The featured attorneys in Super Lawyers Magazines are often chosen not only because of their legal excellence, but because of the interesting lives they've led. The 2017 Texas Super Lawyers Magazine - Rising Stars and the 2017 Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine were both released in March and feature young attorneys who are respected across their state's legal industry.
It takes a lot to go from a small town in Texas to graduating with honors at Yale before attending Yale Law School. For Manuel Berrelez of Vinson & Elkins it was a successful football career, parents who valued education and a mistaken brush with the law.
Berrelez learned how important a college degree was from his mother who received hers while her son was young and has worked as a teacher in Texas for the past 25 years.
The Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars selectee is currently a business litigator in Dallas. He believes part of his passion for defending clients comes from an arrest in high school after an administrative misunderstanding resulted in a trespassing arrest, almost causing him a four year college scholarship.
On top of his legal success Berrelez is a family man, coaching soccer for both his daughter and son. He also supports music education and serves on the board of the Dallas Winds, an orchestra without strings.
Often times the best teams are comprised of very different personalities that complement each other well. That is certainly the case with Iris Eytan and Dru Nielsen of Eyton Nielson LLC. Iris is passionate and outspoken while Dru is levelheaded and meticulous. Together the two make up a highly regarded criminal defense firm in Denver, Colorado where they have represented anything from murder to sexual assault crimes.
The two met as public defenders then later worked together in the same firm before branching out on their own. In 2016's high-profile murder trial of Tom Fallis the two went beyond proving reasonable doubt, building an exact replica of the crime scene to show the impossible trajectory of a bullet fired by their client. The two now focus on Title IX sexual assault cases.
We hope you enjoyed this review of our latest Super Lawyers Magazines. Be sure to visit http://www.superlawyers.com/about/digital_magazine.html to see all our digital editions.
Super Lawyers selectees are often in the headlines for anything from big settlements to high profile criminal cases to awards and profiles. This happens when you're considered by your peers to be one of the best attorneys in your state. Below are just a few of their stories this month.
Steve Berman-The NCAA settled an antitrust lawsuit with thousands of former athletes represented by Super Lawyers selectee Steve Berman of Hagens Berman. The class-action case claimed that the NCAA illegally capped athletic scholarships and did not include the usual cost-of-attendance stipend scholarship students receive that covers expenses beyond books, tuition and room and board. Around 40,000 former college football and basketball players will receive part of the $208.7 million settlement.
William Scherer-Sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching and email like it will one day be read in a deposition. Wachovia Mortgage Company learned this the hard way in March when a jury awarded West City Realty Advisors $43.9 million in losses after an errant email caused the company mass exodus of condominium buyers. William Scherer of Conrad & Scherer LLP successfully argued that the email, sent by a representative of Wachovia Mortgage Company, and mistakenly carbon copied hundreds of condo buyers, cost the real estate company millions just before the housing collapse.
Drew Findling-Ever have one of those days when you're rushing to get to the airport and accidentally pack the wrong bag? Well hip-hop star Waka Flocka Flame took that to a new level when he packed his then-fiancee Tammy Rivera's backpack instead of his own. Unfortunately for him that bag contained Rivera's handgun and 30 bullets. Super Lawyers selectee Drew Findling of The Findling Law Firm successfully argued that bringing the handgun to the airport was a legitimate mistake. The jury only took 30 minutes to come back with a not guilty verdict.
In 2012 issue of Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine, we published an award-winning oral history focusing on the legal fallout of the tragedy in Littleton. We spoke to six attorneys, including James A. Cederberg, who represented one of the victims; and John M. Richilano, who defended a friend of the shooters. An excerpt:
Cederberg: We were trying to put together evidence that [teachers and school officials] had a lot of information in front of them and didn't put two and two together. And [U.S. District] Judge [Lewis] Babcock didn't care much for that argument. He issued a written order that pretty much addressed the arguments that we were making. The standard's very tough, which is reckless indifference. Red flags-he didn't feel that was enough to get where he needed to go to impose liability.
Frankly, we were asking in our motion to go in uncharted territory. We knew we had an uphill battle. There was no precedent for applying the kind of principles that we were trying to apply to the bizarre and outrageous facts of this particular case, where you've got kids who had this plot, and signaled the plot, who I thought were making somewhat extraordinary efforts to tell people they were not happy. ... We never got to do any discovery to find out what exactly did happen. I don't think we left any stones unturned. The legal system is the best one in the world, but it doesn't provide a remedy for every harm that occurs.