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Community News – June 2015

1Kimberly Ahrens was recently recognized by the San Diego County Bar Association as a recipient of the 2015 SDCBA Service Award. The annual awards recognize distinguished individuals and organizations for their commitment to serving the San Diego Community. Ahrens earned the Service to Diversity Award, which recognizes outstanding service by a member of the legal profession in promoting and encouraging diversity within the legal profession.

2The Honorable Peter W. Bowie, former Chief Judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of California, has joined Ballard Spahr’s nationally renowned bankruptcy practice as of counsel in the firm’s San Diego office.
Judge Bowie recently retired after a 27-year career on the bench. Before joining the court, he spent 14 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, the last six as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Judge Bowie has presided over a range of cases and his experience brings even greater depth to Ballard Spahr’s bankruptcy practice. He is recognized for his skills as a mediator, and over the last year of his judgeship successfully resolved several vigorously contested, large fee application disputes. His practice will include conducting mediation settlement conferences and developing a mediation practice at the firm.
Judge Bowie joins the firm’s Litigation Department and its Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group. Ballard Spahr’s bankruptcy and finance practice expanded into San Diego last year, with the arrival of partners Mr. Celentino and Mikel Bistrow. In addition to bankruptcy and insolvency, lawyers in the office handle real and personal property finance, white collar defense, regulatory enforcement, complex litigation, and intellectual property matters.

3Janice Brown, founder of Brown Law Group, has been appointed to the California Department of Insurance—Insurance Diversity Task Force for 2015/2016. Founded in 2012, the Insurance Diversity Task Force, headed by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, considers and makes recommendations about diversity in the insurance industry, including the diversity of corporate governing boards and procurement from diverse businesses.
Ms. Brown’s commitment to excellence has earned her numerous accolades and awards throughout her career, including the following: the Department of Justice “Outstanding Trial Attorney” Award; California Association of Black Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year; and Gonzaga University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Merit Award. In 2011, Ms. Brown and Brown Law Group were awarded Supplier of the Year by the San Diego Regional Minority Supplier Development Council. Ms. Brown is rated AV® PreeminentTM by Martindale. Most recently, Ms. Brown was selected by the California Minority Counsel Program as one of its inaugural Hall of Fame members.
“I am truly honored to serve Commissioner Jones’ vision for economic equality. Diversity is the new normal,” Ms. Brown stated.

4Higgs Fletcher & Mack, announced that Partner Richard A. Shaw was the recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2015 “Outstanding Attorney of the Year” Service Award. A nationally recognized lawyer in taxation, corporate and estate planning, Shaw was selected as an exemplary attorney for his contributions to the legal profession and service to the San Diego community.
An active member of the SDCBA for more than 47 years, Shaw served as President of the San Diego County Council Boy Scouts of America, President of the Eagle Scout Alumni Association, President of the San Diego Kiwanis Club, Chair of Washington-Lincoln Laurels for Leaders, Chair of the Corporate Finance Council, founding Incorporator of the San Diego Bar Foundation, Chair of the Kiwanis Foundation and Executive Committee Member for the San Diego Museum of Art, Business Circle. In addition, he is a recipient of the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Silver Antelope Award and Silver Beaver Award given by the Boy Scouts of America. Lastly, Shaw is a nationally respected lecturer, writer and distinguished adjunct professor for the University of San Diego Masters in Tax Law Program where he has taught for 37 years and is known for providing pro bono tax law assistance to young San Diego lawyers.

56The San Diego law firm of Martinez & Schill LLP is proud to announce that Partners Jennifer L. Martinez and Michelle D. Schill have been named to the San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Best of the Bar list. This inaugural list acknowledges the top San Diego attorneys in private practice as nominated by their peers.
San Diego personal injury attorney Jennifer L. Martinez earned her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and earned her B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle. Martinez focuses her legal practice on personal injury matters including: wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, premises liability, car accidents, motorcycle accidents and construction site injuries. Martinez is a top-rated San Diego car accident attorney on and she has earned the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell based on her legal expertise and outstanding ethics. She is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and the San Diego Lawyers Club.
San Diego personal injury lawyer Michelle D. Schill earned her J.D. from the California Western School of Law in San Diego and earned her B.A. from San Diego State University. Schill concentrates her practice on representing victims of personal injury accidents including child injuries, auto accidents, dog bites, brain injury, wrongful death, construction accidents and more.

7Procopio Associate John Miles has been elected to the Board of Directors for Include Autism, which is a non-profit that supports the local autistic youth. This organization is dedicated to providing services that instill community-wide autism inclusion. Their focal program, Community Coaching, takes Applied Behavior Analysis and social skill training to a new level by providing a unique service that takes therapy “on-the-go” into the community. They also offer in-home support programs and therapy options, as well as recreational opportunities for these children, such as baseball leagues.
John’s practice includes various issues related to domestic and international business and tax planning. He assists clients in the development of business transactions including: general business matters; financing structures; mergers, acquisitions and restructurings; as well as individual estate planning for both domestic and international clients. John also advises on tax compliance issues for US persons holding assets with unreported income in foreign jurisdictions, including the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and related IRS programs.

8Jonathon F. Giebeler, a commercial real estate and business lawyer with Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP (HechtSolberg), has been awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation by the CCIM Institute. Giebeler has also been elected to the 2015 Board of Directors for the San Diego chapter of the CCIM Institute.
The CCIM designation is awarded to commercial real estate professionals after completing extensive analytical curriculum and a six-hour exam and presenting a portfolio of qualifying industry experience. The curriculum addresses financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis and investment analysis —the cornerstones of commercial investment real estate. CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, asset management, valuation and investment analysis.
Giebeler earned a Master of Real Estate Development degree and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California. He is also a member of the San Diego chapter of NAIOP.


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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