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New Fossil Location and New Species Discovered and Named for Wesierski & Zurek LLP Partner Paul J. Lipman: Ravniella Lipmanorum

Fossil-PJLNew Fossil Location and New Species Discovered and Named for Wesierski & Zurek LLP Partner Paul J. Lipman: Ravniella Lipmanorum

Paul Lipman likes to hike on weekends when he is not defending corporate clients against catastrophic claims and class action suits.  “It recharges me and lets me think.  And because I have a longstanding interest in science, and a degree in physical geography and ecosystems, I keep my eye on the landscape.  I often spot fossils, and over the years I’ve made a weekend hobby of researching geologic maps and technical articles online, and hiking in the known invertebrate fossil localities of the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas.”  Most of these localities are discreetly registered with universities and museums to prevent spoiling, but with enough research and comparison of topological geological maps (which do not have handy reference points like streets), they can be reverse-engineered and found.  “It is always exciting to find something that is millions of years old, even if the species and the general location are already known to science”.

But In 2014, Mr. Lipman saw something very unusual, something not known to science:  Scattered complete specimens of ornately knobbed and whorled fossilized seashells, on a hillside that had its top layer stripped away by bulldozers working on a new housing development in Simi Valley.  Mr. Lipman immediately sent photos from his cell phone to the world’s leading authority on the Eocene fossil record of the west coast of North America, Professor Richard Squires, who is also a key researcher for the Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County.  Prof. Squires promptly responded  that the fossils were early Paleocene – 62 million years old, as determined by the overlap in the pictured fossils’ known dates of existence.  This was confirmed by him to be a new locality not previously known.  Further, he advised that early Paleocene invertebrate localities were rare on the west coast. The matter was urgent, due to construction.

Mr. Lipman contacted the developer and told them of the rarity and importance of the find, forwarding (with his permission) Prof. Squires’ prior emails attesting to the new locality’s scientific importance and the urgency of preserving the fossils before they were built over.  Mr. Lipman obtained from the City the Environmental Impact Report filed in 2007  by the paleontological and archaeological impact monitoring company hired by the developer to make sure the area was not scientifically sensitive, which report however missed the fossils, probably because they were still buried.  Shown all this, the developer very kindly granted permission to collect, and Mr. Lipman carefully collected and donated to the Museum an enormous amount of material. The area was not built on but was fenced off from the public and remains fenced off.  In 2017, a presentation by Paul Lipman was made at USC in connection with the Museum at the 50th Annual Malacology Convention, including a slide show of the fossils found there.  The authors were Squires, Lipman and Torrey Nyborg (whose picture was on the front page of the L.A. Times last year in connection with dinosaur discoveries). Mr. Lipman was the speaker, and his son Jacob, who had helped collect the fossils, ran the Power Point.

A new species was among the fossils found and presented, officially recognized, identified and described by Professor Squires.  He named it for Mr. Lipman, “ Ravniella lipmanorum “ (the last part of a species’ two-part name is not capitalized). This little guy packed a punch:  He was a carnivorous sea snail who invaded the shells or burrows of bigger animals, killed them and ate them.

Remarkably, it turns out to be the only known species of that genus in all of North America.  Its nearest relations lived in Poland.  This find sheds new light on how life forms made their way from the old world here along the so-called Tethyan currents, at a time when the continents and waters were configured a bit differently.

“I was well prepared to work with both the developer and the City in an effective way because of both my science and legal background”  Mr. Lipman recounts.

This week, the discoveries are formally released in the journal The Nautilus in a technical article authored by Professor Squires and Mr. Lipman. Wesierski & Zurek LLP is on the front page as the address of record for Mr. Lipman, for researchers needing to contact him.  Thus, Wesierski & Zurek LLP will be in the major universities and libraries of the world, in perpetuity.  The fossils have been rescued for future generations from the bulldozer and obscurity, and research on them is already bringing new knowledge of our past to light.  Wesierski & Zurek LLP continues leading the way in the courtroom, in science and in the community!

Project SELF held its annual recognition dinner honoring Project SELF summer interns from the class of 2018

Project SELF held its annual recognition dinner honoring Project SELF summer interns from the class of 2018

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, Project SELF held its annual recognition dinner honoring Project SELF summer interns from the class of 2018.  The event was held at the Hilton in Costa Mesa with over 275 guests in attendance.  OCBF & OC-ALA partner each year on the Project SELF program.  The legal community hires rising seniors during their summer break from the Santa Ana School District and employs them for an 8 week program where the students learn skills, tour college campuses and local courts here in Orange County in an effort to encourage our youth to continue their education, be matched up with firms who mentor them and the students become comfortable in a professional environment.

Each year at the end of the program the students and their families are honored at a dinner and scholarships are awarded to the students by OC-ALA.

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Christopher Wesierski presents awards at OCBA Masters Division Honoring Legends of the Law

OCBA Masters Division Chair Christopher Wesierski helped present the 2018 Legends of the Law awards during its spring reception at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. Justice Raymond J. Ikola, Court of Appeal, and attorney Allan H. Stokke, Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC, were honored as the 2018 Legends of the Law Award recipients by the OCBA Masters Division.

 

Christopher Wesierski Honored with Men of Character Award

The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America will recognize Christopher Wesierski at its annual Men of Character dinner on Thursday April 19, 2018 at the Irvine Marriott. The Character Award honors excellence in personal character as displayed through positive ethics, high integrity, and community impact. The recipients of the Character Award are selected by former Character Award recipients because of their impact made in the community, which personifies what Scouting stands for – good citizenship and service to others. The honorees are role models for the future leaders of our area – the youth of today. Mr. Wesierski is valued for his contributions to the community and for demonstrating the very values that Scouting strives to develop in our youth.

Wesierski & Zurek LLP IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT JENNIFER W. NAPLES HAS BECOME A JR. PARTNER

Wesierski & Zurek LLP

IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT JENNIFER W. NAPLES
HAS BECOME A JR. PARTNER IN OUR PASADENA OFFICE

Jennifer W. Naples

Ms. Naples received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration emphasis in Global Management from the University of Southern California in 2008. Ms. Naples then earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. While at Loyola she served as Vice President of Community Service for the Women’s Law Association and Business Law Association. Ms. Naples first began working at Wesierski & Zurek LLP as a law clerk in the Summer of 2009 and continued to work for Wesierski & Zurek and the Federal Trade Commission throughout law school. After graduating from Loyola Law School in 2011 and passing the bar exam, Ms. Naples began her career as an associate at Wesierski & Zurek.

Since 2011 Ms. Naples has worked for multiple clients on a variety of issues, including but not limited to personal injury defense, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Ms. Naples has successfully defended multiple clients throughout litigation and has achieved numerous defense verdicts and favorable settlements. Ms. Naples has successfully tried multiple cases to jury verdict as both a first and second chair. As a first year lawyer Ms. Naples also had a published appellate decision that was responsible for changing the recovery of expert fees at the conclusion of a case. Ms. Naples continues to be a great asset to both the firm and her clients and Wesierski & Zurek is pleased to congratulate her on becoming Jr. Partner.

The CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors selected Chris Wesierski of the Orange County Chapter as the 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year

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On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors selected Chris Wesierski of the Orange County Chapter as the 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Recognized as the highest honor a California trial lawyer can receive, the CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year is awarded annually to a recipient exhibiting the best traits of a trial lawyer – excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career and a reputation for civility, ethics and fair play.

The CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors includes officers of the eight local chapters. Each CAL-ABOTA chapter is entitled to nominate a candidate for Trial Lawyer of the Year. Written and oral presentations are submitted to CAL-ABOTA’s board followed by the selection of the award recipient by majority vote.

Christopher P. Wesierski Recognized as one of the “Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County” by Orange Coast Magazine

Christopher P. Wesierski was recognized as one of the “Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County” by Orange Coast Magazine. The selection was based on the following objective factors: verdicts, settlements, transactions, representative clients, experience, honors and awards, special licenses and certifications, position within law firm, bar and/or other professional activity, pro bono and community service, scholarly lectures and writings, education, employment background, and other outstanding achievements.