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Rex L. Altman, Founder and Managing Partner



BACKGROUND

Rex L. Altman is a Los Angeles native and attended UCLA where he received his BA in Psychology.  He later attended the University of West Los Angeles where he received a JD in 1986. Since his admission to practice law, Mr. Altman has specialized in the defense of workers' compensation cases for self-insured and insured employers, including many public entities. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Altman has been very active in monitoring the progress of the ever-changing and developing workers' compensation system and has lectured at many seminars. He has been a speaker at the California Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorneys Association Convention, and his paper, "Winning Your Case Through the QME Process", was published in the Workers' Compensation Quarterly.

Mr. Altman's litigation experience has included the handling of matters involving complex medical and legal issues. His practice has included work with many diverse companies, including extensive involvement with the food, hospitality, film, hospital and transportation industries. He currently serves as managing partner of the firm.

Prior to commencing practice as a founding member of Altman, Lunche & Blitstein, Mr. Altman was a partner in the firm of Kegel, Tobin & Truce where he had extensive trial experience. He has also served on the Board of the California Workers' Compensation Defense Attorneys Association.



Richard J. Lunche, Partner



BACKGROUND

Richard J. Lunche received his bachelor's degree in Journalism from San Diego State University. He worked for two years as a reporter for the La Mesa Scout.  Mr. Lunche graduated with honors from Loyola Law School-Los Angeles and was admitted to the State Bar in 1980.

Mr. Lunche began his legal career with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, subsequently associating with the law firm of Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Krepack, handling workers' compensation and Social Security claims. Since 1989 he has devoted his practice to handling workers' compensation defense on behalf of employers. He was previously self-employed and later associated with the law firm of Grancell, Lebovitz, Stander, Marx & Barnes.

Mr. Lunche has extensive trial experience before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and is bilingual in Spanish.



Lee A. Blitstein, Partner

Certified Specialist Workers’ Compensation Law
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
BACKGROUND

Lee A. Blitstein received his bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television Broadcasting from California State University Northridge. He graduated from Southwestern Law School in 1987. After working in the entertainment industry, Mr. Blitstein returned to the legal field and was admitted to the California State Bar, United States District Court and all courts in the State of California.

Mr. Blitstein has extensive experience in the practice of workers’ compensation litigation. He originally served the interests of injured workers and subsequently worked as a defense attorney representing insurance carriers and employers in their workers’ compensation matters.  Mr. Blitstein is a Certified Specialist and has served as a Judge Pro-Tempore at the Agoura board.

Mr. Blitstein was appointed, and sworn in, as a workers’ compensation judge in January 2005. He served the State of California and the public at large from January 2005 through September 2009. Mr. Blitstein stepped down from the bench to join the firm in October 2009.  Mr. Blitstein became a name partner in August of 2011.

In addition, Mr. Blitstein has lectured extensively to applicant attorneys, defense attorneys, members of the workers' compensation community and judges on topics ranging from preparation of cases for trial, litigation strategies, sexual harassment and bias, file documentation, cross-examination techniques, impeachment, fraud and other aspects of workers' compensation.



Elliot Kushner



BACKGROUND

Elliot Kushner received his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Political Science.  He is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society.

After receiving his Juris Doctor from Loyola University of Los Angeles School of Law, Mr. Kushner was admitted to practice in California and was also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California.

Mr. Kushner was previously engaged in general civil practice, including workers’ compensation, personal injury, real property, business litigation and commercial practice from 1975 to 1991. One of the highlights of this period of his career was his participation in the litigation of an appeal before the United States Supreme Court which resulted in a reported decision.

Prior to joining Altman, Lunche & Blitstein, Mr. Kushner was associated with Clopton, Penny & Brenner for 10 years handling both defense workers’ compensation matters and subrogation litigation.



Kenneth R. Berman

Certified Specialist Workers’ Compensation Law
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
BACKGROUND

Kenneth R. Berman received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating cum laude. He graduated from Loyola Law School and was admitted to practice law in California and in the Federal courts in 1982.

Mr. Berman has considerable experience in the practice of workers’ compensation law. He began his legal career handling workers’ compensation matters with Rose, Klein and Marias and was later self-employed, handling both defense cases and catastrophic applicant’s cases. Mr. Berman was the managing partner of a defense law firm in Glendale and has subsequently been actively involved in the litigation of defense workers’ compensation matters.

Mr. Berman has extensive trial experience before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Since 1990 Mr. Berman has been a Certified Specialist Workers’ Compensation of The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

In 1991 Mr. Berman was a featured speaker for the Los Angeles Dodgers, addressing workers’ compensation issues applicable to that organizations’ employees and has been a panel speaker at various workers’ compensation seminars. He also served as a Judge Pro Tempore at the Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Santa Monica Boards from 1990-1995.



Donald E. Arnold



BACKGROUND

Donald E. Arnold received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from California State University, Northridge. After graduation, Mr. Arnold entered the field of workers’ compensation through work with two national insurance carriers. He worked at both Travelers Property Casualty and CIGNA Insurance.

Mr. Arnold's work at these carriers spanned all aspects of the workers’ compensation practice, and he held the positions of Claim and Senior Claim Representative, Hearing Representative and Unit Manager.

While working at the insurance carriers, Mr. Arnold attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles earning a place on the Dean’s List.

Mr. Arnold was a staff member of the Southwestern University Law Review, where he wrote an article analyzing rehabilitation issues that arise in workers’ compensation. The Law Review eventually selected Mr. Arnold’s article for publication. The article can be found at 28 Southwestern University Law Review (1999) 677. An earlier, condensed version was also published in the Workers’ Compensation Reporter (1998).

Mr. Arnold has represented both insured and self-insured employers, and his experience includes trial and appellate work on complex medical and legal issues.



Mark E. Dykstra

Certified Specialist Workers’ Compensation Law
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
BACKGROUND

Mark E. Dykstra received his BA in English and Philosophy from Dalhousie University where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, doing three tours of the Persian Gulf including Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. He was awarded 2 Navy Achievement Medals and was named “Sailor of the Year” at the Naval Training Center San Diego. He obtained his JD cum laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he was a published member of the law review.

Mr. Dykstra is a Certified Specialist with over 15 years experience in workers' compensation law. He began his legal career representing applicant cases with Anthony J. DeLellis & Associates, later moving to the defense of employers with the Law Offices of Steven D Hamor. He was with the defense firm of Heggeness and Sweet for 5 years, becoming managing partner of the firm’s Riverside office. Most recently he was associated with Serembe, Bakke & Seaman.

Mr. Dykstra is a knowledgeable and aggressive attorney who has successfully defended complex workers' compensation cases at the state appellate and supreme court levels.



Mitchell A. Garrett

Certified Specialist Workers’ Compensation Law
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
BACKGROUND

Mitchell A. Garrett received his BA Degree, cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley.  Mr. Garrett obtained his JD degree from Glendale University College of Law in 1983 and was admitted to the bar the following year.  He has been a Certified Specialist, Workers' Compensation The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization since 2005.

Mr. Garrett has 26 years of experience in the field of workers' compensation.  Early in his career, Mr. Garrett worked on behalf of injured workers. Mr. Garrett later devoted his practice to the defense of employers in workers' compensation matters.  During his years of work on behalf of the employer community, he has been associated with Cohen and Gannam, Zonni, Ginocchio & Taylor, Morrow & Salisbury, and Bagby, Gajdos and Zachary prior to joining our firm.

Mr. Garrett is conversant in all aspects of workers' compensation law.  He has extensive litigation experience including the handling of many complex trials.  He has argued cases at the District Court of Appeal and has a published opinion.



Mark S. Katz



BACKGROUND

Mark S. Katz received his BA in Political Science from California State University at Northridge, graduating cum laude. He graduated from the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law in 1976 and was admitted to practice law in California that same year.

Mr. Katz was initially involved in civil practice as both self-employed and as in-house counsel for an insurance company, handling subrogation litigation.

Mr. Katz has wide-ranging experience in the field of worker compensation defense litigation working with Korte, Crane and Heisler, Jacobs and Solomon, and Jacobs and Associates.

Mr.Katz has represented insured and self-insured employers and has extensive trial experience before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Boards of Southern California.



Mark L. Kahn



BACKGROUND

Mark Kahn received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge and subsequently graduated from Southwestern Law School.

Mr. Kahn was first sworn in as a workers’ compensation judge in 1981.  He served as Presiding Judge of the Van Nuys Board and served as Assistant Chief of the Division of Workers’ Compensation before becoming Associate Chief Judge.

Mr. Kahn has wide‑ranging experience in the practice of workers' compensation litigation.  He has lectured extensively to applicant and defense attorneys, stakeholders in the community and other judges on topics ranging from trial preparation, litigation strategies, sexual harassment and bias, ADA, case law, utilization review and many other aspects of workers' compensation practice.

In 2007, the California Bar Workers’ Compensation Section named him Judge of the Year.

Mr. Kahn has also taught workers’ compensation law at Southwestern University School of Law and Pasadena City College.



Robert H. Goldstein



BACKGROUND

Robert Goldstein received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA and his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law.  He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Goldstein began his legal career in 1967 with State Compensation Insurance Fund where he handled the defense of workers’ compensation matters and third-party liability subrogation.  He subsequently represented injured workers in proceedings before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, the Social Security Administration, public entity retirement boards and in civil matters as an associate and later a partner at Geffner and Satzman.  He was a member of the California Applicant's Attorneys Association Amicus Curiae Committee and prepared a number of amicus briefs.

In 1981 Mr. Goldstein founded the Law Office of Robert Goldstein and specialized in the defense of claims involving work related injuries, as well as Labor Code §132a and Serious and Willful Misconduct claims.  He then became a founding member of Goldstein, Gurvitz and Silver, a worker's compensation defense practice located in Encino, California.  The firm was later known as Goldstein, Gurvitz, Marlowe and Miller.  He became "of counsel" to the firm in 2008 and later associated with Goldman, Magdalin & Krikes prior to joining our firm.

Mr. Goldstein has had extensive appellate court experience and has argued 12 cases before the appellate courts of the State of California, all of which are reported in California Compensation Cases.  The case with which he is most frequently associated is Franklin vs. WCAB, 79 Cal. App. 3d 310, a leading case involving the issue of apportionment under Labor Code §§4663 and 4750, prior to the enactment of SB 899.

During the course of his extensive legal career, Mr. Goldstein has lectured on a variety of workers' compensation topics in seminars for insurance carriers, self-insured employers, the California Trial Lawyers Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery and the California Applicants' Attorneys Association.



Diane Martin



BACKGROUND
Diane E. Martin received her undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University, graduating summa cum laude. Diane received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 2001 and was admitted to practice in California in 2001. Prior to joining the firm, she was an associate with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, where she managed a diverse and challenging case load defending employers in their workers’ compensation matters. Ms. Martin focuses her practice on the defense of worker’s compensation cases. She represents defendants in all aspects of worker’s compensation litigation, including depositions, witness meetings, conferences, arbitrations, physician cross-examinations, expedited hearings and trials. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Martin raced stock cars at Santa Maria Speedway as a hobby. In addition, Ms. Martin and her husband were missionaries to Romania, assisting with the development of an orphanage, Caminal Felix in Oradia, Romania. Presently, she is active in the rescue of feral cats and horses.


Paul Young



BACKGROUND

Paul W. Young received his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Psychology.

After receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne College of Law, Mr. Young was admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Young has 21 years of experience in the field of workers' compensation law.  Mr. Young initiated his legal career working on behalf of injured workers; specializing in the representation of sworn personnel.

Mr. Young thereafter devoted his career to the representation of employers, insurance companies and self-insured entities in all workers' compensation matters.  Mr. Young has extensive experience with the handling of complex litigation cases involving high exposure, multiple defendants, 132(a) discrimination claims as well as serious and willful misconduct allegations.