The Super Lawyers Board of Advisors is composed of attorneys who embody excellence in practice. The board, which provides counsel, feedback and editorial ideas, includes lawyers from across the country and of varied firm sizes, who have consistently appeared at the top of the Super Lawyers lists.
Thomas Girardi, a partner in Girardi | Keese, has been practicing law since 1965. Girardi
specializes in commercial litigation, product liability law, toxic torts, and bad faith cases. He is an associate professor for Loyola Law School, and was the youngest member to ever be admitted to the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to 500 lawyers in the world. He was president of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers from 2005 to 2006. Girardi is also a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization limited to 100 lawyers in the country who have obtained the largest verdicts in the United States. He has been listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” for 20 years and the “Daily Journal’s” top lawyers in California since the list was first printed. In 2002, he was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Powerful Attorneys” in Los Angeles. Girardi was inducted into the “Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame” by the California State Bar in 2003. He was awarded for his outstanding public support for the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs in 2003. He is the recipient of the 2004 Ted Horn Memorial Award from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and was just inducted into their 2008 Hall of Fame. He is listed in 2008 Benchmark’s America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys. In a recent survey of 65,000 lawyers to determine the finest lawyer in California, he was the highest vote-getter. Girardi has been appointed to the Judicial Council of California by Chief Justice Ronald M. George. and is the recipient of the Irish American Bar Association’s Daniel O’Connell Award and the Italian American Bar Association’s Champion of Justice Award. He’s on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of California-Irvine, School of Law. Girardi is a member of the 2008-2009 Order of Distinguished Attorneys of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He is currently a trustee of the National Judicial College, serves on the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board and 2010 National Advisory Board Member of the Association of the Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
Susan Ford Robertson has handled more than 115 published appeals in complex civil cases on issues ranging from product liability to wrongful death to breach of contract. Her work as appellate counsel on all aspects of appeals has led to total judgments of more than $600 million. Robertson completes long- and short-term projects such as drafting and reviewing pleadings, preserving the record prior to trial, attending trial, doing oral argument and drafting post-trial motions. She has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, which makes her the first female fellow in Missouri. She has an elected membership to the Litigation Counsel of America. Robertson is a member of the Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee, chair of the Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee and fellow of the Missouri Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. Robertson is a past president of the Missouri Board of Law Examiners and past president of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers. Local and national judicial and bar associations have had her present more than 80 seminars on ethics and trial and appellate practice matters. Awards include The Missouri Bar President’s Award in 2005 and 2009, the Kansas City Legal Leaders Award for Civil Justice in 2009 and the Honorary Initiate of the Order of the Barrister—awarded by the University of Missouri— in 2010. She was also named in the Missouri legal community’s Women’s Justice Awards as Litigation Practitioner of the Year in 2011. Before pursuing the law profession, Robertson graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1982. She graduated from University of Missouri School of Law in 1986.
Andrew L. Oringer is a partner and the co-chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at Dechert LLP, where he advises on a wide variety of matters relating to employee benefits, fiduciary issues and executive compensation. He is the Emerging Issues Coordinator of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, and former co-chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is a primary author of numerous bar comments covering a broad array of issues. Oringer is also a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Attorney Professionalism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and a Senior Fellow from Practice for the Regulatory Compliance Association. Oringer is an adjunct professor at the Maurice A. Deane Law School at Hofstra University, where he is also on the Executive Board of the Alumni Association and a co-chair of its Career Services Alumni Committee. Oringer is a frequent writer and speaker on matters relating to employee benefits and executive compensation, serving on the Advisory Boards of the Bloomberg BNA Pension & Benefits Reporter, the Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal and, as a charter member, on the Practical Law Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Advisory Board. Oringer has authored chapters in the leading treatises on ERISA’s fiduciary provisions and the taxation of non-qualified deferred compensation. He chairs a leading two-day introductory seminar and was the founding chair of a full-day seminar on ERISA litigation. Oringer has been named to the New York Metro “Top 100” Super Lawyers list for seven years.
Having served as lead counsel in more than 75 jury trials, W. Ray Persons is recognized as a seasoned trial lawyer and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He recently served as national counsel for one of the largest U.S. energy companies in toxic tort litigation and as trial counsel for oil companies in catastrophic injury cases across five Southern states. Persons has represented a major chemical company in occupational exposure litigation as national trial counsel and represented a national media company in an advertising injury case. The partner at King & Spalding focuses on the defense of complex litigation including class actions and product liability. Awards won by Persons include the State Bar of Georgia Tradition of Excellence Award, Atlanta Bar Association’s 2010 Leadership Award, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Moritz College of Law and a Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University. Persons graduated from law school at The Ohio State University after he graduated from Armstrong State College cum laude. He has published course materials for more than 40 presentations on litigation, class actions and professionalism. Persons is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, International Association of Defense Counsel and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a fellow and on the advisory board for Litigation Counsel of America, and a fellow of the International Society of Barristers.
David J. Beck, along with Joe Redden and Ron Secrest, founded Beck, Redden & Secrest, L.L.P. in January, 1992. He was formerly a senior partner of Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Beck is a very active trial lawyer and has been throughout his professional career. He has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the top 10 trial lawyers in the United States, and one of the top trial lawyers in the Southwest. After a poll of Texas lawyers in 2002, he was listed by the Texas Lawyer as one of the “Go To Lawyers For Lawyers In Trouble.” In November of 2003 – 2009, a statewide survey published in Texas Monthly Magazine named him to Texas’ “Top 10 Super Lawyers” list. He has been named one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Woodward & White since the inception of the publication in 1990. Most recently, the “Best Lawyers” publication named him Houston “2009 Lawyer of the Year” in “Bet-the Company” litigation.
He recently served as President of the American College of Trial Lawyers (2006-07). He has been named a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Mr. Beck served as President of the State Bar of Texas in 1995-96.
Mr. Beck has published numerous law journal articles and has appeared as a lecturer on many bar association and law school continuing legal education programs. He has won various awards for his legal writing.
Betsy Plevan is a senior partner of Proskauer Rose LLP where she specializes in employment litigation and has served as a member of its Executive Committee. She served as President of the New York City Bar Association 2004 – 2006 and is currently the Chair of the Council on International Affairs of the New York City Bar. She has also served as the President of the Federal Bar Council and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors. She also just finished her term as Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. Betsy represents employers in many industries and professions in all aspects of employment law and litigation and is Co-Chair of Proskauer’s International Labor and Employment Group and Collective Action Practice Group. Betsy is also a member of the American Law Institute and currently serves on its Advisory Committee on Employment Law. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Betsy graduated from Wellesley College and received her J.D. Magna Cum Laude from Boston University School of Law where she was an Editor of the Law Review.
Nancy S. Shilepsky is co-managing partner of Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP in Boston. Since 2000, Shilepsky has been a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She represents primarily executives and professionals across a wide range of industries, and is well known for her pioneering work in wrongful termination and employment discrimination. Her many accolades include the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MLCE) Scholar-Mentor Award, the Massachusetts Bar and Massachusetts Lesbian & Gay Bar Associations Kevin Larkin Memorial Award for Public Service, and the Boston University School of Law Women’s Law Association annual Alumnae Award. Shilepsky has been on the top 10 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list since 2007, the Top 50 Women’s list since 2007, and the Top 100 Massachusetts list since 2004. She has been named both a “Lawyer of the Year” and a “Top Woman Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (MLW), and was featured in MLW’s 2004 “Power Issue.” In 2010, Chambers USA named Shilepsky a Leader in the Field of Executive Compensation; and she was designated as a member of the Lawdragon national Top 3000. Shilepsky served as co-chair of the Women’s Bar Association’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Task Force for many years, and she co-founded (and continues to co-facilitate) the Amicus Group. Shilepsky is co-author of Representing a Plaintiff in a Wrongful Termination Case and co-editor of Massachusetts Employment Law. She has served as Treasurer of the Boston Bar Association (BBA), on the MLW Board of Editors, and as Chair of MCLE’s Employment Law Curriculum Advisory Committee and Chair of the BBA Labor and Employment Law Section.
Lymari J. Santana is one of the founding shareholders of Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., which started in 2004. She has been practicing law since 1994, focusing exclusively on family law litigation since 2000. Lymari has successfully represented clients in complex divorce cases, in complicated custody cases, and in resolving parenting time challenges in paternity cases. She excels in providing strong, dynamic advocacy for her clients. She is also a Qualified Mediator under Rule 114, which provides a cost-effective option for those parties looking for a neutral professional to assist them with resolving legal disputes through agreement. She frequently lectures on family law topics for continuing legal education courses. She has been a guest on the WCCO News Radio Real Estate Hour to discuss divorce and real estate issues. She attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, on an Army ROTC scholarship and earned a degree in political science with honors in 1991. Then she graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 1994. Lymari has served in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps. and finished her military career after serving a tour of duty as a criminal defense lawyer. Lymari represented soldiers charged with crimes, and represented them as they faced administrative elimination boards. She has also worked as a lawyer-volunteer for the Hennepin County Family Court Settlement Program and for the Spanish LAW Clinics at Tubman, a non-profit organization. At the Spanish LAW Clinics, her bilingual background allows her to provide instruction and assistance on family law issues to individuals have difficulty with speaking English. Lymari has been listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers since 2007, and she was listed in the Top 100 Women Super Lawyers in 2007 and 2009.
Laurel Bellows, principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C. is an internationally recognized business lawyer counseling senior executives and corporations in the United States and globally on employment matters, employment and severance agreements, executive compensation and workplace disputes. Her expertise in executive compensation matters also includes mid-level management compensation and human resource/talent management matters involving incentives, retirement and workforce restructuring. Her firm consults on workplace cyber security policies. The firm offers transactional, counseling and litigation services to entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses and large corporations. Client matters range from commercial litigation to business startups. The Bellows Law Group conducts internal corporate investigations, assists public and private corporations including federal contractors, to comply with regulations and develop corporate policies directed at combating human trafficking worldwide. Bellows is past president of the American Bar Association and was the second woman president of the Chicago Bar Association. Her previous positions include past president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, past chair of The Chicago Network, past chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and past chair of the Finance Committee of the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors. This year, Bellows received the Visionary Award from Vision 2020 for her efforts regarding gender equity and combating human trafficking. In 2013, Laurel, along with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa-Mary Robinson, received the Rule of Law Award. The German Bar Association honored Bellows with the Maria-Otto Preis Award for her outstanding background as a female lawyer, establishing the ABA Gender Equity Task Force and anti-trafficking efforts. ATHENA International honored Bellows with the prestigious 2012 ATHENA Leadership Award presented to exemplary leaders for achieving the highest level of professional excellence and for actively assisting and inspiring women to realize their full personal and professional potential. Bellows received the ABA Commission on Women Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award in 2002.
Gary Naftalis represents corporations and individuals in bet-the-company civil, criminal and regulatory matters. As the head of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel’s litigation department , Naftalis defends against a wide range of allegations against his clients, including accounting irregularities, insider trading, market manipulation and other financial fraud. He is also firm co-chair and has more than 40 years of experience in law. Naftalis has reached successful outcomes for CEO Michael Eisner of The Walt Disney Co., in a shareholders derivative lawsuit; for former Chair of the New York Stock Exchange Compensation Committee Kenneth Langone, who faced charges related to compensation of NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso; and for Sirius XM Radio, in a suit brought by Howard Stern for breach of contract. Naftalis won summary judgment for Sirius XM Radio after Stern originally sought $330 million in damages. Naftalis has won numerous awards: the Police Athletic League awarded him the Robert M. Morgenthau Award for the Legal Profession, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest gave him the Law & Society Award and Pope Benedict XVI honored him with the Benemerenti Medal. In 2012, he received the New York Council of Defense Lawyers Norman Ostrow Award to recognize his white-collar defense achievements. In 2013, he was included in the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” list by the National Law Journal. Super Lawyers has named Naftalis to its New York Metro Top 10 list every year since 2007. For more than a decade, he served as a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, where he earned his LL.B. and was Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He has written articles and books, including The Grand Jury: An Institution on Trial and Sentencing: Helping the Judges Do Their Jobs, both of which he co-authored with Judge Marvin E. Frankel.
As chair of Karr Tuttle Campbell’s creditors’ rights and insolvency practice group, Diana Carey is an attorney that creditors, landlords and purchasers rely on to handle bankruptcy matters on their behalf. A fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, she has served as a state court receiver and a Chapter 11 trustee, and frequently represents receivers and trustees. Carey’s postsecondary education all stems from the University of Washington, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree, M.L.S. and J.D. After serving as Associate Editor-in-Chief for the Washington Law Review, she passed the state bar in 1986 and went on to participate in a variety of bar activities: Volunteer Legal Services chairman of the King County Bar Association, Board Member and President of the King County Bar Foundation, Executive Board of T.T. Glover Mediation Program, Trustee for the University of Washington Law School Foundation, and president of Consumer Education and Training Services, which is a nonprofit organization that provides financial education. Her community involvement includes currently being president of Seattle Chamber of Music Society. While receiverships and bankruptcy make up the majority of her practice—she was certified in Business Bankruptcy Law in 1995—Carey also works for small businesses, advising on corporate and business matters. She is a frequent presenter at CLEs and this summer Carey chaired a panel on case administration at a Chapter 11 debtor’s seminar hosted by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in association with the Federal Bar Association. She also has continuously been named to the Top 50 Women list in Washington Super Lawyers since 2003 and the Top 100 list every year since 2007. Carey was most recently named the Best Lawyers’ 2015 Seattle Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law “Lawyer of the Year.”
Joe Friedberg has been practicing criminal and white collar defense law for more than forty years. His practice has taken him into Federal and State Courts through much of the United States. He has been elected to fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and is the 2010 President of the prestigious American Board of Criminal Lawyers where he occupied a position on the Board of Governors and the executive committee for many years.
In his career Joe has tried some of the highest profile criminal cases in the history of the State of Minnesota and was recently named as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in the history of the state. He has represented major corporations, CEO's, Police Officers and some of the most well known professional athletes. He estimates that he has actually tried between two hundred and fifty and three hundred felony jury trials. He has also tried a number of complex civil cases and at one time was lead counsel in the Breland class action arising out of the A.H. Robins bankruptcy.
His unique approach to the practice of criminal law has made him a well known talk radio and TV guest in the Twin Cities.
Partner Kenzo Kawanabe represents clients dealing with commercial disputes, intellectual property issues, mass torts and products liability. In facing hundreds of plaintiffs as part of nationwide mass tort litigation against a pharmaceutical company, Kawanabe has been a leader of the defense team. He has won a $43.1 million jury award when he served as trial counsel for a software app company in a breach of contract, intentional interference and fraud case. He was trial counsel for a oil company subsidiary in a breach of contract and environment suit, which later settled on the third day of a jury trial, after initial claims exceeded $100 million. He was team trial leader on behalf of schools in a five-week trial against the state of Colorado, which ended in a historic ruling that called the state’s education funding inadequate and unconstitutional. The commercial litigator was the deputy chair of his firm’s trial group and was on his firm’s executive committee. He served on the Boettcher Foundation board, the CO Nonprofit Development Center board and was board chair for the Denver Foundation. Kawanabe has held leadership positions for the Colorado Bar Association and the Denver Bar Association, and was the first general counsel for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the U.S-Japan Council and Minoru Yasui Inn of Court. He is also dedicated to pro bono work and has served on the boards of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, CO Lawyers Committee and CO Legal Services. Kawanabe graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in 1994 and from Georgetown University with a J.D. in 1997. He served as a law clerk for Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court Mary J. Mullarkey.
Thomas R. Kline is a founding partner with Shanin Specter in the Philadelphia law firm of Kline & Specter, P.C., practicing in the area of catastrophic personal injury and mass tort litigation. Kline is the immediate past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, described by The Washington Post as "a select group of 100 of the nation's most celebrated trial lawyers.” Kline, who has a litany of professional accolades, has been voted for seven consecutive years (2004-2010) as the Super Lawyers top point getter in Pennsylvania. He has been described as "the leading personal injury plaintiffs' lawyer in Pennsylvania," and by the National Law Journal, where he is in the Winners Hall of Fame, as one of the America’s top litigators. Kline has scores of seven- and eight-figure jury verdicts and settlements, and has been featured in hundreds of national and local TV appearances, magazine and newspaper articles. Kline was described by The Wall Street Journal as a “key player” in the national Vioxx litigation, and by the Philadelphia Inquirer in an editorial as "the high-powered plantiffs' attorney...who has won a number of eight-figure awards for clients injured or killed due to negligence or incompetence by businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit health-care providers." Kline received an A.B. from Albright College, an M.A. from Lehigh University, and a J.D. degree from Duquesne University School of Law, and has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni award from both his college and law school.
Stacy D. Phillips is a Certified Family Law Specialist and founder and Managing Principal of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, a full-service family law firm in Los Angeles. Phillips represents business executives, entrepreneurs, sports, entertainment, political and religious figures and other high net worth individuals. She is the author of the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control – How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, now in its sixth printing. A staunch supporter of victims’ rights, Phillips co-authored Senate Bill 924 which extended the statute of limitations period for victims of domestic violence to sue their abusers in civil court. Phillips has been a columnist for numerous trade publications and has appeared on CNN’s Headline News, MSNBC’s Live, NBC’s the Today show and Nightly News with Brian Williams. Highly regarded in the legal industry, Phillips is included in Southern California Super Lawyers on the list of “Top 10”, “Top 50 Women” and “Top 100,” designated as one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon and listed in the Best Lawyers of America®. The Recorder acknowledged Phillips on its list of “Women Leaders in Law” for her champion networking abilities and for mastering the art of creating relationships. Los Angeles Times has featured Phillips as one of “Los Angeles Women Leaders in the Law” and Los Angeles Business Journal honored her “Best of the Bar” and one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Los Angeles Law”. In recognition of her superior expertise and track record in the practice of family law, the Daily Journal has named Phillips as one of the “Top Women Lawyers” since the inception of the award. Additionally, The Century City Bar Associated named her Family Law Attorney of the Year in 2009 and in 2006, she was presented with a Certificate of Commendation from the city of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Phillips graduated from Dartmouth College, cum laude, and received her juris doctorate from Columbia University School of Law.
Mr. Chu is a partner of the law firm Irell & Manella LLP. Chambers has described Mr. Chu as "beyond doubt the most gifted trial lawyer in the USA" who "delivers staggering results for clients." Mr. Chu was one of 40 selected as "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers", and named "One of the Top Ten Trial Lawyers" and named "100 Most Influential Lawyers" in the nation by the National Law Journal.
Mr. Chu was lead trial counsel in cases with over $4.3 billion in jury verdicts and settlements, including:
Mr. Chu was lead counsel for the defendants in one of the "Top Defense Verdicts" for 2010, Linear Technology v. Novellus Systems, and 2005, for Ultratech Stepper Inc. v. ASML.
Mr. Chu is a member of the Board of Directors of Public Counsel (since 1993) and its Executive Committee (since 1995). Public Counsel is the nation's largest pro bono public-interest law firm.
Roy Black, senior partner of Black Srebnick Kornspan & Stumpf, is one of the nation's premier trial lawyers. With 40+ years’ experience in criminal defense, he also handles select civil lawsuits, offering a complete service in high-stakes cases. Included for the past 23 years in Best Lawyers in America®, he has handled hundreds of cases in Florida and the US. Ranked top in Chambers and Partners, inducted into Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite Hall of Fame,” and listed in “Top 10 Florida Super Lawyers,” Mr. Black was a legal analyst for NBC’s “Today Show,” and often appears on other major network and cable news shows, explaining newsworthy legal cases. He authored Black's Law, a book that recounts his legal strategies to safeguard the freedom of four clients, and has taught advanced criminal evidence at UM Law School for over 30 years.
Carter G. Phillips is the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP, and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He served as a law clerk to both Judge Robert Sprecher on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Phillips served as Assistant to the Solicitor General for three years, during which time he argued nine cases on behalf of the federal government in the United States Supreme Court. Since joining Sidley Austin LLP, Mr. Phillips has argued 59 cases in the Supreme Court and his career total of 68 appearances before this Court is the most of any lawyer in private practice, and he has argued over 80 cases in the federal courts of appeals. Mr. Phillips is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. His practice is devoted almost exclusively to appellate matters. In September 2007, Mr. Phillips received the Lewis F. Powell Award for Business Advocacy from the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2008 the Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years”. In March 2010 he was named one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” in Appellate Law by the National Law Journal.
Co-managing member at Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, Leopold (“Lee”) Z. Sher is involved in major business, finance and commercial real estate transactions. His client list has included life insurance companies, asset based lenders, landlords and developers of hotels, industrial properties and office buildings. Sher also practices in the area of workouts and foreclosures, disaster recovery, creditors’ rights, commercial bankruptcy and litigation, arbitration and mediation. Sher’s office is in New Orleans and he speaks to professional organizations and business groups across the U.S., especially since Hurricane Katrina to discuss disaster recovery and management. Sher is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, with a special designation for arbitrating Commercial Disputes. He has served as treasurer and executive board member for the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He has served as treasurer and governing board member for the Anglo American Real Property Institute. Sher has been involved with the American Bar Association’s Real Property Section and Commercial Financial Services Committee, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and the American Law Institute. Sher was in the 75-member American Land Title Association’s Lenders’ Counsel Group for 13 years. Now he is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Tulane Law School. Sher is a graduate from Tulane Law School and Tulane University, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Sher serves as board member of the New Orleans Opera Association and the Arts Council of New Orleans.
Thomas “Tommy” Malone, founder of Malone Law, has litigated cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death throughout the State of Georgia for more than 40 years. He is a recognized pioneer in obtaining awards for victims of careless physicians, tractor trailer drivers, pilots, as well as the manufacturers of dangerous products. His multitude of million-dollar jury verdicts include a record-setting $45 million verdict, which changed the way managed care providers operate. His work also resulted in a verdict in excess of $49 million for a 23-year old pre-med student who suffered traumatic brain injuries as the result of a tractor-trailer wreck. Malone is the former President of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, the official certifying body sanctioned by the American Bar Association for certification of competency in handling professional negligence cases. He has held leadership positions with prestigious legal organizations in Georgia, as well as the International Society of Barristers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Association for Justice. Malone’s achievements include winning the Tradition of Excellence Award from the State Bar of Georgia, the Pursuit of Justice Award from the American Bar Association in the tort trial and insurance practice Section, the Compassionate Gladiator Award from the Florida Justice Association in 2009 and the Guardian of Justice Award from the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association in 2012. The Southern Trial Lawyers Association has named an annual award in his honor: the Tommy Malone Great American Eagle Award. He authored Voir Dire and Summation—The Law and The Practice, which is reprinted from a 1999 Second Edition. The Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah have featured Malone as a guest.
Labor and employment lawyer Paula Barran is noted for guiding employers in compliance as well as handling litigation, labor disputes and employment arbitrations. She has won recognition from the Portland Business Journal as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and in April she received a 2014 Client Choice Award, making Barran just one out of two Oregon-based lawyers to receive the award. The Client Choice Awards are nominated by corporate counsel and were given to 251 attorneys in the U.S. and Canada. On September 1, the founding partner celebrated the 15th anniversary of her boutique law firm, which also represents colleges and universities in an explosion of Title IX and other compliance matters. Two years ago she established her firm’s Higher Education practice group, which she developed at just the right time to handle the influx of cases in that area. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, and then her J.D. from Osgoode Hall at York University with honors in 1979, Barran has built her litigation chops in both state and federal courts. In Nike v. City of Beaverton, she and her team represented the city over the largest public records request known to date. Along with success in representative matters, Barran is a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Her speaking engagements have showcased her wide-ranging knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, workplace drug policies, settlement strategies, how human resources personnel should handle discipline and discharges, as well as how colleges and universities can navigate new legal responsibilities.
W. Mark Lanier founded The Lanier Law Firm in 1990. Since then, Lanier has earned widespread recognition as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States. His work for clients across the country is supported by firm offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif.
Lanier’s stunning verdict in the nation’s first Vioxx trial led the editors of Texas Lawyer newspaper to name him the “Impact Player of the Year” in 2005. He previously earned accolades for earning a sizeable verdict for a small oil company in a business fraud case against Amoco Production Co., one of the nation’s largest oil providers. Lanier also is credited with winning one of the largest asbestos verdicts in U.S. history on behalf of 21 Alabama steelworkers.
Mark Lanier consistently is recognized among the country’s leading legal minds by his peers and the media. The National Law Journal named him one of nation’s Top 10 Trial Attorneys in 1998 and 2006, the same year the publication named Lanier as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. In 2010, The National Law Journal named Mark as one of the most Influential Attorneys of the Decade. He has earned similar honors from other publications, including The American Lawyer and Texas Monthly. He was further recognized by being included in Lawdragon’s list of 500 Leading Lawyers in America for 2010. In its coverage of Lanier’s stunning verdict in the nation’s first Vioxx trial, The New York Times described him as “one of the top civil trial lawyers in America . . .”
In addition to national recognition, Lanier also has earned accolades from his peers in Texas. In a statewide attorney survey published in Texas Monthly magazine, Lanier has earned selection to the “Texas Super Lawyers” list in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2002, Texas Lawyer newspaper named Lanier as one of the Top 5 “Go To” Personal Injury Plaintiff Attorneys in Texas. The same publication also recognized him as the Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Texas in 2007. Most recently they named Mark as one of the Top 25 Attorneys of the Past Quarter Century.
Lanier earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1984, and he remains on the school’s Foundation Board. He founded the nonprofit Christian Trial Lawyers Association, and he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Committee for Economic Development. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors for the prestigious National Center for State Courts.
He and his wife, Becky, have five children.
Board certified in civil appellate law and personal injury trial law, David Keltner has been lead counsel in more than 100 appellate decisions. Since earning his bachelor’s from Trinity University and J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, he went on to become the youngest-ever appellate judge in Texas at age 36. Afterward, Keltner was a member of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Professionalism that drafted the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. He also was appointed chair of the Texas Supreme Court Discovery Task Force and appointed to the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee. Today, Keltner is a partner and co-chair of the appellate section at Kelly Hart & Hallman. His experience includes representing parties in Hyundai Motor Co. v. Vasquez, Monsanto Co. v. Boustany, and U-Haul Int’l., Inc. v. Waldrip. He serves as Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Texas A&M University School of Law. In 2013, at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law’s Conference on State and Federal Appeals, he presented on “Getting the Charge Right & Charge Error Preservation” and this year he presented on oral argument organization and preparation. He is a longtime member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Since 1996, Keltner has been a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers—one of only 314 in the country. He received a Presidential Citation from the State Bar of Texas four times. He has won the Jim D. Bowmer Professionalism Award from the College of the State Bar of Texas; the Gene Cavin Award from the State Bar of Texas, for Continuing Legal Education excellence; and the Dan Rugely Price Memorial Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, for legal writing excellence.
Linda A. Klein is managing shareholder in the Firm's Georgia offices and a member of the Firm's Board of Directors. Her practice includes most types of business dispute resolution.
In June 1997, Ms. Klein became the first woman to serve as President of the State Bar of Georgia. Ms. Klein recently concluded her 2010-2012 term as Chair of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates, the 2nd highest ranking office in the Association. Through the years she has chaired many ABA committees and continues her American Bar Association service as Chair of ABA Day, member of the Council of the ABA Section of International Law and serves on the Board of Editors of the Law Practice Management Magazine. She currently holds numerous Board of Director positions and also serves on the advisory boards of Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers.
Ms. Klein has been selected to the Georgia Super Lawyers list annually since 2004, and has also been included as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Georgia. Among her many honors are the prestigious Margaret Brent Achievement Award, awarded by the ABA, and the Randolph Thrower Award for Lifetime Achievement. Ms. Klein is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Who's Who in America and Chambers USA.
Ms. Klein has authored numerous published works, most on construction topics. Her lecture schedule has included presentations in France, Sweden, Spain, Canada and Russia, and the Southeast United States. She is a member of the American Law Institute, and a mediator and arbitrator.
Steven F. Molo is a partner in the national litigation boutique MoloLamken, LLP. Mr. Molo maintains an active trial and appellate practice representing corporations, boards of directors, funds, special committees, and individuals in complex business litigation, regulatory matters and white collar criminal matters throughout the United States and abroad. He began his career as a prosecutor in Chicago, he then practiced with Winston & Strawn for 18 years, before spending five and a half years as a litigation partner with the Wall Street firm Shearman & Sterling.
Mr. Molo regularly tries civil and criminal cases before juries and judges. He has extensive experience in post-trial and appellate advocacy as well and is retained frequently to assist a client after an adverse result has occurred in a trial court.
Mr. Molo speaks and writes extensively on the subjects of business litigation, corporate criminal liability, and trial and appellate advocacy. He has commented on legal topics for CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other news media. He has taught or lectured at Northwestern University Law School, Loyola University of Chicago Law School, John Marshall Law School, SMU Law School, William & Mary Law School, the University of Illinois College of Law, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is co-author of Corporate Internal Investigations, the leading treatise on the subject.
Mr. Molo is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Mr. Molo received his J.D. in 1982 from the University of Illinois College of Law. He received his B.S. in 1979 from the University of Illinois College of Communications.
Michael Ciresi, one of the country’s top trial lawyers, began his legal career with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. in 1970, when he was hired as a clerk. In the years following, Mr. Ciresi moved up through the firm’s ranks. He is a named partner, served as a member of the firm’s Executive Board for 25 years, and was elected Chairman from 1995 through 2008, when he stepped down.
Mr. Ciresi, who focuses his practice on representing individuals, corporations and government entities in the areas of product liability, intellectual property, business and commercial litigation. He has taught and lectured nationally and internationally to various professional and business groups. His clients have included the plaintiffs in the Dalkon Shield, Cu7 and Mirapex cases; the government of India as well as representing General Mills Inc., Carlson Companies, Unocal, 3M, Honeywell, Medtronic, and Pitney Bowes, Inc., to name a few. His most historic case occurred when he represented the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota against the tobacco industry which led to a $7 billion settlement.
Mr. Ciresi has received numerous accolades for his professional accomplishments, including: ranked #1 in Minnesota for Litigation: General Commercial and Intellectual Property in Chambers USA (2008-2010); listed in “Minnesota’s Legal Hall of Fame: The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in State History” by Minnesota Law & Politics (2007); awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Minnesota Association for Justice; named as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal (1997, 2000, 2006); and listed in Best Lawyers in America (1989-2009).
Actively involved in community affairs, Mr. Ciresi sits on the Board of Directors for various organizations, including Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Public Radio International, the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, St. Thomas Academy, and the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also Board President and Chairman of the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children, which he was instrumental in establishing in 1998 when the firm donated a gift of $30 million to The Minneapolis Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to support Minnesota children in the areas of education, advocacy, and protection from abuse, while promoting equal opportunities.
Mr. Ciresi attended law school at the University of Minnesota Law School and in 2001 an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by Southwestern University School of Law.
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
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