HLG started one year ago, and with a bang. Our first new case involved hot litigation in Los Angeles against Beverly Hills/national powerhouse, Kolodny Law Group. We eventually achieved great results for our client and thus passed our first big litigation test.
In the meantime, we were literally building and painting walls, installing computers, replacing our initial card tables with actual (and really nice!) furniture, hanging fine art from local artists and otherwise upgrading our office into a top-rate workspace. Thanks so much to my designer wife, Penny Herring of PK Studios, and our Legal Administrator, Erin Schaden, for making all that happen.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have added Santa Barbara family law star, Ruston Imming, as our second attorney. Ruston brings years of inside knowledge of and experience with the Santa Barbara courts. He presents a valuable combination of intellect, common sense, determination and professional presence. Pushing each other to excel, we generate synergy that greatly benefits HLG’s clients.
From two initial employees, the firm has grown to seven. Deanna Cerda joined early, and she is now our Office Manager/Billing Coordinator. Teresa McGrath is our outstanding Legal Assistant. Jessica West will shortly serve as our Case Manager/Document Coordinator.
Cyndi Hitsman is our super-paralegal who has extensive ESI (Electronically Stored Information)/E-discovery background and skills. She is now also completing the rigorous Arkfeld ESI/E-discovery course. She helps make HLG unparalleled in the 805 regarding this critical and fast-evolving aspect of the law.
Cassie Glanville recently became our third attorney. She is a UCSB undergraduate who attended UC Hastings College of the Law. She has recent experience practicing with a prominent San Francisco family law firm. Cassie is already making her mark as an excellent thinker and writer; we are glad to have encouraged her return to the Central Coast.
2015 closed with Ruston and me in San Luis Obispo, litigating a challenging multi-week trial. The whole HLG team provided close support, spending much of October and November preparing the document-intensive presentation. We await the results.
HLG begins 2016 anticipating more progress. Cassie is moving us to paperless efficiency. Ruston and I are working on electronic (tablet only) hearing and trial presentations. Erin and Deanna continue pressing toward more streamlined and client-focused operations. Cyndi will be exercising her enhanced ESI/E-discovery skills.
A year ago I wrote that my goal in creating HLG was to provide top client service and a full commitment to the greater family law community. Looking forward, that remains paramount. Thanks to all who helped us thrive in 2015, and to our growing team whose smarts and hard work are cementing us as the region’s family law leader.