Areas of Specialization
Tom Files was the Firm’s first certified specialist in workers’ compensation and charter specialist in what began as an experimental program with the State Bar. Since his retirement in 1981, the Firm has added additional certified specialists, who presently lead in the representation of over fifty major insurance companies, self-insured employers, and legally uninsured governmental units.
The Firm’s current certified specialists are Peter Slater, William Majernik, Stephanie Merri, Jeana Pipkin and Tiffany Corona. Other attorneys practicing in this area include partners Brian Lee, Colin Connor, Yolanda Tuckerman, Christine Green, Ira Clary, Jr., Nicole Flanagan, and Kelly Timothy. Associates devoting substantial practice to compensation defense include Joel Kautz, Charles Templeton, Jessica Valenti, Tyler Sonksen, Courtney Masterson, Breanna Owen, Richard Gilbert, Reed Wickham, and Brett Haynes.
When the Firm was smaller, the same attorney would handle the defense of the workers’ compensation case before the Appeals Board and also appear in the Superior Court to pursue subrogation recovery against a negligent third-party. With the advent of specialization, fast track cases, and irreconcilable calendars, the Firm has established a sub-pod of attorneys who devote a substantial portion of their practice to recover compensation expenditures in the Superior Court.
Charleton Pearse manages the subrogation team, aided by partners William Majernik, Jeana Pipkin, and Benjamin Oram, and associate attorney, Adam Ambrozy. The subrogation team is skilled and prepared in trying cases to their conclusions before the Superior Courts of this state, with or without the assistance of plaintiff’s counsel.
This subrogation unit has had many consecutive years of large dollar recoveries for the Firm’s compensation clients. The Firm is small enough to work closely together. This allows the compensation defense and subrogation attorneys to maintain effective communication in order to accomplish advantageous settlement utilizing Third-Party Compromise and Release agreements and stipulated credits for third-party recovery.
Employer Liability Defense
Many of the Firm’s clients mentioned above adjust both workers’ compensation and defense matters. It was a natural growth for the Firm’s subrogation department to begin defending these clients in the Superior Court. Charleton Pearse is the partner in charge of this unit and is aided by partners Jeana Pipkin and Benjamin Oram, and associate attorney Adam Ambrozy.
The Firm defends the employer community in Superior Court against employment discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, ADA violations and similar claims. Before the WCAB, the Firm’s attorneys defend employers against claims of Serious and Willful Misconduct and Labor Code §132a violations.
The continued success of the Firm will be derived from the skills and integrity of its partners and associates, the stability of its composition, the diversity of its practice and its reputation for quality legal representation. A majority of the principals have practiced solely with this Firm and plan to remain throughout their legal careers. Individual resumes for each of the attorneys are available upon request. Questions concerning the specifics of legal representation can be directed to any partner or to one of the managing partners, William Majernik or Yolanda Tuckerman in our Sacramento office, or Brian Lee, manager of our Fresno office.