Shelley O’Connor joins Cholakian & Associates with over 30 years of litigation experience. Ms. O’Connor has represented plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury, breach of contract, earth movement, construction defect and landlord-tenant cases. Ms. O’Connor has won jury trials in Superior Court and appeals in the California Courts of Appeal. Ms. O’Connor has also served as a Judge Pro Tem in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Ms. O’Connor’s practice at Cholakian & Associates focuses on successfully defending individuals and corporations in complex, high-exposure personal injury cases. Previously, Ms. O’Connor was a partner at McDowell Shaw Garcia & Patton where she acquired substantial experience with complex cases including catastrophic injuries, toxic torts and a case that drew national attention regarding a teen suicide that allegedly resulted from online bullying. Ms. O’Connor’s legal career began with a clerkship at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a position as trial counsel for an insurance company, and as an associate at two private firms that represented plaintiffs in civil cases in state and federal court.
Ms. O’Connor received her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1984 and she received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Santa Barbara. During law school, Ms. O’Connor tutored first-year students in the Academic Support Program and she earned positions on both the Client Counseling Team and Moot Court Team. Ms. O’Connor and her teammates represented the University of Oregon School of Law at regional competitions in Oregon and Canada.
Prior to her legal career, Ms. O’Connor worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. as an air quality planner where she assisted in implementation of the Clean Air Act. Then she was employed as a legislative analyst at the California Energy Commission in Sacramento where she analyzed energy legislation and advised the Commissioners. Ms. O’Connor subsequently moved to Oregon where she developed a public education program for Jackson County regarding air quality issues and advised local governments concerning the adoption and implementation of air quality programs.
In addition to practicing law, Ms. O’Connor enjoys walking her dog, gardening, reading, attending live theatre, hosting family and friends for gatherings, and traveling in the United States and abroad.
University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., 1984
University of California Santa Barbara, B.A., 1977