Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, November 4, 2004


Page 3


John Van de Kamp, John Collins to Be Feted as ‘Persons of the Year’


By a MetNews Staff Writer


State Bar President John Van de Kamp and Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President John J. Collins have been chosen as the Metropolitan News-Enterprise’s “Persons of the Year” for 2004, it was announced yesterday.

MetNews Co-Publisher Jo-Ann W. Grace said yesterday that the two bar chiefs “are exceptionally skilled and highly esteemed members of the legal profession.”

Both will be profiled in a special section of the newspaper in late December, and will be honored at a black tie dinner on Jan. 28 at a downtown private club, she said.

Van de Kamp is a partner in international law firm of Dewey Ballantine and is of counsel to the Los Angeles office. He served as California’s attorney general from 1983-91.

Prior to that, he was district attorney of Los Angeles County (1975-1983), first being appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill out the term of Joseph Busch, who died, then twice gaining election to the post. Van de Kamp was appointed in 1971 as the first federal public defender for the Central District of California, and had served as U.S. attorney for the district (1965-66).

He was president and general counsel of the Thoroughbred Owners of California from 1996 until last July when he resigned, gearing up to spend full time as State Bar president.

Collins is a partner in the South Pasadena and Newport Beach firm of Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart. He has served as a member of the State Bar Board of Governors (1996-99) and as a member of the Judicial Council (1999-2002).

Collins has been elected president of the California Defense Counsel (1993), Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (1989), the Pasadena Bar Assn. (1989) and Southern California Defense Counsel (1982-84). He was chairman of the California Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 1990, and was honored by ABOTA in 1991 as California Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Both honorees are 68.

Former persons of the year include the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Mildred Lillie, 1983; the late California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, 1984; the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Lester Wm. Roth, 1985; the late Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Parker, 1986; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Billy G. Mills (since retired), 1987; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer Frank Zolin, 1988 (now retired); then-Court of Appeal Justice Lynn “Buck” Compton (since retired), 1989; Court of Appeal Justice Miriam Vogel and then-State Bar President Charles Vogel, 1990; Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vaino Spencer, 1991; and Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, 1992.

Other honored were then-Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge (now Court of Appeal Justice) Robert Mallano, 1993; Court of Appeal Justice Norman Epstein (now presiding justice), 1994; then-California Attorney General Dan Lungren, 1995; California Chief Justice Ronald George, 1996; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge (then serving as assistant presiding judge) Victor E. Chavez, 1997; U.S. District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, 1998; Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, 1999; then-Judicial Appointments Secretary (now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge) Burt Pines, 2000; then-State Bar President Karen Nobumoto, 2001; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, 2002, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, 2003.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company