CAOC 2006 Awards

Consumer Advocate of the Year - Rose Ann DeMoro
Justice of the Year - Chief Justice Ronald M. George
Legislator of the Year - Senator Joseph L. Dunn
Local TLA Presidents of the Year - Lawrence A. Strick and Richard A. Huver
Edward I. Pollock Award - John F. Denove
Marvin E. Lewis Award - Sharon J. Arkin
Robert E. Cartwright, Sr. Award - Robert E. Cartwright, Jr.
Consumer Attorney of the Year - Christopher Dolan
Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalists

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Rose Ann DeMoro
Consumer Advocate of the Year



The rallying cry, "We are the nurses, the mighty, mighty nurses,” echoes from the halls of Sacramento to the streets of Los Angeles. The powerful, predominantly female nurses union was further energized by Governor Schwarzenegger’s now famous charge: “Those (referring to the nurses) are special interests. They’re just angry because I kick their butts.” The CNA, under Ms. DeMoro’s dedicated leadership, went on to not only protect the landmark nurse to patient ratios that were threatened by Schwarzenegger, but also to lead the charge against the Special Election initiatives of 2005 — all of which were soundly defeated at the ballot box.

Most recently, the CNA took to the streets to promote a “Clean Money” initiative, designed to check corporate influence in the Capitol and at the ballot box. Its defeat will not slow the nurses. When facing another initiative defeat on healthcare reform, the CNA turned around to join with Consumers for Quality Care and Consumer Attorneys of California to enact legislation curbing HMO abuse, including the right to sue HMOs.

Under Ms. DeMoro’s guidance, the CNA broke early from other healthcare professionals and has become a leader in the charge against MICRA, co-sponsoring legislation to change the outdated law. The CNA knows that MICRA is a patient issue, and it puts patients first. In April 2005, Modern Healthcare magazine named Ms. DeMoro as one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.” This publication also named Ms. DeMoro as one of the 100 most influential people in healthcare for the past five years running. Ms. DeMoro has increased CNA’s membership three-fold since taking the helm twelve years ago. She joined CNA in 1986, after serving as the director of the Professional division for the Western Conference of Teamsters, where she organized Hollywood producers.

Ms. DeMoro is known for advocating real political reform and a single standard of healthcare for all people. Ms. DeMoro’s commitment to healthcare, and to the rights of all working people, is extraordinary. She is unafraid and unrelenting in her quest for justice and we are proud to call her our friend.


Chief Justice Ronald M. George
Justice of the Year


The Justice of the Year award is presented to Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who has just completed a decade as the influential leader of the state’s high court and the Judicial Council. During this time, Chief Justice George has spearheaded fundamental changes, including the unification of the trial courts, state funding for the trial courts, and the transfer of responsibility for courthouses from the counties to the state. He has forcefully led the Judicial Council and significantly improved the court’s relationship with the Legislature, all the while fighting relentlessly for equal access to justice.


Senator Joseph L. Dunn
Legislator of the Year


Senator Joseph L. Dunn is presented with the Legislator of the Year award for his extraordinary work over eight years in the Senate. As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he never wavered in his commitment to the underdog. As the Legislature’s leader in investigating the price-gouging activities of the energy companies, he took on the giant energy industry. As the leading advocate for an independent judiciary, he successfully fought for access to justice. In his high profile position as a Democrat from Orange County, he remained true to his principles, fought for consumers every day, and never backed down. We honor one of our own, our friend Joe Dunn.


Lawrence A. Strick
Local TLA President of the Year


Lawrence Strick, 2006 President of the Marin County Trial Lawyers (MTLA), is presented with the Trial Lawyer Association President of the Year for northern California in recognition of his service on CAOC’s Governance Taskforce. Ever thoughtful and insightful, he has been a tireless advocate on behalf of CAOC and its mission. We are a stronger association because of his efforts.

Richard A. Huver
Local TLA President of the Year

Richard Huver, 2006 President of the Consumer Attorney of San Diego (CASD), is presented with the Trial Lawyer Association President of the Year for southern California for his support of CAOC’s public education efforts. Richard’s leadership efforts have highlighted the common bond that exists between CAOC and CASD and strengthened the relationship between our two Associations.


John F. Denove
Edward I. Pollock Award


John “Jack” Denove has been a trial lawyer for more than 30 years, trying more than 100 civil cases before a jury. No one works harder than Jack when it comes to pursuing justice for his clients: he never gives up, and he never gives in. He has served as president of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and he holds the designation of Diplomate, the highest rank of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). In addition to practicing his skill in the courtroom, Jack has authored numerous articles and teaches trial skills to other trial attorneys. He is an active member of CAOC, and has worked to recruit a number of new members.


Sharon J. Arkin
Marvin E. Lewis Award


Sharon Arkin has devoted the past twenty-five years of her life teaching others how to secure justice for those who would otherwise have little, if any, access to the protection of our legal system. She has tirelessly argued before courts throughout our state in an effort to develop a mindset of “legal compassion” to justices on various appellate panels as well as to those sitting on the California Supreme Court. Sharon is always ready, willing and certainly able to author definitive legal articles; to write persuasive amicus curiae briefs; and to present compelling oral arguments on behalf of consumers. It is doubtful that anyone can remember an unanswered request or anything less than the best effort that one of our finest attorneys has to offer. Sharon Arkin is a true inspiration and an ideal role model for her brothers and sisters in the legal profession to emulate. Her personal legal credo says it all: Compassion, Integrity and Justice.


Robert E. Cartwright, Jr.
Robert E. Cartwright, Sr. Award


Rob Cartwright is a true trial advocate and one of the most respected lecturers in California and the nation, routinely receiving high marks whenever and wherever he speaks. A second-generation president of CAOC and a friend to governors, Rob’s vision helped foster the development of CAOC’s current grassroots program. And with his leadership, CAOC pursued a proactive consumer-oriented legislative agenda, extending the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, reforming summary judgment motions, and bringing closure to several years of negotiations in the construction defect field. Never too busy to take a call or answer a question, Rob personally responds to inquiries from new lawyers. His contributions and dedication inspire us all.


Christopher Dolan
Consumer Attorney of the Year


In Issa v. Federal Express Ground and Stacy Shoun, Chris Dolan represented two Lebanese Arab Federal Express drivers who were harassed on the basis of their national origin. In addition to having very difficult damages issues since both men remained employed, the case was one of first impression under Government Code Section 12940(j)(1) which was amended to provide protection from harassment against individuals who are independent contractors. As a result of Mr. Dolan’s lawsuit, Federal Express adopted an anti-discrimination policy and additionally hired a national law firm to review its employment practices and conduct trainings.

Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalists




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