Nearly 250 military personnel, Veterans, federal and state judiciary, civic and community leaders, and attorneys filled the Biltmore Bowl of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for an elegant evening of dining and dancing at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's First Annual Armed Forces Ball "Honoring America's Veterans" to support LACBA's Veteran-specific legal programs.
The Ball began with an elegant reception where guests greeted colleagues and friends and had an opportunity to meet and thank active duty personnel and Veterans for their service to our country. Each of the services was represented by service personnel on active duty and Veterans, many of who have served oversees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or World War II.
Dick Burdge, President of LACBA and U.S. Navy Veteran, opened the Armed Forces Ball and thanked guests for their support, followed by the presentation of the Colors by the United States Air Force Color Guard and the playing of the national anthem. A solemn moment followed, as past LACBA President Alan Steinbrecher, a former Navy fighter pilot with 177 combat missions flown during the Vietnam War and who retired as a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve, led a Toast to Fallen Comrades.
As part of the evening's program, LACBA's Armed Forces Committee recognized several Veterans and attorneys who have made significant contributions to Veterans services, including United States Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson; Public Counsel's Director of the Center for Veterans Advancement, Rick Little; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; and Cristin Zeisler, Partner & Director of Pro Bono Services at Manatt.
A surprise Volunteer Leadership Award, which will now be known as the Alan K. Steinbrecher Volunteer Leadership Award, was also presented to Mr. Steinbrecher, who as LACBA president, envisioned LACBA making a commitment to serve Veterans. Adam Siegler, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves who served in the Iraq War and who was the emcee for the night's program, presented each of the awards at this inaugural event.
Proceeds from the Armed Forces Ball will support the training and deployment of pro bono attorneys to assist Veterans with their VA benefits, family law matters, criminal defense, tax issues, housing challenges, outstanding ticket and warrant resolution, and other financial issues.
One of these early programs is the new joint Public Counsel/LACBA Veterans Pro Bono Project, which will provide free legal assistance and representation to Veterans on a range of legal matters from throughout Los Angeles County, including those served by Public Counsel at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Campus.
Among the dignitaries who attended the event were: Undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs Brigadier General (Ret.) Robin Umberg; Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court Lee Smalley Edmon; President of the State Bar of California Pat Kelly; Riverside County Veterans Court Judge Mark Johnson; Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine; President and CEO of Public Counsel Hernan Vera and Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
Law firms and corporations also showed their support for Veterans by sponsoring the Armed Forces Ball and helping to raise funds to support LACBA's legal services for Veterans, including Diamond Level Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig; Keesal Young & Logan; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; O'Melveny & Myers; Paul Hastings and Wells Fargo Bank. Gold Level Sponsors included: Arent Fox; Gibson Dunn; Havner Family Foundation; Jacobs Engineering Group; Morris Polich & Purdy; Raytheon; and Talisman Law.
Armed Forces Ball Photos
Award recipients, including former LACBA President Alan Steinbrecher; Partner & Director of Pro Bono Services at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips Cristin Zeisler; and Director of the Center for Veterans Advancement at Public Counsel Rick Little, are each recognized for their individual contributions to serving Veterans on a local and national level.
California State Bar President Pat Kelly and his wife Gail, join Brigadier General (Ret.) Robin Umberg, Undersecretary, California Department of Veteran Affairs, and her husband, Colonel Tom Umberg, at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Armed Forces Ball to honor America's Veterans and recognize the evening's award recipients for their service to Veterans.
Neville Johnson, Cindy Johnson, Chair of the Armed Forces Ball Dinner Committee, Ken Osmond, actor, Army Veteran, and retired LAPD officer who was wounded in the line of duty, along with his wife Sandy, enjoy an evening of military tradition and dancing at the Armed Forces Ball in support of LACBA's Veteran-specific legal services.
Adam Siegler, Chair of LACBA's Armed Forces Committee and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, surprises Alan Steinbrecher, past LACBA president and Navy fighter pilot with 177 combat missions flown during the Vietnam War, with the Alan K. Steinbrecher Volunteer Leadership Award in recognition of his exemplary contribution to LACBA's commitment to Veterans.
United States Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson, who served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and saw combat action in Okinawa, is recognized by LACBA's Armed Forces Committee for Service by a Judicial Officer for his commitment to serving Veterans and their reintegration into civilian life.
More Pictures Available!
Please CLICK HERE to view and purchase additional photos from
LACBA's Armed Forces Ball, Honoring America's Veterans.
Visit LACBA's Armed Forces Committee Page here.