Individually, we are one drop...

Together, we are an ocean

Shaina Colover
2017 February

The Orange County Trial Lawyers Association recognizes we individually are stronger and more effective at representing our clients and promoting a fair justice system, if collectively we are stronger, more knowledgeable and work together. At our Annual Strategic Planning Meeting in San Francisco, the Board set our goals to best educate and mentor our members. It is with great pride that I take the helm of OCTLA in 2017, and I am excited to share with you a few of the mentoring and educational activities that will be offered this upcoming year.

Unrivaled Continuing Education Seminars

We started the year with “What’s New in Tort and Trial,” so our members would be up to date on recent changes in law that affect their trial practice. This will be followed by a Specialty Credit night in February, in time for the new MCLE Reporting period March 1, 2017. 

Throughout the year, we have a number of useful programs in place as part of our new hands-on series called, “Trying Your Case.” This series will include programs on motions in limine, voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross examination, expert examination, as well as a brown-bag lunch program at the Court on “Getting Your Exhibits Into Evidence” and demonstrative evidence at trial.  We have enlisted some of the most talented and experienced trial attorneys, as well as esteemed members of the Judiciary, to present at these monthly dinner programs.

Please check out the OCTLA website ( for more information on our monthly dinner meetings and seminars.  In addition to providing MCLE credit, these monthly programs (meeting the 4th Thursday of the month) are great fun and offer networking and mentoring opportunities for all!

CAOC/CAOIE/OCTLA Palm Springs Seminar

The success of this superb educational seminar continues to grow each year. The event will again be held at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Palm Springs, this year March 3-5, which is just around the corner. William D. Shapiro will be the keynote speaker, and the speakers’ list includes the “Who’s Who” in the California legal community. We are very excited to continue this great partnership with the State organization (CAOC) as well as with our sister TLA from the Inland Empire, and look forward to seeing you there!

Improved website, list-serve & trial calendar

Over the last few years, we have taken steps to improve our website. This now includes an improved list-serve, where you can obtain important information from our members regarding questions you may have concerning your cases. We are also working on our own OCTLA Trial Calendar, listing current trials in Orange County so our members can watch and learn. Our deposition bank is also up, running and filled with numerous defense expert depositions to assist our members. If you have depositions you would like to submit, please send them directly to our Executive Director Janet Thornton – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Social and mentorship events

We will be having many social and mentoring events to ensure our members and those wanting to join OCTLA have plenty of opportunities to get to know and learn from each other. These include our Bowling Event (April), Justice Day (May 2), a joint CAOIE and OCTLA Family Night at Angel Stadium (August), Del Mar Races Mixer with CAOC (August), Columbus Day Golf Tournament (October) and a summer Mentorship Mixer at Muldoon’s in Newport Beach (“speed dating” format) to bring newer and more seasoned attorneys together to share a pint and some wisdom.

Take every opportunity to empower and educate our community

I am so thankful for what OCTLA, its members and my many mentors have taught me over the years. Often times we, as busy trial attorneys, find ourselves with too much to do and too little time. Requests by colleagues and associates to “help” are often met with the phrase, “That’s ok. I will handle it myself,” because the time it can take to educate someone on HOW to help often takes as long as just doing it ourselves. So, we fall into the “I’ll just do it myself” rut. It is important that we fight against this urge. That is the perfect time to say “Yes! Yes, I do need some help!”… then take those few extra moments to teach.

My many years with OCTLA mentorship has shown me that this will be time well spent. Not only will others in our legal community now have the skills to be more effective and helpful in the future, they will be empowered by the knowledge you imparted and the fact that you trusted and respected them enough to educate and rely on them. In the wise words of Ryunosuke Satoro, “Individually, we are one drop; together, we are an ocean.”


Shaina Colover Shaina Colover

Shaina Colover is 2017 President of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and practices personal injury law with her dad at The Law Offices of Ronald B. Schwartz, upstairs from Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach. She serves on the CAOC Diversity Committee and is former chair of the OCBA and OCTLA education committees.

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