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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, March 3, 2014, 6:30 am

Spotlight: Law firm managing partners

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    Spotlight on Law Firm Managing PartnersListed alphabetically by firm name. Based on the Business Journal’s December 2013 list of the largest North Bay law firms: Abbey Weitzenberg Warren & Emery, Anderson Zeigler Disharoon Gallagher & Gray, Beyers Costin, Bradley Curley Asiano Barrabee Abel & Kowalski, Brayton Purcell, Carle Mackie Power & Ross, Clement Fitzpatrick & Kenworthy, Coombs & Dunlap, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty, Farella Braun & Martel, Freitas McCarthy McMahon & Keating, Friedemann Goldberg, Gaw Van Male, Geary Shea O’Donnell Grattan & Mitchell, Hanson Bridgett, Keegin Harrison Schoppert Smith & Karner, Merril Arnone & Jones, Mullen & Filippi, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Mueller & Naylor, O’Brien Watters & Davis, Perry Johnson Anderson Miller & Moskowitz, Ragghianti Freitas, Smith Dollar, Spaulding McCullough & Tansil and Vasquez, Estrada & Conway LLP.

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    Patrick Emery

    Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery

    100 Stony Point Rd., #200, Santa Rosa, 95401, abbeylaw.com, 707-542-5050

    Patrick Emery

    Patrick Emery is managing partner at Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has been a trial lawyer in Sonoma County for over 35 years. He is one of only four practicing attorneys in Sonoma County elected to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. His efforts have resulted in his election to the American Board of Trial Advocates and inclusion in Best Lawyers of America. His trial experience extends to many types of commercial disputes and personal injury and wrongful death cases. He is also experienced in major consumer class actions. He is a past president of the Sonoma County Bar Association.

    Wendy Whitson

    Anderson, Zeigler, Disharoon, Gallagher & Gray

    50 Old Courthouse Sq., Santa Rosa, 95404, azdgg.com, 707-524-4910

    Wendy Whitson

    Wendy Whitson was admitted to the California Bar in 1987. A Sonoma County native, Ms. Whitson practiced and was a partner at Zankel and McGrane, a San Francisco real estate law firm for seven years before joining Anderson, Zeigler, Disharoon, Gallagher & Gray, in 1994. Areas of practice include complex commercial real estate transactions (leases, purchase/sale, easements, co-tenancy agreements), real estate portfolio management, real estate finance, and commercial loan workouts. Ms. Whitson has been managing director of the Anderson, Zeigler firm for three years.  

    Ms. Whitson earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and obtained her J.D. from Hastings College of Law, University of California, in 1987.

    She is a member of both the Sonoma County Bar Association and the American Bar Association

    Michael Garcia

    Beyers|Costin

    200 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 95401, beyerscostin.com, 707-547-2000

    Michael Garcia

    Managing partner Michael Garcia’s practice focuses on all aspects of business and real estate transactions. His expertise includes business entity selection and formation, corporate financing (equity and debt), private offerings, mergers and acquisition, and shareholder agreements. In addition, his extensive experience in real estate matters includes the acquisition, financing, construction, development, use and leasing of real property, real property co-ownership, and issues relating to land use and environmental.

    Mr. Garcia received his Juris Doctorate degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. He received his bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University at Sacramento.

    Ann Asiano

    Bradley, Curley, Asiano, Barrabee, Abel & Kowalski

    1100 Larkspur Landing Cir., Larkspur 94939, professional-law.com, 415-464-8888

    Ann Asiano

    Ann Asiano is vice president of Bradley, Curley, Asiano, Barrabee & Gale in Larkspur, and has been with the firm since 1993. She manages the firm with Arthur Curley.

    Ms. Asiano obtained a BA in psychology from San Diego State University and her JD from Western State University, School of Law, in 1980, and she previously worked for Oakland-based Boornazian, Jensen & Garthe, from 1981 to 1992, and for San Francisco-based Bertrand, Fox & Elliot from 1992 to 1993.

    She has been appointed Pro Tem Judge in Marin and Alameda Counties, and has been a court-appointed mediator in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

    Areas of practice include product liability, public entity, drug and medical defense, environmental liability, construction defect and employment law, among others.

    Alan Brayton

    Brayton Purcell

    222 Rush Landing Rd., Novato 94945, braytonlaw.com, 415-898-1555

    Alan Brayton

    Alan Brayton is a founding and senior partner at the 41-attorney firm Brayton Purcell in Novato. He received a B.S. in economics from the United States Air Force Academy and a master’s in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his JD from University of California, Berkeley, in 1976.

    The Northern California native was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force after his time in the Air Force Academy in Colorado. He spent the next 12 years on active duty, including seven years as a Judge Advocate before coming to private practice in Novato.

    He is a member of the American Association for Justice, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Marin County Bar Association, is a master in the American Inns of Court and a member of Lawyer Friends of Wine. He has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer.

    John Mackie

    Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross

    100 B St., #400, Santa Rosa 95401, cmprlaw.com, 707-526-4200

    John Mackie

    John Mackie is managing partner at Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross, where he specializes in wine and food law, mergers and acquisitions, finance and lending, business organization, and real estate development. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and he obtained his J.D. from Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley in 1973.

    He began his law career in public service, at San Francisco’s Department of City Planning. He later worked for the Association of Bay Area Governments and served in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. Before switching to private practice, he was the Deputy Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing for the State of California.

    In 1990, he established a food and wine practice at the San Francisco-based law firm Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, and in 1998 helped found Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross. He is a founding board member and president of the Sonoma County Food and Wine Center, a founding trustee and secretary of The Oliver Ranch Foundation, a founding board member of the North Bay Angels, a trustee of Sonoma Academy and a former board member of many local organizations, including the Sonoma Humane Society and the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. He has also been named a Northern California Super Lawyer.

    Robert Quail

    Clement, Fitzpatrick & Kenworthy

    3333 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa 95403, ckflaw.com, 707-523-1181

    Robert Quail

    Robert L. Quail joined Clement, Fitzpatrick & Kenworthy in 2003, after nearly a decade of service as vice president/general counsel for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Ltd. After almost 30 years of practice, Mr. Quail has extensive experience with all aspects of real estate and business transactions, including sales and acquisitions, leasing and financing transactions for developers, business owners and investors. In addition, Mr. Quail continues his specialized representation of wineries, craft brewers and vineyard owners in the areas unique to those businesses.

    Mr. Quail’s community involvement includes being a board member of the Sonoma Humane Society and of KRCB Public Media, the local PBS and NPR affiliate in the North Bay region. From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Quail served as a member of the board of trustees for the Oak Grove School District in west Sonoma County, and has previously served on the boards of several other community organizations in Sonoma County.

    Mr. Quail received undergraduate degrees in business economics and political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his MBA and law degrees from Santa Clara University.

    Cynthia Smith

    Coombs & Dunlap

    1211 Division St., Napa 94559, coombslaw.com, 707-252-9100

    Cynthia Smith

    Cynthia Smith is the managing partner of Coombs & Dunlap, LLP., where her practice focuses on employment and business law, advising employers and employees regarding employment, business and contractual issues and representing them in related litigation.

    Ms. Smith provides employers with a full range of employment advice, including employment agreements, severance agreements, employee handbooks, executive compensation, disciplinary and termination issues, anti-harassment training, wage and hour issues and consulting agreements. She advises businesses regarding entity selection and formation, royalty agreements, asset purchase agreements, shareholder agreements, stock purchase agreements and protection of intellectual property. She has represented clients in state and federal court, as well as in private arbitration, in breach of contract, wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour, trademark infringement, harassment, discrimination and unfair competition actions.

    Ms. Smith received her B.A. in art history, with distinction, from Stanford University, and her J.D. from the University of California at Davis, where she earned membership in the Order of the Coif. At Davis, Ms. Smith received the Sacramento County Bar Association Business Law Section Scholarship and the Deborah J. Frick Memorial Scholarship.

    Gregory Walsh

    Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

    50 Old Courthouse Sq., #200, Santa Rosa, 95404, dpf-law.com, 707-524-7000

    Greg Walsh

    Greg Walsh is the co-managing director of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, a 24-attorney full-service law firm with Sonoma and Napa county locations. He also chairs the firm’s Labor and Employment Group. Mr. Walsh’s practice encompasses all aspects of labor and employment law, including advising employers on how to prevent issues before they arise, and developing workable solutions to those that do. His practice overlaps with the firm’s Alcohol Beverage and Litigation groups, representing clients in administrative and court proceedings, and he splits time between the firm’s Napa and Santa Rosa offices. 

    He began his legal career practicing labor and general business law in Boston. He later returned to the Bay Area, where he continued developing his practice with one of the nation’s largest labor and employment firms, representing union and non-union employers. In 2004, he moved to Sonoma County, and in 2011, the Business Journal named him as a “Forty Under 40” award recipient. He sits on the board of the Employers Advisory Council, is a member of PASCO and the Napa and Sonoma Bar Associations and is a frequent speaker throughout the North Bay. 

    He received his BS while double-majoring in journalism and sociology at the University of Oregon, and he earned his law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He is admitted to practice in California, Massachusetts, and several federal jurisdictions

    Katherine Ohlandt

    Farella Braun + Martel

    899 Adams St., St. Helena 94574, fbm.com, 707-967-4000

    Katherine Ohlandt

    Katherine Ohlandt is a partner in Farella Braun + Martel’s Family Wealth Group and heads the firm’s Wine Country office in St. Helena. Her areas of practice include complex trust and estate matters, including the development and implementation of estate plans, wealth-transfer strategies, business-succession planning and long-range gift plans.

    Ms. Ohlandt has extensive experience with transition planning for families with closely held businesses and real property holdings, including families with wineries, vineyards, wine-related businesses, restaurant and hospitality businesses, and retail establishments.

    She is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization) and is a trained mediator on trust and estate matters. She has been named to the list of Northern California Super Lawyers from 2004 – 2013.

    Ms. Ohlandt obtained her J.D. from the University of Texas, Austin and her B.A. from Stanford University.

    Peter Kleinbrodt

    Freitas, McCarthy, McMahon & Keating

    1108 Fifth Ave., San Rafael 94901, freitaslaw.com, 415-456-7500

    Peter Kleinbrodt

    Peter Kleinbrodt is the managing partner of Freitas, McCarthy, MacMahon & Keating, LLP and has represented clients for over 30 years in Marin County, both as a trial and transactional attorney. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Mr. Kleinbrodt practiced international law in the private sector representing multi-national corporations in international real estate and trade transactions. Prior to that, he worked as an entertainment lawyer for a major studio in Hollywood. Mr. Kleinbrodt obtained his B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles with high honors as a double major in psychology and sociology and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne.

    Mr. Kleinbrodt has served as judge pro tempore, commissioner, and arbitrator, as well as serving on numerous settlement panels in and for the Superior Court for the State of California. He has contributed as an author and lecturer and volunteered in various youth organizations.

    Mr. Kleinbrodt continues his long-time membership in the Marin County Bar Association, having served as its chair for the insurance and entertainment committees, as well as various committees for the State Bar of California, including the litigation section, real property section, business section, the rules and procedures committee and the committee on the administration of justice.

    John Friedemann

    Friedemann Goldberg

    420 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403, frigolaw.com, 707-543-4900

    John Friedemann

    John Friedemann is the managing partner of Friedemann Goldberg and practices in the areas of banking, business and entertainment law. He received his B.A. in English literature from the University of California, Los Angeles but his undergraduate studies focused on business management. He worked in banking for several years, and then opted to pursue a law degree, which he obtained from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

    In 1990, Mr. Friedemann became a partner in the Los Angeles offices of a national law firm, but soon left to create his own law firm. He has represented financial institutions for more than 25 years and has been in-house counsel, general counsel, and outside counsel to banks, advising them in all facets of lending, deposit operations, human resources and employment law, treasury department operations, regulatory compliance, correspondent banking services, special assets and insurance products and coverage. He is an experienced trial lawyer and has expertise in matters involving fraud.

    Mr. Friedemann has been named “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers magazine. This publication annually identifies the top 5 percent of California attorneys, as voted by their peers. He is as a frequent speaker, teacher, and lecturer on banking and business law at Sonoma State University, University of Southern California Law Center, Loyola Law School and Empire College of Law.

    Dave Gaw

    Gaw Van Male

    1000 Main St., Napa 94559, gawvanmale.com, 707-252-9000

    Dave Gaw

    Dave Gaw is the senior and managing partner and co-founder of Gaw Van Male, established in the Napa Valley in 1972, currently with 22 attorneys. He heads its High End Estate Planning Practice and is a certified specialist in estate planning, probate, and trust law, designated by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is a former member of the executive committee for the State Bar of California – Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section.

    He advises high-net-worth individuals and families in all aspects of estate planning, including tax-advantaged transfers of assets, multigenerational planning, the taxation of trusts and estates and charitable giving. As an adviser, he counsels a broad range of clients, including owners of national companies, closely held businesses, and international clients with multijurisdictional contacts. He lists some of California’s leading vineyard owners, wine makers, farmers and ranchers amongst his most significant clients.

    He regularly speaks on this law and his firm’s approach to other professionals across the State of California and the nation. In addition to his significant wine-related clientele, Mr. Gaw maintains a statewide and national client base, drafting over 5,000 estate plans and providing legal solutions to ensure a client’s generational succession planning. 

    He obtained his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and a B.A. from University of Colorado.

    Michael Carlson

    Geary, Shea, O’Donnell, Grattan & Mitchell

    37 Old Courthouse Sq., Santa Rosa 95404, gsoglaw.com, 707-545-1660

    Michael Carlson

    Michael Carlson is a shareholder and managing partner for Geary, Shea, O’Donnell, Grattan & Mitchell, where his practice focuses on counseling businesses, from start-ups to well-established, which includes wineries, growers and vineyard managers. Areas of practice include business, commercial and real estate transactions and disputes, as well as employment matters.

    He joined the firm in 1996, after obtaining his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He received his B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1992.

    He is a member of the State Bar of California, the Sonoma County Bar Association and the Richard Sangster Inn of Court.

    Andrew Giacomini

    Hanson Bridgett

    80 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur 94939, hansonbridgett.com, 415-925-8400

    Andrew Giacomini

    Andrew Giacomini is managing partner for Hanson Bridgett, overseeing all of the firms’ five locations in Larkspur, San Francisco, Sacramento, Silicon Valley and the East Bay.

    Practice areas include litigation, construction, real estate, government ethics, business and financing. He was elected Hanson Bridgett’s managing partner in 2001. He serves as general counsel to clients in a wide array of complex business transactions in the areas of real estate, construction, business formation, and financing. He is also an experienced trial attorney whose litigation practice includes commercial, real estate, and construction disputes.

    He is currently the president of Legal Aid of Marin, has served as a board member of the San Francisco Bar Association and was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Bay Area Council. Mr. Giacomini also helped initiate the firm’s participation in the San Francisco School Volunteers Allies for Education program, where he was a former board member.

    He is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Marin County Bar Association, President of Legal Aid of Marin, and a board member and chair of the government relations committee of the Bay Area Council.

    He received his B.A. from San Francisco State University and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1991.

    Jeff Schoppert

    Keegin Harrison Schoppert Smith & Karner

    1000 Fourth St., San Rafael 94901, keeginharrsion.com, 415-456-4000

     

    Jeffrey Schoppert

    Jeff Schoppert, the managing partner of Keegin Harrison, has been a civil litigator for 29 years. He has handled numerous business and commercial disputes in both state and federal courts, as well as a breadth of real estate litigation, including land use, commercial landlord-tenant, purchase and sale contract and affordable housing regulation enforcement actions. Before becoming a partner in 1995, he practiced law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1984. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer of Northern California.

    Mr. Schoppert serves currently as a member of the Marin County Bar Association’s Bench Bar/Administration of Justice Committee, is a past Board Chair of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a co-chair for a city of San Rafael land-use advisory committee. He is also president of the San Rafael Public Library Foundation.

    Bill Arnone

    Merrill, Arnone & Jones

    3554 Round Barn Blvd., #303, Santa Rosa 95403, majlaw.com, 707-528-2882

    Bill Arnone

    Bill Arnone is the managing partner at Merrill, Arnone & Jones, LLP, where his practice focuses on representing public agencies such as fire districts, health care districts, recreation and parks districts and destination marketing organizations. He provides counseling to the firm’s public and private clients in matters ranging from employment and commercial transactions to open meeting laws and complex litigation.

    Mr. Arnone obtained his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1979. As an undergraduate, he attended the University of California at Davis, where he graduated with honors in 1976, receiving a B.A. with dual majors in political science and rhetoric.

    Mr. Arnone started his career with a boutique high tech law firm in Palo Alto. There, he focused on litigation and representing leading technology firms in intellectual property disputes.

    In 1987, Mr. Arnone moved to Sonoma County where he became one of the founders of Merrill, Arnone & Jones, LLP. Both Mr. Arnone and his firm received the highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability from Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer review rating agency. He has also served in leadership positions with a number of civic organizations, including the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Rosa Housing Authority, the Santa Rosa Redevelopment Agency and the Rotary Club of Windsor.

    The firm was firm was recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce at its annual Gala in January.

    Anne Hernandez

    Mullen & Filippi

    3700 Old Redwood Hwy., #108, Santa Rosa 95403, mulfil.com, 707-542-4600

    Anne Hernandez

    Anne Hernandez is senior managing partner for Mullen & Filippi’s Santa Rosa office. The firm, with offices in Eureka, Napa and Ukiah, specializes in workers compensation and employment law.

    Ms. Hernandez attended State University of New York, Oswego, for her B.A, and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles for her J.D. She was a public defender for the County of Los Angeles from 1983 to 1988 and is a member of California State Bar Association, the Diablo Valley Industrial Claims Association, education chairperson and the San Francisco Industrial Claims Association

    James Parrinello

    Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni

    2350 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael 94901, nmgovlaw.com, 415-389-6800

    James Parrinello is the senior litigation partner and a member of the management committee at Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni. He has represented clients in regulatory, constitutional and government law, including complex litigation, arguing successfully before the U.S. and California supreme courts for 25 years.

    His areas of practice include the constitutionality of government regulations, legality of state and local initiatives and referenda, voting rights and reapportionment, rent control and property rights.

    He attended University of San Francisco for both his undergraduate degree as well his J.D. He is a member of the Litigation and Government Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association and has also been a governor’s appointee to the California Commission on Ballot Initiatives and has served on the faculty of the Hastings College of Trial and Appellate Advocacy.

    Michael Watters

    O’Brien Watters & Davis

    3510 Unocal Pl., #200, Santa Rosa 95403, obrienlaw.com, 707-545-7010

    Michael Watters

    Michael Watters is the managing partner at O’Brien Watters & Davis LLP and head of the litigation department. Mr. Watters specializes in all aspects of trial work, with emphases on complex civil litigation, business litigation, employment litigation, family law and insurance defense including professional liability. Over his 40-year jury trial career, he has tried cases in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Mendocino, San Francisco, Alameda, Orange Counties and nine other counties throughout California.

    Recently, he completed more than 200 trial days between April 2009 and March 2013, including two mega-divorce trials (a 73 day trial and a 43 day trial), several jury trials including two for elder financial abuse, an employment law trial, a military court martial and a trust dispute.

    He attended University of California, Berkeley, and received a B.S. in business administration, then earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business. Following that, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer from 1969 to 1971, with tours in Vietnam and Okinawa, and received a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V.” He then attended Hastings College of the Law, University of California, graduating with a J.D. in 1974.

    He is a member of the State Bar of California and the Sonoma County, Marin County, Napa County and American Bar Associations, and has been an arbitrator for the Sonoma, Marin and Napa County superior courts since 1979 and has been Superior and Municipal Court judge pro tem.

    Mr. Watters was also a mediator and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and is currently a member of Association for Conflict Resolution. Over the years, Mr. Watters has participated as a panelist in a number of MCLE programs (recently focusing on the subject of depositions), has been on the faculty of Empire College School of Law, and helps teach litigation courses at USF Law School. Mr. Watters has been selected to Super Lawyers for Northern California.

    Leslie Perry

    Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz

    438 First St., Santa Rosa 95401, perrylaw.net, 707-525-8800

    Leslie Perry

    In 1997 Leslie Perry and fellow partners John Johnson and Michael Miller were the founding members of Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP. Today the full service law firm consists of 23 attorneys including 10 partners.

    Mr. Perry has practiced in Sonoma County since 1974, where he focuses in the areas of land use, real estate and business law. He has significant experience with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and litigation. Mr. Perry has represented clients in court and before various administrative and planning agencies in many of Sonoma County’s significant CEQA matters. He also handles land use matters at the appellate level including three CEQA related reported decisions.

    After attending the University of Nevada, Reno for two years, Mr. Perry received a B.S. from the University of California, Davis. He obtained his J.D. from Davis as well in 1974. Mr. Perry is admitted to practice in California, 9th District Federal Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

    Mr. Perry was formerly a member of the Audubon Canyon Ranch Board of Directors; Sonoma County Planning Commissioner 1986-1995, Chairman 1987 and 1992; a member of the Board of Directors of Burbank Housing Development Corporation; a member of the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Fair (past president); and a member of the Sonoma County Volunteer Center Board of Directors (past president).

    David Feingold

    Ragghianti Freitas

    874 Fourth St., San Rafael 94901, rflaw.com, 415-453-9433

    David Feingold

    Dave Feingold has been in practice since 1986. The majority of his practice is devoted to representing community associations and homeowners in construction and real estate related issues. He also serves as a mediator for dispute resolution. Practice areas include common interest developments, construction and construction defect, real estate and mediation and arbitration.

    Mr. Feingold served on the Board of Directors of the Marin County Bar Association for several years, and led the 800 member association as its president in 2003. In 2009, Mr. Feingold was named as a Northern California Super Lawyer.

    He graduated from San Francisco State University, summa cum laude, in 1983, and obtained his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings’ College of Law in 1986.

    Rachel Dollar

    Smith Dollar PC

    404 Mendocino Ave., second floor, Santa Rosa 95401, smithdollar.com, 707-522-1100

    Rachel Dollar

    Rachel Dollar is an AV- rated partner at Smith Dollar PC. She is a certified mortgage banker, certified financial crimes investigator, licensed real estate broker, and an expert on mortgage fraud.

    She has represented lending institutions in mortgage banking matters such as lender liability litigation defense; repurchase litigation, mortgage banking related to real estate litigation, mortgage insurance claim and rescission litigation, among other areas.

    She has been admitted to all California State Courts, including California Supreme Court, many United States District Courts, and is admitted pro hac vice to multiple state and federal courts nationwide.

    She is a member of the California Mortgage Bankers Association, the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, Mortgage Bankers Association, Women Business Enterprise National Council, and is a past president of the Sonoma County Bar Association. Ms. Dollar has been widely quoted in national publications, recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders, and received the 2010 North Bay Business Journal Women in Business award. She has also published a book on mortgage fraud, is a nationally recognized speaker, and has an acclaimed public industry website Mortgage Fraud Blog.

    Kevin McCullough

    Spaulding McCullough & Tansil

    90 S. E St., #200, Santa Rosa 95404, smlaw.com, 707-524-1900 

    Kevin McCullough

    Kevin McCullough is a managing partner at Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP. The firm has 18 lawyers practicing in the areas of business, litigation, labor and employment, trusts and estates, real property, environmental, intellectual property & technology, insurance, and alternative dispute resolution.

    After graduating first from UC Berkeley and then from McGeorge School of Law, Mr. McCullough worked as an associate with Lukins & Annis, P.S., in Spokane, Wash. Thereafter he joined O’Brien, Watters, & Davis in Santa Rosa, becoming partner in 1989. In 1996, Mr. McCullough and Gregory G. Spaulding formed Spaulding & McCullough, which soon became Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP.

    Mr. McCullough has more than 30 years’ experience in business transactions (including mergers and acquisitions, contracts, real estate, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies) as well as extensive experience in trusts and estates (wills, trusts, family wealth preservation, succession planning, probate, and trust administration). 

    Currently, Mr. McCullough serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts, the Keegan Leadership Committee, and the Board of Directors of Cardinal Newman High School. Previously, Kevin was a graduate of Leadership Santa Rosa, Chair of the United Way Leadership Giving Committee, president of the Santa Rosa Active 20-30 Club, and Chair of the Private Industry Council of Sonoma County.

    Michael Estrada

    Vasquez, Estrada & Conway LLP

    1000 Fourth St., San Rafael 94901, vandelaw.com, 415-453-0555

    Michael Estrada has over 25 years of experience practicing law in California, focusing  on the litigation of products liability claims and complex insurance coverage disputes.  The latter includes coverage claims for directors and officers, advertising injury, environmental pollution, mold and construction defect claims.  He  earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and a Master’s in sociology  from the University of California, Berkeley.  He received his Juris Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 1985.  Before establishing Vasquez Estrada & Conway LLP, Mr. Estrada was a partner in the San Francisco office of Hinshaw & Culbertson.  Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson, he practiced as in-house coverage counsel for the CNA Insurance Companies, as a litigation associate with Long & Levit, and as a felony trial deputy with the Office of the Public Defender in Contra Costa County.

    Mr. Estrada has taken over 40 jury trials to verdict, in addition to handling numerous bench trials and arbitrations.  Along with asbestos defense and coverage litigation, he has also litigated personal injury suits, insurance broker and real estate broker professional liability suits, large and small business disputes, and defended clients in white-collar criminal matters.

     He has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for 2008, 2009 and 2011 by Super Lawyers/San Francisco Magazine and is a member of the California Bar and the bars of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the four federal districts of California.  He is also a member of the Marin County Bar Association, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association.

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