Tag: Judges Night

15 Oct 2019

Armenian Bar’s Judges’ Night Attracts Hundreds of Enthusiasts, Scores of Judges

On October 1, 2019, the Armenian Bar Association welcomed 70 members of the state and federal judiciaries at its Annual Judges’ Night Dinner in Glendale, California. Despite it being a Tuesday evening, hundreds gathered at the magnificent Phoenicia Restaurant to honor California Court of Appeal Justice Helen I. Bendix and California Superior Court Judge Ruth Ann Kwan for their distinguished service and their exemplary roles as paragons of integrity and emulation.

“It was a thrill and a blessing to have such a flourishing wealth of federal, appellate and trial court judges join us as we recognized two exemplary jurists for their unwavering commitment to the advancement of the rule of law and the administration of justice,” stated Armenian Bar Executive Committee Member, Saro Kerkonian.

The Annual Judges’ Night Dinner honors jurists who have distinguished themselves beyond the laudable lines of high intellect, efficiency and consistency.  It singles out for distinction those who have opened broadly the public’s access to justice, advanced the precepts of the rule of law, incorporated compassion into the fabric of their characters, and guided others in profession and in life.

Phoenicia’s outside patio swelled with pre-dinner chat and cheer during the bustling social hour, a felicitous prelude to the allure of the heaping, luscious Armenian fare at the tables. The main event began with masterful flutist, Salpy Kerkonian, performing the national anthems of the United States and the Republic of Armenia.

“I am extremely proud of our achievement tonight and must emphasize that it is our humble privilege to welcome 70 judges, which is more than double or triple the number of judges that appear at virtually any other bar association’s judges night event!” said Chairman Gerard Kassabian. “Our Annual Judges’ Night is also very special because it gives us the opportunity to create meaningful and often life-enhancing connections when we introduce sitting judges to aspiring law students.  This rich tradition grows in popularity year after year!”

The master of ceremonies, legal eagle Armen Akaragian, delighted the audience with quick-witted jokes and profound improvisations throughout the evening. Stepping off-stage, Akaragian reflected, “It truly was special to be part of such a memorable night where we all reveled in the glow of so many distinguished jurists and outstanding professionals.”

Honorable Zaven Sinanian of the California Superior Court opened with a heartfelt introduction of the first honoree, Justice Helen Bendix. He enumerated Justice Bendix’s accomplishments during her tenure within the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Mandatory Settlement program, including noting that Justice Bendix shepherded the program into the success that it is today. Judge Sinanian’s fond memories of working with Justice Bendix provided a gracious touch to the already-familial affair. Accompanying Justice Bendix at the event were her husband, U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt, and their children.

Justice Bendix graciously received her well-deserved honor, thanking the Armenian Bar for selecting her for the commendation. Of Jewish descent, Justice Bendix spoke movingly about the deep connections between the Armenian and Jewish peoples, including their shared trait of enduring the challenges of their harsh histories, leading each community to be more resilient than ever.

Judge Kevin Brazile, who is the Presiding Judge of the entire Los Angeles Superior Court system, introduced the next honoree, Judge Ruth Ann Kwan. He took a somewhat different and refreshing approach by sharing beautiful and captivatingly-positive comments made by other judges about Judge Kwan. On a personal note, Judge Brazile indicated that Judge Kwan had encouraged him to take affirmative steps to support greater diversity on the bench.

Judge Kwan accepted her award to a rousing ovation and praised the Armenian Bar, describing her interesting path to the judiciary. To many people’s surprise, her journey to the bench included more Armenians than many may have expected. Judge Kwan recalled that when she began considering a role in the judiciary, her husband’s business associate, Ashot, introduced her to none other than Judge Dickran Tevrizian over lunch at the Tevrizian home. With first impressions being the lasting one, Judge Tevrizian wrote her a letter of recommendation immediately after the lunch. Judge Kwan also recalled that when she was challenged while on the bench, the Armenian community of Montebello helped her secure the election and retain her seat.

As is the tradition for honorees at the Annual Judges’ Nights, Judge Kwan and Justice Bendix were presented with beautiful works of classical, illuminated art prepared by renowned artist Seroon Yeretsian, each with peaceful, majestic representations of heavenly peacocks and with original inscriptions of praise and honor.

In an evocative musical interlude, Salpy Kerkonian channeled the stirring, expressive works of Komitas and Aram Khachaturian. She embellished her musical inflections with poignant background information about Komitas, paying homage to the great muse for bringing traditional Armenian melodies to the modern era.

Also part of the evening program, not planned but most appropriate, saw Chairman Kassabian making public the Armenian Bar’s appreciation for the altogether comprehensive commitment of the chief engineer of the event, the Association’s Vice-Chairperson, Lucy Varpetian.

The Annual Judge’s Night was an event to remember. “This was my first time at the Judge’s Night and I came away impressed by the vast array of judges who came, obviously enjoyed, and stayed till the end. Kuddos to the Armenian Bar Association for getting together so many amazing and talented legal professionals for an unforgettable night,” said Arthur Saakian, a Glendale litigator.

See more photos in our gallery.

01 Oct 2019

Annual Judges’ Night Gala – 2019

The Armenian Bar Association Cordially Invites You to Its Annual Judges’ Night

Hon. Helen I. Bendix

Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second District

Introduction by the Hon. Zaven Sinanian, Judge, California Superior Court, Los Angeles

Hon. Ruth A. Kwan

Judge, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County

Introduction by Hon. Kevin Brazile, Presiding Judge, California Superior Court, Los Angeles

Master of Ceremonies
Armen Akaragian, Esq.
Mardirossian & Associates, Inc.

Cocktail Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner & Program: 7:00 p.m.

$125 Members
$75 Young Lawyer Members (practicing 5 years or less)
$40 Students
Free for Judges
$175 General Admission
Please RSVP

For inquiries and sponsorship email info@Armenianbar.org

$3,500 – 8 tickets, full page ad, table recognition, and preferred seating
$2,500 – 8 tickets, half page ad
$1,000 – 4 tickets, quarter page ad
$500 – 2 tickets, listing in program book

The Annual Judges’ Night has fast become the Association’s signature celebration, drawing hundreds of attendees from all walks of the legal profession in the most convivial and interactive of atmospheres. The Association honors those jurists who have distinguished themselves beyond the laudable lines of high intellect, efficiency and consistency. The Armenian Bar singles out for distinction those who have opened broadly the public’s access to justice, advanced the precepts of the rule of law, incorporated compassion into the fabric of their characters, and guided others in profession and in life.

Join ArmenBar now and enjoy lower pricing for this event.
 

SPONSORS

Mount Ararat – 5,137 meters (16,854 ft)

First Republic Bank
Mardirossian & Associates

Mount Aragatz – 4,090 meters (13,420 ft)

Boyamian Law
Judges Suzanne and Paul Bruguera
Glaser Weil, LLP
Kirakosian Law, APC
Kokozian Law Firm
MotionLit

Mount Kaputjugh – 3,905 meters (12,812 ft)

FMBK
Stephan Filip PC

Mrav Mountain Range – 3,724 meters (12,218 ft)

ADR Services, Inc.
California Lemon Law Firm
Doumanian & Associates
Encore Law Group LLP
Hairapetian & Hairapetian
Law Offices of Armen Tashjian
Liddy Law Firm
Nossaman LLP
Ourfalian & Ourfalian

Mount Azhdahak – 3,597 meters (11801 ft)

Abajian Law
Aghaeian Law
Law Offices of Gerard V. Kassabian
05 Dec 2017

Armenian Bar Starts Thanksgiving Week Early with Spectacular Judges’ Night Gala

On November 16, 2017, members and friends of the Armenian Bar Association gathered at the landmark Glen Arden Club in Glendale, California to celebrate and honor the best of California’s judiciary during the Annual Judges’ Night Dinner.  Nearly 50 judges of the state and federal court systems turned out to rejoice as three prominent jurists of the Los Angeles Superior Court were honored—Judges Victor Chavez, Holly Fujie and Huey Cotton.

The Annual Judges’ Night has fast become the Association’s signature celebration, drawing hundreds of attendees from all walks of the legal profession in the most convivial and interactive of atmospheres.  The Association honors those jurists who have distinguished themselves beyond the laudable lines of high intellect, efficiency and consistency.  The Armenian Bar singles out for distinction those who have opened broadly the public’s access to justice, advanced the precepts of the rule of law, incorporated compassion into the fabric of their characters, and guided others in profession and in life.

“We are fortunate to have so many distinguished members of the California judiciary join us this evening.  We thank them for their devoted public service,” said Mistress of Ceremonies, Vanna Kitsinian, member of the Executive Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association.

The evening began with a high-octane reception where guests networked and socialized before advancing into the grand ballroom for dinner and presentation of the awards. There, solo artist Toukhman Khachatourian began the program with a stirring rendition of the national anthems of the United States of America and Armenia. Next, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, delivered an inspiring invocation and asked for the Lord’s  blessings to confer on the judges the strength and wisdom to carry on their good work.  The Archbishop’s invocation was followed by a dinner of delicious Armenian cuisine.

Chairman of the Board, Saro Kerkonian, assumed the podium amidst great fanfare and thanked the honorary guests and their fellow judges for their outstanding contributions in furtherance of the independence of the judicial branch of government. Mr.  Kerkonian paid eloquent homage to the judges’ professional examples of instilling in the public the trust that California’s courts are bastions where the rule of law reigns supreme.  With flags of country, state and organization adorning the stage in the background, he offered reflections into the work of the Association as it relates to the United States, Armenia, the Artsakh Republic and the State of California.

Board member and Association Treasurer Gerard Kassabian introduced the first honoree, Judge Victor Chavez.  Mr. Kassabian greeted the guests with a “hello and welcome” in ten different languages and spoke of the 30-year career of Judge Chavez on the bench.  In a moving tribute, Mr. Kassabian endearingly Armenianized Judge Chavez’s name by adding an “ian” to the end and presented him with a beautiful photograph of the honoree, daughter California Appellate Justice Victoria Chavez and Governor George Deukmejian, on the occasion of Judge Chavez’s swearing-in to the bench by his daughter.  Judge Chavez fondly recalled as a child how his mother read to him the famed book by Franz Werfel, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, recalling the heroic self-defense of the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide.  He explained how the book left a lasting impression on his life.

The next honoree was former California State Bar President, Judge Holly Fujie.  Judge Fujie was introduced by Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian.  Ms. Ashvanian shared with the audience the tremendous career Judge Fujie has had and the countless bar activities she has initiated and led.  Judge Fujie congratulated the Armenian Bar Association on its work in the field of mentorship and judicial evaluations.  She urged collaboration between the Armenian Bar and the California State Bar with respect to their respective mentorship programs.

The third honoree of the evening was Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Northwest District, Judge Huey Cotton.  He was introduced by noted criminal defense attorney and member of the Armenian Bar’s Judicial Evaluations Committee, Alexandra Kazarian.  Ms. Kazarian praised the evening’s final honoree for his leadership on the bench, his activism and his compassion for litigants and young and learning lawyers.  Judge Cotton passionately told inspiring stories of Armenians in his life and courtroom.

Judges Chavez, Fujie and Cotton were each presented with a beautiful work of classical art prepared by renowned artist Seroon Yeretsian, each with an original inscription of praise and honor.  The program concluded with a moving benediction by Reverend Father Vazken Movsesian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.

Following the official program, many stayed on and maintained the high-energy levels that lasted throughout the night.  Valerie Dean, co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, called the evening “One of the best, diverse, Judges’ Nights I have ever been to.”

“We are thrilled we could once again showcase the great talent, intellect and diversity that is the strength of the California Judicial System at our annual Judges’ Night,” said the the Association’s Judicial Evaluations Committee Co-Chair Lucy Varpetian.  “We look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come,” said Garo Ghazarian, organizing committee chair and former two-term chairman of the Armenian Bar Association.

Judges’ Night 2017