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It is hard to believe, but 2023 is shortly coming to a close. For the 27th year, it is my privilege on behalf of our firm to send our annual holiday greeting and to share a few highlights of the past twelve months.
FMG continued our growth this year with new offices in Las Vegas, led by Mike Edwards, and in Phoenix, anchored by Lisa Lampkin and Jay Graif. We also grew existing offices with Marty Schexnayder’s group in Houston and in Pittsburgh with Sunshine Fellows’s team. In Atlanta, we added one of the top governmental relations practices, including Earl Ehrhart, Trey Paris and Chuck Clay.
We continued to strengthen our FMG Assurance program with new partners Dan Brunson joining us as Director of Legal Practice Operations, Mike Skiscim as our Director of Legal Practice Management, and Alona Croteau as Director of Client Services. Austin Jarrette is our new Director of Revenue and has been a great addition to our executive management group.
We also have added many outstanding secretaries, paralegals and administrative members to our team. We continue to build and retain a group of professionals that is the envy of many in the legal industry. At FMG, we recognize that it takes all of our team — both lawyers and non-lawyers — to deliver on our commitment to excellence and ensure first-tier legal services across all of our product lines and in all of our markets. I am so proud of the entire FMG family and all of their hard work this year.
FMG was honored on a number of occasions this year, and this is an opportunity to name just a few. In this regard, congratulations to our partners Chris Lynch in Hartford and Doug Holthus in Columbus who were honored by Best Lawyers in America as Lawyers of the Year in their markets. Chris and Doug were joined by 48 other FMG attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers and 32 newer FMG attorneys selected as Ones to Watch. In addition to individual honors, Best Lawyers ranked 8 of our practice sections nationally and another 20 teams regionally.
Chambers & Partners and Benchmark Litigation likewise honored a number of attorneys, including Phil Savrin (Atlanta), Danny Walsh (Los Angeles) and Ali Sabzevari (Atlanta). The highly prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) also admitted our partners Paul Bigley (Los Angeles), Lisa Gentile (Columbus), Wayne Melnick (Atlanta), Kevin Norchi (Cleveland) and Doug Holthus (Columbus). Paul, Lisa, Wayne, Kevin and Doug join a number of other FMG “on-call” trial team partners who collectively compose an incredibly deep bench of trial proven attorneys that few firms can boast of fielding. It is rewarding to see the continued national recognition of FMG’s quality and excellence.
The close of this year also marks two important transitions in our partnership. Mike Giunta, one of our Boston stalwarts and a brilliant lawyer, is retiring. We wish him and his wife Peggy the best in their new life. Also, our Atlanta partner Dan Lee, a giant in the legal world in Georgia, will be retiring from the partnership, although we are happy he will continue to work with us in a Senior Counsel capacity.
The future is bright at FMG as we just promoted to partner John Badagliacca (Newark), Dhave Balatero (Los Angeles), Melissa Barcena (Los Angeles), Joe Gonnella (San Diego), Kaitlyn Grajek (Newark), Erin Lamb (Philadelphia), Bryce Newell (Newark), Joe Tripoli (Chicago), and Cara Wright (Columbus). In the Fall of 2023, we also onboarded 32 law school graduates who bring to us their enthusiasm for the practice of law and are an inspiration to all of us. These wonderful young lawyers will make their mark on our firm for years to come.
As we begin 2024, we will start the year with several exciting announcements. On January 1st, a tremendous group of lawyers from the firm of Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP will join us in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill and also bring us a new office in Wilmington, Delaware. With this group, we welcome new partners Ed Greenberg, Gerry Dietrich, Dennis Callahan, Amy Hansell, Ben Hartwell and Dan Young. We also will add our 35th office and 21st State with the opening of a new office in Seattle, Washington.
With these additions and many others, FMG will kick off the new year with over 370 attorneys, who together with our paralegals and staff will give us a total head count of 625 members of the FMG family.
As I trust is apparent, the year 2023 was another exciting and rewarding time for our firm. Our firm does not just grow organically, but we also continue to attract top legal, management and administrative talent. For this, we are very thankful, as we all know it is our people who make our law firm what it is.
Finally, I want to repeat a message I have shared each of the past 26 previous years I have been with the firm. Indeed, this is a message I also share in my orientation meetings with every colleague who joins our firm whether as a lawyer, paralegal or staff member.
In a world of change, one constant is our appreciation for our clients. Any success we have achieved is only because you continue to entrust us with your legal matters. We recognize and value that the relationship between lawyer and client is much more than a typical business arrangement. It is a partnership to confront the difficulties and risks of a legal system that can be challenging and often is not fair. We strive every day to meet and exceed your expectations, and we are thankful for the opportunity to represent you.
I am pleased to say that these sentiments are embraced by the FMG team and are critical components of our core commitments to a culture of service — service to our clients and service to each other.
On behalf of the entire FMG family from all corners of our blessed and great nation, we wish you a happy holiday season and a safe and successful New Year.