Celtic Bar Association

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. These seven nations are 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 at 202 Newport Center Drive, 949.640.4110. 

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. According to the Celtic calendar, the year was divided into four quarters: Samhain (winter), Imbolc (spring), Beltane (summer), and Lughnasadh (autumn). In Ireland, it is pronounced “sow-in.” In Wales and England, it is “sow-een.” And in Scotland, because the Scots love to be different, it is “sav-en.” The Celtic calendar starts in November with Samhain - it was the time for gathering food for the long months ahead and bringing people and livestock into their winter quarters. Past recipients have included Justice Kathleen O’Leary, Judge William McDonald, Judge C. Robert Jameson, Judge David Mc Eachen, Judge Ronald Kreber, Judge Dan Pratt, Judge Franz Miller, Judge Michael Brenner and Judge Andrew Banks.

We have organized travel seminars to Ireland, Spain, France, England, Scotland, and most recently to Wales. This October, we return to Ireland for a stay at the 13th century Ashford Castle which is now a 5 star resort in Western Ireland, then off to Dublin. We have also had excursions to the contemporary Irish comedies Stella by Starlight and Many Happy Returns at the Laguna Playhouse, Riverdance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, 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, and the prominent Irish playwright Bernard Farrell, and our own Judge McDonald, Ret.

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!) For further information, please contact OCBA, 949.440.6700, Extension 261.