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Advocacy at a Higher Level

Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.

Beth J. Jay

Beth J. Jay

Of Counsel - San Francisco Office

How Beth Helps Clients

Beth J. Jay brings more than 35 years of experience at the California Supreme Court to her role providing analysis and strategy in complex appellate matters, particularly petitions for review to California’s high court. 

After working for two associate justices as a research attorney, she served as Principal Attorney to three California Chief Justices, during the full terms of Chief Justices Malcolm M. Lucas and Ronald M. George, and from the beginning of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s term in January 2011 until Beth fully retired from the court in 2015. Beth participated in the decision-making work of the court, drafting memoranda and opinions in cases in which review had been granted, consulting with and editing the work of other attorneys, and analyzing petitions seeking the court’s review.

Beth led and participated in numerous Supreme Court, Judicial Council, and State Bar Committees focusing on diverse issues including multi-jurisdictional practice, insurance legislation, judicial and attorney ethics, and court procedures. She also consulted with judicial system, executive branch, and legislative personnel on various legislative initiatives.

Since joining the firm in 2019, Beth has focused on analyzing and providing strategy for petitions for review to the California Supreme Court, and on structuring and editing briefs and motions at all appellate levels. She also serves on panels for moot courts for attorneys from Horvitz & Levy and other firms. Her in-depth experience with cases before the appellate courts has provided her with effective tools for assisting counsel in preparing for oral argument as well as in developing compelling and thorough briefing.

Beth has served as president of one of the oldest Inns of Courts in California and was selected by the District Court for the Northern District of California to serve as an attorney delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. She received the State Bar’s highest honor, the Witkin Medal, awarded to an attorney “who has helped shape the legal landscape through an extraordinary body of work,” as well as OneJustice’s Access to Justice Award.

Representative Matters

Boermeester v. Carry (II) (2024)
California Court of Appeal holds that private universities disciplining students for sexual assault or intimate partner violence may employ an investigatory model in which the same university official acts as investigator and factfinder.

Boermeester v. Carry (2023)
California Supreme Court holds that universities disciplining students for sexual assault or intimate partner violence do not need to provide the accused student with an opportunity for real-time cross-examination of witnesses.

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (2023) 
California Supreme Court holds emergency medical service providers may maintain reimbursement actions against publicly operated health care service plans.

Guardianship of Saul H. (2022)
California Supreme Court reverses Court of Appeal, holding Horvitz & Levy's client is entitled to state court findings allowing him to apply to the federal government for Special Immigrant Juvenile status.


  • Stanford University Law School
    J.D., 1972
  • Vassar College
    B.A., 1969


  • Central Staff, U.S. Court of Appeals, for the Ninth Circuit (1977-1980)
  • Research Attorney to Associate Justice Frank Richardson (1980-1984)
  • Research Attorney to Associate Justice Malcolm M. Lucas (1984-1987)
  • Principal Attorney to three Chief Justices (1987-2015)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Professional Associations

Activities Concerning the Administration of Justice

  • 2007-2015
    Speaker at State Bar Court Judges annual retreat.

  • 2005- 2015
    Ongoing meetings with the capital case defendant organizations, including CAP, HCRC, and the SPD. Meetings focus on improving procedures, attracting counsel, and potential rule changes. The Attorney General's office also participated at times.

  • 2000-2015
    Member, Supreme Court standing Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics, 2000-2015.

  • 2011-2012
    Advisory Board, OneJustice, development of statewide Hearings on the Administration of Justice.

  • 2010-2011
    Ex officio member, State Bar Governance Task Force.

  • 2008-2009
    Member, Supreme Court Implementation Committee for the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions.

  • 2006-2008
    Participant and presenter in meetings with Chief Judge Mary Schroeder, Judge Arthur Alarcon, Chief Justice Ronald George, and other state and federal judges concerning habeas corpus issues; addressed the State-Federal Judicial Council on habeas corpus proceedings in California courts.

  • 2005-2008
    Member, State Bar Committee on Insurance Disclosure.

  • 2005-2006
    Member, Supreme Court Committee on the Publication of Court of Appeal Opinions chaired by Justice Kathryn Werdegar.

  • 2002-2005
    Member, Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Ethics Issues and the Presiding Judge’s Role.

  • 2003
    Judge, Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Witkin Legal Institute.

  • 2002-2003
    Member, State Bar Committee on accreditation of online law schools.

  • 2001 & 2003
    Participant in meetings convened by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Mary Schroeder and U.S. District Court Judge Judith Keep, Central District, California, concerning habeas corpus coordination in capital cases.

  • 2002
    Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Lawyer Discipline.

  • 2002
    Participated on panels on Multijurisdictional Practice; at the ABA Center for Professionalism Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada.

  • 2000-2001
    Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Multijurisdictional Practice.

  • 2001-2002
    Member, Supreme Court Multijurisdictional Practice Implementation Committee, convened to develop rules to implement the recommendations of the committee adopted by the Supreme Court.

  • 1999-2001
    Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Multijurisdictional Practice.

  • 1999-2001
    Liaison with California Court of Appeal Justice Elwood Lui, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to serve as special master to supervise the collection and distribution of fees for the operation of the attorney discipline system pursuant to the court’s decision in In re Attorney Discipline System (1998) 19 Cal.4th 582.

  • 2001
    Invited participant, Conference of Chief Justices and ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Conference on Professionalism and Multijurisdictional Practice.

  • 2000-2015
    Member, Supreme Court standing Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics.

  • 2000
    Invited participant, ABA and Fordham University Law School-sponsored Symposium on the Multijurisdictional Practice of Law.

  • 2000
    Member, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Disability.

  • 2000
    Member, Supreme Court Committee on Canon 3E (Judicial Disqualification.)

  • 1997
    Panelist, Center for Judicial Education and Research Attorney Institute: “Communicating with the Legislative Branch;” Panelist, California Judicial Administration Institute discussing changes in procedures for certification of the record in death penalty appeals; Panelist, California Judicial Administration Institute discussing AB 195 requirements and rules (changes in procedures for certification of the record in death penalty appeals.)

  • 1994-1996
    Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Adoption of the Code of Judicial Ethics.

  • 1995
    Led an internal committee to develop procedures and rules to address the constitutional revisions to the role of the Commission on Judicial Performance effective 1995.

  • 1995
    Participant, ABA Litigation Section's "The Woman Advocate '95" Conference, San Francisco. Panelist on Appellate practice. Lecturer, State Bar Office of General Counsel.

  • 1995
    Lecturer, State Bar Association Convention.

  • 1993
    Developed a statewide conference on sexual harassment training for the appellate courts.

  • 1991-1993
    Contributor: Commission on the Future of the California Courts, culminating in the report “Justice in the Balance: 2020” issued in 1993.

  • 1982-1984
    Reader, State Bar Examination.

  • 1978 – 1979
    Lecturer, advanced legal research and writing, John F. Kennedy University Law School.

  • Additional Activities
    During her tenure on the staff of the California Supreme Court, Beth met with groups that handle or assist appointed counsel in death penalty appeals and habeas corpus proceedings, the California Attorney General’s office, the California Appellate Project, the Office of State Public Defender, and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center. These meetings resulted in rule changes, the development of new educational opportunities, and other efforts to attract more counsel to accept appointment in these matters. She held regular meetings with the staff of the State Bar and of the State Bar court to discuss improvements in procedure and processing. She regularly attended the Chief Justice’s meetings with the administrative presiding Justices of the Courts of Appeal. She confirmed with legislative and legislative staff on issues concerning the courts, particularly the Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court.


  • Top Verdicts by Daily Journal (2023)
  • CLAY award (California Lawyer Attorney of the Year) by Daily Journal (2023)
  • Top Verdicts by Daily Journal (2022) 
  • Bernard E. Witkin Medal, the State Bar’s highest honor, for her lifetime body of work
  • Daily Journal's 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California 
  • Access to Justice Award