Lee Burdick provides legal representation for cities, counties and other public agencies as Assistant City Attorney, County Counsel, and special counsel. Lee currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the cities of Rohnert Park and Pacifica. She previously has served as County Counsel for the County of Kings, Deputy County Counsel for the County of Madera, and Assistant City Attorney for many cities, including Clovis, Lemoore, Salinas, Greenfield, Parlier, and Firebaugh. Her practice includes advising city councils, boards of supervisors, and staff in all areas of municipal law issues, such as board governance, employment and personnel matters, CEQA, code enforcement, conflicts of interest laws, contract review, elections, Government Tort Claims Act, initiatives, referenda, land use and planning, workplace investigations, and open meeting laws. Lee’s other areas of specialty include various kinds of litigation and appellate advocacy. She is experienced in both state and federal trial and appellate courts, including written appearances in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brian Triplett is a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen with nearly two decades of experience practicing law. He is a member of the firm's Litigation Practice Group. Prior to joining Burke, Brian handled toxic tort, transportation, and bodily injury claims for an insurance defense firm in Northern California. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a partner with a prominent trial firm in San Francisco and litigated from start to finish more than 100 cases alleging asbestos-related personal injury. He also previously held Of Counsel roles with other Bay Area law firms. From 2014 to 2017, Brian was named a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for Civil Litigation: Defense, and he has spoken at seminars held by the CEU Institute and HarrisMartin. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute and the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada.
Brian obtained his J.D. in May 2004 from Santa Clara University School of Law where he earned a High Technology Law Certificate, a Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Wills and Trusts, and a CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Wills and Trusts. He graduated magna cum laude in December 1999 from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Biochemistry.
Ephraim ("Eppi") Margolin is an associate in Burke’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Public Law practice group. Ephraim’s practice consists of providing general counsel services to various cities and public agencies, with a focus on land use matters.
Prior to joining Burke, Ephraim served as Deputy City Attorney of the cities of Calabasas, Ojai, and Barstow at another firm focusing on public law. Ephraim also completed a one-year fellowship at a Central Coast firm which serves as the City Attorney for the City of Santa Cruz and as counsel for other public entities.
While in law school, Ephraim worked for several federal and local agencies including the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and completed an externship at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also served as the Publishing Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Entertainment & Sports Law.
Ephraim graduated from Berkeley Law with a Juris Doctor, receiving an American Jurisprudence Award and a Prosser Prize for academic excellence. Ephraim graduated magna cum laude from University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.
Viviano focuses his practice on employment litigation. He has successfully navigated a variety of litigation matters including employment, trade secret, ADA, and business cases. Viviano has extensive wage and hour class-action experience. He also represents employers before the various administrative law courts, such as the DLSE (“Labor Commissioner”), WCAB and OSHAB.
Viviano is a black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art he has practiced for the last 13 years.
Originally from the Central Coast, Parker Johnson received his law degree from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Environmental Law. He was a member of the UCLA Journal of Law and Technology, and participated in the Moot Court and Transactional Law competitions.
Prior to joining Burke, Williams & Sorensen, Parker worked on a wide variety of real property litigation cases at a firm in the Central Valley.
Parker received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Politics & Economics with distinction from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he was a member of both the football and track & field teams. Before attending law school, Parker worked in the tech industry in San Francisco.
In his free time, Parker enjoys pick-up basketball, coding projects, and reading.
Dasha Sominskaia is an associate in Burke’s San Francisco office and a member of Burke’s Litigation and Public Law practice groups. Dasha’s areas of practice include public entity defense, general business litigation, and general counsel work for municipal and private clients. In addition, Dasha regularly takes on pro bono child custody cases through the Justice and Diversity Center’s pro bono program serving low-income clients.
Before coming to Burke, Dasha worked as an associate for an established class action and complex litigation law firm in Oakland, litigating a wide range of complex class action cases, including defective products, financial fraud, securities, and sexual assault. Dasha’s background also includes working as a corporate paralegal at a top tier firm in the Pacific Northwest. Her insider knowledge about corporate practices offers a helpful perspective, and enables case teams to deploy unique litigation strategies as a result.
Dasha graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 2021. While in law school, Dasha was a staff editor for the Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental, and Innovation Law, received a CALI award for earning the highest grade in Torts, and was recognized by the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society for her achievement being in the top 4% of her class. During her 3L year, Dasha externed for Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson at the Washington Supreme Court, which helped her develop an understanding of a judicial chambers’ inner workings and further enhanced her legal research and strategy skills.
As a college student, Dasha engaged in community building and advocacy work. In 2015, Dasha was selected for the 36 under 36 award by the Jewish Week in recognition of her outstanding advocacy for LGBTQ+ people within the Orthodox Jewish community, including at Yeshiva University, where she received her undergraduate degree in psychology and creative writing. Her participation in the art activism project “Jews of New York” was recognized by the Boston Globe, Jerusalem Post, NY Daily News and other media outlets.
Elise’s experience includes mass tort, class action, commercial litigation and criminal prosecution. Prior to joining Burke, Elise gained experience at a well-known and respected plaintiff-side firm in the Bay area as well as at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
During her tenure as an Assistant District Attorney, Elise specialized in prosecuting domestic violence offenses. She successfully indicted more than a dozen felony cases, negotiated felony and misdemeanor plea agreements, argued in front of the Appellate Division, conducted hundreds of investigations, and litigated almost five hundred cases to resolution.
While attending Columbia Law School, Elise worked at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals prosecuting individuals who committed war crimes during the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. She also assisted asylum seekers through her externship with the Legal Aid Society as well as volunteer work with the International Refugee Assistance Project. As a member of the Advanced Mediation Clinic, she mediated a wide variety of issues ranging from alleged violations of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act to housing conflicts. She conducted trainings for the United Nations, Judicial Ethics Committee, and for new mediators.
Outside of the office, Elise is passionate about animal rescue and enjoys running with her Australian Shepherd, reading science fiction novels, and solo travel.
Andrew Bogard is an associate attorney who works with clients in the construction industry, which includes general contractors, developers, and subcontractors throughout California. Andrew also has experience in construction defect, personal injury, real property, and workers’ compensation.
Andrew graduated cum laude from Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in Malibu, California. Andrew additionally received a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, and was also awarded a CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Remedies. During law school, Andrew served as a staff member on the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ) and was a member of the Federalist Society and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society.
Prior to attending law school, Andrew graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a double major in Finance and Business Information Systems. Upon graduating from TCU, Andrew worked as a Consulting Analyst for Cerner, a global healthcare information technology provider.
In his free time Andrew enjoys reading, watching and playing sports, and being outdoors with his Border Collie, Ivy.
General contractors, developers and subcontractors in California turn to Kevin McCarthy for his knowledgeable legal counsel on corporate/construction risk management, asset protection, contract negotiation and construction defect litigation matters. Kevin skillfully helps those in the construction industry that are responsible for building the region’s office towers, residential developments and retail centers proactively mitigate liability and risk. When conflicts do arise, he advises clients on applicable insurance coverage in relation to disputes, which have a significant focus on construction failure, resultant property damage, diminution in value, and related claims.
Kevin is an experienced litigator handling jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and multi-party mediation and dispute resolution on behalf of both defendants and plaintiffs. With a track record of litigation success and a commitment to economic, responsive and efficient client service, Kevin offers clients the valuable legal counsel they need to get the job done.
Michelle H. Le has a wide range of experience in business, employment, and insurance litigation in both state and federal courts. Her practice concentrates on single-plaintiff lawsuits and class action matters involving discrimination, wrongful termination, wage-and-hour, retaliation, misclassification, sexual harassment, and Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims, among others.
Michelle attended the University of California, Los Angeles for both her undergraduate and law school education. During law school, she earned the UCLA School of Law Faculty Scholarship Award and the UCLA School of Law Graduate Opportunity Fellowship. Michelle worked as an extern for the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow of the United States District Court, Central District Court of California. She served as Managing Editor of the Asian Pacific American Law Journal and President of the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association. After law school, Michelle was awarded an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship.
Before joining Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, Michelle handled an extensive variety of matters on behalf of national and regional business entities, insurance companies, and individual clients. Earlier in her legal career, Michelle gained a diverse background of experience in plaintiff-side civil rights and employment law matters involving police misconduct, discrimination, wrongful termination, wage-and-hour disputes, sexual harassment, and complex litigation class actions, among other issues. She has worked with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, private sector law firms, and other public sector entities.
As Michelle’s legal career became focused on defense litigation, her prior experience still informed her defense work, enabled her to provide dedicated and tailored advocacy, and helped her to achieve the best possible results for her clients. Michelle has succeeded on dispositive motions, achieved case dismissals, and regularly negotiates favorable settlements.
Karen Lee is an associate in Burke’s Los Angeles office and a member of Burke’s Litigation practice group. Karen’s areas of practice include public entity defense, premises liability, dangerous condition of public property, and general tort litigation.
Prior to joining Burke, Karen worked at an established medical malpractice defense firm, where she represented a prominent university in a multitude of lawsuits involving Title IX claims, regulatory issues, and intentional tort allegations. Karen also served as second-chair trial counsel in a case of alleged medical malpractice, in which the jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict.
Karen is experienced in cases involving large teams of lawyers, including high-value litigation combined with internal and government investigations. Karen has experience in all phases of civil litigation, including motion practice, appearing in court for oral argument, all aspects of discovery, and preparing for trial. Karen has worked in a variety of different practice areas, including family law, immigration, workers’ compensation, and business litigation.
During law school, Karen was a staff member of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review. Karen was a part of the Law Review’s Inter-American Court of Human Rights Project, where she created comprehensive summaries of judgments rendered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Karen also volunteered as an advisor for the Dorsey High School Teen Court and as a mentor for the Young Lawyers Program.
Karen graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Art History and a minor in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.
Daniel C. Oren is an associate in Burke’s Litigation and Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation Practice Groups. He has extensive experience defending individuals and entities in various litigation matters in both federal and state court.
Daniel’s litigation experience includes civil rights, insurance coverage, commercial litigation, mass torts, products liability, and professional liability. Prior to joining Burke, Daniel defended public and quasi-public entities in construction litigation arising from publicly-bid, large-scale infrastructure projects.
Daniel has managed cases through pre-litigation and pre-trial phases, including conducting internal investigations, drafting responsive pleadings and discovery, conducting and defending fact and expert witness depositions, responding to subpoenas, negotiating and obtaining favorable settlements, and drafting dispositive motions. Daniel has brought several cases to the eve of trial within the past year, ultimately settling out of court or prevailing on motions for summary judgment.
Daniel also performs significant pro bono work, having represented indigent clients in Immigration Court.
While attending law school, Daniel served as an extern for Honorable William H. Alsup at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where he gained valuable experience drafting orders, conducting legal research, and assisting the judge during courtroom proceedings.Outside of the office, Daniel enjoys technical rock climbing throughout the Sierra Nevada and gravel biking in Marin.
Jasper Hall is an associate in Burke’s Oakland office where his practice focuses on constitutional law, civil rights and tort liability matters.
Jasper earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. While there, he worked as a research assistant in the Psychology department focusing on psycholinguistics research. Prior to attending Santa Clara School of Law, Jasper worked in tech, on a political campaign, for state government, and in public affairs.
At Santa Clara, Jasper was a finalist in the 1L Galloway Moot Court Competition, Semi-Finalist and winner of second best brief in the 2L Honors Moot Court Internal Competition, and a member of the Honors Moot Court Internal Board Problem Committee for the 2021 competition. Additionally, Jasper was a member of the ACLU and participated in the Immigration Appellate Clinic on campus. He also clerked for a number of judges in the Santa Clara County Family Court. Prior to joining Burke, Jasper worked for an insurance defense firm specializing in personal injury, construction defect, habitability and contract matters.
In his free time, Jasper enjoys hiking and rock climbing throughout California and reading the newspaper while watching Premier League Soccer.
An associate in the Burke’s litigation group, Alexander Kim focuses his trial practice on the defense of public entities, such as municipalities, transportation providers, and school districts in property damage and personal injury matters, including wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
Alexander graduated from Rutger’s School of Law – Newark in 2017. Immediately thereafter, Alexander obtained an opportunity as a year-long judicial clerkship in Bergen County, New Jersey for the Honorable Rachelle L. Harz, who oversaw Mass Tort Litigation matters. As part of his clerkship, Alexander gained experience and knowledge as to the practice of Mass Tort Litigation, in addition to general civil litigation.
Prior to joining Burke, Alexander developed and focused his litigation practice in New York, New York. While working in New York, Alexander’s practice areas included General Liability, Premises and Retail Liability, New York Labor Law, Automobile Liability, Trucking & Transportation Liability, Maritime Litigation, Subrogation and Excess Insurance Coverage. His practice included New York State and Federal Courts, and New Jersey State and Federal Courts. Alexander’s success in his practice resulted in being recognized as a 2021 New York METRO Rising Star associate.
In addition to his litigation experience in New York, Alexander’s litigation experience also includes the defense of business and American Disabilities Act claim.
Alexander’s involvement in litigated matters includes all aspects of cases, from inception through resolution. This includes executing written discovery plans, conducting and defending depositions, arguing motions, participating in mediation and arbitration, and all other aspects of trial preparation. Alexander is committed to open lines of communication with clients, making sure to keep them informed with respect to discovery, pleadings and case status.
In addition to Alexander’s experience in the legal world, he previously served in the United States Army. Alexander initially enlisted as a Private First Class in 2009, ultimately rising to the rank of First Lieutenant as a Military Intelligence Officer. In completing his service, Alexander was honorably discharged in 2018.
John Horstmann is an associate in Burke’s Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. John has experience in representing public entities, business entities, and individuals in a wide variety of civil litigation matters including wrongful death cases, mass casualty tort actions, traumatic brain injury cases, catastrophic injury cases, dangerous condition on public property cases, and civil rights violations. John has experience in all aspects of litigation including written discovery, depositions, and assisting with trial. John has worked on numerous high-exposure cases and consistently achieved positive results for his clients.
Prior to joining Burke, John was an associate with an AM Law 100 firm based in Los Angeles and a Fellow for the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). During the ABOTA Fellowship, John clerked for the Honorable Victor E. Chavez of the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.
While in law school, John was the Competitions Chair of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program at Southwestern Law School, a member Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, and clerked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Hardcore Gang Division.
Rachel Balchum is a senior associate in Burke’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Rachel represents public and private employers and individuals in employment disputes, including in the areas of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour. She provides preventative counseling regarding employment practices, including COVID-19 issues, as well.
In addition, Rachel represents clients in trust and estate, financial elder abuse, and business litigation.
During law school, Rachel served as a legal extern at the United Nations Development Programme in Guatemala.
Leila is an accomplished environmental and land use attorney. With a background in local government, Leila is able to lend years of on-the-ground, real world experience to her clients navigating the ins and outs of local laws and regulations. Leila’s particular expertise is in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) with special focus on Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) – from consultant selection to document preparation and review, to AB 52 consultation, and all the way through certification and project approval. Leila also practices land use law, advising both private and public clients throughout the entitlement process, and has drafted a number of local ordinances
Recently, Leila provided environmental and land use advice for two large-scale development projects, including a Southern California hospital expansion and multi-use office, residential, and retail development in Silicon Valley
Leila is currently a member of the California Special Districts Association Legal Advisory Working Group, and chairs Burke’s Pro Bono/Civic Engagement Committee.
Richard Shreiba is an Associate in Burke’s Orange County office where he provides advice and council to public and private entities on labor and employment matters. Richard is experienced in providing employers with practical solutions to every-day personnel related issues, as well as representing employers throughout the various stages of litigation in both state and federal courts.
Richard’s experience includes assisting employers throughout the employee discipline process, preparing workplace policies and handbooks, preparing executive employment agreements, advising employers with leave related issues, guiding employers throughout the interactive process for workplace disability accommodations, and presenting workplace trainings.
Richard has represented public entities at various different levels of government, and private entities that varied from small regional businesses to large national enterprises.
During law school, Richard clerked for multiple public entities. Richard’s experience and passion for serving public and non-profit entities enables him to provide exceptional service and creative solutions for his clients.
Richard’s first career as a manager in the financial services industry enables him to provide employers with practical strategies and creative alternatives to solving employment personnel issues while simultaneously complying with state and federal employment laws.
During his free time, Richard loves to enjoy the outdoors and catching a baseball game whenever possible. He enjoys spending time at the beach, Angel stadium, and hiking state and national parks with his family.
Charles Abbott is a highly skilled litigator with experience in complex civil litigation, such as class-action defense, personal injury, intellectual property, employment, privacy and insurance defense. He has represented public entities and large public business in the retail, food and beverage, entertainment, telecommunications, and entertainment industries. Mr. Abbott has tried numerous civil jury trials to successful conclusion in federal and state courts in California. He also has a proven track record of designing and implementing compliance programs and leading internal investigations for corporate clients alleged to have committed FCPA, UK Bribery Act, AML, fraud, bribery, global privacy, trade and export control, and environmental regulations across multiple industries.
Gail Kavanagh’s commercial litigation practice includes real estate title and contract disputes; eminent domain; commercial landlord-tenant matters; commercial tort actions; employment contract, discrimination and harassment actions; and trademark, copyright and trade secrets protection.
John has written widely on cutting-edge issues involving charter school law, including a definitive treatment of "Understanding Dependent Charters," Charter Schools and Collective Bargaining: The Unholy Alliance, and “Charter Schools and Collective Bargaining, Implications for Authorizing Agencies,” (California Schools, Winter 2011) a work that was cited in the Hastings Law Journal (Chen, J. “California Charter School Teachers: Flexibility in the Classroom, Vulnerability as an Employee,” 67 Hastings L.J. 1733 (2016).) He has also written on "Land Use: The New Arena In The Struggle Between Independence and Accountability For Charter Schools."Other Areas John also practices in the areas of personnel and employment law, with a focus on school district labor relations and personnel, including discrimination claims before the DFEH and EEOC. He has also compiled a successful record representing school districts in arbitration hearings and unfair practice claims before PERB. He also advises school districts and other educational institutions on contracting issues, student matters, and accreditation. John has also been certified as an Interest Based Bargaining trainer, and speaks frequently before industry associations on charter school and school district personnel legal issues.
Joseph Buchman maintains a diverse litigation and transactional practice, acts as general counsel to Montebello Land & Water Co., a mutual benefit non-profit water company, and as counsel to the Los Angeles Unified School District School Construction Bond Citizens' Oversight Committee.
Joseph has extensive background in public, corporate, business, and real estate matters, acquired from years of experience representing and advising clients in bankruptcy matters, eminent domain, real estate and title litigation, purchase and sale transactions, financing transactions, probate and estate planning, tort litigation, collection actions, contract disputes, and election litigation.