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Retired Workers’ Compensation Judge David William “Billy” O’Brien bid a peaceful farewell on December 15th, 2023 at 95 years of age, leaving behind a tapestry of memories woven through his remarkable life. Raised in a humble New Hampshire town, David’s journey began at Plymouth Teacher’s College in 1950, followed by honorable service in the Korean War’s United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps, a testament to his devotion to duty and country.

In 1960, David’s pursuit of knowledge led him to graduate from the University of San Francisco with a law degree. His legal acumen flourished, establishing him as a distinguished figure in workers’ compensation law. For decades, he served as a respected Judge, author and scholar, leaving an indelible imprint on the legal landscape.

Beyond his professional achievements, David’s magnetic storytelling illuminated every gathering, endearing him to all who crossed his path. His warmth, wisdom, and boundless humor resonated with friends, family, and acquaintances.

David is survived by his cherished family, his cherished colleagues and the many friends he made in his life.

David’s absence leaves a void felt deeply by his community. His legacy as a devoted family man, accomplished legal luminary, and captivating raconteur will endure i n the hearts of those privileged to have shared in his extraordinary life.

Professionally he was a member of the California and New Hampshire bars, was admitted to the U.S. District Courts, of New Hampshire and California. He is also a member of the American Bar Association.

He served as a Workers’ Compensation Judge with the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, as an Administrative Law Judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, as a Deputy Commissioner of Corporations for the State of California, and as a Senior Counsel for the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

He has also devoted many years to the private practice of law as both a defense and plaintiff attorney, serves as an expert witness in civil cases and is a Certified Administrator for Self-Insurance Plans.

At 95 he was actively engaged as a partner with the firm of Floyd Skeren Manukian Langevin, LLP at its Westlake Village office.

Judge O’Brien is the author of the textbook “California Workers’ Compensation Claims and Benefits” as well as a pamphlet entitled “California Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Employee Rights and Responsibilities” approved by the Administrative Director for use in educating employees as to their rights and responsibilities in the event of an industrial injury.

And he is the author of a second treatise “California Unemployment, Disability and Paid Family Leave Insurance Programs.”

Contributing authors to these texts are his daughter Bernadette O’Brien Esq., and Brianne Uebelhardt, Esq., who are attorneys with Floyd Skeren, and the firms senior partner John Floyd Esq.,

Both texts are available by subscription at