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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Lending a Helping ‘Learned’ Hand

By Nicolas Ahadzadeh

nick_ahadzadehLaw students often leave money on the table. After working at the circulation desk of the California Western Law Library, I have noticed that a significant amount of reserve materials go un-used. This article aims to shed some light on those resources, and how those resources can make the difference between a B and an A.

Black’s Law Dictionary

     Not only is Black’s Law Dictionary on reserve, but there are several copies on the open reference shelves as well. Professors want to teach you the law, but that’s not an easy task if you don’t know the definitions! Professor Bohrer shared a story of his first property class with me. His class was discussing a case about a replevin cause of action and no one could answer the question, “what is the definition of replevin?” In a scenario like this one, knowing the definition could save you from the embarrassment of not knowing the answer and/or make you the hero of class! If you ever stumble across a word that you don’t know during your assigned readings (which will probably happen often), take a look at Black’s Law Dictionary for the proper definition.

Study Aids – General

     The library has a vast number of study aids for each subject matter. Did your Civil Procedure professor confuse you about when a certain doctrine applies? (such an Erie time for all of us). Check out the Gilbert Law Summaries from the library. Does your Criminal Law professor go off on strange tangents about equestrians and you didn’t quite get the analogy? Check out the Examples & Explanations book!

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

Originally published in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

By Abril Perez

     This is a call to action for everyone—especially our white allies—to stand up against white supremacy and publicly condemn it.

     On August 3, 2019, a white supremacist violated my hometown of El Paso, Texas, by shooting Latinx shoppers at a Walmart. Fruit flies are circling the marigolds my friends and I laid out on our emergency Día de los Muertos altar in memory of the victims, yet I cannot bring myself to take it down. I am not ready to put this act of domestic terrorism behind me and you should not be either. We are all, in part, to blame for what happened in El Paso.

     We politely engaged in civil discourse with racists who hide behind their self-appointed role as devil’s advocate. We watched in horror as a car slammed into a crowd of peaceful protesters, but let our indignation fade into, “but what can we do?” We nurtured the illusion that there are safe places for people of color and even felt grateful for minimal tolerance from white people. And now, as I sift through the rubble of my devastated community in hopes of finding signs of life or strength, all I find is a profound rage and sorrow that burns in my chest.

     I am a third-year student at California Western School of Law. The Saturday before my finals, I received a text message from my best friend who was fleeing a parking lot near the shopping center under attack: “There’s a shooting in El Paso. Tell your family.”

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Help the Turtles, Help the Earth!

By Varun Sabharwal

     On September 14, 2019, your favorite student-run newspaper, The Commentary, set out with benches, signs, and very little sunscreen, to pick up trash between the sandy grains of Ocean Beach. Our mission was twofold: (1) raise awareness for the need to keep our beaches clean, and (2) educate people that their garbage can be a hinderance for the myriad of creatures that also inhabit our planet.

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It’s My Money, and I Need It Now!


By Vincent Chiaverini

It’s Friday night; all of your friends are over, you turn on your game console, and the game of choice is NCAA Football by EA Sports. Everyone is cheering for their respective colleges from Alabama to Clemson. But, you know who isn’t cheering at this party? All of the student-athletes who needed money, but weren’t paid for the use of their image and likeness.

     This is just one example of why the Fair Pay to Play Act, a proposal by California State Senator Nancy Skinner, has been introduced. College football video games have come and gone, however, players wanting an equal cut of the profits generated from their skills is not going anywhere. On September 30, 2019, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed this act into law on the popular HBO show, “The Shop,” starring Lebron James.

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Spring 2019, Issue #3 (4/10/19)

From Sara Gold -- The Commentary 2017-present
Opinion: Kaepernick ousted from NFL for exercising free speech
By Francis Carlota
Student perspective: Advice for finals preparation
By Nick Ahadzadeh, News Editor, & Ryan Stygar
Fun after finals: Speakeasies around San Diego
By Jennifer Brown
Petition to continue environmental law classes at CWSL
By Breanna Hayes, News Editor
POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?
3L team wins CWSL basketball championship!
By Kianna Williams, SBA Intramurals Director
Law Review/ILJ news: New boards & symposium
By Lindsey Cherpes
The Courtroom is my Playfield: Moot Court news
By Varun Sabharwal, Entertainment Editor
Law meets fiction: Batman oral arguments, student publishes novel
By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief
Health in Law School
By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, Managing Editor
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We’re excited to present our biggest Commentary edition yet, along with our new Editorial Board for 2019-2020! Be sure to check out our new Staff Page.


PROFESSOR POLL: Which CWSL professor would be the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse? Find out what the faculty had to say, and then vote for your choice!

Exam Preparation: Nick Ahadzadeh and Ryan Stygar share their advice for smart studying and self-care during exams.

The Commentary 2017-2019: Fun facts and history of the online Commentary

Health in Law School

Campus News

Fate of Environmental Law Classes Uncertain — Students can sign a petition to reinstate environmental law curriculum

Moot Court News — This trimester, more than 20 students competed against other law schools in trial, appellate, and alternative dispute resolution competitions

Law Review/ILJ News — Cal Western’s law journals hosted a successful and impactful symposium on immigration law and policy


Law Meets Fiction: Ching-Yun Li and Claudia Salinas defended Arkham Asylum in a Batman-themed oral argument, & Ryan Stygar just published his third novel!

Fun After Finals — Jennifer Brown reviews her favorite local speakeasies around San Diego


Basketball Intramurals — The championship game ended in a 55-54 final score. Find out which team won!

Francis Carlota on the Kneeling Controversy — Colin Kaepernick was unfairly ousted from the NFL due to his symbolic protest of racial injustices

Best of luck on finals everyone! It has been our pleasure to serve the California Western community this year, and we look forward to your continued participation and support next year!

Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief (2017-2019);
Tandis Taghavi, Editor-in-Chief (2018-present) & Parsa Nozzari, Editor-in-Chief (2019-present)


Students (and zombies, if you’ve read our zombie apocalypse poll)! Feeling a little tired? Need a little rush? PERFECT, now you can get a shot… Wait what?

Starting tonight, April 10, 2019, there will be evening and weekend coffee service available in the 350 building through April 19th!

Enjoy & good luck on finals 


From Sara Gold — The Commentary 2017-present

Dear Readers:

The Commentary has published 90 articles and has had over 16,000 site views since we went online in Fall 2017.

Thank you for reading and supporting The Commentary these past two years! The Commentary, which started at CWSL in 1973 as a print newspaper, entered a new era when we created the first-ever Commentary website in the Fall of 2017.

At the very beginning, we were truly a blank slate. We had no writers and no content — just an empty website with endless possibilities. And over time, those possibilities became realized. That started with our very first edition in November 2017, in which we were able to celebrate New Media Rights’ ten-year anniversary and the California Innocence Project’s exoneration of wrongfully convicted prisoners.

We had 5,800 site views during year one, and since then, that number has tripled!!! Admittedly, probably at least 1,000 of those views were from me proofreading the site obsessively. But at least a few of them were from a lovely woman who will be attending Cal Western in the fall as a 1L. I met her at the new students’ reception held a few weeks ago. Without knowing my involvement with The Commentary, she said she eagerly reads each new edition and that reading The Commentary made her excited to attend school here. This was the most amazing thing to hear. Further, it made me realize how valuable student journalism is in capturing the essence of what makes Cal Western such a special place, and preserving that impression as a legacy for future students and the larger legal community.

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Health in Law School

By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, Managing Editor

It’s April and for a lot us, whether we are 1Ls about to finish our first year in law school or 3Ls about to graduate, we are not in the same physical or mental shape as we were prior to law school. I am willing to admit that personally one of the biggest lows of my 1L year has been the realization of exactly how much weight I’ve gained over the course of it, putting me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Now, don’t get me wrong — this is not an article to blame the institution of law school, as my choices are my own and I know there are people who have maintained a healthy lifestyle during the semester or even became healthier during that time. But I am going to be addressing the culture that seems to be in law schools all across the country.

The culture I am referring to is this “Pain is temporary, GPA is forever” mindset where we as students are willing to sacrifice our emotional, mental, and physical health for the sake of good grades. We will justify it by saying everything in law school is only temporary and after we graduate we can undo all of this. But let’s ask ourselves, how many of us have seen our classmates, friends, and even ourselves develop some form of health issue? How many of us have developed some form of depression or mental health due to prolonged stress? How many of us have developed some form of substance abuse during our time in law school?

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