California Lawyers Association

California Lawyers Association to Honor Best of Legal Profession at Annual Meeting

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The California Lawyers Association (CLA) is proud to announce the names of the lawyers, judges, and legal organizations who will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession in California.

The honorees will be recognized at the opening reception of CLA’s Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel on Thursday, September 15, 2022. The awards include legacy awards that were once given by the State Bar of California, the regulatory body for attorneys.

“CLA was pleased to take responsibility for these awards after we became the voluntary statewide bar association in 2018,” said CLA’s CEO and Executive Director CLA Oyango A. Snell. “CLA is honored and excited to acknowledge these passionate and dedicated award winners who have gone above and beyond to help society’s most vulnerable, make our esteemed profession more equitable, and promote justice and high ethical standards.”The CLA 2022 Award winners are as follows:

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bobbi Tillmon will receive the Aranda Access to Justice Award. Co-sponsored by the Judicial Council, CLA, and the California Judges Association, in association with the California Commission on Access to Justice, the award honors a judge who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to improving access to our courts and who has significantly improved access for low- and moderate-income Californians. This award will be presented on November 17, 2022 at the Judicial Council of California.

Southwestern Law School Dean Susan Westerberg Prager will receive the Bernard E. Witkin Medal. The award recognizes those who, through a career of extraordinary service, have made significant contributions to the quality of justice and legal scholarship in California.

Lawyers Club of San Diego and DTO Law will each receive Diversity Awards for their efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession or among peers.

Mark L. Tuft, a litigation partner with Cooper, White & Cooper in San Francisco, will receive the Harry B. Sondheim Professional Responsibility Award. The award recognizes a member’s outstanding long-term contribution to the advancement of attorney professional standards in California.

Deeva Shah, an associate at Keker, Van Nest & Peters, will receive the Jack Berman Award of Achievement. The award honors a young lawyer (first eight years of active State Bar membership) who has provided outstanding service to the legal profession and public, as well as dedication to issues of concern to new and young lawyers.

California Rural Legal Assistance Executive Director José R. Padilla will receive the Loren Miller Legal Services Award. The award honors an attorney who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally engaged in significant work extending legal services to the poor. The award is co-presented with the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Legal Aid Association of California.

Tristan E.H. Higgins, a San Diego lawyer, speaker, and diversity and inclusion expert, will receive the California Lawyers Foundation Distinguished Leadership Award.

Legal Education Access Pipeline Inc. (LEAP), a diversity pipeline fellowship program, will receive the California Lawyers Foundation Heather L. Rosing Pathway Partner Award.

“I am humbled and awed by the accomplishments of our award winners,” said CLA President Jeremy M. Evans. “They provide excellent examples for the rest of us to follow. We look forward to celebrating with the award winners and all conference and gala attendees soon.”

CLA is celebrating the “best of the legal profession” at its Annual Meeting on September 15–17, 2022 and hosting a first-ever black-tie Gala in partnership with the California Judges Association on September 17, 2022, benefitting both the California Lawyers Foundation and the California Judges Foundation.

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