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Community News-March 2013

StephenEsteyA Los Angeles jury has awarded a young victim represented by Estey Bomberger a verdict of $23 million resulting from sexual abuse by his former elementary school teacher, Forrest Stobbe. The Los Angeles Unified School District must pay $6.9 million in damages for its failure to provide proper supervision. This is believed to be the largest verdict ever leveled against LAUSD in a molestation case involving a single victim. In 2010, Stephen Estey argued a molestation-related case in San Jose, California that resulted in a $30 million verdict, the largest verdict in California history for a single person sex abuse case. The trial against LAUSD lasted 15 days in Los Angeles Superior Court. Estey had asked for a $25 million verdict at the time of trial.

JuanitaBrooksFish & Richardson has been named “Intellectual Property Practice Group of the Year” and “Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year” by Law360 for the size, complexity, and significance of its 2012 litigation wins. This is a particularly prestigious honor since only five firms – out of hundreds of nominations – are selected in each practice area.

Fish was named “Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year” for its impressive wins for Mayo Clinic, W.L. Gore, Cephalon, Inc., Allergan, Inc., and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. For Cephalon, Fish won an important Federal Circuit ruling that clarified parties’ respective burdens of proof when a defendant seeks to invalidate a patent. This issue, seen in almost every Hatch-Waxman pharmaceutical litigation, has now been resolved in branded pharmaceutical’s favor.

Fish has 12 offices worldwide, including one in San Diego. Leading the firm’s life science litigation practice locally is Juanita Brooks, who was involved with several of the victories that Law360 highlighted. Brooks is recognized nationally for her superior litigation skills and winning record. She is considered a leader in the emerging area of Hatch-Waxman litigation.

DaveFoxStephaniePoliThe Gomez Iagmin Law Firm is proud to announce the addition of two new trial lawyers, Dave Fox and Stephanie Poli.

Dave Fox is a trial attorney who focuses his practice on representing individuals who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries. Dave has successfully tried over a dozen cases to verdict, including both civil and criminal cases. Dave came to the firm from the United States Attorney’s Office where he investigated and tried cases involving weapons trafficking, drug trafficking, robbery, fraud, assault, and public corruption. Notably, Dave prevailed in a high profile six week trial against corrupt United States Border Patrol agents found guilty of bribery and smuggling illegal aliens. Dave also worked at a top international law firm, Cooley LLP, where he represented individuals and companies in complex employment, business, and product liability disputes. Dave graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law with honors and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Stephanie Poli is a trial attorney practicing in the Mass Torts Division with a strong interest in catastrophic injury and products liability. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A., majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. Upon graduation, she began working as a legal assistant at an Arizona law firm before attending the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She participated in the Hastings Business Law Journal, Hastings’ Appellate Advocacy program, Moot Court courses, Hastings Trial Law Association, and Inter-Journal Writing Competition committee. She also devoted time to serving as a student legal advocate

MeaganGarlandMeagan E. Garland has joined Brown Law Group as a new associate. Ms. Garland comes to Brown after serving for more than six years as a litigation associate at Baker & McKenzie, LLP, San Diego, CA and New York, NY. Ms. Garland’s litigation practice focused on representing corporations and individuals in state and federal courts (criminal and civil) in a variety of litigation matters.

In 2005, Ms. Garland interned with the United Nations, Office of the Prosecutor, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. She is affiliated with Inn of Court (Louis M. Welsh Inn). Other affiliations have included serving as the Founder and Co-Chair (2007) of Diverse Women’s Task Force of the Lawyer’s Club of San Diego; and as mentoring coordinator and board members of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. Ms. Garland is the recipient of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service (2007) and the Pro Bono Service Award, Baker & McKenzie, San Diego (2006, 2007, and 2011).

Ms. Garland earned her Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School and her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude from Spelman College, Atlanta, GA.

NicoleBarvieNicole Barvié has joined McCormick & Mitchell, APC. Ms. Barvié received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona in 2005. In her junior year, Ms. Barvié spent a semester in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Barvié is fluent in Spanish.

Following her undergraduate studies, Ms. Barvié moved to San Francisco, before migrating south to San Diego to receive her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in 2011. During law school, Ms. Barvié was a member of the International Law Society and the Student Bar Association. Additionally, Ms. Barvié completed a clinical internship and post-bar clerkship at International Practice Group in San Diego.

At McCormick and Mitchell, Ms. Barvié’s practice focuses on civil litigation. Ms. Barvié is admitted to practice law in California. Additionally, she is a member of the California Bar Association, the American Bar Association, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, and the San Diego County Bar Association.

RonBallRon Ball, the former city attorney of Carlsbad, has joined Best Best & Krieger LLP as an of counsel attorney. Ball, who retired from his Carlsbad position in December after 26 years, will practice in BB&K’s San Diego office where he will be a member of the firm’s municipal law practice group, one of the largest in California.

Ball has an extensive background in legal issues that affect cities. During his tenure in Carlsbad, Ball worked on several high-profile and cutting-edge legal matters, including the creation of California’s first financing district, the defense and implementation of the city’s growth management plan, the drafting of the city’s first development agreement for Legoland, the drafting of the second agreement for the proposed Carlsbad desalination plant, the largest of its kind in the United States, drafting and implementing changes to Carlsbad’s city charter and participating in proceedings.

Ball is the California State Chair, International Municipal Lawyers’ Association. He is also a member and former director of the North County Bar Association of San Diego County, and a director and former president of the San Diego Stanford Club.

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP), a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to thousands of disadvantaged clients every year, will hold its seventh annual LAF-Off (Lawyers Are Funny) event on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.

In celebration of SDVLP’s 30th anniversary, this year’s competition will feature LAF-Off All Stars – some of the most popular, crowd-pleasing contestants from the six previous competitions.

LAF-OFF not only raises money for SDVLP, it also proves that lawyers can be funny. The hilarious stand-up comedy show features members of the San Diego legal community showcasing their comedic talents by competing for the title of funniest attorney in town. Each contestant is given five minutes to perform their comedy routine. After the performances, three equally funny “judges,” along with the audience, determine who wins a year’s worth of bragging rights.

LAF-Off will kick off with VIP and general cocktail receptions at 5:00 p.m., followed by the comedy competition at 6:00 p.m. VIP tickets are $100 each and general admission tickets are $60 each. Tickets are available on-line at www.lafoff.com. All proceeds from LAF-Off support the work of SDVLP.

MichaelCatoSolomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, LLP is pleased to announce that Michael C. Cato has been elected a partner of the firm. Cato has practiced real estate and finance law in San Diego for over a decade.

“We are delighted to add Michael as a partner,” said Michael Breslauer, Solomon Ward’s Managing Partner. “As a broad-based real estate and finance lawyer, he will strengthen those components of our expanding transactional department for years to come.”

Cato represents local and national real estate owners, developers and investors. He specializes in office, industrial, retail and multi-family projects. Prior to joining Solomon Ward as of counsel in 2011, Cato worked for over nine years with Latham & Watkins and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.

“I am very excited for this opportunity,” Cato said. “At Solomon Ward, we are more than a great group of lawyers – we are entrepreneurs who strive to understand our clients’ businesses and to deliver excellent legal services with significant value. I look forward to building on Solomon Ward’s tradition and success as one of the best law firms in Southern California.”

Brian

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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