At Callahan & Blaine, our talent pool is deep. Each month, we publish our “Attorney Spotlight” where we look past the briefcases to see what makes the men and women of Callahan & Blaine tick. How have we won over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements? It’s a team effort of hard work, dedication, experience and savvy litigation. Today, meet Senior Trial Attorney James M. Sabovich!
Name: James M. Sabovich
Position: Senior Trial Attorney
Birth city: San Luis Obispo, California
Current city: Huntington Harbour
Law school: UCLA (2001)
Q: What attracted you to the legal field?
A:The opportunity to solve complex problems that have real-work effects on people’s lives. As a social worker after college, I saw how legal issues had a way of becoming all-consuming for those affected by them and how resolving them made life better.
Q: Was there anyone along the way who mentored or influenced your work?
A: My principal mentor was Robert W. Loewen, senior litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, former law clerk to Justice White, and one of the finest lawyers I have ever known.
Q: What do you think sets Callahan & Blaine apart from the rest?
A: The culture and the emphasis on client results set C&B apart. National firms, where I spent the first 14 years of my career, may have exceptional attorneys but not C&B’s pure focus on client service. There are no junior attorneys being trained on the client’s dime and no leverage ratios. Everything is about the client.
Q: Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of.
A: We recently helped a mid-sized pest deterrent company that the owners had built from the ground-up in their off-hours. They invented a clever deterrent device and hired a patent lawyer to patent it. Only that lawyer made a mistake, so when they tried to enforce it, the company who copied their design actually sued them for significant damages. The case ended up assigned to a District Court judge that I previously worked for. So when we appeared for a routine conference, I knew the judge was likely to immediately order the parties to settlement proceedings and keep them there until they settled. I’d watched him to that dozens of times a law clerk. So my client came prepared for that and the case settled on highly favorable terms after the first hearing.
Q: What are the things you wish you knew as a junior associate that you know now?
A: That many lawyers see litigation as a game but the good ones respect it as a calling.
Just for fun:
Favorite TV show: 24.
Family Facts:I have three boys and come from a line of three boys going back almost 100 years.
Guilty Pleasure: Beef jerky. I make my own and am known for always having a large bag of it in the office fridge for people to sample
No. 1 Bucket List Item:Find an arrow head at Thermopylae
Dogs or Cats: Dog person – we have three
Dream vacation: Camping in Alaska
Favorite High-Profile Case: Chevron v. Donziger, with uncovered one of the largest attempted judicial frauds in history. I was fortunate enough to be one of the lead attorneys on it and to head up fraud investigations
Favorite Fictional Lawyer: My Cousin Vinny. I use the cross-examination as teaching material – brilliant.
Stay tuned for next month’s Attorney Spotlight, where we will meet another talented Callahan & Blaine attorney! Our law firm represents corporate, professional and entrepreneurial clients of all sizes. To find out more about our distinctive approach to advocacy and dispute resolution in complex litigation, contact us at the Callahan & Blaine offices in Santa Ana.