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Community News – April 2020

Johnson Fistel is pleased to announce that Reed F. Baker joined its San Diego office. Reed will focus his practice on commercial and business litigation.

Mr. Baker attended California Western School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree graduating cum laude and in the top 15% of his class. While in law school, Mr. Baker demonstrated excellent writing skills, was a published author, and served as the Associate Editor of California Western Law Review. He received the American Jurisprudence award in advanced legal writing, advanced legal research, and trial practice courses.

Mr. Baker previously worked as an associate at one of San Diego’s largest and oldest civil defense firms, where he represented Fortune 500 companies and medical providers in various complex civil litigation matters in both federal and state courts.

“I am thrilled to join such a reputable firm and look forward to assisting our clients obtain the best result possible,” said Reed.

Reuben Camper Cahn, partner at Keller/Anderle LLP, has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the U.S. and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before being considered. Cahn has tried over 100 cases to jury verdict and has argued twice before the Supreme Court (2011, 2018) in addition to numerous arguments before the 9th and 11th Circuits.

Talon J. Powers has been named a partner at the real estate and business law firm Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP (HechtSolberg). He joined the firm in 2014.

Powers’ practice focuses on business litigation and risk management, with emphasis on construction, land use and environmental appeals, purchases and sales, commercial leases, real estate brokerage, and insurance issues. He is a director on the board of Rebuilding Together San Diego, a local nonprofit focused on rehabilitating homes and facilities for San Diego residents in need, and was honored as one of the 2019 “San Diego Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers.

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP is proud to announce that for the 23rd consecutive year, complex business litigator and jury trial veteran, Gregory G. Brown has again earned the prestigious AV-Preeminent® rating from Martindale Hubbell®. The AV Preeminent® rating is the highest possible rating given to a lawyer and is established wholly on a peer-review basis. “I’m really proud to have maintained the AV-Preeminent rating and will continue to work hard each day to do what I can to raise the bar of professionalism and civility in the practice of law,” Brown said. Recent victories for Brown include a successful defense ruling after more than 4 weeks in trial in Orange County Superior Court, in which the plaintiff had sought more than $12,000,000 in recovery, in addition to potential punitive damages. Brown is the Founding Partner of Brown & Charbonneau, LLP, an award-winning business and corporate, litigation and family law firm based in Irvine, California.

Attorney Eric Traut won a $4.1M bench verdict on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in an automobile collision caused by an on-duty DEA agent, decided Feb. 28, 2020 by Hon. Phillip Gutierrez. [Rufo v. United States of America #CV 18-2138.

With the court finding negligence, breach and causation due to the DEA Special Agent looking at the center console at the time of collision on the 710 freeway, the accident caused permanent disability for the plaintiff, a former SoCal Edison Employee and Long Beach resident.

The verdict in Los Angeles Federal District Court followed a three-day bench trial with 14 experts and numerous percipient witnesses. The pre-trial offer was $900,000.

Traut has seen that many times the effects of a brain injury do not necessarily appear right away, an element that sometimes discourages or prevents individuals from seeking fair compensation following an accident because insurance companies and defendants tend to minimize or discount the injury. Says Traut of the award for his client, “It is my hope that this verdict brings some semblance of peace of mind for my clients and monetary relief for the family to compensate them for all that they have been through. Without question, Mr. Rufo would return the money in an instant if he could have his former life back again.

Sam & Ash, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Las Vegas and Newport Beach made a $1.125M gift to their alma mater, Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. In addition to renaming the student lounge and rec room, the gift provides support for an in-house bar prep program available to all Fowler Law students, a student scholarship and a named directorship for the law school’s Academic Achievement Program. The gift represents one of the largest donations in the law school’s history. Fowler Law Dean Matthew Parlow officially announced the renaming of the Sam & Ash Student Lounge, made possible by alumnus Samuel Mirejovsky, who co-founded Sam & Ash, LLP.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, a full-service law firm focused on real estate throughout the United States, proudly announces that its band “Castle of Funk” earned the overall and judge’s choice awards at the 9th Annual Law Rocks Los Angeles held on March 6 at the historic Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.

Law Rocks, a fundraising concert series starring legal professionals, raised over $154,000 at the March 6 and 7 Los Angeles tour. This year marked Cox, Castle & Nicholson’s fourth performance at Law Rocks, with funds raised benefitting United Friends of the Children, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of foster children and supporting foster youth in their journey to self-sufficiency. To date, Law Rocks has raised over $1.1 million for Los Angeles area nonprofits.

“Philanthropy is a core part of Cox Castle & Nicholson’s DNA, and our firm is proud to lend its musical talent to support the mission-critical work of United Friends of the Children,” said Preston Brooks, partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson and board member of United Friends of the Children. “Our appreciation goes out to our friends and colleagues who rock out with us year after year in support of our charitable initiatives.”

Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. is pleased to welcome three new Attorneys to its West Coast office in Temecula, California. Of Counsel, Melanie A. McDonald brings an abundance of experience to SDV having represented, exclusively, policyholders on insurance recovery matter for more than 30 years. She has successfully represented clients in the recovery of insurance policy proceeds and related contractual indemnity and has prosecuted extra contractual claims of bad faith and violations of state insurance statutes.

Associate, Eric M. Clarkson brings extensive experience to the risk transfer and litigation teams at SDV. Having worked on complex civil disputes for state and federal courts, Eric has a keen perspective on how disputes may ultimately resolve and why.  Associate, Ryan G. Nelson comes to SDV following a career in the military, having spent several years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of Captain, serving in a variety of billets as an Artillery Officer.

Signature Resolution is proud to announce Hon. Abraham Khan (Ret.) has joined its panel as a mediator. He will focus on resolving matters related to business and commercial contracts, employment, real estate, entertainment industry, landlord/tenant, eminent domain, civil rights, and personal injury disputes. Judge Khan has more than 30 years of case settlement experience. For the past six years, he served as a full-time settlement Judge with more than 1,000 general jurisdiction cases settled in both State and Federal courthouses. Judge Khan has been a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Arbitration/Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee for more than 10 years, and today serves as vice-chair of the committee. He is devoted to legal and judicial education and has lectured and written extensively on judicial settlements. “Judge Khan’s temperament, experience and deep subject matter expertise makes him an excellent addition,” said Dario Higuchi, managing member of Signature Resolution. “He was the go-to settlement officer for many years and we’re thrilled to have him join our panel.”


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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