In it’s April 2010 issue, Plaintiff Magazine, one of the leading sources of legal news in northern California, profiled GJEL managing partner Andy Gillin about his four decades of legal service in the Bay Area. The profile, penned by freelancer Stephen Ellison, captures Andy to a tee in both his professional ethos and personal demeanor. Due to Andy’s dedication to GJEL, writes Ellison, the firm has become “one of the area’s top civil litigation firms.”
Something that sticks out to me, is Andy’s strong support for the contingency fee model where, he says, “someone with $50 in the bank can take on General Motors” because GJEL attorneys don’t get paid unless their clients win. And speaking about some of his biggest cases, Andy is always more concerned about the practical result than the firm’s financial benefit. GJEL was a large part of a lawsuit, for example, that recovered $395 million from a healthcare corporation that routinely approved unnecessary heart procedures at Redding Medical Center. “It’s not the amount of money that I’m proud of,” says Andy. “It’s that Tenet Healthcare made a huge change in its corporate governance.”
As part of the profile, Ellison spoke to some of Andy’s colleagues, who each gave glowing reviews. “He’s about absolutely honesty, and he’s a man of his word…and it makes for a very efficient process, regardless of which side you’re on,” said Oakland defense attorney David Samuelsen.
“He’s always concerned that these good people have suffered a devastating event, and he wants to get them someone who can help, whether it’s with his firm or some other firm,” said Cynthia McGuinn of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & McGuinn. “I would even go so far as to say he gives his clients the same interest and support he would give his own family.”
We’d like to send a big thank you to David Samuelson and Cynthia McGuinn for their comments. Read the profile and Andy’s firm bio for more on his background, mentors, and continuing professional philosophy.