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California Super Lawyers Articles

Opposing Forces

For Joan Fife and Jahan Sagafi, being on opposing sides doesn’t mean yelling across the table

A Fighter and a Gentleman

Gordon Greenwood is known for his civility, but he’ll go to the mat in the hunt for justice

Discrimination Suit Can Proceed Against Contra Costa DA's Office

San Francisco firms Nichols Law and Ratner Molineaux are representing 5 women deputy DAs

Mike Polis' Other Day Job

In his free time, you’ll likely find this Sacramento attorney on his sheep ranch in the Valley

Rounding Up

Mark Burton was on the team that won the first jury verdict—$285 million—in the Roundup cases against Monsanto, and he’s not done yet

Fighting the Good Fight

Steven Williams’ pro bono cases hold a special place in his heart 

The Case Against Virtual Trials

Ed Hugo raises red flags about what’s getting lost in the new normal

Hometown Historian

Litigator, author and restaurateur John Briscoe tells local history through the lens of food and drink

Getting Tech Off the Ground

Airbus’ flying car is just one of the cutting-edge projects Sasha Rao gets to work on 

Finding Her Voice

Sonakshi Kapoor was told a girl couldn’t join the family business—so she became a lawyer instead

Life Partners

Husband-and-wife duo Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin play to their individual strengths 

Fighting Fire

Five attorneys talk about the massive class action against PG&E

The Science Teacher

How Heidi Keefe used a tin recipe box and a pink stuffed animal to explain tech to juries

Coping Skills: COVID-19 Lockdown

Northern California lawyers talk about adjusting to the new normal

Lawsuit Targets Princess Cruises Over Coronavirus Cases

San Francisco lawyers Mary Alexander and Elizabeth Cabraser seek class action

Trial by COVID-19

Despite lockdowns, courtroom health scares and two delays in a trial with a pandemic as the backdrop, an Oakland attorney returns home from Kentucky with a win

The Home Front

Michael Bracamontes fights for families in danger of being evicted

Tax Break

Sacramento attorney Carley Roberts finds respite on her horse ranch

The Electioneer

Chris Skinnell is a one-stop shop for ballot initiatives and most everything else voting-related

A Virtual Dilemma

For litigator Edward Hugo, the jury is not out on trials by Zoom: He wants them stopped

Barbara Moser's Big Picture

The San Francisco attorney puts her psychology creds to work in her family law practice

Sister Act

Barbara, Therese and Maria Lawless followed in their father’s footsteps—and stuck together 

Close to Home

Dan Baradat has won millions of dollars in jury verdicts for blue-collar workers like the ones he grew up with

First Amendment Fray in San Francisco

Two SF attorneys champion a freelance journalist whose home was raided after he refused to name a confidential source

The ABCs of Kindness

How a group of local attorneys launched an organization to help the homeless 

The Fine Art of Practicing Law

How Ryan Abernethy found more creativity in the law than in animation

One Animal at a Time

After her first case involving vulnerable pets, Jill Telfer couldn’t say no

Trial Superstitions

Four trial lawyers find that a little luck never hurt

Gentleman Driver

Five weekends a year, look for Ed Hugo on the racetrack

Trying History

How Dale Minami took on the U.S. government and rewrote an internment survivor’s story

The Artful Dance

Jennifer Hartman King brings harmony when developers and state regulators start butting heads

Public Access

Michael Nunez fights for the right of people of all abilities to enjoy the good things in life

From Raider to Litigator

Bob Moore once caught passes from Kenny Stabler; now his wins take place in the courtroom

Safety Boosters

Russell Reiner and Todd Slaughter on stepping up to protect the community

‘A Life of Fulfillment’

Michelle Roberts sees her hardworking dad in clients struggling for benefits they’ve been denied

‘The Human Part of It’

Christopher Banys’ pro bono work helps immigrants and YouTubers

Cannabis Conundrum

Now that recreational pot is legal, public law attorneys like Ruthann Ziegler are helping cities cut through the haze


How #MeToo is impacting gender-discrimination cases

VW Settlement Money Earmarked to Battle Climate Change

The $1.4 billion comes from a $14.7 billion payout negotiated in 2016 by San Francisco’s Elizabeth Cabraser

Discovery with Karine Bohbot

Karine Bohbot’s trial prep: organization (then more organization), coffee, tunes and her Wonder Woman lunchbox


From the Top

Elizabeth Cabraser tackles Volkswagen, Takata and Exxon—and seldom misses a drumming gig

How Clement Kong Measures Success

The Sacramento attorney says it’s all about the people you meet along the way

Future by Design

How real estate lawyer James Abrams has helped shape his adopted town

A Comforting (Tele)Presence

How a timely technology purchase eased Peter Brewer’s mind after a serious accident

Playing Shortstop

Brandi Brown thrives on fielding whatever life throws her way

Shattering the ‘Two-Seater Mentality’

Pat Gillette wants firms to put more women and minorities in the board room

A Novel Idea (or Two)

Anthony Perez, author of Second Wind, finds his second wind

Not So Small

An international network headed up by Charles Kagay arms boutique firms with more firepower

From Way Downtown

That’s how Sacramento attorney Shaye Diveley helped deliver an arena for the Kings—and just before the buzzer

How Hal Bartholomew Got a Namesake Park …

… Even though the Elk Grove family law attorney is very much alive and well

Policyholders Accuse Insurer of Underpaying Their Claims

San Francisco insurance-coverage lawyer Ivo Labar is spearheading a class action against The Hartford

'Adopt-a-Nazi' Program Takes on White Supremacists

San Francisco attorney Cody Harris turned to GoFundMe to counteract a planned extremist rally  

Discovery with Rebecca G. Kagin

If Rebecca Kagin weren’t a lawyer, she might be hard to track down

Local Counsel with Vincent Tong

Oakland’s Vincent Tong tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

‘Just a [Supreme] Thrill’

An oral history of local lawyers who clerked in the rarefied chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court, for justices ranging from William O. Douglas to Stephen Breyer

Game Changer

How Daralyn Durie and high-tech clients like Google are shaping the future of copyright law

The Lawyer Judges Wish They Could Clone

Rick Watters keeps his focus on the client—and his ego in check

Liquid Assets

For local lawyers in love with the grape, options range from helping vintners finance land deals to producing wine of their own

Uncommon Courtesy

Bill Smith is determined to bring back good manners

For a Friend of a Friend of a Friend

Yosef Peretz has taken on heavyweights like Tesla, but he always finds time to help those down on their luck hang onto their homes

Discovery with Steven G. Churchwell

The Sacramento attorney, who has been lead counsel on a score of statewide initiative and referendum measures, reveals his inner Elvis

Local Counsel with Benjamin E. Shiftan

The San Francisco attorney tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

I Don’t Know What I’d Do Otherwise

An oral history of attorneys who remember wearing fedoras and watch fobs, hopping the “C” train to the office, and triumphantly negotiating a salary of $9,000. A year.

Details, Details

How Kathryn Doi’s penchant for wading through regulations helped save dental coverage for millions of Californians

When Lawyers Need Lawyers

Karen Goodman defends attorneys facing malpractice claims; Bill Gwire puts them in the hot seat

Annette Hurst: Defending Your Right to Skip Ads

How she got a judge to reject broadcasters’ demands for an injunction against DISH Network

‘We All Need Help Sometimes’

Why Russell Austin can’t say no to community service

Ana de Albaâ's Homegrown Activism

The daughter of immigrant workers returns to Central Valley, law degree in hand

Flip the Script

When Luke Ellis gets a case, the first thing he does is tear it apart

Who Would Rosie Hire?

Jean K. Hyams is all about making sure her clients get a fair shake in the workplace

Simon Says, Juries Listen

Antitrust attorney Bruce Simon has gotten ‘in the heads’ of Archer Daniels Midland, Anheuser-Busch and international cartels—but he says there’s no need to be nasty

Who We Do This For

Divorce lawyer Esther Lerner makes it her business to see that kids don’t get caught in the crossfire

Comfortable in Sacramento

Gary L. Bradus brokers 9-figure deals, but at heart he’s a ‘small-town’ kind of guy

Firm Values

For Morrison & Foerster, pro bono work is more than just a priority

Roads to Resolution

Victor Schachter on launching mediation centers in emerging democracies around the world

Story of Dreamers

Immigration attorney Minette A. Kwok helps possibilities become realities

Chaos Theory

How Kurt Melchior, who escaped Nazi Germany at 13, metamorphosed into a business litigator

The First Filter

That’s what Charles Schwab calls his general counsel Carrie Dwyer

How Jeff Lawson Doubled His Lifetime

An unlucky draft number proved transformational for the San Jose environmental lawyer

The Oracle

Geoff Howard orchestrates Oracle’s landmark case against fellow tech giant SAP

Extraordinary Abilities

Julie Pearl leads Pearl Law Group’s pro bono charge on immigration cases

How Debra Bogaards Got Tough

The formidable personal injury attorney both goes for the jugular and encourages civility (through scotch and baseball)

“Who Are Those Guys?”

Bankruptcy boutique Felderstein Fitzgerald Willoughby & Pascuzzi plays well—and fights well—with others

Living the Dream

How Susan T. Kumagai rose from a disadvantaged childhood to co-found a thriving employment law firm

Pioneer Spirit

When the Hon. Daniel Weinstein started out in mediation, people thought it was ‘meditation’

Friending Ted Ullyot

Facebook’s first general counsel participates in hackathons, runs races, and brings the legal and engineering teams together

The Change Agent

Josh Floum helped Visa unify its business and continues to guide the company as currency evolves

The Compassionate Approach to Divorce

Mindy Ross says the human issues are the same, even if the client is named Sean Penn

Man With a Mission

Protecting children from sexual abuse—it's a calling for Robert Allard

Common Touch

Terry McMahon’s working-class roots helped make him an uncommonly good IP attorney

Blowing the Whistle on Fraud

How Eric Havian became a ‘giant-killer’

Voice of Calm

Once a child soldier in Lebanon, Haitham E. Ballout rebuilt his life in the U.S. Now he helps others do the same

Detail Person

To Susan Popik, insurance law is riveting stuff

Simple Justice

Kevin M. Fong brings old-fashioned elegance to the appellate court

Who Was Your Mentor?

Therese and Barbara Lawless

Heidi Timken and Marvin Starr

Heidi Timken and Marvin Starr

Taking on Prop 8

How Jeremy Goldman helped battle the anti-gay marriage measure

David Tyra: Supreme Challenge

How this employment defense attorney with Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard helped save California $2 billion

Googling Kent Walker

Life as Google’s top lawyer is a crucible filled with extraordinary demands. He couldn’t be happier

The Reviews Are In

Laurence Wilson guides Yelp through its early twists and turns

The Undefeated

In Roger Dreyer’s eyes, he’s never lost a case

Remembering the St. Louis

Robert Rubin has made protecting civil liberties his life’s work

The Man from Merced

Growing up, Gary Hernandez was anxious to leave, but he keeps coming back

Everyone Deserves a Good Lawyer

So believes William Gagen, even though his clients sometimes do terrible things

The Badger

No one digs up and chews details like trial lawyer Gerald Schwartzbach—just ask Robert Blake

Thoughts on a Thriving Life

Timothy Tosta was given two years to live … 19 years ago

City Person

Pamela Duffy loves San Francisco, which makes sense—she’s behind some of its most successful developments

Team Player

Gordon Greenwood

Brilliant Careers

District Attorney Kamala Harris on working for Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, and where to get really good Indian food in the city

Lawsuit on Aisle 5

How Robert Gordon went from a farm commune to Safeway Inc.

Fashion Sense

Meet Michelle Banks, counsel to Gap Inc. 

The Million-Dollar Man

Mike Kelly is a very funny man. But facing him in court is no laughing matter

Veen, Vidi, Vici

Bill Veen has traveled a long way since his days in Satan's Chauffeurs

The Wild One

Chris Dolan's cases are a real-life Streets of San Francisco

The Richmond Bridge

Diana Richmond works to connect new ideas of family with old ideas of family law

The Powers of Persuasion

Matthew Powers is the Willie Mays of Patent litigation

The Wikipedia Zeitgeist

Why Mike Godwin disowns his own content

The Youngest Partner

For Clifford Yin, success came early

Rocketing to the Top

It took all of three months before Hiep Truong was made the head of his firm's workers' comp practice

Inattention at High Speeds Is a Very Bad Thing

Racing cars has helped Ed Hugo's focus in the courtroom

How Terry O’Reilly Found His Way to Law Through Rugby

Sports, says O'Reilly, have taught him to never give up

Alice Plays Juries as Powerfully as She Plays Beethoven

Alice O'Sullivan transformed from piano prodigy to legal savant

The Chief Legal Yahoo

Michael Callahan on negotiating with Microsoft, Google and Icahn

Son of the Magyar Hercules

Allen Ruby's early training in the ring (and we're not talking Wagner here) prepared him for the fight  

Boris Feldman wants to Save the World (And Make It Safe for Fun)

Anyone who can replace stacks of files with piles of toys can't be all bad        

An Engineer in the Valley

Thorny business problems are Gordy Davidson's playground  

No Steak Tartare for Alan Mendelson

A gentle man is sought by emerging life sciences companies        

Jerry Falk Almost Always Gets the Last Word

It's so much fun winning appeals for clients  

Let Judgment Run Down as Waters, and Righteousness as a Mighty Stream

Who believes that stuff? Amos ... and Arthur Bryant        

All He Cared About Was Law

Become the King of Janitors? No, thanks

How to Clean Up a Pornographer, and Other Problems of the Law

Nanci Clarence wants you to see the good she sees in people        

True Believer

Some people are guided by a moral compass; San Francisco employment attorney Cliff Palefsky has a moral GPS   

From Woodward & Bernstein to Holme Roberts & Owen

A former investigative reporter advises newspapers on where to draw the line        

The Confessions of a Political Turncoat

Jack Londen may be his family's (political) black sheep, but he's a liberal hero        

Old Lawyers Can Learn New Tricks

Ronald Rossi goes back to college in his 50s        

A Nice Guy Finishes First

Robert Van Nest proves that “world-class litigator” and “decent guy” aren’t mutually exclusive concepts

Mr. Gillin Goes to Orinda

A '60s Norman Vincent Peale survives. No-thrives

Giving Discrimination the Ho-Heave

Christopher Ho is a firewall for mistreated immigrants

Stereotype Buster

Liberal Cristina Arguedas fights for those downtrodden, underdog corporate honchos

A Fish Tale

At first glance, Barry Melton appears to be a “Fish” out of water

From Watergate to Princetongate

Ronald Malone demands that people keep their word

Can You Be a Millionaire and a Marxist?

John Poswall wonders if ’60s idealism died with seven-figure salaries 

The Last Hope

Dennis Riordan, who likes underdogs, takes on a mad-dog case

Head of the Class Action

What kind of weirdo likes justice more than money? Meet Brad Seligman

The Best Little Art Gallery in San Francisco

Richard Greene built a law firm and a cultural institution in one

A Novel Idea

The pseudonymous Will Nathan wrote a book about lawyers with no moral limits


Robert Bunzel fights for his clients … and for poetry

An African Queen

Cynthia Plevin works on behalf of Burundi’s women and children

Peace in the Valley

Larry Sonsini is a peacemaker in the sometimes-battlefield that is Silicon Valley

Little Big Woman

Elizabeth Cabraser is a 5-foot giant among Bay Area lawyers

Ms. Liberty

Eva Jefferson Paterson is the underdog’s best friend

The Man Who Hates Injustice

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world and Jim Brosnahan fights back

Find Him in the Classifieds

From Oliver North to “Scooter” Libby, John Cline has become the man to go to for cases involving government secrets

King of the Biotech Hill

Paul DeStefano has represented more than 100 biotech companies

Let My People Come

Marc Van Der Hout opens doors for immigrants

Help, I'm in Legal Trouble. Get Me John Keker

He’s the lawyer lawyers want to hire

Nancy Geenen: Rebuilding the Mideast

The woman who never does anything surprising decides to change her ways

Definitely Not Attorney Barbie

Annette Hurst wasn’t toying around when she took on Mattel, but she still finds law a lot of fun

The Attorney Who Built a Practice on a Single Case

Between his baseball games, watching over his restaurant, and a few years of ducking angry protestors, Duncan Barr has been working the same case for over two decades

The Man Who Bullies the Bullies

Why does Joe Cotchett win so often? Street smarts

Vindicating Korematsu

Don Tamaki helped the defendant in the landmark internment case win exoneration

One Step at a Time

Dan Higgins, who almost lost his legs in Vietnam, knows health care from the inside out

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Sara Thorpe climbs against cancer

A Toast to Napa Valley

Richard Mendelson represents vineyards and grows them too

Surprise, You’re Aleutian!

An unexpected phone call puts Tom Weathers on a new path in life

Super Idealist

Jeff Selbin with partner Laurel Fletcher and their daughter Aiden

Like Midas, Everything Sheldon Siegel Touches Turns to Gold

In addition to coming out on top in court, Siegel tops the best-seller lists

From Picking Peaches to Picking Up Million-Dollar Lawsuits

Arturo González is a Latino hero with one eye on the law, one on injustice and both on a possible political career

The Most Happy Fellow

Assistant San Francisco D.A. Paul Henderson charms his juries into submission

John Martel by Day, Joe Silverhound by Night

He’s always seemed to lead several lives. These days, one of those is as an author of popular thrillers

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