Procopio Elevates Six Attorneys to Partner for 2021
January 7, 2021 (San Diego) – Six Procopio attorneys based in downtown San Diego and Del Mar Heights have been elevated to Partner as the firm enters 2021. Brook Taylor Barnes, Jessica Lazur, Adriana Ochoa, Rebecca Reed, William Smelko and Christopher Tinen are the latest to assume this role at the full-service AmLaw corporate and litigation law firm of more than 180 attorneys.
“Our six new Partners epitomize Procopio’s focus on surpassing client expectations with an integrated team approach,” said Managing Partner John D. Alessio. “We recognized that each of these attorneys has proven to be a leader both in their legal fields and in our firm, and demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment during a past year that presented unique challenges to the legal profession. On behalf of all of the Partners, we look forward to continuing to work alongside them in their new roles.”
Jessica Lazur is a member of Procopio’s Business and Technology team, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and the representation of companies in their formation and organization, debt and equity financings, and general corporate matters. She also represents aircraft purchasers and sellers throughout transactions, including assisting buyers in obtaining California sales and use tax exemptions. A 2020 San Diego Business Journal Leaders in Law finalist, Jessica earned her J.D. at New York University School of Law, where she served as the Developments Editor of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. She earned her B.S. in International Politics at Georgetown University.
Adriana Ochoa advises public agencies and charter schools in a wide range of governance, transparency, conflicts, elections, and operational issues, as well as litigation. Adriana regularly advises joint powers authorities and sanitation agencies formed to acquire, construct and manage wastewater treatment facilities, and operate water recycling and other resource recovery programs. She is experienced in litigating construction and contract disputes, as well as Brown Act, Public Records Act and Proposition 218 litigation. She also represents private clients such as developers, contractors, and individuals in issues relating to eminent domain, government contracts, construction, contracting and litigation matters. A Super Lawyers Rising Star, Adriana is the leader of Procopio’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She earned her J.D. at the University of San Diego School of Law and her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.
Rebecca Reed is a litigator who represents clients in real estate, land use and complex business litigation cases, including developers and landowners in connection with disputes arising out of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Coastal Act, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other challenges to agency development approvals. She also represents clients in a wide variety of real estate related disputes including those arising from boundary lines, easement agreements, covenants and restrictions, deeds, purchase and sale agreements, commercial leases and claims for adverse possession, prescriptive easements and inverse condemnation. Rebecca also handles complex business litigation cases, including shareholder derivative claims, contracts, breach of fiduciary duty and deceit torts. She earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her B.A. from Vanguard University.
William Smelko is a litigator focused on business bankruptcy, restructuring and corporate governance disputes from both the creditor’s and debtor’s perspective. His practice also involves advising banks, credit unions and other financial institutions on a variety of bankruptcy related matters, including plan confirmation objections, asset disposition and use motions, stay relief litigation, lease disputes and the prosecution and defense of discharge objections and nondischargeability complaints. Bill teaches Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Procedure and Workouts, Collections & Foreclosures at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law while also coaching Thomas Jefferson’s Bankruptcy Law Moot Court and Negotiation Teams. He also serves as the Chief Legal Counselor for the California Boys State Program. Bill earned his J.D. at University of Michigan Law School, an H.D. in Literature from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, and a B.A. in American Government and Politics, Speech Communication, and English Literature from the University of Redlands.
Christopher Tinen is a member of Procopio’s Business and Technology team. His practice focuses on corporate and securities law representing public and private companies handling all aspects of SEC compliance, startup formation, and a wide array of financings including public offerings, Reg. A financings, crowdfunding offerings, PIPEs and venture financings. Christopher previously practiced in Palo Alto, where he represented a wide range of technology startups in their corporate matters, formations and venture financings. He earned his J.D. at the Chapman University School of Law, where he served on the Executive Board of the Chapman Law Review, and earned a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University.
Brook Taylor Barnes is the leader of Procopio’s Hospitality Industry Group and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law team. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment litigation including claims for improper wage deductions, failure to pay wages, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide meal periods and rest breaks, misclassification of employees, inaccurate wage statements, commission calculations, wrongful termination, Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims, class actions, and retaliatory and discriminatory employment actions. A Best Lawyers Ones to Watch and a Super Lawyers Rising Star, Brook earned his J.D. at California Western School of Law after earning an M.A. from Sam Houston State University and a B.S. from Texas A&M University.
Procopio’s internal advancement process is rooted in a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The firm was recognized in 2020 by DiversityLab with a Mansfield Rule Certification. This program measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Only a few dozen law firms have achieved this recognition. Procopio has also been recognized a Top Ten AmLaw 200 law firm for Diversity by American Lawyer magazine and a Best Law Firm for Minority Attorneys by Law360.
High-resolution bio photos of all six partners are available for members of the media upon request.