Annual Awards Program on October 18, 2023Staff
Please join us as we celebrate this year’s recipients of the Roland K. Hall Award and the Access to Justice Award.
This year our awardees are: Ken Gorman for the Roland K. Hall Award and Heather Rogers will receive the Access to Justice Award.
The event will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Stockwell Cellars, 1100 Fair Avenue, Santa Cruz from 5:30-7:30 pm.
About the award recipients
Roland K. Hall Award to be presented to Ken Gorman
The award is presented by the SCCBA to attorneys who have displayed outstanding public service to their community. The recipient must be a California lawyer, living or working in Santa Cruz County, who excels in the profession, is in good standing with the Bar and has provided outstanding community service over the years. In addition, the recipient should epitomize the spirit of Rollie Hall and be a credit to his memory. He or she should be eclectic and kind-spirited, someone who works hard,
J. Kenneth “Ken” Gorman has been a trial attorney and litigator for over 30 years. He has successfully represented a broad array of clients from national corporations to local businesses, families, and individuals, in cases ranging from Estate and Trust Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction Defects Litigation, Personal Injury, Business Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Agricultural Litigation and Fire Damage Claim matters. Ken has handled numerous jury and court trials and hundreds of arbitrations and mediations for plaintiffs, defendants, and cross-defendants, in matters ranging from millions of dollars to neighbor disputes.
While most of his practice has been concentrated in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, and San Benito Counties, he has handled cases throughout the state in both state and federal courts. His broad experience and dedication have earned him a reputation as an excellent litigator who is respected by his clients, colleagues, adversaries, and judges. Ken received his J.D., at Santa Clara University School of Law and B.A., at Stanford University
Mr. Gorman’s Practice Areas: Estate and Trust Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction Defects Litigation, Personal Injury, Business Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Agricultural Litigation, Fire Damage Claims
Access to Justice Award to be presented to Heather Rogers
The recipient must be a California lawyer who works and/or lives in Santa Cruz County, who is competent and in good standing with the Bar, and who has provided outstanding service over the years to the poor, the elderly, the disenfranchised, or the community at large.
Heather Rogers has been a public defender for nearly 20 years in the state and federal courts. Ms. Rogers has handled cases at every stage of litigation, from arraignment through trial and appeal. She has represented clients accused of offenses from delinquency to homicide, defended detainees incarcerated at Guantánamo Naval Base in Guantánamo, Cuba, and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Rogers is honored to serve as the first Public Defender of Santa Cruz County, her birthplace and home.
Since the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender opened its doors on July 1, 2022, Ms. Rogers and her team have built a client-centered office that combines zealous advocacy, holistic representation, and robust community engagement to help clients meet enmeshed legal and social goals. Before her appointment, Ms. Rogers served as a public defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff, the defense firm that previously provided public defense services for Santa Cruz County.
Ms. Rogers is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and frequent trainer at regional and national trial skills programs. Ms. Rogers has also taught at California Western School of Law and Monterey College of Law and volunteers annually to assist with trial advocacy training at Stanford Law School. Ms. Rogers serves on the Board of Directors of the Housing for Health Partnership Policy Board, Community Corrections Partnership, Criminal Justice Council, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association. Ms. Rogers is a founding member of the National Association of Public Defense’s (NAPD) Well Being Summit and recently served as one of 33 criminal defense experts on a Delphi panel convened by the RAND Corporation to advise researchers conducting a National Public Defense
Ms. Rogers clerked for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before starting her career in public defense at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Ms. Rogers also served as a public defender in Monterey County and at the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California before coming home to Santa Cruz. Ms. Rogers has an A.B. in English
Language & Literature from the University of Chicago, with honors, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, with distinction. In her free time, Ms. Rogers enjoys snowboarding, surfing, and traveling with her husband, Eben, and children, Anaya (15) and Maris (8).