit our budget. From reaching out to 32 venues, we found the one.”

Barrister’s Ball 2018, themed “Enchanted Forest,” took place March 3 at Parq, an upscale venue on Broadway in Downtown. Tickets for the event initially sold out within two days during fall tabling. In response to the high popularity, Gurrola was able to adjust the contract with Parq to secure a few more tickets. Continue reading “Barrister’s Ball – A Dream Come True”

Symposiums recap: artificial intelligence, Indian land rights, net neutrality, and more

Entertainment & Sports Law Society Symposium -- JP Rankin, ESLS Vice President
ESLS symposium
Panelists at the March 10 Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium

The Entertainment and Sports Law Society Symposium on March 10, themed “Counseling the Noise: Legal and Ethical Duties in Sports and Entertainment,” was an outstanding success despite the unfortunate weather.  The diverse panel of sports and entertainment attorneys brought their knowledge, skill, and expertise to the bargaining table. Speakers included the vice president of business affairs for Lionsgate and the vice president of general counsel for the San Diego Padres.

In addition to the droves of students from California Western School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and the University of San Diego School of Law, the event also had in attendance a number of local practicing attorneys, making for a number of intelligent exchanges once the discussion was opened up to include everyone in audience.  Topics included, but were not limited to, ethics in sports agency and player recruiting, how streaming and net neutrality could affect public performance rights in the future, and even tips and tricks on becoming a better member of the legal community.

California Western was lucky to have such prestigious and accomplished panelists, and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society is already looking forward to putting it on again next year.

Law Review & International Law Journal Symposiums -- Sara Gold, Commentary Editor-in-Chief

Speakers from across the U.S. and the world came to campus this trimester to speak at two symposiums, hosted by the California Western Law Review and International Law Journal. Continue reading “Symposiums recap: artificial intelligence, Indian land rights, net neutrality, and more”

Registration opens soon – A look into exciting summer offerings

Summer registration opens March 20 for 3Ls and LLM students, and March 22 for 1Ls and 2Ls. Here are some exciting elective offerings for students this summer, Trademark Clinic and Food Law:

Trademark Clinic, Experiential Course -- Prof. Hedayati/W 1:30-3:30 p.m. (2)

Like all the clinics California Western offers, Trademark Clinic is one of the best opportunities available at our school to build your practical skills that will impress potential future employers. In the Trademark Clinic, law students provide free services primarily to small business owners who want to register federal trademarks but can’t afford to hire IP attorneys. The participation of hard-working law students is essential to the clinic’s ability to expand legal aid in the area of trademark law.

Thus, working directly with clients is a big part of being in Trademark Clinic. Although the professor is always happy to give advice, students are trusted to take the lead on client communications, which is an invaluable learning experience. Although having already taken a Trademark Law course is helpful, it is not a requirement to join Trademark Clinic. Continue reading “Registration opens soon – A look into exciting summer offerings”

Student engagement survey: 90% of participants believe Cal Western was the right choice

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

Neils Schaumann, president and dean of California Western School of Law, spoke to students and faculty Jan. 25 to discuss Cal Western’s results from the most recent Law Student Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE).

A longitudinal study administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research since 2004, the LSSSE involves nearly 200 law schools across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Schools opt to participate in this study evaluating how well law schools advance their goals of promoting students’ education, enrichment, wellbeing, and career opportunities.

In 2017, Cal Western was one of 77 participating law schools, and 55% of Cal Western students responded to the survey. Dean Schaumann presented the data by comparing Cal Western’s results to those of two different comparison groups: Continue reading “Student engagement survey: 90% of participants believe Cal Western was the right choice”

Events recap: Defamation play, CIP dodgeball, beach clean-up

"Defamation Experience" Highlights Role of Personal Identity in Litigation

Defamation Exp photoRather than reading holdings out of casebooks, students got to determine the final verdict of a mock trial on Feb. 8. Hosted by Diversity Services, “The Defamation Experience” was an interactive play based on a defamation suit between Ms. Regina Wade, a self-made black business woman and Mr. Golden, a white wealthy Jewish business man. Ms. Wade was represented by white attorney Mr. Lawton, and Mr. Golden was represented by black attorney Ms. Allen. Ms. Wade claims that Mr. Golden defamed her with a false statement to a third party: that she stole Mr. Golden’s watch during a meeting at his home. The social consequences caused Ms. Wade to lose a major business client.

With no concrete evidence, the courtroom became full of drama as the attorneys appealed to the jury’s notions of race, gender, religion and class to advocate for their respective clients. Continue reading “Events recap: Defamation play, CIP dodgeball, beach clean-up”

Former SBA president inspires bar passers at swearing-in reception

By Chris Lawson, Editor-in-Chief

On Dec. 5, hundreds gathered at the San Diego Convention Center to watch the California July 2017 bar exam swearing-in ceremony. Family and friends cheered as their loved ones took oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution. The ceremony buzzed with feelings of achievement and triumph, and rightfully so.

To celebrate the hard work and excitement of California Western’s bar passers, the school held a pre-reception at the convention center just before the large swearing-in ceremony.

As most of the legal profession is aware, the California bar exam is considered to be one of the toughest bar exams in the country. The July 2017 bar exam proved no different. This cycle, only 49.6%, less than half, of all applicants passed. From Cal Western, however, the pass rate was 65% of first-time test takers! Thus, there was much to celebrate amongst the large percentage of last year’s graduates who passed this notoriously difficult exam. Continue reading “Former SBA president inspires bar passers at swearing-in reception”

Moot Court fall trimester round-up

By Chris Lawson and Sara Gold, Editors-in-Chief

Twenty-four California Western students represented the school this trimester at trial, appellate, and negotiation competitions throughout Southern California, aided by more than 10 Cal Western alumni as coaches.

Continue reading “Moot Court fall trimester round-up”