1 HURRELL CANTRALL 660 South Figueroa Street 21st Floor Los Angeles, California Tel (213) Fax (213) Committed to Providing Superior Legal Services
2 Our Firm Since 1973, and its predecessor firms have offered quality legal services at a reasonable cost. We are a civil litigation and appellate firm that specializes in defending clients in the areas of employment law, environmental law, general liability, governmental liability, products liability, and professional malpractice. While the firm concentrates in a number of distinct areas, our emphasis in all practice areas is the same - an aggressive approach to the practice of law that ensures excellent results and discourages future lawsuits against our clients. Practice Areas Appellate Employment Law Environmental Law General Liability Government Liability Products Liability Professional Malpractice Thomas C. Hurrell, managing partner, is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates ( ABOTA ) and has extensive trial experience, having tried over 100 cases. He was named the 2007 Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department. Melinda Cantrall, senior partner, anchors s appellate practice and manages the firm s aggressive law and motion practice. She was named the 2003 Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department.
3 Practice Areas Appellate Practice s appellate practice remains a longstanding and integral facet of the firm. Our approach at the appellate level is to aggressively represent our clients by staying abreast of new developments in the law and writing persuasive and effective briefs. We regularly handle appeals and writs in state and federal courts. Our attorneys have been involved in all aspects of the appeals process in a wide range of practice areas, including government liability, police misconduct litigation and actions filed under 42 U.S.C. 1983, products liability, professional liability, elder abuse, premises liability, and general liability. We have represented a wide variety of clients from individuals to corporate entities in appellate matters involving a gamut of legal issues. Employment Law Our employment law practice includes the defense of claims arising from allegations of wrongful termination, whether based on public policy, discrimination, or contract. has represented employers against single-plaintiff and large class-action allegations of retaliation and discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, and other prohibited forms of discrimination. We have represented clients across the entire spectrum of employment discrimination and related litigation, including claims under federal and state statutes, as well as claims under the common law. We also emphasize the development of effective personnel-management strategies that help our clients avoid costly litigation and lengthy government investigations. We can assist in the development of employment policies and procedures, handbooks, applications, job evaluation forms, offer letters, employment contracts and other documents that affect the employment relationship. We also assist our clients by keeping them compliant with the law and minimizing the risks of exposure.
4 Practice Areas Environmental Law s environmental litigation practice has been an intrinsic part of the firm since the firm s inception. Our attorneys have developed specialized knowledge in the area of environmental law. In particular, throughout our 30 year history, the firm has become well-versed in the intricacies of federal and state statutes, as well as regulations and case law, pertinent to environmental issues. In addition, we understand the technical and scientific issues underlying such cases and have developed a network of some of the most knowledgeable geologists, industrial hygienists, hydrologists, toxicologists, and physicians. We have handled complex environmental law cases in both state and federal courts involving numerous plaintiffs, and a wide range of environmental issues, from air pollution and groundwater contamination to exposure to mold and chemicals. We have defended and advised public and private entities in claims of personal injury, property damage, diminution of property values, and wrongful death. General Liability also has substantial experience handling general liability cases of all types. We have defended various clients, from retail organizations and individual property owners involved in personal injury claims, to individuals and corporate entities in cases involving motor vehicle negligence. Our aggressive approach to defending all cases has consistently led to defense verdicts, dismissals, and nominal settlements. The firm s defense of general liability cases is renown throughout California, largely due to a consistent success rate for a well-known commercial and industrial client base. We represent clients on behalf of some of the most successful insurers in the nation, and have done so for over 30 years. We have also represented national supermarket and department store enterprises in their general liability and premises liability cases. Our very stable and consistently held client base is due to an impressive success rate and an endeavor to provide superior legal services at a reasonable cost. Simply put, we strive for excellent results balanced by a cost-effective defense.
5 Practice Areas Government Liability s government liability practice includes the defense of law enforcement officers and governmental entities against claims of civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C for unlawful arrest, excessive force, and cruel and unusual punishment, as well as unconstitutional customs and practices involving allegations of negligence, battery, false imprisonment, supervisory liability, and malicious prosecution. Our attorneys have specialized experience and knowledge involving claims of alleged constitutional deprivations, including violations of rights secured by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Moreover, our attorneys are well versed in the California Government Tort Claims Act and all available defense and immunities. Additionally, both Mr. Hurrell and Ms. Cantrall were named as the Attorney of the Year in 2008 and 2003 respectively, by the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department for their success in litigating such cases. serves as a contract firm for the County of Los Angeles. Products Liability and Toxic Torts During our more than 30 year history, and its predecessor firms have defended multi-national corporations in simple and complex litigation involving products liability. In particular, we have been extensively involved in the defense of claims for personal injury and wrongful death due to alleged toxic exposure to asbestos, benzene, mold, paint, airborne particles, and dietary supplements (such as Phen-Fen). Our firm has represented manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of products, including agricultural, automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical, and paint products, as well as hand tools, medical devices, and other products alleged to have been defectively designed and manufactured. In addition, our attorneys have developed specialized expertise in the area of lemon law. We have represented and defended numerous automobile manufacturers in such cases, many resulting in early resolution through negotiations.
6 Practice Areas Professional Liability Professional liability has long been a cornerstone of the firm s practice. We have successfully defended hospitals, medical schools, dental schools, pharmacy schools, nursing homes, extended care facilities, as well as individual physicians, pharmacists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and dentists. Our attorneys regularly defend clients in matters involving patient care and treatment, including alleged negligence during surgery, and the alleged failure to properly diagnose, medicate, and monitor patients. We have also been involved in matters relating to claims of medical instrumentation and mechanical support malfunctions, as well as issues involving organizational management and oversight. Illustrative Cases Plaintiff alleged injuries after cleaning products splashed in his face. A motion for summary judgment was granted on behalf of the public entity defendant and demurrers were sustained on behalf of the individual defendants. Plaintiffs sued a paint manufacturer alleging that toxic exposure to benzene from paints caused his leukemia. The trial judge granted summary judgment for our client, finding that the paint was not a substantial factor in decedent s death. Plaintiffs sued a public entity in federal and state court for wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge in violation of federal and state law, as well as the U.S. Constitution. Summary judgment was granted for the defense in both state and federal courts. Defense verdict after two-week trial in a case against a grocery chain after plaintiff slipped and fell on spilled yogurt. Plaintiffs demanded $1.8 million. The jury found in favor of our client, agreeing that reasonable care was used in inspecting and maintaining the premises prior to the incident. For additional illustrative cases, please visit us at
7 Representative Clients Abex Corp. Acceptance Risk Managers Admiral Insurance Co. Allied Signal, Inc. Allstate AMVAC Chem. Corp. Associated Aviation Underwriters BETA Healthcare Group Cabot Safety Corp. Campagnolo, S.R.L. Carl Warren & Co. Charter Medical Corp. City of Compton City of Covina City of Millbrae City of Orange City of Palm Springs City of Pasadena City of San Marino City of Santa Barbara City of Santa Clarita City of Santa Monica City of Whittier Civil Serv. Employees Ins. Co. CNA Ins. Cos. Countrywide Services Corp. County of Los Angeles County of Orange County of Ventura Crawford & Co. DAP, Inc. The Doctor s Co. Epic Healthcare Group, Inc. Esis, Inc. (A CIGNA Co.) FHP, Inc. The Glidden Company The Hartford Ins. Group HCM Claim Management Corp. Health Cal Healthtrust, Inc. Hertz Claims Management Corp. Hughes Aircraft Co. Interstate National Corp. Investor Insurance Group L.A. County Metro. Transit Auth. Mercury Ins. Group Michelin North America National American Ins. Orange County Transit Dist. Pacific National Ins. Co. Pioneer Life Ins. Co. of Illinois PPG Industries, Inc. Ralphs Grocery Company Risk Administration & Mgmt. Ryder Truck Rental, Inc. Scottsdale Ins. Co. Service Corp. Intl. Southwest Airlines State Farm Ins. Co. St. Paul Ins. Cos. TFS Risk Service Toyota Motor Sales USA Tristar Claims Mgmt. Twentieth Century Ins. Co. The Sherwin-Williams Co. UPMC Health Plan United Airlines UC Santa Barbara US Air USC School of Dentistry USC School of Pharmacy USC Student Health Ctr. USC Medical School The Vons Companies Washington Ins. Group Zurich Ins. Co.
8 Born in 1960, Mr. Hurrell attended college at the University of California at San Diego, and earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in Mr. Hurrell began his legal career with the predecessor firm of Hillsinger and Costanzo, where he quickly jumped into the trial arena his first year of practice. He averaged trying six to eight cases a year as he progressed into his legal career. At the age of 32, he became one of the youngest members in the country of The American Board of Trial Advocates ( ABOTA ). He now holds the rank of Advocate in that prestigious organization. Mr. Hurrell specializes in the defense of Products Liability, Government Liability, Professional Liability, and General Liability litigation. He has achieved a remarkable success rate in the last decade, often achieving major victories. Most recently these included defense verdicts in multiple civil rights cases against law enforcement agencies, and several wrongful death cases involving allegations of medical negligence that were evaluated prospectively by mediators and the bench as being virtually incapable of being won by the defense. In 2004, Mr. Hurrell tried a major action in Los Angeles, California involving allegations of mold contamination and related illnesses by 25 individual plaintiffs in which the settlement demand was $12 million dollars. After two months of trial, the jury came back with a token judgment awarding plaintiffs minimal damages for inconvenience, but denying them any damages for personal injury. Thomas C. Hurrell Mr. Hurrell is the Managing Partner of Hurrell Cantrall and is a frequent lecturer on topics of trial strategy and loss prevention. He is a Member of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County and the American Bar Associations, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, and the American Board of Trial Advocates ( ABOTA ). Mr. Hurrell received the 2007 Attorney of the Year Award from the County of Los Angeles for his work done on behalf of the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department.
9 Ms. Cantrall was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in San Diego, California, and her law degree in 1998 from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. Her honors include Dean s List, Associate Editor of Law Review, receipt of the American Jurisprudence Book Award in Criminal Law, and receipt of CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Advanced Criminal Procedure. In addition, she was a judicial extern to Judge Arthur Alarcon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Cantrall is a member of the State Bar of California, the State Bar of Minnesota, the California Central District of the United States District Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Cantrall anchors s appellate practice, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and government entity, products liability, professional liability and general liability matters. She has successfully tried cases in federal and state court, and has handled appeals in both federal and state court. She received the 2003 Attorney of the Year Award from the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department. Melinda Cantrall In addition, Ms. Cantrall manages s aggressive law and motion practice. Along these lines, she has filed numerous case dispositive motions, and motions which ultimately led to a very favorable result for the client. She is also in charge of tailoring jury instructions for the 42 U.S.C civil rights cases. Hurrell Cantrall LLP serves as a contract firm for the County of Los Angeles.
10 Being from a military family, Ms. Martinelli had the opportunity to live in many different places during her childhood, winding up in Albuquerque, NM where she attended and graduated with distinction from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in English Literature and History. She then returned to California where she obtained her law degree cum laude from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. Since her admission to the bar, she has gained extensive experience in civil litigation defense with an emphasis in medical malpractice and other healthcare litigation. Over the years, she has represented hospitals, medical and dental schools, extended care facilities, physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and dentists. She has successfully taken numerous cases to trial. Ms. Martinelli also serves as an advisor to institutional clients on issues of corporate compliance, employment relations, advance directives, end of life issues and liability avoidance practices. Lisa Martinelli Born in Hayward, California, Ms. Benjamin received her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. Ms. Benjamin has represented various clients in the areas of toxic-tort litigation, government entity litigation, products liability, environmental law, sports law, medical malpractice, and general liability. Additionally, she has co-represented athletes, including world record holders and Olympic champions in doping disputes. She has also represented the county, police officers, various physicians, healthcare establishments, and vehicle insurance companies. She is increasingly involved in advising and working with various clients in the areas of institutional compliance and liability avoidance practices. Jill Benjamin In 2006 and 2007, Ms. Benjamin was involved in trying two motor vehicle accident lawsuits, involving complex injury and damage claims. Both lawsuits resulted in verdicts well below the anticipated liability. She was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers - Southern California Rising Stars Edition 2007.
11 Ms. Nguyen received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California. She was admitted to practice law in the State of California in Ms. Nguyen specializes in the areas of toxic tort and environmental law, mass tort litigation, products liability, and general liability. She has handled numerous complex litigation matters which resulted in favorable settlements and dismissals on behalf of her clients. Mai T. Nguyen Ms. Nguyen is admitted to practice in all of the California State Courts, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Defense Research Institute. Ms. Kumar received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in 1999 where she earned the distinction of Trustee Scholar and was a member of the Business Scholar Society and Alpha Lambda Delta. She received her law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California in 2002 where she served as the Senior Note and Comment Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review. While in law school, Ms. Kumar was also actively involved in the American Bar Association, Law Student Division, as a representative for her school. Ms. Kumar has tried cases in both federal and state court. Her practice areas include complex toxic tort litigation, government entity liability, general liability, and professional liability. She is admitted to the State Bar of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She has served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California. Rittu Kumar
12 Mr. Schlecter received his undergraduate degrees in political science and history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He then attended and graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree in 2004 from UC Hastings College of Law. Mr. Schlecter has been extensively involved in the firm s government liability practice, defending civil rights claims against law enforcement officers and officials. He has also worked in the areas of insurance defense and products liability, involving cases from landlord-tenant disputes to issues of benzene exposure. He is admitted to the State Bar of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Blair Schlecter Ms. Kaloustian received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 2001, and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in While in law school, Ms. Kaloustian served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Dickran Tevrizian of the United States District Court, Central District of California, as well as the Honorable Owen Lee Kwong of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2005, Ms. Kaloustian joined where she practices extensively in state and federal court in the areas of general and government liability. Throughout her career, she has co-represented the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department in a number of civil rights cases resulting in defense verdicts and favorable settlements. She is a member of the State Bar of California and the California Central District of the United States District Court. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Bar Association, and Armenian Bar Association. Mariam Kaloustian
13 Ms. An received her Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Prior to joining, Ms. An served as assistant legal counsel for a multi-national corporation where she dealt extensively with regulatory compliance matters for which she spearheaded a national recall campaign, oversaw multiple products liability cases, and handled various business transactional and promotional projects. As an associate at Hurrell Cantrall LLP, Ms. An focuses her practice on toxic tort litigation and government entity liability defense. She is a member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and Korean American Bar Association of Southern California. She is admitted to practice in all of the California state courts and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Lisa An Upon receiving his undergraduate degree from Ithaca College, Mr. Cummiskey served in the U.S. Army at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where he served with distinction during several deployments and humanitarian aid missions. Following his stint in the Army, he attended Syracuse University College of Law where he was a member of the Moot Court and Journal of International Law and Commerce. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Normal A. Mordue of the United States District Court, Northern District of New York. After graduating from law school, Mr. Cummiskey began his career in Philadelphia where he represented pharmaceutical companies in complex litigation, including both federal multidistrict and state actions. Since joining Hurrell Cantrall LLP, he has expanded his practice to include products liability, government liability, and insurance defense litigation. Christopher Cummiskey He is a member of the California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey Bar Associations.
14 Ms. Webb received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Throughout her career, Ms. Webb defended automobile manufacturers in product liability and warranty litigation. At, her practice focuses on warranty defense litigation, products liability, breach of contract, personal injury, toxic tort, and real property litigation. She has co-chaired six warranties trials in Alameda, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties, of which five were defense verdicts. She authored Tell the Best Story, Trials and Tribulations, DRI: 2007 Trial Tactics Committee, Spring 2007 pp.1,6-7. She is admitted to the State Bar of California and all Federal District Courts in California, as well as the Ninth Circuit. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Orange County Bar Association. Jamie Webb Ms. Nadjarians attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Thereafter, she attended Southwestern University School of Law and served on the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade, and was also President of the Women s Law Society. After graduating from law school, Ms. Nadjarians began her career in entertainment law representing a major studio as well as individual talent. Within a few years, she transitioned into insurance defense litigation. Throughout her career, she has obtained several victories for her clients through summary judgment motions, avoiding exposure to multi-million dollar damages, and also avoiding trial. Pauliana Nadjarians She is a member of the Tournament of Roses and the Junior League of Los Angeles.
15 Mr. Phan received his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of California, San Diego and his Juris Doctor cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. In law school, he received the Richard A. and Brandon S. Collier Award, the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in legal research, analysis, and writing, and the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Law of Healthcare Organization and Finance. He was also on the Dean s Honors List. Prior to joining, Mr. Phan served as a judicial extern to U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen O Malley of the Northern District of Ohio. He was also a law clerk in the corporate legal department of University Hospitals, a large hospital system employing over 15,000 employees and consisting of more than 150 medical facilities. Mr. Phan is admitted to the State Bar of California and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Charles Phan Ms. Hassaram obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Ateneo de Manila University and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Prior to law school, Ms. Hassaram worked for a large manufacturing company in Los Angeles, California. As a law student, she was active in the Immigration Clinic, representing asylum applicants before the Chicago Asylum Office and Immigration Court. She was secretary of the Asian Law Students Association, and a member of the International Human Rights Society and the Women s Legal Forum. She was also on the Dean s list. Dorothy Lachmi Hassaram Ms. Hassaram obtained her Juris Doctor in May 2007, and joined later that year. In December 2007, she was admitted to the State Bar of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
16 Mr. Torres received his undergraduate degree from the California State University Northridge and his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento California. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Torres was an associate at a prominent insurance defense firm where he specialized in premises liability, personal injury, wrongful death, breach of contract, and complex real property litigation. He worked on numerous cases resulting in summary judgment, defense verdicts and nominal settlements. Jesus Torres Currently, Mr. Torres focuses on product liability, governmental entity defense, toxic tort litigation, and general liability matters. He is admitted to the California State Bar, Eastern and Central Federal District Courts in California as well as the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the American Bar Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association. Anthony L. Perez was born in Hong Kong, China and received his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology from University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to joining, Mr. Perez was an associate at a prominent insurance defense/litigation firm where he specialized in premises liability, personal injury, wrongful death, and breach of contract. While at this firm, Mr. Perez worked on numerous cases that resulted in defense verdicts and nominal money settlements. Currently, Mr. Perez focuses on product liability, governmental entity defense, toxic tort litigation, and general liability matters. Mr. Perez was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002 and is admitted in the Central Federal District Court in California as well as the Ninth Circuit. Anthony Perez
17 Ms. Shanahan Cutts grew up in Claremont, California. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC), and her law degree, cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Cleveland, Ohio). While in law school, Ms. Shanahan Cutts received numerous CALI Awards for Excellence and was the Executive Articles Editor of the Case Western Rese rve Journal of International Law. Prior to joining our firm, Ms. Shanahan Cutts served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Arthur I. Harris of the Northern District of Ohio, and a legal extern for a Canadian Member of Parliament and the United States. Attorney s Office in the Northern District off Ohio. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Noelle M. Shanahan Cutts
18 Of Counsel Mr. Forgey currently practices early-stage arbitration and intermediation. During his practice, he has been involved in the defense and trial of medical and professional malpractice, products liability, aviation accident, employment, business and commercial litigation, and general liability cases. He is admitted to practice before all Courts of the State of California, the Federal District Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Assn. of So. California Defense Counsel and was President of that organization in He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Lawyers (ABOTA) and was President of the Los Angeles Chapter in In 2001, he was President of the California Defense Counsel. Mr. Forgey served as the President of CAL-ABOTA in He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has tried over 100 jury and non-jury cases to conclusion. In 1996, he completed courses at Stanford Law School certifying him as a National Institute for Trial Advocacy instructor (NITA). He is on the faculty of NITA and has taught trial advocacy for ABOTA and at Loyola Law School. Darrell Forgey Wallace C. Reed was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California. He was admitted to practice law in the State of California in 1955 and is a Member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, American Society of Law and Medicine, California Medicolegal Committee, American Board of Trial Advocate (ABOTA), American College of Trial Lawyers, Defense Research Institute, International Association of Defense Counsel, and American Association of Attorney Mediators. Wallace Reed
19 continues to attract new clients who desire legal services from attorneys who actually litigate and try cases. The firm handles cases throughout California in both state and federal venues. We are available to assist you with your legal needs. For further information, please contact us. H C 660 South Figueroa Street, 21st Floor Los Angeles, California Tel (213) Fax (213)