Awards, Organizations & Recognition

Stephen Cornwell

Professional affiliations include admission to the American Board of Trial Advocates in 1973 and elevation to the rank of Diplomate in 1995. He has served as President of the San Joaquin Chapter of ABOTA and served as President of the California Chapter of ABOTA in 2002. He was invited to join and became a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1997. Steve was awarded lifetime achievement by ABOTA. Steve has been repeatedly voted a Super Lawyer and most recently was voted personal injury lawyer of the year.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

Rene Turner Sample

René is the past president for the Central California Trial Lawyers’ Association and an active Board member of the Consumer Attorneys of California. She was the first female member of the San Joaquin chapter of ABOTA. She is a frequent lecturer on civil litigation. René has actually taught many of the valley’s litigators, having been an adjunct faculty member at San Joaquin College of Law teaching Civil Trial Advocacy for 15 years. René was Adjunct Faculty of the Year at SJVC.

Super Lawyers

Stephen Cornwell and Rene Turner Sample are honored to have been selected as Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Across the United States, only the top five percent of each state’s attorneys are selected.


The stated mission of ABOTA is “to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation.” ABOTA promotes these principles with education and by recognizing others who are similarly committed to these standards. ABOTA membership is by invitation only to experienced trial litigators of “high personal character and honorable reputation.”


The American College of Trial Lawyers is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada and is widely considered to be the premier professional trial organization in America. Founded in 1950, the college dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the profession.


Consumer Attorneys of California is a professional organization made up of nearly 3,000 attorneys who represent those who have suffered losses as the result of others wrongful conduct. CAOC is also active in protecting consumers through education and legislation.

American Association for Justice

The Mission of the American Association for Justice is to promote a fair and effective justice system—and to support the work of attorneys in their efforts to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests.

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