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James Otto Heiting Delivers Commencement Speech at La Verne College of Law

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James O. Heiting, former State Bar of California president, delivered the keynote address at the University of La Verne’s College of Law hooding ceremony and commencement this year.

Heiting is the only Inland Empire resident to ever be elected to the State Bar of California presidency.

Thirty-nine students will received law degrees from Inland Southern California’s only American Bar Association-approved law school. Due to space restrictions, this year’s event is limited to graduates and their invited guests.

Heiting initially opened a small law office in Riverside in 1976 to handle civil litigation matters dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. He recovered in excess of $100 million for his clients before going on to a variety of roles in the Superior Court and the U.S. District Court.

“Along with garnering recognition as a successful, tough and tenacious lawyer, he is highly regarded as a privately requested and court-appointed mediator and arbitrator both in state courts and the California Court of Appeal,” said ULV spokesman Charles Bentley.

Along with his work on the State Bar of California’s Board of Governors, Heiting is former president of the Riverside County Bar Association, co-founder of the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court, a charter member of the Inland Empire Federal Bar Association and past West Coast commissioner of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

He is founder and co-chairman of the Inland Empire Champions of Collaborative Courts and a trustee with the International Lawyers Group.

Heiting has served on the chairman’s council and risk management committee of the Betty Ford Center.

A recipient of the Riverside County Bar Association’s Ralph J. Krieger Award for meritorious service, he has been honored for examplary service as a mediator/arbitrator by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District and Califoria’s Fourth District Court of Appeal and with awards from the Califronia Supreme Court Chief Justice and state senators.

The College of Law, founded in 1970, is one of four colleges at the University of La Verne, now an independent private university founded by the Church of the Brethren in 1891.

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