On October 16, 2015, the Los Angeles Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society held its Annual Dinner at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles and was privileged to hear from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who was honored with the Chapter’s Distinguished Services Award. Speaking to an audience of over 200 people, Elder Christofferson recounted the lessons he learned while serving as law clerk to the Honorable John J. Sirica of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who handled the Watergate trials and proceedings. Elder Christofferson described the famous Watergate scandal, which included President Richard Nixon’s role in covering up his reelection campaign’s connection to the break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate Hotel, and which ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation. From this experience, Elder Christofferson learned that “conscience” plays a critical role in our lives, and that “putting one’s integrity on hold, even in seemingly small matters and for what are usually laudable motives, such as loyalty to one’s friends, places one in danger of losing the benefit and protection of conscience altogether.” Elder Christofferson urged the audience to let conscience “flourish” by leading lives devoted to service, which “provides a natural barrier against the ills and temptations that flow in the wake of self-interest … that is the enemy of conscience.” To read Elder Christofferson’s talk in its entirety, please click here.
The Chapter also honored Joseph Ivins Bentley, a retired partner from Latham & Watkins, former Chair of the International Society, and current President of the Newport Beach California Temple, with the Chapter’s Outstanding Lawyer Award. The Chapter also presented its Outstanding Young Lawyer Award to Heather Takahashi, a patent litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olson. Among the prominent guests in attendance were Elder Douglas F. Higham Sr. of the Seventy, Dean James R. Rasband of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, and several interfaith liaisons who work regularly with the Church’s Southern California Public Affairs Council.
Also recognized at the dinner was outgoing Chapter Chair Ladell Muhlestein for her dedicated service and the 2016 Executive Board, which consists of Michael Lee as Chair, David Blood as Vice-Chair, Kelly Crabb as Treasurer, Brandon Vongsawad as Secretary, and Ladell Muhlestein as Chair Emeritus.