Semerdjian is a partner at Schwartz Semerdjian Ballard & Cauley LLP, where he specializes in civil litigation and trial practice. Having completed a two-year leadership track as a TIPS officer, Semerdjian served as chair-elect and vice chair and will be the first chair in the Section’s 80-year history who practices in San Diego.
The theme of Semerdjian’s year is relevance, professionalism, civility and excellence in the profession of law; all of the year’s programs and continuing-education seminars will focus on this theme. TIPS will also collaborate with the ABA Judicial Division during a joint meeting in in April 2013, in Washington, D.C., that will feature an 80th-anniversary gala at the Library of Congress with a keynote address from a Supreme Court justice.
“It’s an honor to take this position. I’ve enjoyed my service to the ABA, and specifically the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, for nearly two decades. I consider this an opportunity to take my leadership to the next level,” Semerdjian said. “Additionally, I am very honored to become chair during the 80th anniversary of TIPS. We owe a great deal of respect to the laws of our country, and each of us must never forget our duties and obligations to excel in the representation of our clients and maintain our civility and professionalism. It is this extremely important aspect that guides TIPS in all we do, and what a great way to celebrate our relevance to the profession during our 80th year.”
Semerdjian has been a dedicated member of the ABA since 1986, when he began practicing law. In 1994, he was appointed by the State Bar of California to the ABA House of Delegates, where he served for nine years and gained insight into the association’s policy and legislative arm. Semerdjian has also made positive contributions to many of the General and Special Standing Committees of TIPS in which he’s been involved. He has served as a TIPS Council member and as chair of the TIPS Business Litigation Committee. He was a faculty member for the TIPS-American Board of Trial Advocates National Trial Academy in Reno, Nev. In 2009 and 2012, he addressed the TIPS International Law Committee in Tsinghua University and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, in Beijing, on legal challenges for Chinese companies doing business in the U.S. and on litigation in America. He is a liaison for the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and the ABA American Jury Project.
Semerdjian has received many honors and awards. He was named in the 2010-12 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and a semifinalist for top civil litigator in San Diego County by the Daily Transcript. In September 2006 and 2008, Semerdjian was nominated as one of the Daily Transcript’s Top Influentials, and in July 2006, the Daily Transcript named him one of the 10 best lawyers in San Diego.
He is co-author of the employment law chapter in A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions, published in 2010 by the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.
Semerdjian serves on the Judicial Nominations and Evaluation Committee of the Lawyers Club of San Diego. Other service includes Board of Governors – San Diego County Bar Association (2003-6); San Diego County Bar Association, Client Assistance and Arbitration/Client Relations and Bench and Bar Committees; State Bar of California (member since 1986); Defense Research Institute, Products Liability and Commercial Litigation Sections; Board of Directors, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association (Consumer Attorneys of San Diego) and co-chairman, Trial Awards Committee (1989-91); San Diego Defense Lawyers association; the American Association for Justice; Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Consumer Attorneys of California; alumni adviser, University of San Diego School of Law; San Diego County Bar Association delegate and floor leader of the Conference of Delegates (1992-94); San Diego Inn of Court, workshop leader on evidence (1998); and Million Dollar Advocates Forum (recognition for verdicts, awards and settlements achieved for clients in excess of $1 million).
Semerdjian earned his B.A. with provost honors from the University of California at San Diego in 1981 and his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1985. He is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and all California and federal courts, including Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Federal District Courts.
The ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 25,000 members and over 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, visit the TIPS website,www.americanbar.org/tips.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Editors Note: Reporters are welcome to attend the award presentation at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.