History of IALOC (Lex Romana)

In 1977, a few enterprising young Italian American lawyers in Orange County hatched a plan to meet once a month to discuss important issues of their time over a bowl of pasta and a glass of Chianti.  The idea was borrowed from the newly formed “Italian American Lawyers of Los Angeles,” the formation of which was spearheaded by the Hon. Mario Clinco (deceased), Paul Caruso (deceased), and others.  Meetings were held at St. Peters Hall in downtown Los Angeles and included wonderful Italian meals. 

After a few months of traveling to Los Angeles for the meetings and then venturing home via a couple of glasses of wine, the godfather of the IALOC, Joseph D’Antony, commented to his friend, Andy Demarco (deceased), that they should consider exploring if enough people in Orange County were interested in forming an Italian American Lawyers group.  Joseph D’Antony met with Andy Demarco and Bruce Palumbo (now practicing in Pasadena) and thereafter spoke to Frank Barbaro, John DiCaro and others of Italian decent in the county.  With help from Judge Clinco (who was a member of the Santa Monica judiciary), a formation meeting was organized and held at Villa Fontana in the City of Orange.  The meeting was well attended and there was genuine enthusiasm for forming an Italian American Lawyers group in Orange County.

The first ever IALOC meeting took place at Joseph D'Antony’s home at which his mother, Adelaide, prepared and served a grand, homemade Italian meal.  Also in attendance was Frank Barbaro, John Di Caro, Hon. James DeCesare, Richard Pacelli, Frank Terreri, Joe DiVencenzo  and several others.  Over many courses of delectable Italian dishes and many bottles of Italian wine, the IALOC was born.  At that meeting, the group chose the name “Lex Romana” meaning “Roman law.”  The founding fathers of the IALOC knew they were destined to turn this fledgling idea into a reality so all Italian American lawyers in Orange County and their family and friends could share in their legal gastronomic endeavor.

After their heads stopped pounding the next morning, everyone was convinced the idea of mixing Italian food and wine with the legal profession was a good one.  The Italian American lawyers of Orange County (Lex Romana) had their first “official” meeting on April 26, 1978, at Mamma Coza's Italian restaurant in Anaheim.  Word quickly spread throughout the county that the IALOC was a legal and cultural coup d'e tat.  Attendance at the meetings grew dramatically throughout the first year.  Soon, the Italian-American bench and bar were having monthly meetings at various Italian restaurants throughout Orange County. The meetings always had a prominent guest speaker whose topics would range from legal issues to making olive oil or growing an Italian vegetable garden.  

The IALOC flourished.  Its members met consistently from its inception in 1978 until 1993 when interest seemed to fade.  Shortly after, the IALOC unofficially disbanded.  However, throughout the 1990's, Joseph D'Antony was frequently approached in the courthouse hallways by former members of the IALOC wondering when the monthly dinner meetings would resume. After years of urging, Joseph D'Antony took it upon himself to revive the IALOC.  

In 2002, the IALOC was officially reborn.  By early 2005, the group had increased its numbers to satisfy the criteria to become an affiliate bar of the Orange County Bar Association.  Following months of hard work by Kari Myron, the Bar's Executive Committee invited the IALOC to become an integral part of the second largest Bar association in the country with over 7,000 members.  The IALOC continues to grow and thrive as the premiere place for lawyers and non-lawyers to engage in exquisite legal, cultural and gastronomic delights.

The IALOC’s mission is to celebrate Italian culture, provide continuing legal education opportunities to members of the Orange County legal community, and to create fun and festive opportunities for networking among lawyers, non-lawyers and anyone interested in good food, good wine and good company.

For his efforts in forming and reviving the IALOC, Joseph D'Antony was granted a life-time seat on the IALOC Board of Directors holding the esteemed position of “Consigliere.”  The IALOC is eternally grateful to Joseph D'Antony, the other founding fathers of the IALOC, all of the IALOC’s Past Presidents and everyone else who has served the IALOC or attended one of our many monthly dinners and special events over the years.


IALOC Past Presidents

1979 - Joseph D'Antony
1980-81 - Frank Terreri, deceased
1981-82 - John DiCaro
1982 - Joe DiVencenzo
1982-83 - Richard Delli Veneri
1983-84 - John Minnott
1984-85 - Frank Barbaro
1985-86 - Andrew Lachina
1986-87 - John Cogorno
1987-88 - Mario Trovarelli
1988-89 - Robert Coviello
1989-90 - Deborah Pernice Knefel
1990-91 - Joseph Carpello
1991-92 - Pearl Gondrella Mann
2002-04 - Joseph D'Antony
2005-06 - Eric Traut
2007 - Kari M. Myron
2008 - David Klehm
2009-10 - Janice Vinci
2011-12 - Sherry D'Antony
2013-14 - Pamela Liosi
2015-16 - Matthew S. Buttacavoli
The Italian American Lawyers of Orange County
P.O. Box 6130, Newport Beach, CA 92658
Phone: (949) 440-6700 ext. 271 | Email: info@ialoc.org

© 2015 The Italian American Lawyers of Orange County (IALOC) "Lex Romana"

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