Nordstrand Black - February 2020






LEGAL FOUNDATIONS Valentine’s Day can be about more than celebrating romantic relationships. Having introduced my husband and law partner, Doug Black, in our last edition, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the other members of our team. Their skill and dedication have had a positive impact on our clients over the years and also on me. been a pleasure to see them coordinate together during the three years he’s been with us. As someone who worked at her own father’s law firm, I know the difference this kind of family bond can make.

Last but certainly not least, Emma Glancy is responsible for much of the behind-the-scenes work that keeps our firm running smoothly. As our bookkeeper, Emma’s expertise in accounting and technology management enables our legal team to focus on our clients rather than on spreadsheets and databases. We’re all looking forward to celebrating her graduation in June of this year from UC Santa Barbara’s ethics and public policy program. Coming to know and work with these individuals has been one of the best surprises about running a law firm. For many years, I thought that no one could do things as well as I could. I cared for my clients and felt uncomfortable leaving any aspect of their case in someone else’s hands. But over the years, witnessing the professionalism of this team has shown me just how much better we can serve our community when I can collaborate with those I trust. On a more personal note, it has been a joy to watch each and every member of this team grow over the years. Seeing them raise their families, advance in their studies, and help causes close to their heart has been deeply inspiring to me. I may have hired them to make a difference to our clients, but looking back, they’ve certainly made a difference to me, too.

Michele Cuttler and I have worked together as attorneys for years, and I’ve found her skillset to be invaluable. A graduate of both UC Santa Barbara and Santa Clara University School of Law, Michele has been practicing law for three decades. She’s a consummate expert when it comes to the technical aspects of being an attorney, specializing in law and motion work, researching the law and crafting legal arguments and case strategies. But it’s not just Michele’s knowledge and attention to detail that make her a great fit for this firm. Her work over the decades with vital charities, like CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation), Storyteller Children’s Center, and the Santa Barbara Resiliency Project, show she’s committed to serving our community beyond her capacity as a lawyer. Our legal assistant, Sylvia Guzman, is one of the newer members of our team, one who’s poised to go far. Finishing up her final year of law school, Sylvia has been putting her studies to work here at the firm, providing invaluable support to our attorneys. The fact that she manages to juggle school and her job while raising her three children (ages 12, 10, and 4) is a testament to her dedication and work ethic. There is no doubt in my mind she is going to make a fantastic attorney.

The first person I’d like to introduce is our legal assistant, Anne Mary Morrison, who I have known for 28 years. We met at the infancy of our careers when we worked together at another law firm. Anne has been with our firm since 2014. She is generally the first person you speak to when you call in or come through our doors — she is a calm, knowledgeable presence who keeps you informed over the course of your case. Beyond her 28 years of experience in her field, Anne also has a deep appreciation for the arts; she enjoys opera, singing, and piano. She’s been deeply involved in raising her grandchildren over the years and works directly with her son, Matthew, here at the firm. Matthew Morrison, our associate attorney, a graduate of UC Berkeley and Golden Gate Law School, has defined his legal career through a patient, meticulous approach that gives his clients the winning edge. Since becoming a lawyer in 2011, he’s excelled in representing personal injury clients and has won the respect of his opposition thanks to his diligent and persistent demeanor. Matthew seems to have inherited his mother’s ability to work well under pressure, and it’s

Here’s to all the meaningful relationships in our lives,

– Renee Nordstrand

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