LEGAL LEADERS. Meyer, Olson, lowy & Meyers, llp. presents Southern california s top rated lawyers of 2013

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1 LEGAL LEADERS presents Southern california s top rated lawyers of 2013 Meyer, Olson, lowy & Meyers, llp Female-Owned Firm at the Forefront OF Family also inside A special advertising supplement distributed with SHERNOFF BIDART ECHEVERRIA BENTLEY FIGHTING FOR POLICY- HOLDERS AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANIES PAGE 2 Girardi Keese In a Class By Themselves PAGE 4 law offices of gregory a. yates Game-changing Personal injury law firm PAGE 21 Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, 35 Years of Business and Civil Success PAGE 55 Greene Broillet & Wheeler, Preeminent Plaintiff s Firm BACK COVER

2 shernoff BidarT echeverria BenTley llp FiGHTinG FOr POliCyHOlders against insurance COMPanies SBEB is A national leader in REPRESEntinG policyholders whose claims have been denied by insurance companies. Founded in 1974 by William M. Shernoff, the firm has been protecting consumers against insurance company abuses for over 35 years. Mr. Shernoff introduced the concept of bad faith in a case against Mutual of Omaha and the case resulted in a landmark decision in today, the firm REPRESEntS POliCyhOldERS who have been wrongfully mistreated by their insurance companies in all lines of coverage including life, health, disability, property and general liability insurance. The firm also handles catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. Few law firms can match this firm s impressive record of success. Over the years, the law firm has recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients. the firm has had A number Of SuCCESSES OVER the last year, including three Top 100 Verdicts in 2012 in California according to VerdictSearch. william ShERnOff is the nation S PiOnEER Of bad faith insurance litigation and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients against major insurers. Mr. Shernoff is regularly named on as a Super yer, he was Best yers 2014 Riverside Plaintiffs yer of the Year and he s won numerous Trial yer of the Year awards. michael J. BidARt focuses On health insurance, catastrophic injury, and commercial liability litigation and was named 2011 Trial yer of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Bidart s successes include winning the largest jury verdict ever against an HMO and winning more than $300 million on behalf of victims of the Northridge earthquake. He currently represents MGA Entertainment in the ongoing litigation stemming from the Bratz dispute between MGA and Mattel. RiCARdO EChEVERRiA COnCEntRAtES On BAd faith and catastrophic personal injury cases and was named 2010 Trial yer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He also is a member of the executive committee of the Consumer Attorneys Associate of Los Angeles. GREGORy l. BEntlEy focuses On insurance BAd faith, catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, past-president of the Consumer Attorneys of Inland Empire and on the board of directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California. the firm is KnOwn for its RESultS-ORiEntEd approach to representing clients and for obtaining some of the largest jury verdicts and settlements in the country. FOR EXAMPLE: William M. Shernoff obtained a $19 million jury verdict for a paraplegic Marine whose insurance company overruled his treating doctor on the medical necessity of his 109-day hospital stay. Michael J. Bidart won a $120 million jury verdict against an HMO (the largest verdict against an HMO in history) over its refusal to pay for care recommended by the health plan s own physicians. Ricardo Echeverria obtained a $25.7 million jury verdict for a catastrophically injured youth. Gregory L. Bentley obtained a $31.5 million jury verdict on behalf of a catastrophically injured Deputy District Attorney. AS SPECiAliStS in insurance BAd faith, SBEB maximizes recovery on behalf of their clients by obtaining settlements and verdicts in excess of the adverse party s insurance policy limits. Excess results just this year alone include: $15 million recovered on a $15,000 policy $10 million recovered on a $300,000 policy $4 million recovered on a $25,000 policy $2.25 million recovered on a $50,000 policy $15 million jury verdict on a $1 million policy LEGAL LEADERS From left: William M. Shernoff, Michael J. Bidart, Ricardo Echeverria, Gregory L. Bentley William m. shernoff michael J. bidart evangeline f. grossman 600 SOUTH INDIAN HILL BLVD., CLAREMONT, CA 9171 TOLL FREE: PH: FAX: N. CANON DRIVE, SUITE 200, BEVERLY HILLS, CA PH: FAX:

3 From left: David R. Lira, Keith D. Griffin, Thomas V. Girardi, John A. Girardi, Graham B. LippSmith, James G. O Callahan It s critical that consumers be allowed to band together to take on rich, powerful corporations. Graham LippSmith replacement, as well as congestive heart failure. Class and mass actions aren t just for taking on the pharmaceutical and 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. 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. 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. In 2011, he and Tom Girardi won the settlement of the year on behalf of 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 Farmer s took millions from its customers unfairly, LippSmith explains. Recreated in Illustrator Not Outlined Times New Roman Regular 100% size as in PSD file Keith Griffin and Girardi used a mass action to successfully settle claims Recreated in Illustrator against GlaxoSmithKline, whose Avandia diabetes drug caused Outlined up to 100% size as in PSD file 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 Original on from Photoshop Zometa Saved as Photoshop EPS and Fosomax. Merck marketed Fosamax as a drug to combat 100% size as osteoporosis. However, according to more than 2,300 lawsuits over the drug, in PSD file it can cause dead jaw, in which the jaw bone deteriorates requiring 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 fi xed. It doesn t do any good to give someone $50,000 and tell them to go have their home fi xed 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 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD LOS ANGELES, CA \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit Southern california s top rated lawyers / 5

4 southern california s top rated lawyers TM Southern California s Top Rated yers TM helps remove the mystery from locating a highquality advocate to protect you, your family, your business and all other assets. Legal Leaders TM are considered firstrate in their field. Keep this comprehensive list for those times when you need assistance. The attorneys listed here are available to help. American Arbitration Association Arbitration, mediation Page 25 Anglin Flewelling Rasmussen Campbell & Trytten richard g. rasmussen, esq., corporate, real estate, general business PAGE 47 steven e. trytten, esq., EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW, TRUSTS & ESTATES, TAXATION PAGE 48 Bailey & Partners Aviation and business litigation, personal injury Page 20 Barry L. Guterman, Attorney At tax law, estate planning, business Page 45 Bergman Dacey Goldsmith gregory m. bergman commercial litigation, environmental law Page 33 Berman More Gonzalez, Attorneys at Workers compensation, Personal injury, automobile accidents Page 19 Bewley, Lassleben & Miller, JOSEPH A. VINATIERI, ESQ. tax law Page 49 Binder & Associates Warren Binder personal injury, wrongful death Page 44 Blanchard, Krasner & French Mark a. Krasner, esq. real estate, tax law, family, business Page 51 Bois & MacDonald business law, construction, employment, environmental law, real estate Page 43 Bonne, Bridges, Mueller, O Keefe & Nichols civil litigation defense, medical malpractice Page 43 Bononi Group employment law Page 42 Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader, john j. gilligan, cfls family law Page 37 Brandon Group lisa e. brandon certified family law specialist: Litigation, mediation, related civil litigation Page 44 Brown & Lipinsky daren h. lipinsky Labor & Employment, Discrimination, Whistleblower Litigation Page 46 Carlin & Buchsbaum, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION, WHISTLEBLOWER LITIGATION, WRONGFUL TERMINATION Page 25 Castro & Associates construction, litigation, products liability Page 30 Chambers, Noronha & Kubota personal injury Page 15 Cheong, Denove, Rowell, Bennett & Karns John F. Denove personal injury, products liability Page 35 Citron & Citron joel F. Citron Thomas H. Citron Business, Elder, Construction, Products Liability, Foster Care Page 44 Davert & Loe, yers DOUGLASS S. davert Business & Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Environmental law Page 44 David H. Pierce & Associates CONSTRUCTION, GENERAL AND BUSINESS LITIGATION, REAL ESTATE, PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCTS LIABILITY, CONTRACT DISPUTES, EMPLOYMENT Page 40 David Lee Rice, APLC taxation, trusts & estates, business & commercial Page 27 DAVIS civil litigation, business, real estate, construction law Page 16 DeCarlo & Shanley Litigation, employee benefits, labor & employment Page 51 Doreen B. Boxer Criminal law Page 44 Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside Real Estate law, taxation, Trusts and Estates, Litigation Page 27 Estate Plan, Inc. LESLIE DAFF, JD, mba TRUSTS & ESTATES, ESTATE PLANNING, WILLS & PROBATE Page 35 Ezer Williamson, A Professional Richard E. Williamson REAL ESTATE LAW, CONTRACTS; BUSINESS, REAL ESTATE & COMMERCIAL LITIGATION Page 49 Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo business, civil litigation, trust & estate Page 55 Flanagan, Unger, Grover & McCool, Attorneys At J. MICHAEL FLaNAGAN CRIMINAL LAW, PERSONAL INJURY Page 37 Fox Rothschild malcolm s. Mcneil international, litigation, transactional Page 47 Freeman Freeman & Smiley Herbert D. Sturman tax law Page 51 Girardi Keese Personal injury, insurance, medical malpractice Page 4-5 Grassini, Wrinkle & Johnson Personal injury, civil litigation, appellate law Page 11 Greenberg, Whitcombe & Takeuchi, business, real estate, construction, employment Page 23 Greene Broillet & Wheeler personal injury Back Cover Gumport Mastan leonard l. gumport bankruptcy, business litigation, alternative dispute resolution PAGE 45 Henrichs Firm, P.C. john henrichs business & commercial, personal injury, litigation PAGE 45 Higgins Settlement, L.L.P. david m. higgins Meredith johnson tax law and settlements Page 39 Jackson Lewis DAVID R. JOHANSON LABOR & EMPLOYMENT, LITIGATION, TAXATION Page 45 John H. Howard personal injury, discrimination Page 39 Jones & Mayer Richard d. jones Municipal law, Redevelopment, Water law Page 45 Joseph P. Wohrle, Attorney at civil litigation Page 49 Karen S. Brown, CFLS FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CHILD CUSTODY Page 33 Lanza & Smith, PLC ANTHONY L. LANZA BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LITIGATION, REAL ESTATE, APPELLATE Page 46 Lauson & Tarver bob Lauson intellectual property Page 46 Office of Andrew M. Stein criminal defense Page 48 Office of Errol H. Stambler, P.L.C. Criminal law Page 48 Office of Ron R. Goldie business, transactions, law firm monitoring Page 37 Offices of Ani M. Garikian, PC family law Page 45 Offices of Bobette Fleishman family law Page 44 Offices of Edward J. Deason PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCTS LIABILITY, TRAnsportATION Page 44 Offices of Gregory A. Yates civil rights, personal injury, civil litigation Page 21 Offices of Joel F. Tamraz Business Litigation, Real Estate, Condominium law Page 41 Offices of John R. Walton, P.C. business / IP Litigation Page 49 Offices of Mark J. Werksman criminal law Page 49 Offices of Sean M. Burke, APC medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability Page 33 Offices of Seana B. Thomas Medicare Secondary payer law, Civil Litigation Page 41 Offices of Stanley Denis Litigation, real estate, business & commercial Page 44 Offices of Stuart A. Katz collections law, commercial litigation, judgment enforcement Page 39 Offices Of Timothy P. Dillon Commercial Litigation, Insurance, Class Actions Page 35 Offices of W. Douglas Easton personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability Page 35 Levinson Arshonsky & Kurtz, steven n. kurtz Business, Real Estate, Construction robert levinson Employment, Commercial Litigation, Corporate law Page 46 Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine & Taylor Robert s. kaufman Family law, Intellectual Property, Business, Trusts & Estates Page 45 Lori Winder Livingston Trusts & estates, gift and estate tax law Page 46 Luna & Glushon Robert L. Glushon real estate, zoning, planning & land use, litigation Page 45 Lynch and Lynch, craig m. lynch Oil & Gas, Water, Trust and Commercial Litigation Page 46 Mansell & Mansell Robert Mansell Personal Injury, Products Liability, Insurance Bad Faith Page 40 Maranga Morgenstern Personal Injury, medical malpractice, civil rights, products liability Page 51 Martha M. Hall white-collar criminal defense, civil rights, criminal defense Page 45 McGarry & Laufenberg james j. mcgarry, jefffrey j. laufenberg personal injury defense, health care, real estate Page 46 Melinda Luthin Estate Planning, civil litigation, transactions, alternative dispute resolution, real estate, employment, business formation, contracts PAGE 24 Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers Divorce, Family law, Preand Post-Marital Agreements Page 9, 13 Oliva & Associates, ALC joseph l. oliva Insurance law, commercial litigation, civil litigation Page 47 P.K. Schrieffer paul k. schrieffer civil litigation & trials Page 48 Paul R. Grant, A Professional, Of Counsel to Mandel, Norwood & Grant Trusts & Estates, Real Estate, Business Page 39 Peter A. Gelles BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL, INTERNATIONAL, REAL ESTATE Page 37 Peterson Group JOHN S. PETERSON EMINENT DOMAIN, ZONING, PLANNING AND LAND USE, REAL ESTATE, BUSINESS Page 47 Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz business litigation, professional liability, employment litigation defense, personal injury Page 51 Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. Lynde Selden II Real Estate, Employment, Contract and Statutory Litigation Page 48 Pocrass & De Los Reyes PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCTS LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH Page 42 Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, david w. quinto Intellectual property, Internet, Entertainment law Page 47 Reuben Raucher & Blum timothy d. reuben intellectual PROPERTY, ENTERTAINMENT, REAL ESTATE, LITIGATION Page 41 Rombro & Associates s. roger rombro family law Page 47 Rosen Saba, jim Rosen COMMERCIAL LITIGATION, LEGAL MALPRACTICE,PERSONAL INJURY Page 47 Rowe Allen Mullen, charles e. rowe business Page 47 Scheuer & Gillett, APC keith scheuer Business Litigation, Real Estate Disputes, Contract law Page 48 Serbin & Carmeli Michele Carmeli Trusts & Estates, Litigation Page 44 Seyfarth Shaw jon Meer labor & employment Page 47 Shernoff, Bidart, Echeverria, Bentley, Insurance, personal injury Page 2-3 Solomon Saltsman & Jamieson PERSONAL INJURY, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CIVIL LITIGATION, LAND USE, INDIAN GAMING, ALCOHOL REGULATION Page 17 Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. Business & Commercial, Bankruptcy, Litigation Page 51 Supnik Office paul d. supnik copyright & trademark law, intellectual property Page 48 Susman Godfrey L.L.P. marc m. seltzer litigation Page 48 Tesser Ruttenberg & Grossman Business litigation, employment, Personal Injury Page 32 The Cifarelli Firm, thomas a. cifarelli Personal Injury, Child Injuries, Child Sexual Abuse Page 33 The Office of Louis K. Tsiros litigation, business, real estate Page 49 The Office of Nicolas C. Vrataric employment, personal injury, education Page 49 The Offices of Ronald P. Slates collections law, Judgment enforcement Page 43 Tredway, Lumsdaine & Doyle, JOSEPH A. lumsdaine, MARK C. doyle TRUSTS & estates, BUSINESS, TAX Page 46 Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad LC rence B. Trygstad Education, Criminal Defense, Employment, Administrative law Page 48 Weinstock Manion ESTATE PLANNING, ESTATE & TRUST ADMINISTRATION AND LITIGATION Page 12 Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart Gary C. Weisberg eminent domain, land use, real estate Page 49 Wolf Group L.A. ellen kaufman wolf Creditors Rights, Business, Real Estate Page 49 Yoka & Smith walter yoka Products Liability, Litigation, Personal Injury Page 41 Yukevich Cavanaugh Litigation Page 32 Zimmerman Walker & Monitz, Commercial Transactions, Real Estate, Business Torts, Business Dissolutions, intellectual Property, Entertainment Page 43 6 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit Southern california s top rated lawyers / 7

5 Southern california s top rated lawyers DIVOrCeD PArenTs, KNOW YOUR CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION RIGHTS need TO KnOw as a parent, losing full-time access to your children in the wake of a divorce can be a confusing and terrifying experience. Your frustration may be compounded if the custodial parent is uncooperative or antagonistic. Unless a court has completely terminated one side s parental rights, however, limited or supervised visitation is still within the parent s rights, as well as the right to participate in major decisions affecting the child s welfare. OBEYING THE CUSTODY ORDER Family courts usually encourage parents to agree on custody issues if possible. With or without an agreement, however, the court will issue a written custody order outlining the rights non-custodial parents maintain following the transfer of custody. Even if you disagree with the custody order, it has the force of law and you could face legal consequences for violating its terms. UNDERSTANDING YOUR VISITATION RIGHTS The custody order will explain your visitation rights in detail. It will list the exact times and days of the week that your children will spend with you, which holidays you can enjoy with them, and which extracurricular and school activities you can attend. The custody order will also outline responsibility for transportation to your home or another location where you will spend time with your children. MAKING IMPORTANT LIFE DECISIONS Most states recognize two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. If physical custody is granted to only one parent, the child will live with that parent most or all of the time. Legal custody, on the other hand, means the right to make important life decisions for your children. These include matters of religious upbringing and school selection. Even if the custody order requires your children to live with the other parent, it might still grant you full or joint legal custody.. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILD SUPPORT AND VISITATION Under the law, child support is an obligation to your children, not to the custodial parent. So, even if your former spouse disobeys the custody order, such as by refusing to allow you visitation rights with your children, you may not retaliate by refusing to pay child support. If you fail to make child support payments, you could be sued, and you might also jeopardize your visitation rights. ENFORCING THE CUSTODY ORDER If the custodial parent refuses to comply with the custody order, keep a written record of each violation. Write down dates, times and other important details, such as your efforts to reschedule missed visits and the custodial parent s response to your efforts. With this information, your attorney may be able to convince the court to enforce the custody order or, in some states, grant custody to you. Keep in mind that requesting court intervention is a serious decision, and it may have legal consequences for your former spouse (or partner) that could make a strained relationship even more difficult. MODIFYING THE CUSTODY ORDER A non-custodial parent can go to court and request that the child custody order be modified in response to changes in life circumstances or the changing needs of the child. You might seek increased or modified visitation, reduced child support or a complete reversal of physical or legal custody. The easiest way to modify a custody order is to work out a written agreement with the custodial parent before seeking approval from the family court. If you go to court, you ll have to establish a good reason for the modification request, such as a significant change in your work schedule, reduced income or a request from the child to have the custodial arrangement modified. Court orders will always be based on the best interests of the child standard. DOES REMARRIAGE AFFECT CUSTODY AND VISITATION? Parents move on after divorce, and many remarry. Second marriages should not affect custody or visitation orders, but there are exceptions. From a legal standpoint, the question is not whether the non-custodial parent gets along with the custodial parent s new spouse, but how the new spouse gets along with the children. When a non-custodial parent remarries, it can have a big impact on visitation if the children don t like the new spouse. If they are not comfortable with the new stepparent, children can put up quite a fuss about visiting. Older children might outright refuse to visit. Courts are not likely to end visitation, as laws favor contact with both parents. But, if the children insist, a judge might order that visitation take place outside the non-custodial parent s home and away from the new spouse. A CHANGE IN THE CUSTODY ORDER REQUIRES PROOF Many states will consider the wishes of minor children in custody and visitation decisions, but usually, consideration is all that s required. A judge weighs the children s desires along with many other factors. If you want to modify custody because your ex has remarried, you ll also have to prove to the court the negative impact this change has had on your children. Custody evaluators can be hired, or appointed by the court, or a parent can petition the court demonstrating a change in the child s behavior or academic progress. QUeStiOnS FOr your attorney because they get along so well, I d like to eventually have my new spouse become a custodian of my children, how difficult is this process? My former spouse may be conducting illegal activities while caring for the children. Is calling the authorities based on hearsay too drastic? AS SEEn On 8 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

6 Amy Cantrell From Left: Dana Lowy, Lisa Helfend Meyer, Doreen Marie Olson, Felicia R. Meyers Meyer, OlsOn, lowy & Meyers, llp divorce, FaMily, Pre and POsT MariTal agreements meyer, OlSOn, lowy & meyers, llp (molm) is A boutique family law firm known throughout Southern California for its highly aggressive and focused representation. Because of its success, particularly in the areas of complex child custody and property matters, the firm has continued to grow, adding attorneys and receiving requests to represent clients throughout the United States. we RE VERy PROud Of OuR national REPutAtiOn AS fearless advocates on behalf of our clients, says founding partner Lisa Helfend Meyer. Our tenacity in the courtroom is equaled only by our compassionate and discreet service, as we truly go the extra mile to ensure that these often heart-wrenching situations are made as comfortable as possible. A female-owned law firm, molm REPRESEntS men And women equally in all aspects of family law, including complex marital dissolutions, high conflict custody matters, business valuations, preand post-nuptial agreements, and mediation. In every matter, the firm is dedicated to providing detail-oriented and empathetic representation, as well as to protecting its clients confidentiality. 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. molm S PARtnERS include SOmE Of the COuntRy S leading family law attorneys. Indeed, many have been influential in cutting-edge divorce issues, such as same-sex relationships, domestic and international move-away cases, and custody disputes involving special needs children. Members of the firm have also been AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and included in the best lawyers in America. 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, says Meyer, who was named as best lawyers 2012 yer of the Year in Los Angeles for Family. These are challenging matters that require attorneys with both the legal knowledge and emotional fortitude to handle their complexities, and those are trademarks of the lawyers at this firm. while the AttORnEyS At molm ARE well KnOwn for their aggressive litigation skills and extensive trial work, they all agree that it is better to settle a case on a client s terms, rather than having a judge decide the outcome. To that end, many of the firm s cases are resolved before trial at voluntary settlement conferences, often with the assistance of retired judges and professionals to aid in the settlement process. Still, meyer EmPhASiZES that the firm does not Shy away from going to court: Our firm is unique in that while we do a lot of settlements and mediation, we also try a lot of our cases, she observes. And that really sets us apart from other family law firms. ABOVE All, lawyers At the firm StRiVE to REBuild their clients self-esteem, which often suffers during a divorce. We take a holistic approach to the practice of law, Meyer says. We understand that it s not just about the black letter law, it s about human relationships; so from the very beginning we treat our clients as unique individuals, empowering them to create better lives for themselves SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD, SUITE 1425 LOS ANGELES, CA PH: FAX: LEGAL LEADERS

7 LEGAL LEADERS ALM LEGAL GROUP Director, Sales & Business Development, Custom Projects Carrie Tuck Account Executives Alicia Upchurch Jerry Cohen Welcome to Southern California s Top Rated yers, a leading publication featuring legal talent to be found across the state. Highlights in this issue: Joe Turley James Dimperio Mike Filson The attorneys featured in this publication and our companion online edition have all achieved the peer reviewed rating of AV Preeminent 2 SHERNOFF BIDART ECHEVERRIA BENTLEY Fighting on behalf of policy holders against insurance companies for over 35 years Marcy Palacios by Martindale-Hubbell, the company that Laura Gunawan has long set the standard for lawyer ratings. Jason Romano The AV Preeminent rating is a significant George Schwimmer accomplishment and a testament to the fact Lauren DeCosimo Bridget McDonald that a lawyer s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. Graphic Designers Sammy Elfatrany Ashley McKevitt 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 13 Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers, Divorce attorney Lisa Helfend Meyer lauds the passage of a new law allowing for more than two legal parents. Content Manager successfully with lawyers and law firms. We Justin Smulison hope you will keep it handy as a valuable re- Profiles Writer Sean Stonefield Vice President, Inside Sales Steven R. Andreazza Senior Vice President Kevin Vermeulen Cover photo by Amy Cantrell source 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 Legal Leaders at to find a directory of all of Southern California s AV Preeminent rated attorneys listed by their practice areas. 28 southern california law 2013 Some of the brightest lawyers in the country provide expert guidance in legal matters 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 yers, and Top Ranked Firms are trademarks of ALM Media Properties, llc. Sincerely, Steve Andreazza Vice President, Inside Sales Girardi Keese Personal Injury Pioneer Tom Girardi discusses successful high-profile verdicts and settlements 10 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

8 Amy Cantrell Grassini, wrinkle & JOHnsOn PersOnal injury, CiVil litigation, appellate law From Left: Kathleen Grassini, Marshall Shepardson, rence Grassini, Roland Wrinkle, Lars Johnson and Brian Hong the Only two PERSOnAl injury lawyers from the San Fernando Valley selected by their peers for inclusion in the best lawyers in America, Larry Grassini and Roland Wrinkle have offered their respective one-two punch of trial and appellate work throughout four decades of practice together. Now that Lars Johnson has joined the 43-year partnership, the firm can set its sights on a strong future. The law firm of Grassini, Wrinkle & Johnson can best be summed up by its firsts, including the largest personal injury award in the history of California, the largest personal injury award in the history of the United States, the largest punitive damage award affirmed on appeal, the largest sexual harassment award in California, the largest award for the death of an adult child. The list goes on but the point is clear the partnership between Larry Grassini and Roland Wrinkle (and now Lars Johnson) has produced results for clients that are nothing short of amazing. We ve certainly had some great successes over the years, and that s because we have combined our distinct talents for the benefit of the clients we represent, says Mr. Grassini. It s an unusual combination, where we have two lead trial attorneys with an experienced and well-respected appellate lawyer. lawrence GRASSini is A member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the top one hundred trial lawyers in the country, he became only the third plaintiffs lawyer to be inducted into the Association of Southern California Defense yers Hall of Fame, and the ninth person inducted into the Los Angeles Trial yers Association Hall of Fame. He is also one of only two trial lawyers to be named twice as the Association s Trial yer of the Year. He was listed in los Angeles magazine as one of the top 25 lawyers in the state and named as one of the 18 most respected plaintiff personal injury lawyers in california lawyer, the official publication of the state bar. Two years ago, he was voted by his peers and this magazine as Best Personal Injury yer ROlAnd wrinkle was VOtEd Appellate yer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and was honored by his peers with the Ted Horn Memorial Award for the education of trial lawyers by the Los Angeles Trial yers Association. At the End Of the day, what motivates the three partners the most isn t recognition. The best part of trying cases is knowing that we re able to change lives for the better, says Mr. Grassini. Our clients and our cases allow us to force corporate America to make changes that protect and preserve a safer environment for consumers. Recently the firm represented a couple who lost their two daughters in a fiery car crash. After a lengthy struggle against Enterprise Rent-A-Car which rented the girls the car knowing it was subject to a safety recall, a jury rendered a $15 million verdict and there was national press. The public s recognition of Enterprise s egregious acts led to the California legislature enacting the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of three months AGO, All three partners took on the issue of unsafe boating and, after a six-week trial, obtained a $19 million judgment. the OthER lawyers At GRASSini, Wrinkle & Johnson are building considerable reputations in their own right. Katie Grassini has teamed up with both her father and Mr. Johnson in many of the firm s most significant trials, leading her to be named a Rising Star in superlawyers. Recently the firm has been bolstered by the addition of Marshall Shepardson, an experienced litigator formerly practicing in New York and Texas after graduating at the top of both Cal Berkeley and NYU School, and Brian Hong, out of Cornell who helped try the stray electricity case to victory. LEGAL LEADERS lawrence P. grassini roland Wrinkle VENTURA BOULEVARD, SUITE 221 WOODLAND HILLS, CA PH: FAX:

9 Southern california s top rated lawyers ESTATE AND GIFT TAX COUNSELING FOr THe elderly need TO KnOw According to U.S. Treasury official David Joulfaian, a widely published expert on tax law, the always-controversial estate and gift tax is the only wealth tax levied by the federal government. First enacted in 1916, this tax was applied to the wealth of decedents with estates in excess of $50,000. The estate tax has undergone numerous changes, especially in 1976, 1981, and Significant temporary changes were introduced in 2001, but expired in POlICInG InTer-VIVOs GIFT-GIVInG Th e gift tax made its appearance in 1924, after the estate-tax proved itself to be prone with loopholes. Like the estate tax, the gift tax evolved as political winds shifted from administration to administration, undergoing enactment, repeal, and reenactment, but in 1976, the gift tax was integrated with the estate tax. While living gifts below one million dollars were declared exempt from taxation in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service compensates by hitting estate and gift taxes in excess of that amount with the generation-skipping transfer tax at 55 percent per donor. FeDerAl estate TAx Estate tax pertains to property willed by an individual to family members or institutions in the event of the individual s death. This comprehensive tax accounts for total assets at the time of death. The fair market value of each asset is taken into consideration, without necessarily factoring in the amount originally paid or value at time of purchase. The sum value of this property constitutes an individual s gross estate. Taxed property includes cash and securities, estates, insurance, trusts, annuities, and assets. Deductions may include mortgages and estate expenses, or property inherited by surviving spouses and charities. Once the taxable estate amount is computed, tax on the value of lifetime taxable gifts (the cumulative value of property gifted by an individual to another during their lifetime) can be PAGE PROOF FOR APPROVAL ONLY applied, if the decedent did not pay any federal or state gift tax at the time the property transfer. state estate TAxes In addition to the federal estate tax, state taxes are likely to be imposed, with the amount varying state by state. Inheritance taxes are paid by inheritors, not estates. State estate taxes are similar to the estate tax imposed by the IRS, and are mandatory, regardless of the beneficiary. Executors usually deal with estate taxes at both the federal and state level. THe FeDerAl GIFT TAx The IRS describes the gift tax as the donor s responsibility, in general, unless the recipient agrees to pay the tax instead. And, while a gift tax return must be filed when an individual makes a taxable gift, keep in mind that no gift tax applies unless total taxable gifts exceed $1 million. AS SEEn On weinstock ManiOn estate PlanninG, estate & TrusT administration and litigation Front row from left: Robert E. Strauss, Louis A. Reisman, Neil Solarz, Gary M. Borofsky, Sussan H. Shore. Back row from left: Jonathan S. Forster, Martin A. Neumann, Blake A. Rummel LEGAL LEADERS WEINSTOCK MANION A LAW CORPORATION 1875 CENTURY PARK EAST SUITE 2000 LOS ANGELES, CA PH: FAX: ESTATE PLANNING THAT SECURES YOUR LEGACY Established more than 50 years ago, Weinstock Manion is one of the largest and most respected Southern California trusts and estates firms, with attorneys who are well-versed in the firm s varied but complementary areas of law. As a boutique firm that has always emphasized estate planning, we ve given our clients the unique opportunity to also benefit from our expertise in trust and estate administration and litigation, says managing director Sussan Shore. To ensure that the firm meets each client s goals, Weinstock Manion combines the diverse expertise of a large firm with the individualized service of a smaller legal practice. Above all, the firm strives to achieve family harmony, minimize tax burdens, satisfy charitable gift-giving, and secure a legacy for future generations. We ve represented several generations of many families, and I think that speaks to our focus on assisting the family as a whole, Shore says. One of the rewards of practicing in the trusts and estates area is creating and maintaining a true connection with our clients. Educating clients, as well as teaching estate planning and related courses at UCLA Extension and other venues, is a cornerstone of Weinstock Manion s philosophy. A number of attorneys also hold leadership positions in local bar associations and have been selected for inclusion in publications such as Southern California Super yers and The Best yers in America. I m very proud of the level of excellence and the integrity of the attorneys and staff members at our firm, Shore says. We ve maintained an outstanding reputation for decades, and much of that has to do with the people who work here. 12 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

10 HELPING CLIENTS NAVIGATE EMERGING FAMILY LAW ISSUES Divorce attorney Lisa Helfend Meyer lauds the passage of a new law allowing for more than two legal parents. COVer spotlight In early October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation allowing children in California to have more than two legal parents. The passage of this law which goes into effect at the beginning of 2014 makes California the fifth state to recognize additional parents if failing to do so would harm the child. Amy Cantrell While critics of the legislation have argued that it will create the potential for even more acrimonious custody battles, divorce attorney Lisa Helfend Meyer says that, if anything, the new law will protect important relationships that have been established and nurtured over time. This law will be a tremendously positive event for children who have had relationships with an adult for years, only to be separated from that individual because he or she is not legally recognized as their parent, Meyer explains. It paves the way for both parents and children to continue with the relationship. Meyer has exclusively practiced family law for more than 30 years and is certified as a family law specialist by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. As the founder of Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers,, a preeminent female-owned family law firm in Southern California, she has handled a number of cases involving people who weren t legally recognized by the court system as parents, despite having fulfilled that role for many years in a child s life. I ve worked on contested adoption cases where the adopted parents were forced to give the child back to the biological parent, disrupting the bond and attachment that the child had formed with them, Meyer says as an example. The trauma that the adoptive parents and the child experienced following the termination of that relationship was truly devastating, both in the short term and the long term. In another custody case, Meyer represented the boyfriend of a woman who worked in an adult club near an airport. Though Meyer s client was not the biological father of the woman s child, he was an integral part of the girl s life during the time that he was dating her mother. For three years, my client was the one actually raising the child doing everything a parent would i also thought it was unconscionable that a person who participated in a child s life as a parent could have that relationship severed. lisa helfend meyer do in terms of taking care of her, comforting her when she was sad, preparing meals for her, and providing parental guidance, Meyer notes. When the couple broke up, the woman told Meyer s client that he could no longer see the child, and they ended up going to court over the matter. There, the judge had the man take a blood test to determine paternity. When the test came back, it indicated that the probability of the man being the child s father was less than one percent. Yet the judge decided in favor of Meyer s client, reasoning that there was still a small chance that the man could be the child s father. I could tell the judge really wanted to give my client parental rights, and the reason he decided that my client was the girl s father basically came down to him being kind and wanting to do what was in the child s best interest, Meyer says. Had this new law been in effect at the time, the judge would not have had to find a technical reason to decide in our favor; instead, he could have found that failing to recognize more than two parents would have been detrimental to the child s welfare. Meyer has long been an advocate for putting the best interests of children before the state s legal definition of what constitutes a parent. More than 20 years ago, she even authored an article addressing the increasing complexity of custody-related legal issues, and how those issues such as surrogacy and same-sex relationships demanded a broader perspective on parent and child relationships. I never thought it was fair that people who participated in a child s life as a parent could be torn away from that relationship simply because they didn t fit the legal definition of a parent, Meyer says. I think this law will be a real benefit to the children of California because ultimately labels are not important what is of paramount concern is whether you raised the child and whether the child will be harmed if that attachment is ruptured. sean stonefield To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit Southern california s top rated lawyers / 13

11 Southern california s top rated lawyers IN A PersOnAl InJury CAse, A SETTLEMENT MAY BE BEST need TO KnOw in many cases, when accidents and injury occur, parties legally responsible for damages can be found. By filing personal injury claims, accident victims can recoup crucial compensation due them for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or even future disability. These legal procedures can take place in and out of a courtroom. When an accident victim settles with the party against whom they re filing suit, the injured party agrees to drop the lawsuit in exchange for payment and agreeing not to sue. Even if insurance policies cover medical bills, it may still be necessary (depending on the circumstances) to file a claim for damages. And, while some personal injury cases get decided by a judge or jury in a courtroom, many cases can be resolved successfully out of court. If a personal injury case goes to court, the process can take years, and outcomes can be uncertain. However, in a settlement, defendants agree to pay up, and plaintiffs release the other party from responsibility and drop any further legal proceedings. YOU MUST PROVE CERTAIN ELEMENTS A personal injury case is usually based on negligence, an intentional act committed by the defendant, or strict liability. To prove negligence, you must prove the defendant failed to fulfill a duty to you (the duty to drive safely, for example), resulting in an accident that injured you. Intentional tort is another category of legal criteria which proves the defendant acted with the intention of harming you, by punching you in the nose, for instance. In some cases, claims can be won by strict liability, without proving the defendant was at fault. Strict liability may apply if you were injured by a defective product. IT S EASIER TO WIN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE Remember: in a criminal prosecution, the legal standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a personal injury case, the legal standard is a preponderance of evidence. The plaintiff s counsel must only demonstrate the defendant is more than 50 percent likely to be responsible for the injury. These different standards explain why defendants who are acquitted in criminal cases often lose personal injury lawsuits based on the same evidence. DAMAGES ARE NOT LIMITED TO MEDICAL BILLS You can claim damages for many different aspects of your injury, including past and future medical bills, lost work time, pain and suffering, and disability. Damages for pain and suffering are often several times as large as damages for medical bills and lost work time. In negligence cases, however, your damages may be reduced if the accident was partially your fault. In a few states plaintiffs are not eligible for damages if the accident proves to be even one percent the fault of the plaintiff. Most personal injury lawsuits are resolved through private settlements rather than courtroom verdicts. WHEN DECIDING TO SETTLE Settlements can be reached at any point. Insurance companies will often make settlement offers after reviewing the injured party s records. In many courts, both parties are required to attend settlement conferences before starting a trial, where judges or mediators meet privately and confidentially with each party, allowing plaintiffs and defendants alike to weigh, with an expert mediator, the pros and cons of their suit without the other side taking notes! COMING TO FINANCIAL TERMS Plaintiffs must provide the defendant with information to be used as evidence) detailing the extent of injury, expenses involved, and any need for future treatment. The defending side may ask for the injured party to undergo a separate, independent medical exam by a doctor of its choosing. Fortunately, your lawyer can help estimate the amount you might recover following a trial, as opposed to 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, as opposed to a lump-sum payment, can save on taxes, but could result in diminishing returns over time. A personal injury litigator often accepts cases on a contingency basis, meaning they are not compensated, beyond expenses, unless damages are awarded. New Jersey law, for example, limits contingency fees, with a sliding scale, beginning at one-third of the damages for the first $500,000 awarded. A LAWYER CAN HELP Compensation for a claim must cover the injured party s initial medical costs, on-going care, damaged property and loss of income. Courts also award compensation for damages more difficult to gage in financial terms, such as loss of social and educational experiences, emotional distress, or strains on family members. Whether you re dealing with an insurance company or an individual, you ll first need to determine if you can proceed on your own or if you ll need to hire an attorney. QUeStiOnS FOr your attorney Do statutes of limitation apply to personal injury law? In addition to my existing medical bills, can I be compensated for any future expenses that can be related to my injury? Which percentage of personal injury cases go to trial? how could a personal injury claim affect my insurance rates? What if the person responsible for my injuries is indigent? to what extent can a lawyer weigh the pros and cons of settling, versus going to trial? AS SEEn On 14 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

12 Amy Cantrell LEGAL LEADERS From Left: Jonathan Dwork, Gary L. Chambers, Yoshiaki C. Kubota CHaMBers, noronha & KuBOTa PersOnal injury gary l. chambers when An insurance COmPAny is determining how much to pay on a personal injury claim, one of the most important considerations is the trial experience of the injured victim s lawyer. And as attorney Gary Chambers notes, Insurance companies have to respect you and believe you are going to try the case, or they really don t have an incentive to make a fair settlement offer. ChAmBERS BEGAn trying CASES On his SECOnd day as a lawyer, and in the 34 years since then his firm, Chambers, Noronha & Kubota, has become one of the most respected personal injury practices in Orange County, with more than 100 trial verdicts. From the start I recognized how important my experience in trying cases would be when it came to representing future clients, Chambers notes. And as my brother who is a defense lawyer has told me, the description of me that he hears most often from insurance companies is, That guy is crazy, he ll try anything. SinCE its inception, ChAmBERS, noronha & KuBOtA has developed a broad personal injury practice, with an emphasis on major damage cases and public entity litigation. Indeed, the firm has achieved substantial results in a number of cases against school districts, including one where a student lost an eye and another where a student was severely burned in a cryogenic explosion. The firm also recently obtained a significant result for the estate of a girl who was killed while participating in the Junior Lifeguard training program in Huntington Beach. while ChAmBERS, noronha & KuBOtA mainly represents clients in Southern California, its reputation has allowed it to work on matters throughout the state, and in states such as Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii as well. The firm also has an extensive network of experts to assist in building strong cases, and its policy of handling cases on a contingency fee basis ensures that it always shares the same objective as its clients. Because clients only pay if we secure a recovery for them, our interest in a case is virtually lockstep with our client s, Chambers observes, and that is to maximize the recovery in the most cost-efficient and timely manner possible. GiVEn the firm S history Of SuCCEEdinG in COmPlEx and challenging cases, Chambers, Noronha & Kubota receives a large number of its clients through referrals from other lawyers. The firm has also been AV Preeminent rated by Martindale- Hubbell, and its attorneys are leaders in a number of prominent trial organizations: Of the firm s four attorneys, three have served as president of the Orange County Trial yers Association (OCTLA), including Chambers and Yoshiaki Kubota, who are both inductees of the Western State University College of s Hall of Fame. In addition, Chambers was named as the OCTLA s Orange County Personal Injury Trial yer of the Year in 2001, and attorney Jonathan Dwork currently serves as an officer in the organization. we feel that RiGht now we have the StROnGESt team of lawyers we ve ever had, because everyone here tries cases, says Chambers, a past-president of the Orange County Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. We all pride ourselves on being trial lawyers and on securing justice for our clients NORTH TUSTIN AVENUE, SANTA ANA, CA PH: To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit Southern california s top rated lawyers / 15

13 top rated lawyers Southern california s PROTECT YOURSELF In A MerGer need TO KnOw Mergers and acquisitions ( M&A ) or consolidations happen all the time. These consolidations occur when businesses combine or join together to create a new, single business. Sometimes this is done to control market share - one business swallows up the other, thus removing competition for its goods or services. Sometimes mergers and acquisitions take place for convenience, or to save money. For example, rather than breaking into a new market and selling something new, it s cheaper to buy a business already in the market and selling that product. Although the new company is usually in a better position after a merger, that s often not the case for the staffers, as it s common for many firms to lay off workers following a merger. Here are some steps you can take to protect your job or your interests when in a merger. COnTrACTs AnD AGreeMenTs Should you suspect a merger, the first thing you should do is to take a look at any contracts or agreements you may have with your employer. If you survive a merger and get a job with the DAVIS CiVil litigation, Business, real estate, COnsTruCTiOn law new company, in most cases any contracts and agreements you had with the old company will still apply after the merger. But even if you re not retained, such contracts may impact your next job. Think About: Employment contracts which may provide specifics on when (or if) workers can be laid off, and the amount of compensation employees may be entitled to in the event of a layoff. Non-competition or non-compete agreements are commonly used to prevent employees from working with competitors or sharing trade secrets after they leave an employer. Severance pay policies provide workers the right to additional compensation or benefits, such as stock options, if layoffs happen. OTHer THInGs TO COnsIDer In many cases, workers who are laid off due to mergers or acquisitions are offered various opportunities by either the old employer or the new company. Such resources may include career counseling and resume services, or job search and outplacement assistance. Check to see if your employer has a policy of providing such PAGE PROOF FOR APPROVAL ONLY services, or consider asking the human resources department if these tools will be made available if you re laid off. Sometimes, employees have to compete for a job within the new company. So, as odd as it may seem, it may be necessary to re-interview with your supervisor, manager or department in order to keep your job after the merger. There may or may not be some advance warning of these evaluations, so it s important to watch yourself in the event a merger. Naturally, it s upsetting to think about losing one s job, but it s not always advisable to threaten a lawsuit or take other vindictive actions. It won t help the chances of retaining your job. Most importantly, keep track of your progress and accomplishments within the company; list those innovations, implemented by you, which have helped the organization compete, and keep a list; studies show that documenting one s position, in writing, proves invaluable when it comes to negotiation. AS SEEn On Amy Cantrell Davis is a unique civil litigation firm in that it offers the sophistication of a large corporate firm with the personal service of a boutique practice. The firm s founder, Tom Davis, was formerly a Senior Partner at McDermott Will & Emery, and he brings to his firm the experience of having served as a lead trial attorney in more than 100 trials throughout Southern California. I ve worked on a number of large matters over the years, and I think what distinguishes this firm is that we provide a more economic and hands-on approach to handling litigation than do some of our larger competitors, says Davis. Over his 37-year career, Davis has focused primarily in the areas of real estate, construction, and business litigation though his clients stem from a range of industries. Davis makes a point of establishing long-term relationships with all of his clients; for example, he has represented the First American Title Insurance Company for the past decade and the planning and engineering firm Hunsaker & Associates for the last 20 years. In the last five years the firm has also added a number of local technology companies to its client list, including Neudesic, LLC and Alvand Solutions. LEGAL LEADERS I am blessed to have some outstanding clients who have been with me for many years, even before I founded the firm, Davis notes. Litigation is hard for anybody, so we strive to maintain open lines of communication, while handling matters in a trustworthy, result-oriented, and cost-efficient tom davis manner. From Left: Nicole Cohrs, Tom Davis, Michael Smith 580 BROADWAY, SUITE 204, LAGUNA BEACH, CA PH: FAX: \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

14 CMYK Process Black 100 Red = C 13 M 96 Y 81 K 54 Yellow = C 0 M 21 Y 88 K 0 PMS Process Black 100 Red = PMS 1815 Yellow = PMS 123 Amy Cantrell LEGAL LEADERS From Left: R. Bruce Evans, Erica Woodruff, Stephen W, Solomon, Ralph B. Saltsman, Ryan M. Kroll, Jennifer L. Carr, Stephen A. Jamieson solomon, saltsman & JaMiesOn PersOnal injury, administrative law, CiVil litigation, land use, indian GaMinG, alcohol regulation stephen W. solomon ralph b. saltsman stephen a. Jamieson with 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 our adversaries. 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 asked to try cases for other attorneys. 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. We try cases. 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 AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the organization s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. They have also been named in superlawyers for 11 consecutive years, with partners Bruce Evans and Ryan Kroll having been recognized in rising stars. In addition, Solomon and Jamieson are both members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. 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 television program where the attorneys field call-in legal questions. Recently, Solomon and Saltsman won Emmys for their work on the television show Cheap Eats. los AnGElES OffiCE 426 CULVER BOULEVARD, PLAYA DEL REY, CA PH: PORtlAnd OffiCE 121 SW SALMON ST., SUITE 1010, PORTLAND, OR PH:

15 Southern california s top rated lawyers AuTOMOBIle ACCIDenT? now what? need TO KnOw According to a statistical summary published by National Highway Traffic Society Administration, an estimated 34,080 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Although 2013 s stats aren t likely to be published this year,it s not off-base to assume 2013 s numbers could follow the upward trend Many insurance companies have smartphone apps to help you record your accident information. It could be wise to download one just in case. illustrated by 2012 and The 2012 estimate represents an increase of about 5.3 percent from 2011 s 32,367 fatalities. And, according to a 2007 study published by National Safety Council, car crashes are the sixth most prevalent cause of death, coming in just a few notches below cancer and heart disease. Until U.S. transportation policy takes a leaf from Sweden s book, it never hurts to get a contingency plan in place - in the event of an accident. IMMeDIATely AFTer An ACCIDenT Step One: Assess and Get Help It only takes seconds for an accident to happen, and even if you re not injured, confusion can reign in the aftermath of a collision. That s why it s important to stay focused and act quickly to protect yourself and your loved ones. Activate your vehicle s hazard lights alerting other drivers to the obstruction If anyone in your car is injured, call for an ambulance - most cars today are equipped with emergency notification systems which activate when airbags are deployed Exit your vehicle, but only if traffic allows you to do so safely and if you re uninjured Try to determine if anyone in the other vehicle is injured, and if so, call for medical help Call the police. An officer will compile a police report, assist motorists in exchanging information, and route traffic around the accident. An officer can also administer Breathalyzer tests and prevent fights from getting started Document the accident scene to the best of your ability, smartphone cameras are helpful in this situation, but most standard cell phones have cameras. If you re able to safely move your vehicle, move it to the shoulder of the road, keeping your emergency lights activated records FOr your recovery Complete and accurate records are invaluable in resolving accident claims quickly and smoothly. Evidence preserved from the accident scene, even in the form of cell phone photos, can prevent litigation, fines and criminal indictments. Smartphone apps like Help I Crashed my Car (iphone) or Navigon (Andriod) provide motorists with automated emergency communication systems these free apps can contact family members, insurance companies, insurance agents even body shops! TAKE ACTION: Exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers, addresses and insurance information with any motorists involved in the crash. This information is crucial for filing a claim Get contact information from witnesses; digital photos, videos and bystanders testimony can buttress a claimant s account of the accident should an investigation be necessary. Don t immediately discuss the accident with any of the other motorists or witnesses. Should you inadvertently allude to any liability you suspect (especially your own), these admissions may be used against you later. You also don t want to start any arguments. Call your insurance agent to report the accident, and ask about deadlines for filing a claim. If you plan on filing a claim, get the process started immediately. Your insurance company will investigate the loss, take statements and inspect any vehicular damage to determine the merits of your claim. Call an attorney if you are injured or if the damages are extensive. Your attorney can help determine who was at fault and how you might recoup losses stemming from injury or property damage. reporting An ACCIDenT TO InsurAnCe COMPAnIes Drivers are often reluctant to report accidents to their insurers, so they pay out of pocket. The other driver has the same option. But just because one driver opts to file a claim doesn t mean the other driver is obligated to do the same. It s best to talk to your insurance agent and to your lawyer as soon as possible. Time limitations for filing claims may differ from provider to provider; if one motorist decides to file a claim after you ve declined to do so, you may have missed your deadline. AS SEEn On 18 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

16 Amy Cantrell BerMan MOre GOnzalez, attorneys at law workers COMPensaTiOn, PersOnal injury, automobile accidents LEGAL LEADERS in 1993, with JuSt 4 years Of experience Keith More handled his first Traumatic Brain Injury case. It was at that time that Mr. More found his calling. When someone has a catastrophic injury it is a time of need, notes More. Not just for them but for the whole family. More doesn t consider himself just a lawyer, he considers himself a counselor, an advocate and a friend. What sets More apart from other attorneys is the compassion he has for his clients. For the past 24 years, More has been one of the few attorneys in Southern California who handles both personal injury and workers compensation serious injury cases. Whether the injury occurs at work or is caused by another individual s negligence, More goes beyond the call of duty to get his clients the benefits and compensation they deserve. more is A 3-timE trial lawyer Of the Year making him the only attorney in Orange County with that distinction. In 2008, More served as the President of the Orange County Trial yers Association (OCTLA) and is a frequent guest speaker on the subjects of personal injury and workers compensation. In December of 2012, More participated in a wrongful death case that resulted in a $10 million jury verdict. People ask him all the time, which do you like better personal injury or workers compensation? More explains: The simple truth is that I love what I do and it makes no difference to me one way or the other, so long as I can make a difference. SEt APARt By his SuCCESS, more has obtained some of the largest Workers Compensation awards and settlements in California history a $14.7 million settlement after one day of trial for a 22-year-old tetraplegic and over $10 million in benefits to a 19-year-old with a brain injury. These sums secure the future of his clients to ensure that all of their medical and health needs are met. More helps to obtain handicap accessible housing, specialized vehicles and annuities that are guaranteed for life. I am grateful for all that Keith did for me and my family, said Dwight Johnson, who is pictured here. Without his help, I m not sure what I would have done. keith P. more 2677 NORTH MAIN STREET, SUITE 225 SANTA ANA, CA PH: FAX: From Left: Dwight Johnson, Keith P. More

17 Southern california s top rated lawyers liability FOr InJurIes DURING RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES need TO KnOw It s not always easy to sue someone if you re injured in the process of a recreational activity. This isn t to say that gyms, resorts, schools, and sporting goods manufacturers don t have a responsibility to provide you with safe equipment- they must take precautions to see that you don t get hurt. However, liability regarding recreational activities isn t always as clear-cut as other types of personal injury lawsuits, even when you ve been seriously hurt. When you sign up with a gym, for example, you will be asked to sign a contract, agreeing to fees and rules. Most gym contracts include language stating that you re using their equipment and working out at your own risk. schools MAy HAVe limited liability Personal injury lawsuits related to school sports injuries can be problematic. If injury occurs because the equipment is faulty, such as football helmets, protective padding, or face guards, you could sue the manufacturer, but the school itself may not have any legal liability for this. Schools are typically required to provide only supervision and knowledge- able instruction to students involved in sporting activities. As long as coaches and teachers do these things, it may be difficult to prove negligence or liability. THeMe PArKs MAy FIGHT BACK If you re hurt while at a theme park, your odds of a successful lawsuit may depend on whether you can prove that some mechanical defect caused your injury. If you slip and fall, the park might allege that you were careless. Theme parks also defend a little harder against personal injury lawsuits, because they host millions of visitors yearly. Because of this, theme park accidents are often settled out of court. The awards are usually not made public, because publicity might entice others to sue. resorts MusT POsT warnings When you visit a resort, you might use their ski equipment, helmets for horseback riding, or canoes. Resorts are responsible for keeping this PAGE PROOF FOR APPROVAL ONLY equipment in good working order. They should also post clear warnings when conditions are unsafe for engaging in certain recreational activities. When resorts fail to do these things, they might be liable for any injury. A PersOnAl InJury lawyer CAn HelP The law surrounding personal injury and recreational activities is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a personal injury lawyer. AS SEEn On Bailey & ParTners aviation and Business litigation, PersOnal injury For nearly three decades, Bailey & Partners has served as a go-to law firm for cases involving plaintiffs aviation work, including both aviation-related accidents and complex aviation business litigation. The firm has also achieved a substantial number of verdicts in the areas of traumatic brain injury, including a $1.1 million settlement involving carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the firm s recent victories include a $12 million whistleblower verdict, a $2.75 million bathtub scald injury award, a $4.2 million pharmaceutical settlement, and a $4.25 million aircraft accident. The firm has also become known for its expertise in airplane completion disputes, having prosecuted two negligent interior completion cases involving privately-owned Boeing aircrafts, one that garnered a $7.7 million verdict and another for $12.4 million. There s probably no other firm in the country that has prosecuted two negligent interior completions on privately-owned, big Boeing aircrafts, Patrick Bailey notes. For a firm to be called upon twice for a matter involving so much money and such high risk is a pretty unique attribute. Bailey is a member of the invitation-only American Board of Trial Advocates, and, along with his partner Keith A. Lovendosky, has been regularly included in southern california super lawyers. Both attorneys are also AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the organization s highest rating for legal ability and professional ethics. We re able to bring together a lot of top flight resources to the cases we work on, Lovendosky says. Patrick has unique contacts in the aviation area, and these well-placed and well-educated sources have often proved to be an important part of the winning formula for us TH STREET SUITE 200 SANTA MONICA, CA PH: FAX: From Left: Patrick Bailey, Keith Lovendosky LEGAL LEADERS Patrick bailey keith lovendosky 20 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

18 law OFFiCes OF GreGOry a. yates CiVil rights, PersOnal injury, CiVil litigation with more than 40 years Of experience, attorney Greg Yates brings not only expertise but a highly original approach and unique courtroom savvy to all his clients cases be they large or small. GREG yates And his ASSOCiAtE Keren Bavilski are well known for rigorously fighting personal injury cases ranging from minor to very serious on behalf of victims and their families. And one thing he has done more than almost anyone else in his business win for his clients. notably, GREG yates was lead counsel in the Rampart police corruption scandal and recovered almost $20 million for clients who were victims of civil rights violations. He also won two wrongful death lawsuits that resulted in changing the way police departments nationwide handle domestic violence allegations against officers. In casting a spotlight on the issue nationwide, the LAPD was caused to create a task force to examine how it investigates and handles domestic violence abuse allegations. he has BEEn honored many times during his career, including being named California yer of the Year in 1997 by California yer magazine and finalist for CAOC s Trial yer of the Year in LEGAL LEADERS From Left: Gregory A. Yates, Keren Bavilski gregory a. yates VENTURA BLVD. #250, ENCINO, CA

19 Southern california s top rated lawyers BuyInG/sellInG COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AND ENDING A DEAL need TO KnOw Prestige, name recognition and the lure of skyrocketing property values have long been the siren songs enticing investors toward commercial real estate. In recent years, the trend of gobbling up commercial real estate worldwide has taken off among Asian financiers in particular, who are taking advantage of strong currencies and low interest rates to subsidize entire zip codes in foreign capitals. Investing in commercial real estate can actually seem a safer bet than the stock market, with its susceptibility to global mood swings, but investing in commercial real estate comes with its own particular risks, and the best way to look before leaping is to have all negotiations fully vetted by attorneys who specialize in real estate. PROPERTY VALUATION A large part of buying and selling commercial real estate is the process of determining value for a given property, which can be much more complicated than it sounds Thus, real estate is a unique product that may have no exact sales comparison. For example, a buyer may be looking to purchase a movie theater in an up-and coming area with few theatres to establish a market for the property. Further, commercial property valuation often must take into account income components: Is the property is currently bringing in revenue? What s the likelihood of future revenue from the property? Buyers and sellers could make estimates themselves, or hire professional valuation experts to estimate a price for the property. SALES NEGOTIATION AND DUE DILIGENCE Buying and selling commercial real estate is typically subject to intense negotiation. Commercial buyers cannot fall back on consumer protection laws if an aspect of the deal ends up not being fair. Buyers are expected to conduct due diligence. In other words, they must investigate the transaction thoroughly before making a decision, which is where the valuation team (and an attorney) comes in handy. During the sales negotiation, the buyer has leeway to thoroughly investigate the property and attempt to gain concessions from the seller to offset any future problems. Negotiation costs, legal fees, retainers paid to lawyers and valuation experts these investments will ultimately impact your bottom line and affect whether the property saves or costs you money. ASSUMING LIABILITY Another important aspect of buying and selling commercial real estate concerns transfer of legal liability to the new owner. If a commercial property purchased for use by the public is found to violate certain laws, it can be subject to zoning laws, mandatory reconstruction, etc. For example, if it s determined that a commercial property you ve got your eye on actually sits on property deemed an environmental hazard, the current owner (you - if you bought it) must clean it up even if the damage was created by the previous owner. And environmental clean-up can cost more than the property itself is worth. The process of buying and selling commercial real estate requires various types of professional assessments to ensure that the new buyer is not taking on an eventual liability. A former industrial space purchased for culinary production, for instance, could require extensive modification, just to get the space up to code: to get plumbing, electricity, fire suppression systems, permit fees: in downtown Los Angeles, that could mean at least a half a million dollars. LOSS OF LIQUIDITY Commercial real estate transactions typically tie up large sums of liquid assets. In a down market, owners can have a hard time selling the property, or trouble with tenants and vacancy rates, affecting their ability to make financing payments on the property. If payments to the lender fall behind, commercial property is subject to foreclosure. Typically, commercial real estate purchases come with long-term risks, which must be realistically evaluated prior to making the purchase. MANY WAYS TO END A LEASE If your commercial real estate deal is a lease, there are several ways to end it. Your lease might include terms that allow you to void the agreement if your business fails or your landlord fails to make agreed-upon repairs to the property. You might even be able to sublet the commercial property to another tenant. A new tenant can move in and pay the rent. But if the new tenant causes damage to the property or doesn t pay rent as required, you might still be legally responsible. BUYER AND SELLER BEWARE: A CHANGE OF HEART = LAWSUIT If a contingency clause doesn t provide an escape route, getting out of a commercial real estate deal won t be easy. Commercial real estate contracts after the sale of a property are binding, and if one party backs out, the other party can usually instigate court proceedings. If you are the seller, the buyer can sue you for specific performance. Specific performance is a court order requiring a party to perform a specific act, usually what is stated in a contract. Courts might order owners to sell the property in question. Buyers who look before they leap in commercial real estate can get burned if the seller backs out while staying within the confines of the agreement. Buyers can lose deposit money, and even be mandated to reimburse the seller for legal fees or costs related to the dispute. NEGOTIATE A SETTLEMENT suits can be expensive, so it s practically suicide to navigate the world of commercial real estate as a civilian. As Benjamin Franklin once noted, An ounce of prevention... You know the rest. AS SEEn On 22 \ Southern california s top rated lawyers To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit

20 LEGAL LEADERS From Left: John D. Whitcombe, Richard C. Greenberg, Derrick K. Takeuchi GreenBerG, whitcombe & TaKeuCHi, llp Business, real estate, COnsTruCTiOn, employment GREEnBERG, whitcombe & takeuchi, llp ( Gwt ), is A boutique law firm dedicated to providing skilled and efficient representation in a wide range of business, real estate, construction, and employment litigation, as well as in corporate, transactional, financing and real estate matters for California, national and international business clients. As the preeminent South Bay business law firm for the last 30 years, the partners of Greenberg, Whitcombe & Takeuchi, have well over 100 years of combined transactional and litigation experience. From alone, our mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring practice has completed over one billion dollars in closings. Gwt COmBinES the PERSOnAl AttEntiOn Of A boutique firm with the strength and experience offered by large, multi-office law practices. We take pride in offering rates that are extremely competitive given our highly credentialed and capable attorneys. Gwt S CAPACity to COntROl COStS And fees while providing truly personal service is enhanced by the location and size of the firm, and the expertise and initiative of our lawyers. We are known for our ability to bring creative solutions to complex issues in a timely and efficient manner. the lawyers At Gwt have An unusual depth Of trial and appellate experience, including the trial of complex business disputes in bench and jury trials in state and federal court. That capability enables the firm to assess its clients objectives realistically, to design practical and cost-effective strategies, to litigate matters successfully, and to resolve matters with confidence. the firm S transactional PRACtiCE includes the structure and formation, ongoing representation, purchase and sale, financing, mergers, joint ventures and alliances of a broad spectrum of business and real estate entities. GWT s lawyers provide legal counseling on a wide variety of business issues, including commercial contracts, real and personal property tax appeals, labor and employment matters, corporate governance and licensing. Gwt S transactional PRACtiCE And decidedly commercial orientation enable its lawyers to understand the business issues that give rise to its litigation matters. As a consequence, they are better positioned to determine the facts efficiently, to present them with clarity, and to resolve matters realistically and effectively. Similarly, the firm s litigation history and culture enforce a transactional style that is direct and pragmatic. Gwt S CuRREnt CliEnt BASE RAnGES from individuals to members of the S&P 500. To the latter group, GWT is a valued resource, advising on a breadth of issues including local compliance, litigation and transactions. To the individual and small or medium sized company, GWT is often a general counsel, acting as both a trusted advisor and seasoned advocate HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD, SUITE 450 TORRANCE, CA PH: To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in Southern california visit Southern california s top rated lawyers / 23

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