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September 2019 Cover Story - The OCBA’s 2020 Candidates for Secretary: Christina Zabat-Fran and Michael A. Gregg

In the OCBA’s annual popular election, two outstanding and contributing members of the Orange County legal community are nominated for Secretary of the OCBA to serve the term beginning January 1, 2020. Yearly, the Secretary elevates to Treasurer, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past-President. The person you elect will influence the development and direction of the OCBA for years to come.

If you are an active attorney member of the OCBA, please vote. The online election will open for voting on Tuesday,
September 3, 2019, and close at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 2019,
at www.ocbar.org/vote.

Allow us to introduce your two candidates for OCBA Secretary: Christina Zabat-Fran and Michael A. Gregg.

 

Christina Zabat-Fran Michael A. Gregg

Christina Zabat-Fran is the Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for St. John Knits, the American heritage fashion brand founded in Orange County and known for its over fifty-five-year history of dressing confident women.

Recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as General Counsel Rising Star of the Year, Christina has led legal affairs for the multinational company during a crucial era of its evolution and global expansion.

Christina speaks nationally on the topics of counseling business clients, the attorney’s voice in the boardroom, and professional growth. She received her law degree from UC Irvine School of Law, where she was a leader in the law school’s prestigious inaugural class, helping build an institution that’s become a national force as it shakes up traditional legal education. She became one of the school’s most accomplished early stakeholders, working with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky to start the student bar association and the law review, for which she was co-editor-in-chief.

Christina has been extremely committed to public service and to the community. She has been an OCBA board member for four years, and has served as Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section and Chair of the Membership Task Force. She has also served on the Finance Committee, Legislative Resolutions Committee, Leadership Development Committee, Mentoring Committee, Pro Bono Committee, and Diversity Committee. Christina believes that the Orange County Bar should be a key source for attorney members to meet fellow talented attorneys, judges, neutrals, and for attorneys in the private sector, prospective clients, in order to better serve our increasingly diverse business community. For example, she founded an annual event on behalf of the OCBA that features must-know general counsel who share their perspectives, mentorship, and inimitable insights with rising stars from the Orange County Bar’s Young Lawyers Division.

Beyond her leadership in the legal and business communities, Christina loves dedicating time to the arts and cooking up delicious meals for family and friends. She believes that the OCBA should provide its attorney members with positive community-building events to support balancing their practice with life’s other pursuits. Learn more at christina4ocba.com.

Michael Gregg is a partner in the Irvine office of Littler Mendelson, representing employers in labor and employment matters.

Michael is a member of the OCBA Board of Directors and has proudly served on the Board for five years. Michael also serves on the OCBA Diversity Committee, Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee, Administration of Justice Committee, Legislative Resolutions Committee, and as Chair of the Orange County Lawyer Magazine Editorial Advisory Committee. He has also served on the OCBA Judiciary Committee and Strategic Plan Task Force. Michael is also one of the founding members of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association, an affiliate of the OCBA.

Given the changes being considered by the State Bar (such as allowing non-lawyers to provide specified legal advice, permitting certified entities to use technology to deliver legal services, and allowing non-lawyers to hold a financial interest in law firms), Michael believes it is increasingly important for the OCBA to focus on supporting and connecting OCBA members.

As part of this initiative, Michael will advocate for the creation of an OCBA App to provide members with the ability to more readily access the resources of the OCBA. He will also push for the creation of the “OCBA Marketplace” to support OCBA members with additional resources and or negotiated discounts on a range of matters such as an e-Discovery/IT consortium, finding or leasing office space, and resources to enable underrepresented attorneys to proactively engage with the broader legal community. Finally, Michael would form an Access to Justice Task Force comprised of the brightest minds in Orange County including practitioners, academia, and the courts to identify pragmatic solutions to increase access to justice. This would provide an opportunity for the OCBA to lead the nation and play a more active role with regard to some of the recommendations being considered by the State Bar.  

Michael obtained his JD and BA from USC. He enjoys watching USC football and the L.A. Lakers, working out, and watching films. He is happily married and the proud father of three girls. For more information, visit Michael4OCBA.com.