Mikel Bistrow and Christopher Celentino, local high-profile bankruptcy and transactional finance lawyers, have joined Ballard Spahr as partners. Bistrow and Celentino have extensive experience in finance and insolvency matters and are accomplished in business reorganizations and financial transactions. They practice debtor-creditor work from filing to wind-down, to the uncomfortable wind-downs, in state and federal courts.
Bistrow and Celentino are members of the firm’s litigation department, having come from Foley & Lardner LLP, where they were partners.
Every firm likes to win lawsuits, but only one local firm could win LAWSUITS, a fundraising event for Second Chance, a nonprofit organization that provides workforce readiness training and job placement with a goal of getting people off the streets and into the workforce. Shustak & Partners PC won the friendly competition among law firms, led by founder Erwin Shustak and talented partner George Miller. Suits and professional clothing collected through the drive, which is chaired by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, are made available to graduates of Second Chance. Shustak & Partners, which has a national practice focused on securities, corporate and business law, raised $500 and collected 18 new and gently used suits. Miller is already talking smack about next year.
Julie Hussey has joined Perkins Coie in its San Diego office as a partner in the product liability practice. Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Hussey was a partner with DLA Piper. Hussey is the fourth partner to join Perkins Coie’s San Diego office this year, following the additions of Tom Millikan, Joe Reid and Laura Zagar earlier this year.
“Julie’s pharmaceutical litigation practice complements the work of our patent litigators,” said Matthew Bernstein, office managing partner. A trial lawyer noted for her achievements in class action, mass tort and complex litigation, Hussey represents global pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, and food and beverage companies. She has extensive experience defending clients against high-exposure claims involving product liability, consumer fraud, unfair competition, false and misleading advertisement, “all natural” labeling and toxic torts.
McKenna Long & Aldridge’s downtown office wrapped up its first Street Law Diversity Pipeline Program with Crawford High School, Academy of Law. The Crawford Academy is a special program funded by the California Department of Education and California State Bar to provide theme-based, college-preparatory curriculum and extensive extracurricular and academic support programs for at-risk students. The academy’s curriculum includes law-related content. MLA’s participation in the program is through Street Law Inc.’s Law Firm Diversity Pipeline Program, a joint program with the National Association for Law Placement. Led by MLA Associate Jae Park, the teaching-workshop team consisted of Crystal Culhane, Steven Ejercito, Inghe Francois, Hillary Hulce, Frank Miskiel, Karen Potter, Renzo Rocchegiani, Jai Singh, Peter Stockburger and Cheryl Sykes. Career fair participants were Saeid Ahmadian, Chiloh Baty, Patti Groff, Tim Hodgson, Lisa Jordan, Patty Kushner, Victoria Love, Christina Morgan, Steve Rueda, Leslie Sharpe, Khaleedah Thomas, Greg Thornburgh, Liz Tingey and Carmen Valerio.
David Casey, senior partner at CaseyGerry, was recently appointed to the board of directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group representing both sides of the bar: prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases, and plaintiffs and defense counsel in civil litigation. Casey has been a fellow of the Academy, which limits membership to 500 fellows from the United States, since 1999. Fellowship is by invitation only, and it’s a big deal. Candidates are vetted by judges and other trial lawyers, and are those who have achieved a “career of excellence through demonstrated skill and ability in jury trials, trials before the court and appellate practice.” Members must be engaged in civil practice on both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s side of the courtroom and the trials of criminal cases. Specializing in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, Casey has spent more than 35 years practicing law in San Diego. He is past president of the American Association of Trial Lawyers — now known as the American Association for Justice.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton received the highest possible ranking in the 2014 Managing Intellectual Property Copyright Survey. Kilpatrick Townsend ranked in tier one for the second straight year, according to the magazine, for trademark contentious and trademark prosecution.
Yoga for a Cure, a donation-based yoga festival to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4 at Liberty Station. This is a special opportunity for lawyers to help one of their own. Two young San Diegans battling cancer will be in attendance to inspire supporters of the event organized by Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP’s Justine Phillips. The suggested donation to attend is $45. Phillips — who lost her only sister, Janine, to leukemia — has been nominated for LLS Woman of the Year 2014; this event is part of a 10-week fundraising campaign that concludes with a gala event on May 17. You can do good and improve your practice. Yoga is like mediation, except you stretch muscles rather than the truth. Just kidding. Make a donation.
Randy Frisch is vice chancellor of business and administration at National University, and former publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho.