Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Page 1


Best, Best & Krieger Gains Three Veteran Litigators


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Three veteran litigators have joined the municipal and redevelopment practice at Best Best& Krieger LLP, the firm announced yesterday.

Nowland C. Hong, Michael M. Mullins and Michael S. Simon came from the Los Angeles office of Florida-based Akerman Senterfitt, where they were shareholders and focused on litigation and appellate work for public agencies and private clients, a BBK spokesperson said.

The three attorneys have worked together at different firms in the Los Angeles area for almost 20 years, representing the city and county of Los Angeles on several cases, including the ongoing, high-stakes litigation for the city on its multi-billion dollar Hyperion wastewater treatment plant and the litigation for the county over the Big Rock Mesa landslide in Malibu—one of the biggest inverse condemnation cases ever, the spokesperson added.

Jill Willis, the office managing partner for BB&K’s Los Angeles office, said it was “a pleasure to welcome to the firm a group of high-caliber attorneys with such extensive experience and successes.”

Hong, who joined BB&K as of counsel, praised the firm as “one of the most outstanding and recognized firms in California that represents public agencies and matters related to them.” Speaking on behalf of the trio, he added “we are glad to be part of that.”

The attorney has tried over 50 jury trials to a verdict and holds the rank of “Advocate” before the American Board of Trial Lawyers. Hong’s practice encompasses trial and appellate matters for public agencies and private clients including class actions involving public pension rights, public employment, mass inverse condemnation landslides, public works claims, fire disasters, reorganizations of insurance companies, re-insurance, eminent domain takings and employment claims.

Hong, whose father You Chung Hong is believed to be the first person of Chinese descent to become an attorney in California after passing the bar in 1923, is also active in the Chinese legal community, as a member and past president of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association and a member and former national president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Division Historical Committee.

Hong earned his law degree from USC after graduating from Pomona College and was admitted to practice in 1961.

Mullins joined BB&K as of counsel, and focuses his practice on public agency litigation, business and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on appellate law, the firm spokesperson said. He has handled franchise agreements; defense of local taxation; false claims suits; class actions involving public pensions and securities, condemnation and eminent domain issued; and public and private contract actions.

The attorney is a member of the litigation sections of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California and the Appellate Courts Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

He attended Brown University and the University of Virginia School of Law before joining the State Bar in 1988.

Simon, who joined BB&K as a partner, is the former managing shareholder for Akerman Senterfitt’s Los Angeles office. His practice focuses on litigation for public and private clients in contract disputes, insurance claims administration, municipal law, heavy construction, trademark and unfair business practices claims and e-discovery.

He recently defended the County of Los Angeles against contractor delay and design defect-related claims exceeding $10 million on the County of Los Angeles’ Emergency Operations Center, and successfully prosecuted cross-claims against the contractor for violation of the California False Claims Act, the BB&K spokesperson said.

The attorney earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from U.C. Davis and joined the State Bar in 1989.


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