WK Announces New Partners, New Location, & Renaming of West Coast Offices
Changes Reflect Firm’s Growth in Its Asbestos-Mesothelioma, Qui Tam, Elder Financial Abuse, and Class Action Practices
DALLAS – January 7, 2009 – The new year brings three major announcements for national plaintiffs’ firm Waters & Kraus, LLP: the renaming of its West Coast offices; five new partners; and the opening of a new location in San Francisco.
WK Becomes Waters Kraus & Paul in California
Effective January 1, 2009, the West Coast offices of Waters & Kraus, LLP were renamed Waters Kraus & Paul. The renaming recognizes partner Gary M. Paul‘s exceptional service to the firm and its clients. Since joining WK in 2006, Mr. Paul has been instrumental in securing plaintiffs’ verdicts in several notable asbestos trials, including Silvestro v. Bondex, Behshid v. Bondex, Saffold v. Bondex, Rollin v. American Standard, and Davis v. American Standard.
“The renaming reflects our desire to honor Gary Paul,” said Andy Waters, a founding partner in the firm. “Gary’s achievements in the courtroom and his service to the practice of law are well known in the state of California, and he is certainly regarded as one of the top plaintiffs’ attorneys of our time. It is a privilege to know and work with Gary, and to have his considerable legal talent and experience working on behalf of our clients. We are pleased to have Gary as a colleague and a named partner.”
WK co-founder Peter Kraus continued, “The name change demonstrates our pride in Gary, our commitment to our clients, and the firm’s continued and growing presence in the state of California. We are pleased to be known as Waters Kraus & Paul.”
Mr. Paul is currently a partner at the firm’s Los Angeles office with a distinguished legal practice in complex civil litigation that spans three decades and more than 100 trials. Among his many accolades, he is a two-time recipient of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) “Trial Attorney of the Year” for 2008 and 1981 – the only recipient to have won the award twice as an individual. He was inducted into CAALA’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He has served in executive roles for many professional organizations, including CAALA, Consumer Attorneys Association of California (CAOC), and the Pound Civil Justice Institute. He currently serves on the executive board of the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and was elected AAJ’s secretary in 2008. He has been recognized on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers ® for the last four years. A noted author and speaker, he earned his J.D. degree from the Loyola Law School, and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1974.
Five WK Associates Selected as Partners
Michelle B. Whitman, Kyla Gail Cole, Scott L. Frost, John S. Janofsky, and Michael B. Gurien have been selected as partners in the firm. The partnerships became effective January 1, 2009.
- Michelle B. Whitman joined WK in the Dallas office in 2001. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Miami, and has been twice recognized on the Texas Rising Stars® list. She focuses her practice on asbestos litigation.
- Kyla Gail Cole joined WK in 2004. She graduated suma cum laude from the Texas Tech University School of Law. Ms. Cole has a special interest in asbestos litigation and products liability. She practices in the Dallas office, and is the pro bono coordinator for the firm.
- Scott L. Frost has served as of counsel in WK’s Dallas office since 2006. he earned his J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky, and formerly served with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army. With a special interest in asbestos litigation, Scott is a frequent presenter at asbestos conferences, and has been recognized on the Texas Rising Stars ® list.
- John S. Janofsky joined WKP in 2006 in the Los Angeles office. He has expansive experience in consumer and pharmaceutical products liability, as well as commercial, insurance, and employer/labor litigation. A graduate of the University of the Pacific School of Law, he has been recognized on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers®, and for his outstanding litigation skills with an AV peer review by Martindale-Hubbell.
- Michael B. Gurien joined WKP in 2006. in the Los Angeles office. Hew was awarded his J.D. degree from Loyola Law School, and has been recognized twice on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers®. His practice areas include products liability, with an emphasis on asbestos litigation, and appeals and writs.
WKP Opens New Office in San Francisco
Waters Kraus & Paul has opened an office in San Francisco. In addition to offering easier access and greater convenience for the firm’s asbestos-mesothelioma clients, the new branch will focus on developing WK’s class action practice.
“We are so pleased to have Ingrid Evans and David Cheng – two very talented public interest attorneys – joining us at our new location,” said Peter Kraus, the firm’s co-founding partner. They bring a solid know-how and a record of success in class action litigation. Ingrid also has asbestos litigation experience, while David has commercial experience. They will play a vital role in developing this very important area of our practice.”
Ms. Evans joins the firm as an of counsel attorney, and Mr. Cheng joins as an associate. Both Ms. Evans and Mr. Cheng are experienced litigators in state and federal courts and share a special interest in the practice of elder financial abuse law and representation of public entities in complex cases, focusing on consumer protection class actions. Ms. Evans was awarded a J.D. degree from the McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Cheng earned his J.D. degree from Boston College.
The new office is located in Opera Plaza, a master planned retail and residential community in the heart of San Francisco’s cultural center. The office is several blocks from the Civic Center’s government offices, and can be easily reached by public transportation or nearby freeways.
“We had been considering a Bay Area location for some time,” noted partner Gary M. Paul. “We draw many clients from the area, and this office will enable us to provide better service and additional services as we grow our presence in the state.”
To visit or contact WKP’s San Francisco office:
601 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2080
San Francisco, California 94102
Phone (800) 226-9880 Fax (214) 777-0470
About Waters & Kraus
Waters & Kraus, LLP, is a plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury / wrongful death cases. The firm’s diverse practice includes toxic tort (mesothelioma) litigation, pharmaceutical product liability, negligence, elder financial abuse, and consumer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistle-blower) and commercial litigation. With offices in Texas, California, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments. In California, the firm is known as Waters Kraus & Paul.