The same names keep popping up in our profession, as sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, join the practice of law. David Larkin reports his son Tom Larkin, a newly minted lawyer, joined the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office. Appel Law Firm LLP announced Thomas G. Appel, USF Law Class of 2011, has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney. My nephew Matt is reportedly a very competent Deputy DA in Contra Costa County. No, his last name is not Guichard.
Very sad to learn of the untimely passing of Stuart (Stu) Willis. Stu was a very good lawyer and a wonderful man. He had many friends and many talents. He trained me as a backup Hearing Officer for Coroner’s Inquests and was always happy to offer needed advice. I do recall as a new Deputy DA, going against Stu in a misdemeanor case in the Concord Courthouse. I didn’t know him then and he was giving me fits. At the lunch break I ran across the street to my office, seeking help from my boss CL Morris. Who was sitting in CL’s office having a sandwich with CL? Stu Willis of course. In spite of CL’s advice, I lost the case.
The beat goes on, as far as people moving around in our profession. Joe Morrill has announced he has formed his own firm, Morrill Law Firm, at 1333 N. California Boulevard in Walnut Creek. Joe will be teaming up with Andy Verriere and Nicole Morrill.
Utrecht Harding & Lenvin, LLP announced their new partnership. The firm’s partners will continue their practice of real estate law in their offices in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. And I assume the partners are Utrecht, Harding and Lenvin.
Although I did know that Townsend, Townsend & Crew merged with Kilpatrick & Stockton to form Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, LLP, I did not know that Gerald Gray from Townsend joined Leydig, Voit & Mayer and will oversee the Walnut Creek office. I think the office is right across the street from the Walnut Creek DMV Office on Broadway.
Paladin Law Group, LLP , a boutique environmental law firm in Walnut Creek was the recipient of a Climate Leader Award for the 3rd Cool California Small Business Awards, at a ceremony held in Sacramento on June 13, 2012. Presented by the California Air Resources Board, the CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards recognize California small businesses that took action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, promoted climate friendly practices and integrated the tools on CoolCalifornia.org into their business operations. Paladin Law Group is the only law firm to ever receive the award.
Do not forget my request to all of you who made Super Lawyers this year to let me know. I was the only one to let myself know. I know about those of you who did make it, because I saw your names in the latest Super Lawyers Magazine.
Rob Bramson submitted a verdict for the column, although he advised it was neither local, nor a jury verdict. That is okay. All verdicts are welcome from our local attorneys. Thanks, Rob. He has worked on the case for seven years. The case was filed in Orange County, California in 2005 as a class action on behalf of disabled and retired military veterans. The defendant is a Southern California business which advertised on the internet to veterans for “Quick up front cash”, in exchange for signing over the next eight years of their U.S. Military pension payments. Incidentally, Federal Law forbids assignment of military pensions. Apparently undaunted, defendant craftily argued it was not an assignment. It was still a purchase of future cash flow and not a loan. The class was certified in 2008. Trial took place in phases spanning two years. At the end of the day, Plaintiffs prevailed. The Judgment provided an injunction against future assignments, and an award to the class of $2.9 million. That is an average of $47,000 per veteran. The money award represents full return of all pension payments. A request for attorney’s fees is in process. Interestingly the last demand was $1.5 million and the last offer was $350,000. Congratulations Rob and the veterans you represented.
And last but not least, Joe Morrill reported a verdict he obtained in an Alameda County case. In the Matter of the Weller Trust and the Estate of Beverly Weller, Case No. MSP 11-00406 and MSP 11-00814, Judge William A. McKinstry presided. Joe Morrill and Andrew Verriere of Barr & Barr represented Plaintiff. Michael Rupprecht and Erin Gray represented Defendants. Plaintiff was the personal representative of the estate of Beverly Weller, on petitions seeking to disinherit a beneficiary from both the Estate of Beverly Weller and the Weller Trust, for violation of the no contest provisions. After trial the Court granted both petitions to disinherit. The estimated value of the Trust and Estate assets is approximately $12,000,000. Ouch! Contact Joe for more information. The moral of the story is: There is a reason for a no contest clause.
Please be sure to let me know your news. Keep those cards and letters coming, and please write to me about those civil verdicts/settlements of any kind – You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed Under: Bar Soap