Law Briefs


October 21, 2008


Casey Gerry attorneys named finalists for "Consumer Attorney of the Year"

Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP attorneys Robert Francavilla, Thomas Luneau and Jeremy Robinson have been named finalists for this year's Consumer Attorneys of California's "Consumer Attorney of the Year" award. The winner will be announced Nov. 8 at the CAOC Annual Installation and Awards Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Each year, the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award honors a plaintiff's lawyer who has achieved a significant result in one exceptional case that has improved the lives of consumers and/or changed consumer law for the better.

The Casey Gerry trio is being considered for the award based on a lawsuit they handled against commercial products manufacturing giant Ingersoll Rand. The firm's client, a welder, was seriously injured on a piece of industrial equipment manufactured by the defendant.

A judge concurred that the product was clearly defective, awarding Casey Gerry's client a significant sum. Due to the persistence of Francavilla, Luneau and Robinson, the worker received his award last year, following six years of delays.

"In light of the judge's decision, it is our hope that the defendant will take steps to correct the safety problem on its other machines, so nobody else will be seriously injured," said Francavilla, a Casey Gerry partner and the lead attorney on the case.

San Diego law schools sponsoring labor law conference this weekend

Thomas Jefferson School of Law, California Western School of Law and the University of San Diego School of Law are co-hosting a colloquium on "Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law," Thursday through Saturday.

Canada's leading labor law scholar, Professor Harry Arthurs, will deliver the keynote address, "The Mysterious Disappearance ... and Reappearance(?) of Labor," Thursday from 6-7 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. It will be held in Room 200 of the Courtyard Building. A reception will follow from 7-8 p.m. on the second floor of Law Library Building.

"A significant contribution that Thomas Jefferson School of Law has made to the event is hosting Professor Harry Arthurs as the colloquium's keynote speaker," said Thomas Jefferson Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp, one of two TJSL conference organizers, along with Professor Rebecca Lee.

Last June, Professor Arthurs was awarded the prestigious International Labor Organization (ILO) Decent Work Research Prize. He has an innovative body of work during a career of more than 40 years.

"I'm excited that San Diego was chosen as the site for the third colloquium," Bisom-Rapp said. "We are fortunate in San Diego to have a very collegial group of labor and employment law scholars at each of the three law schools in our city. It's notable that six workplace law professors -- two from each school -- are collaborating to create an event that will bring together more than 60 speakers."

Ruben Garcia and Jessica Fink from California Western and Orly Lobel and Miranda McGowan from USD are the other co-organizers.

Procopio adds associate Noon to intellectual property team

Adele C. Noon has joined Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP as an associate on the firm's intellectual property team. She joins Procopio from the San Diego office of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP.

"We are thrilled to add Adele's technical and legal expertise to the repertoire of patent knowledge that our attorneys posses," said Richard E. Campbell, leader of Procopio's patent prosecution and counseling practice group. "Her background and knowledge will further enhance Procopio's continually expanding IP practice."

Noon's practice focuses on preparing and prosecuting foreign and United States patent applications in various areas, including telecommunications, computer software and architecture, signal processing, electronic circuits, computer security, networking architecture and software and medical devices.

California Western honors diversity leaders

California Western School of Law recently presented its "Awards for Diversity Leadership," in recognition of those individuals whose actions and advocacy promote the goals of the school's diversity program.

San Diego Administrative Law Judge Vallera Johnson received the "Mentor Award for Diversity Leadership," in recognition of her work on behalf of students of color, particularly women. Judge Johnson's work to advance ethnic and gender diversity in the legal world includes her founding of the annual Women of Color in Law Luncheon, and the Diversity Fellowship Program, approved recently by the San Diego County Bar Association's Ethnic Relations and Diversity committee.

Third-year law student and president of the California Western Student Bar Association Jose Orozco received the "Student Award for Diversity Leadership."

Orphaned at a young age, Orozco struggled to complete his education in the face of tremendous adversity. Once a high school dropout, he successfully turned his life around, pursuing his General Equivalency Degree before graduating from San Diego State University and enrolling at California Western. Orozco's work on behalf of the school's diversity program includes peer and high school mentoring and advocacy on behalf of low-income and migrant workers.

In his address at the awards reception, associate dean for academic affairs William Aceves reaffirmed the law school's commitment to training competent and compassionate lawyers who represent a diverse society.

"California Western believes a diverse student body enriches the academic experience for all students," he said. "It also benefits the legal profession and our community. When our students enter the practice of law, their unique experiences allow them to serve our diverse community and use the law effectively and creatively on behalf of their clients."

Foley's Scarano, Vilaplana named to Best Lawyers list

Foley & Lardner LLP attorneys R. Michael Scarano Jr., and Victor A. Vilaplana have been ranked in the Best Lawyers in America 2009 list.

Scarano was recognized for health care law while Vilaplana was ranked for his bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law practice.

Foley & Lardner also had two practices ranked No. 1 in San Diego by Best Lawyers: bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law; and health care law.

Best Lawyers compiles lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting comprehensive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

Corporate attorney Shuldberg joins Sheppard Mullin

Kirt W. Shuldberg has joined the San Diego/Del Mar offices of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a partner in the firm's corporate practice group.

Shuldberg most recently practiced in the San Diego and London offices of Heller Ehrman and is the 12th partner to join Sheppard Mullin from that firm this year.

"Joining Sheppard Mullin provides an exciting opportunity to return to San Diego and continue to practice with former Heller colleagues," he said. "I am impressed by the depth and breadth of Sheppard Mullin's corporate practice group and life sciences team, as well the firm's formidable position in the San Diego legal market."

Shuldberg specializes in corporate and securities law. He has represented clients in transactions ranging from start-up financings to large public offerings and M&A transactions.

Shuldberg maintains a special focus on the life sciences, medical device and clean technology industries and has counseled companies in other diverse industries as digital entertainment, software, Internet, telecommunications and wireless technologies. He has extensive experience advising private and public companies with respect to strategic capital-raising transactions and has advised on hundreds of financing transactions.

"Kirt adds significantly to our expertise in life sciences, with a strong profile in technology and clean tech transactions," said Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin. "He is the latest of several recent corporate partners to join our Del Mar office, which has become a deal-making powerhouse. We continue to grow signature groups like corporate and life sciences, and Kirt's industry knowledge and experience is of great value to clients."

Survey: Knobbe Martens 5th largest IP firm in country

Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear has been recognized as the fifth largest intellectual property firm in the United States in a recent survey conducted by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Knobbe Martens also was recognized as the second-fastest growing intellectual property firm in the U.S.

As one of the top-ranked intellectual property law firms, Knobbe Martens has continued to grow in response to an increasing demand domestically and internationally for intellectual property expertise across a number of industry sectors, including healthcare, high-tech, and retail. With the addition of 46 associates this fall, the firm reached 249 attorneys nationwide located in seven offices.

The full patent litigation survey results are available in the October 2008 issue of Managing Intellectual Property,

ABTL hosting trial skills seminar Saturday

The Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego will host its Fifth Annual Trial Skills Seminar, "Masters of the Art," Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Westin in downtown San Diego.

The seminar will feature 24 of San Diego's finest trial judges, lawyers and experts, in a mock trial involving the current mortgage-lending crisis. State of the art technology will let you view juror's reaction throughout the trial.

Registration will be held from 8-8:30 a.m. The cost is $195 for ABTL member attorneys & judges; $225 for non-member ABTL attorneys & judges; and $195 for public sector attorneys. Credit offered is 6.75 hours.

Light breakfast fare and lunch is included in the cost. The event is co-sponsored by the San Diego County Bar Association. For more information, e-mail or call 619-521-9570.

Sullivan Hill adds Campitiello as of counsel

Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel has added Larry Campitiello as of counsel. He will be concentrating his practice in the firm's business litigation group with particular emphasis in commercial and real estate disputes.

Campitiello's clientele includes financial institutions, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, landlords, real estate brokers and property managers. He is well versed in corporate governance, employment issues and documenting business transactions in addition to representing panel trustees and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.

Prior to joining the firm, Campitiello was a partner with McCollouch & Campitiello LLP in Carlsbad. He is currently a Master in the Fiorenzo V. Lopardo Chapter of the American Inns of Court.

Campitiello serves as a director of the Bar Association of North San Diego County and also assists the San Diego Superior Court as a volunteer settlement judge.


October 21, 2008