Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

September 16, 2013
Putting it in Perspective: Prominent Alumni Share their Experiences and Insights with Students in a New Speaker Series

Attorneys have the ability to make a great impact on society. Some help families sort through difficult legal troubles. Others can seek justice for victims of crime. High profile litigants need accomplished attorneys to represent them in civil suits. And even fabulously famous TV judges rely on legal assistance to ensure a smooth courtroom production.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, four prominent Southwestern graduates will participate in the law school's new SBA Alumni Speaker Series, which brings prominent alumni to campus to discuss their role and expertise in a particular area of law. Law students are constantly searching for the area of law they would like to focus on when they become attorneys. This speaker series will give them a glimpse into four different areas of the law from those who have spent decades working in their respective fields. Neal Hersh '76 will discuss Family Law; Joseph Esposito '89 will talk about Criminal Law; Brian Panish '84 will share his experience in Civil Litigation (Personal Injury); and Amy Freisleben '84, Executive in charge of production at Judge Judy, will speak about Entertainment Law.

Neal HershSeptember 25, 2013: Neal Hersh '76, Hersh Mannis & Bogen: A Family Law Practice, "From Family Portraits to the Courtroom - The Real-Life Impact of Family Law"

Mr. Hersh is one of three founding partners at Hersh, Mannis & Bogen, LLP, and has 35 years of experience in the area of family law. He is certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Hersh is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is a distinction that he has held for 20 years. Mr. Hersh has also been named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" each year since 2003 by Los Angeles Magazine. Since 2005, he has been recognized each year as one of the "Best Lawyers" by Los Angeles Times Magazine.

Mr. Hersh has participated as a lecturer at numerous symposiums and colloquiums and made numerous media appearances on AM Los Angeles, CNN, CNBC, Celebrity Justice and Court TV, Larry King Live, KABC news, Entertainment Tonight, Rivera Live, and The O'Reilly Factor. Mr. Hersh has been quoted in numerous newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, Marie Claire, People, The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Baltimore Sun, Worth Magazine and Playboy. Mr. Hersh is a contributor to Inside The Minds™ - Strategies for Family Law in California, 2011 Edition, published by Aspatore. In his spare time, Mr. Hersh enjoys non-legal writing, and a comedy he wrote relating to family law that has been sold to a major studio, hopefully to be made into a movie in the near future.

Joseph EspositoOctober 23, 2013: Professor Joseph Esposito '89, Assistant District Attorney in charge of Special Operations, Office of the District Attorney and Director of Southwestern's Trial Advocacy Honors Program

Joseph Esposito has led a distinguished career as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office since 1989. Currently Assistant District Attorney in charge of Special Operations, he previously served in several divisions, including as Director of the Bureau of Specialized Prosecutions, Head Deputy in the Major Narcotics Division, Assistant Head Deputy of the Hardcore Gang Division, Special Assistant in the Bureau of Central Operations, and Felony Trial Deputy in the Hate Crimes Suppression Unit and Central Trials. Professor Esposito has been recognized for his outstanding skills in the courtroom by such entities as the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, and Justice for Homicide Victims who named him as Prosecutor of the Decade in 1999.

Professor Esposito has also continued his close association with Southwestern for over two decades - as a student, alumnus and faculty member. While a law student at Southwestern, he chaired the Moot Court Honors Program Board of Governors, and won top writing and oralist awards in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Just three years after graduating, he returned to Southwestern as a member of the adjunct faculty to teach Trial Advocacy. He also served as faculty advisor to the teams following in his footsteps in the Jessup Moot Court Competition for 10 years. The Moot Court Honors Program presented him with the Faculty Appreciation Award in 1995, and in 2000, he and his teaching partner and fellow alum, Professor Bill Seki, were jointly awarded Southwestern's first annual Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award. He has continued to teach Trial Advocacy and Advanced Trial Advocacy and serve as faculty advisor to the Trial Advocacy Honors Program.

Brian PanishNovember 4, 2013*: Brian Panish '84, Partner, Panish, Shea & Boyle

Brian Panish is not just one of the country's leading trial attorneys, he's also an active and generous Southwestern alumnus. Earlier this year, he provided a transformative leadership gift exceeding $1 million to the law school to establish the Panish Chair in Civil Justice and the Panish Program in Civil Justice.

A partner with in Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, Mr. Panish has obtained some of the most significant jury verdicts in United States history on behalf of plaintiffs. His courtroom victories include a $4.9 billion verdict in the landmark products liability case Anderson v. General Motors, and more than 30 verdicts and settlements in excess of $10 million in personal injury, wrongful death and business litigation cases. Mr. Panish also obtained two of the largest personal injury verdicts in California history, $58 million in Griggs v. Caterpillar and $55.4 million in Lampe v. Continental Tire, and more than 200 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million dollars.

Mr. Panish has been recognized by numerous publications and organizations as being among the top lawyers in the country, including being named Trial Attorney of the Year by both the California Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles. He is also a 2013 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) in the Personal Injury category He is a member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, which is limited to the top 100 plaintiffs' lawyers in the country, and has been listed among the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America by the National Law Journal and in California by the Daily Journal. A loyal and active Southwestern alumnus, Mr. Panish has continued his close association with the law school as a guest speaker, by hiring Southwestern graduates, and by serving as chair of the Judges Tribute Dinner Committee. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Southwestern in 2011. His wife Rosemarie Panish '89 and father Howard Panish '59 are also Southwestern graduates.

*Presentation date for Mr. Panish may be changed to April 3, 2014 to accommodate possible schedule conflicts.

A FreislebenJanuary 30, 2014: Amy Freisleben '84, Executive In Charge of Production, Judge Judy

Amy Freisleben has been a production attorney at CBS for the past fifteen years and is currently the Executive in Charge of Production for Judge Judy, the number one show in first-run syndication, averaging more than nine million daily viewers.

Ms. Freisleben was first hired as a production attorney for the show in 1998. She has continued working there in different capacities, most recently as the Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for CBS Television Distribution. In that role, she was in charge of all production related legal work for Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown. This involves everyday production legal issues such as reviewing promotional material, website issues, clearances, litigation, and the traditional legal work that comes with handling actual small claims cases on the show.

At the end of 2012, Ms. Freisleben was promoted to Executive in Charge of Production for Judge Judy. She now oversees both the business and legal issues involved with the production of the show, which involves managing the budget, setting the production schedule, overseeing production management and post production, and handling research and travel issues.