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Change of Leadership, Address at Bar Association

The San Fernando Valley Bar Association has rung in the new year with new leadership and a new location.

The organization’s new address at the Carlton Plaza campus, 20750 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, “is conducive to collaboration and networking and allows us to be creative in the types and format of programs we provide,” said Yi Sun Kim, SFVBA president and a partner at Greenberg & Bass in Encino.

Rosie Soto Cohen, a veteran of 17 years with the association, also replaced Liz Post as executive director this year. Post relocated to New York in October after 25 years with the SFVBA to take on the role of executive director for the Nassau County Bar Association.

Cohen started as an administrative assistant, later becoming director of public services and most recently heading the Attorney Referral Service program.

“I met my husband here, this is like my family,” said Cohen. “It’s a small staff, I’ve learned from a lot of people, I’ve met a lot of people; I’m just so happy to have their support.”

The new director is credited with developing and implementing a marketing and public relations plan to identify unmet needs and increase both referrals and revenue, according to the association.

Cohen also launched a standalone website for the ARS and crafted a successful marketing campaign, increasing referrals by 40 percent in the last year and boosting financial reserves by 75 percent since 2008.

The incoming director echoed Kim’s intention for the new location, noting that the courtyard and collaborative space will bolster involvement and make members aware of everything the association has to offer.

“We’re going to bring in all of our membership benefit providers to our space to feature and talk about each of those benefits, and have providers be sponsors of the events, and give them more access to our membership,” added Cohen.

For example, a program such as Fastcase, the association’s legal research provider, could provide the content for a future event. Members would have a hands-on learning experience with software and program representatives.

New Partners

Ferguson Case Orr Paterson, Ventura County’s largest law firm, added three new partners at the end of 2018. Attorneys Jaye Heybl, Brian Philpott and Corey Donaldson joined the firm Nov. 1 with a diverse range of expertise, including patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright law, as well as other intellectual property matters.

“Jaye, Brian and Corey bring decades of experience in intellectual property protection and litigation to our clients,” said Michael Velthoen, the firm’s managing partner. “Their expertise positions FCOP as the premier law firm providing intellectual property legal services throughout the Central Coast and Southern California region.”

Heybl’s experience focuses on patent and trademark matters and litigation, both in federal and state courts and in the patent and trademark office. He has prosecuted patents in a variety of electronics and computer-related industries, as well as mechanical patents.  

Philpott specializes in patent prosecution and litigation, trademark and copyright matters and general international intellectual property issues. He represents a diverse clientele, including individuals and companies from the fashion, entertainment and high-tech industries.

Donaldson has extensive experience in patent prosecution, as well as design, trademark and trade dress procurement and enforcement. He also works in international intellectual property procurement and litigation.

Unlawful Arbitration Decision

In a decision handed down Dec. 6, the Court of Appeal refused to enforce an arbitration clause found in Applied Underwriters’ Reinsurance Participation Agreement (RPA) with Luxor Cabs, one of the oldest cab companies in San Francisco.

Roxborough Pomerance Nye and Adreani, representing Luxor, filed suit in 2015 against Applied in San Francisco County Superior Court over “arduous terms” found in the agreement, according to the Woodland Hills-based firm.

Applied then moved the trial court to have Luxor arbitrate its claims. Luxor countered that the arbitration clause,was void and unenforceable as they were issued without the Insurance Commissioner’s approval.

Luxor plans to return to court regarding the validity of the entire RPA, as none of its terms received the commissioner’s approval.

Lewis Roca Hire

Intellectual property associate Jeffrey Tom has joined Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s Glendale office, the firm said.

Tom’s experience in chemical engineering, material science and semiconductor manufacturing will help clients assess business risks and opportunities during patent research.

He is also certified in information privacy, which allows him to assist clients with potential data security risks. Knowledge and experience in cybersecurity with issues surrounding data protection laws, including addressing or preventing computer vulnerabilities that could impact clients’ IP assets.

Staff Reporter Amy Stulick can be reached at astulick@sfvbj.com or at (818) 316-3121.

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