Top Attorneys 2012


William J. Aceves

California Western School of Law

A. Thomas Golden

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Julie Greenberg

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Marybeth Herald

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Luz E. Herrera

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Alex Kreit

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Cara Mitnick

University of San Diego School of Law

Laura Marie Padilla

California Western School of Law

Brenda M. Simon

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Jeff W. Slattery

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Kenneth Vandevelde

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Corporate Litigation

Timothy K. Branson

Gordon & Rees LLP

Guillermo “Gil” Cabrera

The Cabrera Firm APC

Steven T. Coopersmith

The Coopersmith Law Firm

Matthew B. Dart


Thomas C. Frost

The Frost Firm

James N. Godes

Godes & Preis LLP

William E. Grauer

Cooley LLP

Patricia P. Hollenbeck

Duane Morris LLP

John D. Klinedinst

Klinedinst PC

Mark Carroll Mazzarella

Mazzarella Lorenzana LLP

Jeffrey K. Miyamoto

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

Omar G. Nassar

The Nassar Firm

Nancy L. Stagg

Foley & Lardner LLP

Richard M. Wirtz

Wirtz Law APC

Corporate Transactional

Michael J. Brown

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Barry M. Clarkson

Latham & Watkins LLP

William Eigner

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Jeremy David Glaser

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Mike Hird

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Paul B. Johnson

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Charles S. Kim

Cooley LLP

Matt Schwartz


Beni Surpin

Paul Hastings LLP

John D. Tishler

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Adam Wyll

American Assets Trust Inc.


G. Cole Casey

Law Offices of G. Cole Casey, APLC

Stephen Gary Cline

Law Offices of Stephen G. Cline; Ameriant Law Group LLP

Selena Epley

Office of the Primary Public Defender

Daniel Frederick Greene

Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong APLC

Samantha A. Greene

Sevens Legal APC

John Lanahan

Law Office of John Lanahan

Michael L. Lipman

Duane Morris LLP

Wendy L. Patrick

San Diego Deputy District Attorney, Special Operations Division

Charles Sevilla

Law Office of Charles Sevilla

Kay L. Sunday

Kay L. Sunday Law Offices

Thomas J. Warwick Jr.

Grimes and Warwick

Zaki Zehawi

San Diego Alternate Public Defender

Estate Planning/Probate & Trust

Roland Achtel

Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel

Olga Alvarez

Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel

Judy S. Bae

Miller, Monson, Peshel, Polacek & Hoshaw

James J. Brown

Goodwin Brown Gross & Lovelace LLP

Richard Ansel Heller

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Danielle C. Humphries

Hahn, Loeser & Parks LLP

Gary Jander

Brierton Jones & Jones, LLP

Jerilyn Jones

Brierton, Jones & Jones LLP

Shannon N. Montisano

Hughes & Pizzuto APC

Kristan Shepard

Goodwin Brown Gross & Lovelace LLP


Maricela Amezola

Strickland & Amezola

Elizabeth M. Brown

Lowenstein Brown, APLC

Lesa Christenson

ABC Family Law

Christine Hayes Sickler

The Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider

Garrison Klueck

Law & Mediation Offices of Garrison Klueck

Michele Sacks Lowenstein

Lowenstein Brown APLC

Sandy Lynne Meade

Law Offices of Jon D. Rigney, A.P.C.

Jon David Rigney

Law Offices of Jon D. Rigney, A.P.C.

David S. Schulman

Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC

John H. Schweitzer

Stassinopoulos & Schweitzer, APLC

Nancy Stassinopoulos

Stassinopoulos & Schweitzer, APLC

Rachel Perry Young

Law Office of Rachel P. Young


Dorn G. Bishop

The Law Offices of Dorn G. Bishop APC

Andrew Dunk

Dunk & Associates

Peter H. Klee

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Matthew J. Liedle

Liedle, Lounsbery, Larson & Lidl, LLP

Jeffrey K. Miyamoto

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

Rebecca Lack Mowbray

Mowbray Law Firm

Dominic S. Nesbitt

Osborne & Nesbitt LLP

Brook B. Roberts

Latham & Watkins

Heather Linn Rosing

Klinedinst PC

Scott W. Sonne

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

John M. Wilson

Latham & Watkins

Jack B. Winters, Jr.

Winters & Associates

Intellectual Property Litigation

N. Thane Bauz

Perkins Coie

Matthew Cook Bernstein

Perkins Coie LLP

Frederick S. Berretta

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

Juanita Brooks

Fish & Richardson PC

Roger Alen Denning

Fish & Richardson PC

John Giust

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC

Randall Kay

Jones Day

John D. Kinton

Jones Day

John S. Kyle

Cooley LLP

John P. Schnurer

Perkins Coie LLP

Anthony Stiegler

Cooley LLP

John Thornburgh

Fish & Richardson PC

Kent M. Walker

Lewis Kohn & Fitzwilliam LLP

David K. Wiggins

HTC America, Inc.

Boris Zelkind

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

Intellectual Property Transactional

Bing Ai

Perkins Coie LLP

G. Peter Albert Jr.

AlbertDhand LLP

Matthew Cook Bernstein

Perkins Coie LLP

Sanjeev K. Dhand

AlbertDhand LLP

William E. Hunter

Fish & Richardson PC

Ned Israelsen

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

John Kim

IP Legal Advisors PC

Carl A. Kukkonen, III

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC

Lisa Martens

Fish & Richardson PC

Marc Truman Morley

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

Joshua J. Richman

IP Legal Advisors PC

Beni Surpin

Paul Hastings LLP

Sam K. Tahmassebi

TechLaw, LLP

Labor & Employment

Jonathan D. Andrews

Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP

Harvey C. Berger

Pope, Berger, Williams & Reynolds LLP

Rick Bergstrom

Jones Day

Jennifer Sarkozy Branch

Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP

Krista M. Cabrera

Foley & Lardner LLP

Mary C. Dollarhide

Paul Hastings LLP

Michael S. Kalt

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Jerrilyn Malana

Littler Mendelson

Spencer Skeen

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC

Claudette G. Wilson

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Leonid “Lonny” M. Zilberman

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Municipal & Government

Charles B. Christensen

Christensen & Spath LLP

Jodi L. Cleesattle

California Office of the Attorney General

Deborah A. Cumba

State of California, Department of Transportation

Leslie E. Devaney

Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz

Shawn D. Hagerty

Best Best & Krieger

Michelle Ialeggio

San Diego District Attorney

Chris Anthony Knudsen

California Dept. of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Phillip James Lindsay

California Attorney General’s Office

Michael R. McGuinness

Escondido City Attorney’s Office

Amy Roebuck

California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Walter F. Spath III

Christensen & Spath LLP

Personal Injury/Property Damage

James Matthew Brown

Law Offices of James Matthew Brown

Andrew Dunk

Dunk & Associates

Robert J. Francavilla

Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt & Penfield, LLP

John H. Gomez

Gomez Trial Attorneys

Robert Hamparyan

Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan

Ryan D. Harris

Harris Personal Injury Lawyers

Thomas D. Penfield

Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt & Penfield, LLP

Kevin F. Quinn

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

Brett J. Schreiber

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

Steven C. Vosseller

The Gomez Law Firm

Real Estate & Construction Litigation

Jeffrey Baird

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

P. Randolph "Randy" Finch Jr.

Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

Mark Hagarty

McKenna, Long & Aldridge

Robert J. Hanna

Best Best & Krieger LLP

Charles T. Hoge

Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP

Andrea L. Petray

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP

Laurence R. Phillips

McKenna Long & Aldridge

David W. Smiley

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP

Jason R. Thornton

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP

Mark Zebrowski

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Real Estate & Construction Transactional

David Bagley

Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP

Sony Ben-Moshe

Latham & Watkins LLP

Jeffrey Chine

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

Ray Gliner

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

Robert Kolodny

Kolodny & Pressman LLP

Steven Joel Levine

Latham & Watkins LLP

Brett Rosenblatt

Latham & Watkins, LLP

Bruce P. Shepherd

Latham & Watkins LLP

Kenneth J. Stipanov

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Eric Young

Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani

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Joel R. Bryant

Green Bryant & French, LLP

Karen B. Dow

Sughrue Mion, PLLC

J. William Hargreaves

Hargreaves & Taylor LLP

Kenneth E. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Alexandra M. Kwoka

Law Offices of Alexandra M. Kwoka

Harvey R. Levine

Law Offices of Levine & Miller

Craig R. McClellan

The McClellan Law Firm

Stephanie Seidman

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Allen Snyder

University of San Diego School of Law

Michael Whitton

Troutman Sanders

2012 Winner

Danielle C. Humphries

Hahn, Loeser & Parks LLP


Law School/Year: University of San Diego School of Law, 2000

Other Graduate School/Year:  University of San Diego School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 2000

College/Year:  Southern Methodist University, 1997

Bar Admissions

California; Texas; U.S. District Court of California, Southern district

Practice Areas

Estate Planning; Probate & Trust; Taxation           

Major Cases

Since my practice includes both the transactional and litigation sides of trusts and estates, I have the unique opportunity to participate in a wide variety of cases, including tax and business succession planning, complex estate plans, multimillion dollar trust administrations, contested testamentary documents, financial elder abuse and undue influence, and breach of trust and fiduciary duty claims. The common thread in all of these cases is the emotion which drives them — the planning is driven by the love and concern for family members, and the range of emotions arising from the death of a loved one sets the tone for the administration and fuels litigation. I enjoy assisting clients in all phases and find it rewarding to help them successfully navigate complicated and overwhelming issues.

Professional Background

I received my J.D. and LL.M. in taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law, and my B.A. in history from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I joined Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP in 2007, to open the firm’s trust and estates practice group. My practice includes estate planning for estates of all sizes and representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and estate administration and probate litigation. 

Professional Affiliations

I am a member of the State Bar of California, State Bar of Texas, and San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) — Trusts and Estate section. I have served on the Board of Directors for MAMAS (Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of San Diego) for several years and am currently serving as President. I am also a mentor, through the SDCBA mentoring program, for new attorneys practicing in the trusts and estates field.

Personal Background

I am married, have one daughter, and am the eldest of seven. My father was an estate planning attorney and instilled in me the desire to practice in the trusts and estates field. Having had the fortune of receiving excellent mentoring from my father (in life and the law) and from other attorneys with whom I worked in college and as a young attorney, I am dedicated to creating and facilitating positive mentoring relationships. I am passionate about my trusts and estates practice, child safety (specifically, drowning prevention), and, of course, my family.

2012 Sponsors

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Submitted Articles

The fiduciary standard: The benefits of a corporate trustee

Ensuring their plans are executed according to their wishes — and protecting them from unexpected pitfalls — is an important consideration for wealthy individuals. As such, a great deal of attention and press is paid to the importance of having a will or well-written trust document to ensure that your legacy is carried out. While this is a critical step, of equal importance is choosing the successor trustee — the person or entity that will carry out those wishes on your behalf.

California Western professors combine scholarly expertise with administrative acumen

Well-respected for their contributions to understanding of the law and to legal education, California Western School of Law associate deans William Aceves and Laura Padilla lend their considerable expertise and acumen to the day-to-day operations of San Diego’s oldest law school.

A provisional patent application is not a stake in the ground

On many occasions and from many sources, including potential clients and patent attorneys, the phrase "stake in the ground" has been used to describe the purpose or goal of a provisional application. If one considers a provisional application to be a stake in the ground, to somehow capture an area of technology around a stake, all one will get is the stake. This is not a viable patenting strategy. The flaws of such strategy, previously significant for non-U.S. rights, now are magnified by virtue of the first to file provisions of the American Invents Act (AIA). The first-to-file provisions of the AIA will come into effect on March 16, 2013.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law professors achieve noteworthy recognition

The talents and expertise of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty who collectively help drive the growing national and international reputation of the law school are exemplified by some of their recent noteworthy achievements.

USD School of Law: Creating top attorneys for more than half a century

The University of San Diego School of Law congratulates its notable alumni who appear on this list of top San Diego attorneys.

The craft of expert communication

Jurors make decisions not just on what they see and hear, but also on what they believe. Jurors tend to believe what they can understand. That’s where the expert’s communications skills come into play.

The Coopersmith Law Firm

As a year-round long-distance ocean swimmer, Steve Coopersmith is used to thriving in extreme, difficult conditions.

The new normal in pharma litigation

Last year was especially tough for plaintiffs and consumers in the world of pharmaceutical litigation.

Troutman Sanders represents clients from US to China

Troutman Sanders is an internationally recognized firm with more than 600 lawyers and offices located throughout the United States and China. The San Diego practice covers a broad range of services including complex commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, insurance litigation, and real estate and business transactions, led by Managing Partner Michael J. Whitton, named a Transcript 10 Top Attorneys finalist.

Fighting back against cybersmear

Good, honest and loyal employees are the greatest asset of any company. Unfortunately not all employees are great. Some employees are dishonest and others are vindictive. Not surprisingly, ex-employees who are discharged due to dishonesty are the most likely ones to post a defamatory blog about their former employer.

Tough enough to fight, compassionate enough to care

The attorneys of The Gomez Law Firm gladly step into the ring for their clients when defendants don’t pay what’s fair. This boutique firm focuses on high-value and high-profile catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, trucking litigation and elder abuse. The willingness of the attorneys to go to trial combined with their attention to detail, impeccable service and results-driven approach have allowed the firm to obtain more than $250 million in verdicts and settlements since 2000.