Financial services law firm Smith Dollar PC announced the opening of  its  first Florida office in Tampa, giving the Santa Rosa-based firm a foothold on the East Coast after two years of growth.

The firm has always had nationwide clients, but with the Tampa office, Smith Dollar will be able to grow its services, the firm said. It may also add a third office in a yet-to-be determined location in the near future.

“This expansion is a key component for serving our clients on a nationwide basis,” said firm co-founder Glenn Smith.

The Tampa office will be headed by veteran trial attorney James S. Renaldo, who recently joined Smith Dollar following his tenure as the general counsel for Illinois-based Quantum Servicing Corporation, a mortgage loan servicing company. Prior to this position, Mr. Renaldo was managing trial counsel and coverage counsel for Fidelity National Title Group, Inc.

“The new office location will provide flexibility in staffing our litigation matters on the East Coast," co-founder Rachel Dollar said. "The Florida office will also offer litigation management services to current clients, lending institutions, loan servicers and hedge funds. ”

Smith Dollar PC is an AV-rated, woman-owned financial services law firm that focuses on counsel, transaction support and litigation representation to financial institutions, mortgage companies and other industry participants.

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David Leonard was recently hired at  O'Brien Watters & Davis LLP as the firm’s newest associate practicing in the business and litigation departments. 

Although specializing in employment, construction, and business law, he has experience in family law, landlord-tenant relationships and real property.  A former certified law clerk with the Office of the Sonoma County District Attorney, Mr. Leonard has successfully litigated numerous cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. 

He most recently served as general counsel and as an officer for numerous construction companies, and recently won a complete defense judgment for his client in a wage and hour matter. The Sonoma County native attended both undergraduate and law school locally.

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Farella Braun + Martel LLP, with offices in St. Helena and San Francisco,  announced it has received Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum. The certification is awarded to law firms that have successfully integrated women partners in top leadership positions. Only 50 law firms nationwide received this honor.

The  certification emphasizes the leadership roles achieved by equity women partners, rather than the policies or practices of the firm or the overall number or percentage of women in the partnership....

Submit items for this column to staff reporter Dan Verel at dverel@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4257.