A. Barry Cappello Named Donor of the Year

20180420 Cappello Deans Circle v2
Donor of the Year A. Barry Cappello '65.

UCLA School of Law celebrated A. Barry Cappello '65 as its Donor of the Year at a gala dinner on April 19, honoring him for his achievements as a top litigator and for his support of trial advocacy education at the law school.

Cappello is a founding partner of Cappello & Noël in Santa Barbara and one of the pre-eminent trial attorneys in the state. He has won more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients, and has served as lead counsel in influential cases involving a major oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel, discriminatory practices by Wells Fargo against minority borrowers, and under-represented voters in Santa Barbara County. He is also the author of the leading treatise Lender Liability.

Cappello, who earned both his bachelor's and law degrees from UCLA, has been a major benefactor to his alma mater. A gift he made in 2009 led to the creation of the A. Barry Cappello Courtroom at the law school. The facility is routinely used by faculty and students for lectures and mock trial competitions, and it has hosted proceedings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Circuit.

In 2017, Cappello made an additional $1.5 million gift to create the A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy. The program enhances UCLA Law's trial advocacy curriculum and creates the A. Barry Cappello Certificate in Trial Advocacy for students who complete a rigorous program including coursework in litigation-related topics and participation in mock trial competitions.

For years, Cappello has also visited the law school to host "The Cappello Courtroom Series: The Art of the Trial," in which he is joined by other top practitioners in trial and appellate law to offer students practical advice and insights.

In presenting Cappello with the award at the UCLA Law Dean's Circle Dinner at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin said that Cappello "truly embodies the virtues of hard work, creativity, camaraderie, devotion, and intelligence."

Cappello then recounted how, as a young boy in Brooklyn, N.Y., he knew he wanted to be a trial lawyer when fell under the spell of the legendary attorney Clarence Darrow. He said he has chosen to make UCLA Law the focus of his philanthropy because the school opened the gates to his own success, because he wants to help others who share has passion for trial work, and because of the vital role that the court system plays in the United States.

20180420 Jordan David Deans Circle

Jordan David

"Law school builds the fabric of our civilized society," he said, emphasizing the word "civilized."

Cappello was followed by two outstanding UCLA Law students.

Jordan David, a member of the Class of 2018, is a Thomas A. Kirschbaum Scholar in Tax Law. Kirschbaum scholars are a close-knit group of students and graduates who support each other as they pursue careers in tax and corporate law. She will join Latham & Watkins after graduation.

20180420 Lawrence Traylor Deans Circle

Lawrence Traylor Jr.

Lawrence Traylor Jr., a member of the Class of 2019, told the audience of more than 200 UCLA Law alumni and friends about his path, which included dropping out of high school to support his family while dealing with violence and extreme poverty. Prominent in social justice activities while he was an undergraduate at UCLA, Traylor is a leader in UCLA Law student organizations including the Black Law Students Association and UCLA Law Review. In the summer of 2018, he will work for Davis Polk & Wardwell in London and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Watch the video honoring A. Barry Cappello as the 2018 UCLA Law Donor of the Year.