Trial Lawyer of the Year
On Saturday, March 4, 2023, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors proudly selected Dennis R. Thelen of the San Joaquin Valley Chapter as the 2023 Trial Lawyer 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.

General Criteria For Selection Of California Trial Lawyer Of The Year

Dennis Thelen, 2023 Trial Lawyer of the year.
Dennis R. Thelen is known as one of the hardest working and most successful civil trial attorneys in Southern and Central California. He is one of the three founding members of LeBeau Thelen LLP in Bakersfield. Mr. Thelen's practice is limited to civil trial litigation across a range of matters, including representation of physicians and other health care providers in medical malpractice matters, the trial of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, employment disputes and business litigation.

Dennis is a Diplomate Member of ABOTA, a Past President of the San Joaquin Chapter of ABOTA, and a Past President of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel. In addition, he is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of DRI.

Mr. Thelen has tried over one hundred civil cases to successful jury verdicts for his clients. His passionate and skilled representation of his clients, trial techniques and results, and remarkable trial record are renowned throughout Southern California, and for many years he has been named by his peers and the Los Angeles Daily Journal as a "Southern California Super Lawyer." His courtesy, professionalism and work ethic are equally well-known to the attorneys who work both with and against him.

CAL-ABOTA will celebrate Mr. Thelen as the 2023 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award recipient during the Hawaii Conference on November 6-11, 2023 at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.

Congratulations Dennis!

Past Cal-ABOTA Trial Lawyers Of The Year

2023 Dennis Thelen San Joaquin Valley
2022 Cynthia McGuinn San Francisco
2021 John H. Howard California Coast
2020 No Award Given
2019 Richard D. Carroll Los Angeles
2018 Chris Wesierski Orange County
2017 Warren R. Paboojian San Joaquin Valley
2016 Michael P. Bradley San Francisco
  Douglas M. DeGrave Orange County
2015 William D. Shapiro San Bernardino/Riverside
2014 Michael A. Kelly San Francisco
2013 Edith Matthai Los Angeles
2012 Robert A. Buccola Sacramento Valley
2011 Michael Bidart San Bernardino/Riverside
Dennis F. Moriarty San Francisco
2010 Brian J. Panish Los Angeles
2009 Dennis A.Schoville San Diego
2008 Mark P. Robinson, Jr. Orange County
2007 David J. O'Keefe Los Angeles
2006 Richard Watters San Joaquin Valley
Edward J. Nevin San Francisco
2005 Jeffrey S. Raynes San Bernardino/Riverside
2004 Roger A. Dreyer Sacramento Valley
2003 Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. San Diego
*2002 Marjorie W. Day Orange County
2001 James J. Brosnahan San Francisco
2000 Florentino Garza San Bernardino/Riverside
1999 H. Gilbert Jones Los Angeles
1998 Brian D. Monaghan San Diego
*1997 Lowell T. Carruth San Joaquin Valley
1995 Ronald H. Rouda San Francisco
1994 David E. Monahan San Diego
1993 Robert C. Baker Los Angeles
*1992 Albert R. Abramson San Francisco
*1991 John J. Collins Los Angeles
1990 Hon. Richard D. Aldrich Los Angeles
*1989 Eugene J. Majeski San Francisco
*1988 Morton L. Friedman Sacramento Valley
*1987 Wm. Marshall Morgan Los Angeles
*1986 Robert D. Barbagelata San Francisco
*1985 Charles A. Lynberg Los Angeles
*1984 Marshall T. Hunt Los Angeles
*1983 Marvin E. Lewis San Francisco
*1982 Donald A. Ruston Orange County
*1981 Don C. Brown San Bernardino/Riverside
1980 Joseph W. Rogers, Jr. San Francisco
*1979 John G. Bonelli Los Angeles
*1978 James C. Downing San Francisco
*1977 Mark P. Robinson Los Angeles
*1976 Richard McCormick San Joaquin Valley
*1975 Jack W. Crumley San Diego
*1974 Theodore P. Shield Los Angeles
*1973 Arthur N. Hews San Diego
*1972 Leighton T. Bledsoe San Francisco
*1971 David M. Harney Los Angeles
*1970 William A. Kurlander Los Angeles
*1969 Bruce Walkup San Francisco
*1968 William J. Schall San Diego
*1967 John J. Costanzo Los Angeles
*1966 DeForrest Home Los Angeles
*1965 Ingmar Hoberg San Francisco
*1964 John T. LaFollette Los Angeles
*1963 Raoul D. Magana Los Angeles
*1962 Roger E. Kelly Los Angeles
California and Hawaii Chapters of
American Board of Trial Advocates
2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: 916.239.4087
Fax: 916.924.7323
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