On the evening of August 16, 2018, the Armenian Bar Association pulled off a sensational accomplishment with its inaugural Workers’ Compensation Honors Awards Dinner at the always-warm and welcoming Phoenicia Restaurant in Glendale, California.
With a capacity crowd of practitioners, consultants, and students buzzing with energy and interaction, what stood out impressively was the first-ever assembly of more than a dozen workers’ compensation judges at an Armenian Bar event which was specifically designed for them. Three exceptional jurists were recognized for their substantial and positive impacts both on the bench and in the bar. The three honorees were Judge Lynn Devine of the Van Nuys District Office of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), Judge Roger A. Tolman, Jr. of the WCAB Los Angeles District Office and Judge Clint Feddersen, a rising star among California’s Workers’ Compensation judiciary, who presides in the WCAB Van Nuys District Office.
“We felt that it was high time that our organization make its mark of respect, gratitude, and engagement in this important and sometimes underestimated field of law,” said organizing committee co-chair Tina Odjaghian of the Odjaghian Law Group of Woodland Hills, California, and reflected that “Employees’ rights and employers’ responsibilities deserve a proper balance coupled vigilant enforcement and I am, indeed, both proud and humbled to be in a position of leadership in this particular discipline with an eye towards opening avenues of access to the public at large as well as to the Armenian Bar’s own up-and-coming lawyers and law students in this area of the law.”
From the podium and in front of hundreds of Armenian Bar family and friends, the three judges expressed their deep and heartfelt appreciation for being singled out for distinction as jurists of the year. Judge Tolman stated that what impressed him most about the Armenian Bar Association is that the organization has as part of its mission a transnational commitment to upholding the rule of law and to a culture of devotion to public service.
Each of the judges was presented with a beautiful work of art capturing the brilliant, colorfully-illuminated portrayals of graceful peacocks, painted by renowned Armenian artist Seeroon Yeretsian. Embossed on each painting was a personal inscription acknowledging the honoree’s extraordinary achievements as a member of the judiciary of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
The event exceeded all expectations as over ten law firms, representing a diverse cross-section of the Southern California workers’ compensation community, were sponsors of the festivities. Organizing committee member, Rita Tchavdarian, who serves as Deputy County Counsel for Los Angeles County, stated, “We are so happy with the success of our inaugural event and with how well it was received by the workers’ compensation bench and bar. We hope this event will become a tradition for many years to come.”