Why should you attend?  Here are some of the great reasons to attend our Conference each year.  Look no further to meet all of your MCLE credits every three years.  We can provide that to you!

I enjoy the annual conference as a great way to get all of my credits in a relaxed setting by the best in the business.  I really appreciate the classes taught by the judges and court staff.  The catering is always excellent, too.  One of the best reasons to attend the conference is the excuse to get out of town with the family for a work-vacation.  We love the hotel - the ski-in/ski-out lift for Squaw Valley is fantastic ~ Edward Burns

There are several reasons I like attending the annual conference: it is reasonably priced for getting a variety of quality credits, it is a chance to hear from local judges, I always find I learn things for my practice area, plus it is a great way to network and socialize with colleagues. ~ James Moore

Save the Date!

Register Now!

2020 Spring MCLE Conference

at The Resort at Squaw Creek

April 24-25, 2020

Conference Information

The 29th Annual Spring MCLE Spring Conference is returning to the Resort at Squaw Creek on April 24-25, 2020. Speaker information and Schedule is below.

As with previous years, you will have the option of receiving material in the form of a book, or you can download an electronic version approximately a week prior to the conference. Please choose either to receive a pdf or the booklet.  Due to the increased costs of printing, hardbound book cost will be $25.00.  When registering, please be sure to select your breakout session choices.  Your decision helps us to ensure the appropriate size room and comfort for the number of attending each session. 

Also when registering, you will have the option of any dietary needs, such as gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian.  A breakfast buffet of fruit, eggs, bacon, potatoes and breakfast breads will be available on both Friday and Saturday so be sure to get there early, register and enjoy some breakfast before a day of education.  Lunch will be provided on both days, so be sure to check the box if you plan to attend lunch. Instead of eating and listening to a presentation at lunch, Friday lunch will provide time to eat and network with your colleagues before our Placer County Superior Court CEO, Jake Chatters, presents on the Digital Courtroom. 

As always, we end our first day with our Annual Hosted Reception.  Feel free to invite your significant other to join you for happy hour at the reception.

Lodging:  We negotiated a deluxe room rate (single/double/King or 2 queens) at $196 per night, Fireplace Suites at $226 per night (limited number) or Deluxe Fireplace Suites (limited number) at $246 per night.  Reservation information is shown on the Registration Page (click the link above).  Rooms book fast, so make your reservations as soon as possible.  The rooming block will close March 24, 2020!

Speaker Information and Schedule

Friday, April 24













Saturday, April 25










Registration and Buffet Breakfast

Opening Welcome

Breakout Session 1:  Opening Act-How to Tell Your Client’s Story to Get Off to a Fast Start - Karen Goodman

Breakout Session 2:  Overcoming Barriers: Assessment and Treatment in Visitation Refusal Cases - Eugene Roeder, Ph.D.

Breakout Session 3:  Special Needs Trust Depletion Analysis: How Long Will the Money Last? - Scott MacDonald & John Schoeppach

Break with refreshments

Breakout Session 1:  Jury Selection: Debunking Conventional Wisdom - Stephen Duffy

Breakout Session 2:  Child Support Services-Scope of Services, Nuts & Bolt of the Child Support System - Christine Delgado

Breakout Session 3:  What Attorneys and Fiduciaries Need to Know About Decedent Estates and Ongoing Issues - Steve McCormick

Hosted Lunch:  Social Networking Time with Colleagues

The Digital Courtroom-Update on Appearing Electronically - Jake Chatters


Breakout Session 1: Cross-Examination of an Expert Witness - Stephen Wagner

Breakout Session 2: Real Property Principles Applied in Family Law Disputes: Common Issues and Possible Solutions -Robert Sinclair & Hon. John Paulsen, Comm.

Breakout Session 3: Unintended Consequences at the Intersection of Business Planning and Estate Planning - Benjamin Eagleton & D. Keith Dunnagan

Break with refreshments

Did Adolph Weber Receive a Fair Trial? Lessons Learned from Placer’s Most Infamous Trial (Interactive presentation) - Hon. Garen Horst

Hosted Reception

Registration and Buffet Breakfast

Implicit Bias - Molly Stafford

Break with refreshments

Breakout Session 1:  How to Succeed on Appeal in the Trial Court Hon. Justice Kathleen Butz, Michael Colantuano & Levin

Breakout Session 2: California Fiduciary Accounting - P. Ryan Bowen

Hosted Lunch:  Investigative Genetic Genealogy and Solving Violent Crime Anne Marie Schubert


Breakout Session 1: Ending on a High Note: The Importance of Metaphor and Analogy in Closing Argument - Michael Kelly

Breakout Session 2: Criminal & Civil Domestic Violence: Crossover Issues - Hon. Suzanne Gazzaniga

Breakout Session 3: Litigation and the Death Care Industry: Navigating the Way to a Final Resting Place - Steve Gurnee

Break with refreshments

Breakout Session 1:  Law Practice Management- Technology and Contact Management: Collecting and Protecting Client Data - Terrapin Technologies

Breakout Session 2: Criminal Law Update -  Hon. Richard Couzens


Karen Goodman - Karen previously chaired the Committee of Bar Examiners, is an ABOTA member, has written a number of articles and has presented on numerous subjects.

Eugene Roeder, Ph.D. - Auburn Clinical and Forensic psychologist has testified on numerous occasions in both criminal matters and family law matters. He has been a speaker at numerous seminars.

Scott MacDonald - Mr, Macdonald is a senior vice president - wealth management and senior financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.  He is a certified special needs advisor and with a senior portfolio manager designation in the PIA program.  He is a consulting author and editor of attorney training manuals relating to special needs trusts.

Stephen Duffy - Mr. Duffy is a Senior Consultant with Trial Behavior Consulting that includes jury selection, pretrial research, witness preparation, etc., in cases involving civil litigation, toxic torts, medical malpractice and white collar criminal cases. Mr. Duffy hold a B.A and a M.A. in Political Science

Christine Delgado - Ms. Delgado is a senior attorney with Placer County Dept. Child Support Services and has been with DCSS since 1999. This presentation will be an informative look inside the workings of Placer DCSS covering the scope of services, rules and regulations that govern the agency, AB 1058 requirements, confidentiality, enforcement tools, customer service, collection and distribution of support, guideline calculator and much more.

Steve McCormick - Mr. McCormick is a CPA with Kee & Associates, CPA’s.  A graduate of CSU Chico in 1996, Mr. McCormick specializes in the development and deployment of tax efficient strategies to help business owners and high net worth individuals maximize their wealth

Stephen Wagner - A partner at Dick & Wagner, Mr. Wagner is a Certified Family Law Specialist and graduate of McGeorge School of Law.  He was an adjunct professor at McGeorge for five years and has since taught many classes on family law matters.  He has also authored numerous articles in addition to contributing to chapters for CEB publications. 

Hon. John Paulson, Commissioner - After practicing nearly 36 years in family law in Placer County, Comm. Paulsen was appointed as a commissioner for Placer County on April 1, 2016 following the retirement of Comm. Amara.

Benjamin Eagleton - Mr. Eagleton is an Estate Law practitioner, including Elder Law, and is an Elder Advocate at BPE Law.  He continued is post-graduate work in Gerontology and Elder Advocacy studies and trained as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, inspecting Residential Care Facilities, Board and Care Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Keith Dunnagan - Mr. Dunnagan is the Managing Shareholder at BPE Law.  His practice specializes in business transactions, including real estate and dental law and business litigation

Justice Kathleen Butz - Justice Butz, born and raised in Auburn, graduated from UC Davis and UC Davis School of Law.  She was appointed to the 3rd DCA in 2003, after a number of years as a Judge with the Nevada County Superior Court. She was also in private practice in Nevada City.

Michael Colantuano - Mr. Colantuano is a partner in Colantuano Highsmith & Whatley. He is certified specialist in appellate law and specializes in municipal law.

Levin - Levin retired as a Senior Research Attorney with the Third District Court of Appeals and is now in private practice at Colantuano Highsmith & Whatley focusing on appellate work.  Levin is a former President and board member of the PCBA.

P. Ryan Bowen - Mr. Bowen is the Probate and Senior research attorney with the Placer County Superior Court.

Hon. Garen Horst - Prior to becoming a Judge for the Placer County Superior Court, he was a prosecuting attorney with the Placer County District Attorney’s Office and is actively involved with Inns of Court.

Anne Marie Schubert - Ms. Schubert is the District Attorney for Sacramento County. Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) has revolutionized law enforcement’s ability to solve violent crime.  Over 70 cold cases across the country have been solved using this new technique.  This talk will discuss an overview of how IGG was used in these cases and its potential use in others.  Additionally, the talk will cover the legal and privacy concerns raised with this new technique along with promoting a best practice model in balancing privacy and public safety.

Michael Kelly - Mr. Kelly is a shareholder with the Walkup Law Firm. He is a sought-after speaker and teacher having presented more than two hundred invited educational lectures, tutorials, presentations, seminars and advocacy demonstrations across the United States, Asia, South America, the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe

Hon. Suzanne Gazzaniga -  Prior to becoming a Judge for the Placer County Superior Court, Judge Gazzaniga worked as a prosecuting attorney with the Placer County District Attorney’s office and also worked as an attorney in private  practice. She is also a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court.

Steve Gurnee - Mr. Gurnee is the managing partner of Gurnee Mason Rushford Bonotto & Forestiere.  He is known as an expert in the field of funeral and cemetery law and is frequently called upon by owners of funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria to provide advice and to defend litigation involving a wide spectrum of issues affecting those industries.

Joseph O’Donnell and Betty Nelson - Mr. O’Donnell and Ms. Nelson are from Terrapin Technology.  Mr. O’Donnell holds certificates in IT and has provided support and training in numerous software programs relating to law offices, real estate and probate/estate planning practices.  Ms. Nelson’s background includes over 21 years in legal support, most of which was at Downey Brand in Sacramento to include Information Services Manager.

Hon. Richard Couzens, Ret. - Judge Couzens retired from the Bench after serving 28 years in Placer County.  He is considered among some of his peers to be an expert of California's three-strikes laws and co-authored a book for the Rutter Group on the subject that is used as a tool of guidance for criminal sentencing. He has also authored several articles that can be found on the Criminal Justice Realignment Resource Center webpage, as well as a report on SB1427 Accomplice Liability.

Sponsorship Opportunities for Attorneys, Law Firms and Businesses.

You can sponsor one of the events, co-sponsor an event or donate to the Tim Coffin Scholarship Fund.  For more information, please see the Sponsorship Information Sheet and Application, see the table below and make your purchase Here.

So here is your opportunity to budget your 2020 sponsorship funds for a worthy cause.  Below is a simple chart to show you how to get the "best bang for your buck."  Soon, we will have a webpage available where you can "purchase" the right level of sponsorship.  In the meantime, keep our sponsorship opportunity on your front burner when planning your 2020 budget!  We greatly appreciate your support.

   $1500 Level  $1000 Level  $750 Level  $500 Level

 ●Logo printed on conference bags



 Top tier acknowledgement on Conference Brochure and 

 marketing material, PCBA website (11 

 months) and on email blasts promoting 

 our conference


 ●Lunch tickets for up to two people on

 Friday and Saturday


 ●Advertising in our E-Newsletter and 

 printed newsletter (11 months)


 ●Placement of promotional material in   conference bags if desired

 ●Recognition at Hosted Reception;   attendance at Hosted Reception        
 ●Lunch tickets for up to two people on     Friday         

 ●Second tier acknowledgement on Conference brochure and

 marketing material, PCBA website (11

 months) and on email blasts promoting our


 ●Recognition on Conference Brochure and PCBA website (11 months)

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