On June 10, 2022, after an over 7-week jury trial venued in Los Angeles Superior Court – West District in Santa Monica, our partners Michael Schonbuch and Maureen Michail achieved a phenomenal jury verdict in favor of our client—the world-renowned celebrity dentist from the hit shows Extreme Makeover and the Drs.—William M. Dorfman, D.D.S. Dr. Dorfman sued a former hygienist and another dentist claiming breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
The former hygienist countersued Dr. Dorfman seeking over $6 million dollars for unpaid overtime wages, as well as a slew of age and gender discrimination and harassment claims. The jury found in favor of Dr. Dorfman across the board on his claims, as well as on all eleven of the cross-complainant’s claims. The jury also found that the defendants acted with malice against Dr. Dorfman which entitles Dr. Dorfman to punitive damages, fees and costs of suit. Dr. Dorfman’s success on the breach of contract claim against the former hygienist also entitles him to recovery of his attorneys’ fees and costs as the prevailing party.
In addition to being a successful cosmetic dentist, Dr. Dorfman is a philanthropist who gives generously to those in need and raises millions of dollars for charities. We are so proud to have been chosen to represent Dr. Dorfman and are proud of the WIN we achieved on his behalf.
Daniels, Fine, Israel, Schonbuch & Lebovits, LLP is so proud to congratulate our very own Michael Schonbuch on being named the newest recipient of the Los Angeles Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates’ (ABOTA) Lee B. Wenzel Civility Award. Civility is not only a hallmark of Mike’s practice, but he truly embodies this principal in his demeanor, actions, and mentorship. Despite being a recent past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of ABOTA, this award is widely regarded as the LA Chapter of ABOTA’s greatest honor. This significant honor will be announced at the LA-ABOTA Installation Dinner Dance on January 21, 2022.
The women attorneys and soon-to-be-attorneys of DFISL attended a well-deserved outing at Malibu Café hosted by our outstanding female partners, Erin Hallissy, Maureen Michail and Bernadette Castillo Brouses. DFISL is fortunate to have such talented mentors that are paving the way for the next generation of female attorneys. In support of its women attorneys, DFISL recently became a signatory to the 2021 Call to Action for the advancement of women lawyers. As a participating employer, DFISL has agreed to take part in a coalition with the LACBA-WLALA Joint Task Force and has signed on to institute initiatives that identify and address the needs of women lawyers and diverse women lawyers.
DFISL is pleased to announce that Michael Schonbuch has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. The induction ceremony took place online before an audience of 670 Fellows during the recent Induction Ceremony at the 2020 Annual Meeting and 70th Anniversary Celebration of the College.
Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.
Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,800 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice.
We are proud to announce DFISL’s 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers: Paul Fine for Business and Construction Litigation, Mark Israel for Insurance Coverage, Michael Schonbuch for Civil Defense Litigation, and Moses Lebovits for Plaintiff Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice. Mary Fersch was awarded the distinction of selection to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Less than 5% of the attorneys in the state of California are named Super Lawyers, and less than 2.5% of attorneys are named to the Rising Stars list. Congratulations to them on this well-deserved honor.
Trial attorneys Michael Schonbuch and Mary Fersch obtained a defense verdict on behalf of client the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. Plaintiff Lydia Rivera, represented by Girardi & Keese, alleged she sustained a traumatic brain injury after she was struck in the head by the closing gate of a freight elevator. Plaintiff claimed a Hyatt employee directed her to use the hotel’s freight elevator, and counsel asked the jury to award over $9 million in damages. Michael and Mary disputed liability and argued that the plaintiff’s testimony that a Hyatt employee directed her to use the freight elevator was false. The jury agreed, finding that the Hyatt was not negligent, and returning a verdict in favor of the defense. Congratulations trial team!
DFISL founding partner Paul Fine received the Hall of Fame award from the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel. Paul was honored along with Gretchen Nelson, who received the Civil Advocate Award and Judge Stephen Moloney who received the Judge of the Year Award. All of the honorees received their prestigious awards at the gala ASCDC Hall of Fame Awards Dinner at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Congratulations to trial attorneys Moses Lebovits (lead) and Parham Nikfarjam on their trial result in the case of King v. Maxi-Matic U.S.A., Inc., tried in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Ms. King suffered second degree burns to her face, chest, arms and breasts when the lid on her Elite Bistro digital pressure cooker violently exploded and spewed boiling liquid. The defendant did not contest that the product was defective for purposes of trial but did contest Ms. King’s damages and the extent of her emotional distress as a result of the burns. The jury returned a verdict of $4,950,000 in favor of Ms. King which far exceeded defendant’s settlement offer. Congratulations to Moses and Parham on this fine result.
DFISL is proud to announce that Michael Schonbuch has been elected Los Angeles ABOTA Vice-President for 2019 and President for 2020. The Los Angeles Chapter of ABOTA is the founding chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and it is the largest chapter of that organization in the United States. ABOTA membership requires extensive civil jury trial experience as well a high personal character and honorable reputation in the civil trial bar. This is a great honor and we are very pleased that Michael will have a leadership role in this tremendous organization.
DFISL congratulates its 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers: Paul Fine for Business and Construction Litigation, Mark Israel in the field of Insurance Coverage, Michael Schonbuch for Civil Litigation, Moses Lebovits for Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice and Maureen Michail for Business and Construction Litigation and Insurance Coverage. The Super Lawyers designation represents excellence in the selected area of legal practice and we are very proud of our attorneys who have achieved this recognition. For more information visit: www.superlawyers.com