MUAATH E. ALI completed his undergraduate education at California State University, Los Angeles, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Mr. Ali received his Juris Doctor from Michigan State University, College of Law. While in law school, Mr. Ali received his Child and Family Advocacy Certificate and served as the Barbri Student Representative for Michigan State.
Muaath Eric Ali is an attorney at the Newport Beach office. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Ali gained a wide range of experience defending insurance companies and representing injured persons. This experience has culminated in his ability to expedite case resolution through the use of aggressive negotiation skills and the development of relationships with applicant’s attorneys. Mr. Ali’s case handling has had a direct impact on his clients, saving costs while effectively bringing claims to resolution.
Mr. Ali has clerked for two judges, worked for the California Department of Justice in the Business & Tax Section, and worked in the Business Administration & Development Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court. He is the past Director of Operations for The Learning Curve, a non-profit organization devoted to helping underprivileged children achieve their educational goals. He has been an invited speaker at multiple colleges, speaking to students of programs geared towards assisting African American and Hispanic students transfer to four-year universities. He credits his commitment to community and work ethic to his father.
Mr. Ali has experience representing a wide breadth of employers, insurance carriers and third party administrators. He has dedicated his practice to Workers’ Compensation Defense.
ERICA PHAN completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics with minors in Accounting and African American Studies. She continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law. During her time at Pepperdine, Ms. Phan was a recipient of the Kimberly Dawn Ellis and completed a study abroad program in London where she held a Criminal Defense externship and focused her studies on corporations, international commercial arbitration and federal taxation.
After being admitted to the State Bar of California, Ms. Phan began her practice in civil litigation specializing in the areas of complex commercial and insurance coverage litigation, products liability and contracts. She gained experience in all phases of litigation including trial preparation, court appearances and settlement negotiations.
In 2012, Ms. Phan transitioned her focus to Workers’ Compensation defense and has practiced exclusively since. She excels in aggressively defending files while expediting closure through trials and settlements. Ms. Phan is well versed in all phases of litigation, including case in chief, lien resolution, and contribution and has received many favorable outcomes including several Take Nothings. Most recently, Ms. Phan successfully passed the State Bar of California Legal Specialization Exam in Workers’ Compensation and has submitted for official certification effective November 1, 2017.
We are pleased to have Ms. Phan as an associate in our Newport Beach office.
Applicant, a 58 year-old, claimed they suffered a right knee injury while working at a landfill as an employee of a placement agency. The claim was denied following an employer-level investigation.
Applicant received significant conservative medical treatment and underwent a right knee MRI revealing significant damage. Applicant’s treating physician issued multiple reports indicating that applicant’s condition remained temporarily totally disabling. He also referred applicant to a specialist and thought applicant would ultimately require surgery on their knee. The parties also went to a PQME who opined that applicant’s injury was consistent with the described mechanism of injury.
Prior to trial, the parties had agreed to settle this matter for a $20,000.00 Compromise and Release. Applicant, however, then fired his attorney and retained new counsel. Applicant’s new attorney informed defendants that the case value was closer to $100,000.00, given the nearly 15 months of TTD potentially owed as well as expected permanent disability and future medical care.
After further settlement negotiations stalled, the parties conducted the AOE/COE trial. Applicant testified on his behalf and claimed that he had stepped into a sinkhole while working at the landfill causing the right knee injury. Applicant further testified that, immediately after injuring himself, they informed a co-worker, the landfill supervisor and their supervisor. Defendants presented two witnesses: applicant’s co-worker and their supervisor. Both denied that applicant had reported the injury on that day. Applicant’s supervisor further testified applicant had later come to his office and was paid for the week.
After hearing testimony, the trial Judge, ruled in defendants’ favor and issued a Take Nothing. The Judge found a number of inconsistencies in applicant’s testimony and found that defendants’ witnesses testified credibly.
Order Obtained for Imposing Sanctions on Lien Claimant, Pursuant to their Petition
Lien claimant filed a DOR for a lien conference. We appeared in Los Angeles, where were able to review their bill and discover that they had filed their lien more than 10 years after their last date of service. We made a good faith offer to resolve their lien, as they had passed the statute of limitations. This was rejected, and they indicated they were requesting discovery. We stated that if they continued the lien conference for additional information, we would be filing a petition for costs and sanctions as they were aware they were now past the statute to collect on their decade-old lien.
Nevertheless, we then appeared at the continued lien conference in Oxnard, petition for costs and sanctions in hand. At the Oxnard Board, lo and behold lien claimant does not appear. The Judge then indicated that lien claimant had in fact been dismissed and was served the dismissal, stating that lien claimant’s behavior were sanctionable and so we amended our Petition for Costs and Sanctions even further.
He eventually issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Sanctions against lien claimant and their representative, both of whom were served with the original and amended petitions, as well as the NOIs, with no objections.
The case involved two specific injuries one on 2/1/2012 and the other on 11/1/2012. Applicant’s medical reporting was all over the place. The QME on this matter stated that there was no injury and that the applicant was not reliable. Our defense attorney cross examined the applicant at trial who kept going back and forth and stated that he could not remember. DA also introduced sub-rosa at the time of trial. The Judge, found applicant not to be reliable and issued the Take Nothing on both claims!
KARINA YANOVSKY graduated from San Francisco University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She then received her Juris Doctor from John F. Kennedy School of Law in Pleasant Hill, California and was admitted to the California State Bar shortly after. Ms. Yanovsky is admitted to the United States District Court, Northern District and is a Board Member for the Diablo Valley Industrial Claims Association.
Ms. Yanovsky began her career practicing family law with an emphasis on child custody, support disputes and domestic violence claims. As an associate attorney she handled a wide variety of tasks including preparation of legal documents, interviewing litigants and attending short-cause, reissuance & proceedings. In 2007, Ms. Yanovsky began practicing Workers’ Compensation Law, representing injured workers in many different phases of litigation. On top of serving as the principal negotiator for her firm, Ms. Yanovsky was the sole attorney responsible for handling Expedited Hearing’s Priority Conferences and formal/informal settlements. Prior to joining Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Brown, Ms. Yanovsky was a partner for a busy Workers’ Compensation Defense firm in Oakland. In addition to handling all aspects of Workers’ Compensation defense, she served as Lead Counsel for several high end accounts and also assisted in acquiring new business for the firm. Over the years, Ms. Yanovsky has gained substantial experience in all phases of litigation and has successfully handled a heavy caseload at a high volume litigation practice. Her aggressive approach and excellent oral advocacy skills have gained her favorable results in the courtroom, including multiple Take Nothing Awards.
Ms. Yanovsky is an attorney in the San Francisco Office of Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown.