Blog : Personal Injury

Nine Minami Tamaki LLP Attorneys Named to 2024 ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Lists

Nine Minami Tamaki LLP Attorneys Named to 2024 ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Lists

The Best Lawyers in America recognized nine Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys in its 2024 edition. Partners Sean Tamura-Sato, B. Mark Fong, Olivia Serene Lee, Suhi Koizumi, Senior Counsel Dale Minami, and Senior Associates La Verne A. Ramsay and Angela Mapa made the Best Lawyers list. Senior Associate Seema Bhatt and Associate Lisa P. Mak were selected for Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch.

Dale, Mark, and Seema are part of the firm’s Personal Injury practice group. Best Lawyers has recognized one or more of the firm’s personal injury attorneys for the past 11 years.

Suhi, Olivia, La Verne, and Angela are part of the firm’s Immigration and Nationality Law practice group. Best Lawyers has recognized one or more of the firm’s immigration attorneys for the past seven years.

Sean and Lisa are part of the firm’s Consumer and Employee Rights practice group. Best Lawyers has recognized one or more of the firm’s consumer and employee rights attorneys for the past three years.

Lawyers on the Best Lawyers list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

The Ones To Watch awards are recognitions given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States. Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be recognized by Best Lawyers.

These individual awards qualify Minami Tamaki LLP for consideration by the Best Lawyers Best Law Firms list, which is announced in November. The firm has been recognized nine times on the Best Law Firms rankings, which are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

Best Lawyers has published its list for more than three decades, striving to earn the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as a reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.

Minami Tamaki Attorneys Named to 2023 Super Lawyers

Minami Tamaki Attorneys Named to 2023 Super Lawyers

We’re proud to announce that nine Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2023. A special congratulations to Senior Counsels Dale Minami and Don Tamaki on being named to Super Lawyers for all 20 years! This is a distinction achieved by only 0.4 percent of attorneys in Northern California in 2023.

PERSONAL INJURY
Dale Minami (Top 10, 2013-2018; Top 100, 2007-2023; Super Lawyers, 20 years)
B. Mark Fong (Super Lawyers, 14 years)
Seema Bhatt (Rising Stars)

IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW
Olivia Serene Lee (Super Lawyers, 3 years)
Suhi Koizumi (Super Lawyers, 5 years)
Dian Sohn (Rising Stars)

CONSUMER AND EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
Sean Tamura-Sato (Super Lawyers. 3 years)
Lisa P. Mak (Super Lawyers)

CORPORATE/NONPROFIT
Donald K. Tamaki (Super Lawyers, 20 years)

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in California are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive Super Lawyer honors and no more than 2.5 percent are selected to receive the Rising Star recognition.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

PHOTO – Top Row (L-R): B. Mark Fong, Suhi Koizumi, Sean Tamura-Sato, Olivia Serene Lee, La Verne A. Ramsay; Middle Row (L-R): David Palmer, Dale Minami* Top 100, Donald K.Tamaki, Seema Bhatt; Bottom Row: (L-R): Lisa P. Mak, Ember Oparowski, Angela C. Mapa, Dian Sohn, Julia Pilkington. – *Chosen to 2023 Super Lawyers **Chosen to 2023 Rising Stars

Dale Minami Named to Forbes ‘Best’ Personal Injury Attorneys List

Dale Minami Named to Forbes ‘Best’ Personal Injury Attorneys List

Forbes Advisor ranked Senior Counsel Dale Minami first on its list of ten Best Personal Injury Attorneys in San Francisco for 2023.

“For decades, Dale has been recognized by his fellow attorneys for his competence and ethics in personal injury law,” said the Forbe Advisor profile. “Although he has transitioned to the role of Senior Counsel in the firm he founded, he still represents clients and has won notable victories both in personal injury litigation as well as in civil rights cases.”

Forbes Advisor collects public data from a variety of sources and uses a model to calculate a specific rating and reviews these results to find the best attorneys in a given practice area. Within the model, Forbes Advisor takes into account factors that legal professionals and consumers value in an attorney’s qualifications. After assigning weighted scores to hundreds of data points, we narrowed the field down to our top choices based on seven criteria.

Dale has received numerous other honors. In 2019, Mr. Minami was honored with the ABA Medal, the American Bar Association’s highest honor. He is the first Asian American to receive the award in its 90-year history.

Dale was selected as a Super Lawyer for each year from 2004 through 2023 in the Personal Injury category, one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers for Northern California in 2005 and from 2007 to 2023, and in the Top Ten Super Lawyers in the Personal Injury Category from 2013 through 2018.

He was also named to the Best Lawyers of America list for nine straight years from 2014-2022 by Best Lawyers, recognized four times as one of the 500 Best Lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine (2005, 2014, 2015, 2018), one of Top 100 Litigation lawyers in the State of California by the American Society of Legal Advocates in 2014, and the top three percent of attorneys in the nation by The Legal News.

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala to Honor Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Peggy Saika

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala to Honor Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Peggy Saika

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus will honor Minami Tamaki LLP co-founder and Senior Counsel Dale Minami, former Managing Partner and Senior Counsel Donald K. Tamaki, and Peggy Saika with Yuri Kochiyama Visionary Awards at its 50th Anniversary Gala on Friday, November 18, 2022, at Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

The milestone celebration theme is “Tomorrow’s World is Ours to Build” and draws from Yuri Kochiyama’s powerful call to action to commemorate 50 years of civil rights advocacy for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. 

The gala will be emceed by actress Tamlyn Tomita and feature musical performances from Jiten Daiko, an exciting comedic performance by Negin Farsad, and a special conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen.

The Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income, immigrant, and underserved AAPI communities. The organization’s event announcement read: “In the spirit of this legacy and Kochiyama’s rallying call, it is our privilege to recognize three leaders who have played critical roles in the vision and direction of ALC. We honor Dale, Don, and Peggy because as ALC staff in our early years, they exemplified the spirit of compassionate community lawyering that continues to inspire our staff today. Dale, Don, and Peggy would emerge as respected civil rights leaders beyond their time at ALC, helping to shape the struggle for social justice over several decades.”

Dale Minami, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, has litigated significant civil rights cases for Asian Pacific Americans including leading the legal team that overturned Fred Korematsu’s landmark 40-year-old conviction. Minami received the American Bar Association’s highest award, the ABA Medal, and the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall and Spirit of Excellence Awards. He has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Northern California for 18 straight years. He co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the first public interest law firm serving Asian Americans in the country, AALDEF, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the first Asian American bar in the country.

Don Tamaki, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, and former executive director of the Asian Law Caucus (1980-1983), is known for his historic work serving on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States. He is co-founder of Stop Repeating History, a campaign focused on drawing parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the targeting of minority groups based on race or religion. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Tamaki to serve on the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Common Counsel Foundation since 2019, has worked for over four decades as a social justice leader in movements for racial equity; gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice; environmental justice; and immigrant and workers’ rights. Previously the Executive Director of Asian Law Caucus from 1983 to 1991, Saika also served as the founding Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network from 1993 to 2001, and as the CEO of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy from 2002 -2015. She is a co-founder of the Asian Women’s Shelter, API’s for Choice, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the NY Committee to Free Chol Soo Lee.

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala is on Friday, November 18, 2022, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. The reception starts at 6 p.m., and the evening’s program and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Purchase your ticket at https://bit.ly/3soFpcf or contact development@advancingjustice-alc.org for sponsorship details.

U.S. News ‘Best Law Firms’ Ranks Minami Tamaki LLP for 9th Year

U.S. News ‘Best Law Firms’ Ranks Minami Tamaki LLP for 9th Year

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers announced that Minami Tamaki LLP has been ranked in the 2023 “Best Law Firms” list nationally for its Immigration and Nationality Law practice and regionally for its Personal Injury practice.

The firm’s Immigration and Nationality Law practice received a National Tier 2 ranking, the fourth year of being nationally ranked. The practice ranked Metro Tier 1 for the eighth consecutive year. The firm’s Personal Injury practice ranked as Metro Tier 1 for the ninth consecutive year.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2023 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 13th edition of The Best Lawyers in America list for that particular location and specialty.

Earlier this year, The Best Lawyers in America recognized seven Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys in its 2023 edition. Partners B. Mark Fong, Olivia Serene Lee, Suhi Koizumi, Senior Counsel Dale Minami, and Senior Associate La Verne A. Ramsay made the Best Lawyers list. Associates Lisa P. Mak and Seema Bhatt were selected for Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch. These selections qualified the firm to be considered for the Best Law Firms list.

The Immigration and Nationality Law Practice Group of Minami Tamaki LLP offers expertise in a broad array of immigration services, routinely assisting employers and employees in obtaining temporary and permanent employment-based visas. The firm’s immigration attorneys also help individual clients to secure family-based immigration status through marriage or other qualifying family relationships. The practice group includes Partner Suhi Koizumi, Partner Olivia Serene Lee, Senior Associate La Verne A. Ramsay, Senior Associate Angela C. Mapa, and Associates Dian Sohn and David Palmer.

The attorneys in Minami Tamaki’s Personal Injury Practice Group fight for the rights of people who are injured or have suffered the loss of loved ones due to the carelessness of others. A team approach brings all the resources of the practice group to cases. This has allowed the firm to recover multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for its clients. Senior Counsel Dale Minami founded the firm’s personal injury practice, which is led by Partner B. Mark Fong and includes Senior Associate Seema Bhatt and Associate Ember Oparowski.

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $850,000 for Massage Therapist Suffering Hand Injury from Car Crash

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $850,000 for Massage Therapist Suffering Hand Injury from Car Crash

Our client, a massage therapist, was injured when a vehicle made a left turn in front of them and struck their car head-on. During the collision, our client gripped the steering wheel tightly, and suffered a fracture of the 5th metacarpal bone in their right hand – also known as a “boxer’s fracture.” 

After the fracture healed, our client developed carpal tunnel syndrome in their right wrist and was unable to return to work. We had our client evaluated by an orthopedic hand and wrist specialist, who performed carpal tunnel release surgery. Although the surgery was successful, our client developed carpal tunnel syndrome in their left arm due to overuse and required a second carpal tunnel surgery on their left arm.

Our client’s injuries directly impacted their livelihood as a massage therapist. Our vocational rehabilitation expert determined our client would likely suffer a permanent two-thirds reduction in income due to their decreased ability to perform massages. 

Through our investigation, we determined the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident was employed by a large medical device manufacturer. We argued the driver and his employer were negligent, and the collision was the legal cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome in both of our client’s arms. 

Through pre-litigation negotiation, Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Associate Seema Bhatt and Associate Ember Oparowski settled our client’s claim against the medical device manufacturer for a total of $850,000.

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $1 Million Settlement in Tenant Fall Caused by Landlord Negligence

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $1 Million Settlement in Tenant Fall Caused by Landlord Negligence

Our client, a 48-year-old retail manager, was entertaining friends on the second-story balcony of his San Francisco apartment. As he leaned against the railing it gave way, causing him to fall 10 feet to the concrete patio below and strike his head on the concrete.

Our safety expert determined the railing was dry-rotted and improperly affixed to the building with nails that had become corroded. We also discovered the staircase of which the balcony was a part had undergone renovation several years before our client’s accident, but the rotted condition of the railing was never discovered. Instead, the landlord painted over the railing and covered its defective condition.

Our client suffered physical injuries which included spinal and rib fractures and a head laceration.  He made a complete recovery from his physical injuries but, months after his fall, complained of a decline in his memory and cognitive abilities.  

We had him tested by neurological and neuropsychological experts, who demonstrated he had suffered a mild traumatic brain due to the fall. We argued that, although our client had recovered physically, he may suffer cognitive impairment for years to come, if not permanently. 

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Mark Fong settled our client’s claim against his landlord for a total of $1,000,000.  As a happy end note, our client was able to purchase a home with the proceeds of his settlement, which will give him the stability and security he needs.

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $7 Million for Family of Senior Killed by Inattentive Bus Driver

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $7 Million for Family of Senior Killed by Inattentive Bus Driver

We represented the eight adult children of a 71-year-old disabled woman who was hit by a school bus while driving her motorized scooter in a crosswalk in San Jose and subsequently died. We sued the driver of the bus, the company that employed him and owned the bus, and the public entity that hired the bus company to drive its students.

Together the defendants denied the driver was negligent. However, we obtained surveillance video from a nearby business, as well as video onboard the school bus, and created a reconstruction of the accident that showed the driver’s head was turned to his left at the time he struck the victim, instead of facing ahead as it should have been. If the driver had been properly attentive, the accident would never have happened.

In addition to proving fault for the accident, one of the great challenges in this case was proving the value of the loss of care, guidance, and support the decedent gave to each of the plaintiffs. We spent months getting to know her children, who described their mother as the matriarch of their family and the glue that held them together.

By delving into her life story, we learned the decedent emigrated from Mexico as a young woman, hoping for a better life for her children in the U.S. A single mother, she worked at factory jobs to support them, despite having only one leg. She truly was an inspiration to her children, who credit her as their role model and the reason for their success in life.

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Mark Fong and Senior Associate Seema Bhatt settled the clients’ claims at mediation for a total of $7 million.

Seven Minami Tamaki LLP Attorneys Named to 2023 ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ List

Seven Minami Tamaki LLP Attorneys Named to 2023 ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ List

The Best Lawyers in America recognized seven Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys in its 2023 edition. Partners B. Mark Fong, Olivia Serene Lee, Suhi Koizumi, Senior Counsel Dale Minami, and Senior Associate La Verne A. Ramsay made the Best Lawyers list. Associates Lisa P. Mak and Seema Bhatt were selected for Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch.

Lawyers on the Best Lawyers list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. The Ones To Watch awards are recognitions given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States. Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be recognized by Best Lawyers.

Olivia, Suhi, and La Verne were selected for inclusion in the practice area of Immigration Law. It is Olivia’s sixth, Suhi’s fourth, and La Verne’s second listing on The Best Lawyers in America rankings.

Dale and Mark were selected for the Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs list for the tenth year in a row. Seema made the Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch list for the third straight year. In addition to being recognized again in the Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs category, Seema was also listed in the Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs category.

Lisa P. Mak made the Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch list for the second time in the Litigation – Labor and Employment category. Lisa’s ranking represents the firm’s second listing in the employment law category.

These individual awards qualify Minami Tamaki LLP for consideration by the U.S. News/Best Lawyers Best Law Firms list, which is announced in November. The firm has been recognized eight times on the Best Law Firms rankings, which are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. 

Best Lawyers has published its list for more than three decades, striving to earn the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as a reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.