WARD BENSHOOF

, 62

FIRM: Alston & Bird LLP

LAW SCHOOL: New York University

CLIENTS: Boeing, Continental Airlines, County of San Diego Regional Airport Authority

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was interested in the intersection of politics, public policy and law. Becoming a lawyer put me in that intersection.

Best Career Moments: Two events: founding my own law firm in 1984, building it for 24 years, and then in 2008 seeing it merge with Alston Bird.

Green Lifestyle: At my home, I substitute old-fashioned room fans for my air conditioner units.

Bucket List: Rafting down the Grand Canyon in the spring and catching the large brown trout in Silver Creek, Idaho.

MATTHEW T. HEARTNEY , 55

FIRM: Arnold & Porter LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Yale University

CLIENTS: BP America Inc., Atlantic Richfield Co., Hercules Inc.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was looking for a career that would allow me to take advantage of my skills in speaking, writing and analytical thinking. I was also attracted to the ideals and values of the legal profession, including service to the community, pro bono representation and strict standards of professional ethics.

Worst Career Moment: My first appellate argument some 25 years ago. I was green, clumsy and far from articulate. But the panel of judges treated my efforts with respect and consideration all the same.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be playing in a band.

TIFFANY HEDGPETH , 39

FIRM: Bingham McCutchen LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UCLA

CLIENTS: Eastern Municipal Water District, Allegheny Technologies, Chevron

Most Challenging Matter: We represented a client going after the federal government for tort claims. The government is entitled to much immunity, which makes suing the federal government under tort law very difficult. The federal government can engage in the same practices as private parties, but not be held accountable the way a private party can. It's very frustrating.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a marine biologist or a doctor. Being a marine biologist conjures up images of freedom on the sea and working with giant whales. Alternatively, saving someone's life must be an incredible feeling.

Bucket List: Travel around the world, take horseback-riding lessons, write a book and get super fit.

RICK ROTHMAN , 45

FIRM: Bingham McCutchen LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Georgetown University

CLIENTS: International Paper Co., Imperial County Air Pollution Control District

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was interested in a career that involved environmental policy issues, and considered studying law the best avenue for that. Also, once I began practicing, I knew I could potentially be in a position to have an impact on shaping environmental policy and regulation.

Best Career Moment: Whenever a client thanks me for a job well done.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be something that had me working outdoors more, like a nature guide or a ski instructor.


PRESTON BROOKS , 44

FIRM: Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Yale University

CLIENTS: City of Santa Clarita, Westfield Corp., KB Home, Wells Fargo Bank

Reason I'm a Lawyer: A deep interest in the environment and a desire to solve complex problems.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be working for a non-profit group like Heal the Bay.

Best Career Moment: Knowing that a client relationship has developed to such a point that I become their "go-to" guy. As their attorney, I am there to protect their interests when it comes to potential environmental liabilities. In a sense, it's about achieving a reputation in the community as a straight shooter and someone who can be trusted.

Bucket List: I'm 44. Do I need a bucket list already?

My Colleagues Don't Know: I invented an electric corkscrew. I would like one day to see it on the shelves in stores.

PERRY HUGHES , 41

FIRM: Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP

LAW SCHOOL: USC

CLIENTS: Chandler Partners, Amcal Multi-Housing Inc., Shamrock Capital Advisors, Lubert-Adler Management-West Inc., Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors LLC


Reason I'm a Lawyer: I ask myself that question daily. I didn't think I would be practicing this long. I thought I would get the law degree and use it to advance a career in the business world. But I don't have any regrets, yet.

Best Career Moment: While it will sound contrived, my best career moment was joining Cox Castle & Nicholson. I was working at a small branch office of a national firm, which had seven partners in the office who were all doing different types of law and competing for control of the office. To say it was dysfunctional is an understatement. Had I not joined the firm when I did, I undoubtedly would have left the practice of law, disenchanted by my prior employer.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd be a travel or landscape photographer.

Green Lifestyle: I recycle paper, plastic, glass, etc. I also conserve energy when possible.

Bucket List: Visiting and photographing the Galapagos Islands and surrounding coral reefs.


LINDA J. BOZUNG , 64

FIRM: DLA Piper LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Suffolk University

CLIENTS: Caruso Affiliated, IDS Real Estate Group

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was a member of the precursor to the California Coastal Commission and on a committee that helped formulate the general plan for the city of Ventura. I like the issues and the process, and decided to become an environmental and land-use lawyer.

Worst Career Moment: When Brobeck went under. It was very sad to see such an esteemed firm fail. Writing the bankruptcy checks wasn't fun, either.

Green Lifestyle: My electricity use is extremely low. I walk rather than drive, use limited water and have few toys that consume energy.


JEFFREY DINTZER , 46

FIRM: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Boston University

CLIENTS: Goodrich Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Bay Meadows Land Co.

Most Challenging Matter: I thought being a lawyer was a challenging and interesting profession that is dynamic and personally and professionally rewarding.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a stage actor.

Bucket List: Going to every NFL stadium for a game.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I love to cook.


MARTIN BURTON , 47

FIRM: Gilchrist & Rutter PC

LAW SCHOOL: Yale University

CLIENTS: Eastman Kodak Co., Maguire Properties Inc.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I never actually wanted to be a lawyer, and fought against it for quite a while. I took the LSAT on a whim and wound up with a great score, so I applied to a few law schools and got into Yale. Realizing what a great opportunity that was, I accepted and started law school at the age of 20.

Most Challenging Case: I represented the Santa Ana Unified School District in a two-year battle to force the city of Tustin to include Santa Ana USD as part of its plan for disposing of the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. Our team ultimately obtained a settlement worth over $100 million from the city of Tustin for new schools for the district.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a full-time publisher. I started and currently run a publishing company, London Town Press, which publishes children's picture books and non-fiction.

Bucket List: To write a middle-grade novel and win the Newbery Medal.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I left law school after my first year to be a TV anchor. I anchored the news for TV stations in Montana and Colorado for a year before going back and finishing my law degree.

JEFFREY DINTZER , 46

FIRM: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Boston University

CLIENTS: Goodrich Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Bay Meadows Land Co.


Most Challenging Matter: I thought being a lawyer was a challenging and interesting profession that is dynamic and personally and professionally rewarding.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a stage actor.

Bucket List: Going to every NFL stadium for a game.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I love to cook.



MARTIN BURTON
, 47

FIRM: Gilchrist & Rutter PC

LAW SCHOOL: Yale University

CLIENTS: Eastman Kodak Co., Maguire Properties Inc.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I never actually wanted to be a lawyer, and fought against it for quite a while. I took the LSAT on a whim and wound up with a great score, so I applied to a few law schools and got into Yale. Realizing what a great opportunity that was, I accepted and started law school at the age of 20.

Most Challenging Case: I represented the Santa Ana Unified School District in a two-year battle to force the city of Tustin to include Santa Ana USD as part of its plan for disposing of the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. Our team ultimately obtained a settlement worth over $100 million from the city of Tustin for new schools for the district.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a full-time publisher. I started and currently run a publishing company, London Town Press, which publishes children's picture books and non-fiction.

Bucket List: To write a middle-grade novel and win the Newbery Medal.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I left law school after my first year to be a TV anchor. I anchored the news for TV stations in Montana and Colorado for a year before going back and finishing my law degree.

DONALD NANNEY , 59

FIRM: Gilchrist & Rutter PC

LAW SCHOOL: UC Davis

CLIENTS: NBC Universal, Universal City Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Thomas Properties Group Inc., Porcelain Metals Corp., Galpin Motors Inc.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: In order to become the next Perry Mason, but it didn't turn out that way. Seriously, my mother suggested that I go to law school based on her estimation of my talents.

Most Challenging Deals: Years ago, when I was a senior associate, my boss took a couple of days vacation to play golf. He left me to handle the simultaneous closing of multiple transactions, financings and payoffs involving properties and contractors in more than one state.

Worst Career Moment: When I was on the speaker circuit years ago trying to build a reputation, I was invited to speak at a luncheon event at the Del Mar racetrack. My time slot coincided with the buffet luncheon service and the beginning of the races. It was a terrible experience trying to give a talk while people were going through the buffet line, eating, talking, watching the races, placing bets and cheering for their favorite horses.

If I Weren't an Attorney: Beats me. My mother never told me what else I might be good at, and I have not figured it out for myself yet.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I was a barefoot water-skier in my youth.

RACHAEL SIMONOFF WEXLER , 37

FIRM: Goodwin Procter LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Columbia University

CLIENTS: Arrowhead Research Corp., Evergreen Solar Inc., Downtown Diversion Inc., Looney Bins Inc., GKM Newport Generation Funds

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I used to watch "L.A. Law" and thought it looked fun. Then I worked for CBS News as an intern, and I followed a sexual predator law story and got really interested in the practice of law. Specifically, the experience brought home the fact that the legal industry really enables you to affect policy.

Most Challenging Deal: I led a client through the acquisition of a nanotechnology company. Part of the acquisition included the holdings of a Nobel laureate in chemistry and more than 300 patents, making the sheer coordination and logistics a major effort and challenge.

Worst Career Moment: When the last firm that I worked with dissolved.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be an ophthalmologist because I'm fascinated with the eye.

Bucket List: I'd like to ski a glacier, kayak in Patagonia and do some investigative reporting.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I have four guitars.

STEPHEN JONES , 57

FIRM: Greenberg Traurig LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Hastings College of the Law

CLIENTS: Rockpoint Group LLC, Westbrook Partners LLC, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: It seemed like a challenging profession with an opportunity to have an impact on society.

Most Challenging Case: Handling the environmental and risk-transfer aspects of the acquisition of the Heritage Fields land development in Orange County, the former El Toro site.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a doctor.

RICHARD K. WELSH , 37

FIRM: Greenberg Traurig LLP

LAW SCHOOL: University of California, Berkeley

CLIENTS: Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills, D. B. Zwirn & Co.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I like engaging strategic thinking and head-to-head conflict.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would still be a U.S. Army airborne ranger. Hooah!

Green Lifestyle: I am not "green" per se, but do drive a Chevy Tahoe that can use an ethanol-based fuel, and mountain bike regularly.

Bucket List: The Kona Ironman Triathlon.

CHRIS M. AMANTEA , 52

FIRM: Hunton & Williams LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Chicago-Kent College of Law

CLIENTS: National, international companies in environmental matters

Reason I'm a Lawyer: Law is intellectually challenging and stimulating. It's like a jigsaw puzzle with different pieces coming together to form a big picture.

Best Career Moment: Chairing the Los Angeles office pro bono committee at my prior firm, which was recognized by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles as the Pro Bono Service Firm of the Year.

Bucket List: Playing golf at the 50 most beautiful golf courses in the world, wine tasting in Tuscany, completing my family tree with a visit to my relatives in Italy and having an audience with the pope.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd be a professional amateur golfer or a minister.


MALCOLM WEISS , 52

FIRM: Hunton & Williams LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Lewis & Clark Law School

CLIENTS: Trade associations, construction materials industry, energy companies, licensors

Reason I'm a Lawyer: My interest in environmental issues was based on my love for the outdoors and the influence of my mother, an early community activist.

Best Career Moment: So far, being selected as an intern to work at the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C., during my second year of law school. That position, the issues I worked on, and the people I came to know have had a meaningful and significant impact on my entire career and personal life.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a marine biologist.

Green Lifestyle: I try to minimize my footprint at home by doing the simple things, such as installing compact florescent lights, recycling and reusing. We could all do more.

Bucket List: Observing the Northern Lights, walking a portion of the Great Wall, experiencing foreign lands especially Africa and Australia with my wife and two sons once they are old enough, sitting in a floorside seat as the Lakers win the NBA championship.

My Colleagues Don't Know: While on a vacation with my brother and childhood best friend many years ago, we were held captive for two days during civil unrest in Costa Rica and escaped by fording a river that was home to crocodiles.

KENNETH EHRLICH , 42

FIRM: Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Santa Clara University

CLIENTS: Target, Mitsubishi, Save the Queen LLC, Trancas Property Owners Association, SimsMetal West, Trammell Crow, Vulcan Materials, United Rock Products

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was always passionate about protecting the environment. As a liberal arts major, law seemed the best way to blend this passion with a career.

Worst Career Moment: Being escorted out of a Long Beach City Council meeting under police protection because of the hostility of the audience toward my client.

Green Lifestyle: I recycle extensively. I've changed all the light bulbs in my home to CFLs. All of our home appliances are Energy Star and I try to work paperless as much as possible. My lifestyle was influenced greatly by the 12 years I spent on the board of Heal the Bay.

Bucket List: I'd like to ride the course of the Tour de France, summit some of the world's major mountains, argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and hang out with Bono.


JIM ARNONE , 43

FIRM: Latham & Watkins LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Harvard
University

CLIENTS: NBC Universal, Home Depot Inc., Urban Partners LLC, USC, Pacific Design Center

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was fascinated by lawyers, the legal process and the very idea of being able to make a living as a professional advocate.

Best Career Moments: When exciting real estate developments I've worked on have ground breakings and ribbon cuttings, like the Staples Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the Pacific Design Center. It's a complete thrill.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd be an historian, digging through dusty old records looking for new insights on our shared past.

Green Lifestyle: I telecommute twice a week, I keep a nearly paper-free office and most of my vacations are "eco-tourism" trips.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I'm a closet "trash TV" watcher, the trashier the TV show, the more I seem to like it. Mindless escapism for a half an hour or so just seems to relax me.

ROBERT CROCKETT , 53

FIRM: Latham & Watkins LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Brigham Young University

CLIENTS: Playa Capital Company LLC, PG & E; Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: It was my father's profession.

Most Challenging Case: Eminent domain of Lockheed's Skunkworks plant in Burbank.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd be a computer scientist; that was my first career.

Bucket List: Run a 100-mile ultrathon and climb Denali.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I have 11 children and I run very long distances in ultrathons.

CINDY STARRETT , 51

FIRM: Latham & Watkins LLP

LAW SCHOOL: University of Pennsylvania

CLIENTS: Westfield LLC, Los Angeles Dodgers, Buckley School, SunCal Co.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was a congressional page during high school and then majored in public policy in college. Both of those experiences were about big ideas.

Most Challenging Case: The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, which is now operating. We had been working to get approvals for nearly 10 years.

Best Career Moment: Celebrating at the Hearst Ranch for its conservation easement and agreement on coastal land dedication in the spring of 2005.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be in the Foreign Service. I was offered a position by the State Department in Latin America at the same time that I was admitted to law school in Philadelphia, and it was a hard choice to make, but one that I have never regretted.

Bucket List: Climbing Kilimanjaro. I want to be a better athlete as I get older.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I was a swimming medalist for the University of Nigeria in 1981, at the West African University Games. After college, I had a Fulbright fellowship to Nigeria and was recruited for the swimming team.

RICK ZBUR , 51

FIRM: Latham & Watkins LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Harvard

Top CLIENTS: Poseidon Resources, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Irvine Co.,
Montage Hotel Group, SBE Entertainment, RecycleBank

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I am by nature an advocate for things I care about. Becoming a lawyer was a natural decision.

Best Career Moments: Obtaining controversial California Coastal Commission approvals on two pro bono matters: St. Joseph's Center, a homeless services center in Santa Monica, and the Pescadero Conservation Alliance Research Station and Camp, an environmental research facility and camp dedicated to environmental education of at-risk youth.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be an executive director of a non-profit focused on environmental protection or helping at-risk kids.

Green Lifestyle: I added solar panels to my home. I also served on the California League of Conservation Voters board.

Bucket List: Taking my children to Provincetown, Mass., on Cape Cod, my favorite place. Second, I would like to serve a stint in government, in a role that would allow me to make a contribution in an area I care about addressing global climate change, improving educational opportunities for lower- and middle-income kids or advancing universal health care.

My Colleagues Don't Know: On my mom's side of the family, I am related to Francisco Chavez, the first governor of New Mexico when it was a province of newly independent Mexico in 1821.



KEVIN MAYER
, 49

FIRM: Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Hastings College of the Law

CLIENTS: Union Carbide Corp., Dow Chemical Co., Gillette Co., Exxon Mobil Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: It seemed a rational choice for a political science major and the oldest son of a judge. Other career aspirations, pro quarterback or fighter pilot, were unlikely to pan out over the long term.

Worst Career Moment: A none-too-subtle critique by a senior partner who thought I needed a bit more circumspection and humility as a young partner. He was undoubtedly correct.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a high school or college football and rugby coach.

Bucket List: World travel with my wife, and someday, the kids; attend a Super Bowl, fly in a jet fighter off an aircraft carrier.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I played collegiate and club rugby for 15 years, and had the opportunity to see and play in countries I never would have visited otherwise.


TODD STARK
, 50

FIRM: Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Loyola Law School

CLIENTS: California State Teachers' Retirement System, Solar Value

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was interested in understanding how things worked.

Most Challenging Deal: Negotiating a prospective purchase with the EPA.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be retired and independently wealthy.

Bucket List: World travel.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I taught art for kids.


PETER DUCHESNEAU , 44

FIRM: Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Southwestern Law School

CLIENTS: Goodrich Corp., Tesoro Corp., USA Petroleum Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: It's a second career for me. I became a lawyer because I wanted to apply my engineering background and environmental experience to resolving complex environmental legal issues.

Best Career Moment: Completing six months of an out-of-town trial in time for the birth of my second son.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be spending more time helping to find better pediatric cancer cures.

Bucket List: Traveling to far-flung locations throughout the world with my wife and two boys, windsurfing and fly-fishing.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I'm an Eagle Scout.

ROBERT HERTZBERG , 53

FIRM: Mayer Brown LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Hastings College of the Law

CLIENTS: N/A

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I chose the law because of the influence of my father, a very respected constitutional lawyer.

Most Challenging Case: The California energy crisis as speaker of the state Assembly.

If I Weren't an Attorney: It's not an issue. I am now pursuing exactly what has inspired me. For now, this is as good as it gets.

Green Lifestyle: I am converting my hybrid to a plug-in hybrid among many other green endeavors. And, I am chairman of Green Energy Co. We have received governmental approval for a wind turbine to power our solar energy facility and feed our employees from our own on-site vegetable garden.

Bucket List: I don't believe in buckets. I just finished another around-the-world trip, and I have been blessed in that I have had opportunities, family, health and friends who have made dreams come true and kept my bucket empty.

ROBERT FREILICH , 60+

FIRM: Miller Barondess LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Yale University

CLIENTS: SunCal Co. and Kirk-Hughes Development Co.

Worst Career Moment: Being shot by a member of the John Birch Society at a land use hearing in Springfield, Mo.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a Nobel Prize mathematician.

Green Lifestyle: I live seven-tenths of a mile from work and walk every to and from my job.

Bucket List: Developing new incentives for developers to install solar energy and rainwater capture systems.

PETER HSIAO , 48

FIRM: Morrison & Foerster LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Berkeley

CLIENTS: Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, Deere & Co., Mattel Inc., Target Corp., Unilever, Union Pacific Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I am passionate about our system of justice and wanted to become a part of it.

Most Challenging Case: Representing the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District in its efforts to control the largest source of particulate air emissions in the country, the dry Owens Lake Bed. The problem resulted from the diversion of the Owens River to Southern California, which was made famous by the movie "Chinatown." After years of administrative and court challenges, the district reached a historic settlement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and a cooperative effort to redirect water to the lake bed. That resulted in the partial restoration of that ecosystem.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a chemical engineer. I am endlessly curious about the undiscovered secrets of chemicals, science and the natural world.

Bucket List: I have too many goals left in my legal career to even think about a bucket list.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I have a savant's gift for wedding photography.

WILLIAM CARTER , 50

FIRM: Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Loyola Law School

CLIENTS: Los Angeles Unified School District, Claremont University Consortium, Harvey Mudd College, West Valley Water District, California Environmental Protection Agency

Reason I'm a Lawyer: Because I wasn't good at math and couldn't pursue a career in science or medicine.

Most Challenging Cases: During my 22 years as a state and federal prosecutor, I faced several challenging matters, including cases against some of the largest cruise lines and shipping container fleets for dumping pollutants in the ocean. I had to coordinate with a number of disparate federal and international regulatory and investigative agencies in order to gather, review and analyze large amounts of documents and physical evidence, locate and interview witnesses, detail and transport individual defendants and negotiate complicated settlement agreements involving numerous jurisdictions.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a chemical or mechanical engineer.

Green Lifestyle: My family drives U.S.-manufactured hybrid cars.

STEVEN ELIE , 46

FIRM: Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Hastings College of the Law

CLIENTS: City of Morro Bay, West Valley Water District, Harrington Industrial Plastics, Precision Castparts Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: At an early age, I was already advocating and mediating on behalf of friends and family. It was the perfect profession to use my negotiation, resolution and, if necessary, adversarial skills in problem-solving.

Most Challenging Case: The Inland Empire perchlorate matters, which involved contamination of the water supply for 500,000 people, four water purveyors, public entities, state and federal regulators, and 40 to 50 potentially responsible parties.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a public servant, either elected or in a supporting role.

Bucket List: Visiting Castoria, Greece, the hometown of all four of my grandparents; playing several rounds of golf at the historic U.K. courses and actually scoring well; watching the sunrise on the beach of Long Island, and on the same day watching the sunset on the beach in Southern California.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I am a member of the Chino Hills Community Foundation, which helps raise special funds for projects in my hometown that cannot be funded by the government.


K. RYAN HIETE , 36

FIRM: Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP

LAW SCHOOL: McGeorge School of Law

CLIENTS: Large public agencies, large- and medium-sized companies, developers

Career Highlight: Ten years of work helping a large public school district with many of the difficult environmental issues related to new proposed school sites, and seeing the desperately needed schools be built all over the Southland.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a carwash owner.

Bucket List: To live a long, healthy life dedicated to my family. And to make sure I have lots of grandkids and go to as many of their ballgames and recitals as possible.

My Colleagues Don't Know: My favorite band is Van Halen.

GREGORY PATTERSON , 52

FIRM: Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Southwestern Law School

CLIENTS: Los Angeles Unified School District, cities of Santa Monica and American Canyon, Bodycote, Voiceboard Corp., Summit Pulp and Paper Inc., ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Most Challenging Case: I represented a company in a case involving an accident that caused the death of two employees. The matter included a criminal action, an OSHA investigation and the need to assist the families of the employees. We were able to resolve all of the matters and meaningfully respond to the families. One aspect of the resolution involved a company-funded study to determine whether certain OSHA standards should be changed.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be an archaeologist.

Green Lifestyle: I bought a Prius, buy produce from local farms, and make my own compost.

DAVID BECKMAN , 42

FIRM: Natural Resources Defense Council

LAW SCHOOL: Harvard University

CLIENTS: Environmental groups

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I have always been interested in the law, but wanted to combine law with something that I cared about and that's why I became an environmental lawyer.

Best Career Moment: The recent establishment of the NRDC's national water program, which will bring together NRDC staff from the organization's U.S. offices in one unified effort to attain safe water.

If I Weren't an Attorney:
I would be a professional pilot. I love aviation and spend as much time as I can at the airport with my 22-month-old son.

Green Lifestyle: I drive a Prius, don't use herbicides or pesticides that can cause storm water pollution and thanks to working in the non-profit sector live in a small house.

Bucket List: Flying a jet and learning how to make a bottle of wine.



DAVID PETTIT
, 57

FIRM: Natural Resources Defense Council

LAW SCHOOL: UCLA

CLIENTS: National Resources Defense Council, environmental and community groups

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I wanted to work for social justice.

Best Career Moment: Coming to work for the NRDC.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a jazz guitar player, if I had any talent.

Green Lifestyle: I try to ride my bike or use public transit as much as possible.

Bucket List: Visiting the national parks that I haven't seen yet.

My Colleagues Don't Know: My klezmer band played the House of Blues.

JAMES ASPERGER , 55

FIRM: O'Melveny & Myers LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UCLA

CLIENTS: Home Depot USA, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Nuance Communications

Most Challenging Case: I represented Alvarado Hospital in a seven-month criminal trial in San Diego federal court. It was a challenging case in which the government accused Alvarado of bribing local physicians in exchange for referrals. The jury deadlocked after deliberating for four and a half months. This was the longest jury deliberation in California history. The court declared a mistrial and the government dismissed all criminal charges.

Worst Career Moment: I can't think of my worst career moments. I guess that means I really love my job.

GREGORY B. THORPE , 54

FIRM: O'Melveny & Myers LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Loyola Law School

CLIENTS: Edison Mission Energy, Sithe Global, Department of Energy

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I like constant challenges and working with smart people. Besides, I'm terrible at math.

Green Lifestyle: Keep turning off the lights my kids leave on.

Bucket List: Being good at wind surfing.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I once served as an assistant to a Republican congressman.


SHARON TOMKINS , 43

FIRM: O'Melveny & Myers LLP

LAW SCHOOL: USC

CLIENTS: Sempra Energy, Southern California Edison Co., ExxonMobil Corp.,
Lockheed Martin Corp., Golden State Water Co.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: My sister-in-law, who is an attorney, suggested that my skills would be suited for law, but I had to promise not to blame her if I became a lawyer.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a queen! What woman wouldn't want to be queen? Only a ruling queen, of course.

Green Lifestyle: I love shopping for vintage clothing, antique jewelry and furniture. I like to think of these purchases as a fun way to recycle.

Bucket List: Ride up Alpe d'Huez on a bike. I used to say I'd jump out of a plane before I went rock climbing and since then I have been rock climbing so I have to get in at least one sky-dive.


ROBERT McMURRY , 61

Firm: Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UCLA

CLIENTS: Lennar Corp., Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Reason I'm a Lawyer: All of my college students and debaters were going to law school and succeeding, why shouldn't I?

If I Weren't an Attorney: What I was before: a happy and fulfilled teacher, which is what I will do when I retire.

Green Lifestyle: I donated my SUV to the Boy Scouts, which can take Troop 110 and the Scouts' gear to events in one vehicle now.

Celebrity Dog: Represented Lassie's trainer in a property dispute.

My Colleagues Don't Know: Before I went to law school I was a professional gambler.


MARK ELLIOTT , 42

Firm: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UC Hastings College of the Law

CLIENTS: Chevron Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp., AutoZone Inc., Conoco Phillips, Union Pacific Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I wanted to pursue a career in environmental law.

Most Challenging Case: Resolution of groundwater contamination problems in the Central Valley for the Vendo Co., a beverage vending machine retailer.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be working in the alternative energy industry.

Green Lifestyle: I drive a natural gas car, and bike or walk on the weekends. I have installed low-consumption lighting, water heaters, plumbing and electrical appliances in my home.

Bucket List: Sail in the Transpacific Yacht Club's Tahiti Race, which goes from Los Angeles to Tahiti.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I surf, a lot.



CHRIS McNEVIN
, 50

Firm: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Stanford University

CLIENTS: AmeriGas Propane Inc., Amsted Industries Inc., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Orange County Water District, Texaco and Xerox Corp.

Most Challenging Case: One example would be representing a small company that inherited a major contamination legacy. We fended off multiple lawsuits while pursuing funds from insurance, the Army and others, and negotiated with Cal EPA to develop a remedial plan that all parties would endorse and fund.

Worst Career Moment: Taking my first deposition as a young lawyer and seeing how much I needed to learn in order to effectively represent my client.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be studying plant physiology.

Bucket List: Spending a year in a sailboat with my family.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I sculpt wood, especially discarded stumps with the roots intact.

STEPHEN O'NEIL , 47

Firm: Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

LAW SCHOOL: UCLA

CLIENTS: Detrex Corp., Venoco Inc., International Rectifier Corp., Union Bank, Harvel Plastics Inc.


Reason I'm a Lawyer: I thought I would enjoy the intellectual and competitive challenges of trial work.

Most Challenging Case: I had a four-month trial against excellent opposing counsel over responsibility for a massive chlorinated solvent spill in the San Gabriel Valley. My client won the case following a very hard fought battle.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a journalist or a historian. I love to write and I love to investigate.

Bucket List: Raise two nice and happy children, travel a lot with my wife and children, and get a Ph.D. in history.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I am a Notre Dame football fanatic, to a frightening degree.


JEFFREY PARKER , 43

Firm: Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

LAW SCHOOL: USC

CLIENTS: Exxon Mobil Corp.

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I followed in my dad's footsteps.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be in management at an aerospace or other technical company, or involved in the venture capital field.

Green Lifestyle: I drive a Prius and print as little as possible: I read on my laptop and use double-sided printing.

My Colleagues Don't Know: I qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon. Also, I was an aerospace engineer before law school.


POLLY TOWILL , 49

Firm: Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Georgetown University

CLIENTS: Herbalife, Venoco Inc., Dale Poe Development Co., Madison/Graham, ColorGraphics Inc., Fresh Dining

Reason I'm a Lawyer: My mother told me to be a lawyer when I was in the fifth grade. She said I was a rare person who could win any argument while always being honest. Always listen to your mother.

Green Lifestyle: I don't like to waste. I have two young children whose future I want to preserve. We could do better, but we recycle, change the bulbs, turn off lights, turn off the water, turn down the thermostat we are always conscience of our affect on the world. I still can't give up Diet Coke in a can, and that is a lot of aluminum.

Bucket List: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, argue at the Supreme Court, live to see my grandkids, get tubbed by a wave.


DARRY SRAGOW , 62

Firm: Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

LAW SCHOOL: Georgetown University

CLIENTS: Environmental Defense Fund, Energy Foundation, Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, Los Angeles Unified School District, California State Parks Foundation

Reason I'm a Lawyer: I started law school at 32, while I was working on Capitol Hill for Sen. Birch Bayh, so lawyers in Washington would stop thinking they could intimidate me.

Most Challenging Deal: Approval of the 2004 Anthem-WellPoint merger, which led to the creation of the largest health insurance company in the United States.

If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be bored.

Bucket List: Helping to find a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition that leads to blindness.

My Colleagues Don't Know: For several years, I was a rock jock and newscaster in several major markets and I have owned radio stations.


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