Making the best of challenging times

Socially distanced golf tournament brought us together, next we honor our Top Gun recipients

Jonathan Dwork
2020 November

As the Orange County Trial Lawyer Association (OCTLA) is moving towards the end of the year, we cannot help but be proud of what we have been able to accomplish with all the hurdles that we have encountered during our yearly agenda.

Most recently, OCTLA held its Columbus Day golf tournament at El Niguel Country Club in South Orange County. We could not have asked for better weather on the day of the event. The golf course was filled with attorneys, judicial officers, and vendors. It was so great to see our friends and sponsors, while doing what we could to be safe and in compliance with golf course and CDC guidelines.

Given a variety of social distancing requirements, you would have noticed many differences from our past golf tournaments. Masks were required indoors, we had sanitation stations and masks set up throughout the clubhouse, each golfer was provided their own golf cart, etc.

Despite the changes, everybody seemed to have a wonderful time. It was our first opportunity, since our installation event in January 2020, for OCTLA members to finally be able to spend some time together at an OCTLA event. The credit for the golf tournament taking place, and being such a success, goes to Kevin Liebeck (Liebeck Law) as the Golf Tournament committee chair, the entire golf committee, and our Executive Director Janet Thornton. Thank you also to the many OCTLA volunteers who helped on the day of the event. This golf tournament took a tremendous amount of time in planning and last-minute adjustments to make sure we were in compliance with all of the necessary precautions. Thank you to all who participated, and a special thank you to our sponsors and vendors who made the tournament possible. If you are interested in seeing photographs from the golf tournament please check our website, or follow us on Instagram (@octla_org).

OCTLA’s attention now turns to our “Top Gun” awards presentation which will be a hybrid type event where there is a small private in-person event for the award recipients, while also providing virtual broadcasting for OCTLA members, families, and friends to watch our worthy award winners recognized with their awards. OCTLA looks forward to honoring the following award recipients:

Chris Purcell – Personal Injury

H. Gavin Long – Professional Negligence

William Paoli & Court Purdy – Government Entity Liability

Geoff Rill – Young Gun

Jennifer Johnson – Distinguished Achievement

Please stay tuned for further details regarding our “Top Gun” awards presentation. If you are interested in sponsoring the Top Gun event, or if you would like to present a tribute ad to any of the award winners, please contact our organization at

On October 22nd we had a joint education webinar program between OCTLA and ABOTA. The program was a resounding success, entitled “Putting Together an Effective Demand Letter,” and was free to members of both organizations. The educational program was focused on a professional and practical approach to effective settlement discussions. The program was coordinated by ABOTA member Juan Delgado (Maguire & Associates), moderated by ABOTA president Hon. Nancy Zeltzer (Orange County Superior Court), and the panel consisted of myself (Law Offices of Jonathan Dwork, APLC), Pamela Liosi- Traut (Traut Firm), Ariella Perry (Maguire & Associates), and Jennifer Russell (Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar).

The next OCTLA-sponsored webinar is for November 5th and deals with reading MRIs and the danger of missing injuries or false negatives. That program will be presented by panelists Dr. Sana U. Khan, MD, Ph.D., and Brett Sachs (Sachs Law). If you are unable to attend any of our webinars live, OCTLA now offers its webinars On-Demand for viewing at your leisure through

Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank various contributors to our organization. Thank you to ChartSquad, our Premier Affiliate Partner, and to all of our contributors and sponsors for making it possible for us to enjoy the remaining events for the year. Thank you in particular to the Education Committee, Top Gun Awards Selection Committee, Top Gun Event Committee, and Golf Tournament Committee for working incredibly hard to make the necessary adjustments to move these events forward. And, thank you to our membership for continuing to support one another and our organization.

We wish you all happiness and health moving forward.

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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