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Welcome

»»The Hester Law Group, APC represents health care providers in civil litigation, regulatory matters, consent issues, and specializes in the defense of cases involving medical negligence, elder and dependent adult abuse/neglect. Our clients include acute care hospitals, long term care providers, nursing facilities and physicians. We also handle general litigation matters for health care facilities including general liability/premises liability defense. We have extensive resources and access to well-qualified specialists in many health care disciplines including: nursing, facility administration, geriatrics, wound care, infectious disease, internal medicine and other specialties. Our attorneys are passionate and aggressive in their representation of nursing staff, administrators and staff of health care facilities.

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Cecille L. Hester
Principal

Cecille L. Hester's legal career has included the defense of medical malpractice claims culminating in her decision to head up her own practice, Hester Law Group, APC. Ms. Hester manages and supervises all aspects of the Firm's legal matters. Over the past decade the primary focus of her practice has been in the defense of cases brought against health care providers including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and physicians, under the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act and companion causes of action as well as cases alleging medical malpractice.

Ms. Hester's in-depth knowledge of what constitutes reckless neglect, abuse, conduct constituting actionable intentional torts, statutory causes of action based upon violation of health care regulation, Title 22's staffing requirements, and how to defend against enhanced remedies such as attorney's fees and punitive/treble damages, as well as unique discovery issues in these cases, make her a true expert.

In addition Ms. Hester's comprehensive understanding of the fine details is simply unsurpassed and is derivative of initiating her career over 20 years ago as a legal secretary, progressing to paralegal and eventually multitasking by attending law school at night while working full-time and raising a family.

Ms. Hester's passion for the law is shared with her passion and support of organizations that empower youth mentorship programs, internships and Pro Bono work for the Los Angeles County Battered Women's Shelter. Ms. Hester's considerable personal and professional accomplishments are proven assets to the Hester Law Group, APC.

Education
Skadron College of Business, Associate of Arts, 1981
California Southern Law School, Juris Doctor, 1995
California Southern Law School Mock Trial Program Participant

Admission to Practice
All courts for the State of California, 1997
United States District Court, Central District of California, 1998

Professional Organizations
Member, State Bar of California
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Defense Research Institute
Member, Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Managers
Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
Member, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance





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Cheryl P. Nessel
Associate

Cheryl P. Nessel
Cheryl P. Nessel has devoted her legal career of more than 30 years to the defense of medical malpractice claims against hospitals, health care institutions and professionals and long term care facilities. She has broad knowledge, expertise, and sensitivity to the clients’ unique needs.

Ms. Nessel’s practice has focused on tort defense, with emphasis on hospital, skilled nursing facility and nursing malpractice, as well as health care and general liability litigation. She has served as a consultant to hospital risk management throughout the Southern California area and regularly provides in-service training to hospital staff.

She has also had the unique opportunity to have been on-campus, General Counsel to Olympia Medical Center, serving on various bioethics and quality related committees, as well as advising senior management, overseeing and interfacing with outside litigation and other counsel, assisting in the development of the hospital’s electronic medical records system, in-servicing nursing staff on elder abuse and other medical/legal issues, creating proactive measures to improve patient care and clinical documentation, and comprehensive drafting and preparation of hospital contracts and documentation.

Education
Juris Doctor, Southwestern University School of Law
Bachelor of Arts, English, California State University Northridge

Academia
Past Associate Professor, Western State University College of Law, “Lawyering Skills”
Mentor, Southwestern University School of Law

Professional Organizations
Member, State Bar of California
Member, Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Managers

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Barbara M. Reardon
Associate

Barbara M. Reardon defends doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers in all phases of litigation up to trial. She has also provided special expertise in appellate litigation, including the filing of a Brief in the United States Supreme Court in 2009. Since 1993, Ms. Reardon has served as a volunteer Temporary Judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and since 2009 she has been on the Court's ADR volunteer settlement officer panels.

Barbara Reardon is a 1976 cum laude graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. During her law school years, she was a Superior Court Clerk in Pasadena Superior Court, primarily serving in civil trial and master calendar departments. Her experiences as a clerk led to her decision to specialize in the defense of civil cases. Between 1976 and 1988, Ms. Reardon's practice included insurance coverage and bad faith litigation as well as the defense of professional liability claims against lawyers.

Since 1988, Ms. Reardon's practice has been exclusively limited to the defense of health care providers. Ms. Reardon is a member of the California State Bar, and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.

Education
California State University Los Angeles
University of California at Riverside
Loyola Law School, J.D., cum laude, Class of 1976

Admission to Practice
California State Bar, admitted in 1976
United States District Court, Central District of California, 1977

Professional Organizations
Member, State Bar of California
Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel

Hobbies & Interests
Volunteer Judge Pro Tempore, Los Angeles Superior Court
President, Young Lawyer's Section, Pasadena Bar Assoc., 1979-1980 Member, Young Lawyer's Section, Pasadena Bar Assoc., 1977-1987



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Lesvia M. Alvarado
Associate

Lesvia M. Alvarado
Ms. Alvarado specializes in medical malpractice defense litigation representing various health care providers and is licensed to practice on both the State and Federal levels. She excels in trial preparation, overseeing caseloads of 20-25 cases, and all aspects of court appearances.

Ms. Alvarado is proficient in Spanish and the work up of cases; all aspects of initial fact finding and discovery; summarization of medical records; all aspects of discovery preparation to finalization; law and motion; depositions; expert deposition (take and defend); witness preparation/deposition (take and defend); motions for summary judgment; second chaired trials; post-trial motions; carrier reports and preparation for case round-table meetings.

  • Louise Kelton Law Scholarship Recipient
  • Alpha Kappa Delta, University of Southern California

Education
University of West Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1998, Dean's List
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA, B.A. Sociology/French, 1995, Sociology Department Dean's List

Admission to Practice
All courts for the State of California, 2000

Professional Organizations
Member, State Bar of California, 2000, Current Member, United States District Court;  Eastern District and Central District, 2000
Member, Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Managers

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Christopher L. Smith
Managing Attorney

Christopher L. Smith has served the healthcare industry for over 25 years, providing counsel, assisting with compliance and handling both professional and commercial liability claims and litigation. He also has extensive management experience supervising attorneys, claims professionals and support staff.

He was the principal attorney of his own practice where he directed all aspects of the law firm operations including administrative and supervisory oversight, marketing and the provision of legal services.

Mr. Smith is experienced in managing all aspects of litigated cases, including bench and jury trials, arbitrations, appeals and mediations. In the course of his career, Mr. Smith has had the privilege of representing and working with numerous physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers, along with marquis healthcare insurers and institutions including, but not limited to, the Adventist Health, Cooperative of American Physicians, Providence Health & Services, Kaiser-Permanente, St. Paul Fire & Marine, Truck Insurance Exchange, and the University of Southern California.

Education
J. D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1992
Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Business Editor
B. B. A., University of San Diego 1989
Dean’s List and Departmental Honors

Admission to Practice
All courts for the State of California, 1993

Professional Organizations
Member, State Bar of California – 164207
Member, U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Published Opinions
Tonja Elcome v. Michael Chin (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 310,
1 Cal.Rptr.3d 63
Davis v. Superior Court (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 623,
33 Cal.Rptr.2d 6.


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Nancy K. Brownell,
MD JD

Nancy K. Brownell, MD JD
Ms. Brownell's accomplishments are an asset to the Hester Law Group, APC. Her succesful legal practice has concentrated on professional liability with emphases on the defense of medical negligence, wrongful death and elder/dependent adult abuse cases.

Ms. Brownell's experiences also provide great counsel to her clients in the fields of Administrative Law relative to the defense of practitioners' licenses and the medical peer review process; Healthcare Law related to hospitals, health systems, HMOs, PPOs, healthcare an cillary service providers and physician groups; and the evaluation of personal injury stemming from General Liability cases, such as motor vehicle accidents and premises liability matters.

  • A Board Certified Family Practice Physician
  • A Board Certified Medical Acupuncturist
  • Medical Director of Primary Care Doctors
  • Medical Director of Mulikin Medical
  • A Medical Legal Consultant for the law firm of Lopez, Hodes, Restaino, Milman & Skikos
  • An Expert Medical Examiner for the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance

Education
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, B. S. Biology, 1983, Honor Graduate
University of California, San Diego, CA, M.D. Medicine, 1987
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, Medical Acupuncture, 1998
Internship - Long Beach Memorial Hospital 1987-1988
Residency - University of California Irvine 1988-1990
Concord University, Los Angeles, CA , Juris Doctor, 2006
Highest Honors

Admission to Practice
All courts for the State of California, 2007

Professional Organization
Member, State Bar of California, 2007, Current

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NEWS

Hester Law Group, APC, takes great pleasure in announcing Christopher L. Smith, Esq.,
has joined the Firm. His background includes all phases of civil litigation defense up to and including trial, complex claims management, and supervision of all aspects of the law firm operations as a principal of his own practice.
Mr. Smith's experience is a great addition to the Hester Law Group's professional team of attorneys.

Golden Gavel

Cecille L. Hester will be co-presenting with Sandra Higelin at The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) on Friday November 11, 2016 Session 9. The presentation will cover Elder/ Dependent Adult Abuse in Healthcare Institutions and Mandated Reporting Law. For detailed information click here.

Golden Gavel

Cecille L. Hester has been invited to speak at the SCAHRM 35th Annual Educational Conference on Thursday, May 7th at the 11:10 a.m. session entitled “From Bedside Caregiver to Criminal Defendant – What You Need to Know About Mandated Abuse Reporting.” Co-presenting with Cecille are Mary De Los Reyes and Gary Lincenberg.

SCAHRM Agenda
Golden Gavel
Firm Announcement
Golden Gavel
DRI article
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ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONAL STAFF

The administrative professional staff at the Hester Law Group, APC work together as a cohesive team to ensure that our clients’ needs are met in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Our Firm prides itself on collaboration. The combination of our administrative staff’s experience and expertise provide direct support for our attorneys in representing a strategical approach to litigation, ensuring our clients receive top-tier legal services.

Everyone at Hester Law Group plays an important role on our team as a hands-on contributor to achieve the best possible results for our clients:

  • Lidia Armor (Administrator/Legal Assistant)
  • Adrianne Bristow (Paralegal Assistant)
  • Dehnys Alfaro (Legal Assistant)
  • Julie Ego (Administrative Assistant)
  • Daniel McCutcheon (Office Assistant)
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Click here to email us
telephone: (818) 658-5100
fax: (818) 696-2275


700 North Brand Blvd.
Suite 590
Glendale CA 91203


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