Jones Day announces leadership appointments in California

The global law firm Jones Day announces the appointment of Karen P. Hewitt as Regional Partner‑in‑Charge of California, David DiMeglio and Steve Geise as Partners-in-Charge of the Firm’s Los Angeles and San Diego offices, respectively, Erin Burke as Administrative Partner for California, and Tamera Weisser Ph.D., Administrative Partner in San Diego. The appointments were effective January 1, 2020.

"Our clients throughout California's large and diverse economy face complex issues relating to litigation, intellectual property, the financial markets, labor issues, competition, tax matters, and virtually every other challenge faced by the modern, multinational corporation," said Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day. "Karen's wealth of experience, which crosses industries and sectors, along with her proven strategic vision and leadership qualities, make her the ideal person to guide Jones Day to continued success in California. In addition, David and Steve have both demonstrated a devotion to client service and courtroom excellence equaled only by their commitment to the Firm’s shared professional values and collaborating with lawyers from offices and practices throughout the Firm. With a presence in California for 47 years and lawyers in five offices throughout the state, we are proud of both the excellent roster of lawyers advising clients on important matters every day, and the deep bench of leaders driving our continued growth in California."

In addition to her ongoing work advising clients in high-stakes investigations and litigation matters, Ms. Hewitt will lead the nearly 270 lawyers in Jones Day’s Los Angeles, Irvine, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and San Diego offices in her role as Partner‑in‑Charge of the California Region. As a partner in the Firm’s Business & Tort Litigation Practice, she will continue to represent companies nationwide focusing on defending clients in civil and criminal matters involving possible violations of federal law, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Taft-Hartley Act, and the False Claims Act. She joined the Firm in 2010 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served from 2007-2010 as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. 

Since 2012, Ms. Hewitt has served as the Partner‑in‑Charge of Jones Day’s San Diego Office.  Ms. Hewitt has been named by the California Daily Journal among the "Top 100 Lawyers in California" six times (2012-2016 and 2019), and to its "Top Women Lawyers in California" list seven times (2013-2019). She is a director of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, a Master in the Enright Inn of Court, and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law.

"I am extraordinarily excited by the chance to work with our outstanding clients and lead an amazing group of lawyers at Jones Day in California," said Ms. Hewitt. "As a California native, I have had the good fortune to spend my career working with terrific people throughout this great state, and these appointments are a testament to the Firm’s commitment to California, the impeccable credentials of each lawyer, and our collective dedication to protecting and advancing our clients’ interests."

Ms. Burke is a trial lawyer in the Firm’s Business & Tort Litigation Practice. She has litigated individual and class action matters throughout the U.S. for more than 23 years, representing notable clients in the aviation, consumer goods, semiconductor, off-road vehicle, safety equipment, pesticide, hospital, investment management, and automotive industries. Ms. Burke’s iconic representations include defending an ATV manufacturer in multijurisdiction litigation, where she coordinated hundreds of cases in the western United States, and in two bellwether trials. The California jury verdict was recognized as a "top defense verdict" by the California Daily Journal. Ms. Burke most recently served as the Administrative Partner in the Firm’s Los Angeles Office since 2011 and the Irvine Office since 2019, and prior to that was the Hiring Partner in Los Angeles. 

Ms. Hewitt succeeds Christopher Lovrien, who has served as Jones Day's Partner‑in‑Charge of the California Region since 2015, and prior to that served in the same capacity for the Firm’s Los Angeles Office from 2011-2014. Named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California in 2019 by the Daily Journal, Mr. Lovrien will serve on the Firm’s Partnership Committee and continue his active litigation practice representing corporate and financial clients in their most critical disputes, including business torts and contract disputes, M&A-related litigation, the defense of consumer class actions, and regulatory matters.

In serving as Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day’s Los Angeles Office, Mr. DiMeglio will continue to represent clients in complex civil litigation, particularly toxic torts and product liability, and internal investigations, with an emphasis on matters arising out of Latin America. A partner in the Firm’s Global Disputes Practice, he has defended mass tort and other cases across the U.S. and coordinated the defense in foreign, parallel proceedings for clients in the energy, oil & gas, mining, pharmaceuticals, electronics, agriculture, manufacturing, and consumer products industries for more than 30 years. Mr. DiMeglio will also continue to co-lead the Firm's pro bono initiative out of Laredo, Texas, representing primarily women and families fleeing persecution in their home countries and seeking asylum in the U.S., as well as the Firm's pro bono initiative focused on representing unaccompanied children in their own asylum proceedings.

Mr. DiMeglio succeeds Brian Sun, who served as the Partner‑in‑Charge of Jones Day’s Los Angeles Office since 2015. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Sun will continue his active practice in cross-border internal and white collar investigations and complex business litigation matters.   

Succeeding Ms. Hewitt in San Diego, Jones Day Business and Tort Litigation partner Steve Geise has been appointed Partner‑in‑Charge of that office. An accomplished first-chair trial lawyer, Mr. Geise primarily defends companies in product liability lawsuits throughout the United States, representing manufacturers of tobacco products, medical devices, off-road vehicles, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer goods in individual and class action litigation. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 ─United States and Best Lawyers, and he was named the 2020 Lawyer of the Year for "Product Liability Litigation—Defense" in San Diego. 

Mr. Geise joined Jones Day in 1996 following a federal clerkship for the Honorable G. Ross Anderson Jr. in the District of South Carolina and worked in the Firm's Cleveland Office before relocating to Jones Day’s San Diego Office in 2007. He has been the Administrative Partner of the San Diego Office since 2012 and also serves as the Head of Litigation for the office.

Dr. Weisser will succeed Mr. Geise as Administrative Partner in the San Diego Office. With a Ph. D. in Immunology and Virology, she has more than 20 years of experience in global patent portfolio development, management, and enforcement in biotechnology, particularly in the areas of biologics and diagnostics. Dr. Weisser’s practice also includes performing patent validity and freedom-to-operate analyses and conducting due diligence of patent portfolios for clients, including potential investors, acquirers, and licensees. She joined the San Diego Office when it opened in 2004, and most recently served for seven years as the co-chair of Jones Day’s global patent prosecution group, comprising more than 100 professionals across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Dr. Weisser was named an “IP Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal in 2018, to the California Daily Journal "Top Intellectual Property Lawyers" (2018-2019) and "Top Women Lawyers in California” (2017-2018) lists.

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 42 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.