71% of New Partners Are Women

WSHB's top ten ranking on the National Law Journal’s 2020 Women in Law Scorecard was further affirmed with the firm's latest round of mid-year partner promotions. WSHB remains a steadfast industry leader in our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, a core value since firm's inception.

We're proud to recognize the following seven new partners to the firm:

Catherine Deter (Orange County, Whittier Law School) - Passionate in her drive to protect creative individuals, Catherine excels in her representation of architects, engineers, and other design professionals. Throughout her career, Catherine has represented some of the largest professional design firms in the world, top industry leaders, individuals, professionals, and corporations. In addition, she represents national and regional construction, engineering and architectural firms in complex litigation and business and employment practice issues and disputes. Catherine’s practice also includes a variety of high exposure catastrophic injury cases, wrongful death actions, intellectual property disputes, and business transactions. Catherine is a graduate of Whittier Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Writing, with honors, from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rebecca Gabroy (Orange County, Charlotte School of Law) - Loved by clients for her approachable yet detail-oriented approach to litigation, Rebecca's practice focuses on general liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, cannabis law, equine litigation, labor and employment, transportation litigation, product liability and business litigation. After a string of high-exposure cases, Rebecca has consolidated her practice and defends corporations, professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, public entities and investors.

Carla Grabarek (Portland, Lewis & Clark Law School) - In her well-rounded practice, Carla focuses on civil litigation involving construction, professional liability, and the gamut of complex general liability matters. Throughout most of law school, Carla was employed full-time at an executive business coaching company. Carla also gained extensive experience working with clients and the courts as an intern at the Lewis & Clark Legal Clinic, handling extremely complex and hotly contested matters.

Ryan Hicks (Denver, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law) - Serving as Senior Counsel in our Denver office, Ryan's practice involves complex litigation involving construction defect, catastrophic injury, insurance coverage, premises liability, medical malpractice and professional liability issues. In addition, Ryan handles litigation involving products liability, toxic torts, subrogation and business litigation. His construction defect experience includes representation of large residential and commercial builders / developers with claims exceeding $50 million down to individual subcontractors on single family residences. Ryan also has substantial experience representing individuals, small businesses and trustees in Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Sebastian Larrea (Boca Raton, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center) - Honored with a "Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch" recognition for his work in Insurance Law earlier this year, Sebastian handles a variety of complex first party property coverage issues, including bad faith, and catastrophic claims throughout the State of Florida. Sebastian is experienced in representing and regularly advising domestic and international insurers on first-party property and hurricane claims. He is also well-versed in representing domestic carriers in personal injury protection matters. Additionally, Sebastian has worked in conjunction with various insurers’ Special Investigation Units (SIU) assisting in the defense and prosecution of fraudulent insurance claims. Sebastian was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and is a graduate of the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University. While in law school, he completed a certified legal internship with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, where he gained experience arguing pre-trial motions and conducting bench trials.

Herjit Rubio (Riverside, Whittier Law School) - With diversified experience in both the public and private sectors, Herjit's practice focuses on construction defect, medical malpractice and healthcare law, elder abuse, public entity defense, toxic torts and catastrophic injury. She works to vigorously defend developers, builders, and contractors in complex construction litigation, as well as handling claims for municipalities and public agencies in all aspects of litigation, up to trial, including general torts, police liability, employment and dangerous condition of public property. Herjit has extensive experience preparing cases for trials on behalf of public and private sector clients in complex litigation matters. While in law school she was awarded the Dean’s Merit Scholarship for academic distinction for all three years she attended and also received the Cali Award (the highest grade) in Professional Skills: Litigation. During law school she interned for the mental health unit of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, where she provided assistance representing indigent clientele who were subject to civil mental health commitments. She also worked as a certified law clerk at the Riverside City Attorney’s Office, as well as certified law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, where she assisted in representing the United States in both civil and criminal federal cases.

Karin Schaffer (Portland, Loyola School of Law) - Licensed in both Oregon and California, Karin Schaffer specializes in complex civil litigation in both state and federal courts involving construction; civil rights issues; professional liability; transportation; labor and employment matters, including the defense of discrimination and wage and hour matters; catastrophic injury; and general tort (personal injury and premises liability) and product liability. In addition to handling civil litigation matters, Karin’s practice focuses on providing clients’ executive teams with strategic advice on labor and employment issues, and resolving pre-litigation employment claims related to wrongful discharge, retaliation, harassment, discrimination, wage and hour compliance, and FMLA leave and employment agreements. She possesses a broad range of experience in handling transactional matters, including those in the areas of real estate, trust and estates, construction, and business. Karin received her law degree from Loyola Marymount University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

"We are living in extraordinary times and the last 18 months have challenged us like never before,” said Stewart Reid, firmwide managing partner. “The last 18 months have also brought out the best in many of our attorneys, pushing them to rise to their fullest to continue to service our clients and be top performers on the WSHB team.” Reid further explained, "In light of the achievements and performance of these attorneys, the Management Committee made an exception to our normal year end promotions for some of our key attorneys and instead we would like to recognize these talented lawyers now, midyear, as we emerge together into the new normal."

WSHB is a full service national law firm founded in 1997 with over 300 attorneys in 18 states across the U.S. Our attorneys have tried over 1,000 to verdict and are internationally recognized for an exceptionally high rate of success. Ranked 6th on the American Lawyer's 2021 Diversity Scorecard and honored as one of the top 10 law firms in the nation for inclusiveness of women lawyers in the National Law Journal's 2020 Women in Law Scorecard, WSHB is a proven leader in the legal community and beyond.

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