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Community News – September 2019

Butterfield Schechter LLP is pleased to announce that partner Rob Butterfield was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (Copyright 2019 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Rob has been included in “The Best Lawyers in America” 1991-2000, 2005-2011, 2013-2019. Rob is a nationally recognized expert on ERISA and pension plans. He is the co-founder of Butterfield Schechter LLP with a practice emphasis on employee benefits, executive compensation, ERISA, estate planning and corporate planning. He has practiced employee benefit, tax and corporate law since 1977. Rob is a co-founder of Promises2Kids (formerly known as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation of San Diego County) and serves as an “emeritus” member of its Board of Directors. He is a current member and former president of the Western Pension and Employee Benefits Conference—San Diego Chapter.

Kevin DeSantis, managing partner of the law firm Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick, has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Legal Malpractice Law—Defendants, Professional Malpractice Law—Defendants, and Transportation Law. In addition, DeSantis received the prestigious “Lawyer of the Year” accolade in the area of Legal Malpractice Law—Defendants. Certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in legal malpractice law, DeSantis regularly represents clients in complex civil litigation matters and risk management, focusing on professional liability, commercial disputes, transportation industry matters, and employment law disputes. DeSantis also provides general business representation and strategic advisement services to companies of all sizes including architecture, engineering, legal and financial services providers, and to domestic and international transportation companies.

Seventeen Higgs Fletcher & Mack (HFM) attorneys have been named to the 2020 list of “Best Lawyers in America” and HFM Partner Peter S. Doody has also earned the “Lawyer of the Year” distinction for Insurance Law. Peter S. Doody was also recognized as Lawyer of the Year in the Insurance Law category. Lawyer of the Year recognition is also based on peer review and is awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area in a geographic region. Only one attorney is recognized for each specialty and location. Doody is currently the President of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel. He is also the former President of San Diego Defense Lawyers and he received the organization’s 2019 Defense Lawyer of the Year award.

Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC, is pleased to announce that M. Andrew “Drew” Woodmansee has joined the firm as a shareholder in its San Diego office, where he will lead the firm’s intellectual property practice. A seasoned patent litigator with 23 years’ experience representing health care and life sciences clients, Woodmansee expands and complements the firm’s sophisticated health care litigation practice.

Woodmansee has spent more than two decades representing clients in high-stakes patent litigation throughout the United States, primarily in the medical device, diagnostics, surgical equipment, and pharmaceutical industries. A veteran trial attorney, Woodmansee has tried cases to verdict in jury trials, bench trials, and in Section 337 investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission, as well as numerous cases for pharmaceutical clients under the Hatch-Waxman Act.

Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP (NoonanLance) has announced that David J. Noonan, James R. Lance and Ethan T. Boyer have received awards from the legal profession’s most respected peer-review publication, Best Lawyers. Noonan was first recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in 1995. In last year’s annual edition, he was named 2019 Lawyer of the Year—Bet-the-Company Litigation for San Diego. Lance was first recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in 2013. He has consistently been honored in the Commercial Litigation category and more recently given the Best Lawyers distinction in the Legal Malpractice Law—Defendants and Litigation—Real Estate categories.

The San Diego-based law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek announces that Stephanie S. Downer has joined the firm as of counsel. Downer’s practice focuses on estate planning, wealth transfer planning, trust administration and probate law. She has more than 12 years of experience representing families and business owners in all aspects of estate planning, including revocable living trust plans, gift and estate tax planning, charitable gift planning, property tax planning, trust administration and probate. Prior to joining SCMV, Downer was a partner at Paeske Law where she focused on estate planning, tax and business planning for clients in the San Diego community. Downer is an active member of the Trust and Estates Section of the State Bar of California and the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section of the San Diego Bar Association.

Fish & Richardson principals Juanita Brooks, Betsy Flanagan and Deanna Reichel have been named to the 2019 list of “Top 250 Women in Litigation” in the U.S. by Benchmark Litigation. Brooks, who is based in Fish’s Southern California office located in San Diego, Flanagan and Reichel were recognized as leading female litigators in their field for their work on “some of the most impactful litigation matters in recent history” and for “earning the hard-won respect of their peers and clients.” This is the second consecutive year that all three of these lawyers were selected for inclusion.

In 2018, Brooks, Flanagan and Reichel led the all-women Federal Circuit oral argument team that won a unanimous opinion that affirmed Fish’s post-trial reversal of a $200 million jury verdict against client Gilead Sciences, Inc. The team proved that Merck had forfeited its right to assert its hepatitis C drug patents against Gilead because of litigation and business misconduct constituting “unclean hands.” The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in January 2019.


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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