mikeMichael A. Brand

+1 (213) 268-3404

Michael Brand grew up in Western New York and moved to California 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, and he strives to persistently update 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 limited free time, he enjoys swimming, golfing, training his German Shepherd, and attending sporting events.


jasonJason P. Caperna

+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.


lindabethLindaBeth Nichols

+ 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.

After working as a paralegal in Rochester, Ms. Nichols moved to California, where she has worked as a defense Workers’ Compensation paralegal and hearing representative. Ms. Nichols assists the attorneys on various aspects of the case-in-chief. She also manages all aspects of lien resolution, from objection and negotiation through lien litigation. She provides adjusters with a legal analysis of the liens, resolves liens during the case-in-chief when appropriate, and works with attorneys to ensure that the litigation process sets up the best legal arguments for resolving liens post-settlement.

In her free time, Ms. Nichols takes advantage of the great California outdoors by backpacking, kayaking, and hiking. She loves the diversity in food, culture, and activities that Los Angeles offers. She also enjoys visiting her sister in San Diego and traveling all over the West Coast.


chrisChristopher S. Pettit

+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.


steveStephen Piccola

+1 (818) 618-6306

Stephen Piccola is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Mr. Piccola has over 25 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.


jeffJeff Nakao

+1 (626) 325 8529

Jeffrey Nakao joined the Acumen team in 2014. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Loyola Law School. Mr. Nakao has focused his career on all areas of workers’ compensation defense for self-insured, insured, and governmental clients. He has been consulted as a local expert at various Los Angeles area Worker’s Compensation Appeals Boards, including the Marina del Rey, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Pomona jurisdictions.

Like the rest of his colleagues at Acumen, Mr. Nakao believes firmly in the power of maintaining a reasonable caseload that allows him to provide his clients with superior service and ensure optimal claims resolution.


jazmineJazmine Peetz

+1 (818) 245-1353

Jazmine Peetz attended U.C. Berkeley for her undergraduate studies, where she earned a B.A. in Integrative Biology with a minor in Nutritional Science. After three years in the workforce, 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 is currently admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California as well as the Federal District Court for the Central District of California. She is a two-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 travelling.


richardRichard Gallegly

+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.


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.