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Community News – January 2016

1U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers has recognized Irvine based, Berger Kahn as a 2016 “Best Law Firm.” Berger Kahn is proud to be listed among the finest firms in the country with this recognition to the list of “Best Law Firms” in Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law. The Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” ranking is based on a rigorous process of evaluation that includes peer reviews, client reviews, and more and is reserved for less than 4% of all law firms.

2National workplace law firm Jackson Lewis P.C., is pleased to announce S. Sean Shahabi has joined the firm’s Orange County office as an Associate. His practice is focused on employment litigation on behalf of management as well as advice and counseling on a wide array of employment law issues. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

3Kay Rackauckas, managing partner Irvine law firm of Keller Rackauckas LLP, has been selected as a Fellow of the elite Litigation Counsel of America.
The Litigation Counsel of America is an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent (<0.5%) of American lawyers. Fellows are selected and invited into Fellowship after being evaluated for effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and trial work, along with ethical reputation.
With over two decades of experience and nearly 100 cases to jury verdict, Rackauckas has earned a reputation as a leading trial attorney. She began her legal career 24 years ago in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office where she spent 12 years prosecuting criminal cases. In 2004, Rackauckas entered private practice as a criminal defense attorney, bringing with her an unparalleled perspective on criminal prosecutions. Her negotiation and trial skills have made her one of the most effective defense lawyers in Southern California.

4Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP announced that the firm’s cofounder and partner Lei Lei Wang Ekvall was selected by the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum (OCBF) as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Hon. Peter M. Elliott Award. The award is given annually to a legal professional who demonstrates substantial knowledge of bankruptcy law, serves as a mentor or educator within the community, possesses the highest level of honesty, and works to enhance and improve access to justice.
“Lei Lei is the living embodiment of the high standards of ethics, and someone who believes in the old-fashioned ideal of a lawyer – a counselor, an advocate, and an officer of the court,” said the Hon. Theodor C. Albert, United States Bankruptcy Judge, when presenting the award to Wang Ekvall at the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum’s annual holiday event held on December 1.
Wang Ekvall has served on the OCBF’s board of directors for several years, including leading the organization as president in 2004-2005. She has also taken on leadership roles as president of the Orange County Bar Association, president of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association, and co-chair of the Central District of California Lawyer Representatives of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.

5Eric Traut of Traut Firm will be serving in two new leadership roles in 2016. He will serve as Co-President for Banyard Inn of Court for a two-year term in 2016 and 2017, and as a 2016 member of the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of California. Having previously served Banyard Inn of Court as a board member from 2002-present and as Inn Liaison from 2008-present, Eric will work alongside other esteemed members of the Bench and Bar to strive to improve the skills, professionalism and ethics of the legal profession. As a part of the 2016 Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of California, Traut will be working to help carry out the mission of the organization, to protect the right to trial by jury, preserve the tort system, and help maintain access to the courts.

67Mark E. Minyard, senior partner of Minyard Morris, has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America as the Orange County Family Law Attorney of the Year—2016. He received the same designation in 2009 and Michael A. Morris received it in 2013. They, together with partner Lonnie K. Seide, were again all listed in the Best Lawyers 2016 edition. 8All three were listed in Super Lawyers and Mark E. Minyard was listed in the top 50 Super Lawyer list. The firm limits its practice to Orange County family law matters.


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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