Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
Carol Hamilton —Consumer Attorneys Member of the Month

While educating the public about the civil justice system is one of CAALA’s missions, educating California’s elected officials is also critically important to the Association and its members.

California’s state legislators are often the last line of defense for consumers and the public against proposed bills aimed at taking away the public’s right to hold corporations accountable when they do wrong, illegal or harmful things.

To help educate legislators about issues that are important to our members and to the public, CAALA has established a Grassroots Legislative Committee that utilizes the volunteer-efforts of members to help educate candidates for Senate and Assembly seats from Southern California. The Committee also coordinates visits by members with legislators once they are in office.

The CAALA members who volunteer to meet with candidates and elected officials must be knowledgeable about our issues, passionate about the values of our Association and willing to dedicate their time to the program.

One Grassroots Legislative Committee member who exemplifies those traits is Carol Hamilton, CAALA’s Member of the Month for May.

Carol has been a member of the Grassroots Committee since its inception, and rarely misses a committee meeting.

She has worked closely with state legislators Sheila Kuehl and Paul Koretz, along with Congressman Henry Waxman.

Sen. Kuehl represents parts of western Los Angeles County and southern Ventura county. Assemblyman Koretz represents West Hollywood and parts of the San Fernando Valley. Rep. Waxman has long represented the Westside in Washington, D.C.

All three have been long-time supporters of the work of consumer attorneys.

Carol was a successful litigator in her own firm and as a partner at Bourhis & Hamilton, specializing in plaintiffs’ insurance bad faith, landslide and flood cases. She was the lead attorney in several cases against insurance companies in which she obtained multi-million verdicts and settlements.

As co-counsel, she successfully represented California taxpayers in a lawsuit against a former California insurance commissioner that resulted in substantial changes in the handling of consumer complaints and investigations of insurance companies by the state’s Department of Insurance.

In 1994 she was Vice President of RKO Productions where she supervised the legal and business affairs department. She also created and supervised an intellectual property production program to safeguard RKO’s rights and assets.

In addition to her work with CAALA, Carol has been involved extensively in national Democratic politics. In 2004, she served as a Trustee of the Democratic National Committee and a Vice Chair of the Kerry-Edwards National Finance Committee.

In the legal dispute following the 200 presidential election, she served on the legal team representing former Vice President Al Gore.

Carol continues to actively support CAALA through her efforts as a stalwart member of the Grassroots Legislative Committee and because of her passion and dedication, is CAALA’s Member of the Month.

--Stuart Zanville