NANCY ABELL, 59
FIRM: Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP
LAW SCHOOL: UCLA School of Law
CLIENTS: Microsoft Corp., Oracle, Cintas Corp., Nestle, VeriSign, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Belo Corp., Qualcomm, Nissin Foods, Alaska Airlines, Princess Cruises, Forever 21, several top 20 law firms
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 30
Reason I’m a Lawyer: Because of my interest in helping to responsibly shape corporate policies and my fascination with legal theories and the dynamics of a courtroom.
Most Challenging Case: Jackson v. Microsoft Corp./Donaldson v. Microsoft Corp. – a defense of nationwide race and gender class actions. Plaintiff’s counsel sued for $5 billion, went on “60 Minutes” and held a massive press conference to announce the filing of his case, and vowed to bring Microsoft down. Our client prevailed in a series of stunning wins.
Worst Career Moment: The death of a beloved client at the hands of a disturbed employee.
If I Weren’t an Attorney: The executive director of a charity or a vice president of human resources.
Bucket List: Have grandchildren, write a book for in-house counsel, and paint a sensational canvas.
My Colleagues Don’t Know: I like to design fashions and things for our home.
ANTHONY J. ONCIDI, 49
FIRM: Proskauer Rose LLP
LAW SCHOOL: University of Chicago Law School
CLIENTS: American Honda Motor Co., Paramount Pictures, Creative Artists Agency, William Morris Agency, United Talent Agency, Harpo Films, National Basketball Association, Bear Stearns/JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, New York Times Co., SBE Entertainment Group
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 25
Reason I’m a Lawyer: I was a debater in high school and came to appreciate both the scholarly and competitive aspects of what I imagined practicing law might be like – but it was somewhat of a leap of faith, because I’m not certain I had ever even met a lawyer before I started law school.
Most Challenging Case: Winning a 29-day jury trial on behalf of a high-profile financial institution that was being sued for financial elder abuse by county counsel and the grieving heirs of a deceased former customer who had Alzheimer’s and was an alcoholic.
Best Career Moment: Taking a congratulatory call from the chairman after we got that verdict. I had learned shortly before the trial started that an influential board member who feared bad publicity was recommending that all the lawyers on the case be fired and that the board negotiate an immediate settlement with the other side.
If I Weren’t an Attorney: I would be a full-time resident of the city of Buenos Aires.
My Colleagues Don’t Know: I was quite an accomplished accordion player as a youth – a gift bestowed upon me by my grandmother who came from the Black Forest and who also happened to be Myron Floren’s biggest fan.
OTHER TOP LABOR & EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEYS
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff Inc.
Littler Mendelson PC
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
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