Attorney Maria Weitz has joined our growing Los Angeles team. As a consumer attorney, Maria has dedicated her career to protecting people from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices, and to seeking accountability from those who do wrong. Maria’s diverse litigation practice traverses a wide array of legal issues, including complex class actions, product liability and other personal injury cases, employment litigation, and appellate practice.
During law school, Maria earned a Public Service Law Certificate for her legal work in public interest organizations and government agencies. Her public service work included serving as co-counsel in a federal jury trial on behalf of an inmate alleging civil rights violations, and working within the California Attorney General’s Office to prosecute civil cases for violations of California’s Air Pollution Control Laws.
Maria graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor degree . For more information about Maria Weitz, visit her profile here.
As part of the continuing growth of KBSS, we welcome a new attorney to our team. Cathy Kim joins Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP as an attorney in the Los Angeles office. Cathy’s practice primarily involves representing individuals in mass tort litigation as well as product liability against major pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers in State and Federal proceedings.
Prior to joining KBSS, Cathy served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Samuel L. Bufford in the United States Bankruptcy Court and received First Honors Award in Advanced Legal Research. She was also the Internal and External Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. While in law school, Cathy served as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and was on the Provost’s Honors List. She served the community with her bilingual skills as a volunteer with APALC’s Citizen Workshops and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
Ms. Kim graduated from Loyola Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. For more information about Cathy, visit her profile here.
Partner, Elise Sanguinetti, was recently profiled in the March 2014 issue of Plaintiff Magazine, a magazine dedicated to plaintiffs’ attorneys in Northern California. In the profile, Elise highlights the various adversaries she has faced in her 16-year career and after all this time, how she stays motivated in a profession that’s filled with challenges and setbacks.
Considered as a top plaintiffs’ attorney in Northern California, Elise almost exclusively represents clients in personal injury cases, mainly involving wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. She states, “The draw was helping people; I really wanted to do something, be a voice for somebody who otherwise wouldn’t have one.” This client-oriented belief led Elise to get involved with politics and various legal organizations throughout the nation. She credits her involvement with organizations like the CAOC and AAJ as instrumental in her practice and how it impacts not only her clients, but other attorneys’ clients. She’s committed to creating a strong presence for trial attorneys in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and has met with U.S. senators to explain how important it is to keep court doors open and access to justice accessible to all. The end goal almost always is to preserve the justice system and fight for the underdog. Within these various organizations, she has taken the initial steps and positioned herself as a leader and if all goes as planned, in two years she will be appointed President of the CAOC and in five years, the President of AAJ.
In the profile, Elise further details how important it is for attorneys to stay focused, prepared and always “ready to go.” Many of her personal injury cases never make it to trial and end up settling out of court but Elise notes how important is to fully prepare yourself and your clients for trial and to approach every case as if it was going to trial. Her philosophy has always been to accept cases that she’s willing to take to trial. While she plays an instrumental role in various organizations and mentors other attorneys, she recalls how important role models were for her when first starting out as a young attorney. From her past role models, she’s learned to be an effective communicator and to connect with other professionals in the law community. Elise credits her motivation and long nights, when she stays up preparing appellate briefs, to the people she represents and to the groundwork she is setting for future cases and clients.
KBSS attorney, Anoush Lancaster, has been selected as a “Trial Lawyer of the Year” finalist by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA). Anoush is recognized for her record-breaking verdict obtained in a Fresno County case involving a young man who passed away from a work-related injury.
Anoush Lancaster and Craig M. Peters, an attorney with The Veen Law Firm, obtained a $13,337,586.00 verdict on behalf of the surviving family of Francisco Martinez Moreno. Moreno sustained fatal injuries after he was electrocuted while working as a laborer on a home renovation project in Malibu, CA. Moreno’s usual responsibility was to clean up the job site but on September 17, 2009, he was instructed to feed a doorbell wire up the inside of a wall of the house using a metal fishtape. When he attempted to run the wire while lying underneath the house, the fishtape pierced a live wire and Francisco was electrocuted. The decedent’s wife, mother and daughter sued the owner/developer of the property, Herndon Partners, and electrical subcontractor, Amador Electric. The family alleged that the defendants created a dangerous condition, resulting in the wrongful death of the decedent. They also alleged that Herndon Partners was an uninsured employer and that its negligent exercise of its retained control over the safety conditions on the property was a substantial factor in causing the decedent’s death.
Ms. Lancaster and Mr. Peters argued that even though the decedent was hired to perform basic clean-up of the job site, the decedent and his co-workers were required to perform dangerous tasks outside the scope of their employment, including welding, roofing and electrical work, without safety training, safety equipment or competent supervision. Counsel’s position was that as the property’s owner/developer, Herndon Partners acted as the general contractor on the project and employed the decedent, making it responsible for being properly insured, for being properly licensed, and for worker safety.
The jury determined that Herndon Partners was the decedent’s employer on the project and that it was liable for the decedent’s safety. The jury also determined that Herndon Partners was 100 percent liable for the fatal accident and that Amador Electric was not at fault. Herndon Partners was solely responsible for the $13,337,586 in total damages to compensate the decedent’s family.
To be selected as a finalist for the SFTLA “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award, attorneys must exercise high standards of ethics, civility, courage and advocacy for consumers and injured victims. A noteworthy verdict or trial result, either by the presiding judge or jury trial, is also a considerable factor for the award. The verdict Anoush obtained in Moreno’s case was the largest wrongful death verdict in Fresno County in the last decade. The 15th Annual Trial Lawyer of the Year Gala will take place on Thursday, April 17th in San Francisco, CA where this year’s winner will be announced.
KBSS Partner, Elise Sanguinetti will serve as a panelist on the, “Broadening the Bench in California: Judicial Nominations and Professional Diversity” discussion hosted by the Alliance for Justice (AFJ). The 60-minute panel will discuss the current state of professional diversity on the bench in California and nationwide, how it might improve, and why professional diversity is so important.
The panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 4th at UC Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. Joining Elise on the panel will be Terisa Chaw, Executive Director of the National Employment Lawyers Association, The Honorable Edward M. Chen and The Honorable Martin J. Jenkins. Rebecca Hamburg Cappy, the West Coast Director for the Alliance for Justice, will serve as the moderator.
The Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations that represent a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just and free society. With their Judicial Selection Project, the AFJ works closely to monitor and assess federal judicial nominations to ensure our courts are staffed with highly-qualified judges that will safeguard the rights of all Americans.
As a frequent speaker, Elise is invited to speak on various topics at different seminars, conventions and legal events. Elise exclusively represents plaintiffs in civil litigation and her focus of expertise is serious injury, wrongful death cases, civil appeals and legal malpractice. For more information about Elise and her practice, click here. To learn about the Alliance for Justice and what they do, visit their website at http://www.afj.org/ .
The annual Southern California Super Lawyers list has been published and KBSS is proud to announce the inclusion of four of our attorneys who have been selected. Each year, the list recognizes the top attorneys in Southern California who have been practicing for more than 10 years and have demonstrated a high level of professional expertise, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Firm partners, Shawn Khorrami and Raymond Boucher, and senior attorneys, Launa Adolph and Robert Drexler, were all selected as 2014 Southern California Super Lawyers. For Launa, this is her first year receiving the honor. Shawn, Ray and Robert have previously been awarded the honor.
The Super Lawyers rank is highly recognized and respected throughout the nation and requires a multi-phased nomination process. First, attorneys are invited to nominate other attorneys who they have personally observed in action, whether as opposing counsel or co-counsel. Super Lawyers then review all the peer nominations and conduct independent research on each attorney. Ultimately, peer recognition and personal achievement determine who receives the annual honor.
Congrats to our KBSS Attorneys!
As a plaintiffs only firm that represents clients who have been harassed and discriminated by employers, it was only natural for KBSS to participate in the Red Card to Child Labor campaign. Similar to what we do for our clients, the Red Card to Child Labor campaign helps eliminate mistreatment and abuse some employees face in the workplace. In this case, the mistreatment and abuse is inflicted upon young child laborers between the ages of 5 and 17 across the world.
Since launching in 2002 by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Red Card to Child Labor campaign has gained recognition worldwide. With more than 168 million child workers around the world and more than half of them trapped in the worst forms of child labor, the campaign began a rigorous fight to end the neglect and harassment these children endure as young workers trying to make a living. Many of these children work in fields, mines and factories where conditions are rough and many are sexually abused, exploited in drug trade or forced to join armies. The ILO has received support from 152 countries that participate in annual conferences where advocates continue to fight and together, renew their commitment to end child labor.
To show support for the campaign, participants take a picture while holding up a Red Card. The Red Card is easily recognizable across the world and serves as a powerful warning that something is wrong and it must be stopped. Celebrities like Cher, Susan Sarandon and athletes from the US to the Philippines have joined the campaign and had their picture taken with the Red Card. To show our support, we invited our staff to participate by having their picture taken. We’re honored that the ILO allowed us to take part in such a powerful campaign and displayed our photo on their website among their other famous advocates.
Continuing to expand and strengthen the firm and its practice, KBSS welcomes three new attorneys. Anoush Lancaster, Brian Bush and Nazareth Haysbert join the firm’s current roster of 20 attorneys throughout the firm’s three locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area and Boston.
Anoush Lancaster joins the firm’s Oakland office as a managing attorney. Anoush litigates personal injury cases involving negligence, wrongful death, complex catastrophic injuries, products liability, industrial accidents and exceptions to the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy doctrine. With almost four years of experience, Ms. Lancaster has co-tried cases all throughout Northern California and recently obtained a settlement in a wrongful death suit that was the largest verdict in Fresno County. Ms. Lancaster is actively involved in numerous legal organizations including the American Association of Justice, Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Queens Bench, Consumer Attorneys of California and the California Women Lawyers Association. She holds various positions within these organizations such as the Secretary of Consumer Attorneys of California’s Women’s Caucus. Within the Queen’s Bench Association, she sits on the Board of Directors and also co-chairs the Queens Bench’s Work-Life Committee. In 2013, she was selected as a Northern California Rising Star and was SFTLA’s 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist and CAOC’s Women’s Caucus Consumer Advocate Finalist. She attended UC Hastings College of the Law where she obtained her Juris Doctor. For more information on Anoush, visit her profile here.
Brian Bush joins the KBSS team in Los Angeles as an associate attorney. Brian, who originally joined the firm as a law clerk, will focus mainly on civil rights, personal injury, and mass tort litigation. Prior to joining KBSS in 2012, Brian served as a law clerk with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where he worked on numerous projects involving hands-on case development and trial preparation. While in law school, Brian competed on Loyola’s nationally ranked Byrne Trial Advocacy Team. Additionally, he served as speaker, co-chair and vice president of Loyola’s student-chapter of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). Mr. Bush attended Loyola Law School where he received his Juris Doctor degree. For more information about Brian, visit his profile here.
Nazareth Haysbert also joins the firm as an associate attorney at the firm’s Los Angeles office. Nazareth will focus his practice in the areas of class action litigation, mass tort litigation, and civil rights. Nazareth first joined KBSS in 2012 as a law clerk. Prior to joining KBSS, Nazareth clerked for the Honorable Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Chief United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. Mr. Haysbert also spent a considerable amount of time in South Africa where he clerked for the South African Law Firm, Webber Wentzel Attorneys, in Johannesburg and founded the non-profit organization, Law Students For Africa. Nazareth attended University of Oklahoma College of Law where he obtained his Juris Doctor degree. For more information about Nazareth, visit his profile here.
With our Thanksgiving Food Drive being such a success, we wanted to share details from our 6th Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Each year during the holiday season, KBSS hosts a toy drive where we collect toys to benefit the students of the Buckner Academy in Los Angeles, CA.
This year, almost 40 gifts were collected from KBSS employees in our LA office. We delivered the gifts on Friday, December 20th to the Buckner Academy for students who are between the ages of 2-4 years old. KBSS enjoys hosting annual holiday toy drives and other charitable events since it’s a great way to give back to the community and get into the holiday spirit. Click through the album below to see some pictures from last Friday’s toy drive.
Happy New Year!
On October 3, 2013, Adobe Systems, Inc. (“Adobe”) first announced that approximately 3 million Adobe user accounts, including user login data, names, company names, email addresses, payment information, and other personal information, had been accessed by unauthorized parties. More recently, reports claim that as many as 150 million Adobe user accounts may have been impacted by this data breach.
We understand that the security of your personal information is important. We provide reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security controls to protect your personal information.
After a business becomes aware that its customers’ personal information has been accessed by unauthorized parties or otherwise compromised, the California Data Breach Act requires Adobe to disclose the security breach to inform affected consumers “without unreasonable delay.” However, despite admitting that it was aware of the data breach as early as September 17, 2013, many Adobe customers were not notified that their information had been compromised until mid-October 2013, while some customers have not been notified at all.
On December 3, 2013, Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of American consumers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 13-cv-05596). To date, two other class action lawsuits (Halpain v. Adobe Systems, Inc., Case No. 13-cv-05226; and Heimlich v. Adobe Systems, Inc., Case No. 13-cv-05611) have also been filed against Adobe on behalf of American consumers related to the 2013 data breach. Each of the complaints alleges that Adobe implemented substandard security measures, made material misrepresentations regarding its security measures, failed to protect consumers’ personal information, and failed to timely inform consumers that their personal information had been compromised.
Search tools are available online, such as http://rpi.ricklubbers.nl/random/adobe/, to help consumers determine if whether their Adobe customer account information may have been accessed by unauthorized persons as a result of the recent data breach. If you believe your personal information has been compromised, we would like to hear from you and learn more about your experience as part of our ongoing investigation into Adobe’s violations of consumer rights. Please call Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP for a confidential consultation.