Welcome 2021!

A Year of Hope and the Opportunity to Give. Join us for the Installation ceremony Jan. 28 on YouTube

2021 January

2021 could not come soon enough. 2020 was a year of devastating disease, endless fires, nasty politics, massive unemployment, forced homelessness and hundreds of thousands of families in need of food. It is predicted that by the time this article is published the death toll in California will exceed 25,000, due to COVID-19. With each passing, a family not only loses a loved one, but in many cases the family loses its primary source of support. Families who are fortunate enough not to lose a loved one may still suffer tragedy by experiencing extreme financial hardship, hunger or losing their homes. While hopeful for a “better” 2021, many are more hopeful for the necessities such as food on the table, money to pay utilities or a call telling them they can go back to work.

As consumer lawyers, we have a unique perspective to see, firsthand, how tragedy has a devastating effect on the lives of our clients and their families. Through this perspective, we are blessed to develop empathy for people and their families who have experienced such tragedy.

Twenty-five years of giving

For the last 25 years OCTLA, and its leadership, has harnessed the empathy of its membership and has committed to giving. Through OCTLA’s members and sponsors, it has raised over $1 million dollars for charitable giving. As the dawn of 2021 arrives, now more than ever, charitable giving must be in the forefront of consumer attorneys’ minds. We can have a life-changing impact on those who were struck by tragedy.

While OCTLA will continue its charitable giving by holding our Annual Charity Auction at our Top Gun Award Gala in the fall, we are also hopeful to give back to the community in 2021 through OCTLA Cares. Hopefully, we all can reach into our pockets and make room on our calendars to give money or time to our communities to help those who have been devastated by the events of the past year. 2021 can be year of hope and giving!

I am honored, proud and humbled to become the 58th President of OCTLA. In 2019 I attended Micha Star Liberty’s swearing in ceremony as President of the Consumer Attorneys of California. Ms. Liberty opened her speech by saying “Number 6.” She was the sixth female President of CAOC. I smiled and thought “she stole my line.”

Like CAOC, OCTLA has only had six female Presidents in its 58-year history. It took 29 years for the first female President of OCTLA to be sworn in. Special thanks to Jean Hobart and Susan Kelley who served as the first two female Presidents. Thank you as well to Anne Andrews, Honorable Shaina Colover and Geraldine Ly; I reverently follow in your footsteps.

Times are changing and OCTLA is demonstrating true diversity and leadership by bringing more female lawyers into its leadership ranks. Three of the six executive officers are women, with five more talented women serving on the board as leaders of OCTLA. This year our Board is comprised of a diverse group of outstanding young male and female future leaders of our organization and profession. Additionally, this year is the first year that CAALA, OCTLA and CAOC will concurrently have women Presidents. Genie Harrison is the President of CAALA and Debbie Chang is President of CAOC. Congratulations to you both, and I look forward to serving alongside the two of you in the coming year.

Installation January 28 via YouTube

We invite you to join us for our 58th Annual Installation program on January 28th for the swearing in of our 2021 Officers and Board of Directors, officiated by the Honorable Justice William Bedsworth. Additionally, OCTLA will award the Honorable Kirk H. Nakamura, Presiding Judge, with a Judicial Excellence in Leadership Award for his outstanding court leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, we will be recognizing and awarding our Board Member of the Year and Member of the Year. We hope you will join us on January 28th on OCTLA’s YouTube channel.

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