A to Z Law Partner Kendall A. VanConas to Participate in Panel on Estate Planning in Santa Barbara July 25-26

A to Z Law partner Kendall A. VanConas will participate as a panel member in a seminar for the National Business Institute on July 25 and 26, 2017 entitled, “Estate Planning with A to Z.” The two-day seminar will be held at the Canary Hotel, 31 West Carrillo Street, in Santa Barbara, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day.

The seminar is designed for estate planning professionals, and will cover topics to take clients from intake through administration. Panel members will present on ethics, disability planning, tax matters and planning for same-sex couples, among other things. VanConas will provide participants with an overview about trusts, with a concentration on revocable living trusts.

VanConas is a Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law, as certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, and holds a Master of Science in Taxation. She has been practicing law in Ventura County for 25 years.

To register, call 1-800-930-6182 or visit www.nbi-sems.com.

A to Z Welcomes a New Associate: Alexander (Alec) C. Yarbrough

Esteemed business attorney Alec Yarbrough has joined A to Z Law. Arriving in June 2017, Alec brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in business law, including entity formation, administration and conversion, buy-sell agreements, assignments and redemption agreements as well as tax and estate planning law. Alec also assists clients with their estate planning needs and has experience with international tax and wealth planning.

Alec earned his Juris Doctor and his Master of Laws in estate planning from the University of Miami School of Law. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in English, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Gifted in high school at debate, speech and mock trial, Alec aimed early at a law career, taking a job as an undergraduate at a small tax and wealth-planning law firm in Santa Barbara, where he worked as a clerk. After college and law school, he went on to work at nationally recognized law firms in Los Angeles and Orange counties, before deciding to join A to Z.

For Alec, this move is proof that you can go home again. A Thousand Oaks native, he has resettled in his home city and returned to work in Ventura County. Alec and his wife, Danielle, who’s also a native of Ventura County, are thrilled to be raising their year-old son, Hudson, where they grew up.

In his childhood, Alec was a devoted Boy Scout who went on to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. He has remained connected to the Ventura County Council of the Boy Scouts of America as well as the National Eagle Scout Association.

Alec is a member of the State Bar of California, Trusts & Estates and Taxation section, and he is a member of the American Bar Association.

Away from work, Alec spends most of his time with Danielle, trying to keep up with Hudson. He also enjoys hiking, salt-water fishing and pretty much all outdoor sports.

Rotary Club of Oxnard is named Chamber’s “Service Organization of the Year.”

A to Z Law Partner Kendall A. VanConas, President of the Rotary Club of Oxnard, is pleased to share that the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce has selected her Rotary club as the chamber’s “Service Organization of the Year.”
VanConas said she’s proud of the club’s commitment to community service, which includes scholarship awards to high school seniors, regularly recognizing the commitment of local teachers, and support of the Nyeland Acres Community Center, which houses a Boys & Girls Club for the children of Nyeland Acres. The Rotary Club of Oxnard has been serving the Oxnard community since 1920 and will be among those honored on June 8 at the Chamber’s 67th Annual Community & Business Awards luncheon.  
The “Service Organization of the Year” award is presented to a 501(c)3 organization providing services in Oxnard that have significantly contributed to the betterment of the Oxnard community, according to the Oxnard Chamber. The Chamber honored the Rotary Club of Oxnard for its dedication to local youth through the club’s basketball tournament, now approaching its 70th year, and sponsorship of the Pacifica High School Interact Club, among other service activities.

Susan L. McCarthy Honored among the “Top 50 Women In Business”

A to Z Law Partner Susan L. McCarthy has been named among the Top 50 Women in Business in the Central Coast, in a special section published Friday, March 24 by the Pacific Coast Business Times newspaper.

The Times annually selects 50 women from Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties to honor who have shown exceptional leadership in the business community. McCarthy is among only three Ventura County women attorneys honored this year and one of only six women attorneys in the Tri-Counties. The honorees will be celebrated at an awards reception on Thursday, April 13 at Decker’s Pavilion in Goleta.

McCarthy is the firm’s managing partner of the Litigation Group, which is comprised of a team of trial attorneys with over 100 years of experience.

McCarthy, along with John M. Mathews, was honored in October 2016 in another of the Pacific Coast Business Times’ special annual sections, “Who’s Who in Professional Services.”

McCarthy focuses her practice on business, commercial, real property and probate litigation. She has 30 years of comprehensive experience in state and federal courts handling complex litigation matters including real property title and boundary disputes, easement issues, breach of contract, landlord/tenant disputes, trade secrets and unfair competition, financial elder abuse, employment discrimination and wrongful termination.

Attorney Susan L. McCarthy Named a Partner at A to Z Law Firm in Ventura County

Susan L. McCarthy is now a partner at A to Z Law. McCarthy, a Ventura resident, became a partner effective Jan. 1. She has been associated with A to Z Law since 2003 and serves as the firm’s managing partner of the Litigation Group. McCarthy focuses her practice on business, commercial, real property and probate litigation. She has 30 years of comprehensive experience in state and federal courts handling complex litigation matters including real property title and boundary disputes, easement issues, breach of contract, landlord/tenant disputes, trade secrets and unfair competition, financial elder abuse, employment discrimination and wrongful termination.

McCarthy has served as the President of the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association and has been a member of the board of directors since 2008. She is a longtime board member of the Ventura County Bar Association’s Board of Directors and is a past member of the VCBA’s Business Litigation Section Steering Committee. She often speaks on landlord/tenant issues.

McCarthy is A to Z Law’s representative to the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce. McCarthy also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Ventura County, helping to build homes for those in need.

McCarthy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983. She received her law degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 1986 and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Central Districts of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. She practiced in Los Angeles from 1986 until 1999, when she moved to Ventura County.

Pacific Coast Business Times Honors John M. Mathews and Susan L. McCarthy in Special Section On Top Professionals

John Mathews - Environmental and Land Use - Water and Wastewater LawJohn M. Mathews and Susan L. McCarthy were honored to be featured in the Oct. 21 issue of the Pacific Coast Business Times, in the newspaper’s special annual section, “Who’s Who in Professional Services.”

A recognized expert in water law, Mathews is passionate about protecting the region’s water supply and quality and works to improve conservation regulations for current and future residents. He has devoted his practice to representing water districts and liquid waste districts, to environmental law, and to clients involved with land use, water and other regulatory issues. His clients include water agencies and individuals who provide water for homes, businesses and agricultural uses. Mathews is the longtime general counsel to the Pleasant Valley County Water District (the largest agricultural water district in Ventura County) and he also serves as general counsel to the Casitas Municipal Water District, Triunfo Sanitation District and the Channel Islands Beach Community Services District.

Susan McCarthy - Civil Litigation

McCarthy will become a partner at A to Z Law on Jan. 1 and will lead the firm’s Litigation Group. McCarthy focuses her practice on business, commercial, real property and probate litigation. She has comprehensive experience in state and federal courts handling complex litigation matters including real property title and boundary disputes, easement issues, breach of contract, landlord/tenant disputes, unfair competition, trademark and trade secret infringement, financial elder abuse, discrimination, wrongful termination, and employment. McCarthy also is A to Z Law’s representative to the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce and she is a longtime board member of the Ventura County Bar Association’s Board of Directors and the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association’s Board of Directors.

A to Z Partner Dennis LaRochelle Wins $1.2 Million for Client

Dennis LaRochelleIn a recent Ventura Superior Court jury trial, A to Z Law partner Dennis LaRochelle won a $1.2 million verdict for a client injured by the carelessness of a retail store employee. The client, while shopping in the store, was knocked to the floor when a store employee struck her with a four-wheel table cart loaded with merchandise.  The client suffered head, brain and neck injuries that led to balance and sensory disorders. The defendant denied responsibility and claimed that the customer was not injured. After more than two years of litigation, the defendant offered $125,000 to settle the case one month before trial.

At the trial, LaRochelle, along with co-counsel John Howard, had 22 witnesses testify including 14 experts in a variety of disciplines such as biomechanics, video forensics, store safety, life care planning, vocational rehabilitation, neurology, otolaryngology, vestibular therapy and psychology.

In addition to garnering the $1.2 million verdict, LaRochelle will seek another $250,000 to $300,000 during post-trial proceedings for pre-judgment interest, costs and expert fees.

John Mathews Helps Seal Recycled Water Deal

John Mathews - Environmental and Land Use - Water and Wastewater LawCongratulations to A to Z Law Partner John Mathews for his role in helping to ease the drought for Camarillo-area farmers.

Mathews, representing the Pleasant Valley County Water District, helped to facilitate the successful delivery of Oxnard’s recycled water to reservoirs in Camarillo for use by growers impacted by the drought. The Pleasant Valley County Water District serves agricultural users on the Eastern Oxnard Plain.

Mathews assisted Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin and others as they worked out a deal in which a pipeline owned by the Calleguas Municipal Water District could be “borrowed” to help deliver the recycled water from Oxnard’s Advanced Water Purification Facility on Perkins Road, which treats and cleans the water, to the local growers. Now, four to five million gallons of clean, recycled water each day are being delivered to growers in the Camarillo area who need more water.

Mathews credited Irwin and Calleguas Municipal Water District General Manager Susan Mulligan for working out the arrangements to get the water delivered. Oxnard’s Advanced Water Purification Facility was completed four years ago and is a positive step toward water sustainability for the community.

Robert Kwong To Speak about Climate Change and Groundwater Sustainability at Upcoming Conferences in Ventura and San Diego

Robert N. KwongA to Z Law Partner and environmental law/land use specialist Robert N. Kwong will speak at two upcoming legal seminars on the topics of new climate change legislation and groundwater sustainability.

In Ventura County in April, Kwong will speak at a meeting of the Natural Resources Section of the Ventura County Bar Association when the section presents its April program on the topic: “Climate change: How this affects your clients, or why the Paris Treaty matters.” Kwong will bring members up-to-speed on California’s most recent climate change legislation and how this affects attorneys, their clients and their legal practices.

This meeting is Weds. April 6th at noon at the Ventura County Bar Association offices, 4475 Market St., Suite B, in Ventura. Lunch is offered and reservations should be made in advance.

In addition, Kwong will speak in San Diego in May at the Land Use Spring 2016 Conference, hosted by the County Counsels’ Association of California. Kwong is one of two speakers who will address the topic: “Ground Water Sustainability; Cadiz Update, Recycled Water, and Basin Adjudication Issues.” This conference is only open to county government attorneys.

A to Z Law Welcomes a New Associate: Andreas L. Booher

web_Andreas-BooherAttorney Andreas L. Booher is the newest attorney to join A to Z Law in late January 2016, bringing extensive legal research experience to the firm. Andreas will focus on environmental law, water and land use.

Andreas earned his Juris Doctor in May 2015 from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was admitted to the California Bar in December 2015. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Global & International Studies and Germanic Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2009.

While in law school, Andreas worked as a research assistant for the Content Creators Coalition in Los Angeles and also for two Loyola Law School professors, focusing on Supreme Court opinions for numerous law review submissions; researching and preparing materials for Technology & Privacy, Internet Law and Constitutional Law classes; and reviewing documents related to a Sierra Club case.

Andreas further conducted research on a broad range of legal issues for the Service Employees International Union, Local 721 in Los Angeles, including assessing pending arbitration matters and settlement offers for the union’s members. Andreas also participated in the 2014 California State Bar Student Environmental Negotiations Competition and was an intern with the California Public Utilities Commission: 2014 Interconnection Data Management Summit. He was a member for all three years of law school of Loyola’s Environmental Law Society.

As an undergraduate, Andreas was an Audubon Society Fellow and volunteer with the Coal Oil Point Preservation Project (2006-2009). He also conducted a six-month research project on environmental policies in post-reunification Germany and he conducted a three-month research project on a technology-driven clean-water initiative in Sudan.

In addition, Andreas was a legal assistant with the Law Offices of Robert B. Locke in Goleta, drafting estate planning documents including wills, health care directives, power of attorney, and deeds; and researching zoning and permitting issues related to real estate litigation.

A German native who has also lived in Belgium, Andreas’ personal interests include building computers and websites, cycling, walking, hiking, woodworking, photography and cooking. He is fluent in German.