Press Releases

Sky Is No Longer The Limit For One Sheppard Mullin Attorney -- The Ground Is!

August 27, 2003

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that one of the firm's attorneys, Steve Miller, will team with top ranked American female skysurfer Kathee Johnson to represent the United States in the World Championship of Skydiving, dubbed "Mondial 2003," which will take place at Gap-Tallard airfield in the French Alps from September 7-14. Miller, who will serve as the videographer for the two-person skysurf team Elsinore Boardwalk, will have a video camera strapped to his head in order to capture footage.

Special counsel in Sheppard Mullin's Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in Los Angeles, Miller will be in the company of over 1,500 skydivers, who come from 40 nations to compete in such competitions as: canopy formation, freeflying, accuracy landing, skysurfing and formation skydiving. The event is sponsored by the Federation Aeronautique International, the main organization which lobbied to admit parachuting as a competitive sport in the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 in Beijing.

Commented Miller, "The intensity of skydiving keeps me balanced. I have the opportunity to work with world class attorneys and clients during the week and then work with a world class skysurfer on the weekend. You'd be surprised how many bankers are actually interested in making a skydive."

Miller, a former college athlete, has been practicing law for 13 years and skydiving for eight, with approximately 2000 skydives to his credit. Relishing the return to high level competition and the opportunity to represent the United States at the "Olympics of Air Sports," Miller added, "Kathee and I are headed to the World Championships with a single purpose: hearing our national anthem from the top of the podium."

Based at Skydive Elsinore in Lake Elsinore, California, Elsinore Boardwalk earned a silver medal at the 2000 and 2001 US Nationals, a gold medal at the 2001 World Space Games and a bronze medal at the 2002 US Nationals. Each skysurf team is made up of a videographer and performer/skysurfer. Considered an interactive event similar to pairs ice skating, the skysurfer and videographer exit the aircraft at 13,000 feet and race toward the earth at speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. While in freefall, each team has 50 seconds to perform a routine. The skysurfer, with a skyboard (roughly resembling a smaller version of a snowboard) strapped to his/her feet, will perform a series of flips, twists and spins similar to those accomplished by top level gymnasts. Simultaneously, the videographer will fly up, over, under and around the skysurfer to capture as many camera angles as possible, often including video footage taken while the videographer is upside down. The video footage is then submitted to the judges who score each routine based on difficulty, presentation and execution. Each competition consists of seven rounds, two of which consist of compulsory moves selected by meet officials prior to the event.

Sheppard Mullin
has more than 380 attorneys among its eight offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara, West Los Angeles, Del Mar Heights, and Washington, D.C. The full-service firm provides counsel in Antitrust and Trade Regulation; Business Litigation; Construction, Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use Litigation; Corporate; Entertainment and Media; Finance and Bankruptcy; Financial Institutions; Government Contracts and Regulated Industries; Healthcare; Intellectual Property; International; Labor and Employment; Real Estate, Land Use, Natural Resources and Environment; Tax, Employee Benefits, Trusts and Estates; and White Collar and Civil Fraud Defense. The Firm celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2002.

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