The Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) was founded over forty years ago, and now has five thriving chapters across California. ABTL provides a forum in which litigators and judges meet to address issues important to business trial lawyers. Judicial participation in ABTL programs and events is very strong, in part because ABTL includes both plaintiff-focused and defense-focused lawyers.
The Orange County Chapter (ABTL-OC) was founded in 1998 and currently has about 650 members. ABTL-OC provides top quality legal education programs, combined with social hours where colleagues can meet with each other and with judges. This year’s ABTL-OC dinner programs are scheduled for January, March, May, September, and November. At the program on January 16, 2019, Orange County Superior Court Judges James DiCesare, John Gastelum, and Peter Wilson, and U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton, provided insight into their expectations for trial counsel in Ready for Trial, Your Honor: What Judges Expect From Trial Attorneys Prior to Calling Their First Witness. Our March 13 program was entitled Business Crimes: How the Government Investigates and Remediates Fraud and Illegal Activity Affecting the Business Community. On May 22, ABTL-OC will host our annual Robert E. Palmer Wine Tasting Dinner to benefit the Public Law Center. All dinner programs are held at the Westin South Coast Plaza with a social hour at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 p.m., and the CLE program starting at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to its dinner programs, ABTL is known for its unmatched statewide Annual Seminars. This year’s seminar will take place October 3-6 at the La Quinta Resort and Spa. These seminars usually draw approximately 400 attendees and offer 8 hours of CLE credit to lawyers and judges from across the state.
ABTL-OC also is dedicated to mentoring and fostering relations with its “Young Lawyer Division” (YLD), which is defined as those practicing ten years or fewer, and organizes events throughout the year for YLD members. The brown-bag lunch series invites YLD members to interact with distinguished members of our local bench in an informal setting. The YLD also organizes “nuts and bolts” programs, happy hours, and a year-end judicial mixer.
Finally, ABTL-OC is devoted to giving back to the Orange County community. Each year, ABTL-OC participates in building at least one house (often two) for Habitat for Humanity. And at our November dinner program, ABTL-OC hosts its holiday gift-giving opportunity, where attendees participate by donating money to select children’s charities or by donating new stuffed animals to the Orange County Superior Court’s adoption program to be given to children on the day of their adoption.
Every Orange County business litigator is encouraged to join ABTL-OC. The cost is only $110/year and only $85/person if all of a firm’s litigators become members. Law students can join for a special price of $20/year. For more information, visit our website at www.ABTL.org, or contact Linda Sampson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-516-8106.