Trial Lawyer of the Year
On Saturday, July 31, 2021, after a year and a half delay due to the Pandemic, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors proudly selected John H. Howard of the California Coast Chapter as the 2021 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

John Howard. 2021 Trial Lawyer of the year.
John Howard graduated from Pacific University in 1972 and obtained his Juris Doctor in 1979 from Ventura College of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1979 and to the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, in 1980. He has been in private practice since 1980 until he joined the Lowthorp, Richards firm as of counsel in 2014.

John was a Lt. Commander in the United States Naval Reserve from 1987-1999. In 1987, he served as past president of the Ventura County branch of the Arthritis Foundation and has coached Varsity Football and Baseball for Villanova Preparatory School from 2003 to the present. John was voted Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Ventura County Bar Association in 2011, received the Civility Award from the American Board of Trial Advocates (California Coast Chapter) in 2010, and was voted Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Ventura County Trial Lawyer’s Association in 2006 and 2016. He was named Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2011 by the California Coast Chapter of ABOTA and has served as National Representative for American Board of Trial Advocates since 2005. John also served on the Ventura County Judicial Nominations Evaluation Committee (2002-2008), served as President of the California Coast Chapter of ABOTA in 2004, President of the Ventura County Bar Association in 1997, President of Ventura County Trial Association in 1992, and as a Delegate to various State Bar Conventions. John and his wife, JoAnn, have a daughter and a son and live in Ojai.

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
*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
  Douglas M. DeGrave Orange County
2017 Warren R. Paboojian San Joaquin Valley
2018 Chris Wesierski Orange County
2019 Richard D. Carroll Los Angeles
2020 No Award Given
2021 John H. Howard California Coast
California 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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