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Firm News

January 15, 2016

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo Names Two New Equity Partners and Six New Non-Equity Partners


Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) is pleased to announce that Joseph N. Akrotirianakis and Mark W. Thompson have been named equity partners, and that Barbara J. Ginsberg, Elizabeth P. Lind, Jorge J. Luna, Anthony P. Niccoli, Barbara S. Van Ligten,  and Jabari A. Willis have become partners with the firm.

“With the contribution these individuals have made to both the success of their clients and our firm, their promotions within our organization are well deserved,” said Managing Partner Mark T. Palin. 

Joe Akrotirianakis is a highly accomplished trial lawyer, a seasoned commercial litigator, and a decorated former federal prosecutor.  With an undefeated record in almost 30 trials and arbitrations, Mr. Akrotirianakis has litigated matters of the most complex and difficult caliber throughout his 17-year career. His practice focuses on business litigation and white collar and regulatory investigations and litigation, and he is the firm-wide chair of AALRR’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense and Investigations practice.

Mark W. Thompson primarily represents public school districts and Boards of Education in the areas of general education law, governance matters including Brown Act and Public Records Act, certificated and classified employee discipline and reductions in force, employment litigation, harassment and discrimination complaints, collective bargaining grievance arbitrations and contract administration. He represents districts before PERB, OCR, DFEH, EEOC, OAH, and in state and federal courts. He also advises on copyright, trademark, licensing and other intellectual property matters.

Barbara J. Ginsberg represents school and community college districts in all aspects of labor and employment matters, and education law.  She is experienced in the areas of: classified and certificated employee evaluation and discipline; statutory leaves; investigating charges of harassment and discrimination; campus police and safety matters; certificated and classified reductions in force; disability accommodation issues; student and employee privacy, search and seizure, and other constitutional issues; drafting board policies; PERB, EEOC, DFEH, OCR, OAH, and personnel commission matters, federal and state civil litigation, and negotiations.  She regularly provides training on a variety of subjects to management teams, administrators, supervisors, and staff within districts.

Elizabeth (Beth) Lind is an experienced labor and employment attorney who regularly works with both public and private sector clients. In the private sector, Ms. Lind has extensive experience representing unionized employers, many of whom are in the northern California retail food industry. She has assisted with labor negotiations in the context of both single and multi-employer bargaining units, and has acted as employer advocate in grievance proceedings arising under collective bargaining agreements with various unions, including UFCW, SEIU and the Teamsters. She has successfully handled well over a hundred grievance arbitrations arising out of both disciplinary and contract interpretation disputes. She has represented employers before various administrative agencies including the DFEH and/or EEOC, the NLRB, the EDD and the Labor Commissioner. She has conducted numerous complex investigations and represented employers in state and federal litigation matters, including wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuits, as well as cross-petitions to vacate and/or confirm arbitration awards.

Jorge J. Luna  has focused his practice on representing employers in all aspects of labor relations and employment law matters, including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. Mr. Luna has extensive experience in all aspects of preparing, handling and managing litigation matters, including taking cases up to and through trial and the subsequent appeals. In 2011, Mr. Luna was named a “Southern California Rising Star” based on a poll of selected Southern California Lawyers for five consecutive years.

Anthony Niccoli has extensive experience representing contractors, subcontractors and owners in a full range of construction issues, including licensing, contract drafting and negotiations, bid disputes, responsive and responsibility issues, change order disputes, terminations, indemnity obligations and claims. In addition, he has in-depth experience successfully handling breach of contract actions such as delay, disruption, acceleration, mechanics’ lien, stop payment notice, payment bond actions and labor issues.

Barbara Van Ligten has over 25 years of experience in employment law and defense of management in personnel and labor relations matters, such as discrimination, retaliation, harassment, ERISA, wage & hour and wrongful termination.  Ms. Van Ligten also specializes in the defense of class actions involving wage and hour and other employment related issues.  She has successfully represented both private and public sector clients in state and federal litigation matters, including wrongful termination, retaliation, and  discrimination lawsuits. 

Jabari Willis’ practice focuses on representing public entities, including school districts, in labor and employment and education law matters. His experience includes matters related to certificated and classified employee discipline, reductions in force, contract grievances, collective bargaining and Brown Act compliance. Mr. Willis also represents school districts in all aspects of special education law including federal appeals of special education administrative decisions, and private sector employers against claims related to wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment and retaliation.  He was named "Southern California Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine and Los Angeles magazine three times and was selected as a "2012 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40" by the National Bar Association and IMPACT.

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