About Michael Estrin

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Michael Estrin Articles written 7

Articles written by Michael Estrin

Stormer v. System

Dan Stormer likes fighting for people who need help

Standing guard just inside the reception area to Hadsell Stormer & Renick, a 12-lawyer, civil rights firm located just off the main drag in Old Town Pasadena, is a giant statue of Bart Simpson wearing a devilish grin. It’s the first clue as to the type of person you’re coming to see. Upstairs the firm’s walls are covered with an art collection of left-wing political posters, including Shephard Fairey’s famous “Hope” poster from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. …

The Immigrant's Story

Christy Han Mohan has one, and she says it’s the key to immigration law

When Christy Han Mohan hands you her card, you see the usual: name, contact info, address. Then there’s a U.S. flag. This last part is less patriotism than the point of her practice. Han Mohan, an immigrant herself, works exclusively on immigration cases. She helps create Americans. “What people often don’t understand when you say you’re an immigration attorney is that there are so many faces to immigration,” she says. “All kinds of people come to America from all over the world.” …

A Deal is a Deal

M&A attorney Brian J. McCarthy leads on mergers involving Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm

When friends invite Brian J. McCarthy to dinner, he tells them he might be able to make it. If they ask why he can’t commit, he tells them that he might be going out of town. And if they ask where he’s going, he tells them he doesn’t know. “It could be New York, it could be St. Louis, it could be out of the country,” McCarthy says from his office overlooking downtown Los Angeles. “It doesn’t take me long to pack.” In a typical year, about 30 percent of McCarthy’s time is spent …

Understanding the Business

On the job with employment defense attorney Sabrina A. Beldner

When Sabrina A. Beldner tells new acquaintances that her practice involves labor and employment law, they usually take the opportunity to dish on a workplace gripe. They may even ask for advice. Call it an occupational hazard for a lawyer whose job is to think about other people’s jobs. If they’re looking for representation, however, they’re probably asking the wrong attorney. Beldner almost exclusively represents employers, a group, she’s quick to remind, “has a right to a …

As Much about Psychology as the Law

Leah Bishop on the soft side of estate planning

A crystal ball not much bigger than a thumbnail sits on Leah Bishop’s desk. It was a gift from a client who had asked her, in a manner of speaking, to predict the future. Bishop gives estate planning advice, and knowledge of the future would be useful to shed light on, among other things, what Congress might do about the estate tax, whether heirs will use their inheritance responsibly, and if potential charities will honor the spirit of the gift. In concrete terms, Bishop deals with the …

The Thief, His Wife & Her Lawyer

Marc Miles successfully defended the widow of an alleged Ponzi schemer; but the case wasn’t over

Marc Miles frames the story with both hands, cautioning that there are “no winners here.” He flips his left hand back and forth to chronicle each twist and turn of the multiyear saga. When he has to pause for questions, he keeps this hand motionless, as if to keep his place in the narrative, while using the right hand to augment the answers to the follow-ups. Sidestepping legal jargon, he explains things with a low-key, Southern California charm. He’s plain-spoken without being folksy; …

Common-Sense Approach

Securities litigator Philip Aidikoff knows what’s inside the box

In the past two years, Philip M. Aidikoff, a mild-mannered securities litigator with Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, a boutique firm of six lawyers in Beverly Hills that primarily handles securities arbitrations, has grabbed headlines with back-to-back, record-setting decisions against Citigroup’s Smith Barney brokerage unit. When asked how he does it, Aidikoff smiles and points to six plain file boxes stacked neatly beside his desk. “We know what’s in the box, what should be in the box, …

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