Business Litigation Partner Phillip Kaplan Joins Umberg/Zipser

Umberg/Zipser LLP is pleased to announce that partner Phillip R. Kaplan has joined the firm.

Kaplan is an accomplished business trial lawyer with a record of handling his client’s most difficult cases. Phil has a track record of success in cases involving real estate development, securities, mergers and acquisitions, government procurement, technology, consumer class actions, product liability, insurance coverage, professional liability, and environmental litigation. Kaplan represents clients of all sizes, ranging from large business financial institutions and government entities to start ups and high net worth individuals and families. Among his many high-profile cases, Phil co-led a team on behalf of the California State Controller with U/Z’s Sen. Tom Umberg in a successful contract action against SAP Public Services Inc. over the failed implementation of a new payroll system for the state.

“I have known Phil for over 25 years, both as a friend and a colleague. I am thrilled that he is joining U/Z. Phil’s professionalism, collaborative approach and dedication to client service, and commitment to giving back to our community are in direct alignment with U/Z’s core values and culture. We are proud to welcome him as a partner at our firm,” stated U/Z Managing Partner Dean Zipser.

Kaplan commented, “I have had the opportunity to work alongside a number of U/Z attorneys in high stakes litigation, and have respected their drive, teamwork and, most importantly, their impressive results. We share a laser-focus on excellence and achieving the best outcomes for our clients.  For me, this is a welcome reunion with former colleagues and a chance to blaze a new trail in a smaller, more nimble, litigation-focused firm.”

Consistent with U/Z’s commitment to community service, Phil is dedicated to serving the Orange County community and has held a variety of leadership roles with local organizations including Mercy House, the Federal Bar Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Orange County Bar Association, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County, and Public Law Center.

Kaplan has been repeatedly recognized for his legal accomplishments and his community involvement.  He is a perennial selection as a Super Lawyer® and was recognized by America’s Top 100 Bet-the-Company Litigators® in 2020.  He has received awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award for outstanding contributions to the legal profession and the community.  Phil has been honored for his ongoing commitment to pro bono work.  For example, he received USC’s Public Interest Law Foundation’s Paul Davis Memorial Award to the USC Law Alumnus “Lawyer of the Year” for Pro Bono Work, and the Public Law Center Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Work for the homeless.

Kaplan added, “I look forward to working with an incredible team of accomplished professionals at U/Z. I am honored to have been asked to play a role in the firm’s continued strategic growth.”

Prior to joining U/Z, Kaplan was a litigation partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and most recently with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

In addition to welcoming Kaplan, the firm recently announced the hiring of two new associates Ethan Feng and Negah Daily, further bolstering its litigation ranks.

Super Lawyers Selects Three Umberg/Zipser Attorneys

Umberg/Zipser is pleased to announce that three of its partners have again been included in the 2018 Super Lawyers list for Southern California.

Every year Super Lawyers identifies the top five percent of attorneys in each state or region, as chosen by their peers and through independent research to receive this honor. The objective of the Super Lawyers selection process is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The following Umberg/Zipser attorneys have been included in the 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers list:

  • Scott B. Garner – Professional Liability: Defense, Intellectual Property Litigation, Business Litigation
    • Selected annually since 2015
    • Also listed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2004 – 2006
  • Mei Tsang – Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation
    • Selected annually since 2017
  • Dean J. Zipser – Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation
    • Selected annually since 2005

About Umberg Zipser

Umberg/Zipser is a premier business litigation and intellectual property boutique.  Drawing on decades of experience in some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, as well as national and state government service, Umberg/Zipser provides clients with unparalleled legal services.  Named one of the Daily Journal’s Top Boutique Firms, Umberg/Zipser is a go-to firm for litigation and intellectual property in Orange County and around the state.

Umberg/Zipser Attorneys Featured Prominently at OCBA Judges’ Night

Umberg/Zipser proudly sponsored and supported 2018 Judges’ Night & Annual Meeting hosted by the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in Irvine.  This event featured the installation of Nikki P. Miliband, Esq. as 2018 OCBA President, the installation of the OCBA Officers and Directors and the OCBA Charitable Fund Directors, and the presentation of the Franklin G. West Award, the highest honor bestowed by the OCBA.

The firm’s attorneys have decades of service to the OCBA, and the most recent Judges’ Night was an example.  U/Z’s Scott Garner was sworn in as the 2018 OCBA Treasurer and a board member of the Charitable Fund, and Mei Tsang was sworn in as a board member of both the OCBA and the Charitable Fund.

U/Z’s co-founding partner Dean Zipser, a former OCBA President and the 2017 recipient of the Franklin G. West Award, spoke at the event. In addition, Zipser recently co-authored the OCBA article: January 2018 Cover Story – Nikki Presley Miliband: We’re Not Returning to Sender!, highlighting the accomplishments of the newly appointed OCBA president, Nikki Presley Miliband. Click here to read the full article.


About Umberg/Zipser LLP

Umberg/Zipser is a premier business litigation and intellectual property boutique.  Drawing on its lawyers’ many decades of experience in some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, as well as national and state government service, Umberg/Zipser provides clients with unparalleled legal services. Named one of the Daily Journal’s Top Boutique Firms, Umberg/Zipser is a go-to firm for litigation and intellectual property in Orange County and around the state.

Corporate Counsel Again Rank Umberg/Zipser as a Top Litigation Firm in BTI Litigation Outlook 2018

Umberg/Zipser (U/Z) is pleased to announce it has been ranked again among the top litigation firms in the country in the most recent survey of corporate counsel conducted by BTI Consulting.

According to the BTI Litigation Outlook 2018: Changes, Trends and Opportunities for Law Firms, corporate counsel rank Umberg/Zipser in the top 15% of all law firms for both Commercial Litigation and Securities and Finance Litigation. Umberg/Zipser is included among a host of leading national and international law firms, and is one of the few California litigation boutiques to make the list.

“We are proud to receive the BTI recognition again this year. It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the in-house counsel community for the work we have the privilege to do every day,” said Dean Zipser, co-founding partner.

About the BTI Survey: BTI taps into vast research and experience to conduct its annual study of the Litigation market. BTI combines a powerful, comprehensive analysis of client spending, goals, priorities and needs with unbiased, direct feedback from clients on more than 200 individual law firms. BTI Litigation Outlook 2018 is based solely on in-depth telephone interviews with leading legal decision makers. This comprehensive analysis trends data from more than 4,800 corporate counsel client interviews conducted over the span of 18 years. This research is independent and unbiased—no law firm or organization other than BTI sponsors this study.

Scott Garner Presents at USC 2017 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business

Umberg/Zipser is pleased to announce partner Scott Garner participated in a panel discussion titled What is the “Heartland” of Attorney-Client Privilege?: Recent Developments Concerning the Privilege. The panel presentation will be part of the 2017 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business program, hosted by USC Gould School of Law and the Beverly Hills Bar Association on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA.

Garner was joined by introducer Judith A. Gilbert, Former Vice President State Bar of California, moderator and panelist Michele K. Trausch, former Member, Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, State Bar of California, and panelists Jennifer A. Becker, Long & Levit LLP, and Alison M. Turner, Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP.

The panel explored attorney-client privilege as a cornerstone of American jurisprudence and of the attorney-client relationship. Last year, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that seemed to examine it in a new light, potentially eroding the privilege. The group discussed several decisions and verdicts involving in-house counsel’s use of privileged information in claims for retaliation or wrongful termination; the issues presented when a client’s capacity becomes impaired; and extension of the privilege to a client’s agents, managers, publicists and others.

Scott B. Garner represents clients in a wide array of complex business litigation matters with a focus on professional liability disputes and ethics counseling.  He has represented large, mid-size, and small law firms, along with individual lawyers, in pre-litigation and litigation disputes concerning claims of legal malpractice, ethical violations, and securities fraud arising from their litigation, transactional, and IP practices.  He also consults with clients on legal ethics issues, and has served as an expert witness on ethics and standard of care issues.