Training: General Information

2019 CGJA Training Programs

Every year the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA) conducts training programs for grand juries on their various civil functions. Experienced and highly qualified trainers teach these programs at either a regional seminar where jurors and alternates from multiple counties convene or an “onsite” seminar where a team of trainers travels to a specific location to conduct training for one to three counties. All seminars include two full days of presentations and over 300 pages of training materials.

CGJA also conducts Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshops and Legal Advisors' Workshops, usually in conjunction with the summer regional seminars, and full-day Report Writing Workshops in the fall. See below for more information on these important workshops.

For further information on any of the CGJA training programs, please contact Training Committee Chair, Marsha Caranci, or by phone at (530) 242-6554.


Regional and Onsite Grand Jury Training Seminars

Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshops

Legal Advisors’ Training and Workshops

Report Writing Workshops



Click on any seminar or workshop below for more information, including location and cost.


Regional Grand Jury Training Seminars


The 2019 Regional Grand Jury Training Seminars have been completed. Check back in early 2020 for information on next year's seminars.


Click on "Regional Grand Jury Training Seminars" above for locations, costs, hotel information, and to register


Onsite Grand Jury Training Seminars

Onsite training is scheduled individually at convenient locations for each Grand Jury and consists of the same two-day program as is presented at Regional Seminars (see below). Individual attendee registration is not required as the county pays a set fee.


Regional and Onsite Training Seminar Content

Our training seminars are for both new and returning grand jurors, as well as for alternates. The main objective is to provide the knowledge and skills required to perform their civil oversight functions as grand jurors. The general session core subjects are:

Grand Jury Overview

This session orients jurors to the grand jury’s mission and the historical context of the grand jury system in California. This general session presents an overview of the grand jury year with an emphasis on what takes place during each phase of the jury’s term. It covers organization of the grand jury (including the responsibilities of the foreperson and the members of the grand jury) and the concept of the grand jury as a collegial, non-hierarchical body, sharing authority and operating as a unit.

Grand Jury Law

This session sensitizes jurors to the role of state law in governing grand jury activities. Citing specific Penal Code sections, it identifies what the grand jury must, may, and may not do. It provides references to case law and Attorney General Opinions useful to a fuller understanding of the grand jury’s powers and limitations as they pertain to its civil oversight function. The presentation also describes the accusation process for removing a person from public office.

Local Governments

This session describes the various local government agencies and entities that the grand jury is authorized to investigate and write reports about. They include the county, cities, special districts, school districts, joint powers authorities, and other specialized entities. In addition, this session introduces jurors to the laws that govern these governments, including state codes, regulations, case law, and local charters and ordinances.

Legal Topics

This session addresses the potential for juror defamation, the roles of the grand jury's statutory advisors, and the transparency and ethics laws that apply to all local governments, including the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Public Records Act, and the Political Reform Act.

Grand Jury Investigations

This session defines grand jury investigations, discusses juror conflicts and recusals, and lays a basic groundwork for conducting grand jury investigations. Other topics covered include deciding what to investigate, planning and organizing the investigation, and conducting the investigation – stressing verification of information through “triangulation.” The session also covers how the final report must flow directly from the investigation.

Grand Jury Interviews

Grand jurors will learn how to plan the interview, develop questions, conduct the interview, and analyze and verify the information obtained. The session also covers the importance of confidentiality and of determining the objectives of the interview. A portion of this session deals with proper professional demeanor, maintaining objectivity, and not jumping to conclusions. A video demonstration of a mock interview that highlights interviewing principles concludes the session.

Grand Jury Reports

This session covers the reasons for writing reports, the types of final reports, report format and content, and the writing process (organization, responsibilities, time required, and report release). It also describes the use of exit interviews to confirm the reports’ findings. The fall Report Writing Workshops (see below) help build the skills jurors need in order to write effective reports.

Additional Workshops

In addition to the core sessions, the seminar will include a workshop on Collegiality. Presentations on Continuity and Detention Facility Inspections are available to be viewed on video subsequent to the seminar, and a webinar will be available on Special Districts late summer or early fall.


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Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshops 


The 2019 Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshops have been completed. Check back in early 2020 for next year's worshop schedule.


Click on "Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshops" above for locations, costs, hotel information, and to register.


Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshop Content

This one-day workshop covers the leadership responsibilities of the foreperson and other officers of the grand jury. Topics include:

   • How to get started

   • Useful techniques for organizing the jury

   • Coordinating and facilitating the grand jury's work

   • Team building

   • California law as it applies to the foreperson's duties and responsibilities

   • The administrative and leadership roles and functions of the foreperson and pro tem

   • Dealing with interpersonal issues and conflict resolution techniques

Participants take part in a variety of group activities to enhance the learning experience through the sharing of ideas.


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Legal Advisors' Training and Workshops


The 2019 Legal Advisors' Training and Workshops have been completed. Check back in early 2020 for next year's schedule.


Click on "Legal Advisors' Training and Workshops" above for locations, costs, and hotel information.


Legal Advisors' Workshop Content

The Regional Grand Jury Training Seminar content is described above.

The three-hour workshop (8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) the second day of each regional seminar) is a round-table session focusing on the attorney’s role in providing legal services to the grand jury in connection with its civil investigatory functions. Topics include grand jury jurisdiction; advisors’ conflicts and ethical walls; defamation avoidance; grand juror misconduct and discharge, including due process concerns; and reviewing grand jury reports for legal compliance.

Those who attend the Legal Advisors’ Workshop will receive the 2019-2020 CGJA Training Manual, the Legal Advisors’ Guide, and the Compendium of California Grand Jury Law.


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Report Writing Workshops

Visalia, Tuesday, October 22
Rancho Cucamonga, Thursday, October 24
San Rafael, Monday, October 28
San Jose, Wednesday, October 30
Sacramento, Tuesday, November 5
Sacramento, Wednesday, November 6
Redding, Thursday, November 14


Report Writing Workshops Content

Each fall CGJA conducts several one-day report writing workshops in locations throughout the state to expand on the information presented in the summer two-day seminars. These workshops provide more explicit details about writing final grand jury reports including such topics as: defining facts, findings, and recommendations; selecting and managing editorial styles; tips on how to use compelling language; conducting exit interviews to verify findings; and the process and requirements for releasing final reports. This workshop provides helpful tools enabling grand juries to improve the quality, readability, accuracy, and effectiveness of their final reports. Hands-on exercises will provide practice in developing effective findings and recommendations.


2019 Seminar and Workshop Fees

  Two-Day Regional Training Seminar   $100 per person
  Two-Day Onsite Training Seminar   $2,300 for up to 20 people, and $25 per person for each additional, or
"   $1,500 per county for two counties up to 20 people each, and $25 per person thereafter, or
"   $1,300 per county for three counties up to 20 people each, and $25 per person thereafter.                                                            
  Foreperson and Pro Tem Workshop                                                                           $70 per person
  Legal Advisors' Workshop   $75 per person
  Fall Report Writing Workshops   $65 per person

Refund Policy


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