After passing the bar exam, I, like many other new lawyers, was looking for a job. A friend of a friend needed an associate attorney to work at his employment law firm in Hollywood. The firm represented employees only. I got the job and was given all kinds of responsibility. I also quickly realized that I related to employees who were victims of discrimination and harassment. Although as a Caucasian I cannot ever know exactly what it's like to be treated differently on the basis of an unchangeable characteristic like race, for example, I do understand what it's like to be intimidated, belittled, and ignored. I was bullied as a kid a couple times in school and I have worked in more than one hostile environment as an adult, including at another law firm that represented victims of discrimination and harassment that on more than one occasion ignored my complaints to the partners! You'd think attorneys would know better. The point is, I understand what a hostile environment is and what it's like to have to choose between putting up with inappropriate and illegal conduct, on the one hand, and quitting. Not a fair choice to have to make. But the experiences have reinforced my decision to represent only employees and to work hard to hold employers accountable for permitting harassment and discrimination in their businesses. I strongly believe that people deserve respect and a fair chance, especially in the workplace because the ability to earn a living determines whether we can pay for the things that will keep us alive and healthy, like food, shelter, and health insurance. Nearly twenty years later, here I am.
So that's a little bit about what motivates me as a lawyer. To tell you a little more about me personally, I was born in Ohio but grew up in the San Fernando Valley region of Southern California in Los Angeles. I still live in Los Angeles County with my wife of more than 20 years and our daughter, who is about to graduate high school and go off to college at Cal Poly SLO, leaving us empty-nesters. Time has flown and we'll miss her like crazy when she leaves. But we'll still have our two mischievous dogs, Lily and Sophie, to keep us company while we wait for daughter to come home for the holidays.
Hobby-wise, I love to read and probably finish a book a month. I especially love books by C.J. Box, who writes about a Wyoming Game Warden named Joe Pickett. I wonder what it would be like to work outside all day long!
I also love to watch college football (Ohio State), professional baseball (go Dodgers and Angels!), and college softball. I coached my daughter in softball for years and even kept coaching when she stopped playing and committed full-time to volleyball. The highlight of my coaching career was when I got the opportunity to coach Division 1 softball at my alma mater, CSUN.
Finally, I love the Spanish language. Spanish class was always easy for me in school for some reason and I decided to major in it in college, thinking I might teach it one day (I did). I speak Spanish as much as possible out in the community. It's a great feeling to see people's faces light up when I communicate with them in their native language. I think it makes them feel welcome--because they are! We're all human beings. Now if only all of us could treat each other that way . . .
If you're interested in a list of my degrees and other qualifications as you search for the right lawyer to represent you, please keep reading below. And thanks for visiting my website.
J.D., Loyola Law School, 2003
- Editor-in-Chief, Volume 23, Entertainment Law Review
- Judicial Extern, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Otto Kaus Award for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing
- California, 2003
- United States District Court for the Central District of California, 2003
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2007