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Community News – September 2014

1Mikel R. Bistrow, a bankruptcy and transactional finance partner in Ballard Spahr’s San Diego office, has been selected a San Diego County 2014 Top Attorney Finalist in the Real Estate & Construction Transactional category by The Daily Transcript. The Top Attorneys are determined through an extensive peer voting process whereby 10 finalists are selected from the field of the top 25 nominated attorneys in each of the 15 practice areas in private, corporate, academic and government.
Ms. Bistrow is a member of Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department and its Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery and Transactional Finance Groups. She practices in the areas of commercial finance and lending, real and personal property secured transactions, Uniform Commercial Code, creditor’s collection and related remedies, bankruptcy, insolvency, and workouts.
Her finance practice emphasizes representing lenders and borrowers in documenting and negotiating real and personal property loans and secured transactions, including revolving lines of credit, asset-backed loans, securitized credits, and construction financing.


Fish & Richardson has announced that both its Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation practices received a top Tier 1 national ranking from The Legal 500—a guide to the most preeminent U.S. law firms. Fish also received top national rankings for its Patent Litigation/International Trade Commission (ITC) and Trademark and Copyright practices. Additionally, Fish won The Legal 500’s inaugural 2014 IP Boutique Law Firm Award for its overall outstanding work in IP law.
Southern California Fish attorneys Juanita Brooks and Jonathan Singer, both based in San Diego, were singled out as “leading’ litigators by The Legal 500. Lisa Martens, also with Fish in San Diego, was commended for her work in trademark and copyright law.
The Legal 500 gave Fish several other accolades for its various IP practice areas. Inclusion in The Legal 500 is based solely on merit, and the series is widely regarded as offering the definitive judgment of law firm capabilities.

3Fisher & Phillips LLP announced today that it has released Version 2 of its popular FMLA Leave Calculator App. The law firm has also added a web browser version of the app along with the iOS and Android versions. The earlier version of the app released last June has been downloaded more than 1,600 times and it won a First Place Award from the Southeastern Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association for Social/Interactive Media.
Fisher & Phillips Chairman and Managing Partner Roger Quillen said: “When we set out to develop our first app we said we wanted to create a tool that employers and HR professionals can use at work. This free tool has proven to be very popular as the 1,600-plus downloads illustrate. It was exciting to have our early adopters provide direct feedback as we developed the next version. We hope to hear from SHRM members and other professionals after using Version 2 of the FMLA app for their leave calculations.”

4Butterfield Schechter & Van Clief LLP is proud to announce that partner Marc Schechter has been selected as a San Diego Daily Transcript Top Attorney 2014 Finalist in the Corporate Transactional category. The Transcript conducts a peer voting process to determine the best lawyers in private, corporate, academic and government practice in San Diego County in key categories.
Marc specializes in the areas of employee benefits, ERISA, and business matters, with special emphasis on ESOP transactions. In addition to handling a wide range of business transactional matters, he has extensive experience designing, drafting and implementing all types of qualified and nonqualified employee benefit programs. He is an active speaker at national ESOP conferences has been doing that annually for 25 years.

5Award winning San Diego family law attorney Terry McNiff recently appeared on FOX LA’s Midday Sunday show to discuss his award-winning guide, Picture Your Divorce to See the Right Decisions. Emmy-Award winning reporter Tony Valdez explored child-centered divorce with Mr. McNiff to educate the community, including parents who break up. McNiff has been certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 1994.

6Coinciding with the firm’s fortieth anniversary, Marcus Family Law Center, PLC is raising awareness about children with special needs and the unique challenges they face as their fates are decided in custody courts. Marcus Family Law Center has handled a myriad of cases over the years involving special needs children and has cultivated a particular sensitivity to their issues.
Ethan J. Marcus, attorney, certified family law specialist, and current president of Marcus Family Law Center, PLC is spearheading this mission. Inspired by the successful campaigns to promote mandatory judicial education in the fields of domestic violence, illicit drug use, alcohol abuse, and child abuse, Marcus Family Law Center, PLC is seeking to open the dialogue that will set the stage for the establishment of minimum educational requirements and informational services in order to get the news out to judicial officers that special needs kids are special and deserve special treatment.
Currently, Marcus Family Law Center, PLC is in information-gathering mode and would like to hear from parents and caregivers about what they would like the courts to know about raising a special needs child.

7Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. is pleased to welcome Christopher Olmsted as a shareholder in the firm’s San Diego office. Olmsted joins Ogletree Deakins from Barker Olmsted & Barnier, where he was a name partner. Olmsted’s arrival is a boost to the firm’s employment law, litigation, and wage and hour practice groups and increases the firm’s depth in California. Since opening in January 2013, the San Diego office has grown quickly to 11 attorneys who serve clients throughout Southern California and the United States.

Olmsted has extensive litigation experience. His employment law litigation practice includes the defense of Title VII claims regarding race, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, and sexual harassment, as well as claims related to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Olmsted also regularly litigates false claim and whistleblowing actions, public policy violations, and wrongful termination, wage and hour, misappropriation of trade secrets, and independent contractor misclassification claims.

Gomez Trial Attorneys congratulates Jeremiah Lowe and Jessica Sizemore for graduating from ABOTA’s 2014 National Trial College at Harvard Law School. They were among the thirty six trial lawyers around the country selected to participate in ABOTA’s 2014 Trial College. Congratulations as well to Bibianne Fvell who was invited to return as a graduate fellow to assist with the 2014 ABOTA National Trial College. The ABOTA Trial College provided five days of intensive training from members of the bench and from accomplished practitioners in the art of being a successful trial lawyer.8


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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