Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend

Members pay tribute to the retiring executive director, Stuart Zanville

Genie Harrison
2021 December

Like water, air, and food, for 17 years Stuart Zanville has nourished trial lawyers in good times and bad. He has provided a steady sustenance of encouragement, perspective and compassion. For me, Stuart has been a cheerleader, mentor, and steady guiding hand throughout my career. The messages of appreciation and love that poured in when Stuart announced his retirement offer a glimpse of what he has meant to so many. We thought it would be fitting to share with you some of the memories, well wishes, and appreciation expressed for Stuart Zanville.

— Genie Harrison, CAALA President

Dear Stuart:

As part of my reflection regarding your retirement I have taken the time to review our many emails going back several years. I will miss the leadership qualities that you have brought to CAALA. Although not an exhaustive list, these qualities are the cornerstones necessary for a successful executive director: an operational model appropriate for the enterprise, great communications with staff and membership, a calm and steady hand during challenging times, willingness to listen and consider others’ perspectives, a move toward greater inclusiveness, and an eye toward the future.

I hope that I will not miss our friendship because we will continue to remain in contact. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

Your friend and admirer,

M. Lawrence Lallande

Hey Stuart,

You have been a fabulous leader, a beacon of strength, and a really good friend and confidante over the years. I sincerely wish you all the best of life as you enjoy this new chapter.

Much love and respect,

Carl Douglas


If I am ever foolish enough to get back in the ring with a professional boxer, I want you in my corner. You have been the best trainer, sparring partner and cut man CAALA has ever had. Enjoy your new journey.

Your friend,

Jack Denove

Smart, diplomatic, thoughtful, mature,

Kind, amusing, hard-working for sure,

Able to corral and advise a wild bunch;

This is Stuart Zanville, calm in the crunch

More than special, he brought peace and goodwill

With bonhomie and such critical skill

We’re talking big egos, conflicts de rigueur

Implacable Stuart kept us steady and sure

It’s a time for sorrow as we don’t want you to go

A time for rejoicing for the fields you did sow

A time for laughter for all the good you have done

A time to remember as you head into the sun

Good luck, not goodbye, you’ll still be around

In our hearts and thoughts, for you remained crowned

The best of the bunch, who kept us all sane

Love to you and Lissa, and stay out of the fast-lane

With fondness,

Neville Johnson

Stuart Zanville is a true gentleman, and a supportive friend. I cannot express how much I appreciated it when Stuart was there for me when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and when I lost my job and was terrified about my future. Stuart is honest, funny, intelligent, fair, and loving. CAALA will not be the same without him. I love you, Stuart! Congratulations on your retirement, and thank you for all that you are, and all that you do.

— Christina M. Coleman



I’ll never forget when I first met you at the new CAALA office open house about 15 years ago. I asked how I could get involved with CAALA and you suggested that I join the membership committee and start calling lapsed members. Despite this, I still liked you. I have really enjoyed working with you over the years, and appreciate the friendship we have developed and the support you have always shown me. Thank you for your dedication to CAALA and all that you have meant to our association. With a gentle hand, you have guided us through thick and thin and you have left an indelible mark on CAALA. I will certainly miss seeing you at our events, but I know that we will always remain friends. Congratulations on your retirement, and all the best with your next chapter which I hope will be filled with lots of rye whiskey.

Your friend,
Jeff Rudman

Dear Stuart, Thank you for steering the Love Boat, err, Association, so adroitly in good seas and bad during your tour of duty. You were an excellent commander and champion for your crew and so many members. I never met anyone with a recall for names and stories like yours, and we all know you were the repository of great confidences and secrets. You were the hub of our “commonweal.” And you will be missed, but more, admired and celebrated for the leadership you showed making CAALA what it is today. Bon Voyage, Adm. Zanville.


David Hoffman

Stuart Zanville has guided our organization to new levels, working with new challenges including moving offices, the internet and modern technologies, emerging trends in the law and education of lawyers, trial lawyer politics, and most recently, the pandemic. Stuart has given strength and direction to so many. His wisdom and steady hand have taken us through crises most thought could have long-term detriment to us all and reminded us in fact most turn out to be short-term “shiny objects” which merely take life for fleeting moments and then fade into the history. …

I will always fondly recall how Stuart ran his end of this great organization with a firm and friendly grasp of everyone’s personality, strengths and weaknesses, and helped guide us to this powerful, diverse, sustainable, growing and inclusive organization we are today. He did so with a laugh, a warm embrace, a great story, and a kind ear to hear you out and find the best solutions. We are so much better now because of Stuart. He built bridges to other bar organizations and TLA’s that will last. We are strong, united, visionary, and facile because of the lessons he taught so many of us. Thank you, thank you!

— Joe Barrett

Stuart – You are a Hall of Fame of 1. A mensch in the truest form who always had time for a “quick” hour-long phone call. Thank you for being an ear for me all these years. I appreciate you. Congratulations on your retirement!

— Martin I. Aarons


I was invited to join the Board your first year as Executive Director. You have been the face of CAALA since then. Executive Committees have evolved, Secretaries have been elected, and Presidents have served – and through it all you have been the steadying hand on the tiller.

Our Board is, and has always been, stocked with personalities of all stripes. In your time as our Executive Director we have faced economic calamity, political fights, and a pandemic. You have handled all challenges — internal and extrinsic — with competence, diligence, and grace.

You have been a role model on how to manage and adapt to change and how to treat everyone in every role with respect and empathy. That is not something that can be faked; it comes from within.

Thank you for all that you have done for CAALA, and for all your excellent advice and your patience. I will miss you. The EC, the Board, and the Staff will miss you. And CAALA will miss you. You have left us all better off for our time with you.


— Jeff Ehrlich

Dearest Stuart,

Thank you for the gift you have given CAALA and to each of us by serving as our Executor Director for so many wonderful years. You have graced our grand organization selflessly and with wise leadership, guidance and vision. You will be tremendously missed, dear friend! Enjoy your retirement with your beautiful Lissa and please continue to be a part of our lives.


Mayra Fornos

Dearest Stuart:

Words cannot express how truly appreciative I am to have you in our lives. You have been a mentor and friend. A confidant and colleague. I will forever be grateful for all you have done for me and my family. You may think you watched me grow. The reality is, you helped me grow. Thank you for being an integral part of my life. I look forward to many more years of your guidance.

With live and appreciation,


Genie Harrison Genie Harrison

Genie Harrison is the principal of the Genie Harrison Law Firm, where she focuses on plaintiff’s employment, civil rights and wage and hour matters. Ms. Harrison is one of only two women in the state of California named by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer for five years in a row. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff’s Employment Litigation and been named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 and Top 75 Women Litigators in California. In 2014 she was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. In 2013 Ms. Harrison received CAALA’s Presidential Award.

Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend
Stuart, we will miss you as a leader and a friend

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