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Community News – September 2012

This year’s San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program annual “Justice For All Celebration” is slated for September 13 at the San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for networking, generous hors d’oeuvres and a no host bar. The program begins at 7 p.m. The event will feature awards for outstanding pro bono contributions as well as a presentation by a SDVLP client about the services they received.

SDVLP’s 2012 Pro Bono Service Award recipients are: Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Gary Holt; Law Firm of the Year: Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP; Community Service Award: August Larsen, AJL Litigation Media Inc.

“SDVLP is only as strong as the volunteers who give so selflessly of their time and expertise,” states Amy Fitzpatrick, executive director of SDVLP. “These honorees are tremendous examples of why our program has been able to provide such high quality legal representation for our county’s most vulnerable citizens; these honorees are some of our region’s most talented legal professionals.”

Best Best & Krieger LLP has the nation’s fourth-highest percentage of women equity partners, placing it among only five of the largest law firms across the country whose percentage is above 25 percent, according to the National Law Journal.

Women at BB&K, which has about 200 attorneys working in nine offices across California and in Washington D.C., make up 26.7 percent of the firm’s equity partners, more than 12 percentage points above the average.

Women equity partners at BB&K oversee the firm’s two largest offices: Cynthia M. Germano is the managing partner for the Riverside office and Arlene Prater is the managing partner for the San Diego office.

Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP congratulates its partner, Christopher Todd, on his election to the State Bar Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees meets approximately eight times a year to debate organizational, policy and professional issues affecting the legal profession. Trustees are elected to three-year terms.

Wingert Grebing is confident Chris will be an excellent and effective representative for District 4 and is proud of his leadership within our community. In addition to his service on the Board of Trustees, Chris maintains an active litigation practice focused on business, real estate, insurance/bad faith, professional malpractice and injury disputes.

Craig R. McClellan received the Daniel T. Broderick III Award on August 10, 2012 at the Red Boudreau Dinner, which brings together legal professionals from all areas of San Diego’s civil justice system. Each year, the award is presented to an accomplished San Diego trial attorney who “upholds the highest standards of civility, integrity, and professionalism.”

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP has hired three new associates, bringing the total number of attorneys at the firm to 26. Carolina Bravo-Karimi, James Leonard and Christina Tapia will practice in the firm’s employment law group.

Bravo-Karimi comes to Wilson Turner Kosmo after being a law clerk to the Honorable Louisa S. Porter in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. She also teaches appellate advocacy at University of San Diego School of Law. She received her J.D. from the USD School of Law, a Masters in gender studies from the London School of Economics andPolitical Science and her B.A. in government from Harvard University.

Leonard was formerly with Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton. In addition to employment litigation, he has extensive experience with First Amendment issues, including California’s anti-SLAPP statute. Leonard was a Rose Foundation Fellow for the First Amendment Project in 2008. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and his B.A. in European history from University of California, San Diego.

Tapia was most recently in Gordon & Rees’s San Diego office employment practice group and previously was a deputy attorney general in the Correctional Writs and Appeals Section of the Attorney General’s Office. She has represented clients at trial and administration hearings. She earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and her B.A. in political science from the University of California, San Diego.

McClellan has obtained 95 verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars each, and is a three-time recipient of the “Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award” from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for cases in which million and multi-million dollar verdicts were obtained.

He is the first and only San Diego attorney selected for admission to the Inner Circle of Advocates, a prestigious invitation-only group of top plaintiff’s attorneys, limited to 100 members nationwide. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he served as President of the San Diego Chapter. He has appeared on public radio and television programs, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, and the McNeil-Lehrer Report.

Jenny Goodman, an attorney at Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel, was elected President of the Rotary Club of San Diego Downtown Breakfast for 2012-2013, effective July 1, 2012. Goodman has been actively engaged in Rotary since 2004, serving on numerous committees and has been on the Board of the Rotary Club of San Diego Downtown Breakfast for the last two years.

Active in the local community, Goodman formerly served as the chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Animal Law Section, was a former President of the Indiana University Alumni Club—San Diego Chapter and served two terms on the Board of Directors for San Diego Coastkeeper. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Youth Soccer League and serves as its Director of Recreational Coaching.

The Rotary Club of San Diego Downtown Breakfast supports a wide variety of community organizations and health and social causes in the San Diego metropolitan area and throughout the world. The chapter focuses primarily on fundraising and service opportunities for charities and issues related to children, seniors, military families and the environment.

Jim Peterson, an employment law attorney and partner of Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the 2012 top labor and employment attorneys in the state. Mr. Peterson was the only San Diego “management side” or employment defense attorney selected for this prestigious award. Only 75 labor and employment attorneys in the state receive this recognition.

Mr. Peterson has been practicing employment law in San Diego for over 24 years and currently serves as the Chair of Higgs Fletcher & Mack’s Business Litigation Department and the Labor and Employment Practice Group. He advises and litigates disputes for a number of national and regional business clients on various aspects of the employment relationship including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, compensation (including wage and hour class actions) misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information, breach of contract, and wrongful termination. As part of his employment law consulting practice, Mr. Peterson counsels clients on hiring practices, wage and hour compliance, employment agreements, policy manuals, employee handbooks, termination decisions, lay-offs, and disability management.

The Gomez Law Firm has purchased 10 Charger season tickets in the “family section” of Qualcomm Stadium, which will be made available via non-profit organizations to kids might not ordinarily have the opportunity to see the Chargers in action. The family section prohibits profanity and alcohol and is a safe place for children.

The Gomez Firm team’s vision of philanthropy consists of giving back time, talent and treasure as a firm as well on an individual level. The Gomez Law Firm Founder and Lead Trial Attorney John Gomez has mastered the quickstep, in order to compete as a local luminary in Malashock’s So You Think You Can Dance fundraiser - raising funds to make their programs accessible to children. He has polished his stand-up comedy routine to give people access to legal guidance as part of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s LAF-Off. John does voice-overs for the radio PSAs showcasing MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) efforts to combat drunk driving. The Gomez Law Firm team also participates in Walk for the Cure, Race on behalf of Children with Autism, and Raise the Red Boot for the Ronald McDonald House.


Executive Publisher, Attorney Journal      President, Sticky Media, LLC

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About the Author: Executive Publisher, Attorney Journal      President, Sticky Media, LLC

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