Free Seminars: MCLE & Law Schools


Free Seminars At Your Location
California Legislative History & Intent

By Carolina C. Rose, J.D.*
President, Legislative Research & Intent LLC

A few comments by enthusiastic attendees:
"Very informative!"
"Excellent resource notebook!"
"Clear, concise, well prepared."
"Wish I had heard this ten years ago."
"Excellent job! Very thorough and useful ..."
"Well presented, easy to follow."

Carolina Rose offers two sequential seminars on California legislative history at no charge. The first one covers the basic terrain and the second is focused on ethical considerations. She writes:

It would be a privilege to give one or both programs at your law firm, county law library or law school this year, including at multiple locations and on multiple dates. Generally I prefer a minimum of 10 attendees, but I am flexible.

Call (800) 530-7613 for more information and to schedule your seminar.

 

1. The Effective Use Of California Legislative History
One Hour, MCLE Practice Law Management

Receive practical how-to guidance for improving your advocacy skills when legislative intent is at issue. The California courts routinely take judicial notice of legislative history records (published and unpublished) which are generated during the course of a bill’s enactment to clarify ambiguous statutory terms (most common usage) and to reinforce a statute’s “plain meaning” (growing trend). As a result, “…an advocate who does not appear with an argument based on legislative history is usually considered to be unprepared.” (William Statsky, Legislative Analysis and Drafting, p. 119) “[S]ince the use of legislative histories by the state courts is increasing, it is important that an attorney know the sources from which legislative intent may be gathered and learn how to use them.” (Henke’s California Law Guide, 8th Ed., §4.01. p. 75) To this end, seminar participants will learn:

  • How a bill becomes law.
  • The categories of records that comprise a legislative history and the role they play in the enactment of a bill.
  • How to make the most effective use of the records, including: (a) Knowing which records the courts rely upon the most and how to use them in your arguments. (b) Pitfalls to watch out for, including possible misuse of the legislative history by opposing counsel. (c) How to understand West’s and Deering’s annotated codes and find free chaptered laws online.

 

2. How to Make Ethical and Winning Use of Legislative History
In Construing the Intent of a California Statute
One Hour, MCLE Ethics

Receive straightforward guidance on how a legislative history can be used ethically and confidently in presenting legal arguments. Also, receive insights on how to recognize misuse of the record by opposing counsel. The California courts take judicial notice of legislative history records that are generated during the course of a bill’s enactment to clarify ambiguous terms (most common usage) and to reinforce a statute’s “plain meaning” (growing trend). The competent practitioner knows how to identify legislative history records that are reflective of the Legislature’s intent and how to avoid relying upon misleading records that are outdated or otherwise irrelevant. This competency is based upon knowledge of:

  • How a bill becomes law.
  • The types of records that comprise a legislative history and the role they play in the enactment of a bill.
  • How to make the most effective use of the records, including: (1) knowing which records the courts rely upon the most and why; (2) pitfalls to watch out for; and (3) possible misuse of the legislative history by opposing counsel.

The goals of this seminar are: (1) To improve the participants’ proficiency in the above areas as we review a hypothetical case where both sides utilize extrinsic evidence of legislative intent to support their diametrically opposed conclusions regarding the intent of a statute. (2) To assist the participants in complying with their ethical obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct (Rules 3-110 and 5-200) as we examine the ethical implications involved in both parties’ use of the legislative history at issue in our hypothetical case.  

____________________________________

About the speaker. Carolina C. Rose, J.D., a graduate of Stanford University (B.A. English, 1973; J.D., 1976), worked for 7 years in the California State Legislature: 1 year as an Assembly Fellow and 6 years as Chief of Staff for Senator Nicholas C. Petris, where she was responsible for managing all aspects of his legislative program -- over 200 measures. Ms. Rose is President and co-founder of Legislative Research & Intent LLC (LRI) which specializes in the historical research surrounding the adoption of California statutes, regulations & constitutional provisions. (LRI also provides local ordinance, sister state and federal legislative history/intent research). Cited in Redlands Comm. Hosp. v. New England Mutual Life Ins. Co., 23 Cal. App. 4th 899 at 906 (1994), LRI has provided legislative histories on over 10,000 enactments serving approximately 1,500 clients since 1983. Ms. Rose qualifies as an expert in reconstructing California legislative history and has submitted written expert witness opinions regarding the reconstruction of legislative history and the surrounding public policy discussions in over 60 cases at the administrative hearing level and at the Superior, District Appellate and Supreme Court levels. Ms. Rose also provides ongoing legislative consulting services. Specific projects have included (1) eminent domain, valuation of special use properties, Stats. 1992, c. 7, (2) exoneration of sureties, Stats. 1993, c. 149 and (3) preservation of public records. Stats. 1996, c. 928. In all three legislative projects, her work was credited by the principals as the primary basis for the projects' success. Lastly, Ms. Rose teaches seminars at law schools, law firms, governmental agencies, etc. regarding the legislative process, legislative history research and related advocacy strategies.