Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Elects Twelve Attorneys to Partnership

February 7, 2012

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has elevated twelve of its attorneys to partner.  The twelve new partners are Martin Bader (Del Mar), Will Chuchawat (Los Angeles), Jeffrey W. Forrest (San Diego), Darren Franklin (Los Angeles), Jenny Park Garner (San Francisco), Matthew W. Holder (Del Mar), Moe Keshavarzi (Los Angeles), J. Barrett Marum (San Diego), Daniel J. McQueen (Los Angeles), Aaron J. Sobaski (Orange County), Olivier F. Theard (Los Angeles) and Whitney Walters (Century City).

Martin Bader, in the firm's Intellectual Property practice group in the Del Mar office, focuses his practice on patent and intellectual property litigation.  Bader has represented numerous high technology clients in multi-patent litigation matters in the District Courts throughout the United States.  He has an Electrical Engineering degree and has litigated patent cases involving many diverse technologies, including wireless communications, CDMA, WCDMA, HSPA, Wi-Fi, USB modems, LTE, Video and Audio compression, CDMA2000, wireless modems, Multi-media Messaging Service (MMS), Internet systems, web-browsers for wireless devices, software, liquid crystal displays (LCD), and televisions.  Bader is also a registered patent attorney and counsels clients on intellectual property protection strategies,  prosecutes patent applications and trademark registrations before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), represents clients in patent reexaminations proceedings and trademarks oppositions before the USPTO, and conducts IP due diligence for corporate transactions and acquisitions.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from University of San Diego School of Law in 2002 and his undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University in 1999.

Will Chuchawat is a member of the firm's Corporate practice group and is based in the Los Angeles office.  Chuchawat advises public and private companies in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, international transactions, Chinese investment, corporate finance and general business matters.  In addition, he represents clients in the areas of corporate trust, indenture trustee and public finance.  Chuchawat is an advisor to clients ranging from multi-national corporations to private equity groups to entrepreneurs in various industries, such as aerospace and defense, financial services, health care, consumer products, technology, manufacturing, construction and nonprofit companies.  Chuchawat received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 2004 and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2000. 

Jeff Forrest, in the firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group in the San Diego office, specializes in land use planning, obtaining entitlement approvals, and land use litigation defense for clients such as the Hotel Del Coronado, Pardee Homes, Brookfield Homes, solar and renewable energy developers, Allied Waste, the Building Industry Association, Citigroup, Comerica Bank, Black Mountain Ranch, Sudberry Properties, and Donahue Schriber.  Forrest's practice also includes counseling compliance with and litigating the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), California Coastal Act, Subdivision Map Act, Mitigation Fee Act, Endangered Species Act, and global warming laws and regulations.  Forrest is a board member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.  He is also a registered lobbyist with the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and the San Diego Port Authority.  Forrest received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1996 and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Binghamton University in 1993.

Darren Franklin is a member of the firm's Intellectual Property practice group and is based in the Los Angeles office.  Franklin is a registered patent attorney with expertise in a broad range of intellectual property matters, including patent litigation, patent prosecution and counseling, patent reexamination proceedings, unfair competition, and IP due diligence.  He has represented high technology clients in patent matters in several U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  He has a physics degree and works with companies and individuals involved in diverse industries and technologies, including aerospace, computers, entertainment, gaming, lighting, medical devices, office products, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, software, sports products, telecommunications, and video games.  Franklin received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 2000 and his undergraduate degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997.

Jenny Park Garner, in the firm's Finance and Bankruptcy practice group in the San Francisco office, specializes in commercial law, real estate, secured and unsecured lending transactions, workouts, bankruptcy, and enforcement of creditor's rights and remedies.  Park Garner represents a wide range of clients in all aspects of finance, real estate, bankruptcy, and creditor's rights matters.  Her commercial lending practice includes structuring, negotiating and documenting senior and mezzanine debt financing, participating or contingent interest financing, and loans for the commercial mortgage backed securities market.  Park Garner has extensive experience in advising clients on problem loans and creditor's rights and remedies, including real property and UCC foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, writs and receivership, and relief from stay proceedings, and in industries such as single-family and multi-family residential projects, mixed use projects, office, hospitality, retail, manufacturing, communications, entertainment, health care and fine art.  She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2001 and her undergraduate degree, with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997.

Matt Holder is a member of the firm's Business Trial and Labor and Employment practice groups, and is based in the Del Mar office.  Holder has a wide array of experience in complex civil litigation, as well as labor and employment litigation. He has represented clients in civil litigation involving allegations of unfair business practices, fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, negligence, products liability, and legal malpractice, among many others.  He also represents employers against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and wage-hour violations.  In addition, Holder represents employers in union-related proceedings and disputes, including before the National Labor Relations Board.  Holder has extensive experience in the pleading, discovery, trial, and appellate stages of litigation.  He received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Southern California in 2001 and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California in 1998.

Moe Keshavarzi is a member of the firm's Business Trial practice group in the Los Angeles office.  Keshavarzi has extensive experience in complex business litigation matters in state and federal courts involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition and unfair business practices, violations of state and federal antitrust laws, and related causes of action.  He has tried to verdict matters involving breach of contract, fraud and unfair competition and has argued matters before the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Keshavarzi received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings in 2002 and his undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 1999.

Barrett Marum is a member of the firm's Business Trial and Finance and Bankruptcy practice groups, and is based in the San Diego office.  Marum practices in the areas of business bankruptcy law and commercial litigation.  He has experience representing parties involved in complex insolvency proceedings, including representing debtors, creditors and other parties in pre-bankruptcy litigation, workout negotiations and bankruptcy proceedings.  Marum also has a wide variety of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in disputes in state and federal court, including claims involving breach of contract, real property, unfair business practices, business torts, federal banking laws and regulations and borrower litigation against lenders.  Marum received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003 and his undergraduate degree, with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000.   

Daniel McQueen, in the firm's Labor and Employment practice group in the Los Angeles office, handles all facets of the litigation process in labor and employment disputes.  McQueen has jury trial experience; has taken and defended numerous depositions; written and argued motions for summary judgment; and provided advice on human resources and personnel issues.  He has been involved in labor and employment disputes under both state and federal law, including discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. He has specific experience under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other labor and employment laws.  McQueen has significant experience in defending wage and hour class actions, including claims for overtime pay, meal and rest period violations, and vacation pay.  In particular, he has represented restaurants, retailers, hospitals, and grocery store chains in the defense of wage and hour class actions.  He received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and his undergraduate degree from Occidental College in 1995.

Aaron Sobaski is a member of the firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group and is based in the Orange County office.  Sobaski's practice focuses on the acquisition, sale, development, and leasing of real estate.  His practice also involves general corporate transactional work including commercial lending, asset and software purchase and licensing agreements, joint development agreements, and professional services agreements.  Sobaski has represented clients such as DHL, Carmel Partners, Media News Group, Prudential Financial, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, GE Capital and The Regents of the University of California.  He has extensive experience in a variety of complex leasing transactions representing both landlords and tenants, which includes the negotiating and drafting of ground leases, office leases, industrial/warehouse leases, and lease disposition and development agreements.  In connection with his transactional real estate practice, Sobaski has also negotiated and drafted complex purchase and sale, development, construction, and service agreements, and also has experience in the development of mixed use real estate projects.  Sobaski received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings in 2003 and his undergraduate degree from the Northwestern University in 1998.

Olivier Theard, in the firm's Business Trial practice group in the Los Angeles office, specializes in environmental litigation and administrative disputes under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA and other federal and state environmental laws, which includes experience in Proposition 65 compliance and litigation, California's chemistry and consumer products laws, preparing administrative petitions and representing clients in hearings and proceedings before the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and various California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and toxic tort litigation regarding alleged injuries from benzene, chromium, asbestos, dioxins and other chemicals.  Theard also represents clients in complex business tort and contract disputes and advises clients regarding compliance with consumer protection and environmental laws.  His experience also includes recall proceedings before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other consumer protection regulatory agencies, and drafting and defending pleadings, writing and defending motions in court, legal research, depositions, aspects of practice before the courts and administrative agencies.  Theard received his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2001 and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1998.

Whitney Walters is a member of the firm's Business Trial and Entertainment, Media and Technology practice groups, and is based in the Century City office.  Walters practices complex business litigation and represents clients in cases involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and accounting issues.  She also represents motion picture studios and broadcasting companies in claims relating to participation accounting and motion picture and television distribution rights.  Walters is experienced in all aspects of the litigation process, including pre-litigation negotiations, drafting and arguing motions, taking and defending depositions, and negotiating and drafting settlement agreements.  She has prepared cases for trial before state and federal courts and before arbitration panels.  Walters received her J.D., cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School in 1999 and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in 1996.