steveStephen Piccola

sp@acumenllp.com
+1 (818) 618-6306

Stephen Piccola is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Mr. Piccola has over 30 years experience as a Workers’ Compensation defense attorney representing insurance companies, self-insured employers, and governmental entities.

Mr. Piccola combines the value of his experience with his continuing passion for uncovering creative ways to achieve satisfactory results for his clients. In his hands, every case is a new chance to do good for people who deserve it.

When not working or spending time with his family, Stephen enjoys snowboarding, paragliding, and restoring his classic Chevelle.

 

richardRichard Gallegly

rg@acumenllp.com
+1 (310) 508-0219

Richard Gallegly earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis.

Mr. Gallegly spent 12 years in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office during which he tried more than 60 jury trials.  His cases have received national media attention including ABC’s 20/20, Investigation Discovery’s Fear Thy Neighbor, the Los Angeles Times and adjustercom.com  During his last 4 years in the office he served in the Healthcare Fraud Division and prosecuted dozens of workers’ compensation fraud cases as well as provider fraud.

Prior to his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Gallegly worked at the prominent international law firm of Paul Hastings and also represented hospitals for 4 years defending medical malpractice claims.

Mr. Gallegly represents insurance companies, self-insured entities, private employers, 3rd party administrators, and public entities in all aspects of workers’ compensation defense.  His expertise is available to clients to provide training, compliance, program integrity, and other strategic counseling specific to fraud.

Mr. Gallegly is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his two boys’ baseball teams.

 

jazmineJazmine Peetz

jp@acumenllp.com
+1 (818) 245-1353

Jazmine Peetz attended U.C. Berkeley for her undergraduate studies, where she earned a B.A. in Integrative Biology. After working for three years at a transplant organization, Ms. Peetz went back to school to pursue her Juris Doctorate. She graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Loyola Law School in 2009.

Ms. Peetz worked as an employment litigation attorney for 6 years handling harassment, discrimination, and retaliation cases in state and federal courts. She joined Acumen Law in 2015, and handles all aspects of workers’ compensation defense. Ms. Peetz’s background in employment litigation makes her distinctively qualified to defend against Labor Code 132a claims.

Ms. Peetz is a four-time recipient of the Super Lawyers Rising Star Award, and is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In her spare time, Ms. Peetz enjoys playing with her kids, running, and going to the beach.

 

jasonJason P. Caperna

jc@acumenllp.com
+1 (631) 220-2142

For his undergraduate studies, Jason Caperna attended Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts where he majored in Political Science. Mr. Caperna obtained his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA and is currently admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court and Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Caperna’s practice focuses mainly on the defense of Workers’ Compensation claims. He feels very passionately about achieving positive outcomes for his clients and does everything in his power to reach effective resolutions that make a real difference.

Outside of the office, Mr. Caperna is highly active in his community. In his free time, he enjoys reading, golfing, and exercising.

 

jeffJeff Nakao

jn@acumenllp.com
+1 (626) 325 8529

Jeff Nakao has handled eight workers’ compensation cases resulting in criminal prosecutions for insurance fraud and has multiple cases currently being evaluated by the District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Nakao is a certified CEU provider for the “Fighting Fraud” course which aims to educate and encourage others in the profession to uncover and prosecute fraud. As part of his practice, Mr. Nakao consults with employers to evaluate cases for workers’ compensation fraud.

In addition to aggressively pursuing workers’ compensation fraud, Mr. Nakao resolves files strategically and expeditiously by employing bulk settlement conferences and settling at depositions. Mr. Nakao has experience representing a wide range of clients including hospitals, school districts and shipping container terminals.

Mr. Nakao has earned the respect and acclaim of his legal peers by being selected as a “Super Lawyers Rising Star” every year from 2013 to 2017. The “Super Lawyers Rising Stars” list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the entire state.

Prior to joining Acumen Law, Mr. Nakao handled civil employment law matters involving wage and hour, discrimination, harassment and retaliation in state and federal court.

When his schedule permits, Mr. Nakao enjoys spending time with his family, playing softball, fishing, camping and stand up paddle boarding.

B.A. – Economics – University of California, Berkeley
J.D. – Loyola Law School

 

chrisChristopher S. Pettit

cp@acumenllp.com
+1 (760) 271-0700

Chris Pettit was born and raised in San Diego, California. He attended Pitzer College where he received a B.A. with a double major in anthropology and psychology. Mr. Pettit obtained his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA and is currently admitted to practice law in California.

Mr. Pettit specializes in all areas of Workers’ Compensation defense for self-insured, insured, and governmental clients. He begins every new case by focusing on the specific issues at hand and establishing a personal relationship with his client that affords him an opportunity to understand what a successful resolution means to them.

Outside of work, Mr. Pettit enjoys spending time with his family, including his Boston Terrier, Josie, as well as traveling to Hawaii and the southwest, camping and practicing yoga.

 

mikeMichael A. Brand

mb@acumenllp.com
+1 (213) 268-3404

Michael Brand grew up in Buffalo, New York and moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. After having completed his undergraduate studies, Mr. Brand enrolled at Loyola Law School, after which he was admitted into the California State Bar. Currently, he is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court and the Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Brand approaches his work with great enthusiasm and intensity while continually updating his knowledge base. His intelligence and enthusiasm have been instrumental in helping him master the complex elements of California Workers’ Compensation law and provide creative solutions for his clients.

From a young age, Mr. Brand has been a member and volunteer for the YMCA and now, in his free time, he enjoys swimming, golfing, training his German Shepherd, and attending sporting events.

 

lindabethLindaBeth Nichols

lbn@acumenllp.com
+ 1 (818) 839-0249

LindaBeth Nichols grew up in Rochester, New York and attended the State University of New York, University at Buffalo, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, graduating magna cum laude. She then earned a Masters of Arts from The Center for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario, and taught as adjunct faculty in Sociology at two area community colleges. After teaching for two years, Ms. Nichols decided to return to the interest in law she had in high school, and pursued an ABA-approved certificate in Paralegal Studies from University of California, San Diego.

Ms. Nichols is the senior paralegal at Acumen Law, and is also a hearing representative with her own caseload, under the attorneys’ supervision. She is the resident lien expert and manages the firm’s lien program, including lien litigation.

In her free time, Ms. Nichols takes advantage of the great California outdoors by backpacking, kayaking, and hiking. She also enjoys visiting her sister in San Diego and traveling all over the West Coast.

 

Todd Garber

Of Counsel

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Todd received his B.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, specializing in finance and accounting.  He then moved to Los Angeles, receiving a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, and is currently admitted to practice law in the State of California.

Todd strongly believes that consistent and collaborative communication with clients is the key to delivering successful outcomes, and achieving efficient claim resolutions.  In his free time, he enjoys reading non-fiction, taking road trips, and cheering a bit too passionately for Michigan football.