A Truckee-Tahoe fixture since 1969, Porter Simon has a long tradition of not only top-notch legal services, but community involvement. The firm’s history traces the many changes and transitions that Truckee and the surrounding area have seen over the years. As the firm continues to grow and evolve along with the people around it, some old photos got us thinking about the firm’s history, present, and future.
After vagabonding for a year in Europe, Jim Porter joined what was then Stevens & Wood in 1973 fresh out of law school, he was happy to accept a wage of $5 per hour. Truckee was not the bustling town it is today. A few years later, while skiing at one of the local resorts, Porter was introduced to Jim Simon, an Oakland-based attorney who, like Porter, was a graduate of the esteemed Hastings Law School in San Francisco. They shared a passion for practicing law at the highest level while taking an active role in the local community, and ultimately teamed up to form the firm we know today as Porter Simon.
Over the years, styles and legal trends have come and gone, but one thing has remained the same. Porter Simon is still the preeminent provider of legal services not only in the Truckee-Tahoe area, but the surrounding region, offering a quality of practice more commonly found in major urban centers than a beautiful mountain town high in the Sierra.
Since those early days, the firm has grown and expanded along with its surroundings. Partner Pete Cuttitta joined the firm in 1985, adding significant depth and heft to the firm’s trial and litigation practice. Pete is the firm’s resident cowboy. In 1991, the firm made two significant additions with the arrival of Kelley Carroll and Steve Gross. Kelley brought an extensive trusts and estates practice to the firm, while Steve added a public agency representation dimension to the firm, as well as experience with management-side employment law.
In 1994, longtime local practitioner and genuine good guy Steven Lieberman joined the firm. In 2005, Steve was joined in the firm’s corporate transactional and business law department by Brian Hanley, a Stanford Law graduate with a wide array of clients in the local business and real estate community.
Ravn Whitington joined the firm in 2014 as an experienced trial attorney with a background in criminal defense and civil matters. More recently, the firm was joined by longtime Tahoe City attorney Lou Basile, a fixture in the local legal landscape for the past 39 years, and Chris Brown, a North Tahoe High School graduate who recently returned to the mountains after 10 years of commercial litigation and employment law practice at an international law firm in San Francisco.
From its roots as a small, mountain firm founded by ski buddies, Porter Simon’s depth of legal practice and the variety of services it offers is remarkable for what started as a “country casual” firm almost 50 years ago.
Business-Transactional: The firm has a robust business-transactional practice led by partner Brian Hanley. Along with Steve Lieberman and Jim Porter, the firm handles all types of entity formation and buy-sell agreements.
Litigation & Trial Advocacy: The firm handles the gamut of civil litigation, from commercial business disputes, insurance coverage issues, accidents and personal injury, to employment litigation, real estate disputes, construction disputes, and more. With a deep bench of experienced trial attorneys and team members who have handled complex, cutting-edge cases, Porter Simon is well situated to handle essentially any type of matter with expertise.
Trusts & Estates: Kelley Carroll and Brian Hanley provide sophisticated family and estate planning services with a personal touch. Kelley is certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in the areas of estate planning, trust and probate law, and holds an advanced degree (L.L.M.) in tax. Brian’s background advising closely held corporations provides him with a unique perspective when it comes time to advise families on planning issues.
Public Agency Representation: Steve Gross has incredible depth of experience in all facets of representing local agency, public district and municipality and districts, cities and towns. He serves as the City Attorney for the cities of Portola and Loyalton, and is general counsel for several public agencies. Steve is a sought-after mentor to public agency attorneys.
Criminal Defense: Ravn Whitington offers comprehensive representation in criminal matters. Drawing on his experience as a public defender for the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, Ravn can assist clients with all types of criminal matters.
Employment Law: Chris Brown and Steve Gross provide experienced counsel with all facets of state and federal employment law. The firm recently built up its employment law expertise when Chris joined the firm, adding depth to an already considerable employment practice. Porter Simon can counsel on all matters of California and FLSA employment compliance, assist with discipline and terminations, and provide efficient, skilled representation when you face agency charges, wrongful termination claims, or any other employment litigation.
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The content contained and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author. This blog contains content and opinions concerning the law generally, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create any attorney‑client relationship with the reader. The reader should consult with an attorney about any specific legal issues prior to embarking on any course of action or inaction involving legal matters.