2013 Year in Review

LACBA's 2013 Year in Review is a snapshot of some of the highlights of the year, significant programs and events that have led to our growing success, and remembering friends lost.



Bench Meets the Bar

LACBA's Litigation section presented Gretchen Nelson the "Jim Robie Professionalism and Civility Award," Renee Fisher the "United States District Court Clerk of the Year Award" and Rory Corrigan the "Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Assistant of the Year Award" at its annual Bench Meets the Bar luncheon. The program brought together many prominent judges and lawyers in the Los Angeles legal community, including Chief Judge George H. King of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and Presiding Judge David S. Wesley of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, who shared their concerns on the issues and challenges to the federal and state courts.

Trailblazers of the Bar Honors Pioneers in the Legal Community

LACBA’s Senior Lawyers Section hosted its 3rd Annual Trailblazers of the Bar and honored California Supreme Court Justice Joyce Kennard and Patricia Phillips for their extraordinary contributions to the legal profession. Justice Kennard was recognized for overcoming numerous hurdles to rise through the bar and all levels of the courts to reach her present position as a highly-respected Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Ms. Phillips was also honored for her contributions to the legal profession including serving as the first female President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, as well as holding many other positions in the Los Angeles legal community, the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

Immigration Legal Assistance Project Assists with DACA Applications

LACBA’s Barristers and Immigration Sections held a CLE training to educate pro bono volunteers on how to help individuals apply for deferred action status.  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) was designed to help undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to pursue higher education or be of service in the military. Attendees of the training had the opportunity to volunteer at LACBA’s Immigration Project and its Immigration Section-sponsored clinics to assist with applications. Since the implementation of the DACA program, LACBA’s Immigration Project has seen an additional 1,000 clients and has assisted in processing more than 350 DACA applications.


Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award Dinner

LACBA’s Corporate Law Departments Section presented its 29th Annual Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award to Sam Fernandez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sam was chosen because he exemplified excellence, not only within the legal department of the Dodgers organization but also in the legal profession. This year the featured speaker was Vin Scully, one of America’s best-known and longest tenured sportscasters and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who introduced Mr. Fernandez.

Labor and Employment Law Symposium

LACBA’s Labor and Employment Section hosted over 250 guests at its 33rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Symposium. The symposium provided practical advice and cutting-edge panel discussions about labor and employment law issues of critical importance to attorneys, judges, neutrals, government practitioners, union representatives, in-house counsel and human resource professionals.


LACBA Board Rallies to Help Domestic Violence Project

When then LACBA President Dick Burdge heard of the urgent need for an administrative assistant to help LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project assist an unprecedented number of clients seeking temporary restraining orders, he immediately challenged the Board of Trustees to raise at least $10,000 to fund the position within a tight deadline—just 30 days. Not only did the trustees raise the much-needed funds, they surpassed their goal in only three weeks!

LACBA Hosts New Admittee and New Member Reception

LACBA hosted more than 700 guests at its Annual New Admittee and New Member Reception at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The reception provided new admittees/new members an opportunity to engage with sections’ leaderships and the Projects’ directors as well as learn how they could become involved LACBA members. Guests from as far away as New York and Florida took advantage of free professional headshots, business cards, free section memberships and received various gifts from our sponsors. The Barristers capped off the evening by hosting a fun after-party to celebrate the successful accomplishments of the new attorneys.

LACBA’s Center for Civic Mediation Holds Annual Awards Dinner

The Center for Civic Mediation held its 20th Annual Awards Dinner and posthumously honored United States Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens as the recipient of the 2013 Louis M. Brown Conflict Prevention Award. The late Ambassador was recognized for his passion for helping people find middle ground in the Middle East, North Africa and United States. Also honored at the event was Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Alex Kozinski. Funds raised at the dinner support the Center's Community and Youth Peer Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services.


Judge Lee Smalley Edmon Receives LACBA’s Outstanding Jurist Award

LACBA presented its 2013 Outstanding Jurist Award to the Honorable Lee Smalley Edmon, of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The award was presented to Judge Smalley in recognition of her remarkable service to the system of justice in Los Angeles County and throughout California. Judge Edmon is also known and respected for her commitment to cooperation between the bench and the bar, her efforts to encourage civility of both lawyers and bench officers, and for engaging people within the legal community and community at large in thoughtful discussions about the legal system and its critical role in our system of government.

Criminal Justice Awards Dinner

More than 200 guests attended the 2013 Criminal Justice Awards Dinner to honor individuals who have demonstrated legal excellence and dedication to the practice of criminal law throughout their careers. LACBA's Criminal Justice Section presented this year's awards to: Judge of the Year, the Honorable Stephen A. Marcus; Prosecutors of the Year, Natalie Adomian and Stephanie A. Sparagna; Defense Attorney of the Year, Sean K. Kennedy; Career Achievement, Steve Cooley; and for Special Recognition, the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office.


Patricia Egan Daehnke Installed as LACBA President

Nearly 500 civic officials, local and state judicial officers and LACBA members celebrated the installation of Patricia Egan Daehnke as the 119th president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The event also recognized outgoing President Richard J. Burdge Jr., incoming LACBA Officers and Trustees and new Barristers President Mark A. Kressel.

Gerald Chaleff Receives LACBA's Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck presented LACBA’s highest honor - the Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award - to Gerald Chaleff, Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing of the Los Angeles Police Department. Gerry was recognized for his dedication to creating a more transparent LAPD in the hope of restoring trust and goodwill between the LAPD and the communities it serves.

Foundation’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Thirty-six foursomes competed at the beautiful Tournament Players Club in Valencia to support the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation’s efforts to fund crucial and life-saving legal services through LACBA’s projects. The tournament provided golfers with an opportunity to play on a PGA-certified course, participate in several skills challenges, bid in a silent auction and enter a drawing for fabulous prizes.


LACBA Member Luis J. Rodriguez Elected President of the State Bar of California

LACBA member Luis J. Rodriguez was elected as president of the State Bar of California for 2013-2014. He is the first public defender and first Latino to hold the office.


Miriam Krinsky and Hernan Vera Appointed to State Bar Board of Trustees

Past LACBA President Miriam Krinsky and President and Chief Executive Officer of LACBA’s partner Public Counsel Hernan Vera were appointed by the California Supreme Court to the State Bar Board of Trustees.


Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey Speaks to Domestic Violence Project Volunteers

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey set the tone of LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project’s training seminar by describing a brutal case of domestic violence that ended in murder and changed the way the District Attorney’s Office handles Criminal Protective Orders. More than 70 volunteers attended this training that included audience participation from Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Officer Carol Hallowitz and detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department.

MaxMara’s Fall Collection Private Viewing Benefits LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project

A private viewing of MaxMara’s fall collection was the highlight of the night for those who came out to shop in support of the Domestic Violence Project. LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project, in conjunction with ProVisors and Broads Circle, hosted an evening that provided guests an opportunity to network, mingle and purchase artwork, jewelry, luxury goods and skincare products with a portion of the sales going to the Project. 


New HIV Law and Policy Collaborative Launches

The Los Angeles County Bar Association has teamed up with the Disability Rights Legal Center, Inner City Law Center and the UCLA School of Law to form the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project (LA HLPP). LA HLPP creates a centralized intake system that clients can call for advice and counseling, legal service screening and referrals. This new initiative provides access to legal services and policy research support for the more than 60,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles County previously left without any system of centralized legal support.

Dialogues on Freedom Inspires Students to Explore Law's Impact on Their Lives

Nearly 100 judges and attorneys participated in the 12th Annual Dialogues on Freedom, a program designed to motivate students to discuss the concepts of freedom, law and justice in their daily lives. Nearly 2,000 students at 16 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools participated in this year’s program which presented students with a series of prompts based on situations they may encounter at school or at home, and asks them if the teachers, principals, city officials, or police have the right and obligation to intervene in situations the students view as an infringement on their personal freedom.


Center for Civic Mediation Hosts its 8th Annual Robert I. Weil Lecture

Nearly 100 judges, attorneys and prominent arbitrators attended the sold out Weil Lecture featuring panelists Judge Daniel J. Buckley, Richard Chernick, Deborah Crandall Saxe, and moderator Rachel F. Moran who discussed, “Will California Arbitration Law Survive the U.S. Supreme Court?” The lecture focused on several recent arbitration cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and the implications for the practice of arbitration in California.

46th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar

LACBA’s Business and Corporations Law Section hosted its 46th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar which brought together senior Securities and Exchange Commission officials with representatives of other regulatory agencies and leading private practitioners for a comprehensive review of current events and developments in the securities field. The program discussed SEC priorities with the new SEC Division Directors as well as an overview of judicial, regulatory, and enforcement developments, recent trends in SEC enforcement, the public and private offerings of securities, regulation of investment advisors, and other matters of interest to the securities bar.

In Memoriam

Sam LipsmanLACBA Director of Publications, and Publisher and Editor of Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, Sam Lipsman Passes Away

Samuel L. Lipsman, Director of Publications, and editor and publisher of LACBA’s award-winning Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, passed away on June 13, 2013, after a seven-month battle with cancer. Sam was a dedicated and well-respected colleague whose knowledge and passion for the law was evident to each of us and those he worked with throughout the Los Angeles legal community. He is greatly missed. (Click here to read his full obituary.)

Lorraine LoderLongtime LACBA Member and Past President of Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Lorraine L. Loder Passes Away

Lorraine L. Loder, Principal at her own practice, passed away July 8, 2013, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Lorraine was active in many bar associations including LACBA, where she served on the Board of Trustees (1988-89), chaired LACBA’s Individual Rights Section for many years, WLALA President (1988-89), State Bar of California, Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney’s Association and Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

John Collins LACBA Mourns Passing of Former President John J. Collins

Former LACBA President John J. Collins passed away on December 26, 2013. A trial attorney for more than 40 years with Collins and Collins (later Collins, Collins, Muir and Stewart), he spent countless hours of service in leadership roles with local, state, and national bar associations. Most recently, he served as chair of the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation in 2012-13. Before becoming LACBA president in 2004-05, his LACBA involvement included chairing its Blue Ribbon Commission on Superior Court Improvement for seven years, which produced an exhaustive study urging several reforms that the courts agreed to implement.

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