Witkin Legal Institute
About Board Members Witkin Fellows

The Witkin Legal Institute was a work in progress during B.E. Witkin's lifetime. It was established by Bancroft-Whitney and the Witkin Estate in 1996, shortly after his death. It is now an editorial department of Thomson Reuters Westlaw. The staff is comprised of 10 attorney-editors and 5 manuscript editors, selected and trained by B.E. Witkin in his methods of selection, organization and production of the Witkin treatises.

The mission of the Witkin Legal Institute is to further B.E. Witkin’s life-long commitment to advancing the understanding of California law and improving the administration of justice. The Institute will achieve these goals by:

  • Maintaining and enhancing the quality of the treatises that comprise the Witkin Library
  • Developing publications and programs that serve the ongoing educational needs of California judges and attorneys
  • Supporting the professional activities of local bar associations, judicial organizations, and law schools

A board of distinguished lawyers and judges provides guidance about Institute activities and programs for the legal community, and a group of prominent members of the California bench and bar speak at Institute programs as Witkin Fellows.

For editorial questions or comments about the Witkin treatises, or the work of the Witkin Legal Institute, contact John Hanft or Dave Bonelli, Directors of the Witkin Legal Institute.

Dave Bonelli

John Hanft

Witkin Legal Institute
425 Market Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

 

Directors

Dave R. Bonelli

Co-Director of the Witkin Legal Institute

A.A. Foothill College (Los Altos)

A.B. Stanford University (Economics, with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa)

J.D. Stanford Law School

Member, California Bar

Dave left the private practice of law to join Bancroft-Whitney in 1976. He became a member of the Witkin Department in 1983, and was named Co-Director in 1994. His areas of concentration include Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions in Personal Property, Criminal Law, and Evidence.

John K. Hanft

Co-Director of the Witkin Legal Institute

B.A. Reed College (History)

J.D. University of Oregon

M.B.A. Golden Gate University (Taxation)

Member, California Bar

John began his career at Bancroft-Whitney in 1976, and joined the Witkin Department in 1981 as one of the original members. He was named Co-Director in 1994. His areas of concentration include Criminal Law, Courts, Trusts, and Wills and Probate.

Author, Legal Research in California 6th; co-author Wills, Trusts, and Estates for Legal Assistants 2d

Instructor, San Francisco State University Paralegal Program (Legal Research and Writing; Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning)

Bar Association of San Francisco Pro Bono Volunteer Award (1989, 1992)

Attorney Editors

Herbert F. Miller

B.A. University of California, Berkeley (Psychology)

J.D. Golden Gate University School of Law

Member, California Bar

Herb practiced civil litigation in San Francisco before joining Bancroft-Whitney in 1987. He became a member of the Witkin Department in 2007 after previously working on the California Official Reports and West's National Reporter System. His areas of concentration include Criminal Law, Torts, and Enforcement of Judgment.

Jay R. Nicolaisen

B.A. University of California, Berkeley (Music, Phi Beta Kappa)

M.A. Yale University (Music History)

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (Music History)

J.D. University of San Francisco (Magna Cum Laude)

Member, California Bar

Jay joined Bancroft-Whitney in 1984, after having worked as an associate at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro. He became a member of the Witkin Department in 1994. Prior to joining Witkin, Jay served as Director of the California Official Reports group. His areas of concentration include Sales, Evidence, Criminal Law, Jurisdiction, and Trial.

Author, Italian Opera in Transition: 1871-1893

Sarah B. Pate

B.A. Concord College (English and Political Science, Magna Cum Laude)

J.D. Washington and Lee University School of Law

Member, West Virginia Bar

Before joining the Witkin Legal Institute in 2012, Sarah worked for 17 years as a legal editor with other publishers, including Bancroft-Whitney. Her Witkin areas of concentration are Criminal Law, Attorneys, Proceedings Without Trial, Workers’ Compensation, Partnership, and Corporations.

Clerkship, West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

James O. Pearson

B.A. Yale University (Psychology)

J.D. Boalt Hall (University of California, Berkeley)

Member, California Bar

Jim joined Bancroft-Whitney in 1970, and has been a member of the Witkin Department since its formation in 1981. Before joining Witkin, Jim worked in the ALR department, and wrote a number of annotations. His areas of concentration include Appeal, Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law.

Sylvia L. Spears

B.A. University of Utah (English Literature)

M.A. Claremont Graduate School (English Literature)

J.D. Boalt Hall (University of California, Berkeley)

Member, California Bar

Sylvia left the private practice of law to begin her career at Bancroft-Whitney in 1985, and joined the Witkin Department in 1990. Her publication background at Bancroft-Whitney includes work on California Jurisprudence and California Official Reports, and her Witkin areas of concentration are Criminal Law, Provisional Remedies, Husband and Wife, and Parent and Child.

James C. Thomas

B.A. Marquette University (Journalism, Dean's List)

J.D. Golden Gate University School of Law

Member, California Bar

Jim practiced law in San Francisco before joining Bancroft-Whitney in 1985. He became a member of the Witkin Department in 1990, after previously working on legal publications including California Official Reports and California Codes. He has also served as an editorial manager. In the Witkin Department, his areas of concentration include Actions, Extraordinary Writs, Agency and Employment, Equity, Community Property, and Administrative Proceedings.

Past Member, Professional Society of Journalists, SDX.

Lisa A. Wenger

B.A. University of California at Santa Barbara (Environmental Studies, with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa)

J.D. Stanford Law School

Member, Colorado Bar

Lisa was hired by Bancroft-Whitney in 1990, and joined the Witkin Department in 1994. Her pre-Witkin experience included work on California Civil Practice, where she managed development of the environmental law module. Her areas of concentration include Criminal Law, Judgment, Attack on Judgment, Personal Property, Real Property, and Taxation.

Clerkship, Colorado Supreme Court

Staff Attorney, 10th Circuit Court of Appeal

Manuscript Editors

Michael R. Christensen

B.S. Sonoma State University (Business Management)

Michael began his career at Bancroft-Whitney in 1989, and joined the Witkin Department in 2008.

Dale L. Dickson

A.A. College of San Mateo (Liberal Arts)

Dale joined the Witkin Department in 1997. She coordinates the efforts of the Witkin support staff and is our liaison with manufacturing.

Linda I. Glover

B.A. Occidental College (English Literature)

Linda came to Bancroft-Whitney in 1986. For many years, she was the technical lead for the California Official Reports team. She worked on a variety of other California products before joining the Witkin Legal Institute in 2012.

Janet M. Mueller

B.A. University of California, Davis (English Literature)

Janet joined Thomson in 2006 and worked as a marketing coordinator for the Barclays team before joining the Witkin Legal Institute in 2012.

John Y. Pang

La Salle College (Hong Kong)

John joined the Witkin Department in 1997. He coordinates the preparation of tables for the Witkin treatises, and assists with computer coding and testing.

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Copyright 2005 B.E. Witkin Article Sixth Testamentary Trust
Copyright 2005 Thomson Information Services

Last updated
Monday, June 10, 2013