Criminal Law Section

News from the Section

Photos from Our Mixer at U.C. Hastings!

On January 27, Executive Committee Members teamed up with the U.C. Hastings Criminal Law Society for a fun evening of drinks and tales from the trenches. Thanks for a great time! See bigger versions of the photos on our Facebook page.

Otis Bruce, Jr. with students from U.C. Hastings

Group shot of Otis with the students

Criminal Law Section Executive Committee members with students

Apply for the Criminal Law Section Executive Committee by March 1!

The Executive Committee runs the Criminal Law Section and puts together the webinars, Criminal Law Journal, E-Bulletin, and other training materials for section members. It is a great opportunity to give back to the profession. Read more about the committment, and apply now!

2015-2016 Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure

The Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California is pleased to announce its Seventh Annual Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure. This is a nationwide competition; while the focus is on California law, past winners have included students attending schools across the country.


Grand Prize
  • $1500 cash prize
  • The Grand Prize –winning paper will be published in the Criminal Law Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • One-year student membership in the Criminal Law Section
The Honorable Mention Prizes:
  • $500 cash prize
  • Each of the papers awarded Honorable Mention status will be published in the Criminal Law Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • One-year student membership in the Criminal Law Section


To be eligible for consideration, the paper must be written solely by a student enrolled in law school at the time the author submits a paper to this Competition.

Contest Rules

The paper must pertain to criminal law and/or to criminal procedure, with a particular focus on contemporary issues of concern in the State of California. The paper should be original and scholarly. It should be appropriately and carefully annotated to reflect the authorities that support the author's opinions and findings, and upon which the author otherwise relies.

Papers should be between 1,500 and 4,500 words in length, including any citations, and should follow the citation style of The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation. Papers that have previously been published in a book, journal, magazine, or newspaper are not eligible.

Papers submitted to the Competition must be in Word format and sent by e-mail attachment to each of the Criminal Law Journal co-editors Anne PerryLani Biafore and Decio Rangel.

Papers submitted to the 2015-2016 Criminal Law Section Student Paper Competition must be e-mailed no later than midnight, February 29, 2016. Submissions must be accompanied by an e-mail cover letter verifying the author's current law school enrollment and authorizing the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar to publish the paper in the Criminal Law Journal.


The papers will be judged by members of the Criminal Law Executive Committee, who will evaluate the papers on their originality and informational value, as well as the quality of the author's legal research, writing and analysis. The decision of the judges is final. Papers must be of publishable quality, and the Criminal Law Section reserves the right not to award one or more of the listed prizes, if, in the sole opinion of the judges, the papers submitted in the Competition do not meet its standards.

The Criminal Law Section reserves the right to edit the papers that are selected for publication.

Retirement of Criminal Law Section Advisors Gregory Paraskou and Marshall Schulman

The Criminal Law Section would like to thank long time section advisors Gregory Paraskou and Marshall Schulman. After years of service to the Criminal Law Section, both are retiring from practice.

Gregory Paraskou began practicing law in 1971 after graduating from the University of California Hasting College of the Law. In 1972, he began his 28-year career with the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s office. While a deputy public defender, Greg was on the special trials unit, handling many homicides and high profile cases including People v. Richard Farley, a 1988 case involving a mass shooting at a high-tech firm. In 2000, Greg moved to Santa Barbara where he served first as Assistant Public Defender and later, as the Chief Public Defender. Greg served for many years as a member and advisor to the Executive Committee of the State Bar Criminal Law Section. When asked what advice he had for criminal law practitioners, Greg stated, “it is important to remember that your first consideration is what is in the best interests of the client. When you ask that question and answer it honestly, it becomes pretty clear what you have to do.” Greg is enjoying his retirement – he is involved with several non-profit organizations, and is learning to play the piano.

Marshall Schulman, who will turn 89 years old this month, first started practicing law in 1953 after graduating from Loyola Law School. He began working as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1956. As a prosecutor, Marshall handled several high profile cases, including prosecution of the “Onion Field” murder case. After nearly 10 years of service as a prosecutor, Marshall left the office to begin a successful criminal defense practice in Santa Ana. In 2002, Marshall moved his practice to San Francisco, a location closer to his wife’s family. He served for many years as a member and then advisor of the Executive Committee of the State Bar Criminal Law Section. He states that what he liked most about his service on the Committee was “the camaraderie between the defense lawyers and prosecutors.” Marshall was instrumental in implementing the policy of balancing defense and prosecution members on the Committee. In addition to his service to the Criminal Law Section, Marshall was a past President of the Orange County chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, was elected into the American College of Trial Attorneys and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, and was one of the founders of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He was instrumental in developing the State Bar Criminal Law Specialization program. When asked to sum up his thoughts about the practice of criminal law, Marshall stated, “it is the most challenging, interesting, and rewarding area of the practice of law. I enjoy my colleagues and my opponents. I find that it is a highly ethical practice, which is surprising to most people. I am going to miss it terribly.”

Do You Miss a Webinar? It's in Our Online Catalog!

Criminal Law Section members can get participatory MCLE credit for viewing programs online, including webinars put on by the Criminal Law Section that you may have missed. Choose from Criminal Law programs.

6 Hours of Self-Study CLE in the Specialty Areas -- Complimentary for Members of the Criminal Law Section!

As a 2015 benefit of Section membership, we are pleased to offer six hours of MCLE credit, offering credit in all of the MCLE subfields.

The Criminal Law Section Thanks You for Your Membership.  Member Benefit: 6 hours MCLE creditIf you were purchasing these courses individually in our Online Catalog, they would cost $210 -- so that's your Section membership more than paid for, and then some!

Just watch these programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you're audited for MCLE compliance.

You can access these programs and the accompanying written materials any time this year in the Members Only Area.

Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession

  • Understanding the Role of the Interpreter – One More Way to Eliminate Bias in the Courtroom

Competency Issues (formally known as Detection & Prevention of Substance Abuse)

  • Staying Healthy and Mentally Competent Throughout a Long Legal Career

Legal Ethics

  • Advertising Your Expertise and Experience: What Can You Do to Build Your Practice While Meeting Your Ethical Obligations?
  • Conflicts of Interest and Disqualification Arising from Prior Client Representation: What are the Rules?
  • Ethics Update 2014: Significant Development in the Law of Lawyering 
  • Lawyering on the Outside: Electronic Communications & Social Networking vs. Ethics & Professional Responsibility

Articles from the Criminal Law E-Bulletin

The Criminal Law E-Bulletin is sent each month to members of the Section. The E-Bulletin often includes articles of lasting interest, and we have compiled some of these from 2012 on and posted them in the Members Only Area. Section members can access the articles by clicking on the link and signing in to My State Bar Profile.

The Sections and CYLA Are on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn

Social media, anyone? The Sections and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) now have pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where we can keep you up-to-date on our latest news and events.

We're also looking forward to interacting with a wider community and reaching out to people who are not currently members.

We invite you to "Like" us and follow our "Tweets."

And by the way, the CYLA definition of "young" is any California attorney under the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice.


Like us! Follow us! Connect with us!

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Criminal Law Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

 A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Criminal Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415/538-2368 fax