James Gaughan O'Callahan - In Memoriam

James Gaughan OCallahan

The world lost a rare gem of a man and a lion of the courtroom on January 29, 2019. James Gaughan O'Callahan, our Jim, died suddenly and unexpectedly, stunning his large, tight-knit family and a massive network of friends and colleagues. Jim was many things: true gentleman, natural scholar, shining intellect, sharp wit, phenomenal lawyer, wise counselor, loyal friend, devoted Catholic, wine enthusiast, and dedicated sports fan. Above all else he was a loving and devoted family man: faithful husband to his wonderful wife Jill and proud father of their five remarkable children, Jimmy, Patrick, Mickey, Bridget and Conor. He was a devoted son to his parents William and Dorothy; a wonderful brother to William Jr., Michael, Dorothy, John, Elizabeth; a generous brother-in-law to "The Outlaws"; and an incredibly proud uncle to his 19 nieces and nephews.

Jim had an infectious smile, a hearty laugh, a twinkle in his eye, and a skip in his step. He shared his time generously, always finding time for a friend or colleague in need. A ferocious reader since the age of three, he built up a wealth of knowledge on countless subjects that enabled him to talk to people from all walks of life and make friends in every encounter. He was Google before Google.

March 8, 1956 - January 29, 2019

Jim was born March 8, 1956 in Des Plaines, Illinois, the third son of a third son in a large Irish Catholic family. His parents moved the family to San Mateo, California, when he was 6 years old. Following his graduation from his beloved Serra High School in 1973, Jim received his Bachelor of Arts from University of California Santa Cruz. Jim worked in the Democratic political machines in Chicago and San Francisco before attending UCLA Law School in 1984.

Jim felt lucky to be hired as a law clerk at Girardi, Keese & Crane in Los Angeles, and continued working there after he was admitted to the California Bar in 1986. He truly reveled in being a plaintiff's lawyer at Girardi & Keese for 33 years. "Big O" loved his work, and found his greatest satisfaction in achieving justice for his clients suffering from negligence, wrongdoing, and greed. And while his list of legal accomplishments, huge courtroom victories, and professional awards is too long to include, he was never boastful in his work. He had a rare quality among elite trial lawyers – modesty.

While at UCLA, he met Jill Broderick and they were married in 1989. They were proud parents and very involved stewards throughout their 20-year tenure at St. Paul the Apostle School. Following that, each of his 4 sons attended Loyola High School and his daughter attended Marlborough School.

Jim was a good ol' Irish Catholic boy to his core. His favorite evenings ended with a robust Irish sing song. In 1994, he and other up-and-coming lawyers formed 8 th Street Lawyers, a group which annually pronounced him President for Life! He and a group of friends were Founding Fathers of Dingle Whiskey Distillery in Dingle, Ireland, and he was a proud member and incoming president of The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Los Angeles.

There was no one like him. May the memory of Jim inspire us all to serve our fellow men and women, to live our lives as he lived his.