The OCTLA new normalcy

Top Gun Awards ceremony canceled, but the awards will still be made

Jonathan Dwork
2020 August

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through year 2020. It seems like just yesterday that I wrote my first column for Advocate – recapping the prior year and discussing our incredible installation program at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach. (If you are interested in viewing a one-minute highlight video of our Installation program, please view the OCTLA Facebook page or our Instagram page @octla_org.)

I do not think anybody could have expected that this year would have turned into what it has become. I commend all the many attorney and plaintiff organizations that have navigated through these uncharted challenges, continuing to serve their membership and mission statements. I applaud the leadership of those organizations in making the difficult decisions that have been forced upon us by the ever-present hurdles of this year.

As OCTLA, we are learning to adapt and enjoy our new normalcy. As many of you know, every year OCTLA presents “Top Gun” awards to our top attorneys for their trial achievements. This year is no exception. OCTLA fully intends on making the “Top Gun” awards, and we are in the process of vetting this year’s potential recipients. Unfortunately, OCTLA was forced to cancel the Top Gun Award Gala in its traditional format, where we traditionally present the awards to their worthy recipients. That event usually boasts 500 attendees and, given the size of the event and the financial commitment despite the uncertainty of it moving forward, the board decided not to proceed with the 2020 Gala event. We are currently working on the logistics of how we will go about the award ceremony this year, whether it is a digital event or otherwise, and we will let you all know as soon as the plans are secured.

OCTLA has announced that we will move forward with our Golf Tournament on October 12, so long as we are able to do so responsibly and within the current guidelines set by local and state administrations. Our golf tournament committee continues to work closely with El Niguel Country Club regarding possible scenarios for moving forward with the tournament, in hopes of addressing any pandemic restrictions that might be in place. We are looking forward to this being, perhaps, the only live event we are able to hold this year, and we hope to provide some sense of comradery and normalcy. OCTLA is incredibly grateful for the continued support we receive from our affiliates and sponsors in making this event possible.

Our organization is continuing to offer multiple MCLE events each month. As I write this article, we look forward to a wonderful program anchored by Ricardo Echeverria (Shernoff, Bidart, Echeverria) and Arnie Levinson, (Levinson Mediation), entitled “Bad Faith – Taking the Lid Off a Policy.” The program will educate attendees on an insurer’s duty to settle, a Boicourt letter, crafting an enforceable demand letter, and how to seek maximum recovery once the “lid” is off. If you are not able to attend the OCTLA webinar live, we are now offering the ability to purchase the webinar program for viewing at your leisure through

I again want to take the opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Janet Thornton, for her continued effort and support in getting us through these challenging times. Thank you to the OCTLA Executive Board for putting in a tremendous amount of time, behind the scenes, to make sure our organization continues to thrive. Again, thank you to the Board of Directors for all of your continued work on our various committees. And, thank you to our membership for continuing to support one another and our organization.

We wish you all happiness and health moving forward into the last half of the year.

Jonathan Dwork Jonathan Dwork

Jonathan Dwork is a trial attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan Dwork, APLC, where he handles personal injury and property damage claims.  He is the current president of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) and was named Top Young Trial Attorney in 2011.  He is also a member of ABOTA.

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