Tag Archives: Gordon Rees

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Best Lawyers honors Gordon & Rees’ John Condrey

GetFileAttachmentThe Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees announced that John Condrey is once again honored in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 for his Construction Law expertise. Each year, Best Lawyers compiles the list of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review evaluations in which 79,000 leading attorneys cast over six million votes to evaluate the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.

Condrey, who joined Gordon & Rees in 1995, represents general contractors, architects and engineers, developers and owners in matters ranging from professional negligence claims, default terminations, delay and disruption claims, bid protests, project development, land use, and in other types of transactions and disputes. He has experience with all types of project delivery methods, including representation of municipalities with respect to Public/Private Partnerships related to infrastructure development and maintenance. Condrey has also defended class actions, claims of legal malpractice, employment discrimination, and insurance bad faith, among others.

cybercrime

Data breach: Not if, but when, experts warn

“It will never happen to us.”

That misperception puts businesses at risk for data breaches, expert say.

“The most common mistake is assuming your company won’t be breached because you’re not a large, multi-national company similar to the ones whose breaches are covered by the national media,” says Ari Bai, shareholder at Polsinelli. “In reality, however, every company is a target. Hackers, be they individual vigilantes, criminal organizations or nation-states, look for any and all data, and often the most accessible is that in smaller companies. Plus, small companies make for good ‘practice’ for hackers. Thus, when a company ignores the risk and does not set forth the proper protocols for protection and response, it is essentially asking to be breached.”

The 2015 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Chief Legal Officers Survey revealed that one quarter of general counsel report their companies have been hit by data breaches. And according to the 2015 Cyberthreat Defense Report, more than seven in 10 respondents said their networks were breached in 2014, up from 62 percent in 2013. The average cost of a data breach in 2013 for companies in the Unites States was $5.85 million. The scariest part about the threat of a data breach is that experts agree that there is no way to completely protect a business from becoming the victim of a data breach.

“Once we develop a way to protect ourselves from something, the hackers are already using a new technique,” Bai says. “This is why preparation is so important. Liability for lack of preparation can financially devastate a company. You are going to get hacked — with preparation, you don’t have to lose lawsuits.”

Being prepared

Like any potential business catastrophe, limit a business’ risk of becoming the victim of a data breach starts with preparedness, according to Paul Stoller, shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy.

“Every company should work with its legal professionals and IT staff to create and to implement a comprehensive data privacy and security plan, which will help to remove, or at least to reduce, the risk of many of the common causes of breach,” Stoller says.

Leon B. Silver, office co-managing partner at Gordon & Rees, says all companies, no matter their size, need to adopt data security as a core business practice throughout the organization and not look at it as something that is taken care of by one department or by an outside vendor.

“Policies on mobile devices, passwords and encryption are just part of an overall culture of data security awareness,” Silver says. “But be aware, a breach can happen.”

Heather Buchta, partner at Quarles & Brady says business leaders need to engage in some internal due diligence and ask themselves these questions:

• What internal policies are in place to protect data?

• Is there a policy against removing devices from the business location?

• Is there a policy to encrypt data?

• Even more basic, what kind of data does a company have?

“Risk of a breach increases as the volume of data a company has increases and oftentimes the data wasn’t even used by the business,” Buchta says, “which is creating an increased risk for no business purpose.”

Despite a company’s best efforts to lower its risk of a data breach, Buchta says today’s hackers are getting more sophisticated and businesses always have the added risk of employee error.

“The risk really lies in what was done ahead of time to try and prevent and breach and how the incident is handled afterward,” she says.

After the breach

While a business can be proactive in taking the appropriate steps to minimize risk and being well equipped to handle a loss or theft if data or information, there are no measures that provide a guarantee of security, Silver says.

“In fact, virtually every mid- to large-size company has already likely been breached, but the extent is either not known, or is not significant,” Silver says. “A big source of loss continues to be human error. That, coupled with continually evolving technology and more sophisticated theft/hacking measures equates to an ongoing need to stay ahead of the curve and simply arm yourself the best you can by adhering to and enforcing strict privacy policies following a thorough risk assessment.”

So what should you do if you’ve taken all the proper steps to reduce your risk of a data breach and your businesses is still victimized?

“The first thing is always to identify the source and to fix the issue that caused the breach so that there is not any further loss or theft of data,” Stoller says. “After that, the business needs to work with its IT professionals to investigate what caused the leak, to identify those persons who may be affected and to preserve evidence of what happened.”

Stella says it’s also imperative to work with legal professionals to determine a business’ legal obligations after a breach, including notifications to affected persons and government agencies.

“Don’t delay in investigating and don’t delay in calling in the experts,” Buchta says. “Businesses should have an incident response plan and that plan should identify the key players to investigate and manage a breach — legal counsel, IT forensics, operations/HR, public relations and the executive team.”

Because experts say a data breach is almost inevitable, it’s crucial for a business to develop and enforce sound privacy policies, including a response plan should a breach or loss occur, Silver says.

“Such policies will also need to evolve over time as technology continues to improve,” he says. “The bottom line is to expect the unexpected, think ahead, keep thinking ahead, and do your best to prepare.”

Advice from experts

Here is what Valley legal experts advise businesses to do to lower their risk of a data breach:

Ari Bai, shareholder; and Nick Verderame, associate, Polsinelli: “Start preparing now. Bring in technical and legal help to assess your data and risk levels, create technical protections, implement company procedures to protect against leaks, educate your employees and leadership, organize annual ‘fire drill’ tests and prepare a reaction and notification procedure.”

Heather Buchta, partner, Quarles & Brady: “Know your business. Know what data you have. Have an incident response plan in place in advance to facilitate the handling of an event when it occurs. Note I said, ‘when it occurs,’ not ‘if it occurs.’”

Leon B. Silver, office co-managing partner, Gordon & Rees: “Begin by assessing risk, including the availability of special ‘cyber risk’ insurance, which is not just for hacking and may provide coverage for both investigation and response costs, as well as defense and/or indemnity for third-party claims.”

Paul Stoller, shareholder, Gallagher & Kennedy: “The best practice for a business is to create and maintain a comprehensive data privacy and security plan. That begins with an audit of the business’s data and the development of policies and procedures to manage its confidential information. Then, it is essential to train employees on both the policies and procedure and the potential threats to the data’s security.”

law.courts

Gordon & Rees among best firms for minority attorneys

Leon Silver, co-managing partner of the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees.

Leon Silver, co-managing partner of the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees.

Gordon & Rees was recently recognized as one of the nation’s top law firms for minority lawyers by Law360’s first ever ranking of the 100 Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys, released May 19. The firms were ranked based on racial minority representation at the partner and nonpartner levels and their total number of minority attorneys.

Leon Silver, co-managing partner of the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees, is committed to growing diversity as he expands the Phoenix office.

“I have always been passionate on the topic of diversity,” said Silver. “Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it also makes good business sense. A diverse workforce expands the reach and abilities of our firm and helps us better serve our clients,” said Mr. Silver. “I am proud to have our firm recognized by Law360, and will continue to grow minority representation here in the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees.”

Almost every firm included in the top 100 exceeded the the overall average among U.S. law firms of 14 percent minority attorneys and eight percent minority partners.

Silver joined Gordon & Rees in November 2014. He serves on the board of Take the Lead, a non-profit inspiring and developing women to take leadership positions in the workplace. For additional information, please visit http://www.gordonrees.com/offices/phoenix. For more information about Law360’s 100 Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys list, visit www.law360.com.

running

Arizona women attorneys joining Girls on the Run 5K

Jamie Mayrose of Gordon & Rees.

Jamie Mayrose of Gordon & Rees.

On Sunday, April 26, a team of women from the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, led by Jamie Mayrose of Gordon & Rees, will partner with Girls on the Run to support the youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls.

The team will be comprised of eight to ten women attorneys who will serve as running buddies, each partnering with a pre-teen girl who is completing her participation in the Girls on the Run program to accompany them through the 5k experience. Mayrose is working with Kathleen Weber of Folks & O’Connor, who is organizing the event for AWLA members. The attorneys will arrive before the event to meet and spend time with their “buddies,” and each will run or walk at her buddy’s pace, providing encouragement along the race route. 

The Girls on the Run 5K will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 26 at Kiwanis Park, 6111 South All-America Way, Tempe, AZ 85283.

“I am excited to be working with Girls on the Run,” said Mayrose. “This organization is doing amazing things to promote strong, healthy girls in our community. I’m looking forward to leading the Arizona Women Lawyers Association team of running buddies and being a part of the girl empowerment movement in our community.” 

Mayrose says she was fortunate to have parents who taught her to play sports and stay active – things she enjoys doing to this day.  “Teaching kids healthy habits now will change the rest of their lives.  It is important for women to support other women and that starts with young girls.”

law

Gordon & Rees names Leon Silver co-managing partner

Leon SilverOne of the fastest-growing law firms in the country, Gordon & Rees continues its expansion in the Phoenix market. To lead that expansion, the firm announced that Leon Silver has been named co-managing partner of its Phoenix office.

“We are looking forward to benefiting from Mr. Silver’s great enthusiasm and deep roots in the region as the Phoenix office continues to grow and thrive,” said Dion Cominos, Gordon & Rees firmwide managing partner. “2015 is going to be a very exciting year for the Gordon & Rees team in Phoenix.”

Silver joined the firm as a partner in November. He is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Retail & Hospitality and Privacy & Data Security Practice Groups.

Silver specializes in handling complicated business and real estate trials and arbitrations as well as finance and accounting disputes. He represents national and multinational retailers, restaurants, hotels, management companies, real estate investors and developers as well as many small businesses and entrepreneurs. He also assists clients with the implementation of data governance plans and protecting against and dealing with data breach incidents.  He has spoken and written on the subject in national and international presentations and publications.

“I am really excited by what the firm has planned for Phoenix and nationwide,” said Silver. “It’s a pleasure to be able to play a leadership role in our growth.”

Silver is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has received numerous community and professional honors.  He has been listed in Southwest Super Lawyers for commercial litigation since 2008. He was included on Ranking Arizona’s 2013 list of the top 10 commercial litigators in the state and on AZRE’s 2011 list of the top 10 people to know for commercial real estate. He is a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and Sustaining Member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers.

Silver serves as Co-Chair of the Cyber Security SLG (“Specialty Litigation Group”), of DRI’s Commercial Litigation Committee and the Co-Chair of the Commercial Litigation SLG of DRI’s Retail and Hospitality Committee.

He earned his B.A. from St. Lawrence University and his J.D. from Arizona State University-Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

law

2013 Top Lawyers list: Employment and labor

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Adrian L. Barton
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2629
www.sackstierney.com
Barton has several labor-related publications, including “Employee Voting Rights: Arizona Employer Obligations,” “Social Networking and the Workplace,” and “Reducing the Risk of Wrongful Termination.”

James L. Blair
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-256-3020
www.rcdmlaw.com
Blair is his firm’s chair of the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group and was a contributor to the “Compendium of Significant Employment-Related Case Law and Statutes,” ALFA International, from 2003-2009.

Joseph T. Clees
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
602-778-3700
www.ogletreedeakins.com
Clees represents employers throughout the United States in discrimination and wrongful discharge cases and labor relations.

Scott Gibson
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLL480-344-0918
www.davismiles.com
Over the years, Gibson has developed a reputation for his uncanny ability to quickly discern the most important issues in a case and to focus on ways to resolve rather than to expand litigation.

Donald Peder Johnsen
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8437
www.gknet.com
Johnsen practices exclusively in the area of employment and labor law and has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” from 2007-2013.

Pamela L. Kingsley
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6015
www.tblaw.com
Kingsley’s counseling and advice often includes drafting and analyzing agreements for employment and severance, confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation; policies for sexual harassment and oppressive or violent conduct, drug testing, safety, absences, and disabilities.

Michael D. Moberly
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4821
www.rcalaw.com
Moberly is an elected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a national organization established to recognize those attorneys who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the fields of labor and employment law.

Tibor Nagy, Jr.
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
520-575-7442
www.ogletreedeakins.com
Nagy represents employers in all facets of labor and employment relations law, including discrimination and wrongful discharge cases, wage and hour law, employment contracts and manuals, and labor-management relations.

Stephanie Quincy
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
602-257-5230
www.steptoe.com
Quincy maintains a regular case load of employment litigation matters. Cases include civil rights (race, age, religion, gender and disability), wrongful termination, sexual harassment, defamation, and breach of contract claims.

Deanna Rader
Gordon Rees
602-794-2460
www.gordonrees.com
Rader has extensive experience advising public employers on constitutional matters, personnel issues, student rights, conflicts of interest, open meeting law, due process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and public records issues.

Lawrence J. Rosenfeld
Squire Sanders
602-528-4886
www.squiresanders.com
Rosenfeld has more than 35 years of experience in the area of employment law and is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Debora Verdier
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5760
www.sandersandparks.com
Verdier counsels companies with an eye toward preventing disputes and providing pre-litigation solutions and has experience in defending employers against EEOC charges and in litigating employment disputes.