Will Los Angeles lawyers soon be referring to James Hahn as "your honor"? The former Los Angeles mayor announced last week that he is seeking a position on the Los Angeles Superior Court bench.
Currently, Hahn is a neutral at Los Angeles-based conflict resolution provider Alternative Resolution Centers LLC.
If he is appointed to the bench, Hahn will be bucking the trend of retired judges going into the lucrative world of private mediation.
"The money isn't much of an incentive," said Amy Newman, president of Alternative Resolution Centers. "His heart is in the public sector."
Before winning his seat as mayor in 2001, Hahn was L.A. city attorney for four terms.
Hahn ended his 24-year tenure in politics in 2005 when he lost his re-election bid to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
After spending time as managing director and partner at real estate investment firm Chadwick Saylor & Co., Hahn joined Alternative Resolution Centers in January. As a neutral, Hahn resolves business, finance and public policy disputes.
Newman said Hahn has started building a reputation as a mediator since he joined Alternative Resolution six months ago. And Newman said the skills he developed resolving disputes will help him on the bench.
"Anything that he has accomplished here transfers to being a judge," she said. "But I hate to see him go."
Los Angeles-based Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP is opening a Singapore office, and the new outpost means at least one of the firm's lawyers will have a place to work when traveling to the island.
Jai Pathak, a transactional lawyer who will serve as partner-in-charge of the Singapore office, already spends a substantial amount of his time in Southeast Asia to advise clients.
"The reality is, that even though I am based in L.A., I have been going there at least once a month," Pathak said.
But Pathak said he doesn't mind traveling. When he practiced at Jones Day LLP's L.A. office, he often traveled to Southeast Asia.
So after joining Gibson Dunn in February, Pathak continued his routine, going to Singapore to counsel his telecommunications, hospitality and pharmaceutical industry clients.
Pathak will be joined in the Singapore office by three former Jones Day partners, Emad Khalil, John Viverito and Saptak Santra.
The new group is filled with some familiar faces for Pathak, who worked with the trio during his 24-year tenure at Jones Day.
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