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June 2013 - Who’s Who in the OCBA—The Affiliate Bars

In order to offer our members increased diversity alongside engaging networking and learning opportunities, the Orange County Bar Association proudly partners with a variety of Affiliate Bars. As such, we invite you to take this opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn more about our Affiliates directly from their leadership. Joining a relevant Affiliate Bar may positively affect your practice while simultaneously increasing your involvement in the Orange County legal community.

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: 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. 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.
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. 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 year, Judge Sheila Fell was recognized as the Celtic Judge of the Year at our Samhain Eve event. Past recipients include 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. In the spring of 2014 we will launch a Viking tour of Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. 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 Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Thurgood at the Geffen Playhouse, 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.
More than 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 or 714.434.1424, ext. 41 or the OCBA, 949.440.6700, ext. 261.

Federal Bar Association, Orange County Chapter
The FBA is the preeminent national organization for private and government lawyers and judges involved in federal practice. The Orange County Chapter of the FBA covers the spectrum of federal legal practice in Orange County. Regular programs and events provide a unique opportunity to meet federal judges and their staffs, stay current on the latest developments in federal practice, and meet and learn from other federal practitioners in our community. The FBA/OC has won numerous national awards as an outstanding chapter, for its innovative and valuable programs, and for its excellent newsletter.
Local federal judges assist in planning and presenting chapter CLE activities, provide valuable and specific insight regarding federal practice in Orange County, and many of them serve on the FBA/OC Board of Directors. FBA/OC’s hallmark event each year, Judges’ Night, draws many judges from local and regional courts. The Chapter’s membership spans all types of attorneys in Orange County, from civil to criminal, from private practitioners to corporate counsel to federal attorneys with the United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Public Defender’s Office, and other federal agencies, and includes lawyers in all kinds of practices, from solo offices to the largest firms.
The FBA/OC supports the local community, through activities such as its annual Bill of Rights Program at Santa Ana intermediate schools, assisting the federal court’s pro bono panel program, and contribution to the Public Law Center. In the Bill of Rights program, which was founded by the Chapter, volunteer attorneys from the Chapter give presentations to Santa Ana intermediate school students about the Bill of Rights and share their experiences practicing law in Orange County. This program has won numerous awards and serves as a model for similar programs across the nation.
The Orange County Chapter has always focused on presenting frequent, excellent, and topical CLE programs. Regular programs include: annual civil, criminal, and intellectual property practice programs on cutting edge topics; summer Bench and Bar luncheons at which local federal judges provide advice on successful practice in their courts; periodic “Behind the Books” tours of the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse; and special programs with nationally recognized members of the legal community.
For more information, membership applications, or to join the FBA/OC, visit the website at or contact FBA/OC Administration at, or 949.608.9905 (phone and fax).

Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County
The Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (HBA) advocates for a legal community that reflects the true diversity of Orange County and ensures access to justice for all. At its core, the HBA’s mission is to increase: (1) the number of Latinos pursuing a law school education; (2) the number of Latino attorneys practicing in Orange County; and (3) the number of Latinos serving on the bench. 
The HBA encourages law school enrollment with its Wally Davis Scholarships, awarded to deserving law students every year since 1995. Wally Davis scholars have gone on to work at large firms, such as Latham Watkins LLP and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and many other public agencies. Every year, the HBA’s scholarship fundraiser and installation dinner draws hundreds of leaders of the local legal community. At this year’s dinner, the HBA honored Amin David, founder of Los Amigos of Orange County, with the Hon. Francisco Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award; Orange County Public Defender Frank Ospino as Attorney of the Year; Union Bank with the Corporate Citizen Award; and Dr. Sara Lundquist, Santa Ana College’s Vice President of Student Services, as the Guardián de Justicia.
The HBA provides professional and networking opportunities for its members who already are lawyers, including the 2013 Memorial Day MCLE travel seminar to Costa Rica. The HBA’s “de barranda” mixers throughout the year have become a staple of the social life of the local legal community.
In short, the HBA is a great place to give back to the community, empower the next generation of Latino lawyers and leaders, meet new friends, see old faces, and share good memories. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more about the HBA, its committees, its scholarships, or how to get involved, please visit or email

J. Reuben Clark Law Society—Orange County Chapter
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society—Orange County Chapter is part of the larger, international J. Reuben Clark Society. The Society celebrated its 25th anniversary this year at an annual conference featuring keynote speaker Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Started in 1988, the founders of the Society sought to emphasize “three basic values and attitudes toward the practice of law in modern society: public service, loyalty to the rule of law and to the Constitution, and appreciation for the religious dimensions in both American society and in a lawyer’s personal life.” Since then, the Society has grown to more than 13,000 members with roughly 67 chapters throughout the nation and 27 international chapters in areas such as Africa, China, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Jordan, Russia, Switzerland, and more.
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society—Orange County Chapter appeals to lawyers whose personal religious conviction guides their lives and manner of practicing law. Our Mission Statement reads: “We affirm the strength brought to the law by a lawyer’s personal religious conviction. We strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.” Although most of our membership is associated with the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) faith, we welcome all attorneys and law students who believe that a lawyer’s personal religious conviction can and should make a positive difference in how the law serves our society.
We recently sponsored the 9th Annual Orange County Religion & the Law Symposium and look forward to celebrating a decade of this successful event next year. We regularly hold bi-monthly MCLE presentations on subjects of interest to our membership. We hold an Annual Dinner event each fall featuring a prominent speaker. The highlight of our Annual Dinner is the presentation of the J. Reuben Clark Award to someone who has made significant contributions to the legal community and embodies the values of our Society. These events are great opportunities to network with old friends and meet new ones. Anyone interested in attending one of our luncheons or joining our organization may contact the Orange County Chapter Chair, Deborah Gubernick, at 949.706.5728, or visit our website at

Lex Romana
Lex Romana (Italian American Lawyers of Orange County) takes pride in being the premier OCBA Affiliate that places equal emphasis on the importance of legal, cultural, epicurean, and fermented contributions Italians have made to our society. Our group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, rotating between a variety of local Italian restaurants. We are well known for our love of Italian culture, food, and wines and believe everyone is an Italian at heart. Like a scene from Goodfellas, our dinners are an experience of multiple conversations sparking across the table, bursts of laughter, and wine glasses chiming, defining our vision of the term “networking.”
Lex Romana established its roots in the Orange County community in 1979 with Joseph D’Antony installed as first President and past Founding Members that included Hon. James Di Cesare, Frank Barbaro, John DiCaro, Joseph DiVincenzo, Andrew Lachina, and Frank Terreri.
Our membership continues to grow, adding non-Italians and non-lawyers alike, and we welcome everyone with open arms. With dues at only $50 per year, there is no better way to break from the daily grind one evening a month to enjoy our festivities that include our Installation Dinner at Antonello Ristorante, Bocce matches at Il Fornaio, dinners at different Italian eateries, a joint meeting with the Celtic Bar at Prego’s, wine tasting, MCLE credits (at least two per year), Jazz Night, and a special Christmas event at the Balboa Bay Club, to name just a few. We are an approved MCLE provider—what better way to earn credits than a presentation over wine and pasta! (This will be kept to a minimum to ensure more fun than work!) In addition, we always look forward to including speakers on topics relating to Italian culture and heritage.   
For more information or an application, please visit our website at

Orange County Asian American Bar Association
Members of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA) enjoy a wide selection of events throughout the year that focus on professional development, social, diversity pipeline, or community service activities. Established in 1993, OCAABA is proudly celebrating its 20th year as Orange County’s pan-Asian bar association. OCAABA’s mid-spring installation dinner is always a well-attended annual affair where members and friends celebrate an evening of camaraderie with the traditional Asian banquet.     
OCAABA’s vision into the future and dedication to its mission is embodied in its committees whose objectives are structured to serve the various needs of its multicultural membership, legal community, and the community-at-large.   
The Professional Development Committee presents MCLE programs and seminars to specifically focus on the needs of the membership because OCAABA’s dedication of resources to provide quality professional development programs is treated as an investment in its membership. The In-House Counsel Committee was recently formed because OCAABA recognizes the differing needs of its in-house attorney members. OCAABA actively participates in other organizations, such as the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP), whose diversity programs offer additional resources to OCAABA members, particularly in the areas of professional development and advancement. The Pipeline Committee works with our law student associations and partners with our local Orange County law schools—Chapman, Western State, Whittier, and UCI—to provide mentorship, career panel programs, and skill workshops to our future lawyers. The Community Service Committee epitomizes OCAABA’s commitment to the welfare of our community. Pro bono clinics and charitable drives are organized each year to provide opportunities for members to volunteer on the community service project(s) of their choice. OCAABA is also a supporter of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Public Law Center.
For those who enjoy the fun side of OCAABA, the Summer Family Picnic and the Holiday Dim Sum Party are lighthearted affairs planned by the Social Committee for members, families, and friends. An evening of fun and networking will always be found at the Moon Festival Mixer in the autumn and the Lunar New Year Mixer. If these two signature mixers aren’t enough, OCAABA’s energetic Membership Committee also hosts new member happy hours periodically during the year.
Interested members can visit the OCAABA website to learn more about the Professional Development, Community Service, Pipeline, Membership, In-House Counsel, Judicial Evaluation, PR, and Affiliates committees. For more information about our organization and upcoming events, and to download a membership application, please visit our website at or contact OCAABA Administration at

Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association
The OCCDBA is the unified voice of the criminal defense bar for Orange County. The founding Board members, Kate Corrigan (President), Jack Earley (Past President), Jennifer Keller, Gary Pohlson (Vice-President), John Barnett, Paul Meyer, Al Stokke, Mike McDonnell, and Ed Muñoz, started the association to promote the interests of the private criminal defense bar in Orange County. Ed Flores and Ed Welbourn joined the Board and are currently serving as active members of the Board.
The OCCDBA Board members have been actively participating in courthouse meetings and providing a voice for the private criminal defense bar. In its first year, the Board was able to achieve several of its goals, including growing its membership, providing great MCLE opportunities to its membership, achieving the expansion of access to VISION to private defense counsel, and a high level of camaraderie amongst its members. Our meetings have included a night at the jail, town hall style exchanges with the bench, candidates for the bench, rehabilitation services providers, the Orange County District Attorneys’ Office, private pay to stay jail providers, and, of course, great panels of seasoned attorneys, both from Orange County and beyond. In November, we will again co-host a criminal panel with the Federal Bar Association–Orange County Chapter. The OCCDBA members range in age and experience. More experienced and seasoned attorneys offer their time to younger members in the way of informal mentoring. 
We meet on the last Thursday of the month at Original Mike’s in Santa Ana. Our dues are $150 per year, and we offer a discount to law students and investigators.
For further information, please contact OCCDBA President Kate Corrigan at 949.251.0330 or visit our website at

Orange County Jewish Bar Association
In August 2009, President and Founder Jordon P. Steinberg of Minyard Morris LLP envisioned an Orange County Jewish Bar Association (OCJBA), and by February 2010, the vision became a reality. 
The OCJBA’s Mission Statement says it all: Providing a social environment that will engender comradeship among its members, building upon the foundation of thousands of years of Jewish tradition steeped in the law (Torah), fostering the application of Jewish principles and morality, committing good deeds (Mitzvot) and acts of kindness (Tzedakah) while practicing law and serving the community.
The OCJBA gives back to the Orange County community by participating in pro bono activities with Human Options and Jewish Federation/Family Services. The OCJBA’s partnership with the Anti-Defamation League has brought the Anti-Bullying Campaign in full swing as member volunteers (and others) visit Orange County K-12 schools offering a free, nationally approved program. The sole purpose is to educate schools on how best to deal with bullying issues from both the target’s and perpetrator’s perspectives. 
The OCJBA meets the first Tuesday of every month at Muldoon’s in Newport Beach, located at 202 Newport Center Drive. The OCJBA is eternally grateful to Ron Schwartz for hosting our “Schmooze and Booze” meetings. The meetings are open, and all are welcome, Jewish or non-Jewish; you do not have to be a “member” to attend. 
For more information about the OCJBA or pro bono activities, please visit our website at, write to OCJBA, P.O. Box 6130, Newport Beach, CA  92658, or email Jordon P. Steinberg at

Orange County Lavender Bar Association
The Orange County Lavender Bar Association is the county’s official association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and allied attorneys. OCLBA provides networking, educational, and mentorship opportunities and resources to its membership and the community. As part of its mission, OCLBA seeks to increase the visibility of LGBT issues in Orange County and the profile of Orange County in the broader statewide LGBT community.
OCLBA was launched on June 16, 2010, at a gala hosted by Gibson Dunn that was attended by 200 attorneys, philanthropists, business and community leaders, judges, professors, and students. The launch event featured remarks by attorneys in San Francisco who had just completed closing arguments in the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger case challenging Proposition 8 in federal court. Thereafter, OCLBA’s founding Board of Directors, which includes representatives from private practice and academia, began implementing a robust series of bar programs.
Since 2010, OCLBA has produced a number of highly successful events ranging from constitutional law to tax and estate planning issues facing the LGBT community along with social events for networking opportunities. OCLBA’s annual Anniversary Gala takes place in the summer honoring community and legal leaders in the fight for justice and equality. In 2012, OCLBA honored Munmeeth Soni from the Public Law Center with the M. Katherine B. Darmer Outstanding Community Service Award along with the Williams Institute with the Community Leadership Award.
In 2012, OCLBA was instrumental in founding the M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship, a scholarship honoring a law student with ties to Orange County and the LGBT community. The first recipient will receive the award at OCLBA’s Third Anniversary Gala on July 10, 2013, at The Sky Garden at The Michelson in Irvine. 
OCLBA seeks to serve and unite not just the LGBT community, but our allies as well. For more information, please visit or email   

Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
Formed in 1963, when plaintiffs’ attorneys gathered to share information and exchange tips and strategies with one another, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) has grown into one of the largest and most influential Affiliate Bar organizations in Orange County. Now in its 50th year, OCTLA is stronger than ever, dedicated to promoting quality representation of consumers and employees while educating and supporting our membership. In addition, OCTLA is at the forefront of efforts to ensure full funding of the courts, so that access for justice is preserved for everyone. Below is an overview of just a few of the benefits that OCTLA members enjoy.
Best Networking Opportunities in Orange County: It’s no secret that OCTLA is one of the most prominent bar organizations in Orange County, and members are treated to regular networking opportunities with judges and top lawyers in the county at special events and our monthly dinner meetings.
Relevant and Interesting Educational Events: Not all MCLE educational events are created equal. OCTLA provides monthly opportunities to earn MCLE credits while learning about relevant issues from some of the greatest speakers in the state, if not the country. In addition, every year, OCTLA hosts a members-only candid evaluation of local judges, arbitrators, and mediators—crucial information for every trial lawyer’s practice.  This benefit alone is worth the price of membership.
Informative Quarterly Magazine: From insightful interviews with Orange County Superior Court judges to practical, nuts-and-bolts articles on issues of procedure and trial skills, you will not want to miss an issue of The Gavel magazine.
Interactive Website/Bulletin Board: To get a glimpse of what we have to offer, log on to Some have said the most valuable feature of the website is our members-only bulletin board, which allows members to post questions regarding their cases and solicit immediate responses from hundreds of fellow trial attorneys. It’s like having the resources of a large law firm at your fingertips.
Social Activities: All work and no play can make any lawyer dull. OCTLA gives its members many opportunities to build lasting personal and professional relationships. These include our fall softball game against Orange County’s judicial officers (the series is currently tied 3-3), and our annual Bench and Bar Golf Tournament on Columbus Day (when the courts are closed so everyone can enjoy some time out on the course). For those who enjoy more formal events, OCTLA delivers with its black tie installation of officers and board in January and its Top Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year awards program and charity auction, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at the Montage in Laguna Beach.
All attorneys engaged in trial practice in Orange County are encouraged to join OCTLA. With benefits like these, how can you afford not to join? For more information, visit our website at, or contact Janet Thornton at 949.916.9577 or 949.440.6700, ext. 258.

Orange County Women Lawyers Association
Recognized as one of the finest bar associations in Orange County, the Orange County Women Lawyers Association’s (OCWLA) goals and activities have grown in scope and depth to keep current with the needs of our members and legal community. Our monthly lunch meetings offer quality Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs to assist attorneys to improve their practices and skills while our evening programs offer the opportunity to network, whether it is re-connecting with old friends or making new acquaintances. We are challenging all women lawyers in Orange County to join us for at least one event this year; you will be glad you did. Save the date and please join us in honoring an outstanding jurist and lawyer at our Annual Gala on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. 
Members enjoy an expanded range of benefits through OCWLA’s partnership with other affiliate bar associations such as reduced (member) costs at partnered programs as well as an increased number of events or programs to select from. OCWLA partners and networks with the Young Lawyers Division of the Orange County Bar Association (YLD), Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA), Orange County Korean American Bar Association (OCKABA), the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (OCHBA), the Orange County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Community Outreach Committee, California Women Lawyers (CWL), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA)—just to name a few.
The success of OCWLA’s annual fundraiser is always the product of the generosity of its members and supporters, making it possible for OCWLA to uphold its commitment to the community. The beneficiaries of OCWLA’s giving have included the Public Law Center, El Viento Foundation, the Collaborative Courts of the Orange County Superior Court, Mercy House, and Caterina’s Club.
The OCWLA bar stipend and diversity bar stipend awards are given out twice a year to law school graduates who are preparing to sit for the California Bar Examination. Our future and young lawyers remain a high priority because they are the future of our profession and important to the well-being of our community. Additionally, OCWLA partnered with the OCBA Young Lawyers Division to welcome new admittees to the bar by co-hosting a welcome luau last summer. OCWLA continues to foster its relationship with the OCBA Young Lawyers Division by co-hosting another joint program this year, which is scheduled for June.
OCWLA started in 1975, with five members, as the Women and Individual Rights section of the Orange County Bar Association. The original goal of the organization was to focus on civil rights, not only of women, but of all individual groups that may have experienced discrimination in our society or before the law. In 1979, OCWLA became an affiliate organization of the Orange County Bar Association. The  group’s original goals—the advancement of women in the legal profession and the support of diversity both on the bench and in law firm partnerships—have grown into a broader platform to include mentorship of our future and young lawyers as well as community service.
OCWLA is an affiliate member of the Orange County Bar Association, the California Women Lawyers, and the National Association of Women Lawyers. If you would like more information about OCWLA, please contact us at, and 949.440.6700, ext. 259.

Orange County Bar Association | P.O. Box 6130 | Newport Beach, CA 92658 | 949.440.6700 |
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