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Monday, May 20, 2024

Team Janine Honors the Past, Brings Hope for a Cure in Future

Local lawyers are usually good people, but Justine Phillips — a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP — is something special. She is in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Annual Man & Woman of the Year Campaign to honor her only sister, Janine, who died from leukemia when they were children more than 30 years ago. I will let her tell it:

“Janine was born four days shy of my second birthday,” Phillips said. “We had three older brothers and hard-working, devoted parents. I have a precious few … memories of Janine. One of them is rocking on a brown plastic wonder horse with large metal springs attached to a frame. We would laugh and play on our wonder horse for hours, sometimes rocking so hard it would lift off the ground to our squealing delight.”

A few months after that remission “ride,” in July 1980, little Janine died. “There are words we use when kids lose their parents, orphans, or wives lose their husbands, widows,” Phillips said, “but there are no words to describe a parent losing their child or a sister losing her only sister.”

Two years ago, Phillips met Bill Earley of Earley Law as he was about to participate in the Ironman Triathlon, New Zealand, with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s team in training. Phillips told Earley about Janine, and he asked for a picture so Janine could be one of the “angels” he ran with.

This year, Earley nominated Phillips for the society’s Man/Woman of the Year, a 10-week fundraising campaign that has launched and ends with a gala event May 17. The campaign raises money for the LLS San Diego. You can honor Phillips — Janine and Justine — by joining “Team Janine” on this journey. Visit for information.

“I sometimes wonder if Janine were born today if the outcome would be different,” Phillips said. “It is a fact that her chances of survival would be greater because of the research and investment LLS has made to find a cure and better treatments.”

Do something good by helping the efforts.

Judges are human, too. That’s why you should attend the San Diego County Bar Association’s judicial reception on March 19. It’s a chance to connect with members of the bench and meet the new judges and commissioners. It’s at the Westgate Hotel in the Fountain Terrace. It will be nice, and you can learn a little bit about a potential trier of fact.

The American Society of Legal Advocates recently named Erwin Shustak, founder of Shustak & Partners of San Diego and New York, as one of the Top 100 Litigation lawyers in California for 2014. Shustak’s selection by the ASLA followed a multistage process in which its lawyers independently researched information on tens of thousands of peers, ultimately selecting less than 1.5 percent of lawyers nationally for membership in the ASLA. Impressive work, which makes our San Diego legal community look, well, impressive.

Fernando Landa has earned one of the 2014 Morning Star Awards, a recognition by the real property section of The State Bar of California. The award is presented to five young real estate lawyers who have shown an early dedication to and leadership in the real estate legal community. Landa will be recognized in May at the real property law section’s annual retreat, which will be held this year at the Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite. Landa specializes in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate. Landa has also received the “Associate of the Year” award from the Building Industry Association of San Diego and was part of the team that was awarded the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties’ Real Estate Excellence in the Inland Empire Award for “Office Transaction of the Year” in 2014.

Christopher Celentino — a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP and Western regional co-chair of its business, reorganization and bankruptcy practice group — invites you to dinner. OK, it’s his annual Wine & Dine, his annual fundraiser for the Old Town Academy Charter School, “which is quickly becoming one of the highest-rated schools in San Diego County.” The event is April 26, and you can register at

The San Diego-based Air Law Institute presented the first Air & Law Symposium at California Western School of Law and at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. It featured top speakers from the aerospace industry and legal community, who covered topics including integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace and the commercialization of space in the 21st century. The keynote speaker was Linden Blue, vice chairman of General Atomics.

Elizabeth Iglesias joined Fish & Richardson in the firm’s litigation group as an associate. She was previously an associate with Irell & Manella in Los Angeles. Iglesias’ practice emphasizes patent litigation and reexamination, and her experience includes work in the semiconductor, medical device, wireless communications and power generation industries.”

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.


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