JUSTICE WILLIAM DATO
Justice William Dato was confirmed to the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One in February 2017. Previously he was a judge of the San Diego Superior Court for 13 years, serving as supervising judge of the North County branch, presiding judge of the court’s appellate division, and in a variety of substantive assignments.
Before his appointment to the bench, Justice Dato was a certified appellate law specialist in private practice and worked as an appellate court staff attorney with the California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeal. He has also been an adjunct professor at both the University of San Diego School of Law and California Western School of Law, teaching appellate practice and products liability.
Married and the father of four children, Justice Dato is a native San Diegan. He received his law degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 1980 and his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from San Diego State University in 1977.
For over 31 years, Susan Horst was the writ attorney for Division One of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District. Her responsibilities as writ attorney gave her extensive experience in all aspects of substantive and procedural law criminal and civil law. Prior to her service at the Court of Appeal, Susan was an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco where she tried misdemeanor and felony jury trials and served as head of the vice crimes unit.
Since 2013 she has been in private practice in San Francisco consulting on pre-trial motions, as well as writs and appeals in civil and criminal cases. She is Counsel with the California Appellate Law Group (calapplaw.com) and is named on the Northern California Super Lawyers List as well as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Lawyers in America” in appellate law.
A frequent lecturer on writ practice, Susan has written numerous training materials for continuing education lectures and is a co-author of chapters in Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) criminal practice treatises.
She serves as an Advisor on the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the California Lawyers Association, and provides pro bono services to the Advokids Appellate Project.
BENJAMIN G. SHATZ
Benjamin G. Shatz co-Chairs Manatt’s Appellate Practice Group. He has briefed hundreds of civil appeals, writs and petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals, California Supreme Court, and California Courts of Appeal, covering areas of law including entertainment, copyright, trademark, employment, land use, banking, insurance, product liability, professional liability, wrongful death, punitive damages, class actions, anti-SLAPP, and unfair competition.
Before joining Manatt, Mr. Shatz was in the appellate department of an international law firm. He also served as law clerk to The Honorable Robert J. Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Nevada, and as extern to The Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a frequent lecturer and author, having been published in California Litigation, California Lawyer, Los Angeles Lawyer, Inside Counsel, The Daily Journal, The Recorder, For the Defense, California Defender, CEB Civil Litigator Reporter, and many other legal publications.