Trial Lawyer of the Year
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors selected Chris Wesierski of the Orange County Chapter as the 2018 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

  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
Chris attended California State University Long Beach and graduated cum laude with a BA in History in 1975. Thereafter, he attended the University of San Diego law school and graduated in 1978. He has been practicing law in California for almost 40 years since 1979 when he passed the bar.

He and his firm Wesierski and Zurek LLP have defended companies, municipalities, counties, and individuals in cases involving employment issues, product liability claims, insurance claim issues, and business disputes as well as all types of tort claims. He personally has defended doctors, lawyers, real estate appraisers, CEO’s, police chiefs, Fortune 500 companies, cities, Counties, and smaller companies through the years and over 100 trials to verdict.

He has been recognized as a top 100 litigator in Southern California and as well as achieved America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement. His verdicts have been recognized as verdicts of the year and of the week by the Daily Journal newspaper in California multiple times. He has been repeatedly named as one of the top 50 Attorneys in Orange County and has had top 20 defense verdicts multiple times. He has been named as America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators for 2018. He has been named a Super Lawyer since its inception in 2005 every year and is rated at the highest level by AVVO and Martindale – Hubble.

He has won the Angelo Palmieri Civility award from the Robert Banyard Inn of Court for maintaining the legal profession’s highest tradition of professionalism and civility.

He is frequently called upon to substitute into difficult cases for trial by many companies. He has been asked to act as an expert on multiple occasions and has published extensively in the litigation area. He has lectured all across the country on litigation as well.


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
  Douglas M. DeGrave Orange County
2017 Warren R. Paboojian San Joaquin Valley
California Chapters of
American Board of Trial Advocates
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Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: 916.239.4087
Fax: 916.924.7323
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