About Suzy Frisch

Suzy Frisch Articles written 22

Articles written by Suzy Frisch

Tom Melsheimer’s Absolutely Irrational Level of Dedication

There’s a reason he’s the lawyer other attorneys don’t want to face in court

No one wants to face Tom Melsheimer in court. Just talk to someone who has. “Tom is a superior lawyer in town who moves in the upper echelon. There’s very little to criticize in terms of his integrity and ability and what he has demonstrated he can do,” says Richard Sayles, who unsuccessfully battled Melsheimer in a 2009 breach of fiduciary duty case that resulted in a $178.7 million jury verdict. The National Law Journal affiliate Verdict Search named IRCC v. NL Industries one of its top …

10,000 Song Maniac

Andy Gillin

Andy Gillin’s numbers are impressive by any count. A personal injury attorney for more than 35 years, Gillin and his firm have captured more than $500 million in some of California’s biggest cases. But if one had to pick the soundtrack of his life from his music collection, they would have a lot of work to do: Gillin has more than 10,000 songs in his iTunes account. His adult children complain that Gillin’s taste is stuck in the 1960s and ’70s, but a scroll through his iPod reveals …

No Wine (or Lawsuit) Before Its Time

Robert Arns

Robert Arns was on his way to earn-ing a Ph.D. in English when his future father-in-law uttered two sentences that would change his life: “That’s a bunch of bullshit. Go to law school and help people.” So Arns did. For the past 35 years, personal injury lawyer Arns has made a career of representing harmed parties. He strives to help families regain their dignity and economic freedom after a traumatic event. This drive has guided Arns to favorably resolve more than 300 million-dollar and …

Team Player

Gordon Greenwood

Gordon Greenwood is a firm believer in the saying, “To whom much is given, much is required,” so, along with representing clients with mesothelioma—a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure—he devotes enormous energy to volunteering with children and the elderly. “Elderly people and children are the most vulnerable and need the most protection, and you’ve got to do something for the people who need it most,” he says. In addition to taking on about a dozen pro bono cases for …

Give Dan Your Tired, Your Poor, Yearning to Breathe Free

Daniel Olmos

Much of Daniel Olmos’ success as a criminal defense attorney comes from the great empathy he brings to representing his clients. He spends time with them to understand their lives. He wants to know the circumstances that led to them being charged with a crime. “We are not all who we were on our worst day,” he says. After graduating from Harvard with an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in social studies, Olmos took a job teaching first grade in Compton, one of the most dangerous …

Jailhouse Lawyer

Don Specter

When it comes to convicted felons, some people want to lock ’em up and throw away the key. But not Don Specter. He’s spent his career advocating for the humane treatment of prisoners as executive director of the nonprofit Prison Law Office in Berkeley. In January, Specter clinched a major victory when a federal three-judge panel ruled that California’s correctional system is unconstitutional and must reduce its population by as many as 40,000 inmates. The judges ruled that prisoners are …

Rescued by an Ark

Lan Quach

Life in Vietnam in the early 1970s had gotten so repressive that Lan Quach’s father knew he needed to get his family out. But he didn’t have the resources to buy a boat or pay their way. So he taught himself to build a boat. In secret he constructed a vessel that would be big enough to hold 150 people. When the time came to escape in September 1981, Quach, her six siblings, parents and 17 others successfully made their way to the boat. The police had been tipped off and they started …

Life After Emmy

Todd Harrison

In the two-part series on Todd Harrison’s career, episode one would be landing his dream job in broadcast news, advances to host a talk show in Dallas, wins two Emmys. Episode two would be giving it all up. These days, Harrison is an employment law attorney who helps clients fight wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and wage and hour cases. It’s something he relishes. “I wanted to fight for people who are unable to fight for themselves, and level the playing field,” he …

The Jock

Vered Yakovee

Vered Yakovee has harbored a lifelong passion for sports, whether it was playing basketball in high school, coaching high school hoops, or competing in outrigger canoe races in the Pacific Ocean. When she decided to become a lawyer, it seemed natural to marry her pastime with her vocation. Though it’s tough to break into sports law, Yakovee proved that she can persevere on professional and athletic playing fields. She networked like crazy, asking anyone who would chat about how they got into …


Jeremy Rosen

When Harvard-Westlake School (formerly Harvard School) in Los Angeles needed to retain counsel for a property dispute that would rise to the California Supreme Court, one name came to the front: a nice Jewish boy named Jeremy Rosen. One of its alums. Rosen jumped at the chance to help the church with the crucial appeal. “The preparation I got at Harvard made me who I am today,” says Rosen, who used to attend chapel at Harvard and then head to bar mitzvah lessons after school. The court …

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