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ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a forum used as a means to find a remedy short of trial. The generally accepted ADR options consist of Early Neutral Evaluation, Mediation and Arbitration. utilizes ADR options where appropriate as a complement to traditional litigation. We have represented a variety of corporate and commercial clients for a wide range of disputes.

Attorneys in the ADR practice group have substantial expertise in the ADR processes. We advise clients on the most effective ADR option for the problem at hand, counsel on the rules and format of the ADR procedure, and provide creative, innovative and efficient representation at the chosen ADR forum.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: has been appointed arbitrator for cases filed before the San Francisco Superior Court and Early Neutral Evaluator for cases before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

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APPELLATE

Our firm's appellate practice is truly unique. Many of our attorneys have developed subspecialities in the appellate area, and most have represented clients before appellate tribunals from the appellate departments of the Superior Court to the California Supreme Court. In fact, in recent months, attorneys from our office have appeared before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court. Our experience before many appellate courts has given us a unique perspective on appellate law, and we believe that good advocacy, from law and motion through the appellate process, comes not from one's declared "speciality", but from experience and outstanding advocacy. Our attorneys are particularly qualified in these areas.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , ,

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EMPLOYMENT

The firm is well known along the West Coast for its employment law practice. The areas of expertise in our practice group are as diverse as the problems which arise from day-to-day in the workplace. Among other things, we counsel clients regarding compliance with various state and federal statutes, assist in the preparation of employment handbooks, and train human resources and other employees in the handling of employment-related issues. Where necessary, we represent our clients (both employers and employees) before various administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and have also represented clients before the offices of the California Labor Commissioner. Once in litigation, we efficiently represent our clients in an attempt to resolve cases as early as reasonably practicable. We have excellent backgrounds in alternative dispute resolution, and have an outstanding rate of success in resolving cases at their early stages. However, we also aggressively prepare for trial, if necessary, and use our stable of well-known experts and consultants to assist where appropriate. Principal cases handled by our attorneys include claims for sexual harassment, reverse discrimination, failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and various forms of gender, race, or national identity discrimination. Our firm also presents four hour to one day human resources seminars and presentations to its employer clients.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , , , , Tiffany

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INSURANCE PRACTICE

The roots of the firm’s current practice are the litigation services it has provided to its insurance carrier clients. The firm's senior attorneys have engaged primarily in insurance trial coverage and appellate work throughout their careers. The firm has and remains privileged to represent most of the largest insurers in both property/casualty and life/health matters. However, due to the Ffirm's efficient approach toward rates and billing practices, it also has managed to attract and maintain a significant number of smaller insurers who can rely upon outside counsel to handle the occasional litigation matter and provide continued guidance on the critical insurance issues in California. The firm's primary focus in representing its insurance clients is at the trial level. However, the firm continues to emphasize its appellate work and this remains a significant portion of the attorney's time in the insurance area.

The firm currently represents many insurers throughout the state in litigation matters. Moreover, the firm consults with several insurance companies on a variety of issues in national litigation. The firm has coordinated litigation and trial work nationwide on behalf of many insurance clients, assisted in regulatory proceedings, and facilitated insurance filings. The firm also regularly consults with its insurance clients and assists in the staff training of insurance personnel on current legal developments, anti-fraud activities, and Insurance Department compliance. Many of the attorneys are recognized nationwide for their expertise in the area of insurance litigation, especially in the defense of punitive damage litigation.

As an adjunct to its insurance practice, the firm also provides extensive experience in insurance issues arising from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). In that regard, the firm specializes in representing insurance carriers and plan administrators in all disputes brought under ERISA. A list of representative clients can be provided upon request.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , Rebecca Aherne

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MEDICARE REFORM

Our counsel spearheaded the effort to form MARC, the Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition, an organization of attorneys, claims administrators, and risk management personnel concerned with reforming Medicare's process for reimbursement in liability claims involving Medicare recipients. With a goal of amending the Medicare secondary payer rules and implementing regulations, our attorneys have met with personnel at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, both in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to push for clearer, more efficient rules of repaying Medicare in personal injury liability cases involving medical treatment for which Medicare paid. Our attorneys' widely-distributed white paper outlines the goals of MARC and serves as a focus point for the organization's efforts. The firm also co-authored an article that appeared in For The Defense magazine on how liability attorneys can best avoid the penalties and other pitfalls of the Medicare secondary payer rule. In addition, our attorneys advise clients and have held seminars on the procedures and notice requirements involved in repaying Medicare in liability cases.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , , ,

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PHARMACEUTICAL

Our pharmaceutical practice revolves around the representation of pharmacies and pharmacists in various forms of cases involving, among other things, allegations of pharmacy negligence and/or malpractice, as well as the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications. We have handled dozens of pharmacy-related cases around the country, including matters in California, Maryland, Montana, and Nevada, and are national counsel to various pharmacy chains in litigation involving, among other things, Baycol, PPA, Rezulin, Serzone, Kava Kava and Ginseng. In that capacity, we've handled state and federal coordinated (MDL) proceedings, and are currently liaison counsel to retailers in the California coordinated Baycol proceedings and counsel for all pharmacies involved in the on-going federal court Celebrex/Bextra matters. We have tried cases to juries involving allegations of wrongful disclosure of medical records, and have defended cases involving allegations of failure to properly warn patients of the dangerous side effects of a given prescription. Our firm is one of the few in the country with a practice devoted to pharmacy law, and we take pride in our attorneys' regular commitment to keeping apprised of developments in that area. We are members of the American Society of Pharmacy Law ("ASPL"), have recently spoken at numerous pharmacy law seminars, including ASPL and National Association of Chain Drug Stores' ("NACDS") conferences, and offer seminars to our clients in developing pharmacy law areas.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , , , ,

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REAL ESTATE

, 's real estate practice covers a large area of real estate litigation. We have experience and skill in helping to resolve virtually any real estate related dispute, and believe our emphasis in this area puts us on par with any firm in California. Among other areas, we have represented property management companies as well as tenants in connection with the leasing, operation, maintenance and ownership of retail centers, office buildings and residential property, and offer services including lease negotiation, and litigation involving lease interpretation or property management. We have also represented numerous clients in construction defect litigation, arising out of small residential projects to large commercial developments. In that regard, we have represented owners, developers, suppliers, architects, engineers and builders. We have also represented clients involved in various environmental issues, such as interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"). We have also represented clients forced to litigate claims arising out of the transfer of real property, as well as disputes over boundaries and fraudulent sales transactions.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , , , David Porter,

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TORTS AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

The backbone of our firm's practice comes from its torts and commercial litigation practice. For example, we represent clients defending "slip and fall" lawsuits through those litigating multi-million dollar leases and commercial contracts. As with all of our practice groups, this group concentrates on efficiently, but aggressively, representing clients through every step of the litigation process. We tackle the possibilities of alternative dispute resolution from the earliest stages, but remain prepared to try cases where necessary and appropriate. We have successfully resolved hundreds of cases in these areas in the past few years, and our attorneys are very proud of our results, whether it be through early resolution, summary judgment, or success at trial. In recent months, we have defended clients in claims such as false imprisonment, violation of the California anti-discrimination statutes (the Unruh Act), negligent hiring and retention, as well as mere negligence and strict products liability. Our diverse experience in these areas aids in the early and successful resolution of cases.

PRACTICING ATTORNEYS: , , , , , Elaine Cameron

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