A good sense of the nature and scope of the Californian incident and controversy can be gained from my article, 'Titanic and the Mystery Ship? - Mystery Solved', which I wrote in response to Senan Molony's 2007 book about the Californian.
My article is informed not only by my detailed research, but also by my experience as a ship's officer and a maritime lawyer. Give it a go! After reading it, you'll be a Californian Expert.