News & Publications Press Releases January 28, 2020

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Orange County Bar Association Hosts Judges’ Night and Annual Meeting - Honoring Retired Judge James P. Gray as Franklin G. West Award Recipient and Installing 2020 OCBA President Scott Garner


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 28, 2020—During the 2020 Orange County Bar Association Judges’ Night and Annual Meeting, members of the bench and bar honored retired judge James P. Gray as its Franklin G. West Award recipient and installed this year’s OCBA President Scott B. Garner. This annual event that honors the sitting judges of Orange County was held on Jan. 16, 2020 at the Irvine Marriott.

The Franklin G. West Award, the highest honor awarded by the OCBA, was first established in 1971 in honor of the late Judge Franklin G. West. On Jan. 16, Judge Gray joined an outstanding group of attorneys and judges whose lifetime achievements advanced justice and the law.

After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1966, Judge Gray was a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. In 1971, he received his J.D. from the University of Southern California and served as an Assistant US Attorney in Los Angeles for the Criminal Division. He then practiced business litigation for six years before he was appointed to the Orange County Municipal Court by Governor Deukmejian in 1983. After six years, he was appointed to the Orange County Superior Court, where he served for 19 years.

On top of his illustrious career, Judge Gray has been an active and passionate participant in restorative and rehabilitative justice programs. Most notably, his work with the Orange County Probation Department and the Constitutional Rights Foundation culminated in the creation of Peer Court in 1995.

“Jim has given himself in so many ways to the Orange County Legal Community, including the OCBA and its affiliates,” said U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford.

Additionally, the OCBA installed Scott B. Garner as the 2020 OCBA President, along with the OCBA Board of Directors and the OCBA Charitable Fund leadership.

A partner at Irvine-based law firm Umberg Zipser LLP, Mr. Garner represents clients in complex business litigation matters, with a particular focus on professional liability disputes and ethics counseling. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the OCBA Professionalism & Ethics Committee, and was also a member of the California State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct from 2010-2016. He is a Past President of the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Junior State of America Foundation.

Mr. Garner graduated from Stanford University in 1988. He earned his J.D., cum laude, in 1991 from Harvard University.

In addition to Mr. Garner’s installation as OCBA President, the OCBA installed the following officers and board of directors:

OCBA Officers

  • President-Elect: Larisa M. Dinsmoor, Orange County Public Defender
  • Treasurer: Daniel S. Robinson, Robinson Calcagnie, Inc.
  • Secretary: Michael A. Gregg, Littler Mendelson, PC
  • Immediate Past President: Deirdre M. Kelly, Western State University College of Law

OCBA Board of Directors

  • Alexander W. Avery, Brown Wegner LLP
  • Antoinette N. Balta, Veterans Legal Institute
  • John K. Beckley, Automobile Club of Southern California
  • Kate Corrigan, Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC
  • Shirin Forootan, Workplace Justice Advocates, PLC
  • Kelly L. Galligan, Rutan & Tucker LLP
  • John S. Gibson, Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Josh Ji, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Michael S. LeBoff, Klein & Wilson
  • Adrianne E. Marshack, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
  • Teresa A. McQueen, Saffire Legal
  • Tracy A. Miller, Orange County District Attorney’s Office
  • James Y. Pack, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
  • Melissa A. Petrofsky, The Petrofsky Law Firm
  • Thomas A. Pistone, Pistone Law Group LLP
  • Mary-Christine Sungaila, Haynes & Boone LLP
  • Yolanda V. Torres, Law Office of Yolanda V. Torres
  • Mei Tsang, Umberg Zipser LLP
  • Darrell P. White, Kimura London & White LLP
  • Christina M. Zabat-Fran, St. John Knits, Inc.

About the Orange County Bar Association
Established in 1901, the Orange County Bar Association, with over 8,500 members, is one of the largest voluntary bars in California. The mission of the Orange County Bar Association is to enhance the system of justice, to support the lawyers who serve it and to assist the community served by it.

About the Franklin G. West Award
Established in 1971 in memory of the late Judge Franklin G. West, a highly respected jurist who served on the bench from January 1939 to March 1965, the West Award is bestowed upon an outstanding attorney or judge who has made significant contributions to advance and elevate justice and law. Judge West’s 26 years and two months on the bench constituted the longest term ever served by a judge in California.