First Time in a DECADE

By Professor A.W. Campbell

It’s been over a decade since my horse and I did what we did today.

Three years ago, out of frustration, I quit polo. I could no longer hit the ball straight. That resulted from three mallet-arm issues. First, my right shoulder was anchored to a healed-but-overlapped broken collar bone. Second, only tendons connected that arm to my shoulder-blade; the nerves had been severed by a near-fatal fall. Third, I’d ripped two right-arm tendons out of my skeleton.

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California’s Inmate Firefighters Explore the Challenges and Victories of being on the Front Lines of Inferno

By The Commentary and Ryan Stygar


As fires scorch across the state, Californians are once again reminded of the extreme threat posed by wildfire. News broadcasts show hundreds of firefighters working day and night to contain the blaze. While most firefighters wear yellow jackets to protect themselves from heat and embers, a substantial group wears bright orange jackets. 

Why? They are California’s front line.

California’s Inmate Firefighters

On September 28, 2019, Cal Western students heard first-hand accounts of the inmate firefighter experience! Two veterans of the inmate firefighter program, Brooke Carrasco and Brandon Smith, shared their stories as the keynote panelists. Among the many topics covered was the controversy around the program. Prisoner rights advocates have raised questions about placing inmates in harms way, especially since inmate firefighters earn only $2.00 per day, plus $1.00 per hour while fighting fire.

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Gill Trial Competition

By Claudia Salinas
DAs Gill 2019
On Saturday, October 19, 2019, the Moot Court Honors Board hosted the annual David M. Gill trial competition that is open to all 2Ls and 3Ls. Students were given a fact pattern a week in advance and prepared either an opening or closing statement to deliver to a panel of judges. 
The first photo includes the seven finalist who not only moved into the final round but also received Distinguished Advocate awards! From left to right: Danica Hernandez, Jessica Taylor, Brian Jeong, Ryan Stygar,  Nicolas Ahadzadeh, Gentre Martinez, and Loriann Ayon. 

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By Breanna Hayes

This trimester, CWSL saw the expansion of intramural sports thanks in part to 2L, Jonathan Gonzalez. In previous years, CWSL’s Student Bar Association has partnered with Thomas Jefferson School of Law to offer co-ed basketball and flag football leagues. New to the lineup this trimester is the co-ed intramural soccer league, consisting of 3 teams of majority Cal Western players. Under Jon’s direction, the SBA aims to further expand the program and offer basketball and soccer leagues in both the fall and spring trimesters. There is even rumor of a kickball league coming Spring 2020! If you don’t think sports are your thing, guaranteed you can dodge a ball better than you can dodge an Einesman cold call (but respect to Patches O’Houlihan all the same).


ABA Representative–Dimple Chauhan

By Dimple Chauhan


Hello everyone! My name is Dimple Chauhan and I have the pleasure of serving as your American Bar Association (ABA) Representative, here, at CWSL. California Western is an ABA accredited school, however, most students do not know what that means, nor do they know just what amazing perks students get for joining the ABA.

The ABA is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with over 400,000 legal professionals members. The ABA’s mission includes: serving memberships by providing benefits, programs, and services, which promote members’ professional growth; advocating for the legal profession by promoting: the best quality legal education, competence, ethical conduct and professionalism; and eliminating bias to enhance diversity by promoting full and equal participation in the association and in the justice system. Even though this is all great, as law students, the ABA will directly benefit YOU, too.

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3L Ryan Stygar Publishes First NonFiction Book: Understanding Trial Objections

By The Commentary


Evidence. The single most important concept that makes or breaks your case.  

You don’t fear the guy that stays seated when he objects and mumbles:

Abel Michelson : “uhh your honor, I think…well, maybe…that is character evidence.”

Judge Old Chief : “Overruled.”

Abel Michelson: “…I mean, under rule 601….oops…I meant 803, this should not be allowed because it is a past crime.”

Judge Old Chief : “Wrong. Overruled.”

At this point Abel Michelson gives up…and boom, you win the case. Why? Because the evidence that just came into trial demolished your entire case. It ate away your theory. And it quenched its thirst with your theme. A lawyer who knows how to make the rules of evidence work in their favor, simply, wins the game.

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Fall 2019, Issue #1 (10/1/19)

The Road to Renewables: Climate Week from San Diego to New York
By Matthew Batista
From California Western to California Congress
By Nicolas Ahadzadeh
Lending a Helping ‘Learned’ Hand
By Nicolas Ahadzadeh
El Paso is Your Fault. El Paso is My Fault.
By Abril Perez
Help the Turtles, Help the Earth!
By Varun Sabharwal
It’s My Money, and I Need it Now!
By Vincent Chiaverini
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In this new edition of The Commentary:

The Road to Renewables: Climate Week from San Diego to New York 

From California Western to California Congress 

Lending a Helping ‘Learned’ Hand

El Paso is Your Fault. El Paso is My Fault. 

Help the Turtles, Help the Earth!

It’s My Money and I Need it Now! 


Student writers are what make The Commentary so great! We are always looking for students to submit articles on topics of their choice—including, but not limited to: campus news, legal news, sports, entertainment, etc. No long-term commitment is required, so feel free to submit a draft and share your academic/creative talents with the campus community when you’re not out fighting crimes, going to class, or studying in the library! We also have meetings with free food! 🙂

To learn how to contribute to The Commentary this trimester, contact us at for submissions and questions/story ideas.

Tandis Taghavi & Parsa Nozzari, Editors-in-Chief

The Road to Renewables: Climate Week from San Diego to New York

By Matthew Batista

DSC_1008I. Community Choice Aggregation Comes to San Diego

What is Community Choice Aggregation? Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) are programs that allow individual or collective municipal governments to purchase energy on behalf of their residents. Local governments assume the procurement role of investor owned utilities (IOU), like SDG&E locally, while continuing to rely on IOU’s existing infrastructure to distribute the energy. The two main advantages to these CCA programs are: (1) the ability to choose the energy source (generally from renewable sources like solar and wind) and (2) aggregating demand in order to negotiate better purchase prices, and thus a lower cost to the consumer.


A Growing Energy Procurement Strategy. The ability to form and operate CCA’s must be enacted within state legislatures. To date, eight states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia have enacted CCA legislation. Additionally, five other states, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oregon, have introduced such legislation.

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From California Western to California Congress

By Nicolas Ahadzadeh


Election time for the 52nd district of California is coming up quickly. According to BallotPedia, the candidate filing deadline is December 6, 2019 and the primary election is March 3, 2020. Katie Pope, a current 2L at California Western School of Law, is taking advantage of these deadlines. Katie will be submitting her candidacy for Congress in the 52nd district this week.

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