Lisa received her B.A. degree in both history and political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983; her thesis was styled “Loyalism in Colonial America.” Thereafter, she worked in the U.K. Parliament at the House of Lords for the Opposition Front Bench. Her job responsibilities included drafting and amending legislation, organizing joint parliamentary meetings, and interfacing with lobbyists and the general public. She graduated from University of San Diego, School of Law in 1988 and then began her legal career working with Keesal, Young & Logan (“KYL”). She became a shareholder in 1997.
During the course of her legal career, Lisa has maintained a practice in the General Business and Maritime fields. As it relates to the latter, Lisa has engaged in a variety of work attendant to the firm’s role as a correspondent for P&I Clubs (cargo claims, personal injuries, stowaways, damage to vessels and docks, and general casualty and FD & D). This work has led to the representation of clients in disputes, actions, or issues involving charter party agreements, vessel sharing agreements, terminal/stevedoring services agreements, bunker supply contracts, Port Tariffs, bills of lading, general average, environmental damages and pollution, limitations of liability, enforcement of preferred ship mortgages, passenger-ticket contracts, consumer protection class actions, whistleblower actions and disputes arising under the False Claims Act.
Lisa has distinguished herself in matters involving arrests, attachments and maritime liens under the Supplemental Admiralty Rules. She received a favorable decision from the Ninth Circuit vacating an attachment for a large Malaysian shipping company and later received an affirmative award for damages associated with the wrongful attachment. In another novel matter, the largest vessel foreclosure in the Northern District, Lisa secured the judicial sale of the M/V Blue Jade for $35 million, well in excess of the credit bid amount. She also successfully defended one of the most significant ocean carriers and marine terminal operators in a False Claims Act suit that presented a liability risk in excess of $100 million.
Lisa is a leader in the firm’s marine terminal operator practice and regularly negotiates long term agreements between the operators and the respective port authorities. She recently concluded the rate reset negotiations for one of the largest marine container terminals in the United States. She handles various issues for marine terminal operators, including port and carrier tariff disputes, access agreements, environmental compliance, various intermodal issues, and matters that arise under the Shipping Act. Lisa has defended the expansion or development of many marine terminal projects and litigated high profile challenges to these projects initiated by environmental and municipal groups. In response to a different series of environmental actions, Lisa assisted a prominent cruise line to effect a change in the California ballast water management regulation to permit their coast-wise operations. She made presentations to Sacramento law makers and environmental groups to secure legislation that is now the practice for all international cruise ships servicing the California coast.
Lisa has directly represented port authorities including the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. She served as a lead litigator for the Alameda Corridor, a $2.2 billion intermodal project. In addition to defending the project in a series of cases, the role required significant interaction with numerous municipal agencies as well as regular briefings with congressional representatives. In addition, Lisa was part of the team that negotiated construction agreements with each of the cities adjacent to the Corridor, facilitated the relocation of hundreds of utilities and pipelines, and worked with various regulators to address impacts arising from both the construction and operation of the project. She was invited to the White House to participate in the ceremony authorizing the federal loan for the project. She received an Award of Honor from the Board of Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles for her work on the Alameda Corridor.
In connection with her maritime-related work for liquid bulk facilities, she also has had the opportunity to represent major oil companies in commercial related matters. Lisa has represented prominent oil, gas and petrochemical companies in litigation and regulatory compliance matters (examples include the resolution of several consumer fraud cases, significant disputes with electrical power service providers to refineries, contamination actions, and pipeline relocations, as well as the negotiation of refinery vendor contracts).
Lisa also handles commercial business disputes and historically was involved in the firm’s securities practice, where she handled disputes of all kinds, including employment cases in both court and arbitration.
With respect to trial experience, Lisa has tried commercial cases in state and federal courts. She has made many arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the California Second Appellate District. She was part of a team that successfully defended a $100 million construction management case for a prominent engineering firm following a three-month jury trial in the District Court of Colorado. Lisa has also participated in numerous mediations.
Lisa is well connected with the marine industry insofar as she has direct relationships with many ocean carriers, marine terminal operators (and their private equity partners), tug boat operators, the IMO, and the P&I industry. She routinely visits members in the International Group in London and Newcastle and recently completed a White Paper on pilotage issues. She was invited by the International Group to attend the Correspondent’s Conference in Amsterdam. She also is on friendly terms with numerous maritime and marine industry lawyers in the United States and abroad. Lisa is well traveled and regularly coordinates cases that involve multiple jurisdictions. She recently concluded a matter where she assisted the largest Malaysian tanker company (a subsidiary of Petronas). This dispute was decided in the courts of Singapore, requiring her to travel to both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to assist with preparation of material used for both witness testimony and court submissions.