GGU Law Review Blog

The 11th Annual Chief Justice Ronald M. George Distinguished Lecture Series

The Golden Gate University (GGU) Law Review publishes scholarly writing on a broad range of legal topics, including constitutional law, criminal procedure, immigration law, contract law, and administrative law. Established in 1969, the GGU Law Review celebrates 50 years of excellence in legal scholarship this year

In addition to two, yearly print issues, each spring, the GGU Law Review mounts the Annual Chief Justice Ronald M. George Distinguished Lecture. Named after the legendary former Chief Justice of California, the series shines a spotlight on the vital role of the courts by bringing together judicial leaders to share their perspectives on critical issues facing the judiciary; 2020 marked the 11th instance of Lecture.

To celebrate the GGU Law Review’s 50th Anniversary milestone, the event featured a discussion with GGU Law alumna, the Honorable Morgan Brenda Christen (JD ‘86), Judge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If you were unable to make this year’s Distinguished Lecture, below is just a snapshot of what you missed.

For a small glimpse into the evening’s historic proceedings, feel free to peruse the event program.


This year’s event was held at the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark, located at the corner of Seventh and Mission Streets in San Francisco. Opened in 1905, this is considered one of America’s most beautiful public buildings.

Today, it is the headquarters for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears appeals from lower court decisions in the federal courts of nine Western states. Court of Appeals oral argument hearings are held for one week of each month, and the public may attend. For more information, or to see the court’s calendar of oral arguments, check their website. For those outside of the San Francisco Bay Area or otherwise unable to attend oral arguments in person, the public may also watch oral arguments via livestream.

The court also offers free docent-led public tours of the historic courthouse on Tuesdays. The tours begin at 1 p.m. and last approximately 60 minutes. The tours include visiting the old post office lobby on the first floor, and available courtrooms. No reservations are required for individuals to join the public tour. More information on tours can be found here.

The GGU Law Review publishes two issues annually: a Comments issue and an issue reviewing decisions of the Ninth Circuit. The GGU Law Review’s Ninth Circuit Survey is the only publication in the nation dedicated exclusively to decisions issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“The bar should be grateful to the law review for that effort. The Ninth Circuit is the last stop for the overwhelming majority of cases. Review by the Supreme Court is sought for only a fraction of the Ninth Circuit’s decisions, and the Supreme Court takes for consideration on the merits only about one per cent of those cases in which a petition for certiorari is filed. To be sure, the Court takes many high-profile cases, but even most cases that could be described that way do not get selected by the Court for plenary consideration. As a practical matter, lawyers considering an appeal to the Ninth Circuit know that it will be the final appeal for all but a handful of cases. Understanding more about the court’s decisions may help a lawyer craft more persuasive arguments.” —The Honorable Richard R. Clifton

Every year, the Survey showcases student work on key decisions of the court over a variety of legal fields, delving beyond the results of the Ninth Circuit cases to analyze the underlying reasoning, effect, and possible implications on future law, and this year’s Survey is no different. Hand in glove with the Survey is the Annual Chief Justice Ronald M. George Distinguished Lecture Series where students pieces selected for publication in the Survey are presented.

At this year’s event, the GGU Law Review’s Executive Online and Outside Articles Editor, Alyssa Chavers (JD ‘20), presented her forthcoming work titled “Williams v. Gaye: Further Blurring the Lines Between Inspiration and Infringement.”

Ms. Chavers’ presentation was followed by the GGU Law Review’s Executive Research Editor, Allyson M. McCain (JD ‘21), who presented her forthcoming work titled “Perez v. City of Roseville: Constitutional Protection for the Public Employee in ‘Matters Pertaining to Sex.’”

Their presentations, along with opening remarks by the GGU Law Review’s Editor-in-Chief, Kyndal Currie, and GGU School of Law’s Dean, Anthony Niedwiecki, can be viewed in full below.

While the editors of the GGU Law Review work on the final, print publication of Ms. Chavers’ and Ms. McCain’s articles, we welcome you to dive into the cases they analyzed below.

Williams v. Gaye, 885 F.3d 1150 (9th Cir. 2018).


Perez v. City of Roseville 926 F.3d 511 (9th Cir. 2019).


If you were unable to attend the 11th Annual Chief Justice Ronald M. George Distinguished Lecture Series, I hope that you will consider joining us for next year’s event. Until then, I will leave you with a few photos from this years event.

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