News & Publications Press Releases February 26, 2024

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Orange County Bar Association Hosted Judges’ Night and Annual Meeting - Honoring Nikki Presley Miliband as Franklin G. West Award Recipient and Installing 2024 OCBA President Christina M. Zabat-Fran


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 26, 2024 – During the 2024 Orange County Bar Association Judges’ Night and Annual Meeting, members of the bench and bar honored OCBA Past President Nikki Presley Miliband as its Franklin G. West Award recipient and installed this year’s OCBA President Christina M. Zabat-Fran. This annual event that honors the sitting judges of Orange County was held on Jan. 18, 2024 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. 18, Ms. Miliband joined an outstanding group of attorneys and judges whose lifetime achievements advanced justice and the law.

After graduating from the Oklahoma City University Law School and moving to California in 1991, Ms. Miliband began her impressive career as a skillful probate litigation lawyer. In addition, Ms. Miliband has been a leader within the Orange County Bar Association, an active participate in the State Bar of California, an educational program participant and organizer for the ABA, and a leader in community pro bono services and access to justice. The Franklin G. West Award recognizes her nearly three decades of extraordinary dedication and service to the bar, the justice system, the community, and the probate and elder abuse clients she has masterfully represented.

Additionally, the OCBA installed Christina M. Zabat-Fran as the 2024 OCBA President, along with the OCBA Board of Directors and the OCBA Charitable Fund leadership.

As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Lanvin Group, Ms. Zabat-Fran is responsible for all aspects of the Group’s legal strategy and corporate governance and its growing portfolio of brands: LANVIN, Wolford, St. John, Sergio Rossi, and Caruso.

Ms. Zabat-Fran earned her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, and was a member of the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s inaugural class in 2012. She has been involved with the OCBA since 2010.

OCBA Officers

  • President-Elect: Mei Tsang, Umberg Zipser LLP
  • Treasurer: Shirin Forootan, Forootan Law
  • Secretary: Eric V. Traut, Traut Firm
  • Immediate Past President: Michael A. Gregg, Littler Mendelson, PC

OCBA Board of Directors

  • John S. Cowhig, Law Offices of John S. Cowhig
  • Caroline R. Djang, Buchalter, A Professional Corporation
  • Justin W. Fong, AmWest Funding Corp.
  • Kelly L. Galligan, Rutan & Tucker LLP
  • John P. Glowacki, Carico Glowacki Macdonald Kil & Benz LLP
  • H. Josh Ji, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Casey R. Johnson, Aitken Aitken Cohn LLP
  • Michael S. LeBoff, Klein & Wilson
  • Sara C. Nakada, Orange County Public Defender's Office
  • Sharon Oh-Kubisch, Kahana & Feld LLP
  • William C. O'Neill, Ross, Wolcott, Teinert & Prout LLP
  • Alexander C. Payne, Minyard Morris LLP
  • Thomas A. Pistone, Pistone Law Group LLP
  • Howard M. Privette, Snell & Wilmer
  • Eric Sather, Stegmeier, Gelbart, Schwartz & Benavente, LLP
  • Suzanne Burke Spencer, Sall Spencer Callas & Krueger ALC
  • Jennifer L. Waier, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Darrell P. White, Kimura London & White LLP
  • Nicole Whyte, Bremer, Whyte, Brown & O'Meara LLP
  • Lesley D. Young, Orange County District Attorney’s Office

About the Orange County Bar Association
Established in 1901, the Orange County Bar Association, with over 7,500 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.

Media Contact:
Erick Palacios
(949) 440-6700, ext. 123