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Community News – June 2016

1Fisher & Phillips LLP recently received the “Champion of Women” award by Connected Women of Influence, a leading association recognizing leaders and trail blazers in professional services companies. In front of a crowd of 300 guests, the firm took home the top prize of the day, which was also the only award given to a company. In addition, Partner Danielle Moore was honored as a final nominee in the “Women Breaking Barriers” category.
The “Champion of Women” award recognizes a company or organization that provides internal programs and initiatives that are unique, cutting edge and specifically designed to support the advancement and acceleration of women in the workplace. The “Women Breaking Barriers” nominees are women who utilize their position, stature, expertise and influence to break down barriers and effect positive change in their professions, industries or enterprises.
Fisher & Phillips has been a contributing member to Connected Women of Influence for the last few years, with partners and staff participating in various initiatives with the association. The firm also created and supports a similar in-house program, the Women’s Initiative and Leadership Council (WILC), which focuses on recruitment, development and support for women throughout Fisher & Phillips. WILC also provides a forum for attorneys to share experiences and ideas to support advancement.

2Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3) announced today the addition of two real estate partners—David Swartz, former general counsel of Arden Realty, Inc. and Dawn Saunders, previously with Mintz Levin—to the ranks of its growing commercial real estate law firm.
Over a 20-year legal career, Saunders has concentrated her practice on complex commercial leasing with a focus on technology and biotechnology/life science companies, as well as laboratory and manufacturing facilities. She also has extensive experience with the acquisition/disposition of commercial real estate, including providing oversight of the due diligence process and advice on mergers/ acquisitions and the related financing and restructuring implications.
With 25 years of legal experience, Swartz has a background that includes corporate M&A, real estate acquisitions and dispositions, financing, leasing, risk management and litigation. He was most recently with Elkins Kalt and brings with him a diverse client base of institutional and emerging clients in hotel, multifamily, commercial, retail and industrial properties.
During his 10+ years at Arden Realty, Swartz created and led the company’s legal department, managed and negotiated over $6 billion in real estate transactions and was instrumental in orchestrating Arden’s highprofile acquisition by General Electric Capital Corporation.

3Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek is pleased to announce that Brian Katusian, Andrea Myers and Matthew Seltzer have been elected as shareholders of the firm.
Katusian joined Seltzer Caplan as an associate in 2011. His practice emphasizes tax law, ERISA/employee benefits, and tax-exempt organizations. He is certified by the State Bar of California as a Legal Specialist in Taxation Law. Katusian received his J.D. and LL.M in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Myers began her legal career as a summer associate at Seltzer Caplan in 2007. Her practice focuses on complex business litigation, real property disputes, professional liability defense and employment litigation. She was recognized as a Rising Star by San Diego Super Lawyers Magazine and named a Woman Who Moves the City by San Diego Magazine. Myers received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Seltzer began his legal career at Seltzer Caplan in 2007. His practice encompasses real estate and business transactions. His work has been recognized in the San Diego Business Journal’s Top Real Estate Deals special report and awards program. Seltzer received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

4Fish & Richardson litigator Craig Countryman has been named a Rising Star by Appellate Law360 placing him among the top appellate lawyers in the United States under the age of 40. Countryman was one of only six attorneys nationally selected for this prestigious list. According to Law360, Countryman “pushed appellate courts into new territory, persuading the Federal Circuit to set precedent for patent reviews and winning certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court…” on the standard for enhanced damages in patent cases.
Countryman, who is 34 years old, is co-chair of Fish’s appellate practice and is based in the firm’s San Diego/ Southern California office. He has led the briefing in over 30 Federal Circuit, Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court appeals and has argued several of them. In 2015 alone, he received favorable decisions in four appeals. He also writes frequently on a variety of patent law topics and has published over 25 articles and dozens of posts on Fish’s litigation blog.
He received his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2006, and his B.S. in chemistry, with honors, from the California Institute of Technology in 2003.

5Higgs Fletcher & Mack, awarded its fourth $4,500 California Western School of Law Diversity Scholarship to Beshoy F. Shehata. A 2017 Juris Doctor candidate, Shehata was selected for demonstrating ethical and civic leadership and for providing services to underrepresented groups in the community.
Shehata grew up in Cairo, Egypt and at age 10, his family moved to the U.S. to avoid religious persecution. When he first arrived, Shehata had minimal knowledge of the English language, which made learning difficult. However, he has successfully become the first college graduate in his family. Law has always been Shehata’s passion. Because of his background, his goals are to protect the public and advocate for the weak. Shehata received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and International Peace Studies from University of California Santa Barbara.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack has provided scholarships to students at California Western School of Law since 2013. Headed by Higgs’ Diversity Committee, the firm and its contributing attorneys have awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships to both USD and California Western School of Law.

6Schwartz Semerdjian is pleased to announce that Alison K. Adelman has joined the firm as an associate. Adelman represents individuals and business entities in a variety of civil litigation matters including employment, business tort, and personal injury. After graduating from the University of San Diego School of Law and prior to joining Schwartz Semerdjian, Alison practiced civil litigation with her father, Marc Adelman, a former San Diego County and California State Bar President.
Alison earned her undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Connecticut, where she was a pitcher on the UConn Huskies Division 1 softball team and named to the NCAA and Big East Conference All-Academic teams each year. During law school, Alison was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia at the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.


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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