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Dickstein Shapiro LLP elects five attorneys to partnership

Staff writer |
Washington DC, USA - January 14, 2010, Washington DC, USA - Dickstein Shapiro LLP has elected five attorneys to the partnership: Cassandra Franklin and Sandra Smith Thayer in the firm’s Los Angeles office; and Brian Finch, John Gibbons, and Jason Wallach in the Washington, DC office.

Cassandra S. Franklin is a Deputy Practice Leader and partner in the Insurance Coverage Practice and also leads the Practice’s Entertainment Initiative. She also serves on the firm’s Quality Assurance Committee. Ms. Franklin represents insureds in complex coverage disputes. Her practice encompasses all phases of a dispute, from pre-litigation negotiations regarding coverage through litigation, and includes an active appellate practice.

Ms. Franklin’s insurance recovery experience includes disputes concerning first-party policies, third-party policies, such as commercial general liability and errors and omissions policies, and multimedia and other entertainment industry policies.

Ms. Franklin also has handled a wide range of commercial and entertainment litigation, including matters involving claims of copyright infringement, right of publicity, and other entertainment and art law issues. Previously, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Otto M. Kaus and the Honorable Edward A. Panelli during their terms as Associate Justices of the California Supreme Court. Ms. Franklin received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law.

Brian Finch is a partner and head of the firm’s Homeland Security Practice. Mr. Finch focuses his practice on homeland security and federal regulatory matters. He has counseled numerous clients extensively on matters related to Department of Homeland Security regulations and guidelines as well as those promulgated by other federal agencies.

Particular areas of focus for him include the SAFETY Act, protection of critical infrastructure, food and agricultural security, and border and trade security. Mr. Finch received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where he also serves as a Professional Lecturer of Law.

John Gibbons is a partner in the Insurance Coverage Practice. Mr. Gibbons focuses primarily on commercial litigation in federal and state courts. His diverse general litigation practice includes cases involving insurance coverage, antitrust, professional malpractice, lending and lien law, and general contractual matters.

In connection with his insurance coverage practice, he has represented utility companies and contractors seeking coverage for environmental, asbestos, and directors and officers liabilities. Mr. Gibbons received his J.D., magna cum laude, from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where he served as a senior editor of the Journal of Contemporary Health Law & Policy.

Sandra Smith Thayer is a partner in the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice and is the national co-leader of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Initiatives and chair of the firm’s insurance broker, E&O, and political risk initiatives. She conducts an active trial and arbitration practice, representing insureds in complex insurance coverage matters and in disputes and litigation with insurance brokers.

In 2008, Ms. Thayer co-tried a lawsuit against an insurance broker in which the jury’s $48.5 million verdict was one of the 50 largest verdicts of the year in the United States and one of the 10 largest in California. Ms. Thayer has handled matters regarding insurance coverage for business interruption claims; natural disaster losses; employment claims; environmental and pollution claims; professional liabilities; political risk; and products liability.

She also represents motion picture studios and others in the entertainment industry in a wide range of coverage matters, including business interruption losses, cast insurance claims, and intellectual property/multimedia claims. Ms. Thayer received her J.D., cum laude, from Tulane Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Sports Lawyers Journal.

Jason Wallach is a partner in the firm’s Antitrust and Dispute Resolution Group. Mr. Wallach has extensive experience litigating complex, multi-jurisdictional cases, particularly in the areas of insurance coverage and state and federal false claim actions.


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