Carlton Fields Jorden Burt continues its growth in California with the addition of four new attorneys in its Los Angeles office. Thomas H. Godwin joins as a shareholder bringing with him Valerie D. Escalante and Kate S. Shin. Additionally, Jee H. Lee joins the firm from his clerkship with the United States District Court. All four attorneys practice in the Business Litigation section of the firm’s National Trial Practice Group.

“Tom is a successful and accomplished trial lawyer, with business jury verdicts under his belt,” said Mark Neubauer, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s Los Angeles Office Managing Shareholder. “All of these lawyers are part of the continued growth of the Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s California office, which was established only earlier this year.”

Godwin’s national practice focuses on helping clients resolve high-stakes litigation issues throughout all stages of litigation, including pre-litigation and appeals. He combines strategic thinking with thorough legal analysis to meet the specific needs of clients’ cases and business concerns. His practice includes class action defense, business disputes, entertainment disputes, IP disputes, unfair competition disputes, merger disputes, real estate disputes, and involuntary dissolution proceedings for business entities. He also has experience handling administrative law, regulatory actions, securities law, and products liability.

“I’m eager to work with my new colleagues at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt,” said Godwin. “The firm has a strong culture for collaboration and best-in-class client service, and I look forward to building my practice at this elite institution.”

Godwin is admitted to practice in California; the U.S. District Court, Central District of California; New York; and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. His past experience includes working in a boutique law firm environment for three years and working as a litigator for two AmLaw 100 firms. He obtained his J.D. and an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke Law, and he received his B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Escalante’s experience includes litigating sophisticated business contract disputes, complex commercial and construction matters, and corporate bankruptcy. She has also represented clients in lawsuits involving fair housing law, federal civil rights, constitutional law, and torts. Escalante represents both businesses and private individuals. She is highly versed in complex litigation matters including managing electronic discovery, handling social media related issues, and addressing choice of law matters.

She received her J.D. from Cornell Law School along with an L.L.M. in International and Comparative Law. While in law school she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Terry Hatter in the Central District of California and she was an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles, Civil Division. She received her B.A., with distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley. Escalante is conversational in Portuguese and Spanish.

Lee will practice in both state and federal court, as part of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s National Trial Practice Group.

He has served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable J. Spencer Letts in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He has also served as an extern law clerk to the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall in the Central District of California and two judges in the state court.

Lee received his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a former United States Army Reserve Sergeant/E5. He is fluent in Korean and Spanish.

Shin practices in the areas of commercial litigation, real property disputes, business transactions, and bankruptcy. Her litigation experience includes representation of business owners in connection with contractual disputes and unfair business practice claims, and representation of property owners in wrongful foreclosure cases and disputes over property insurance claims.

Shin is deeply involved in the local Korean-American communities in Los Angeles. She is a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. She is fluent in Korean, having attended the University of Ulsan, South Korea, before her relocation to the U.S. Shin received her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and she received a dual B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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