BOBER, PETERSON, & KOBY: An Introduction by Tim Peterson
Posted: January 28, 2018
I’m proud to introduce you to Bober, Peterson and Koby. Our firm officially launched on January 1, 2018, however our story began much earlier.
I’ve always been envious of those people who know exactly what they want to do in life and seemingly have a linear path to achieving their goals. In reality, I don’t think there are very many of those people. Certainly, no one has a linear path to achieving success and I suspect even the most driven and focused individual will tell you the map to where they sit presently was far different than the path they plotted at the outset. Every successful person will tell you that they’ve learned from failure, had to pick themselves up after falling (and often after falling repeatedly) and that they had to generate the will to “try again”. My path to this point has been no different. A series of clumsy, poorly conceived circumstances; sprinkled with some failure, humble pie and good fortune; have landed me in this exciting new venture. Most importantly networking, talking and connecting allowed this firm to be born.
Our story begins in 2002, though no one thought we were writing it at the time. I was an applicant’s attorney. I had a case against Jeff Adelson who was a newly named partner at the firm of Adelson, Testan and Brundo. After our case resolved, Mr. Adelson recruited me to come over and do defense work. I was a young attorney at the time, having only been in practice about two years. I was enticed by the high-rise office, a steady salary, health insurance benefits and administrative staff to handle the mundane tasks that I was doing on my own as an applicant’s attorney. I took my first defense job with Adelson, Testan and Brundo shortly thereafter and Jeff assigned a senior attorney to mentor me, his name was Alan Bober. Alan began to teach me some of the secrets to becoming a successful defense attorney. Although I ended up leaving the firm and moving to Wall, McCormick and Baroldi, I have never forgotten the time and effort Alan put in to my career as a young attorney. He did so selflessly with no expectation of payback. Over the years, our paths would cross and he always took the time to talk to me. As the years passed, and after Alan too had left the firm where we met, we tried on multiple occasions to work together again, but the timing never quite worked out.
In 2015 I thought I would take a stab at becoming a beach volleyball agent and I represented some of the best humans you will ever meet in the world of beach volleyball. The only problem was that being a beach volleyball agent is probably not the path one should take with four children and college bills looming. For the first time in my life, I tasted financial failure. I was served humble pie, a dessert I sorely needed. It was during this low point financially that I realized how fortunate I had been. I began to stop taking for granted the blessings I’d been given and instead realized that I should attempt to become grateful. I returned to the practice of law, renewed and with humility; and once again I ran in to Alan.
Alan was representing teams and carriers in the same space I was returning; he was representing Major League Baseball teams when their players filed workers’ compensation claims in California. We had many discussions on the phone about how to defend these cases, we brainstormed strategies to help mitigate exposure or even avoid liability all together. As we re-connected, we began to talk about the business of law. I missed being part of a firm, where I was part of a “team”. As a woefully inadequate collegiate athlete, I had spent the formative years of my life playing team sports. That feeling of being on a team is something many who play team sports are always searching for after their “playing career” ends; even if your “playing career” was as uninspiring as mine. That sense of team and belonging is hard to shake.
Alan had been an associate and partner in large law firm life up until the summer of 2017 when he formed his first law firm with two other partners. He and Kendall were looking to potentially bring on a partner after one of their initial partners did not work out. I was looking to become a partner again, working with a team where I could help run and grow a business and have some input in how that business was run in a true partnership capacity. As we began to discuss these things, I became immediately impressed with Alan and Kendall and I fervently hoped they would consider allowing me to join them. I was excited to get that email from Kendall indicating they were willing to add me, the excitement has only increased since that day. We immediately began to discuss what our goals for the firm were, the type of culture we wanted to instill, and how to do it.
The firm of Bober, Peterson and Koby was launched officially January 1, 2018.
The principles and ideals that Alan, Kendall and I all agree on is that we want a law firm where our staff and our attorneys are treated as equals. “Everyone has value” is not just a saying we use, but it’s what we mean. There is no one person in our firm more important than the other. We truly believe that every member of our team has a vital role in our team’s success. We know our teammates are going to become more invested if they are treated with respect, listened to and valued beyond how they can add to the bottom line. We believe that by providing our staff and attorneys an environment where they are cared for beyond how they add to the bottom line will result in our becoming a firm that rarely has to recruit, but instead is constantly being approached by the most talented members of our industry inquiring about opportunities to join our team.
We have a very client-centered practice. We learn about our client’s business and we attempt to see their legal issues from a 360-degree view of how those issues interplay in their business. Whether it be defending a workers’ compensation claim from an employee or assisting them in drafting a complex business agreement; having an understanding of the entire business helps us to better serve our client. We try not to operate on assumptions, but instead have conversations and learn what the client needs and expects. There is no set formula to providing a truly phenomenal client experience. Instead, we believe the only way to provide a truly phenomenal client experience is to listen to what the clients are hoping to achieve, listen to what the goals are, and involve the client in the process of determining how we can assist them in achieving those goals.
The unique and truly great thing about our firm is that the three partners all come from a variety of backgrounds and three separate generations. We have the young and exceptionally intelligent Kendall Koby who brings a boundless energy to the firm. She is tireless, aggressive, and intellectually curious. Kendall is the type of lawyer who gets 170-page booklet filled with case updates and case summaries and over the course of a weekend reads every single page while tabbing pages, highlighting holdings and memorizing facts. She then comes in Monday morning ready to discuss each case by name! She’s a sponge for knowledge, sharp as a tack, and has the youthful exuberance necessary to drive this firm to grow.
Alan has been practicing for a little longer than Kendall and me. He’s the fatherly type. He has the wisdom of having seen and done just about everything in California workers’ compensation over the years. He’s worked for some of the finest firms there are, and began his career working for one of the best defense firms in Southern California at the time, Zonni, Ginocchio & Taylor. He was taught by some of the true giants and pioneers in California Workers’ Compensation. Alan is wise enough to know that sometimes speed is not the best path but rather, slowing down and being thoughtful is perhaps the more prudent course. Alan is the steadying hand who keeps our firm grounded and helps to ensure we do not make impetuous mistakes.
I provide our firm with the necessary obsessive-compulsive disorder we need to keep us on task and from forgetting to dot our ‘I’s’ and cross our ‘Ts’. I micro-manage to the point of being an annoyance to both staff and partners. Fortunately, they reign me in and remind me they are professionals who can handle things competently themselves! Like Alan and Kendall, I fit in and provide a much-needed perspective. Sometimes I can provide perspective on what not to do, or how not to make mistakes I’ve previously made. Other times, I show up with a creative idea on how to do something based on what I’ve heard, read, or seen somewhere else.
It certainly wasn’t a linear path to this destination. However, I couldn’t be happier with where I have arrived. Bober, Peterson and Koby is exciting. It’s exciting to be working with exceptional partners and staff. I have been blessed to work with many exceptional people over the years and they have all helped to shape who I currently am. I’m fortunate to have once again be excited to go to work and excited for what the future holds.
The launch of Bober, Peterson and Koby is going exceedingly well. We’ll keep you updated on this site with news, sometimes about the firm, other times about what’s happening in the industry, and at times perhaps even with changes or updates on the law. We appreciate that you’ve taken a moment of your day to read a little bit about us and who we are.
If you are a self-insured employer, a TPA or a workers’ compensation insurance broker or carrier, we would love to meet you and introduce ourselves in person. We welcome the opportunity to see if we may be of assistance in helping your company defend workers’ compensation claims in Southern California.
If you are a small business, looking for someone to act as your ‘outside general counsel’ we welcome the opportunity to meet and hear what your business goals are and how an outside general counsel relationship may help your business grow and meet its ongoing goals.
It is our mission to become the premier law firm in Southern California. We will strive every single day to be just that; and along the way we plan to have a little fun while we do it!
Come join us on the journey!