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1 Supplement to the and San Francisco May 10, 2007 Top Women Litigators istockphoto.com/ximagination Leaps of Faith

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10 Nancy Abell Place of Birth: Law School: UCLA School of Law Law Firm: Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker Practice Area: Management employment litigation and advice Years in Practice: 27 Nancy Abell cannot talk about her latest big case, except to say she successfully won dismissal of a wage-and-hour class action against a retailer in which plaintiffs had claimed employees were misclassified as exempt. Abell is no stranger to fighting class actions. She learned the importance of collaboration with colleagues who possess incredible strategic and organizational skills while fighting off a massive $5 billion nationwide race-discrimination class action against Microsoft. The opposing counsel was a dream team, one of whose members had just been profiled by 60 Minutes for a recent $500 million win. She wasn t intimidated then the class certification was defeated and she wasn t intimidated years earlier when she decided to leave a successful career in Mayor Tom Bradley s office with the task force on affirmative action. As part of that work, she had heard Paul Hastings lawyers speak at conferences; they inspired her to enter law school. Her next big challenge is representing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a class action by 1.5 million current and former female employees who claim they were victims of sexual discrimination. I was actually making less at Paul Hastings three years after I left the mayor s office and just after law school, she said. But I knew I wanted to come to Paul Hastings even before I went to law school, and I love what I do. Anne Marie Ruff Manuela Albuquerque Berkeley Place of Birth: New Delhi Law School: Hastings College of the Law Law Firm: Berkeley city attorney Practice Area: Municipal law Years in Practice: 32 Berkeley City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque scored an important victory last year when the California Supreme Court ruled that the city could deny support to a scouting group that excludes homosexuals and atheists. At issue in the landmark case was whether the city was required to provide a rent-free berth to the Sea Scouts, an affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that teaches young people to sail. Albuquerque was sure she could win if she could persuade the court that the First Amendment does not require the government to fund discriminatory groups. The argument they were making was absurd, she said. Once the court appreciated that, they would never rule that way. Albuquerque worked as a legal-aid lawyer for six years before becoming city attorney in Taking the job meant working for government, which for years had been an opponent. But Albuquerque found that the city shared her values and that she could make a difference by ensuring it followed the rules. I was able to have a much bigger impact in my work, she said. One of Albuquerque s pending cases involves defending a police union s challenge to the city s long-standing civilian review process. Amy Yarbrough Angela Alioto San Francisco Place of Birth: San Francisco Law School: University of San Francisco School of Law Law Firm: Law Offices of Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto Practice Area: Discrimination law Years in Practice: 10 This past fall, Angela Alioto won a $25.2 million verdict for employees of a nut-processing plant. A jury found that the workers had been punished for blowing the whistle on a fraudulent fire-insurance claim. Some doubted that the jury, in a conservative district, would award big damages. But Alioto had a feeling. I knew intuitively, as I do in all my cases, that the jury would do what is right, Alioto wrote in an while on a recent vacation in Rome. And they did. The daughter of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph L. Alioto, Angela Alioto served on the city s Board of Supervisors before opening her firm in During the past six years, she has won 30 multimillion-dollar verdicts. After leaving City Hall, Alioto wasn t sure what type of law to practice. A man who saw her deliver the eulogy at her father s funeral asked her to sue a huge shipping company on a racial-discrimination claim. From that day, I have practiced discrimination law, instead of the family tradition of antitrust a serious leap of faith for the only daughter of Joe Alioto, she wrote. Alioto represents more than 70 clients in group race, disability, and gender- and sexual-harassment cases. Amy Yarbrough Gloria R. Allred Place of Birth: Philadelphia Law School: Loyola Law School Law Firm: Allred, Maroko & Goldberg Practice Area: Victims rights, plaintiffs employment discrimination Years in Practice: 32 After nearly a decade of wrangling, Gloria Allred succeeded in convincing Italian authorities to press criminal charges against a man accused of murdering his wife after he had been convicted of kidnapping their child and fleeing to Italy. She called the whole case, which she took pro bono, a leap of faith. But Allred is accustomed to taking risks. In her early 20s, she packed a suitcase and came with her small daughter to California, without knowing where they would live or how she would support them. After working as a schoolteacher for several years, Allred headed to law school, where she befriended two fellow students. She took a leap of faith by asking them to go into partnership with her; they took a chance by agreeing. The rest is history: The trio remains together 32 years later. Allred s next fight is against state officials overseeing a juvenile-correction facility in San Bernardino. She is representing eight female plaintiffs who claim they suffered sexual harassment by male juveniles and retaliation by their superiors when they complained about it. I took a leap of faith when I decided to go into my own practice, which I knew nothing about, Allred said. If I had really known what that involved, I might have been too afraid to do it. Anne Marie Ruff PAGE 10 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT

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12 Cristina Arguedas Elena R. Baca Berkeley Place of Birth: Evanston, Ill. Law School: Rutgers School of Law Law Firm: Arguedas, Cassman & Headley Practice Area: Criminal defense, white-collar crime Years in Practice: 27 Place of Birth: Santa Monica Law School: Notre Dame Law School Law Firm: Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker Practice Area: Labor and employment Years in Practice: 15 Cristina Arguedas said she never likes to discuss her victories, because the best things she does, no one ever hears about. For example, she persuades the prosecution not to file a charge. It s never good for a client to see his name in the paper associated with a crime, she said. Despite this low-profile approach to her practice, Arguedas is considered one of the Bay Area s pre-eminent defense attorneys, specializing in white-collar crime. In a recent high-profile case, in which she declined to name the defendant or his company, Arguedas won probation for her client after five years of negotiations with federal prosecutors. Initially, she wanted to become a women s rights attorney and joined a civil class-action matter. She was put in a room with 100 boxes of discovery that she had to review. In another room, there was a case where witnesses had to be interviewed. I said, I want to do that one, she recalled. I want to talk to people. To me, this all about being in court. Her next big case will be in U.S. District Court in New York later this year, where she is defending an employee of KPMG, a major tax and auditing firm. Elena R. Baca represented the Unified School District this year against charges of racial and gender discrimination by an employee. The arbitrator, in a written award, found insufficient evidence of discrimination and denied the claims. The claimant appeared with business calendars that hadn t been produced in discovery. People always surprise you at trial, Baca said. The new documents didn t sway the arbitrator, though. Years ago Baca was an associate at Kindel & Anderson as it was dissolving. She chose to go her own way, to Paul Hastings, rather than join another firm with a group. Some of her family and friends worried, she said, that she would struggle as a Hispanic woman at a largely white, male dominated firm. But Baca was more concerned about being judged as an individual. Four years later, she was a partner. Baca just began retrying a disability case while serving as chair of Paul Hastings Los Angeles office. You get to tell a story that is very human, she said, and the challenge at times is to have a juror really understand that you ve got individuals on both sides. Emma Dewald Dennis Opatrny Vicky Barker Patricia H. Benson Century City Place of Birth: Inglewood Law School: UC Davis School of Law Law Firm: California Women s Law Center Practice Area: Title IX, sex discrimination Years in Practice: 21 Place of Birth: Santa Monica Law School: USC Gould School of Law Law Firm: Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp Practice Area: Litigation, intellectual property and technology Years in Practice: 33 In what is believed to be the first-ever Title IX class-action settlement targeting highschool athletics in California, Vicky Barker recently got the Alhambra school district to agree to build state-of-the-art facilities for girls sports teams and overhaul policies to ensure equitable funding and facilities use. We were not going to settle for anything less than total compliance in this case, Barker said. It was a leap of faith to go for broke, because most settlements involve a bit of you give me this and I ll give you that, she said. Barker became interested in equality in athletics during law school when she attended the men s water polo competition at the 1984 Olympics. She had cut her own water polo career short because it was not an Olympic sport. After passing the Bar Exam, Barker worked for years representing workers and their unions in employment litigation. Barker became the California Women s Law Center s legal director in She said the experience of being forced to sit out the Olympics helped motivate her to leap into the legal field. Barker said she will continue the push to enforce Title IX, even if it means bringing lawsuits throughout the state. Although this is the 35th anniversary of Title IX, it has not been vigorously enforced at the high-school level, Barker said. Athletic programs cannot continue to get away with that, she said. Patricia Benson s greatest challenge in 2006 was keeping a judge focused on the facts in the case of Arista Records Inc. v. Flea World Inc. The defendants kept throwing up every obstacle they could to obfuscate the issues, she said. Benson argued that Flea World let merchants sell pirated and illegal CDs and DVDs and should be held liable for copyright infringement. The judge eventually agreed with the Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp partner, effectively enabling California-based companies to combat counterfeiting throughout the nation. The far-reaching victory would have been hard to imagine at the outset of Benson s legal career. She attended law school because she didn t believe she could write the great American novel and didn t want to be a psychologist. The law sounded interesting, she said; she quickly discovered a passion for it in her first year. After interning for a summer with the public defender s office, Benson took a summer internship at Mitchell Silberberg, and hasn t left since. Jason Song Max Follmer PAGE 12 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT

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14 Melinda Bird Place of Birth: Sacramento Law School: Rutgers School of Law Law Firm: American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Practice Area: Civil rights and civil liberties Years in Practice: 27 As a result of Melinda Bird s work as lead counsel in a children s mental health case, the state created and now funds an intensive, community-based mental health program for needy children at an annual cost of $40 million. Since the federal court ordered the state to begin the program in 2001, 14,000 children have been able to remain in the community, avoiding placement in costly mental hospitals and group homes. Last year, the judge who has wrestled with this for more than six years asked me if the new mental health services really made a difference, she said. The leap of faith was to answer from my heart, that they literally saved children s lives. When the judge asked her to provide evidence to back that claim, Bird said she was relieved to find countless moving stories from mental health professionals about children who were once considered hopeless and are now leading healthy, functional lives. In October 2006, the 9th Circuit affirmed the earlier judgment. Bird joined the ACLU last year, after 11 years as managing attorney of the Office of Protection and Advocacy Inc., a disability-rights law firm, and 15 years at the Western Center on Law and Poverty. Her most recent leap? Coming here to the ACLU to work on a 30-year-old lawsuit challenging conditions in the largest jail [system] in the nation, when I have never handled prison or jail cases before. Bird recently won a court order in the federal suit, limiting overcrowding in County jails. Anat Rubin Virginia M. Blumenthal Riverside Place of Birth: St. Albans, N.Y. Law School: California Southern Law School Law Firm: Blumenthal Law Offices Practice Area: Criminal defense Years in Practice: 32 In October, Virginia Blumenthal persuaded a Riverside jury to find her client, Mario Cervantes Castro, not guilty of assaulting and attempting to murder a police officer. The key moment in the trial, Blumenthal said, came when the judge let her reopen evidence in the middle of the prosecutor s closing argument. She said she showed that Castro was in a drunken stupor and wasn t trying to kill the officer. Blumenthal has practiced criminal defense since She said her career leap of faith came in a 1986 trial in which her client, a teacher, was charged with touching students inappropriately. She said she let the man talk to her own third-grade son, unrehearsed, in front of the jury. The interaction helped show that people had put words in the mouths of her client s accusers, she said. She also said the experience helped define her career by teaching her to think outside the box during trial. Her upcoming trials include a murder case against a 17-year-old charged with participating in a gang killing. Jason W. Armstrong Susan Brandt-Hawley San Francisco Place of Birth: Tacoma, Wash. Law School: UC Davis School of Law Law Firm: Brandt-Hawley Law Group Practice Area: Environment, historic preservation Years in Practice: 29 Susan Brandt-Hawley recently won a state appellate-court decision that protected a pre-silicon Valley building known as the birthplace of IBM s breakthroughs in early computer technology. In virtually all of her cases, she said, the first leap is one of faith that she can win. That s important because, often, the only way she gets paid is to prevail, then seek fees under California s private attorney general law. This was such a great case there was no leap required, she said. I wanted to litigate this one and felt it was very important. Since the 1980s, Brandt-Hawley has maintained a twin focus on public-interest law and enforcement of the California Environmental Quality Act. Almost all of her cases now involve preservation of historic buildings and other cultural resources. Many have raised unique issues for the appellate courts. The decision to launch her law practice in the small Sonoma County town of Glen Ellen, where she and her husband own a winery, marked a pivotal point in her professional and personal life. The first law-career leap of faith I made was in 1979 when, in a supreme burst of blind overconfidence, I simply hung out a solo shingle in Glen Ellen, she says. My husband and I had bought some remote acreage, and he was building our house and planting a vineyard, and our first son was still a baby. Among her upcoming cases is one she recently filed to block demolition of the oldest house in Palo Alto. Dennis Pfaff Jamie Broder Place of Birth: Oakland Law School: New York University School of Law Law Firm: Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker Practice Area: Class actions, copyright, health care, trade secrets Years in Practice: 30 Last year, Jamie Broder successfully defended Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center against breach-of-contract allegations by a physician working with the hospital s sleep-disorder center. In 1987, the hospital had offered resident doctors a billing contract, which expired in Shortly thereafter, the doctor claimed that the hospital had billed patients improperly for his work. Broder made a motion to bifurcate the trial and argued a statute-of-limitations defense. The jury found in favor of her client, barring the plaintiff s claims. After 30 years representing a wide range of clients, from entertainment companies to hospitals, Broder looks back fondly on her decision to depart New York for in At that time, Broder joined Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker and began establishing herself as a litigator in a young market. Broder says a dearth of female role models in litigation forced her to develop her own style. When I went to law school, it was not to practice, she said. I wanted to teach at the college level constitutional law or civil-liberties classes. I saw myself in the academic world. It wasn t until I was in my third year of law school, doing externships and working with attorneys and legal aid, that I started to think it might be more fun to practice law. Alexa Hyland PAGE 14 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT

15 Juanita Brooks San Diego Place of Birth: Merced Law School: Yale Law School Law Firm: Fish & Richardson Practice Area: Patent litigation Years in Practice: 30 On the eve of trial in February, Juanita Brooks scored a very successful confidential settlement in a Minnesota case she filed four years earlier on behalf of 3M Corp. In the suit, 3M said Dupont Dow Elastomers infringed on its patent for a plastics additive. The key moment in the case, she said, was when she successfully argued against Dupont s challenge to 3M s patent on the product. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office affirmed and reissued 3M s patent, she said. She said her career leap of faith came when she decided seven years ago to switch from a white-collar criminal-defense focus to patent litigation. In May, she ll defend a client she would identify only as a major software provider in a patent-infringement suit in which the plaintiff is seeking $2 billion in damages. She said she chose patent law because of its complexity. I looked forward to a new challenge, she said. It s a perfect fit for me. Jason W. Armstrong Elizabeth A. Burns San Francisco Place of Birth: Burbank Law School: Santa Clara University School of Law Law Firm: Gordon & Rees Practice Area: Health care Years in Practice: 12 In December, Elizabeth Burns and Gordon & Rees partner John L. Supple successfully defended a nursing home sued for wrongful death, elder abuse and fraud. The son and daughter of a 72-year-old man diagnosed in the final stages of Parkinson s dementia had accused health-care providers of conspiring to deny their father treatment to maximize their benefits. After 10 years of litigation, a Superior Court jury returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Covenant Care. Burns said it was a leap of faith to rely on witnesses hospice employees, doctors and family members when there was no chance to prepare them or contact them before the trial. We had no idea what was going to come out of different people s mouths, Burns said. It was exciting but nerve-racking. For Burns, though, the expression leap of faith most vividly calls to mind her decision to become a trial attorney, following in her father s footsteps. You re taking leaps of faith all the time, she said. It s not like a brief, which you can rewrite 10 times. When you re in front of a jury or judge, if you didn t say it perfectly the first time, you don t get a chance to edit. Of being a trial attorney, Burns adds, It s a leap of faith to believe in myself that I can do it. Amelia Hansen Christine W.S. Byrd Place of Birth: Oakland Law School: University of Virginia School of Law Law Firm: Irell & Manella Practice Area: Litigation, ADR and arbitration, intellectual property litigation, white-collar defense Years in Practice: 31 Christine Byrd knew her trial was all but over when several jury members stopped taking notes. But she wasn t sure who the jurors would rule for in the patent dispute: her client, TiVo Inc., or EchoStar Communications Corp. I had a positive feeling, but it s very easy to lose perspective on your case, Byrd said. The jury found in favor of TiVo, awarding the company $73.9 million last April. That figure has grown to $93.9 million with interest and supplemental damages. The verdict was the latest in a long list of accomplishments for Byrd, including an $82 million jury verdict for Immersion Corp. in Quite an accomplishment for a woman who started law school while still unsure she wanted to be an attorney. I went with great trepidation, she said. But, midway through her first year at University of Virginia law school, Byrd said she knew she was destined for the courtroom. I loved it, and it s worked out very well, she said. Jason Song Elizabeth J. Cabraser San Francisco Place of Birth: Oakland Law School: Boalt Hall Law Firm: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Practice Area: Antitrust and consumer law Years in Practice: 29 Last year, one of Elizabeth Cabraser s key wins was a ruling in Sacramento County Superior Court that allowed a Ford Explorer rollover class action to go to trial. This year, a major challenge is that trial, which at press time was set to begin April 23. Cabraser does more than represent plaintiffs: Her task as a veteran class counsel is to design and structure trials. Cabraser is also juggling roles as class counsel in national litigation involving the drug Vioxx, a tainted-peanut-butter case and other multidistrict class actions. Her leap of faith moment came when she realized she was not going to get by on charisma. I recognized early on that I didn t have the stereotypical attributes of a good lawyer, Cabraser said. I didn t have a good voice, great bearing or an engaging courtroom demeanor. I saw I was going to have to get along on sincerity and dedication to the case. Hard work and tenacity would have to make up for my lack of natural talent. John Roemer DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 PAGE 15

16 Mary Craig Calkins Place of Birth: San Diego Law School: Loyola Law School Law Firm: Howrey Practice Area: Complex commercial litigation, insurance recovery Years in Practice: 26 Mary Craig Calkins considers her biggest recent monetary victory the settlement last year of insurance-coverage litigation involving a multimillion-dollar, first-party loss for an international hotel chain. She credits years of experience for helping her to assert the coverage position she believed was in her client s best interest and to trust it would lead to a favorable resolution. It did. As vice chair of the insurance-coverage committee of the American Bar Association s litigation section, Calkins has built a national reputation in the field of policyholders rights. Her leap-of-faith moment was deciding to go into law, and knowing she could do it as well as anyone else. Next, Calkins is litigating a multimillion-dollar advertising-fraud case for an international airline, and representing a television producer in a broker-malpractice dispute. Oh, and she s also insurance counsel for Fox s top-rated reality TV show American Idol. Jump in, be committed and give 100 percent, she said. Susan McRae Joanne E. Caruso Place of Birth: Phoenix Law School: Boston College Law School Law Firm: Howrey Practice Area: Commercial litigation Years in Practice: 21 Last year, Howrey managing partner Joanne Caruso prevailed when five companies she represented sought to invalidate a California regulation they said adversely affected their business. In Caterpillar v. California Air Resources Board, 05-AS-01133, state regulations came into conflict with settlements that had been negotiated individually in 2001 between engine manufacturers and the air-resources board, she argued. As an attorney, Caruso does not much believe in chance. In terms of cases, there are not too many leaps of faith you are going to take, she said. Instead, Caruso credits her husband, Thomas A. Zaccaro, for taking a plunge when, in 1995, she sought to move from Howrey s Washingon, D.C., office to its outpost. The couple had a year-old baby and another on the way, and Zaccaro did not have a job waiting for him in California. He took the bigger leap of faith, Caruso said. Zaccaro is now a partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Bobbi Murray Nanci L. Clarence San Francisco Place of Birth: Santa Barbara Law School: Hastings College of the Law Law Firm: Clarence & Dyer Practice Area: Criminal defense and civil cases Years in Practice: 21 Nanci Clarence fought for three years with federal prosecutors for her client, an executive at Reliant Energy Services, a company accused of manipulating the California electricity market during the state s 2000 energy crisis. A week before trial in March, the company agreed to pay a $22 million penalty, and the U.S. attorney s office entered into a deferred-prosecution deal with her client: No charges if he behaved and didn t do it again. It was great to walk my client out of the case without a conviction, she said. Clarence decided to become a lawyer after learning to argue at the dinner table with her father. What appeals to her is making sure people who get into trouble get a fair shake. Law is wonderful because you get a fair fight, and most everyone plays by the rules, she said. Clarence says her next big cases will involve defending technology executives accused of backdating stock options. Dennis Opatrny Cynthia H. Cwik San Diego Place of Birth: Pittsburgh Law School: Yale Law School Law Firm: Latham & Watkins Practice Area: Complex civil litigation Years in Practice: 19 In December, Cynthia Cwik persuaded a judge to toss a toxic-tort case in which a dozen former Beverly Hills High School students claimed they were harmed by emissions from an oil well production plant operated by her client, Chevron. The key moment in the case, Cwik said, came when she challenged the plaintiffs medical experts and showed they didn t have adequate foundation for their allegations. Cwik specializes in mass-tort and product-liability cases, after earning her undergraduate and law degrees at Yale University. She said her career leap of faith came during her 1989 representation of Montrose Chemical Co. in a massive toxic-tort case. That s when she hunted down the Harvard scientist who came up with the medical tests the plaintiffs were relying on, and he said they were mistaken in using them. Cwik said the experience taught her the importance of making sure you understand the science of these cases. She is currently defending a Colorado mining company in a toxic-tort case. Jason W. Armstrong PAGE 16 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT

17 Linda Dakin-Grimm Place of Birth: Fort Wayne, Ind. Law School: Harvard Law School Law Firm: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy Practice Area: Business and reinsurance litigation, arbitration Years in Practice: 22 Linda Dakin-Grimm led creditors to a dramatic victory last year in an exceedingly complex business-valuation trial in historically debtor-friendly Delaware bankruptcy court. Lawyers for a California-based diet-food company thought the debts would go unchallenged, but Dakin-Grimm stuck to her judgment. Her victory paved the way for more aggressive challenges by future creditors. It s hard to believe this Yale- and Harvard-educated lawyer was once too intimidated to sell Girl Scout cookies. She went into law to overcome her fears. Her biggest challenge was deciding to join Milbank in 1999 as a partner, determined to draw the big cases. In May, Dakin-Grimm starts trial in federal court in, representing a California-based insurance group in a dispute over a sales agreement. I think that leap-of-faith moment comes with the gelling of realization that you have solid judgment and can handle matters yourself, she said. For a lot of women, it takes a while to get to that point. Susan McRae Kelly Dermody San Francisco Place of Birth: Ithaca, N.Y. Law School: Boalt Hall Law Firm: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Practice Area: Employment and consumer law Years in Practice: 13 Thanks to Kelly Dermody, a million people without health insurance no longer are being overcharged for hospital care. In December and January, Dermody settled a pair of class actions worth a total of $699 million against not-for-profit hospitals Sutter Health and Catholic Healthcare West. The hospitals were charging uninsured patients far more than they would have charged privately insured patients for the same services. Dermody said she considers herself lucky to have stumbled on Lieff Cabraser right out of law school, which turned out to be a perfect fit for her. Working for a plaintiffs firm by its very nature requires a leap of faith, she said. The cards are kind of stacked against you in every way. Plaintiffs class actions tend to allege very large problems against very big companies who are extraordinarily wellfinanced, she explained. We invest our own money and time and take all the risk that something will not go right. Just to have the gumption to file these cases, I think, is a leap of faith. But Dermody plans to keep pressing on, with suits on behalf of underprivileged people trying to succeed in the American system. Laura Ernde Diane M. Doolittle Redwood Shores Place of Birth: Mount Vernon, Wash. Law School: Boalt Hall Law Firm: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges Practice Area: Business litigation Years in Practice: 18 Diane M. Doolittle might be the only woman to have tried a case in Saudi Arabia under religious law, which typically prohibits female attorneys. She represented Oracle Corp. after the company parted ways with a Saudi partner in a joint venture. The Saudi company, alleging breach of contract, sought tens of millions of dollars in damages. Doolittle tried the case this past fall before an arbitration panel, which ruled in Oracle s favor. As co-chair of Quinn Emanuel s national trial-practice group, Doolittle, a former prosecutor, handles everything from company internal investigations to grand-jury inquiries, and has won a remarkable 93 percent of her trials. Last year, she represented a special board committee of Apple Inc. that investigated stock-options backdating at the company and cleared its current management, including CEO Steve Jobs, of wrongdoing. Doolittle said her leap-of-faith moment came 18 months ago, when she was hired 10 days before trial to be lead counsel in a $135 million coverage dispute between a national insurance company and a defense contractor over the cost to clean up an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site. She knew the gist of the case, but her knowledge of the specifics was sorely lacking. During opening statements, I was able to stand up and respond credibly to all of the allegations, said Doolittle, adding that the case settled shortly thereafter on terms favorable to her client. Craig Anderson Helen Lalich Duncan Place of Birth: East Chicago, Ind. Law School: Southwestern University School of Law Law Firm: Fulbright & Jaworski Practice Area: Tax litigation Years in Practice: 26 After seven years of knotty litigation, Helen Duncan brought her client Lehman Brothers closer to victory. The giant investment bank was sucked into a class action when a subprime lender it helped finance went bankrupt in Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased the $5.1 million verdict against Lehman Brothers and set up a new damages trial. It was a typical David-and-Goliath case. Although we didn t commit the alleged fraud, Duncan said, we had the money to pay. Duncan, who was admitted to the bar in 1981 after graduating from Southwestern Law School, has enjoyed a long and successful career as a trial lawyer. Immediately after law school, she moved to Washington, D.C., for a four-year stint as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice tax division. She was honored for her performance twice, before leaving in Duncan is currently defending HVB Bank in a class action filed by aggrieved investors who claim the bank conspired to induce their investments in illegal tax shelters. Filed in Florida, Georgia, New York and Northern California, the suits have contributed to Duncan s busy schedule. In every case, you have to dig in to find out the true facts, Duncan said. I don t believe people intentionally do wrongful or harmful things in business. The quest is to find out what really happened and make the jury see your side of the case. Gabe Friedman DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 PAGE 17

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19 Deborah J. Fox Place of birth: Kansas City, Mo. Law school: University of San Diego School of Law Law firm: Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson Practice area: Land use, First Amendment Years in practice: 23 Deborah J. Fox won a huge victory when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the city of La Habra s so-called twofoot rule banning lap dances. The case has become a touchstone for cities and officials trying to enforce similar standards across the country. Although some might call Fox the porn buster for her work helping cities preserve the quality of life they envision for their citizens, Fox said she always considered herself primarily a land-use attorney. From the start of her career representing ranchers in northern San Diego County, she has been a hands-on lawyer. After working at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, she founded Fox & Sohagi, where she practiced for 18 years. She joined Meyers Nave in December. Fox expects to continue working on land-use and First Amendment issues. She has begun to tackle issues involving billboard advertising and super graphics, or ads that wrap around buildings. She said her practice sometimes requires her to go out on a limb, but it s always a calculated move. Am I a risk taker? Yes, Fox said. Do I leap on faith alone? No. Max Follmer Patricia L. Glaser Place of birth: Charleston, W.Va. Law school: Rutgers School of Law Law firm: Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro Practice area: Business litigation Years in practice: 34 Top-notch defending doesn t always mean avoiding liability. Sometimes, it means reducing it. In January, Patricia Glaser defended a group of real estate companies in a fraud case in Oakland, sidestepping a $10 million punitive-damages tack-on. Glaser would not name the defendants but said she was successful because her client was appropriately contrite. Glaser said mentors in and outside her law firm were instrumental in shaping her career when they put their faith in her, time and time again. Glaser s firm has handled cases involving Spider-Man, Kim Basinger, ABC and Extreme Home Makeover, as well as billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian. Glaser has emerged as firm spokeswoman following name partner Terry Christensen s February 2006 indictment in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping case. In April, she was back in trial, defending MGA, maker of the popular Bratz dolls, in a copyright and trademark infringement case. Clients take a leap of faith every time they hire me, she said. I am blessed. Some people like to go into a dark room and ruminate run into walls. They like that process. I like going into a dark room and finding a door out. I think that s what the law does it helps you find doors out of dark rooms. Rebecca Beyer Gigi Gordon Place of Birth: New York Law School: Southwestern University School of Law Law Firm: Post Conviction Assistance Center Practice Area: Criminal defense, post-conviction law Years in Practice: 25 Gigi Gordon said the only faith she needs in her career is that, if she proves a wrong, the criminal justice system will undo it. Otherwise, Gordon doesn t place much faith in faith. I have no leaps of faith, especially in what I do, she said. The question is, Can I prove it? A leap of faith is antithetical to the entire legal process, as it requires acquiring a belief without any empirical support. A champion for the underdog, she was once appointed by the Superior Court to pour over 15,000 criminal cases looking for any wrongdoing in connection to the Rampart scandal. She declined, however, to discuss any of her recent cases. In 2004, Gordon worked with an LAPD homicide detective using DNA and other forensic evidence to help free a mentally retarded man wrongfully convicted of three strangulation rape-murders after spending 10 years behind bars. Gordon worked three years on the habeas corpus case, which she took up after she learned blood evidence at the crime scenes was inconsistent with that of her client. Ryan Oliver Jessica L. Grant San Francisco Place of Birth: Redwood City Law School: University of San Francisco School of Law Law Firm: Furth Lehmann & Grant Practice Area: Class actions, employment, antitrust Years in Practice: 12 In her first case as a plaintiffs lawyer, Jessica L. Grant won a $172 million classaction jury verdict against Wal-Mart in December 2005 over the company s failure to give meal breaks to its workers. But her leap of faith moment in the case goes back to 2001, when her 15-member San Francisco firm decided to take on the retail behemoth known for stubbornly refusing to settle and instead hiring teams of high-powered attorneys to vigorously defend lawsuits. Grant said there were many times when the case looked as if it might be thrown out. But she knew that, if she could get it to a jury, she had a good claim. She tried to stay one step ahead of the Wal-Mart team, which took up an entire floor at the Oakland Marriott during trial. In the process, Grant did something no one else had ever even tried in a wage-andhour case get punitive damages. Wal-Mart remains in the firm s sights. In addition to defending the judgment on appeal, Grant is preparing to go to trial on another suit against the retailer, accusing the company of manipulating employee time cards to cut pay. For me, it s always having faith in myself and the case, she said. It doesn t matter who is on the other side or how impressive their pedigree is. Laura Ernde DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 PAGE 19

20 Samantha C. Grant Place of Birth: London Law School: UCLA School of Law Law Firm: Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp Practice Area: Labor and employment Years in Practice: 9 Samantha Grant was an associate when Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions began in She would make partner by the time the case concluded in her side s favor, with a summary judgment for the defense in trial court. In the high-profile case, a former writer s assistant for the hit ABC series Friends had filed sexual harassment claims, along with a charge of wrongful termination, against Warner Bros. and individual writers. Indeed, Grant knew early on that she wanted to be an attorney. I was always very vocal, always advocating for things, she said. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she worked as an intake officer for the Ontario region at Canada s equivalent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she judged the validity of complaints and made recommendations regarding investigations. She knew then that employment law was for her, and she set off for California to pursue a law degree. Many assumed Grant would work the plaintiffs side because she is a minority female. But a summer stint at a defense-side firm and an externship at the U.S. Information Agency gave Grant what she calls a more-balanced perspective Employment law is one of those fields in which you are on one side or the other, she said. The moment she decided which side to join, for her, constituted a great leap of faith. I had faith I could develop clients and do great cases as a defense attorney, she said. Bobbi Murray Melinda Haag San Francisco Place of Birth: San Diego Law School: Boalt Hall Law Firm: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Practice Area: White-collar criminal defense Years in Practice: 19 Melinda Haag says that as a criminal defense attorney, she must occasionally take risks to reap nonguilty rewards for her clients. One of her biggest wins came when she waived a jury trial in the case of former McKesson Corp. Chief Financial Officer Richard Hawkins. He was charged with backdating a $20 billion deal to boost the profit picture. A federal judge acquitted him. There s nothing better than telling your client, who was very afraid he would be indicted, that it s over and that he can go home and resume his life, she said. During college, she worked for a criminal defense attorney as a gofer, but she became transfixed by the trials and the law. She decided to take the LSAT and attended Boalt Hall. She was a civil attorney for a while before turning to law enforcement. A federal prosecutor, Haag said her most rewarding case was prosecuting two guards at Pelican Bay State Prison who assaulted inmates and encouraged other guards to do the same. Haag also supervised environmental-crimes prosecutions for the U.S. attorney s office for the Northern District of California. Like several other white-collar crime lawyers, she is currently defending individuals and companies in stock-options backdating cases. These are all difficult cases, because there is tremendous political and media-related pressure to handle the issue, she said. Dennis Opatrny Carole E. Handler Place of Birth: New York Law School: University of Pennsylvania Law School Law Firm: Foley & Lardner Practice Area: Intellectual property and antitrust Years in Practice: 29 What happens when there is a déjà vu moment in virtual reality? If you are Evans & Sutherland, a leading computer-graphics company, and you notice that a competitor s virtual-reality program contains scenes and images very similar to those in your program, you call Carol E. Handler. Handler is leading Evans & Sutherland s copyright-infringement claim, which is in the pretrial phase in federal district court in Utah. The case is only the most recent cutting-edge or prominent intellectual-property matter Handler has litigated. In hindsight, a career as an intellectual-property and antitrust attorney seems the perfect fit for Handler. She has excelled representing companies like Marvel Enterprises, which was involved in a dispute surrounding rights to Spider-Man and other comic-book characters; and she is the daughter of legal scholar Milton Handler, who wrote a seminal textbook on antitrust law. But Handler says her career is the result of a leap of faith because she initially avoided law. After seven years as an urban planner, Handler decided to become a lawyer to make a greater impact on society. And soon after enrolling in law school, she discovered that she simply loved antitrust and copyright law. Drew Combs Joan M. Haratani San Francisco Place of Birth: Redwood City Law School: UC Davis School of Law Law Firm: Morgan Lewis & Bockius Practice Area: Product liability and torts Years in Practice: 23 Last year, Joan Haratani faced down a huge class action against Wal-Mart brought by plaintiffs in five countries alleging illegal labor practices. She persuaded a federal judge to dismiss it. Haratani said there was a moment in the litigation, which the business community watched closely, when she believed the odds were stacked against her. But she realized she could win because she had done the necessary work. I had put the blood, sweat and tears in and deserved the victory, she said. The law was certainly in my favor. Haratani, whose cases often involve legally cutting-edge issues, has worked hard to increase the visibility of women and minorities in major law firms. As president of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 2006, she put together the organization s first conference on work-life balance. Haratani s first leap of faith moment came in 1990, when she made partner at a time when large law firms employed relatively few minority women. It took a huge leap of faith for me to believe not only in myself and my merit but also in the fact that my law firm recognized my talent and hard work, Haratani said of her first partnership. She later moved to another firm, a decision requiring another leap of faith. Haratani said that, in her next big case, she will be representing a Fortune 100 company seeking recovery of insurance proceeds. The litigation could result in millions of dollars in damages, and a trial date has been set for early next year, she said. Dennis Pfaff PAGE 20 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007 TOP WOMEN LITIGATORS DAILY JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT

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