Tag Archives: Leon Silver


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.”


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.


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.

Gary Lento

Gary Lento Joins Gordon & Rees in Phoenix

Gary Lento has joined the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees as a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Mr. Lento brings more than 20 years of experience handling business transactions, construction, employment, product liability, professional negligence, and real estate disputes. Mr. Lento is licensed to practice law in Arizona, California and Wisconsin. He has tried cases ranging from criminal prosecution and defense, to personal injury and business disputes. He represents businesses and employers before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the EEOC. Mr. Lento earned his B.A. and J.D. from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“We welcome Gary to Gordon & Rees,” said Leon Silver, a partner in the Phoenix office. “As our team continues to grow, we are pleased to be able to offer Gary’s experience and outstanding trial skills to our clients.”


YWCA Honors Valley Women at Tribute to Leadership

The YWCA of Maricopa County has announced its Tribute to Leadership Honorees who will be honored at the 20th Anniversary Tribute to Leadership Gala on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at The Ritz Carlton in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Tribute to Leadership Gala is a special evening set aside to recognize the outstanding individuals who have given selflessly of their time and talent to make our community, and the world, a better place to live and work.

The awards are presented across a variety of categories and recognize those who have made substantial contributions to eliminating discrimination and empowering women in the community.

This year’s honorary chairs are Tim and Deborah Bateman. Cindy McCain will receive the YW’s “Global Justice Leadership Award”.

2014 Tribute to Leadership Honorees:

Mrs. Cindy McCain
The McCain Institute
2014 Global Justice Leadership Award

Alejandra Amarilla Nash
Landfill Harmonic Project
Community Service Nonprofit Leader

MaryLynn Mack
Desert Botanical Garden
Education Leader

Chevy Humphrey
Arizona Science Center
Health & Science Leader

Martha Kuhns
Women’s Overseas Service League
Military or Armed Service Leader

Karen Johnson
Midwestern University
Dorothy Willey Award

Pam Conboy
Wells Fargo
Community Service Corporate Leader

Leon Silver
Advocacy Leader

Judge Roxanne Song Ong
City of Phoenix- Phoenix Municipal Court
Public Service Award

Dr. Joel Martin
Positively Powerful | Triad West Inc
Racial Justice Leader

Top Arizona Legal Cases - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

2013 Top Lawyers list: Commercial litigation

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.

Edward O. Comitz
Comitz | Beethe
Comitz heads the healthcare and disability insurance practice, earning a national reputation for prosecuting disability insurance claims on behalf of individuals based on bad faith and unfair business practices.

John R. (Jack) Cunningham
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
Cunningham’s practice includes both prosecution and defense of personal injury cases, all types of professional malpractice cases, litigation of insurance coverage and bad faith issues, general commercial litigation, as well as general trial and appellate work.

Garrick Gallagher
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
Gallagher’s practice includes insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, insurance coverage litigation, excess and surplus lines, directors and officers liability, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, professional negligence, construction, and intellectual property litigation.

Richard H. Himelrick
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
Himelrick chairs Tiffany & Bosco’s Civil and Commercial Litigation Department. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Southwest Super Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America and Who’s Who in American Law.

Michael K. Kennedy
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
Kennedy, co-founding partner of Gallagher & Kennedy, practices in general civil litigation and serves as local, regional and national counsel to a variety of business clients.

Christopher A. LaVoy
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
LaVoy concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with significant experience in the following areas: business buy-sell disputes; partnership and shareholder disputes; insurance coverage disputes; commercial landlord-tenant disputes; and business torts.

Thomas Littler
Gordon Silver
The focus of Littler’s practice is representing debtors and creditors, trustees, official committees, and secured creditors in reorganizations throughout a wide range of industries including construction, real estate, and technology.

Steven G. Mesaros
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
Mesaros is the firm practice group chair in both the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith and Professional Liability groups.

Gregory L. Miles
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
Miles, who has an “AV Preeminent” rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system, focuses his practice on business, commercial litigation and real estate.

Mark A. Nadeau
DLA Piper
Nadeau is a published author, with articles concerning trade competition, product liability and dispute resolution for transfers of technology.

Leon Silver
Silver is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience handling complex commercial and real estate disputes. His clients include national and multi-national retailers, restaurants and manufacturers, and real estate investors and developers.

Donald A. Wall
Squire Sanders
Wall has nearly 40 years of experience handling a broad range of commercial litigation and other methods of dispute resolution. He is recognized in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.