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the california supreme court historical society - programs & projects




A Conversation with Abraham Lincoln

July 13th at the California State Fair, Sacramento

This program commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech, I Have a Dream (put last phrase in italics) . The program features Jim Getty, Renowned Lincoln Actor and Historian.

This program is presented by the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, Sojourn to the Past, the California Judicial Center Library, eRepublic and the California Supreme Court Historical Society.

Program Flyer [PDF]  |  PROGRAM INFORMATION [PDF]  |  Program Agenda [PDF]





Chief Justice David S. Terry and Federalism: A Life and Doctrine in Three Acts

June 25, 2013, in Los Angeles  |  Program Information [PDF]

October 15, 2012, in San Francisco  |  Program Information [PDF]

Co-sponsored with the Northern District of California Historical Society, this unique presentation featured several state and federal judges, including California Supreme Court Justices Marvin Baxter and Kathryn Werdegar, in an investigation of federal-state relations in 19th century California.





Direct Democracy: The Cause of California's Problems or the Solution

This event occurred October 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles

Program Media: Program Details [PDF]  |  "The Takeaway"  |  Program Video  |  Program Photos






Rebooting California: Initiatives, Conventions & Government Reform, September 24, 2010

This day-long program explored the law and policies of Constitutional Reform for California and a possible Constitutional Convention.

This program was hosted by Loyola Law School and the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and co-sponsored by The California Supreme Court Historical Society, the California State Association of Counties, the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University, Center for Governmental Studies, Civil Justice Program at Loyola Law School, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, League of California Cities, Los Angeles Press Club and United Ways of California.

Click here for additional information






Civil and Uncivil Rights in California: The Early Legal History, Monday, June 1, 2009

This program was held at the L.A. Times' Harry Chandler Auditorium and was sponsored by: The California Supreme Court Historical Society, the Los Angeles Times, Southwestern Law School, Public Counsel, the Los Angeles County Bar Association Appellate Courts Committee and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society.

Panelists included Hon. Joseph Grodin, former Associate Justice of the Cal. Supreme Court, and a distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings, and Dr. Jean Pfaelzer, a professor at the University of Delaware and author of "Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans." Jim Newton, editor of the LA Times Editorial Page, moderated. Dr. Robert Chao Romero, a UCLA assistant professor in the Dept. of Chicano/a Studies, also provided additional remarks.






Clara Foltz and the Role of the Public Defender, April 21, 2011

Clara Foltz was the first woman admitted to the California Bar and the first to propose the creation of a public defender.  This panel presentation explored her vision of the public defender, the evolution of the office and its role today.

This program was presented by The Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and co-sponsored by the California Supreme Court Historical Society.

Click for program details [PDF]






Civil and Uncivil Constitutional Rights in California: The Early Legal History

A colloquium held on Thursday, January 22, 2009. PROGRAM PDF






Educational Programs, with topics including forensic history and the role of historians in the courtroom; the past, present, and future of California's courthouses; WWII reparations cases; civil rights and civil liberties during wartime; and religion, the state, and the First Amendment.

Report on California -- Laboratory of Legal Innovation [PDF] held in 2006, available here.

Report on the Perspectives on Judicial Elections: Then and Now [PDF] held in 2007, available here.






Receptions with fellow CSCHS members and Justices of the California Supreme Court.






Oral history of former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin, completed under the direction of the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley.






Justice Stanley Mosk Archival Project, completed under the direction of the California Judicial Center Library.






Tour Program of the Earl Warren Building (the Supreme Court's headquarters) and the Hiram W. Johnson Building in San Francisco, conducted under the direction of the California Supreme Court. The buildings are located in San Francisco's Civic Center District at 350 McAllister Street, between Polk and Larkin Streets. For information about these docent-led tours, call 415-865-7597.






Grants and gifts are available from the Society for scholarly projects and publications dealing with California legal and judicial history that advance the mission of the Society. The Society has given gifts to the Institute of Governmental Studies at U.C. Berkeley to continue oral histories of retired California Supreme Court justices.






Historical Documents: 1878-1879 California Constitutional Convention Working Papers






A Student Writing Competition for law students and graduate students to write about the California legal history, including the history of the California Supreme Court. (CLICK HERE FOR WINNERS)







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