Article Submission

The Gavel is the official publication of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.  It is published quarterly and is distributed to over 750 readers including OCTLA Members, local ADR firms, law schools, Orange County Judges, District Attorneys and Public Defenders. The Gavel is designed to provide informative and interesting articles relating to trial practice.

The Gavel accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration. Articles are usually 2-4 single–spaced pages (3,000–5,000 words), but will consider shorter and longer articles. Articles may be shortened or edited for style or space requirements of The Gavel. Articles are judged on the basis of research, writing, topic, and interest to the membership of OCTLA. 

The Gavel follows the California Manual on Style for legal citations. Manuscripts submitted should follow those rules as closely as possible. All citations to authorities from outside California should at least include the West regional reporter, and preferably the state’s official reporter.

  • To submit your article to The Gavel, please email a draft in an editable format (i.e. - .doc, .docx) to


Submit an Article to the Gavel

We are looking for:

  1. Articles with useful and practical information relating to trial practice.
  2. Although articles should be accurately researched and may provide citations to authorities, The Gavel is not interested in printing law review-type articles.
  3. Cite only to official reports and do not cite to unpublished cases.
  4. Gender-neutral language should be used unless an issue that is gender specific is involved.
  5. Articles should be single-spaced and no more than 5,000 words (or under 5 pages).
  6. The Gavel prefers articles to be submitted in MS Word (.doc) file. Please limit your formatting to italics and bolding where needed. Please avoid setting tabs and paragraph indention, bullet points, extra spacing, footnotes and endnotes

Suggested Writing Topics:

  • Do’s and/or Don’ts at Trial
  • Do’s and/or Don’ts of Oral Argument
  • A View from the Jury Box (from juror interviews and/or evaluation forms)
  • Perspectives from the Bench
  • How to Give a Great Opening Statement
  • How to Give an Effective Closing Argument
  • Effective Cross-Examination of the Opposing Party
  • Effective Cross-Examination of Experts
  • Jury Selection
  • Proving Damages in unique injury
  • How to Maximize Damages
  • How to Argue Future Damages in the Age of the Affordable Care Act
  • Making Sure Your Future Damages Aren’t Speculative
  • Motion Writing 101
  • Law & Motion
  • Expedited Jury Trials
  • New Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Of course, these are only suggested topics and we welcome the submission of any article that may be of interest to our readers.

The Gavel retains copyright on all articles. The Gavel freely grants permission to others to reprint the article, upon their agreement to acknowledge the copyright.  The editors may make editorial changes to an article, without changing its substance. 

A photo of the author should accompany the article with a few lines of biographical information and submitted via e-mail to The Gavel Editor, Brooke Bove at or to Additional photos related to the article may also be submitted for consideration.


The submission deadlines are listed below:


Winter - January          December 5
Spring - April              March 5
Summer- July              June 5
Fall - October             September 5


Please Note: The views expressed by the author may not reflect the official policy of OCTLA.No endorsement of those views should be inferred.


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