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March Milestones

16Executive Presentations’ Founder and CEO Rick Kraemer Reflects on 30 Years of Personal and Professional Accomplishments Which All Began with Camera

This March, Rick Kraemer has plenty to celebrate. From turning 60, to moving his trial presentations company, Executive Presentations, to thriving downtown Los Angeles, to celebrating 30 years of creating winning trial presentations, suffice it to say Kraemer’s wishes have already come true. Yet, for the dynamic Kraemer, the best is still to come.

The Path to Trial Presentations
In 1985, having just completed his M.B.A., a young, ambitious Rick Kraemer arrived in Orange County in his 1975 Buick convertible. Working for a company that sold computer graphics systems, Kraemer’s role was to meet with corporations and set up demonstrations showcasing how the equipment could be used to create slides, presentation flip charts, and graphic boards.
To Kraemer’s dismay, within four months, his employer had closed its doors. Yet anyone who is acquainted with Kraemer knows that he quickly comes up with solutions to unexpected issues. Determined to stay in Southern California, he realized that his true calling wasn’t selling hardware, but to create graphics for those who did not have the expertise or equipment. “Redirecting my energy has been incredibly rewarding. I went from having a job to a profession I truly love,” Kraemer says. “The ability to turn words into pictures has always been my forte. Electronic communications have increased the complexity and volume of information in lawsuits. This has only intensified the need for distilling, reducing, and simplifying, which is exactly where Executive Presentations excels. We also provide trial technicians (hot seat operators), Sanction II and TrialDirector training, PowerPoint presentations, iPads, and large screen monitors in the courtroom. We will continue to stay on the cutting edge of any developing technology,” he says.


The Camera Connection
With a University of Wisconsin marketing degree, Kraemer quickly recognized he needed to be different to forge mutually beneficial relationships. His camera soon became an invaluable tool to do just that. He went from knowing no one in Southern California, to building a vast network of relationships with attorneys, judges, and neutrals. Today, Kraemer is known for much more than just the verdict-winning boards that got him started. His company is now one of the most well-connected vendors in the Southern California legal community.

“My camera has always allowed me to interact with others. Through it I’ve created a unique and lasting way to connect with others in the legal profession, as well as stay connected over the last thirty years,” Kraemer explains while flexing his shutter finger. By way of example, several of Kraemer’s longest lasting client relationships span decades. In fact, it was his initial experience working with attorneys Roland E. Bye, George B. Piggott, William M. Crosby, and Christopher J. Day for whom he and graphic designer, Denny Clark, produced demonstrative evidence, which ultimately led Kraemer to focus his energy in the legal community. While Kraemer’s talent for creating compelling trial presentations has certainly prompted lawyers to call on him for assistance, it is also Kraemer’s ubiquitous presence as an event photographer that has enabled him to maintain those relationships over the past three decades. Kraemer first volunteered as a photographer for the Orange County Trial Lawyers (OCTLA), CAALA, CAOC, and ASCDC, before being invited by ABOTA to serve as their photographer. “In 1998, then national president of ABOTA, Tom Girardi, recruited me as a photographer for his ABOTA trips.

Since then I have been the official ABOTA photographer for all national and international meetings, as well as for California’s local chapters,” he says. Yet, Kraemer doesn’t peddle his pictures for profit. On the contrary, he volunteers his talent to photograph events, and also the time of Executive Presentations’ staff to process and post the photos online, so that those in attendance may obtain their photos free of charge. Not surprisingly, in 2014, ABOTA recognized and honored Kraemer as an Honorary Legacy Patriot Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates, at its meeting in Philadelphia. Then national ABOTA president, Mark P. Robinson Jr., who presented Kraemer with the award, said, “Rick is ABOTA’s most committed outside resource.”

It follows that he has earned the trust, friendship, and business of the majority of Southern California’s most renowned attorneys, both on the plaintiff and defense sides. In addition to Mark Robinson, Jr., Kraemer counts Orange County’s plaintiff attorneys Wylie A. Aitken, Michael J. Avenatti, Daniel J. Callahan, Gerald A. Klein, Gregory G. Rizio, Eric V. Traut, Mark B. Wilson, and defense attorneys James M. Baratta, Andrew S. Hollins, Jennifer L. Keller, Todd C. Theodora, Larry N. Willis, and Christopher P. Wesierski as clients and valued friends. Wesierski says this about Kraemer, “Rick Kraemer is the best at collaborating on trial techniques and what works with a jury. My partner and I have known Rick since we first started our firm back in 1987. EP is the organization to have on your side when you get ready for battle in a courtroom.”


Although Executive Presentations is the go-to presentations vendor for established attorneys, including OCTLA Products Liability 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Brian D. Chase, and OCTLA Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers of the Year Sean M. Burke and Heather J. Higson, Kraemer is equally as committed to working with young, fresh talent. By way of example, OCTLA Young Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year and CAALA Rising Star for 2014 Robert T. Simon utilizes Executive Presentations’ trial presentation services with great success. Simon describes his experiences with the company, “EP has been our trusted friend in five of my verdicts in 2014. The expertise of the trial technicians is superb! Rick Kraemer is a tireless leader and has been key to my firm’s success.”

For his part, Kraemer and Executive Presentations continue to deliver winning results, as evidenced by the recent record $139 million settlement achieved by John C. Manly and Thomas M. Moore, plaintiff’s attorneys in Doe v. LAUSD. According to Manly, “We could not have achieved this result without EP,” while his co-counsel Moore said, “Executive Presentations best understands the unique challenges of complex trials.”

Last year Kraemer was called upon by Paul S. Meyer, Jennifer L. Keller, and Kay Rackauckas to help defend a human trafficking case for their client, Princess Meshael Alayban. EP successfully assisted on the case, and all charges were dismissed. Paul Meyer stated, “The team at EP helped us organize a huge amount of information and prepare to present our side of the story in a clear and focused manner. They were an integral part of achieving justice for our client.”
“Taking pictures has definitely fostered enduring relationships with attorneys, judges, and their families,” Kraemer says. “It has been a key element in growing and maintaining contacts, and helps to remind everyone of Executive Presentations’ dedication, and my loyal friendship,” he adds.

EP’s “New Digs” Downtown
Recognizing the renewed vibrancy of downtown Los Angeles, Kraemer decided to relocate his company from Mid-Wilshire to 915 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1700. Executive Presentations is now in the heart of the action, according to Kraemer. “We are in one of the fastest growing metropolitan districts in the nation and near the largest superior courthouse in the country. ADR, ARC, JAMS, and Judicate West are all located within blocks of our new office,” Kraemer explains.
Joining him downtown are seasoned employees he has retained from every decade since the 1980s. In addition, the company continually recruits the best and brightest rising stars to its team. Kraemer coined the motto “EP Delivers,” and his staff is dedicated to doing exactly that.
Kraemer stays true to his Orange County roots with his regular presence here multiple times a week, although the Buick is long gone. “Our mobility is enhanced by being downtown, and adjacent to the 110 freeway. We are lucky to have great views of the new Wilshire Grand skyscraper, L.A. Live, and the Staples Center,” he says.

Milestones and Forward Momentum

With a career that has been marked by many noteworthy victories for clients and a personal network that has grown to include more than 10,000 connections on Kraemer’s personal holiday card list, it would be understandable that Kraemer might be slowing down. However, nothing could be further from his mind. If anything, Kraemer is more energized and excited about the future than ever.
In fact, as he celebrates his 60th birthday on March 11, those around him can’t help but notice that his energy level keeps on building. Indeed his colleague of 30 years, Denny Clark, is still amazed by Kraemer’s seemingly endless enthusiasm for his work. “Rick has the same intense drive that he brought to California when he hired me,” Clark remarks.
When asked the secret to his vivacity, Kraemer responds, “I exercise an hour a day to stay physically fit and mentally sharp, but I don’t do it all on my own. My better half, Judy, a registered dietician, and her daughter, Alexandra, have been an invaluable part of my enjoyment of life and well-being,” he says. Alexandra will graduate from Chapman University in May.
Kraemer fulfilled his childhood dream of living in California and blazed his own trail to become one of the most recognizable and trusted faces in the legal community. As for the future, he looks forward to many more years serving California attorneys. Kraemer promises, “From working with first-year lawyers to senior partners on both sides of the bench, EP will continue to ‘Deliver’ what we always have—experience and results.”

Rick Kraemer
Executive Presentations

Karen Gorden

Karen Gorden is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal.

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Filed Under: Business ManagementFeatured Stories

About the Author: Karen Gorden is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal.

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