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Community News – December 2015

25Berger Kahn Principal Dave Ezra was named the Best Lawyers 2016 Insurance Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Southern California. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peerreview evaluation. Over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and for the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” Berger Kahn is thrilled to see Dave recognized with this honor.

26Award-winning intellectual property law firm Fish & Tsang LLP (F&T), along with notable business and commercial litigation firm Stephens Friedland (SF), celebrated the grand opening of their shared Irvine office on Oct. 20. More than 250 business and legal leaders from across Orange County joined F&T and SF to toast the firms’ longstanding relationship and new collaborative office footprint—a popular trend among law firms with shared legal visions and company values.

27Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that attorney John K. Skousen has joined the University of Redlands as an adjunct faculty member. Skousen, a partner with the Irvine office of Fisher & Phillips, focuses his practice on wage and hour law, class action and employment litigation. With his unique blend of management, teaching and legal work, Skousen will be instructing on the topic of employment law. Skousen represents employers in class actions and other employment litigation. In addition, he creates and presents webinars and conducts management training on a variety of topics, including management practices impacting on state and federal equal employment opportunity laws, harassment prevention and compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws. Prior to law school, Skousen worked in various management positions in a prominent Fortune 500 company. Skousen earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Redlands, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi, School of Law.

28Latham & Watkins LLP is pleased to announce that 25 associates have been elected to the partnership and 31 associates have been promoted to the role of counsel, effective January 1, 2016. The group includes lawyers from across the firm’s five departments who are based in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, reflecting a breadth of legal capabilities in the world’s major financial, business and regulatory centers. In Orange County, Hilary A. Shalla is a member of the Finance Department. Her practice focuses on real estate transactional matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, leasing and financing of complex real estate portfolios, as well as the development of commercial real estate. She has particular experience advising on REIT and MLP transactions, including in connection with initial public offerings, mergers and other similar transactions. Shalla received her JD from the Northwestern University School of Law in 2005.

2930Umberg Zipser LLP is pleased to announce that partner Scott B. Garner and associate Todd W. Smith have joined the firm. Scott and Todd were previously with Morgan Lewis in Orange County. Scott represents clients in complex business litigation matters. Along with his focus on lawyer liability disputes and ethics counseling, his practice extends to securities litigation, intellectual property litigation, corporate governance, an d hospital and healthcare law. Todd also has significant experience representing lawyers and law firms. He also represents clients involved in securities class actions, shareholder and derivative litigation, financial services litigation, regulatory investigations, trade secret and unfair competition claims. Scott received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1991 and a B.A. with distinction from Stanford University in 1988. Todd received a J.D. from University of Southern California School of Law in 2002 and a B.A. with honors from University of California, San Diego in 1995.

31For the second consecutive year, Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP has received a “Metropolitan Tier 1 Rankings” designation for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2016) by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. The “Best Law Firms” designation recognizes firms for professional excellence, which also received consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a “First-Tier” ranking indicates an exceptional combination of legal knowledge, experience and expertise. “We are pleased and honored that our firm is recognized as a First-Tier Best Law Firm,” said Evan D. Smiley, partner of Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP. “This recognition is a reflection of the legal expertise, leadership, and integrity of our attorneys. We are especially proud that we have assembled an exceptional team of attorneys who collaborate with our clients to deliver optimal results utilizing our substantial depth and breadth of experience in our practice areas of business insolvency and bankruptcy, business litigation, and real estate.”

Brian

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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