Plaintiffs Firms

I recently met Ray Zolekhian at a wedding. He went to Harvard Law School, worked as an associate at Skadden in Los Angeles, and started his own law firm with a friend, Robin Hanasab.

As soon as I heard Zolekhian’s background, I immediately guessed that he started a personal injury firm. Isn’t that the most natural progression?

Apparently so. Founded in July 2009, Hanasab & Zolekhian, LLP began as a firm specializing in restructuring commercial real estate loans. The firm then transitioned to personal injury litigation, because the founding partners found the work interesting and lucrative. But Zolekhian had no background in personal injury; according to Zolekhian, the pair was “thrown into the fire.” They were not devoid of help, however, and benefited enormously from the resources and mentoring given by other attorneys in the close-knit plaintiffs’ bar.

What does Zolekhian like most about his practice?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: Does Skadden Do Personal Injury?”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Johnson, asked all of her students to write an essay on who we admired most. My best friend Marni wrote about President George Bush, Sr. She loved America. I wrote about my dad. I loved my family. A classmate named Jay wrote about Ted Turner. He loved money.

Apparently, Jay is not the only person to love money. In fact, I am told that some lawyers chose the profession because they too love money.

Those lawyers work at Am Law 100 firms, right? Not all of them. Not the country’s richest practicing attorney….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: Some Small Firm Lawyers Are Worth Big Bucks”

* Who are the top plaintiffs firms in securities class-action litigation, ranked by 2010 total settlement value? [RiskMetrics / SCAS via WSJ Law Blog]

* Protip: if you go to a meeting at Deutsche Bank’s New York offices, avoid the men’s room. [Dealbreaker]

* This lawyer has an assistant with an unusual name. [Abuse of Discretion]

* We were impressed by the University of Chicago Law School’s new loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) — and we’re not alone. [The Belly of the Beast]

* Dov Charney’s latest accuser, Kimbra Lo, has an interesting past. Yes, there are pics. [Fashionista]

* You know the whole “anti-bullying” trend has gone too far when plaintiffs’ firms are setting up practice areas for it. [Constitutional Daily]

* Career alternatives for attorneys: meet Akila McConnell, traveler and writer. [Thrillable Hours / Legal Nomads]

* Is the “mommy track” a form of gender bias? [Lawyerist]

* Are prosecutors working on commission in one Colorado district? [ABA Journal]

Here in New York City, the headquarters of Above the Law, we’re still dealing with the aftermath of the Great Blizzard of 2010. Check out our slideshow for some images (like the one at right).

Although the snowstorm ended on Monday, and it’s now Wednesday night, many streets remain unplowed and many sidewalks uncleared. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, generally praised for his tremendous competence, is taking a lot of flak for the city’s inadequate response.

And that’s just in terms of politics and public relations. Wait until the lawyers get involved!

What possible causes of action could arise out of the snowstorm? Let’s discuss….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will the Great Blizzard of 2010 Lead to a Storm of Lawsuits?”

David Kelly: Katten associate and acclaimed hip-hop artist.

* Looking for a last-minute gift idea for the civil-liberties-loving lawyer in your life? Kash recommends this underwear. [Forbes]

* Actress Zooey Deschanel is suing footwear maker Steve Madden. Does her lawsuit have legs? [Fashionista]

* Law professors might not excel at practicing law, but “they often are pretty good at the enterprise of being a law professor.” [Underbelly]

* What’s law firm diversity like over in London? Lawyers who are “BME” — “black and ethnic minority” — are growing in number at City law firms. [The Guardian (U.K.)]

* Career alternatives: hip-hop artist? By day, he’s David J. Kelly of Katten Muchin Rosenman; by night, he’s “Cap D.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* Plaintiffs’ firms make new partners too. [Motley Rice (press release)]

* Don’t forget: get your holiday card contest entries in by 11:59 PM today! [Above the Law]

Potential clients keep contacting me, almost daily. I’m going to have to take my number off our Web site.

– Maryland lawyer Daniel Whitney of Whitney & Bogris, aka “the bedbug attorney,” in an interview with the Washington Post.

The comely Cate has her father's smile.

No, she didn’t cheat on a cancer-stricken spouse through an affair with a trashy “videographer”; Cate Edwards, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards, isn’t married. Rather, the 28-year-old Harvard Law graduate has become a plaintiffs’ lawyer, like her father before her.

As reported today in the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column, Edwards recently became an associate with Sanford Wittels & Heisler, a boutique class-action litigation firm with offices in New York, D.C., and San Francisco. Her bio on the firm website, which lists her as Catharine E. Edwards, mentions that she’s a member of the Virginia bar, with an application to the D.C. bar pending.

It also reveals that she previously served as a law clerk to a federal judge. For whom did Cate Edwards clerk?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Cate Edwards Follows in Her Father’s Footsteps”

John Bisnar and Brian Chase, of Bisnar Chase


We first mentioned this lawsuit, which was filed back in August, last month (second item). But so many of you have emailed us this AOL news story that we’ve decided to provide more detailed coverage.

It’s a lawyer versus lawyer lawsuit, usually the ugliest kind of litigation. But the allegations made here are perhaps more bizarre than ugly.

If you can handle claims of naked men engaging in hand-to-weiner contact, while sitting on tree stumps and passing around a wooden dildo — I think glass is more classy, but to each his own — then keep reading….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Pass the Wooden Dildo, Please”

We’ve come a long way from the days when federal courts issued orders banning racial discrimination. Now federal judges hand down orders mandating, or at least encouraging, race-based discrimination.

As reported in the American Lawyer, earlier this week Judge Harold Baer (S.D.N.Y.) issued an unusual order. On Monday, Judge Baer directed two firms serving as lead counsel in a securities class action to “make every effort” to staff the case with at least one minority and one woman:

ORDERED that Co-Lead Counsel, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and Labaton Sucharow LLP, shall make every effort to assign to this matter at least one minority lawyer and one woman lawyer with requisite experience….

If federal judges can run school districts and prison systems, law firms should be a piece of cake, right?

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Jimmy Doan, mini Esq.

There are many, many personal injury firms in the world, and they often have to come up with gimmicks to set themselves apart. Those gimmicks have landed a fair number of them in our Adventures in Lawyer Advertising series.

A tipster recently sent along the website for The Doan Law Firm: The Ultimate Fighting Law Firm. It’s based in Houston and run by a Texas Wesleyan Law ’00 grad, Jimmy Doan.

Why don’t you click here and meet him? Make sure your speakers are on.

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