The goals of the Celtic Bar are to promote camaraderie amongst its membership, civility and professionalism within the Orange County legal community, and a greater awareness of the Celtic culture and history, particularly its contribution to the law. There are seven separate Celtic nations, all of which are connected to one another by common history and culture: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man (if your ancestors are from Man, your dues are waived for the first year), Galicia (in Spain), Brittany (in France), and Cornwall (in England). The Celtic people are known for their outgoing nature and their love of the written and spoken word. Not surprisingly, many descendants of Celtic immigrants have entered the legal profession. While there are many Irish-American lawyers’ groups in major cities throughout the United States, we believe that the CBA is the first attempt to gather all the Celtic clans in a single legal organization.
We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at Muldoon’s Irish Pub (through the graciousness of one of our founding members, Ronald O’Schwartz), located near Fashion Island in Newport Beach. We have a long-standing tradition that is set forth in our bylaws that meetings cannot last more than five minutes, which bylaw is strictly adhered to at all meetings.
Each year, we install our officers and recognize our Celtic Judge of the Year on Samhain Eve, which heralds the beginning of the Celtic New Year. This past year, Judge Lon Hurwitz was recognized as the Celtic Judge of the Year, while past recipients include Judge Sheila Fell, Judge James Di Cesare, Justice Kathleen O’Leary, Judge William McDonald, Judge C. Robert Jameson, Judge David McEachen, Judge Ronald Kreber, Judge Dan Pratt, Judge Franz Miller, Judge Michael Brenner, Judge Andrew Banks, and Justice William Bedsworth.
We have organized travel seminars to Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, England, Scotland, and Wales. This September we will launch a Celtic tour of Montreal and Quebec, Canada (see our website to sign up at www.celticbarassociation.org). We have also had excursions to the contemporary Irish comedies Stella by Starlight and Many Happy Returns at the Laguna Playhouse, Riverdance and The Weir at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Thurgood at the Geffen Theater, as well as the Orange County Irish Fair, the Renaissance Faire, and Irish and Celtic movies. Guest speakers at our events have included Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, human rights activist and daughter of Robert Kennedy; the prominent Irish playwright, Bernard Farrell; and our own Judge McDonald (Ret.), all of whom adhered to the five-minute meeting rule.
Over 300 lawyers and judges have rallied to our cause. One does not have to be of Celtic descent to join the CBA. On the contrary, all we ask is that you be a member of the OCBA, have an outgoing nature, and support for our organization’s goals. (Oh yes, we do have modest annual dues at $25!) For further information, please contact CBA President Michael Penn at Michael@aitkenlaw.com, 714.434.1424, ext. 41, or the OCBA, 949.440.6700, ext. 261.