by Richard Lieberman
The law firm of Benton, Orr, Duval & Buckingham has served Ventura since 1882. Moving to their current location at 39 North California Street in 1960 the firm has been in continuous service for many years. The firm in the 1950’s employed Erle Stanley Gardner attorney and prolific writer. He penned the well-known Perry Mason series of detective and attorney stories.
One long term attorney at the firm, Thomas E. Olson, has been at the firm since graduating from U.C. Davis in 1978. Occupying the same space since 1986 Olson said “you can tell I like change, 32 years in the same office” he stated.
Olson added, “the bulk of my practice consists of estate planning, probate, trust, and litigation. I have a good aptitude for numbers, so I know how to do accounting, there are a lot of attorneys I know that is an Achilles heel for them they don’t understand numbers really well.” “That is how my practice has grown through the years. Probate Court is the area I live in.”
“The firm since I started has always had a major litigation component.” The firm’s litigation department has for many years done work for Ventura City, County of Ventura, and various other entities. The firm has also done considerable amount of Pro-Bono work for various Ventura non-profits.
Since 1998 Olson has had responsibility as managing director handling the business side of the firm. Currently the firm has 7 attorneys working on various aspects of the business. Olson also reports his most interesting case goes back 60 years. “It’s a case where I got my best result ever” he said.” The case concerned real estate and probate over an extended period. Eventually winning the case and having property in question returned to a legal heir.
Here at the Breeze we celebrate and appreciate a firm with such a long term relationship of trust and reliability for the Ventura community.