OCTLA President Message 2014

 Keep the Momentum Going

Being a trial lawyer is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding professions in the world. Trial lawyers can literally put a name and a human face to what we do every hour of every day.  Whether seeking damages for a client who suffered personal injuries in an automobile collision, for a young child whose mother lost her life due to preventable medical negligence, or for an employee wrongful denied overtime pay – trial lawyers work diligently to help injured and wronged parties seek justice.  Perhaps it is because of the noble nature of such work that I am particularly honored and humbled to serve as the 2014 President of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.

Properly acknowledging the OCTLA leaders and volunteers whose hard work and vision helped lay the foundation for the success currently enjoyed by the organization could fill this entire issue –which neither space nor time permits.  Nevertheless, both Scott Cooper and Janet Thornton must be recognized for their tireless and fruitful efforts in 2013.

As the Executive Director of OCTLA, Janet Thornton continues to serve as the trusted navigator to the OCTLA ship. Directly involved in each and every aspect of the organization, not a single OCTLA event would occur or be even remotely successful without Janet Thornton’s guidance and assistance.   As 2013 President, Scott Cooper was OCTLA’s deliberate and thoughtful captain who helped ensure the continued growth and strength of an organization that is well respected locally and throughout the state by both the bench and the bar. His efforts and leadership culminated in OCTLA’s Top Gun Awards dinner and charity auction, which raised more than $67,000 for Operation Veterans Re-Entry a program of the Public Law Center.  OCTLA owes a debt of gratitude to both Janet and Scott for their many years of service.

While I am excited and honored to take the helm at OCTLA, I recognize that stormy skies mean that many challenges lie ahead. Between the continued underfunding of California’s courts and the perpetual tort reform efforts to undermine consumer rights, OCTLA must continue to be vigilant in its efforts to help protect access to justice.  As 2014 OCTLA President I will continue to ensure OCTLA’s involvement in the work being done locally and statewide to ensure that tort victims have access to justice and can be fully compensated for their injuries and damages – and not limited by Draconian limits established more than 38 years ago.

OCTLA’s 2014 efforts will officially kick off at the Installation of Officers and Directors on February 1, 2014 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.  In addition to swearing in those who will serve OCTLA as board members and officers in the coming year, Judge Glenda Sander will be honored as OCTLA’s Trial Judge of the Year.

As gratifying as our work as trial lawyers is, nothing can revitalize our spirits more than spending an evening with other trial lawyers, reminding each other that we are in this fight together.  I hope each of you will join OCTLA on February 1, 2014 as we celebrate the success of the past year and re-commit to truly preserving access to justice in the year ahead. For more information about attending or sponsoring the event, please contact OCTLA at info@octla.org or (949) 916-9577.