Business of Law

5 lawyers from well-known Calif. firm form new boutique

Five lawyers have left a well-known Sacramento, Calif., law firm to establish a new legal shop focusing on health care and employment matters.

Exiting Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney for the new Kennaday, Leavitt & Daponde are name partners Kelli Kennaday, Curtis Leavitt and Michael Daponde and two additional lawyers who are on the partner roster at the new firm, Kelly Ryan and Troy Szabo. Another lawyer, Eunice Majam-Simpson, left Nossaman to join Kennaday, Leavitt as senior counsel and Nicole Moore, a recent law graduate, is a Kennaday Leavitt associate, according to the Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento Business Journal.

Kennaday, who chaired the labor and employment practice at her now-former firm, says major changes in the Affordable Care Act, as well as perennially changing California law made this a good time for the group to go out on its own and expect to be busy.

“The ACA is a lifetime employment act for health care attorneys,” Curtis Leavitt told the Business Journal. “If we are ever to do our own thing, the time is now.”

He said the founding partners took out “personal loans that would make most people queasy” to get the firm up and running, but were able to cut some costs by using technology instead of people. For example, Kennaday Leavitt has no live receptionist; clients use a computer touch screen to alert lawyers of their presence, explains another Sacramento Business Journal article.

Managing partner Ron Lamb of Wilke Fleury told the Sacramento Bee that his 25-attorney general business firm still has “a health care practice that’s unrivaled for depth and breadth in the region.” It is also noted for its bankruptcy, insurance and real estate practice groups.

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