Bernard E. Witkin Biographical Information
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B. E. Witkin was born on May 22, 1904, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to Russian immigrant parents. His family moved to San Francisco when he was five years old. He lived in Berkeley, California for most of his life. He passed away on December 23, 1995.


A.B. University of California (1925)
LL.B. University of California (Boalt Hall) (1928)

Professional Positions

Private practice of law (1928 - 1930)
Law Secretary, Supreme Court Justice William B. Langdon (1930 - 1939)
Law Secretary, Supreme Court Justice Phil S. Gibson (1939 - 1941)
Draftsman, Judicial Council Rules on Appeal (1941 - 1943)
Reporter of Decisions (Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court) (1940 - 1949)

Teaching Activities

Bar review courses (1930 - 1955)
Continuing legal education courses for returning World War II veterans
Lecturer, Continuing Education of the Bar
Lecturer, National Judicial College Graduate Program
Lecturer, California Judicial College
Lecturer, various local bar associations, law schools, and judges' institutes and workshops conducted by the Judicial Council and by the California Judges Association

Professional Associations

Member, California State Bar
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
Member, Alameda County Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Advisory Member, California Judicial Council
Advisory Member, Governing Committee of California Center for Judicial Education and Research


Summary of California Law, 16 volumes
California Procedure, 10 volumes
California Criminal Law (co-author Justice Norman L. Epstein), 6 volumes
California Evidence, 3 volumes
Significant Developments in California Procedure, 1968
Significant Developments in California Substantive Law, 1967, 1991
Manual on Appellate Court Opinions, 1977

Impact on California Law

B.E. Witkin's career in the law spanned almost 70 years, included an impressive range of activities, and took place as the law of California was experiencing exponential growth in both size and complexity. In his positions as Supreme Court clerk and Reporter of Decisions, and in his activities as a tireless writer and lecturer, a teacher to experienced judges and to aspiring members of the Bar, and an advocate for legal reform, Mr. Witkin's impact on California's law, and on the law of other states, was enormous. The fact that his treatises have been cited by the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal more than 20,000 times is a lasting tribute to his genius and influence.

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Copyright 2005 B.E. Witkin Article Sixth Testamentary Trust
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Last updated
Friday, June 26, 2015