OTLA Trial Lawyer Winter 2022

2 Trial Lawyer • Winter 2022 By Lara Johnson OTLA Guardian For a brief period this July, we got a reminder of what it was like before the pandemic — traveling out of state, working out at a gym, going to family celebrations and attending social gatherings. Not exactly like before, of course, COVID, connection, community because of social distancing, masks and hand washing stations, but it was a level of togetherness many of us had gone a long time without. The OTLA convention last August was a hybrid Zoom/in-person event. At receptions, we saw colleagues we had not seen for a long time. It felt strangely like no time had passed at all and we were stepping into that moment just after we had last seen or spoken to that colleague, that friend. For me, it was a reminder of how OTLA has been woven into my life — at summer conventions, our children surprising us by taking the stage to perform at the closing reception; coffee, beer, or hike with OTLA colleagues; and the quick conversations between CLEs. It was often during those quick moments that I learned about an expert, a trial technique or a legal case that "paid" for the cost of the convention. I also learned who I should call when I got stuck thinking about a case, who to refer a case out to when it was outside my field, and generally what amazing work our member do for our fellow Oregonians. Our own community Recently, some OTLAmembers came to Eugene to meet with University of Oregon law students, to do outreach to affinity student groups and to enjoy a Ducks football game. It was a blend of the familiar and the fun set within the safety protocols required by the virus. To gather again with OTLAmembers was a reminder what OTLA gives us. Portland attorney Ron Cheng compared OTLA to family, saying that many of his closest, dearest friends are OTLA members. His parents live out of state and OTLA has provided him a community here in Oregon. His referral network President’s Message Lara Johnson