OTLA Trial Lawyer Winter 2022

3 Trial Lawyer • Winter 2022 comes from other OTLA members who he has grown to know through OTLA events. Roseburg attorney Robert Johnson shared, “For me, OTLA has been both a springboard and a safety net. OTLA has introduced me to a community of thoughtful and caring colleagues who have helped me navigate the early part of my career. I cannot understate the impact that OTLA has had on me personally and professionally, and I have a hard time imagining what things would be like if I didn’t have OTLA to count on.” Nathan Sosa, who joined us with his wife and fellow lawyer Aimee FenderSosa, said the weekend made him long for the good ‘ole days when we all got together. Sosa, like Cheng, grew up outside Oregon, and in OTLA he has found home. He told me, “When you are a member of OTLA, you never feel alone.” Feeling understood and connected to others is one of the most powerful experiences in life. It is through that connection we can build trust and inspire change. It is also important to personal happiness and health. The longest-running study on human happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, began in 1938. It started with following 724 Harvard students, expanded to include the students’ children and then expanded again to include more diverse participants. Dr. George Vaillant, who was the study’s lead researcher from 1972 to 2004, said when the study began, nobody cared about the role of empathy or attachment in happiness or longevity. As the study evolved, what became apparent is the role human connection and healthy relationships have in promoting longevity and health. Volunteering for or being involved in activities that strengthen communities are ways of building that connection. This year, we continue to face a challenge together as members of a global community, as Americans, as parents, as employers and employees, and as OTLA members. Some OTLA members chose early retirements due to COVID. Other members worried about how their practices would be affected by the pandemic and have reduced or stopped their contributions to the Guardians program. The temptation with COVID is to step away, perhaps to isolate more. Stepping up OTLA has not stepped back but stepped up to provide community. OTLA hosted CLE programs with nationally recognized speakers and our local luminaries. OTLA continued to work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and Oregonians generally, lobbying to put an end to the arbitrary limit on jury verdicts in personal injury cases, to expand employee rights and safeguards, and to defeat a number of bad bills seeking immunity for wrongful conduct and restricting access to public records. As this year’s president, I ask each of you to consider what being a member of OTLA means to you, what it has done for your practices, your clients and you personally, and what you hope OTLA can achieve in the future. Whatever COVID brings next, we will want OTLA to be a strong as possible. If you are able to give to the Guardians program, please reach out to your respective board members or executive committee member. Guardians dollars make OTLA what it is today, not only as a place for connection and community for its members, but also as an effective advocate for access to justice for all Oregonians. Lara Johnson is a shareholder in the Corson & Johnson Law Firm. She specializes in mo t o r veh i c l e c o l l i s i on s , nur s ing home abuse and neglect, and medical negligence. She contributes to the OTLA Guardians of Civil Justice at the Guardians Club Level. Her office is located at 940 Willamette St., Ste. 500, Eugene OR 97401. She can be reached at 541-4842525 or ljohnson@corsonjohnsonlaw.com. Friends and OTLA colleagues gather prior to an Oregon football game. From left to right, Nathan Sosa, Ron Cheng, Robert Johnson, Lara Johnson, Don Corson, Aimee Fender-Sosa and Apolinar Montero-Sánchez.