Press Releases Jan 07, 2014

BB&K Promotes Eight Attorneys in California and Washington, D.C. to Partner

Attorneys Focus on Environmental, Municipal, Business, Employee Benefits and Telecommunications Law

For Immediate Release: Jan. 7, 2014
Media Contact: Denise Nix • 213-787-2552 •

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Best Best & Krieger LLP promoted eight attorneys to partner for 2014, the law firm announced today.

“It is gratifying to promote so many well-deserving attorneys who will become a key part of the law firm’s future,” said Eric Garner, BB&K’s managing partner.

The new partners are based in Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and focus on a wide range of legal fields including environmental, municipal, business, employee benefits and telecommunications law. The attorneys were previously associates or of counsel attorneys.

In all, BB&K has nearly 200 attorneys based at nine offices in California and Washington, D.C., who work with public agencies and private clients.

In Riverside, the new partners are:

Isabel C. Safie, who is a member of the employee benefits practice group and whose primary focus is advising clients in the public and private sectors on issues relating to employee benefits, such as health care, pensions and other post-employment benefits. She works closely with public agency employers to identify their ability to modify or reduce pension and retiree health benefits under California’s “vested rights” doctrine. Fluent in Spanish, she received her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and joined BB&K that same year.

James R. Harper, who practices general business and real estate law, including mergers, acquisitions, sales, business entity structuring, succession planning, and real estate sales, acquisitions, joint ventures, leasing and financing. A member of the firm’s business services practice group, he is chair of the Riverside Investor’s Business Daily Meetup Group. He received his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1986. In 2010, Harper re-joined BB&K where he had worked for four years during the early 1990s.

Scott W. Ditfurth, whose practice focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on construction, contract and real property issues for private-sector and public agency clients. A member of the firm’s business services practice group, Ditfurth works on contract claims, business disputes and torts, mechanics’ lien claims, bond and surety claims as well as real property disputes and inverse condemnation. He serves on the board of directors for the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside, and is vice chair of Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful. He joined BB&K in 2008, and received his law degree from Whittier School of Law in 2005.

In Irvine, the new partners are:

Matthew E. “Mal” Richardson, who serves as city attorney of Stanton and as assistant city attorney of Lake Forest and Claremont where he oversees their planning and land use issues. Richardson’s practice focuses on complex land use issues and governance matters such as the Brown Act and ethics laws. Richardson joined BB&K in 2008, and received his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005.

Alisha M. Winterswyk, whose practice centers on advising public agency and private-sector clients on an array of state and federal environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. A member of the firm’s environmental law and natural resources practice group, Winterswyk is president of the Orange County Association of Environmental Professionals. She joined BB&K in 2010, and obtained her law degree in 2005 from Whittier Law School. 

In Los Angeles, the new partner is:

Christopher Pisano, a litigator who represents public agencies and private corporations in a variety of issues, including land use, eminent domain, property valuation, water rights, construction and general business disputes. He joined BB&K in 2005, and received his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1997.

In Sacramento, the new partner is:

Nancy Park, who focuses on real estate transactions, finance and business contracts for clients in the public and private sectors. She also handles agricultural transactions, business formations and corporate matters, loans, acquisitions and dispositions. She joined BB&K in 2011 after serving as chief executive officer of the Evergreen Co., a Northern California developer of retail and office projects. She received her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1997.

In Washington D.C., the new partner is:

Gerard Lavery Lederer, a member of the firm’s municipal law practice group who focuses on telecommunications law and government relations services. He serves as federal counsel to several cities and national organizations including TeleCommUnity, a collection of local governments dedicated to ensuring respect for local rights in federal legislative issues. Lederer joined BB&K in 2011, having served as general counsel of the United States Conference of Mayors and executive director of the Building Owners and Managers Association, International. He received his law degree in 1983 from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.


Best Best & Krieger LLP is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Indian Wells, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.

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