Garo Mardirossian Installed as President of CAALA

1 smallBeverly Hills, California — On January 23, 2010, the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles (CAALA) gathered at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for its annual Installation Dinner Dance. The event was attended not only by the members of CAALA, which is the largest local bar association in the United States, but also by many judges who serve on the California Supreme Court, Appellate Courts and Superior Court, along with many members of the California legislature.

2 smallAs guests arrived in the grand ballroom they were greeted by music performed on stage by the UCLA Marching Band. This was a surprise arranged by CAALA’s Executive Director, Stuart Zanville, for CAALA’s incoming President, Garo Mardirossian, who is both a graduate and avid supporter of UCLA. The high energy provided by the UCLA Marching Band was appreciated not only by Garo Mardirossian, but also by the approximately 900 attendees, of the sold out event.

3 smallAt this lavish gala, Garo Mardirossian was sworn in as the President of CAALA. He told the audience he is the grandson of Armenian genocide survivors. He told the audience as he was growing up in Syria and Lebanon, he could not have in his wildest dreams ever imagined he would someday be standing before such an august audience of dignitaries in Beverly Hills, to accept leadership of a prominent lawyers group.

The Installation ceremony was conducted by California Supreme Court, Justice Marvin Baxter, who is the highest ranking Armenian jurist in the United States. Garo Mardirossian had personally requested that Justice Baxter conduct the Installation ceremony. Justice Baxter’s great grandparents hailed from Harput, Armenian proper. The Baxter family name in Harput was Baghdassarian. Prior to conducting the Installation ceremony, Justice Baxter spoke eloquently to the gathering about Garo Mardirossian’s grandparents, who were also born in Harput, and about how proud Garo’s grandparents would be to see him sworn in as the President of the largest local Bar association of attorneys in the United States.

5 smallAmong the many dignitaries at the event were the executive committee members of the Armenian Bar Association, along with some of its members.

Justice Baxter then administered the oath of office to incoming President Garo Mardirossian, President-Elect Philip Michels, First Vice President Michael Alder, Second Vice President Lisa Maki, Treasurer Geoffrey Wells, and Secretary Joseph Barrett.

6 smallAt the outset of his acceptance speech Garo Mardirossian remarked that although he has come a considerable distance from his birthplace in Aleppo, Syria, he still has strong ties to his Armenian heritage and to the tie that binds all Armenians together – a rich history and a common past underscored by the genocide of Armenians in 1915. In focusing upon the challenges that CAALA will face during 2010, Mr. Mardirossian recognized the stress that California’s budget crisis is placing upon our judicial system. He committed CAALA’s membership to working tirelessly to assist the judiciary in keeping access to justice available to consumers throughout California. Mr. Mardirossian also addressed so-called tort reform, through which the tobacco industry and other major corporations attempt to retract or eliminate the rights of injured consumers to obtain justice. He called upon the membership of CAALA to join him in fighting back by publicly exposing the fraud of so-called tort reform, and by educating the public about the benefits that CAALA members provide to their clients and to the community.

During the past 28 years, Garo Mardirossian’s law practice has been devoted to representation of personal injury plaintiffs. His firm, Mardirossian & Associates, currently has seven attorneys and skilled support staff working on behalf of the firm’s clients in the Mardirossian Law Building located at 6311 Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles.

7 smallIn 2000, Garo Mardirossian received the prestigious award of Trial Attorney of the Year bestowed by the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles. In 2009, he was nominated Trial Attorney of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of California, along with Armen Akaragian, Esq., and Stanley Jacobs, Esq., upon obtaining a $21,654,000 judgment on behalf of plaintiff in the case of Pannu v. Land Rover North America, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. LC 069992.

8 smallGaro Mardirossian will serve as President of CAALA during 2010. Garo Mardirossian and his wife Kathy have been married for 23 years. Their daughter Ani is a junior at UCLA, Garo’s alma mater. Daughter Nora is a sophomore at UCSB, and their son Kevork is in the fourth grade. Ani and Nora are both exceptional student athletes, achieving numerous awards while attending Marymount High School in West Los Angeles. In 2009, Kevork was named in a select group of “Athletes of the Year” in the Palisidian Post, the Pacific Palisades local newspaper, for his feats in football and basketball.

9 smallAfter the Installation ceremony and acceptance speech, CAALA issued its annual awards to attorneys and judges recognized for their contributions to justice in our community. The Ted Horn Award was bestowed upon Amy Solomon. The Superior Court Trial Judge of the Year was awarded to Hon. R. Bruce Minto, and the Appellate Justice of the Year award was received by Hon. Laurence Rubin. The recipient of the Appellate Attorney of the Year award was Sharon Arkin, and Arash Homampour was named CAALA’s 2009 Trial Attorney of the Year.

After the awards portion of the event, those in attendance visited and danced into the night to the music of Boogie Knights.

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