– Firm welcomes Rachel Moffitt, Joseph Kagan and Joseph Gonnella –
SAN DIEGO – December 15, 2015 – Higgs Fletcher & Mack, a San Diego-based, full-service law firm for more than 75 years, announced the addition of Rachel Moffitt, Joseph Kagan and Joseph Gonnella as its newest associates.
The three legal professionals join the firm after recently passing the California Bar Examination.
Moffitt will assist Higgs’ Partner John Morris with appellate matters, and will provide support within the litigation practice groups. Kagan will aid Higgs’ Pete Doody with transportation, tort and insurance clients while also offering surge support in other general litigation areas such as employment and bankruptcy. Gonnella will work in the construction and business litigation practice groups.
“Not only do all three associates come to us from California Western School of Law, but they’ve each received the Academic Excellence Award for obtaining the highest grade in their classes,” said John Morrell, managing partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack. “They’re extremely bright and talented legal professionals and our team is excited to have them on board and assisting on various litigation cases for our clients.”
Prior to joining Higgs, Moffitt was the Judicial Extern to Associate Justice Alex C. McDonald and to U.S. District Judge Anthony J Battaglia. In these roles, she helped draft opinions, and drafted orders deciding various motions. Before that, Moffitt was a Research Intern for Higgs’ Partner John Morris where she aided with all phases of several civil appeals, including research, brief writing, editing and citation checking. Moffitt is also a published author, with an article recently printed in Georgetown University’s The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law. Other experience includes her time as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, and her time as the Judicial Extern to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller. Moffitt received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she was the captain of her NCAA Division I Field Hockey team and on the National Academic Squad. She earned her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and ranked in the top one percent of her class. Moffitt received the Academic Excellence Award in Contracts I, Legal Skills II, Property I/II, STEPPS II, Evidence and CA Civil Procedure. She was also a Senior Editor for the California Western Law Review.
Kagan started his legal career at Higgs as a Case Assistant where he managed case files in a variety of substantive areas, including tort, labor/employment, business litigation, tax, and trusts and estates. Since then, his experience has included his time as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the U.S. Trustee, as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Richard E.L. Strauss in the San Diego Superior Court, and as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Jan M. Adler in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. More recently, Kagan was a Clinical Intern at Higgs and, following graduation in April, was promoted to Post-Bar Law Clerk. In this role, he assisted in the defense in a three-week traumatic brain injury trial. Kagan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona. He obtained his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law where he graduated Cum Laude, and with the Academic Excellence Award in Alternative Dispute Resolution. In addition, Kagan was the Associate Editor for the California Western Law Review and International Law Journal.
Gonnella comes to the firm as the Judicial Extern to the Honorable Nita L. Stormes, Presiding Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California, and to the Honorable William S. Dato at the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego. Before that, he was a Summer Associate for CareFusion Corporation. In this capacity, he provided general support and research for various practice groups, including corporate governance and securities, labor and employment, regulatory, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial. Gonnella received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in management and human resources from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He obtained his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law where he ranked in the top five percent in his class and received the Academic Excellence Award in Civil Procedure I/II, and STEPPS II (Advanced Legal Writing/Skills/Ethics). In addition, Gonnella was an Associate Writer for California Western Law Review and International Law Journal and the Executive Editor of Notes and Comments for California Western Law Review.