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Community News – October 2019

Butterfield Schechter LLP is pleased to announce that attorney Paul Woodard has been named as the firm’s newest partner. Paul’s practice focuses on employee benefits law, employee stock ownership plan, pension, profit sharing and 401(k) plans, ERISA litigation, business law and litigation, qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs), estate planning and trust litigation. Mr. Woodard is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California; the United States Tax Court; and the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Paul has also been selected as President of the Western Pension & Benefits Council, San Diego Chapter Executive Committee. Mr. Woodard has also taken an active role in the legal community as the co-chair of the Wills for Heroes, San Diego Chapter, and as an At-Large Board Member of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Community Service Committee. Since 2017, Paul has served as Co-Vice President for Corporate Relations of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

Srinivas Hanumadass—an attorney with San Diego plaintiffs’ law firm CaseyGerry—was recently elected to the board of directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), a statewide professional organization of attorneys representing consumers in personal injury, product liability cases and other causes.

According to CaseyGerry’s managing partner, David S. Casey, Jr., Hanumadass’ new role represents another chapter in the firm’s longtime involvement with CAOC. “Since David S. Casey Sr. founded the California Plaintiff Trial Lawyer Association (now CAOC) in 1961, our firm has continued to support and advocate for this outstanding organization. We are proud to have Srinivas carry on the legacy of my father and the firm and represent us on the CAOC board,” he said.

Hanumadass specializes in serious personal injury litigation and is active in the legal community. He has served as vice president and secretary of the San Diego County Bar Association and served two terms as president of the South Asian Bar Association.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack (HFM) Of Counsel attorney Douglas (Doug) Butz will receive the prestigious Daniel T. Broderick III Award for civility, integrity and professionalism at the 35th Annual Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers’ Dinner benefiting Father Joe’s Villages this Saturday, September 14th.

The Broderick Award is presented annually to a San Diego trial lawyer who demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism and civility in their practice. A committee comprised of members of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and San Diego Defense Lawyers nominate and select the award winner each year. Butz has represented regional, national, and international law firms in a variety of professional liability matters for nearly four decades. He has a proven track record of courtroom success in the trial of high exposure cases and has tried in excess of 100 cases in courts of unlimited jurisdiction.

Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP (NoonanLance) recently secured the dismissal of a $30 million federal lawsuit brought by the United States against its client Dr. Tarek Shawaf. The Central District of California suit, filed in 2016, sought damages caused by the 2013 Mountain Fire in Mountain Center, California, that burned for more than two weeks. The U.S. asserted a claim in excess of $30 million for fire suppression costs, damage to federal lands, penalties and interest. A NoonanLance team of attorneys led by Partner James Lance represented Shawaf, the owner of a vacation home in Mountain Center, where the government alleged the fire started. NoonanLance Partner Ethan Boyer and Associate Genevieve Ruch also played key roles in the case. The caretakers of Shawaf’s property, Jim and Donna Nowlin, were also named as defendants. David Bona of Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP in San Francisco represented the Nowlins. The U.S. claimed that the fire started in an electrical junction box on Shawaf’s property, which the U.S. alleged was not properly maintained. Experts hired by Lance and Bona disputed this theory based on their on-site investigations and extensive testing.

Neil Dymott
is proud to announce that shareholder Benjamin J. Howard’s nomination for membership into the prestigious Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) has been unanimously approved by their Board of Directors. The Federation is a distinguished composition of legal community members who are at the forefront of defending clients in civil lawsuits. Mr. Howard’s selection demonstrates that he possesses the Federation’s desired qualities of professionalism, fellowship and the promotion of knowledge of the law.

Membership is by nomination only and currently stands at a little over 1400 throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico as well as other geographic areas.

Other Neil Dymott attorneys who are honored to be members of the prestigious FDCC include shareholders Michael I. Neil and Clark R. Hudson.

Former federal prosecutor and seasoned litigator Robert G. Marasco has joined Procopio as a Partner. He will represent clients in the health care industry with legal services including fraud and abuse, privacy, and data secu­rity compliance. He will also be aiding a wide variety of corporate and individual clients with complex civil and white-collar criminal litigation matters.

“Rob is an experienced litigator with a deep understanding of the complex compliance challenges companies face under federal and state laws, particularly in the health care industry,” said Procopio Managing Partner John D. Alessio. “We’re thrilled to have him return to the Procopio family as a Partner.”

For nearly five years Marasco served in the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, in both the District of New Jersey and the Southern District of California. He was the lead prosecutor on hundreds of investigations and managed all aspects of litigation. His focus was on white collar violations of federal laws and regulations, including health care fraud violations.

Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3), a San Diego-based commercial real estate law firm, announced today the addition of its newest partner, Marjorie J. Burchett. Previously a partner with Withers Bergman LLP, she joins CGS3’s mixed use, distressed assets and finance practice groups and will be based in the firm’s San Diego offices.

According to CGS3 founding partner Sean Southard, Burchett is another testament to the firm’s enduring commitment to attracting best-in-class lawyers. “Marjorie is an outstanding real estate attorney who specializes in handling complex transactions across all asset classes. She is especially skilled at working with mixed use, urban infill, master planned communities and condominium developments – all areas in which we are experiencing robust growth,” Southard said. “She also brings a wealth of expertise in finance on both the borrower and lender sides.”

Burchett has worked with major residential, resort, commercial, mixed use and master planned developments projects over the past 30 years.

The law firm Antonyan Miranda is proud to welcome experienced attorney and academic Steven Berenson to the firm as a Senior Associate Attorney, effective July 29, 2019.

Berenson has spent the past two decades as a full-time law professor at three American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools. Most recently, Berenson taught at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where he founded and directed the Thomas Jefferson Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic, which provides pro bono legal representation to homeless veterans. Earlier in his career, Berenson spent nearly five years as an Assistant Attorney General in the office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, where he focused on civil governmental litigation and consumer protection enforcement. In that role, Berenson argued cases in state and federal court and was counsel of record in numerous reported decisions from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.


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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