TOP RATEDLAWYERS. Southern Law Meyer, Olson, Lowy

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1 THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN southern California PRESENTs SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA S E d i t i o n Girardi Keese Class Action & Mass Tort Giants SHERNOFF BIDART ECHEVERRIA BENTLEY Insurance & Personal Injury Law Powerhouse Hedding Law Firm top rated Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Darras ON YOUR DISABILITY CARRIER S TOP 10 DENIAL StRATEGIES TOP RATEDLAWYERS FERruzzo & FeRruzzo Dynamic Help for businesses and Entrepreneurs Khouri Law Firm defending healthcare providers for more than 20 years Southern California Law 2012 Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers, One of the few preeminent family law practices in the United States founded entirely by female partners A Special advertising supplement distributed with the a s p e c i a l s u p p l e m e n t t o Also: Lemon Laws Collaborative Divorce Settlement smarts

2 a special advertising supplement a special advertising supplement shernoff bidart echeverria bentley llp insurance, personal injury leading authorities on insurance Bad faith law SinCe establishing the legal precedent for Bad faith law in 1979, Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley has zealously fought bad faith insurance practices, recovering more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for its individual and business clients. We created the niche of insurance bad faith law, notes founding partner William M. Shernoff. And since then we ve been able to transform insurance claims into substantial damage awards for mistreated policyholders. the firm has SuCCeSSfully ChallenGed insurance CoMpanieS on ClaiM denials, policy rescissions, and other instances of unfair claims handling. It also handles catastrophic personal injury cases and seeks punitive damages to deter future insurance bad faith practices. When we get involved in a case, the insurance industry takes notice, Shernoff says. attorneys with proven track records william M. Shernoff ManaGeS the firm S BeVerly hills office and ContinueS to BreaK new ground in consumer law for insurance policyholders. Recently, he secured a $19 million jury verdict on a $38,000 claim involving the issue of medically necessary treatment. His landmark cases include an $86 million settlement concerning a hotel fire, a jury verdict and more than $100 million in payment for hurricane-related claims, an agreement from large health insurers to pay more than $50 million in damages to policyholders whose coverage was rescinded, and millions in reparations to Holocaust survivors and their relatives on life insurance claims. MiChael J. Bidart ManaGeS the firm S home office in ClareMont and leads the CoMMerCial, property, and HMo insurance litigation practices. In early 2012, he culminated four years of intense litigation against several insurance companies that had failed to defend an intellectual property case involving the rights to a highly successful brand of fashion dolls. This resulted in the recovery of almost $200 million in defense and attorney fees and costs for his client. Also among Bidart s many notable decisions is a $120.5 million wrongful death jury verdict against an HMo, which remains the largest jury verdict ever rendered in such a case. Bidart was named as the 2012 Trial Lawyer of the year by the American Board of Trial Advocates. ricardo echeverria S distinguished trial record includes a recent $25.7 Million Jury VerdiCt for a 10-year-old quadriplegic in a catastrophic injury case, a $7.2 million jury verdict in Minnesota federal court over an insurance company s failure to settle within policy limits, a $5.1 million jury verdict for 2003 wildfire victims, a $3.6 million jury verdict for an active duty Marine whose insurance company denied a $75,000 water loss claim, a $3.3 million jury verdict for 2007 wildfire victims, a $2 million jury verdict for an employee for breach of an implied employment contract, a $1.9 million verdict for a municipal government against its insurance carrier, a $1.8 million jury verdict against an insurance agent, and a $1 million jury verdict for a property owner s fire loss. Echeverria was named as the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, having been nominated for the award from 2006 through top rated lawyers top rated lawyers GreGory l. Bentley has SuCCeSSfully tried More than 20 Jury trials and is a MeMBer of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In July 2012, he secured a $31.5 million verdict on behalf of a Los Angeles County Prosecutor who suffered catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries as a result of an accident on SR 138. other results include a multimillion-dollar settlement and the shutting down of a trust mill operation designed to dupe seniors into purchasing deferred annuities, a $17 million settlement against an HMo that reinstated medical care for more than 90 patients, and a settlement of more than $20 million against multiple defendants for 11 clients involved in a head-on collision on Highway 395. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California and is a past-president of the Consumer Attorneys of the Inland Empire. michael j. bidart evangeline F. grossman trl lawyer names william m. ShernoFF Seated: William M. Shernoff Standing From Left: Ricardo Echeverria, Michael J. Bidart, Gregory L. Bentley 600 South Indian Hill Boulevard, Claremont, CA ph: fax: N. Canon Drive, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA ph: fax: Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 3

3 a special advertising supplement a special advertising supplement Amy Cantrell AMERICA S TOP DISABILITY FIRM Reflex Blue Cool Gray 4u insurance law frank n. darras Made a decision nearly a Quarter-Century ago that would affect tens of thousands of Americans. Darras took the road less traveled to help the sick, disabled, and elderly mount a heroic fight against billion-dollar insurance companies. darras S life S work is protecting the disabled and Senior citizens. He founded DarrasLaw, the largest disability and longterm care insurance litigation firm in the country. Headquartered in Ontario, California, DarrasLaw helps people from all walks of life, from professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, and business owners to blue-collar workers. Darras gives the same stellar disability advice to a trucker, dockworker, or CEO. At DarrasLaw, policyholders recover the insurance benefits they paid dearly for - and richly deserve. It doesn t matter whether it s $100 or $1 million a month. It s never about the money. It s always about helping good, honest people, Darras says. darras reviews 2,500 new disability referrals a Month from all over the country. This volume allows DarrasLaw to monitor insurance company claims, policies, and procedures continuously. If an insurance carrier institutes an unreasonable new delay or denial strategy, Darras is able to identify the problem and analyze the impact before the average disability lawyer encounters it for the first time. Not only has this resulted in quicker results for his clients, it has also helped him earn the deep respect of the insurance industry. darras has Been honored as one of top 500 lawyers, top 500 Litigators, and Top 500 Plaintiffs Lawyers in the America, by LawDragon. He has annually been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since Darras has also been named to Super Lawyers since its inception, LawDragon, and recognized by Outstanding Lawyers in America. His national success has led him to be repeatedly honored as a Top Lawyer by Corporate Counsel, named one of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and AV Preeminent-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the 10 Million Dollar Annual Rainmaker circle reserved for attorneys who generate $10 million in annual attorney fees. darraslaw is the nation S top disability and long-term Care insurance litigation firm. Darras has recovered nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in wrongfully denied insurance benefits. darras has Seen, evaluated, litigated, and resolved More disability and long-term care cases than any firm in the United States. His practice is literally in a disability league of its own. Darras says, I know my name means real protection for senior citizens and those disabled from sickness or injury. At DarrasLaw, we hold big insurance companies accountable. top rated lawyers 3257 East Guasti Road, Suite 300, Ontario, CA ph: fax: FrAnK n. darras 4 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 5

4 a special advertising supplement a special advertising supplement Amy Cantrell insurance industries, either. LippSmith is currently representing 10,000 homeowners in Hawaii in construction defect class actions over shoddy building that left the homeowners vulnerable to high winds. These homeowners are in a terrible situation, says LippSmith, who studied for and passed the Hawaii bar to facilitate the claims. These are wonderful people, former military members as well as young families who have been sold homes that will not withstand the high winds that can hit Hawaii. The flaw in the home construction is the connectors that join the foundation to the first floor, the first floor to the second and the second to the roof. The connectors have to have sufficient strength to deal with what s called uplift and lateral shift, LippSmith says. To save money, the builders used connectors hurricane straps that withstand wind speeds way below the requirements to be safe. We re seeing some homes where the straps have cracked all the way through, so there s nothing holding the frame to the foundation, LippSmith says. The developer could have used anchor bolts, he explains, which are far safer and more secure, however that would have cost more money. From left: David R. Lira, Keith D. Griffin, Thomas V. Girardi, John A. Girardi, Graham B. LippSmith, James G. O Callahan In a Class By Thems elves Firm Makes an Art of Joining Forces for Major Impact ome of the most important tools a lawyer has to help injured people are class and mass actions. Such lawsuits allow individuals all of whom have suffered some harm to join together to take on powerful institutions they could not afford to battle alone. Girardi Keese has made an art form of the technique, using class and mass actions to help individuals whose homes were not built to code or built on toxic waste dumps; who were prescribed medication that ended up harming them; or who were charged unfair fees by insurers. It s critical that consumers be allowed to band together to take on rich, powerful corporations, says Graham LippSmith, who heads the firm s class action division. He and Tom Girardi are in the final stages of a case that s been recognized as the settlement of the year, representing 13 million policyholders of Farmers Insurance who had been assessed unfair management fees for their policies. The firm scored a $549 million settlement for the policyholders. While each of these policyholders may only have been charged small amounts, when put together you can see that Farmers took millions from its customers unfairly, LippSmith explains. Keith Griffin and Tom Girardi used a mass action to successfully settle claims against GlaxoSmithKline, whose Avandia diabetes drug caused up to 200,000 heart attacks in the U.S. The firm represented 4,200 patients who took the medication to regulate their blood sugar. Whether we are taking on Vioxx, Fosamax, Avandia, Yaz, Actos, Zometa, it is exceedingly important to our ability to help people that we be able to form a united front of those who have been injured, explains Jack Girardi, who is handling the firm s work on Zometa and Fosomax. Merck marketed Fosamax as a drug to combat osteoporosis. However, according to more than 2,300 lawsuits over the drug, it can cause dead jaw, in which the jaw bone deteriorates Original from Photoshop requiring replacement, as well as congestive heart failure. It s critical that consumers be allowed to band together to take on rich, powerful corporations. Graham LippSmith Recreated in Illustrator Not Outlined Times New Roman Regular 100% size as in PSD file Class and mass actions aren t just for taking on the pharmaceutical and That s how developing is done, he explains. If you can save a little money on one house and multiply that over dozens of developments and thousands of homes, you save a lot of money on the cost of building houses. It s always about the bottom line in class actions, LippSmith says. If you can find where the mistakes were made, that s the key to doing well for the people we represent. Another important element of class and mass actions is the ability to repair harm or get companies to change the way they do business in addition to paying monetary compensation. The firm s work on pharmaceutical cases has facilitated dangerous drugs being withdrawn from the market, while its work on toxic housing developments has required developers to clean up the soil. In Hawaii, we re not just trying to get people money in their pockets, says LippSmith. We want these homes fixed. It doesn t do any good to give someone $50,000 and tell them to go have their home fixed when what the community needs is to be made safe for the residents, many of whom are military who ve served our country overseas in combat. You really feel you re helping people by protecting them and helping restore value to their homes, he says. 6 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 7 Recreated in Illustrator Outlined 100% size as in PSD file Saved as Photoshop EPS 100% size as in PSD file Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA

5 PRESENTS A S P E C I A L S U P P L E M E N T T O a special advertising supplement PRESENTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA S TOP RATEDLAWYERS 2012 ONLINE EDITION THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRARDI KEESE CLASS & MASS ACTION GIANTS A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT DISTRIBUTED WITH THE SHERNOFF BIDART ECHEVERRIA BENTLEY INSURANCE & PERSONAL INJURY LAW POWERHOUSE MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS, ONE OF THE FEW PREEMINENT FAMILY LAW PRACTICES IN THE UNITED STATES FOUNDED ENTIRELY BY FEMALE PARTNERS HEDDING LAW FIRM TOP RATED LOS ANGELES CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY E D I T I O N SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA S TOP RATEDLAWYERS FERRUZZO & FERRUZZO DYNAMIC HELP FOR BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS FRANK DARRAS: THE TOP 10 MISTAKES MADE WHEN APPEALING AN INSURANCE CLAIM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW 2012 ALSO: LEMON LAWS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE SETTLEMENT SMARTS The online edition of Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers features a complete list of AV Preeminent lawyers by practice area. To view the online edition scan the barcode with your smartphone QR code reader or visit SCAN THIS CODE to open up Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers page and view the online edition. visit our online edition to see all of southern california s av preeminent attorneys listed in these areas of practice Administrative Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Appellate Law Arbitration Asbestos Litigation Banking & Finance Bankruptcy Business & Commercial Civil Law Civil Rights Class Actions Collections Law Commercial Litigation Communications & Media Construction Law Consumer Law Criminal Law Debtor and Creditor Dental Malpractice Discrimination Domestic Violence Education Elder Law Eminent Domain Energy and Natural Resources Law Entertainment Law Estate Law Planning Family Law Franchise Law General Practice Government Law Health Care Law Homeowners Association Law Identity Theft Immigration Law Insurance Law Intellectual Property Internet Law Labor and Employment Legal Malpractice Law Libel, Slander and Defamation Litigation Medical Malpractice Non-Profit Law Personal Injury Products Liability Professional Liability Real Estate Law Securities Social Security Disability Taxation Technology Transportation Trusts and Estates Whistleblower Litigation Workers Compensation Zoning, Planning and Land Use

6 a special advertising supplement From Left: Dana Lowy, Lisa Helfend Meyer, Doreen Marie Olson, Felicia R. Meyers MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS, D I V O R C E L A W, F A M I L Y L A W, P R E A N D P O S T M A R I T A L A G R E E M E N T S Steve Anderson Meyer, olson, lowy & MeyerS, llp (MolM) is one of the few preeminent family law practices in the United States founded entirely by female partners. Because of its success, particularly in the area of complex child custody matters, the firm has continued to grow, adding partners and receiving requests to represent clients throughout the United States. i think ClientS ClaMor to retain us, whether they re Male or female, because of our reputation as excellent strategists and trial attorneys, says founding partner Lisa Helfend Meyer. We also place an emphasis on treating our clients with dignity and respect and empowering them during the divorce process. TOP RATED LAWYERS MolM provides StronG advocacy in all aspects of family law, including complex marital dissolutions, high conflict custody matters, business valuations, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and mediation. In every matter, the firm is dedicated to providing detailoriented and empathetic representation and to protecting its clients confidentiality. Many of our ClientS reveal their innermost SeCretS TRL LAWYER NAMES during this process, and I think they appreciate our respect for their privacy and the way that we present ourselves to the media, Meyer explains. MolM S partners have years of experience in the family law field, and include some of the country s leading family law attorneys. Many have also been influential on cutting-edge divorce issues, such as same-sex relationships, domestic and international move-away cases, and custody disputes involving special needs children. i ConSider MySelf, as well as other MeMBerS of our firm, to be experts in not only complex child custody litigation involving move-away cases within California and the United States, but also in international custody cases as well, Meyer says. These are challenging matters that require attorneys with both the legal knowledge and emotional fortitude to handle their complexities. for instance, Meyer recently handled a high-profile move-away custody trial involving an actress whose ex-husband wanted their children to live with him in France. Many of our ClientS are either CeleBritieS or they have issues that garner media attention, so you have to be able to navigate those kinds of issues, Meyer notes. We re very media savvy, especially when it comes to social media, and I think that s an important aspect of being a family lawyer today Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 1425, Los Angeles, CA ph: ; fax:

7 indiana s Top rated lawyers PRESENTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA S TOP RATEDLAWYERS Welcome to Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers, a new publication featuring legal talent to be found across the state. The attorneys featured in this publication and our companion online edition have all achieved the peer reviewed rating of AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, the company that has long set the standard for lawyer ratings. The AV Preeminent rating is a significant accomplishment and a testament to the fact that a lawyer s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. In addition to presenting profiles of many of these Top Rated attorneys, this publication features articles on current trends in the law as well as helpful tips on finding and working successfully with lawyers and law firms. We hope you will keep it handy as a valuable resource in finding top legal talent and to assist you in making more informed legal decisions. Also, please be sure to visit our online edition of Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers at to find a directory of all of Southern California s AV Preeminent rated attorneys listed by their practice areas. Sincerely, Lester Goodman Director of Custom Projects, ALM Media, LLC Cover Photo by Steve Anderson Highlights in this issue: 14 Southern California law 2012 Some of the year s most notable stories in Los Angeles and Southern California law 16 ESTATE AND GIF T TAX COUNSELING FOR THE ELDERLY 18 avoiding the top 10 mistakes in individual disability insurance claims By: Frank Darras 20 READ, THEN SIGN: CONTRACTS CAN COME BACK TO HAUNT 22 COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAW 24 IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE, A SETTLEMENT MAY BE best 26 SCAM ALERT: CREDIT CARD FRAUD ON THE PHONE 28 lemon laws 29 an exclusive interview with tom Girardi Tom Girardi sits down with Top Rated Lawyers to discuss current topics 30 STARTING A BUSINESS: SELECTING A GOOD LAWYER Publishers do not warrant that the information contained herein is complete or accurate. ALM Media, LLC (or either party s affiliates, employees, officers, directors or agents) does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This magazine includes paid attorney advertising. Consumers should contact the state bar for verification and additional information prior to securing the legal services of any attorney. ALM, Top Rated Lawyers, and Top Ranked Law Firms are trademarks of ALM Media Properties, LLC.

8 a special advertising supplement shustak frost & partners, pc SecuritieS, civil litigation, AlternAtive dispute resolution, corporate FroM offices in California and new york, Shustak Frost & Partners has established a national reputation for securities and financial litigation and arbitrations. Helping people who have been pushed around or taken advantage of has always been our mission, says firm founder and managing partner Erwin Shustak. We level the playing field for our clients. We are never out-lawyered. the BoutiQue firm represents ViCtiMS of SeCuritieS or financial fraud, regional brokerage firms, financial and investment advisors, and medium to large businesses involved in complex bet the ranch disputes. The firm s high-profile results include many multimillion-dollar awards and settlements. Shustak and his firm have recovered more than $900 million for defrauded clients over the years. The firm s clients range from individual investors to Fortune 500 companies. We give 100 percent plus to our clients, big or small, Shustak says. We make no distinctions. All firm clients receive the very best we can provide them. during his 36-year Career, ShuStaK has handled and overseen several hundred litigations and arbitrations in federal and state courts and arbitration forums across the country and around the world. In one notable case, Shustak represented a whistle-blower who was ousted from Lehman Brothers after he raised concerns about the company s accounting practices in That client was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes for having been the only Lehman executive to openly question the irregularities that ultimately brought down Lehman. It was satisfying watching our client on 60 Minutes knowing that he did the right thing and that we helped him do it, notes Shustak. ShuStaK CreditS the firm S SuCCeSS to its emphasis on client service: When I started out, my focus was never on getting big clients; it was always on helping one client at a time and doing my best for them. our focus has never changed. ShuStaK frost & partners is av preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the organization s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Shustak and partner Thomas Frost have both been selected by the San Diego Daily Transcript as Top Attorneys (2005 and 2012) and Shustak was named by the paper as one of the Top Influentials in Shustak was honored in Southern California Super Lawyers in 2007, 2008, and 2009 (business and securities litigation). He has been an arbitrator for FINRA for many years. top rated lawyers erwin j. ShuStAK as it has Grown, the firm has represented SoMe of the largest institutions in the world, including ebay, McDonald s, AIG Financial Advisors, PayPal, and DuPont. Still, Shustak emphasizes, While we have received a great deal of recognition, and the names of some of our clients are household names, we remain committed to our founding philosophy we exist solely to serve clients. California Office: 401 West A Street Suite 2330 San Diego, CA ph: New York Office: 570 Lexington Avenue Suite 1600 New york, Ny ph:

9 a special advertising supplement Southern California S TOP RATED LAWYERS Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers helps take the mystery out of locating a high-quality advocate to protect you, your family, your business and all other assets. Legal Leaders are considered first-rate in their field. Keep this comprehensive list for those times when you need assistance from one of our Legal Leaders. The lawyers listed here are always happy to help. F E A T U R I N G ADR Office of Michelle A. Reinglass Michelle A. Reinglass Mediation, Arbitration Page 39 Aguirre Law, APC Gary J. Aguirre Financial Litigation, Whistleblowing Page 35 Anglin Flewelling Rasmussen Campbell & Trytten Steven E. Trytten Employee Benefits Law, Trusts & Estates, Taxation Page 35 Barrera & Associates Patricio T.D. Barrera Employment Law, Class Actions Page 35 Berliner & Associates Robert Berliner Intellectual Property Page 35 Berman More Gonzalez Keith More Workers Compensation, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents Page 17 Bewley, Lassleben, & Miller Joseph A. Vinatieri, Esq. Taxation Law Page 40 Bly Law, PC William F. Bly Business & Commercial Litigation, Communications, Media Page 36 Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader John J. Gilligan Family Law Page 31 Brandon Law Group Lisa E. Brandon Family & Civil Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Page 36 Brot & Gross Family, Divorce, Child Custody Page 34 Brown Gitt Law Group Cynthia Gitt Labor and Employment Page 31 Burris, Schoenberg, & Walden Donald S. Burris Commercial Litigation, Business & Commercial Page 36 Castro & Associates Joel Castro Construction Law, Litigation, Product Liability Page 23 Cavalluzzi & Cavalluzzi Michael & Maria Cavalluzzi Criminal Law Page 23 Charles P. Charlton, Esq. Civil Litigation Page 36 Cheong, Denove, Rowell, Bennett & Karns John F. Denove Personal Injury, Product Liability Page 27 Christensen & Spath Charles B. Christensen Business & Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Municipal And Government, Affordable Housing Law Page 36 Cohen & Associates, Inc. Steven Cohen Arbitration and Mediation Page 25 Cuneo & Hoover Professional J. Nicholas Cueno & Sarah J. Hoover Family Law, Probate Litigation Page 22 DarrasLaw Frank N. Darras Insurance Law Pages 4-5, Davert & Loe, Lawyers Douglass S. Davert Business & Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Enviromental Law Page 37 Dawson Tilem & Gole Mitchell J. Dawson Real Estate Law, Zoning, Planning and Land Use, Personal Injury Page 37 DeHay & Elliston, Mass Tort, Commercial, Product Liability, Premises Liability, Personal Injury Litigation Page 24 Boxer McLaughlin, A.P.C. Doreen B. Boxer Criminal Law Page 36 Estate Plan, Inc. Leslie Daff Estate Law Planning, Trusts and Estates Page 37 Ezekiel E. Cortez, APC Criminal Law Page 37 Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, Business, Civil Litigaton, Trust & Estates Pages 43 Girardi Keese Personal Injury, Insurance, Medical Malpractice Pages 6-7, 29 Gumport Mastan Leonard L. Gumport Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Page 38 Haney Law Group Steven H. Haney Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Legal Malpractice Law Page 38 Hedding Law Firm Ronald D. Hedding Criminal Defense Page 44 Henrichs Law Firm, P.C. John Henrichs Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Labor and Employment Page 38 Jackson Lewis David R. Johanson Labor and Employment, Litigation, Taxation Page 38 James K. Cameron & Associates, A Professional James K. Cameron Mediation, Appellate Practice, Business Debt Restructuring, Real Estate, Entertainment Page 36 Katherine Butts Warwick Commercial Litigation Page 41 Katz & Associates David A. Katz Criminal Law: White Collar Page 31 Kelly Fernandez & Karney J. Michael Kelly Family Law Page 41 Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, David S. Kestenbaum Criminal Defense Page 38 Khouri Law Firm Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Healthcare Law Page 21 Klein & Wilson Gerald Klein, Mark Wilson Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, Legal Malpractice Page 31 Larry Wayne Smith Immigration, Bankruptcy Law Page 39 Law & Mediation Offices of Michelle Katz Michelle ( Mickey ) Katz Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution Page 38 Law Offices of Alan B. Snitzer, A Professional Alan B. Snitzer Personal Injury, Workers Compensation Page 39 Law Office of Danny Soong Danny Soong Personal Injury, Product Liability Page 40 Law Office of Errol H. Stambler, P.L.C. Errol H. Stambler Criminal Law Page 40 Law Office of Jennifer R. Johnson Jennifer R. Johnson Mass Tort Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Elder Law, Personal Injury Page 25 Law Office of David M. Kramer David M. Kramer Immigration Law Page 38 Law Offices of Edward J. Deason Edward J. Deason Personal Injury, Product Liability, Transportation Page 37 Law Offices of Gregory S. Feis Gregory S. Feis Business & Commercial, Banking & Finance, Intellectual Property Page 37 Law Offices of James. P. Stoneman II James P. Stoneman Labor and Employment Page 33 Law Offices of John R. Walton, P.C. John R. Walton Business / IP Litigation Page 41 Law Offices of Mark E. Overland Mark E. Overland Criminal Law, Civil Law, Appellate Law Page 32 Law Offices of Michael Goch, A.P.C. Michael Goch Administrative Law, Healthcare Law, Litigation Page 37 Law Offices of Peter A. Lauzon APLC Family Law Page 28 Law Offices of Stanley Denis Stanley Denis Litigation, Real Estate, Business & Commercial Page 25 Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton W. Douglas Easton Personal Injury, Product Liability, Medical Malpractice Page 27 Lillian Worthing Wyshak Taxation Law (Civil & Criminal), Trusts & Estates, Real Estate Brokerage Page 34 Luna & Glushon Oil and Gas, Energy, Finance, Business, Land Use, Real Property Page 30 Lytton Williams & Messina Business Litigation, Family Law, Immigration Law Page 35 Mathews Law Group Charles T. Mathews Wrongful Termination, Discrimination Law, Business Litigation, Trial Practice, Personal Injury Law, Criminal Law Page 33 Marvin Louis Wolf, Attorney at Law Contracts, Personal Injury, Product Liability Page 41 Max Factor III, Esq., Factor Mediation & Arbitration Services, Inc. Max Factor III Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Business & Commercial Page 37 McCune Wright, Richard McCune Personal Injury, Class Action, Product Liability Page 39 McCurdy & Leibl, Loren S. Leibl Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Page 39 McGarry & Laufenberg Jeffrey J. Laufenberg, James J. McGarry Personal Injury Defense, Healthcare, Real Estate Page 38 Melinda Luthin Law Melinda Luthin Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Business, Intellectual Property, Alternative Dispute Resolution Page 16 Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers Divorce Law, Family Law, Pre and Post Marital Agreements Page 9 Michael J. Bordy, A P.L.C. Real Estate Law Page 36 Murphy & Evertz Eminent Domain, Land Use Litigation Page 20 Musick, Peeler & Garrett Robert M. Zeller Real Estate, Finance and General Business Page 41 Paul Hastings, Mary Dollarhide Labor & Employment Page 37 Peterson Law Group PC John S. Peterson Eminent Domain, Zoning, Planning and Land Use, Real Estate, Business Page 39 Quan Cohen & Hirano, Richard K. Quan Real Property, Business and Employment Law, Estate Planning, General Civil Litigation Page 39 Reuben Raucher & Blum Timothy D. Reuben Intellectual Property, Entertainment, Real Estate, Litigation Page 33 Richard I. Wideman, Esq. Business, Civil and Entertainment Litigation Page 41 Robert J. Sutcliffe, Esq. Venture Capital Law, Corporate Law, Real Estate Law Page 26 Rombro & Associates S. Roger Rombro Family Law Page 39 Rus, Miliband & Smith Business & Commercial, Real Estate, Commercial Litigation Page 32 Seed Mackall Trusts and Estates, Business and Commercial, Litigation Page 41 Serbin & Carmeli Michele Carmeli General Practice Page 36 Seyfarth Shaw Jon Meer Labor & Employment Page 39 Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley, Insurance, Personal Injury Page 2-3 Shustak Frost & Partners, PC Erwin Shustak Securities, Civil Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Corporate Page 11 Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson Personal Injury, Administrative Law, Civil Litigation, Land Use, Indian Gaming, Alcohol Regulation Page 13 Stanton Law Marian L. Stanton Family Law Page 40 Supnik Law Office Paul D. Supnik Trademark & Copyright Law Page 40 The Heller Law Firm Stephen Heller, Esq. Personal Injury, Wrongful Death Page 38 The Law Office of Louis K. Tsiros Louis K. Tsiros Litigation, Business, Real Estate Page 40 The Law Office of Nicholas C. Vrataric Nicholas C. Vrataric Labor & Employment, Discrimination, Personal Injury Page 40 Walsh McKean Furcolo John H. Walsh Insurance Law, Construction Law, Personal Injury Page 40 Weinstock Manion, A Law Estate Planning, Estate & Trust Administration and Litigation Page 27 Wendy W. Kramer, Esq. Mediation, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury, Business Disputes, Professional Malpractice Page 32 Williamson Law Group John Jack Williamson Business & Commercial, Personal Injury, Labor & Employment, Construction Page 41 Yoka & Smith Walter Yoka Product Liability, Litigation, Personal Injury Page 34 Young, Zinn & Bate, Employment Law and Litigation, Corporate, Real Estate, Civil Litigation Page 23

10 a special advertising supplement solomon, saltsman & JamiesOn personal injury, AdminiStrAtive law, civil litigation, land use, indian gaming, Alcohol regulation top rated lawyers From Left: Stephen Allen Jamieson, Stephen Warren Solomon, Ralph Barat Saltsman, R. Bruce Evans, Ryan Kroll Stephen Allen jamieson ralph barat SAltSmAn Stephen warren Solomon with nearly 150 years of CoMBined legal experience across a range of practice areas, Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson has become a recognized standard-bearer in such diverse matters as alcoholic beverage licensing, land use planning, and Federal and State issues of Indian gaming and sovereignty. This boutique firm is also known for its skill in administrative law, civil litigation, business litigation, catastrophic personal injury matters, and government relations. our SuCCeSS SteMS from our ability to CollaBorate within the firm and develop strategies to win, no matter what issue we re handling, notes partner Stephen Allen Jamieson. Ultimately, it is the diversity of our cases and our willingness to craft novel legal issues that has kept us at the forefront of the law and a step ahead of the adversary. top rated lawyers the attorneys at SoloMon, SaltSMan & JaMieSon practice in state and federal trial courts on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. They have obtained and retained alcohol licenses for a variety of on- and off-site alcohol sellers, including multinational corporations, statewide businesses, sports venues, Indian Casinos, and individually held stores and restaurants. Given their trial expertise, the firm is often trl lawyer asked names to try cases for other attorneys. over its history the firm has SeCured Many MultiMillion-dollar verdicts and settlements, including a $35 million trial verdict against the State of California and a precedent-setting decision in the California Supreme Court on administrative law. The firm also represented victims of the 2008 Chatsworth Metrolink train crash, in which 25 people were killed and 135 were injured. whether we re on the plaintiff S Side or the defendant S Side, we re known for our hard work, strategic planning, and innovative thinking on behalf of our clients, says partner Stephen Warren Solomon. the firm S five partners have wide and diverse experience and are all permitted to practice before the Intertribal Court of Southern California. Founding partners Stephen Warren Solomon, Ralph Barat Saltsman, and Stephen Allen Jamieson are also AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the organization s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. In addition, they have been named in Super Lawyers for nine consecutive years, with partners Bruce Evans and Ryan Kroll recognized in Rising Stars. the partners at our firm are acknowledged as SoMe of the most talented attorneys in their respective fields, Saltsman notes. Beyond their legal practice, the firm S attorneys host legal Help Live, a long running live television program where the attorneys field call-in legal questions. Recently, Solomon and Saltsman won Emmys for their work on the show Cheap Eats. Los Angeles Office 426 Culver Boulevard Playa Del Rey, CA ph: Portland Office 121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1103 Portland, or ph:

11 a special advertising supplement a special advertising supplement southern california s Top rated lawyers charge could put a significant blight on the fundraising practices of the institutions involved. Southern California law 2012 Los Angeles and Southern California have seen important strides and interesting cases in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal law this year. Here are some of the year s most notable stories. From sports RELATED concussions to proposed bike lanes to the evolution of street gangs, legal trends in Southern California and Los Angeles are ever-changing and precedent setting. As the most populous U.S. state, California is updating its laws continually in connection with the needs of its citizens, and regularly making nationwide headlines. L.A. Schools Ordered To Pay Teen $2.4 Million after Football Tryout Injury Los Angeles County Superior Court in September made news when it ordered the Los Angeles Unified School District to pay $2.4 million in damages to 19-year-old Johnny Rider. Injured during a high school football tryout, Rider and his case illustrate the long-term affects of brain injuries suffered in high contact sports and the need for increased regulation. Rider, represented by Brown Greene of Greene, Broillet, & Wheeler, suffered a five-way cervical spine fracture during an open tryout at North Hollywood High School in A coach instructed him to run into padded bags during a running back drill, even though Rider was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear. The injury didn t cause paralysis. But Rider will require further surgery to correct chronic neck pain since the accident; he has already undergone corrective spinal decompression surgery. I am one of the lucky ones in that I didn t end up paralyzed, Rider told Business Wire, encouraging kids to speak up when they feel they haven t been given proper equipment when playing contact sports. Make lots of noise until you know that they ve made your safety their number one priority. In recent years, the National Football League has come under criticism for not protecting its players from recurring head injuries during play. An increasing number of former professional football players are now suffering from early-onset Alzheimer s disease and severe depression. Experts link both conditions to the head injuries they sustained during their athletic careers. Some 2,000 former football players are pursuing a class action lawsuit against the NFL. Meantime, the NFL recently gave a $30 million grant to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. A division of the National Institutes of Health, NINDS will use the funds to study sports-related brain injuries and their long-term effects. Young athletes may be at an even higher risk of brain injury than professional players, Dr. Geoffrey T. Manley, chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital and co-director of the Brain and Spinal Injury Center, wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. He said most head injuries occur in amateur athletes who may not have access to top-tier sports equipment and training and don t have special medical teams on the sidelines at their games. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 173,285 athletes under 20 years of age have gone to emergency rooms for sportsrelated traumatic brain injuries in the past decade. The severity of concussions and other head injuries varies widely, which makes it hard to track the real impact of such accidents. Last October, California passed a state law barring any athlete from further play if they appear to have sustained a concussion until cleared by a licensed physician. While laudable, this law is not enough, Dr. Manley wrote in the Chronicle. What we need is a far better understanding of the nature of concussions and what their long-term consequences may be. In an eye-opening related case, Pop Warner, the country s largest youth football organization, is currently investigating an Orange County team whose coaches are alleged to have paid their 10- and 11-year-old players to injure their opponents. Similar rewards were allegedly offered to players to hurt star opponents enough to keep them off the field for the entirety of the game. If the allegations prove true, legal consequences could come next. Pedestrians and Cyclists Beware It turns out, Los Angeles is a very dangerous place to walk or ride a bike. A new study reveals that pedestrians account for about one-third of all traffic fatalities in a city that s famous for its freeways. L.A. s rate of pedestrian deaths among traffic fatalities is nearly three times the national average 11.4%. Of them, bicyclists account for about 3% of L.A. s traffic fatalities, compared to 1.7% nationwide. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute conducted the study, comparing data gathered from 2002 through 2009 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the California Highway Patrol, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The study identified 2,086 crashes within Los Angeles that resulted in at least one death during that period. Eric Bruins, the planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times that 1% of transportation dollars current fund improvements in pedestrian and cyclist safety. California is also the only state that still allows the controversial practice of lane-splitting, driving in between lanes of slower traffic, for motorcyclists. Bicycle advocacy groups nationwide have recently been encouraging cyclists to wear video cameras on their helmets. Like an airplane s black box, the camera footage can offer invaluable evidence about how an accident occurred, and authorities can use it to help identify hit-and-run drivers. Legislation that would have given bicyclists at least three feet of breathing room by passing vehicles recently hit a dead end. Governor Jerry Brown rejected the measure in September, citing fears that it would cause more car accidents. Unusual Malpractice Suit Filed Against Philanthropist s Therapist Last year, philanthropist and former model Phyllis Harvey, 59, died of sudden cardiac arrest in her Los Angeles home. Now her husband, Brian Harvey, with attorney Daniel Hodes of Hodes Milman Liebeck,, has filed a wrongful death suit against Phyllis Harvey s psychiatrist. The suit claims that her doctor prescribed Harvey dangerous doses of multiple medications, which caused her death. In an unusual twist, the lawsuit also claims that her psychiatrist encouraged her to fund his research into the invention of a machine that could potentially cure her all while she was still a patient in his psychiatric care. Manhattan Beach-based attorney John Harwell filed a separate complaint with the Medical Board of California on Brian Harvey s behalf. Harwell told The Associated Press that Phyllis Harvey began seeing Dr. Alexander Bystritsky in 2004, after she was diagnosed as potentially suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or early dementia. Harwell said that Bystritsky prescribed her several medications, including benzodiazepines and the antipsychotic Seroquel, which is knownto cause fluctuations in cardiac rhythm. Harwell also told the AP that Harvey battled alcoholism and had been hospitalized multiple times during treatment for overdoses, intoxication, and falls. Bystritsky leads the anxiety disorders program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a visiting professor at Harvard University. He was collaborating with UCLA, Harvard Medical School, and the privately held firm Brain Sonix to invent an ultrasound device that could treat brain disorders such as depression, epilepsy and Parkinson s disease. The wrongful death suit claims that Bystritsky, who knew of his patient s wealth, influenced her during treatment to donate $490,000 toward the project. If it proves to be true, the L.A. Gang ruled a Transnational Criminal Organization In early October, federal authorities made the unprecedented decision to designate the Mara Salvatrucha MS-13 gang a transnational criminal organization. The designation is the first of its kind for a street gang. It means that all U.S. financial institutions and their foreign branches must, by law, freeze the property of the MS-13 and report their assets to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The federal ruling thrilled local law enforcement agents, who have challenged the notoriously brutal El Salvadoran gang for decades. Officials hope that blocking their assets will significantly undermine the gang s power. As the reach of gangs becomes more international, the seizing and freezing of assets becomes essential to addressing the violence that comes along with it, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement after the ruling. In the past, authorities have given the designation to other crime organizations such as Japan s Yakuza and Mexico s Zetas. The Mara Salvatrucha gang gained a foothold in Los Angeles s Pico- Union neighborhood and near MacArthur Park in the 1980s. That s when El Salvadorans, including many young former soldiers, fled the civil war in their country and first settled in Los Angeles. Members have been convicted of a long list of gruesome crimes, ranging from murder and racketeering to kidnapping. The gang s activity in L.A. has decreased in recent years, folowing a crackdown by the LAPD. But its presence has grown in Washington D.C., and other east coast cities as well as in Central America. Wes McBride, executive director of the California Gang Investigators Association, told the Los Angeles Times that he hopes that the federal designation will help smaller police agencies in cities where MS-13 is growing rapidly. L.A. was their birthplace, he said. But they are stronger on the East Coast than they are here. 14 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 15

12 ESTATE AND GIFT TAX COUNSELING FOR THE ELDERLY a special advertising supplement the federal estate and gift taxes affect transfers of property at different stages in the owner s life. The gift tax applies to lifetime transfers, while estate tax is imposed on transfers at death. The gift tax return is due on April 15 following the year in which the gift is made. Generally, the estate tax return is due nine months after the date of death. You can get a six-month extension if you ask for one before the due date and the estimated correct amount of tax is paid before the due date. The federal government imposes estate tax at your death only if your property is worth more than a certain amount, which depends on the year of death. Federal Estate Tax estate tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death. The fair market value of the items is used, not necessarily what you paid for them or what their values were when you acquired them. The total of all of these items is your PAGE PROOF -- FOR APPROVAL gross ONLY estate. The includible property may consist of items such as cash and securities, estates, MELINDA LUTHIN LAW Estate Planning Civil Litigation Real Estate Transactional Matters Contracts Business Formation Employment Intellectual Property Alternative Dispute Resolution Personalized, passionate and informed counsel in a comfortable atmosphere. For simple or complex issues, we take genuine interest in your legal matters. MEGA-FIRM EXPERTISE APPROACHABLE STYLE corona del mar insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other personal assets. once you ve accounted for the gross estate, certain deductions are allowed in arriving at your taxable estate. This will be the amount where the tax is calculated. The deductions may include mortgages and other debts, estate expenses, property that passes to surviving spouses and qualified charities. As soon as the net amount is computed, the value of lifetime taxable gifts is added to this number and the tax is computed. The tax is then reduced by the available unified credit, applying to both the gift and estate tax to eliminate or lower taxes. Property Exempt from Estate Tax All property left to a spouse is exempt from the tax, as long as the spouse is a U.S. citizen. Also, there is no estate tax on any property you leave to a tax-exempt charity. State Death Taxes In addition to the federal estate tax, a state death tax may be imposed. There are two types of these taxes: inheritance taxes and estate taxes. Inheritance taxes are paid by your inheritors, not your estate. Typically, how much they pay depends on their relationship to you. State estate taxes are similar to the estate tax imposed by the federal government. Your estate must pay this tax no matter who your beneficiaries are. The Federal Gift Tax The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value, in return. The tax applies whether the donor intends the transfer to be a gift or not. If you sell something at less than its full value or if you make an interest-free or reducedinterest loan, you may be making a gift. While a gift tax return must be filed whenever an individual makes a taxable gift, a gift tax is not payable unless total taxable gifts, both in the current and prior years, exceed $1 million. A separate annual exclusion applies to each person to whom you make a gift. Gifts that fall under the annual exclusion have no tax consequences. This means that the gift giver s lifetime unified credit is not affected. Questions for Your Attorney Before meeting with your attorney, prepare yourself with questions such as: Will my estate be subject to state death tax? What is the best way to leave money or property to charity? Must I pay any taxes on property which I leave to my spouse? Should I instead create a trust? 16 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit

13 a special advertising supplement Amy Cantrell berman more GOnZaleZ, attorneys at law workers compensation, personal injury, Automobile AccidentS For 23 years, Keith More has Been one of the few attorneys in Southern California to advocate on behalf of both personal injury and workers compensation clients. In that time, More has become known for his ability to handle crossover cases involving the two practice areas. He notes, By handling issues related to both cases in one office, we have been able to maximize the workers comp benefits and compensation our clients deserve. More is a past-president of the orange County Trial Lawyers Association (octla), and in 2012 was named the Workers Compensation Trial Lawyer of the year, becoming the only attorney in the organization s 50-year history to be awarded Trial Lawyer of the year on three separate occasions. in January, the laws pertaining to workers compensation will drastically change, making it more difficult for injured workers to obtain the appropriate benefits, More says. So we have decided to offer our services beyond orange County. He is now expanding his firm s presence into Long Beach and Los Angeles. More has the distinction of having obtained one of the largest workers compensation awards in California history a $14.7 million settlement for a 22-year-old tetraplegic after one day of trial. More continues to work closely with the top personal injury and workers compensation firms in California on their crossover cases. top rated lawyers above all, More is dedicated to ensuring that his clients receive the best possible care. Beyond his legal work, he assists clients in setting up bank accounts, arranging rehabilitation schedules, and purchasing handicap accessible vehicles and houses. There s nothing more rewarding than being able to help individuals become more independent and secure in their ability to take care of themselves, he says. Keith p. more 2677 North Main Street, Suite 225, Santa Ana, CA ph: fax: To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 17 Photo credit

14 a special advertising supplement Avoiding the BY FRANK DARRAS Y top 10 our disability claim can be a life-changing event. I ve seen too many insurance companies over the last 25 years take advantage of the disabled by setting up legal roadblocks, internal policy hurdles and claim-ending potholes. Insurance is tricky; the words your disability company used in your policy often need explanation and illustration. I want to level the playing field for you with the top ten denial tactics insurance carriers use and how to avoid them when filing your disability documentation. 1 AVOIDING THE FRAUDULENT MISSTATEMENT PROVISION. Information can be misheard, misunderstood, or inaccurately recorded by an agent or broker. Before you file, closely review the medical, occupational and financial information to flush out anything that was inaccurate. If the carrier tries to rescind your policy, do NOT cash the rescission check! For more information please contact Frank Darras America s Top Disability Law Firm 2 CONTESTABILITY OR PRE-EXISTING LIMITATIONS. If your carrier can t take away your policy for fraud, and your disability began within the first two years after purchase, the next best carrier defense is arguing that anything you failed to disclose results in a rescission of your policy. If that strategy fails, the carrier will look for care or treatment during the pre-existing period to deny benefits. 3 TOTAL DISABILITY, PARTIAL DISABILITY AND DUAL OCCUPATION. Most policyholders don t understand the features and benefits of their insurance. Total disability doesn t mean you must be confined to a hospital bed. Partial efforts to return to work doesn t mean you re only partially disabled if you can t perform the important duties of your occupation. Be careful carriers love to argue you have a dual occupation, so you can never qualify for total disability (for example, the doctor who can t practice medicine but can still manage his or her rental portfolio). a special advertising supplement MISTAKES In Individual Disability Insurance Claims Don t let your carrier add insult to your sickness or injury. Frank Darras 4 IS YOUR TREATING DOCTOR OVERWHELMED BY INSURANCE FORMS? Arm your doctors with the information they need to answer the carrier s questions. Carriers can exhaust, discount and discredit the opinion of your treating doctor if you don t provide your occupational requirements. Supply your physicians with the physical, mental and cognitive demands of your work, so they can explain why you re restricted or limited. Explain how you re not unwilling, just unable. 5 to videotape your daily activities. Remind the carrier the policy didn t come with a chauffeur or personal shopper, so errands on medication is the way you survive. 6 THE FIELD VISIT FRIEND OR FOE? Your carrier s request for a field visit is not designed to give you local service or get better acquainted with your claim. This visit allows the carrier to comment on your neighborhood, furnishings and the cars you drive. Prepare to be videotaped the weekend before and the days leading up to your visit. Carriers love when you understate your activities because it hurts your credibility. 7 WHAT YOU SAY ON YOUR CLAIM FORMS WILL BE ARE YOU AT THE TOP USED AGAINST YOU. OF YOUR CARRIER S If you say you can never lift more than five pounds or you re never UGLY TREE? able to sit long, plan on your carrier sending out the paparazzi Your disability carrier runs you through every database on the planet and knows where you live, what you owe, who you have sued, arrests, convictions, bad business deals, bankruptcies and nasty divorces. Ex-spouses, ex-partners and anyone who can say you re untruthful is fair game. 8 IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE DEATH OF YOUR DISABILITY CLAIM? Are you depressed, sad, can t sit or stand too long? Not with your happy concert photos or posts on social media! Facebook, LinkedIn, blog posts and tweets document happy events in our lives, but rarely the realities of disability. Know that your carrier is watching your internet activities. That one good day you had with friends and family could hurt your claim. 9 SCHEDULED FOR AN INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAM, functional Capacity Evaluation OR PAPER REVIEW? Is your carriers medical reviewing doctor in the wrong specialty for your disabling illness? Are you scheduled for a 4-hour functional capacity evaluation that may exac- erbate your condition? Or has your carrier gone to a tried and true medical record reviewer that will routinize, normalize, then capitalize on all the things your doctor didn t document to say you re not disabled? Get top disability attorney advice before the IME, FCE and paper reviewers destroy your claim. 10 APPEAL OR NOT APPEAL? If you bought your individual disability policy from a trusted agent/broker, paid your premiums privately (not through your corporation) and you re certain your policy received no group discounts, then appealing will eliminate any chance of punitive damages. Before you file any appeal be sure your policy is not subject to ERISA, so if your carrier added insult to your injury or sickness they can be punished for your emotional distress and held accountable. Remember, you paid hefty premiums to insure yourself and your income stream from financial disaster. If you ve gotten the right medical care and treatment and you re still unable to return to work, don t let your disability carrier wear you down without a fight.

15 READ, THEN SIGN: CONTRACTS CAN COME BACK TO HAUNT a special advertising supplement has AnYone ever SLIPPed you a piece of paper, pointed to an X or dotted line, and then you scribble your signature without even thinking about it? A lot of us have done it, but it s not a good thing to do. They re Everywhere There are all sorts of contracts and agreements, some of them we make more than once everyday. Signing a receipt after using your credit or debit card is a good example. The bank agrees to pay the seller, and you agree PAGE PROOF -- FOR APPROVAL ONLY Murphy & Evertz, is recognized for technical mastery of eminent domain and land use litigation. Murphy & Evertz, a uniquely focused, results-oriented law firm enjoys a solid state-wide reputation and an emerging national reputation. John Murphy has served as lead counsel in numerous successful jury trials and lectures frequently on eminent domain. He is contributing author on several legal practice guides and has been chosen repeatedly for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America; Southern California Super Lawyers; and Southern California s Best Lawyers. Murphy was named one of the Top 50 in orange County lawyers for 2012 in Southern California s Super Lawyers magazine. He was also named orange County Litigation-Real Estate Lawyer of The year for 2012 by Best Lawyers. Doug Evertz is an accomplished trial lawyer representing clients in complex litigation and real estate matters at the trial court and appellate levels. He specializes in real estate, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, land use, CEQA, water rights and renewable energy. He has handled hundreds of eminent domain cases over his career, both on behalf of public agencies and private property owners. Evertz has served as lead trial counsel on many multimilliondollar eminent domain and land use disputes. 650 Town Center Drive, Suite 550,Costa Mesa, CA PH: FAX: to repay the bank, the amount shown on the receipt. even a ticket to your favorite concert or sporting event is a contract. What to Look For As a general rule, it s a good idea to read over any contract or agreement wordfor-word. If you don t understand something, talk to an attorney about it before you sign it. Here are some things to look out for in various kinds of contracts and agreements: Integration (or Entire Agreement) Clause: This includes the complete agreed upon terms between you and the person. What you sign is what you get, regardless of what you talked about before signing the contract. For example, say during negotiations for a cell phone contract the sale person tells you he ll give 200 free minutes, but there s nothing in the contract saying that. An integration clause in the contract makes that promise disappear and you lose the 200 free minutes. Liability Limitation or Waiver: This may work a couple of ways. For one, it may protect either a seller or a buyer if he breaks or breaches the contract. The clause may specify a dollar amount the person owes the other if the contract isn t honored. It may also mean the limitation or complete waiver of any liability if someone is hurt by the product or service covered by the contract. Arbitration Clause: Generally, this means that if you and the other side have a disagreement about the contract, you both have to let a neutral third party an arbitrator try to settle the matter before you may file a lawsuit. Force Majeure Clause: This is common in business contracts. It protects both sides from having to pay damages if either is unable to complete the contract because of an act of nature. For instance, if you agree to ship fresh produce to a buyer in another state but an earthquake makes the roads impassable, the buyer can t hold you liable for damages for not delivering the produce. Assignment Clause: This is common in many contracts, such as leases, loans, and business contracts. The clause either bars (or lets) either side of the contract from transferring the contract to someone else. Other Things There are other things to pay attention to when signing or agreeing to something: Make sure your sales receipt is accurate - don t agree to overpay for what you bought or pay for something you didn t ask for. Check the details in your consumer contracts- know how long the contract is good for; what happens if you return the item or cancel the contract early; what, if anything, you have to do to activate the contract, etc. read credit card agreements. They re loaded with information about when, how much, and how often you may charge, and fees. Questions for your Attorney Are oral or verbal contracts and agreements legal? What s the first thing I should do if someone doesn t live up to an agreement we made? How old must someone be to enter a contract? Is a contract valid if it is written on or signed on something temporary such as a napkin? 20 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit 1 XXXXXXXXXX S TOP RATED LAWYERS To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Indiana visit

16 a special advertising supplement K h O U r i l a w f i r m AdminiStrAtive law, criminal law, healthcare law Photo credit From Left: Tracy Chang, Jennifer Gatewood, Stephen Britt, Michael J. Khouri, Ashley Nguyen Amy Cantrell AS the founder of the Khouri law firm, MiChael J. Khouri has established a national reputation for his representation of health care providers in criminal defense and administrative matters. This small law firm has slowly but surely built a national law practice; we represent the types of clients that are routinely represented by the larger firms, Khouri says. Khouri, who has Been practicing law SinCe 1981, has Been AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 20 years a testament to the fact that Khouri s peers have continually ranked him at the highest level of professional excellence. throughout this time, Khouri has focused on federal criminal defense and administrative law cases involving the health care industry. His clientele has comprised virtually every kind of Medicare or Medicaid provider, including individuals and corporations. we Ve represented MediCal doctors, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, pharmacists, psychologists, medical equipment companies, advanced prosthetic device companies, skilled nursing facilities, home top rated health lawyers care agencies, medical diagnostic centers, large medical groups, and many other health care providers, Khouri says. indeed, as part of Khouri S administrative law practice, he routinely represents health care providers before their licensing boards when they are accused of gross acts of malpractice, sexual assault, narcotics abuse, or billing fraud, among other crimes. Khouri s administrative law practice also provides skilled Medicare and Medicaid audit defense. we routinely deal with BillinG and CodinG and StatiStiCal extrapolation issues, which affect Medicare audit determinations, he explains. Khouri has tried Many CaSeS Before the federal administrative law judges who ultimately rule on the propriety of audits conducted by recovery audit contractors and qualified independent contractors. He also has significant experience in dealing with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and has even represented physicians and groups in CMS quality reviews. people ChooSe a lawyer BaSed on whether they BelieVe that the lawyer will get them the results they want, Khouri notes. And we have a history of getting results and solving problems for our clients. on the CriMinal defense Side, Khouri Mainly represents clients who are being investigated for Medicare or Medicaid billing fraud, though he has also defended clients outside of the health care industry. Khouri has kept countless clients from being indicted, and when clients trl are lawyer charged, names has tried cases in federal courts across the country. he notes, we re often hired BeCauSe we understand the relationship between criminal law and the doctor s licensing and Medicaid and Medicare billing privileges Barranca Pkwy Suite 280 Irvine, CA ph: fax: other offices in Westlake Village and Dallas, Texas Broadway, 46th floor, New york, Ny ph: toll-free: 877.ASK 4 SAM top rated lawyers michael j. Khouri

17 COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAW a special advertising supplement increasingly, divorcing couples are using collaborative law in an effort to settle their differences in a positive, cooperative manner that resolves child custody issues, the division of assets, and alimony in a mutually agreeable manner. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse and their lawyers agree to stay out of court, freely share information and avoid taking advantages of any mistakes that might be made. Advantages of Collaborative Law Collaborative divorce law is: Generally less costly than litigation Focused on resolving issues Less stressful, as it generates much less fear and anxiety than court proceedings PAGE PROOF -- FOR APPROVAL ONLY CUNEO & HOOVER PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION Cuneo & Hoover Professional is a Los Angeles, California law firm which primarily practices in the field of complex family law and probate litigation. Formed in 1995, the principals of the firm are J. Nicholas Cuneo and Sarah J. Hoover. J. NICHOLAS CUNEO. Nicholas Cuneo graduated from Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto, California in 1975, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eco- He attended and graduated from law school at the University Jnomics. of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Mr. Cuneo is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and has served as a speaker/lecturer and author of various publications for several local family law associations. He serves as a mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, Family Law Department and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. Mr. Cuneo has substantial experience in general civil litigation with an emphasis in complex family law matters and has been an AV Rated attorney for over 25 years and one of the Best Lawyers In America. SARAH J. HOOVER arah J. Hoover graduated from occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 1981, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She Sattended and graduated from law school, cum laude, at Pepperdine University School of Law in 1985, and served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Robert M. Takasugi in the Federal Court for the Central District of California. Ms. Hoover has also published articles in the Pepperdine University Law Review and the Los Angeles County Bar Association s Family Law Symposium. Ms. Hoover has substantial experience handling, settling and litigating family law and probate matters. She has also been a Southern California Super Lawyer for the past four years and is an AV Rated attorney Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1980, Los Angeles, CA Ph: Fax: Less time-consuming, as you can usually reach agreement and the legal proceeding can be finalized within a short time Collaborative law gives both spouses and their lawyers control of the proceedings, in contrast to a traditional divorce, where a judge controls the proceedings. The Participation Agreement The participation agreement is a key feature of the collaborative divorce. This agreement, which is signed by both spouses and their lawyers, typically requires all parties to agree that: All efforts will be made to negotiate a divorce agreement without the need of having to going to court. If litigation is necessary, the collaborative attorneys will withdraw from the case and be replaced by divorce attorneys. each member will agree to act with integrity in disclosing information and working to reach an agreement. If experts are necessary, then all parties will have to agree upon the neutral experts who are hired. The Collaborative Process one of the first steps in the collaborative process is to determine what assets or income each party has using a method known as share and verify. You are asked to disclose information voluntarily and to verify it with documentation and tax returns. At what are known as joint sessions or four-way conferences, both spouses and their collaborative lawyers (and sometimes other neutral professionals) meet to discuss the issues and seek ways to create or arrive at agreement. They brainstorm for any and all possible solutions. All parties focus on ways to resolve the problem, instead of seeing the other party as the problem and attacking each other. each spouse often starts seeing things more from their spouse s point of view. When you reach a divorce agreement through collaborative law, one of the lawyers will draft legal documents that detail the agreements which have been reached. These legally binding documents are then submitted to the court for approval without having to go through a long court hearing. What Happens If Settlement Can t Be Reached? If you can t arrive at a settlement through the collaborative law approach, the collaborative lawyers withdraw from the case and each party will hire a divorce attorney to tackle the issues in court. That way, you ll have had the best representation for each phase of the proceedings. Any person approaching a divorce situation should talk with a collaborative lawyer to get an assessment of his or her situation to see if it might be settled without litigation. The earlier this is done, the more chance there is for the other party to be oriented toward a settlement approach. Questions for Your Attorney If you and your spouse both agree to engage in a collaborative divorce, your next step is to find a lawyer who is experienced in this field. As you interview attorneys, consider asking the following questions: Is my divorce suitable for using the collaborative process? Do you have collaborative law experience? Are you a member of any associations of collaborative lawyers? How do you charge for your services? 22 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit 1 XXXXXXXXXX S TOP RATED LAWYERS To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Indiana visit

18 a special advertising supplement joel castro construction law, litigation, products liability Joel Castro is managing partner of Castro & Associates, a boutique construction litigation firm comprised of trial attorneys who specialize in complex multi-party litigation. The firm handles residential, commercial and industrial cases including soils failures, structural defects, concrete failures, water intrusion, and steel high rise defects. The firm tried and won a $23 million jury verdict litigating the deepest LA County landfill (100+ feet and in a record 10-month jury trial). Throughout his 36-year career, Mr. Castro has also successfully litigated construction-related death and injury cases. As lead counsel, he won a multimillion-dollar recovery following the collapse of the Northridge Meadows complex, which killed 16 during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. He also won the first California collapse case of a URM building that killed two women during the 2003 San Simeon earthquake. The firm s success arises from its hands on investigative approach and failure analysis. Mr. Castro was featured in National Geographic Magazine, the L.A. Times, National Geographic Channel s Anatomy of an Earthquak,e and in Forbes Magazine. michael & maria cavalluzzi criminal law Mike and Maria Cavalluzzi are a brother and sister legal team with combined experience of 45 years in defending clients accused of crimes. With a top AV rating and Criminal Law Specialist Certification from the California State Bar, this team is a force to be reckoned with throughout Los Angeles County. Maria started her career as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. After learning the ins and outs of that prosecuting office she decided to apply her talents to defending the accused. Taking a position as a trial attorney in the Public Defender s office in Los Angeles, she became one of the most respected trial attorneys in that office, known for her tenacious advocacy and hard fought victories for her clients. In 1999 she started her own law practice and has continued to zealously defend the rights of her clients since. Maria has tried countless criminal cases and her success in the criminal courts of Los Angeles County is well known. Her reputation is an advantage for her clients in every courtroom throughout the county. Mike Cavalluzzi joined his sister in 2001, after many years of litigation practice, including several years as a Deputy Public Defender. In the past decade of private practice Mike has established himself as the go-to lawyer for juvenile and serious felony cases, where clients most need the best defense. Mike s extensive trial experience also includes many victories on behalf of both his adult and juvenile clients. He has helped clients avoid long prison sentences and serious felony convictions and has been able to maneuver his juvenile clients away from custody and firmly on the road to rehabilitation. At Cavalluzzi & Cavalluzzi we pride ourselves in providing personal service toour clients and we always go the extra mile to obtain the best possible results for those we represent. We have professionals on staff with expertise in Personal Injury and Family Law as well and we provide the same zealous advocacy to all of our cases. CASTRO & ASSOCIATES WilsHire Blvd., suite 250 los angeles, california ph: FaX: CAVALLUZZI & CAVALLUZZI 6430 sunset Blvd., suite 1180 HOllYWOOd, california PAGE PROOF -- FOR APPROVAL ONLY y O U n G, Z i n n & b a t e l l p employment law And litigation, corporate, real estate, civil litigation Jennifer o Dell Young, Zinn & Bate is a women-owned boutique law firm practicing all aspects of employment law and litigation as well as general business and real estate law and civil litigation. Formerly known as Bate, Peterson, Deacon, Zinn & young, the firm combines the expertise and sophistication of a large firm practice with the highest level of service and efficiency tailored to each client s specialized needs. Indeed, each of its partners practiced for many years at some of the largest and most prestigious international law firms before forming yzb. Partners Julie Arias young and Harry Zinn have been recognized as California Super Lawyers for each of the past nine years in employment and labor law and employment litigation, and both are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Firm clients include world-renowned private universities and cultural institutions, national retailers and insurance companies, multinational manufacturers, large public utilities, Major League Baseball clubs, entertainment and venture capital entities, law firms, and other employers of all sizes and endeavors. The firm also represents senior executives in non-litigation matters, including contract and severance negotiations and intellectual property issues. The firm takes pride in its role both as true counselors working with its clients to devise creative and practical solutions to the wide range of challenges they face and as fierce but professional advocates in litigation, arbitration, and before administrative agencies. From left: David Bate, Julie Arias Young, Harry Zinn 888 S. Figueroa Street, Fifteenth Floor Los Angeles, California top rated lawyers julie AriAS Young harry zinn To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 23

19 IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE, A SETTLEMENT MAY BE BEST a special advertising supplement if You are injured in a car accident or other incident, someone is often legally responsible for your injury. Filing a personal injury claim could help you obtain compensation from the responsible party to pay your medical bills, as well as other losses, which are known as damages. When you settle with the other party, you accept payment for your injury and agree not to sue that party. Although your lawyer will give you advice about settlement, it is your decision to settle or not. After an accident, you may have physical, mental or emotional injuries. even if insurance covers your medical bills, you may (depending on the circumstances) still file a claim for damages. damages include lost wages, damage to your property, any permanent disability, rehabilitation, and present and future pain and suffering. While some personal injury cases are decided by a judge or jury in a courtroom, many are settled out of court. If your case goes to court, the process can take several years from beginning to end. If you settle the case instead, the defendant pays an agreed-upon sum of money soon after everything is signed and ready. This agreement should include a statement that you release the other party from responsibility. If you ve already filed a lawsuit in court, you will have to agree to drop the case against the other party promptly. Settlements can be reached at any point. often, the insurance company will make a settlement offer after review of your records and medical expenses. However, some cases settle after both sides have presented evidence to the judge. In many courts, the parties are required to attend settlement conferences before starting a trial. Coming to Financial Terms You must provide the party responsible for your accident with information about your injuries, expenses, and your need for future treatment. evidence might include medical records, hospital bills, pay stubs, and witness statements. The defending side may ask for a medical examination by a doctor of its choosing. It may hire expert witnesses to disprove your version of the case. Your lawyer can help you estimate how much money you might receive after a trial instead of accepting a settlement. Settlements may be paid in a lump sum or in periodic payments. A structured settlement involves buying financial products called annuities that pay a certain amount every month or year until the total is paid in full. This arrangement can reduce taxes but won t allow you to buy a house or other expensive item because you re getting smaller payments over time. Questions for Your Attorney Before meeting with your attorney prepare yourself with questions such as: I have been at the wrong place at the wrong time more than once recently and was legitimately injured and filed claims. How will this be perceived by a judge or jury? 24 Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys Visit 1 XXXXXXXXXX S top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Indiana visit

20 a special advertising supplement Steven cohen, esq. arbitrator-mediator ReceiVes top av RatinG Santa Monica, CA, oct. 5, 2012 STEVEN CoHEN, founder of Cohen & Associates, an Arbitration & Mediation Practice, receives highest AV Preeminent rating of 5.0 out of 5 from LexisNexis Martindale- Hubbell. An AV Preeminent rating is the result of peer review of practicing attorneys and members of the judiciary and is a testament that STEVEN CoHEN s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards as an Arbitrator and Mediator. STEVEN CoHEN, uniquely qualified since 1984, holds a B1 General Contracting License, C10 Electrical Contracting License, is a Broker-Realtor and earned an MBA in Finance and Economics. STEVEN CoHEN focuses his 25-year private Arbitration and Mediation practice in Real Estate Disputes, Brokers and Agents disclosure, Construction Defects, Contract Disputes, Title VII and Employment Disputes. STEVEN CoHEN is additionally distinguished as a neutral with the DFEH, EEoC, FINRA, CSLB, DoI, AAA and is an Administrative Law Judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. COHEN & ASSOCIATES, INC WilsHire Blvd., 3rd FlOOr santa monica, ca PH: FAX: StAnleY denis litigation, Real estate, Business & commercial Stan Denis graduated from the University of Southern California in 1975 with a joint JD-MBA degree. Prior to forming his own firm in 1993, he was the lead litigation associate and then partner with two preeminent real estate law firms. Stan and his skilled support staff, some of whom have been with him since 1995, provide top-tier, professional and friendly personalized service to property owners and business owners, investors, real estate brokers and professionals, commercial tenants and escrows, including members of the bar and bench. His firm consistently achieves successful and significant results in trial or via settlements, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of real estate and business-related disputes. over the years, he has taught and lectured on real estate issues at CEB seminars for continuing education of the bar, to real estate brokerage companies, and at El Camino College. He has been awarded an AV preeminent rating by Martindale- Hubbell since LAW OFFICES OF STANLEY DENIS 3620 pacific coast HWY, suite 200 torrance, ca ph: law Office Of Jennifer r. JOhnsOn mass tort litigation, medical malpractice, elder law, personal injury Amy Cantrell based in Newport Beach, California, the Law office of Jennifer R. Johnson provides injured individuals with committed and compassionate representation in both Southern California and many other parts of the country. As a registered nurse and an attorney since 1992, Jennifer Johnson is uniquely qualified to represent people injured due to the wrongdoing of others. The cases I handle really cry out for justice, Ms. Johnson says. often, the people I represent wouldn t have access to the legal system if it weren t for my efforts and those of attorneys like me. In addition to personal injury and medical malpractice cases, Ms. Johnson handles medical device and drug litigation. Among her current cases, she is representing women who have been injured by transvaginal mesh products. She also specializes in representing people who have suffered spinal cord injuries. When a case involves a sensitive subject like transvaginal mesh products, I m finding that women are much more comfortable discussing their issues with another woman, Ms. Johnson notes. And I think being a registered nurse makes it easier for men and women alike to open up to me about their injuries. Ms. Johnson is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the organization s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. She is also an active member of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and remains committed to a number of philanthropic endeavors. She serves on the Board of Directors of both Swim With Mike, a scholarship program for disabled athletes, and the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies, which provides economically disadvantaged high school students with university preparation. People often ask why I became a lawyer after already being a successful ICU nurse, Ms. Johnson explains. But as both a nurse and lawyer, my motivation has been the same I want to make a difference in people s lives. 620 Newport Center Drive Suite 1100 Newport Beach, CA ph: fax: top rated lawyers top rated lawyers trl lawyer names jennifer r. johnson To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys visit Southern California s Top Rated Lawyers 25

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