St. Thomas More Society of Orange County Honors Tustin Attorney Peter Callahan

PR Newswire
October 6, 2008

TUSTIN, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney Peter M. Callahan, co-founder of the Tustin law firm of Callahan, McCune & Willis, APLC, received the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County Award as the 2004 "Lawyer of the Year" at the Society's annual dinner Monday evening, October 18, 2004.

The Society honors Thomas More, who in the 16th Century, was recognized as the foremost lawyer in Great Britain, a dedicated statesman of his country and a martyr to his Catholic faith. More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England and later was beheaded by Henry VIII in 1535 for refusing to sign an oath of allegiance to the newly-founded Church of England. He was canonized as a Saint by the Catholic Church in 1935, and in 1966 his life was further memorialized in the Academy Award winning film, "A Man for All Seasons."

The Lawyer of the Year Award is bestowed by the Society's Board of Directors to the lawyer who best exemplifies those qualities of its Patron. In 1975, Mr. Callahan and Larry N. Willis founded the now 40-plus attorney firm, which handles litigation in offices located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the corporate headquarters in Tustin.

"Pete applies the strongest moral principles to both the practice of his faith and his profession. That, in addition to the respect he has earned for his many contributions to the community, make him deserving of this prestigious award," said Dave Belz, an attorney who co-founded the Orange County organization and presented the award to Mr. Callahan.

The Orange County chapter of the St. Thomas More Society was founded in 1995 by six attorneys who wanted to create a support community among Catholic lawyers. It sponsors lunch meetings that are open to the public and that feature educational speakers. Its monthly newsletter reaches over a thousand Orange County judges and lawyers. Its awards dinner was attended by the four Bishops of the Diocese of Orange, 35 judges of the Orange County Superior Court, members of the Society and those interested in the legal profession. "I am humbled by this unexpected honor, which reflects on my partners and associates," Mr. Callahan said of receiving the award. He also was selected by his peers as one of Los Angeles Magazine's "Fifty Orange County Super Lawyers" in 2004 and again for 2005.

The Society also honored the Hon. Thomas H. Schulte, a Court Commissioner serving in the Orange County Superior Court, as the Jurist of the Year. The Homily was delivered by Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Ill.

The awards dinner followed the celebration of the Red Mass at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, CA. The first recorded Red Mass, a special Catholic ceremony for judges and lawyers, was celebrated in Paris in 1245. In England, the tradition began around 1310, and the entire bench and bar attended the Red Mass together at the opening of each term of Court. The priest and the judges of the High Court wore red robes, and thus the Eucharistic Celebration became popularly known as the Red Mass.


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