COSTA MESA, Calif., August 15, 2016 – Rutan & Tucker, LLP, Orange County’s largest full-service law firm, has announced that 11 of the firm’s partners have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2017, which is the most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.
First published in 1983, Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive annual peer-review survey. For the new U.S. edition, more than 50% of the lawyers listed in Best Lawyers cast more than 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in the same and related specialties. The partners and the categories for which they are recognized:
- Randall M. Babbush, Real Estate Law;
- Robert S. Bower, Administrative/Regulatory Law;
- Thomas G. Brockington, Corporate Law;
- Michael T. Hornak, Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation (“Lawyer of the Year” for Orange County), Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Trade Secrets Law (“Lawyer of the Year” for Orange County);
- John B. Hurlbut, Jr., Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Banking and Finance Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation;
- Paul F. Marx, Tax Law, Trusts and Estates and Tax Litigation and Controversy Law;
- Layne Melzer, Commercial Litigation
- Richard Montevideo, Environmental/Water Law;
- James L. Morris, Labor and Employment Law (on behalf of Management) and Labor and Employment Litigation;
- Steven A. Nichols, Construction Law; and
- Ash Pirayou, Government Contracts.
Ten of the attorneys are again returning to the prestigious list and one partner has made the list for the first time: Layne Melzer.
Babbush has been a partner in the firm since 1988 and is a member of its Executive Committee and a former chair of the Real Estate Group. His practice focuses on real estate law and real estate finance. He is a 1981 graduate of Hastings College of the Law.
Bower has been a partner in the Government and Regulatory Law Section since 1981. He joined the firm in 1976. Mr. Bower’s practice involves representation of public entities and private individuals and organizations dealing with government agencies. He specializes in litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). He is a graduate of University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1976; served as an Officer in the United States Navy, 1970-1972; and graduated from Williams College in 1969, cum laude.
Brockington has been a partner in the firm’s Corporate Section since 1986. He focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and technology transactions, and is a 1980 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Law School.
Hornak has been named a Best Lawyer for more than ten years and is also named Orange County Lawyer of the Year for 2017 in Bet-the-Company Litigation and Trade Secrets Law . He has served as Rutan & Tucker’s managing partner and as Chairman of the Orange County Business Council, where he continues to serve as a Board member. He has been a litigator and corporate counselor since graduating from UCLA Law School in 1978, and has been a partner in the firm since 1984. He represents and advises clients in a broad range of industries, from high-technology companies to developers, internet retailers, manufacturers, and others.
Hurlbut became a partner in 1970, and has been practicing business litigation at the firm since graduating from Stanford Law School in 1964. He is a former managing partner of the firm.
Designated a Best Lawyer since 1995, Marx has been a partner at the firm since 1989. He has extensive experience in tax, tax litigation and trusts and estates, and graduated from Harvard Law School.
Melzer is the Managing Partner of Rutan & Tucker LLP and leads the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the firm’s governance and strategic planning. He also serves as co-general counsel for the law firm. He is the Chair and founder of Rutan’s class action and unfair competition practice group. He graduated from University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1987.
Montevideo has been a partner at Rutan & Tucker since 1992, founded and has chaired the firm’s Environmental Law Practice Group since 1992 and had chaired the Orange County Bar Association Environmental Law Section for 21 straight years from January 1995 through December 2016. He received his law degree, with honors, from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1984.
Morris has been a partner at the firm since 1985 and has extensive experience as a management-side employment and labor lawyer. He is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee and is the current chair of the firm’s Employment and Labor Law Section. He has been designated as a Best Lawyer annually since 2009. He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977 and his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1974.
Nichols has over 30 years of experience as a business and construction law and litigation specialist, and is co-chair of Rutan’s Construction Law Group. He represents prime and specialty contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, institutional and private owners, developers, builders, design professionals, lenders, insurers, distributors, and others in business and construction law matters. Nichols is also the firm’s immediate past Managing Partner. Nichols graduated from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 1980.
Pirayou is a partner in Rutan & Tucker’s Government & Regulatory Law Section and Land Use and Natural Resources Departments, where he has practiced since 2008. Mr. Pirayou’s expertise is in Political Law; Federal, State and Local Ordinances; Municipal & Government Agency Law; Government Relations Law, Renewable Energy; Strategic Counseling, Lobbying; Government Contracts and Procurement; Election Law & Litigation; Land Use, Redevelopment, and Natural Resources; and Nonprofit Law. He graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1995 and Santa Clara University in 1992, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Because of the rigorous and transparent methodology used by Best Lawyers, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a prestigious honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
“We congratulate our partners for being selected by their peers to be among the best lawyers practicing in America,” said Layne Melzer, the firm’s managing partner.
About Rutan & Tucker LLP
With offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto, Rutan & Tucker is California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California. Primary practice areas include business and real estate litigation, corporate and securities law, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, municipal and government agency law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.