Got Bias? The New Bias Prevention Committee Wants Your Help, with Ben Shatz

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
June 13, 2023

Improper conduct by a trial judge is one thing. But where do you take complaints against an appellate court? Supreme Court Associate Justice Martin Jenkins heads up a new Bias Prevention Committee, and committee member Ben Shatz joins us to talk about its mission: to promote an appellate court environment free of bias and the appearance of bias.

What is the best way to do that? That’s where you come in. As attorneys, litigants, or amici curiae, your suggestions are needed on how to support the integrity and impartiality in our appellate courts. Some ideas:

  • The #1 form of judicial misconduct: breaches of demeanor and decorum.
  • #2 on the list? Bias for or against a litigant—but not with respect to any suspect classifications (which is #10 on the list).
  • The 35-year-long campaign to address judicial misconduct started by addressing the long history in the courts of diminutive language and attitudes toward women. In what ways do these patterns persist, and what are good ways to report them?
  • Spanish and Asian names in court opinions are inconsistently used, perhaps out of ignorance. How can the courts do better?
  • Addressing misconduct before it becomes long-standing (e.g., the Justice Johnson trial involved 100 witnesses testifying over 17 days).

All members of the public are welcomed and encouraged to contact any of the members of the Bias Prevention Committee: Chair J. Martin Jenkins; J. Helen Bendix; J. Stacie Bouleware Eurie; J. Do; J. Carin Fujisaki; J. Cynthia Lie; J. Rosendo Pena; 2d DCA XO Eva McClintock; DAG Amit Kurlekar; DAG Charles Ragland; Central CAP Exec Director Laurel Thorpe; Private Attorneys: Charles Sevilla, Ben Shatz, Rasha Gerges Shields, Rupa Singh.

Ben Shatz’s biography, LinkedIn profile, and blog, SoCal Appellate News.

Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed.

Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page.

Sign up for Not To Be Published, Tim Kowal’s weekly legal update, or view his blog of recent cases.

The California Appellate Law Podcast thanks Casetext for sponsoring the podcast. Listeners receive a discount on Casetext Basic Research at The co-hosts, Jeff and Tim, were also invited to try Casetext’s newest technology, CoCounsel, the world’s first AI legal assistant. You can discover CoCounsel for yourself with a demo and free trial at

Other items discussed in the episode:

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys at Contact Tim at or (714) 641-1232.

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