Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
David Arbogast—Consumer Attorneys Member of the Month

In his column in this issue of Advocate, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles President John Torjesen writes that “one thing most trial lawyers have in common is that they give back to the community of trial lawyers and selflessly help others as they have been helped.”

That is a perfect description of CAALA member David Arbogast and is the reason he has been selected as Consumer Attorneys Member of the Month.

Arbogast entered practice in 1992 and has actively been involved with ATLA (now the American Association for Justice) and CAOC for more than a decade. In 1997 he earned ATLA’s New Lawyer of the Year Award and he is a former member of ATLA’s New Lawyers Board.

He is currently a CAOC At-Large Board member and sits on both the Educational and Amicus Committees of the statewide Association.

Arbogast relocated to Southern California last summer and a chance meeting with Executive Director Stuart Zanville at the ATLA Convention last July, led to his joining the Association. When Arbogast heard that Consumer Attorneys had recently reactivated its Membership Committee, he contacted Membership Manager Liz Hagan and immediately volunteered to help.

He quickly became an active member of the Membership Committee and, in fact, since joining last summer, he has never missed a single committee meeting. He has become a participant in the Mentor Program, has been part of membership recruitment phone banks and been part of the sub-committee charged with developing new member benefits.

Arbogast has a special interest in working with law students, and he volunteered to become an advisor in the Law School Student Chapter program that Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles runs in conjunction with AAJ.

“I know first-hand how important it is to get law students involved in our organizations early on,” Arbogast said.

Although he earned his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, this past September Arbogast hosted a Pepperdine law student at the annual Consumer Attorneys Convention in Las Vegas.

Typical of Arbogast, his idea of how to teach the student about being a trial attorney involved intensive, hands-on involvement. He escorted the student throughout the three-day convention, introducing him to Consumer Attorneys members and helped him set up seven job interviews.

Arbogast is a member of the Class Action law firm, Spiro Moss Barness LLP, where he concentrates his practice in complex and class action litigation. He has played a prominent role in complex litigation matters involving a wide range of disciplines, including tobacco, antitrust, consumer and techno logy related matters.

He has served as a class counsel for consumers in national cases involving defective products, including Granquinst v. Shuttle Computer Group, Inc., et al; Lipner v. Palm Inc.; Bornstein v. UMAX Technologies, Inc. and Schonning v. ABIT Computer Corp.

Up until 2005, Arbogast played a prominent role in tobacco litigation nationally. He was liaison and co-lead counsel in Fischer v. Philip Morris USA.

Before entering practice in 1992, he served as law clerk to the Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz, United States Magistrate Judge (now District Court Judge), Southern District of California.

He also has a strong interest in helping trial lawyers give back to their communities and helped organize an ATLA program with Habitat for Humanity.

As a trial lawyer who has given back to the community, and one who has given to the community of trial lawyers, David Arbogast exemplifies the positive characteristics of Consumer Attorneys and is recognized as Member of the Month.

In his column, Torjesen writes that “Experience has taught us that we gain as trial lawyers as we help each other, and that the exchange of support, ideas and information teaches us how to be better trial attorneys.”

This is exactly the philosophy of David Arbogast.

--Stuart Zanville