January 2014 • Vol. 34 No. 1 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

LACBA Mourns Passing of Former President John J. Collins

LACBA is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of former president John J. Collins on December 26, 2013.

"John was a stellar lawyer and an exemplary leader. He will be missed by his many friends at LACBA and throughout the bench and bar whose lives were made better through his tireless efforts to improve our justice system," said LACBA President Patricia Egan Daehnke. "John was a true lawyer's lawyer whose passing leaves us with both a tremendous void and strong legacy in our legal community."

During his career, Collins remained dedicated to improving the relationship between the courts and counsel, and ensuring courtesy, respect, and fair treatment among all court users. 

He began practicing with Collins and Collins in 1964, which later became Collins, Collins, Muir and Stewart in 1985. He continued to practice with the firm until his retirement in 2008. 

A trial attorney for more than 40 years, Collins 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.

Collins was proud of his self-described "deep roots" in the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Before becoming its president in 2004-05, his involvement included chairing the Blue Ribbon Commission on Superior Court Improvement for seven years. That effort produced an exhaustive study urging several reforms that the courts agreed to implement, including countywide uniform rules and procedures (elimination of local-local rules), one-day-one-trial jury service, improved management of complex cases, and continued monitoring of performance. 

Among other activities, Collins was a longtime member of several LACBA committees, many of which addressed the court system, including the Judicial Evaluation Committee, and of the Litigation Section, serving on its executive committee from 1992-95.

His commitment went beyond LACBA, as he served as vice president of the State Bar Board of Trustees in 1998-99, and president of the Pasadena Bar Association in 1989-90. He was also president of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (1982-84); California Defense Counsel (1993); and American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Los Angeles Chapter (1989). In 1991, he received ABOTA's California Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Collins received his LLB from Loyola Law School and undertook graduate study at the University of Southern California Law Center. He received Loyola Law School's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005 and its Champion of Justice Award in 2008.

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