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Understanding State & Local Government in California (Audio Only)

(59 reviews)

Produced on December 12, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Administrative

Course Description

California’s economy and political structure are heavily interconnected with domestic and international governmental, business and commercial operations. Understanding of the structure and organization of California’s State and Local Governments helps practitioners assist their clients in entering into and operating within the diverse and ever expanding California markets. 

This program, taught by William Smelko, a practitioner with over thirty-five years of experience, is designed to provide a primer on the myriad Agency, Commission, County, City and Local Governments in California, all of which exert tremendous regulatory and commercial influence over public and private commercial enterprises. The course will focus on: (i) describing the structure of California’s political and judicial systems; (ii) examining the nuances of local and agency activity which directly impacts those doing business in California; and (iii) providing participants with a working knowledge of how California State and Local Governments work in a 21st Century world.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the structure of California State and Local Governments
  2. Discuss the California Judicial System, including how it operates and its effect on the business operations of California and non-California residents alike
  3. Highlight unique areas where particularized knowledge of the nuances of California Law can help prevent problems before they become difficult issues for clients doing business in California or with California Governmental entities

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


William Smelko


Bill brings more than thirty-five years of experience to his representation of clients in litigation, with an emphasis on business bankruptcy, restructuring and corporate governance disputes. Bill has successfully litigated all aspects of bankruptcy matters from both the creditor’s and debtor’s perspective.  His practice also involves advising banks, credit unions and other financial institutions on a variety of bankruptcy related matters, including plan confirmation objections, asset disposition and use motions, stay relief litigation, lease disputes and the prosecution and defense of discharge objections and nondischargeability complaints. Bill has successfully argued a number of appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California's Fourth District Court of Appeal. Bill teaches Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Procedure and Workouts, Collections & Foreclosures at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law while also coaching Thomas Jefferson's Bankruptcy Law Moot Court and Negotiation Teams.

Bill is an experienced federal and state court litigator with extensive experience in defending and prosecuting writs, due process violation claims and political challenges based upon both statutory and constitutional rights claims for relief.  Most recently, in October 2016, Bill successfully defended the Ballot Statement Writ Challenge brought against the Proponents of Measure A in the San Diego Superior Court. In addition to his experience as a litigator in state and federal courts, Bill also served as a Member of the Board of Adjustment for the City of La Mesa directly evaluating challenges to various ordinance, zoning and planning determinations made by the Board for project developments. Bill worked with public agencies and municipalities in connection with claims seeking reimbursement of insurance benefits and bankruptcy crossover related claims and defenses. Bill also prosecuted and defended class action litigation for private clients in state and federal court proceedings. As the Chief Legal Counselor for the past 37 years at the California Boys State Program, Bill annually revises and updates the Manual of California Government used in the Program to educate student delegates about state, county and municipal governance issues and concerns.


Tarren T.

The course was content was not really what I had expected but still informative

Gregory K. N.

Good broad overview

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