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Deborah S. Ballati Selected as Hastings Alumnus of the Year

February 19, 2004 Accolades

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 19, 2004):  Deborah S. Ballati, a litigation partner in the law firm of Farella Braun + Martel LLP, has been selected as the Hastings College of the Law Alumnus of the Year.

The award, recognizing the accomplishments of a Hastings Alumnus, will be presented to Ms. Ballati on February 27 at the school’s Founder’s Day Luncheon, celebrating the 126th anniversary of the founding of Hastings.  Ms. Ballati is a 1975 graduate of Hastings.  Also being recognized is former San Francisco Mayor, the Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr., a 1958 Hastings graduate, who will receive the Hastings Medal of Achievement.

Ms. Ballati has a broad civil and commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on construction law and insurance coverage.   She is nationally recognized as a leader in both areas of the law.    

This past year Ms. Ballati was selected by Hastings to receive the Clara Foltz Award, honoring women attorneys who seek to promote feminist discourse at Hastings.   For over a decade, Ms. Ballati served as a co-chair and faculty member in Hastings’ College of Advocacy program.  She has also been a member of the Hastings 1066 Foundation.

“Deborah Ballati is a leader in both the construction law and insurance coverage industries, regionally and nationally,” said William J. Schlinkert, chair, Farella Braun + Martel.   “It is no surprise that one of the region’s most respected legal institutions has honored her depth of experience, her commitment to pro bono work and community service, and her career-long support of Hastings College of the Law.”

Ms. Ballati is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and recently concluded a term as Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry, widely recognized as the premier construction law group in the country.  In 2003, she was also elected to the Board of Governors of the American College of Construction Lawyers and served as editor of Privatizing Governmental Functions, a new book on privatization.

Ms. Ballati is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University where she received a B.A. in Political Science.  She received her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law where she was ranked in the top ten percent of her class and was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Thurston Society.   She serves as an arbitrator for the San Francisco Superior Court and the American Arbitration Association (panel of commercial and construction arbitrators).  She has written and spoken on a wide variety of topics, including State and Federal False Claims Acts, MBE/WBE laws, construction damages and insurance issues relevant to construction.

Ms. Ballati is a member of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and Boys Hope Girls Hope of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In her construction litigation practice, Ms. Ballati has represented companies involved in virtually all aspects of the construction industry, including owners, contractors, design professionals, subcontractors and sureties.   Her cases have included delay and defect claims arising out of commercial, residential and heavy civil construction projects.  She has also often been instrumental in helping her clients or others to secure insurance coverage to resolve claims.  Her clients have included The Regents of the University of California, the City and County of San Francisco, The Coca-Cola Company, CH2M Hill, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals,  Walsh Construction Company, Intel and others. 

In her insurance coverage practice, Ms. Ballati has represented policyholders in pursuing coverage under all types of insurance policies, including primary and excess general liability policies, property policies, environmental insurance, professional liability policies and employment practices liability policies.   Her clients in the coverage area include the Port of Oakland, Raychem Chemical, McKesson and others.

Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the high profile cases of its complex commercial litigation practice and its prestigious client base.   With 120 attorneys in the firm’s San Francisco office, the firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses including VISA International, VISA U.S.A. Inc., General Electric Company, Levi Strauss & Co., McDonald’s Corporation, Lucasfilm Ltd., Dolby Laboratories Inc., The Robert Mondavi Corporation, McKesson HBOC, Inc., the University of California, Silicon Valley Bank, Verizon Wireless and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Company Limited. 

Press Contact:
Cheryl Loof, 415 954-4433

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