For Immediate Release

August 12, 2022

Irvine, Calif. – The Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) recently held it’s Twelfth Anniversary Party presented by the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP and awarded it’s 2022 Community Leadership Award to the Honorable David O. Carter, Judge for the United States District Court, Central District of California.  Ann Mason, long time mental health services director at the LGBTQ Center OC, was bestowed the OCLBA’s M. Katherine B. Darmer Community Service Award.  Ethan Walker Smith, who is beginning his third year at University of California, Irvine School of Law this fall, was awarded the M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship.

Judge Carter earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart while serving in Vietnam.  After serving as an Orange County prosecutor, he was appointed as a judge to the Orange County Municipal Court in 1981, and then a year later was appointed to the Orange County Superior Court where he served until he was nominated to the Central District Court of California by President Bill Clinton and confirmed in 1998. 

“We were ecstatic to honor Judge Carter for his distinguished career on the Court,” said OCLBA President Casey Johnson.  “Judge Carter has a long-standing reputation for authoring opinions that remain faithful to the law, while protecting the Constitutional rights of all citizens, including members of the LGBT community.”  In 2000, Judge Carter issued an Order requiring school officials to allow a Gay Student Alliance Club at El Modena High School. 

OCLBA also honored Ann Mason as the recipient of the M. Katherine B. Darmer Outstanding Community Service Award.   The award, named in memory of the late Katherine Darmer, a founding member of the OCLBA Board of Directors, recognizes individuals and organizations who make extraordinary contributions to the advancement of LGBT equality.  Ann Mason is the recently retired, long-serving Director of Mental Health Services at The LGBTQ Center OC.  She has been a tireless advocate and activist for equality.

“Ann served the LGBTQ community for over twenty-five years, and the OCLBA could think of no better person to recognize for her unwavering dedication and commitment.” Johnson stated.

Finally, the OCLBA awarded the M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship to Ethan Walker Smith who begins his third year of law school this fall at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  The scholarship is sponsored jointly by the OCLBA and the Orange County Equality Coalition. 

This year’s anniversary party was presented by Crowell.  Co-host sponsors for the event were Aitken*Aitken*Cohn and Kading Briggs, LLP.  Champion sponsors were Knobbe, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, The Hicklin Firm, Everett Dorey, LLP and Chapman University Fowler School of Law.  Advocate sponsors included Judicate West, Procopio and JAMS and Ally sponsors were Kaas Settlement Consulting, Boisineau Law and the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law.

For more information contact Casey Johnson at .

The Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) is the official association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied attorneys, judges and law students in Orange County.  Founded in 2010, OCLBA produces a dynamic series of programs that connect the bar and lay communities in Orange County to advocacy, education, charity, mentorship, networking, and community building activities that advance LGBT equality.  OCLBA is an affiliate of the Orange County Bar Association.