The OCBA Charitable Fund’s recent annual “Raise Your Glass” event was once again a special experience. Umberg/Zipser (U/Z) continued to be a sponsor and our attorneys play a prominent role in the organization. Scott Garner is the Charitable Fund’s current president, Dean Zipser is a past president, and Mei Tsang has been a long-time board member. The OCBA’s mission is “To Enhance the System of Justice, To Support the Lawyers Who Serve It, and To Assist the Community Served by It.” The Charitable Fund supports programs and organizations who “assist the community served by it” through its grants. If you would like to learn more about the event, click here.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) once again had a meaningful role in the Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ (ABTL) 47th Annual Seminar, “Evolution of Business Litigation: Adapting and Overcoming” on October 20-24, 2021. Vikki Vander Woude is an ABTL board member and served on the planning committee for the event. Hon. Halim Dhanidina (Ret.) participated on the panel and delivered one of two closing arguments at the mock trial component of the program.
U/Z attorneys are long-time supporters of the ABTL and all of the firm’s litigators are members. Dean Zipser, Scott Garner and Mark Finkelstein are former ABTL Orange County Chapter Presidents. Adina Stowell has served on the board, and Carole Reagan is a former member of the newsletter’s editorial board. Dean, Mark, Vikki, Halim, and Adina all attended the seminar on the firm’s behalf.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) is pleased to announce that the firm again has been ranked Tier One in the “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® for the Orange County metropolitan area. The ranking showcases top law firms recognized by clients and peers for delivering professional excellence and for high-quality ratings and indicate a unique combination of quality in practice and legal expertise. The firm has received this recognition every year since its inception in 2014.
In 2022, the firm received five Tier One rankings in Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Banking & Finance Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation. The firm also received recognition in the areas of Copyright Law, Trademark Law, and Patent Litigation.
“It is an honor to work with the U/Z team of accomplished professionals who are consistently recognized as the best in their practice areas by their clients and their peers. The firm’s dedication to client service and effective strategies are what allow us to be named year after year as a top tier firm in Orange County,” said U/Z partner Dean Zipser.
In addition to the 2022 Best Law Firms ranking, attorneys Mark Finkelstein, Scott Garner, Carole Reagan, Adina Stowell, Mei Tsang, Thomas Umberg, and Dean Zipser have been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2022, and Brent Colasurdo has been recognized as a Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch.”
Attorneys Scott Garner and Dean Zipser have been recognized as a 2022 Orange County “Lawyer of the Year” for Intellectual Property Litigation and Bet-the-Company Litigation, respectively. The Lawyer of the Year is awarded to individual lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is given this recognition per specialty and location.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) is proud to announce that Priti Phukan, Ph.D. has been recognized as a 2021 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star for Intellectual Property. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.
Priti concentrates her practice on patent and trademark prosecution across various technology industries, including chemistry, life sciences, diagnostics, medical devices, and mechanical engineering. She began her career as a chemist and molecular biologist and then ultimately made the choice to start her career in patent law in 2012.
In addition to Priti’s recognition, the following U/Z attorneys have been recognized in the 2021 Southern California Super Lawyers list:
- Mark Finkelstein – Intellectual Property Litigation
- Scott Garner – Professional Liability: Defense
- Carole Reagan – Business Litigation
- Mei Tsang – Intellectual Property
- Thomas Umberg – Business Litigation
- Dean Zipser – Business Litigation. Dean was also recognized again as a 2021` Top 50 Orange County Lawyer and Top 100 Southern California Lawyer.
Super Lawyers’ annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) partner Halim Dhanidina and other distinguished alumni and faculty addressed prospective students during the UCLA School of Law Admitted Student Day on April 11, 2021. Halim is alumni of UCLA School of Law (’97), and in 2013, received the UCLA Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association Alumnus of the Year award.
Halim says, “I was honored to be asked to address the next generation of lawyers. When I started at UCLA Law many years ago, I never would have predicted that my career would take me through the trial court, judicial branch, and now with a premier litigation firm. The education I received at UCLA has played a significant role in all that I have done in the legal profession.”
Since college, Halim has been of great service to the community of Los Angeles. Before joining U/Z, Halim served as an appellate court justice with Division Three of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, in Los Angeles. Halim was the first South Asian American to serve as an appellate justice in the State of California and the first Muslim appellate-level judge in the United States. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal, Halim served for six years on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, making him the first Muslim judge ever appointed in California history. Prior to his judicial career, Halim had extensive trial experience as a Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles County, where he prosecuted 68 jury trials in 14 years, primarily while assigned to the Hardcore Gang and Major Crimes Divisions.
Umberg/Zipser partner Halim Dhanidina served as moderator for the California Asian Pacific American Judges Association webinar “Appointment to the California Superior Court: Nuts & Bolts” on April 7, 2021. The webinar featured Luis Céspedes, Governor Newsom’s new Judicial Appointments Secretary and a distinguished panel of recently appointed Judges to discuss the criteria used by the Governor to select judges and the process used to vet and appoint them.
Umberg/Zipser is pleased to continue its long-time support of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County (CRF-OC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting civic literacy, youth leadership, and career awareness among Orange County teens. Most recently, U/Z attorneys Vikki Vander Woude and Ethan Feng, along with Justice Halim Dhanadina of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, and employment attorney Melissa Brandman, coached Orange County School of the Arts’ mock trial team in CRF-OC’s first “virtual only” high school mock trial competition, ending with an impressive 6-1 record and advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since Vikki and OCSA teacher sponsors Whitney Coates and Julie Scheppele formed the team four years ago. CRF’s mock trial program provides high school students the opportunity to develop impressive trial advocacy and public speaking skills, as well as a deep understanding of the purpose and role of all participants in the criminal justice system.
Vikki is an award-winning CRF mock trial coach who has formed and developed numerous teams in Orange County over the past 12 years and currently serves on the mock trial committee of CRF-OC’s Board of Directors. Attorney Ethan Feng is a graduate of UCLA Law School, where he was the co-president of the UCLA Law Mock Trial Program, and led the program to victory in various national competitions.
Vikki said, “We are very proud of these talented students. They put in a lot of hard work and were able to collaborate as a team and compete at the highest level in this very challenging virtual environment.”
The firm has a long history of leadership in CRF-Orange County. Partner Adina Stowell served as CRF-OC’s 2014/2015 President and has been a Board Member since 2006. Co-founding partner Dean Zipser served as the organization’s 2017/2018 President, and has been a Board Member since 2007.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) continues to play a major role with the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA). On January 21, 2021, OCBA held its annual Judges’ Night and Annual Meeting (for the first time virtually). At the meeting, partner Scott B. Garner, the Immediate Past President of OCBA, was sworn in as an officer of the OCBA and as 2021 President of the Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund (OCBACF).
After having led the OCBA through unprecedented times, Scott now takes the helm of OCBACF, which oversees and administers the charitable giving for the OCBA. It is dedicated to bettering the Orange County community and legal profession by facilitating access to justice. OCBACF raises and distributes monetary contributions to carefully selected Orange County law-related organizations.
Garner is immediate Past-President of the OCBA, has served on the Board of Directors for the OCBACF and as co-chair of the OCBA Professionalism and Ethics Committee. As a partner with U/Z, Scott represents clients in complex business litigation matters, with a focus on professional liability disputes and ethics counseling. He also frequently serves as an expert witness on legal ethics and standard of care issues.
“I am honored to serve as 2021 President of the OCBA Charitable Fund. I look forward to working with a dedicated group of professionals with the mission to enhance the system of justice and promote equal justice for all,” says Scott.
In addition to Scott’s leadership role, U/Z partner Mei Tsang was sworn in and will again serve on the Board of Directors of both the OCBA and the OCBACF. Mei also co-chairs OCBA’s Diversity Committee.
The annual meeting also recognized all of the recipients of OCBA’s highest honor, the Franklin G. West Award. Umberg/Zipser co-founding partner Dean J. Zipser, a former OCBA President, received the honor in 2017, given annually to an attorney or judge in recognition of lifetime achievements that have advanced justice and the law.
Scott, Mei, and Dean are part of a long history of service by the firm’s lawyers to the OCBA, as well a host of other professional and community organization.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) co-founding partner, California State Senator and newly appointed Chair of the California Senate Judiciary Committee Thomas J. Umberg was featured in a Daily Journal article titled, “New State Senate Judiciary Chair Likes to Get into the Weeds” published on December 16, 2020.
The article highlights Tom’s significant impact as a California State senator and explains that a goal of the California Senate Judiciary Committee will be to address the impact of COVID on California’s civil justice system.
“The cost and the time consumed in discovery are overwhelming the civil litigation process,” Umberg said. “One of the things I will focus on and have focused on is reducing the gamesmanship and the costs that are currently part and parcel of discovery.”
The Judiciary Committee has the broadest jurisdiction of the Senate policy committees. Legislation in the following categories are within its jurisdiction: bills amending the Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Evidence Code, Family Code, and Probate Code; bills relating to courts, judges, and court personnel; bills relating to liens, claims, and unclaimed property; and, bills relating to privacy and consumer protection.
If you have a Daily Journal subscription, you can click here to log-in and read the article.
Umberg/Zipser LLP (U/Z) was proud to be recognized as the 2020 Law Firm of the Year by the Veterans Legal Institute (VLI) at its annual Lawyers for Warriors Networking and Fundraising Event. This year’s event was held virtually. Partner Scott Garner, who has led the firm’s pro bono team in support of the organization, accepted the award on behalf of the firm. In addition to being a long-standing supporter of VLI, U/Z was again a proud sponsor of the event.
VLI recognized the firm’s contributions by noting, “One of the core values of Umberg/Zipser LLP, a premier business litigation and intellectual property boutique law firm, is giving back to the profession and community. The firm supports – through contributions and participation – a host of organizations, and its attorneys devote countless hours to professional, community, and charitable service. The firm includes current and former presidents of organizations such as the Orange County Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund, the Federal Bar Association of Orange County, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Orange County), and the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County, and board members of organizations such as Public Law Center, Project Youth OCBF, Community Legal Aid SoCal, Mercy House, CASA-OC, and Pretend City, to name just a few. Co-founded by a retired U.S. Army colonel and the son of a Naval officer, the firm proudly supports veterans in general and VLI in particular in a variety of ways, including pro bono legal representation.”
U/Z’s co-founding partner Dean Zipser commented, “We are humbled by this recognition. A vital component of our firm’s culture is our commitment to providing pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations with limited financial means. It is our firm’s honor to support our veterans through VLI. We are grateful for the sacrifice and bravery of all those who have served, and those who continue to serve.”
VLI provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless, at risk, disabled and low income current and former service members to eradicate barriers to housing, healthcare, education, and employment. VLI is one of the very few public interest law firms in the nation dedicated entirely to current and former US service members. Proceeds from Lawyers for Warriors Event will ensure that veterans can receive free legal services so they can thrive.