Symposium scheduled to honor Bernie Witkin

In a tribute to its legendary namesake, the first symposium of the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library will focus on the latest changes to legal information access in California. The program will be held at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton on May 16.

"Shaping the Future of Legal Information" will feature Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George as the keynote speaker.

The state's law library, located in Sacramento, was recently designated as the Bernard E. Witkin Law Library in memory of the longtime California legal scholar who died in 1995 at the age of 91. Witkin spent a lifetime attempting to simplify and demystify the study of the legal profession.

Witkin disdained the impracticality and pedagogy of law school, later publishing nine more volumes of his book, absent legalese, Latin phrases and footnotes.

"Bernie's body of work is the clearest and most comprehensive guide to knowing what the law is and how to apply it," wrote Second District Court of Appeal Justice Norman L. Epstein.

Although he never practiced law or sat on the bench, Witkin became California's foremost legal writer. The only honorary member of the California Judges Association, Witkin helped develop the state's judicial education center and fund publication of judicial ethics and retirement handbooks.

The Witkin Law Library web address is: csllaw@library.ca.gov. For more information on the symposium, contact Frances M. Jones at 916/653-3883.