June 2011 - The Masters Division Leaps Forward
by John Hueston
"No, we are not using a dinosaur as our emblem." And so a consensus among the leaders of the Masters Division quickly emerged on a truly emblematic issue: the Masters Division will serve an elite division for which eligibility would be determined by 25 years or more of practice experience rather than age. With its fundamental purpose set, the leaders of the OCBA’s newest division outlined an ambitious agenda.
The Masters Division will be the seat of bar leadership development and mentoring opportunities. It will host programs with a historical perspective and continuing legal education in areas such as technology, helping Masters seize upon new opportunities to improve efficiency and competitiveness in the legal market. And the Masters Division will be led by an impressive and diverse group of leading jurists and attorneys from Orange County, further underscoring the division as an innovative and elite division for our most experienced attorneys. The leaders of the Masters Division have already launched the first program, compiled survey results to determine the division’s highest priorities, and recruited proven bar leaders to assemble one of the most distinguished boards in Orange County.
Vincent Bugliosi and The Manson Trial Revisited: The Masters Division Inaugural Programming Event
Although busy with foundation work such as recruitment of board members and drafting of bylaws, the Masters Division desired a quick and ambitious start to the year. The Division will sponsor a “Historic Trials Relived” program series which will bring leading participants from famous southern California trials to discuss key developments, reenact turning points in the trial and debate the continuing relevance of these trials today. Co-chairs Judge Stotler and Tom Malcolm have already negotiated a September 22nd date at the Turnip Rose for the inaugural series event presented by Vince Bugliosi, the famed litigator and former lead prosecutor who will revisit with audience participants the Tate-La Bianca murder trial.
Your Survey Results and Priorities
Over 300 attorneys have completed a survey emailed to eligible Masters Division members by Judge Alicemarie Stotler and Tom Malcolm. The responses collectively conveyed a strong preference for sustaining an active practice and unique leadership opportunities rather than retirement planning and non-legal social events such as cruises and golf outings.
Survey respondents strongly favored services geared for the active Masters Division attorney: programs to train attorneys to exploit new technological practice tools, seminars focused on successfully navigating changes in the legal profession, opportunities to mentor younger attorneys, and events to facilitate unique networking with fellow Masters Division members. Respondents desire events involving renowned attorneys and business leaders. They wish to explore speaking opportunities as a means of pursuing a meaningful and continuing role in the legal community. Consistent with an overall preference for a bar division devoted to developing a stimulating and evolving practice, respondents were less interested in programs geared to transitioning out of the practice of law.
The Elite of the Orange County Bar Step into Master Division Leadership Roles
The Masters Division’s large and diverse board reflects leaders among attorneys and judges from a variety of practices who have enthusiastically embraced the challenge of launching an elite division within the OCBA. Our honorary co-Chairs Judge Stotler and Tom Malcolm have recruited a number of the county’s proven bar leaders to serve on the Masters Division leadership ladder: Julie McCoy as Chair, Dean Zipser as Vice Chair, Andra Greene as Treasurer, and Paul Gale as Secretary.
The new leaders of the Masters Division, in turn, collectively worked to recruit a diverse group of board members with demonstrated leadership and commitment to the bar. Confirmed board members include Judge Andrew Guilford, Justice Kathleen O’Leary, Justice Richard Fybel, Judge Gail Andler, Judge Michael Brenner (Ret.), Judge Thierry Colaw, Judge Kim Dunning, Judge Glenda Sanders, Judge Nancy Stock, Judge John Trotter, Jr., Wylie Aitken, Rick Derevan, Randy Erickson, John Hurlbut, Pearl Mann, Mark Minyard, Don Morrow, Bill O’Hare, Dick Millar, Danni Murphy, Tom Phelps, Mark Robinson, Cameron Smith, John Sganga, Mike Yoder, and Meryl Young.
The officers and board of the Masters Division are now meeting on a monthly basis to plan additional programs, benefits, and events. Membership for eligible OCBA members will be complimentary for the first year. We look forward to your involvement in the continued shaping of this dynamic new organization designed to maximize service and opportunities for the Masters of our bar.
John Hueston is 2011 President of the Orange County Bar Association and a partner with Irell & Manella LLP specializing in white collar criminal defense and business trials. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.