Trial Lawyer of the Year
On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors selected Michael Bradley (San Francisco) and Douglas DeGrave (Orange County) as the 2016 Trial Lawyers of the Year. Recognized as the highest honor a California trial lawyer can receive, the CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year is awarded annually to a recipient exhibiting the best traits of a trial lawyer - excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career and a reputation for civility, ethics and fair play.

The CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors includes officers of the eight local chapters. Each CAL-ABOTA chapter is entitled to nominate a candidate for Trial Lawyer of the Year. Written and oral presentations are submitted to CAL-ABOTA's board followed by the selection of the award recipient by majority vote. This year's vote resulted in a tie; congratulations to both Mike and Doug!
General Criteria For Selection Of California Trial Lawyer Of The Year

  1. THAT THE PERSON BE AN EXCELLENT ADVOCATE
  2. THAT THE PERSON HAVE A DISTINGUISHED CAREER
  3. THAT THE PERSON HAVE A SUPERB REPUTATION OF CIVILITY, ETHICS AND FAIR PLAY
  4. THAT THE PERSON HAVE PARTICIPATED IN AN OUTSTANDING RESULT
board member
A founding member of Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney, Michael P. Bradley is an experienced and accomplished trial lawyer. He was President of the San Francisco Chapter of ABOTA in 2011 and he is the 2016 President of CAL-ABOTA. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Bradley has been recognized by the California State Bar as a Certified Specialist in legal malpractice law. Mr. Bradley was named one of California's premier legal malpractice trial lawyers in California Lawyer magazine as well as a SuperLawyer of Northern California since inception. Mr. Bradley is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating.

Douglas M. DeGrave is a founding partner of Poliquin & DeGrave LLP. He has been in practice for more than thirty five years. Prior to forming his own firm, Mr. DeGrave was the managing partner in the Orange County office of a large Southern California insurance defense firm. In 2008, he served as President of the Orange County Chapter of ABOTA and as President of CAL-ABOTA in 2013. In 2014, he was given the CAL-ABOTA President’s Award for his work in changing the oath to include a pledge of civility. He is also a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers. Mr. DeGrave is one of approximately 100 lawyers certified as a civil trial specialist by the state bar in California. He has been named as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers for the past ten years. Mr. DeGrave has held an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 1995.

board member


Past Cal-abota Trial Lawyers Of The Year

*1962 Roger E. Kelly Los Angeles
*1963 Raoul D. Magana Los Angeles
*1964 John T. LaFollette Los Angeles
*1965 Ingmar Hoberg San Francisco
*1966 DeForrest Home Los Angeles
*1967 John J. Costanzo Los Angeles
*1968 William J. Schall San Diego
*1969 Bruce Walkup San Francisco
*1970 William A. Kurlander Los Angeles
*1971 David M. Harney Los Angeles
*1972 Leighton T. Bledsoe San Francisco
*1973 Arthur N. Hews San Diego
*1974 Theodore P. Shield Los Angeles
*1975 Jack W. Crumley San Diego
*1976 Richard McCormick San Joaquin Valley
*1977 Mark P. Robinson Los Angeles
*1978 James C. Downing San Francisco
*1979 John G. Bonelli Los Angeles
1980 Joseph W. Rogers, Jr. San Francisco
*1981 Don C. Brown San Bernardino/Riverside
*1982 Donald A. Ruston Orange County
*1983 Marvin E. Lewis San Francisco
*1984 Marshall T. Hunt Los Angeles
*1985 Charles A. Lynberg Los Angeles
*1986 Robert D. Barbagelata San Francisco
*1987 Wm. Marshall Morgan Los Angeles
1988 Morton L. Friedman Sacramento Valley
1989 Eugene J. Majeski San Francisco
1990 Hon. Richard D. Aldrich Los Angeles
*1991 John J. Collins Los Angeles
1992 Albert R. Abramson San Francisco
1993 Robert C. Baker Los Angeles
1994 David E. Monahan San Diego
1995 Ronald H. Rouda San Francisco
1996 Thomas V. Girardi Los Angeles
1997 Lowell T. Carruth San Joaquin Valley
1998 Brian D. Monaghan San Diego
1999 H. Gilbert Jones Los Angeles
2000 Florentino Garza San Bernardino/Riverside
2001 James J. Brosnahan San Francisco
*2002 Marjorie W. Day Orange County
2003 Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. San Diego
2004 Roger A. Dreyer Sacramento Valley
2005 Jeffrey S. Raynes San Bernardino/Riverside
2006 Richard Watters San Joaquin Valley
Edward J. Nevin San Francisco
2007 David J. O’Keefe Los Angeles
2008 Mark P. Robinson, Jr. Orange County
2009 Dennis A.Schoville San Diego
2010 Brian J. Panish Los Angeles
2011 Michael Bidart San Bernardino/Riverside
Dennis F. Moriarty San Francisco
2012 Robert A. Buccola Sacramento Valley
2013 Edith Matthai Los Angeles
2014 Michael A. Kelly San Francisco
2015 William D. Shapiro San Bernardino/Riverside
2016 Michael P. Bradley San Francisco
2016 Douglas M. DeGrave Orange County
California Chapters of
American Board of Trial Advocates
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Phone: 916.239.4087
Fax: 916.924.7323
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