Get to know us: Q&A

Select From Our List of Partners & Attorney’s Below

Brent M. Daub

Senior Founding Partner & Trial Attorney

Diana Tsudik

Southern California Regional Partner

Maral Vahdani

Trial Attorney

Nicholas D. Rosen

Partner & Managing Attorney

Christine Ruvalcaba

Team Lead & Attorney

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Brent M. Daub, Esq.Senior Founding Partner and Trial Attorney

What sets Gilson Daub’s workers’ comp practice apart from competitors?

When we started Gilson Daub in 2011, we wanted to be radically different from the traditional law firm choices that were out there. Law firms are historically slow to embrace change. Models that worked 20 to 30 years ago were no longer working for clients and employees. From the very beginning, we set out to make the practice of law dramatically better. We have aimed to lead the way in presenting a new model that sets the standard for practicing law for the future. We took intentional steps to implement cutting-edge technology to better serve our clients, significantly reduce caseloads for our attorneys so they can provide exceptional customer service, and incentivize case closures rather than inflate unnecessary billing. That said, the core of our strategy is to create a law firm culture that attracts and retains the best attorneys in our industry.

How is the culture at Gilson Daub different from other law firms in general?

For decades, the traditional “old-school” law firm culture was very poor. The model was not diverse or inclusive and it created unhealthy competition among associates where high billing was the only real measure of success and career advancement. Conversely, we pride ourselves in building a collaborative law firm culture that is responsive to our employees and fosters a commitment to cooperation and team success. For us, this process ever and always begins at the top. Our headship model promotes responsive, transparent, and team-building-focused leaders who help the firm deliver on those commitments each and every day. Attorneys and staff join Gilson Daub because they want to work on a team that puts people ahead of profits.

How is the firm able to foster such focus on work-life balance when the industry standard is quite the opposite?

Since the “old-school” law firm model put such an unhealthy emphasis on inflated billing practices, this often left clients feeling overcharged and attorneys feeling burnt out; and while that had been industry-standard for so long, I’ve never met an attorney who went to law school to be the highest biller. People want to make a difference. People want to take pride in the quality of their work and build relationships of trust and open communication with their clients and co-workers. At Gilson Daub, we recognized from the get-go that an emphasis on high caseloads and over-billing was ruining client relationships and taking a toll on lawyers’ health and well-being, so we established a model that reduces caseloads and sets reasonable performance expectations. Our paperless case management system also allows our attorneys the opportunity to perform in a flexible working environment, which means our attorneys can dedicate their weekly schedule to the most important aspects of quality work, excellent communication, and healthy lifestyles.

As of March 2021, Gilson Daub occupies 18 offices in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, and Utah, so what do you attribute your consistent growth trajectory to?

Since we opened the firm’s first office in California in 2011, we have been so fortunate to be able to attract some of the nation’s top employers and insurance companies as clients. When we started handling their cases with a commitment to exceptional customer service and quality, our clients immediately took notice. They started sending us work throughout the state of California and began to ask us if we could bring the same level of work to other states as well. Now, our clients approach us every month, asking for help throughout the country.

What are your plans for the company’s future growth?

We started 2021 with the opening of our newest office in Salt Lake City, Utah – which is the first of several new states that we are going to be serving this year. In the next twelve months, we have plans to open offices in Kentucky, Oregon, and Idaho – with
additional state openings coming in 2022 and beyond. Over the past several years, we have also expanded our practice area from workers’ compensation defense to subrogation recovery, and general liability defense as well – and aim to further expand our practice areas to better serve all the needs of our growing client base ongoingly.

What’s one thing that you would want a prospective candidate to know about Gilson Daub?

As an attorney, there are many law firms to choose from, however, most attorneys are not just looking for a job, but an exciting career. Many of the attorneys in our industry have told us that most of the other firms out there are still operating under the outdated law firm models that only see attorneys as numbers and not people. We are looking for a specific candidate profile who has a strong commitment to quality work, customer service, and collaborative teamwork to help us continue to keep Gilson Daub the firm that clients prefer and employees are proud of.

Diana Tsudik , Esq.Southern California Regional Partner

What first attracted you to Gilson Daub?

After working at another more traditional firm, Gilson Daub first attracted me with its openness to change and new ways of practicing law. The firm, even when I joined back in 2014, already had an industry leading tech-centric model that was very interesting to me not to mention how the focus on people vs. billable hours was paramount (not a common practice at many firms, certainly). Gilson Daub is also very unique and set apart from the rest with its push for optimum work-life balance. We believe that if our attorneys are truly happy, that they will perform better which is ultimately better for the firm as a whole and for our clients’ success in general, too.

Describe your experience thus far at Gilson Daub.

Gilson Daub takes pride in providing all of the necessary tools to set everyone on the team up for however they choose to define “success” from support staff to attorneys to partners, everyone is seen to be of tremendous value and supported in various ways. We are always given the freedom to pursue our cases freely and do whatever needs to be done to ensure success for our clientele. Our team has complete trust in one another, which means no overbearing attitudes and no micromanagement; so, when I began my role as a partner, especially, I really appreciated the full autonomy I was afforded and from the outset to run our West LA County office as I saw fit.

How does this differ from the experience you’ve either had prior and/or how you believe your colleagues experience their work?

All of the tools we have in place at Gilson Daub create a better and more seamless workflow for everyone. We have tech-enabled case management capabilities to help streamline work as well as whole departments and dedicated staff members trained to specifically handle certain tasks. Having various touchpoints of support for each client/case keeps tasks easily defined,
everything moving forward, and a lower likelihood of backlog. By operating in this manner, everything is highly-organized, compartmentalized, and reduces the risk of error on anyone’s part.

How does Gilson Daub support and foster your own success?

As mentioned before, our team of support staff is integral to our success at Gilson Daub. There is always room to grow here, but if you’re interested in staying put at the level you joined that’s okay, too, and it isn’t frowned upon. That said, having a team of people rather than a single secretary to help with my caseload has been extremely efficient and ultimately game-changing as things don’t get bottlenecked if one person is extremely busy and/or out-of-office for any period of time. Our ability to work as a team simplifies everyone’s roles and leads to a sense of collective success for us all.

How does Gilson Daub allow you to grow new talent within the firm? And what traits are you most looking for in new team members as the firm continues to grow?

Gilson Daub provides the opportunity for growth and discovery at every level, at any time. Whether you’re an experienced attorney, have just passed the bar, or work on the support team and want to explore newer and bigger career opportunities, Gilson Daub allows, fosters, and even encourages free reign for anyone to chart their own course within the firm and the field at large. When you come to Gilson Daub, you also get a first-hand look at everything we do. We set new staff up to work with everyone from senior attorneys to administrative team members to other new hires to ensure everyone has proper training and on all fronts and feels connected to as many parts of the company as possible. It’s also worth noting our six-month review process; and while communication occurs on a very frequent basis across all levels, having twice-yearly formal check-ins to ensure new staff is feeling integrated and on the right track is vital and so appreciated by all. Unlike many of our competitors, we see these check-ins as “people-first” and are certainly not entirely work-centric; and in regard to new candidates – we are always looking for those that posses a strong sense of dedication, curiosity, professionalism, and the ability to always ask questions, regardless of your level of experience.

What are you most looking forward to in the weeks, months, and years to come at Gilson Daub?

Personally, I am most invested in the continued growth of our California offices. It’s always exciting for me to meet new colleagues and clients, too, so I’m especially looking forward to the return to post-pandemic “normalcy” and getting to have those in-person interactions that simply can’t be matched by a Zoom meeting.

What’s one thing that you would want a prospective candidate to know about Gilson Daub?

Everyone on our team is a person first and is never seen as just billable hours – which, quite frankly, is still commonplace within our field. Our firm’s tech-enabled work experience is also one of the things I’m most proud of and has really put us at the forefront of our respective specialty and cutting-edge law tech, in general.

Final thought:

At Gilson Daub, we’ve carefully curated a large team of great people at every turn. There is an unmatched level of dedication, comradery, and idea-sharing here and we’re always looking to expand this group to find more qualified team members who are going to push the firm to even newer heights.

Maral Vahdani , Esq.Trial Attorney

What first attracted you to Gilson Daub?

The balance between professional and personal life. Many firms present themselves as balanced, but Gilson Daub is one of the few firms that offers the tools to work efficiently with a fully paperless system, which has allowed me greater flexibility in handling my caseload while still enabling me to exceed expectations in responsiveness to my clients.

Describe your experience thus far at Gilson Daub.

My experience has been one of great professional growth. I have made lifelong friends, learned from some of the best attorneys in our field, and have had the opportunity to help other attorneys in the beginning stages of their careers.

How does this differ from the experience you’ve either had prior and/or how you believe your colleagues experience their work?

Gilson Daub is a very collaborative and team-oriented firm. The expectation is that everyone is working toward a common goal of building and maintaining a reputation as one of the best firms of its kind. To do so, we all work together to support and uplift each other however and whenever possible. In practical terms, this means helping attorneys with appearances, their workloads, and having the security to know that if and when you need assistance, someone will be there for you as well.

How does Gilson Daub support and foster your own success?

The Firm offers major flexibility, too. For me, there have been times in my life where I have been able to focus on maximizing my billing, marketing our success to clients, and assisting in training and development. There have been other times where priorities at home have limited my time and ability to do extra at work. Gilson Daub’s approach to flexibility means that as long as I am meeting goals and maintaining my caseload efficiently, I can choose how active to be in terms of additional responsibilities and growth.

How does Gilson Daub allow you to grow new talent within the firm? And what traits are you most looking for in new team members as the firm continues to grow?

Our paperless system is a great training tool for new attorneys who are looking for examples of how to manage cases and interact with clients. When I need assistance with a novel legal issue, a more experienced attorney can quickly route me to a file with similar legal issues, which then provides a roadmap for how to tackle my own questions. That said, I also look forward to assisting new team members who are eager to learn, regardless of what stage they are in their careers. An open mind and willingness to ask for help are also useful in ensuring we all put forth our best efforts.

What are you most looking forward to in the weeks, months, and years to come at Gilson Daub?

I look forward to fostering more professional relationships across the Firm – with attorneys and staff – as we continue to grow and expand.

What’s one thing that you would want a prospective candidate to know about Gilson Daub?

It’s important to weigh what matters most to you when choosing the right fit. For me, balance in my life was of the utmost importance and Gilson Daub has been the best place for me to achieve that goal.

Christine Ruvalcaba, Esq.Team Lead & Attorney

What first attracted you to Gilson Daub?

The focus on family life and work/life balance is what initially drew me to Gilson Daub – and while so many companies say they have this kind of balance, the firms are actually not structured in a way to make it conducive. From the beginning, Gilson Daub was designed with “satellite” offices, which have allowed attorneys to work at local offices and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCABs). This alone has provided me with so much freedom from traffic and arduous commutes to WCABs throughout California. The hiring process was a bit lengthy, but I knew that meant the Firm truly took pride and care in the people that would join the team.

Describe your experience thus far at Gilson Daub.

My experience has been one of great professional growth. I have made lifelong friends, learned from some of the best attorneys in our field, and have had the opportunity to help other attorneys in the beginning stages of their careers.

How does this differ from the experience you’ve either had prior and/or how you believe your colleagues experience their work?

Gilson Daub is a very collaborative and team-oriented firm. The expectation is that everyone is working toward a common goal of building and maintaining a reputation as one of the best firms of its kind. To do so, we all work together to support and uplift each other however and whenever possible. In practical terms, this means helping attorneys with appearances, their workloads, and having the security to know that if and when you need assistance, someone will be there for you as well.

How does Gilson Daub support and foster your own success?

The paperless system and the satellite offices provide much autonomy to the attorneys. While there is no micromanaging, I feel completely comfortable reaching out to any of the partners, other attorneys, and staff when I need any type of support. This has allowed me to self-manage and work at my own pace, without feeling alone. This has also enabled me to succeed as an attorney, while managing my family life with two young children.

How does Gilson Daub allow you to grow new talent within the firm? And what traits are you most looking for in new team members as the firm continues to grow?

When looking for new talent, I always want to make sure that we share similar values and to know that we will work well together. I am looking for team players, for people that will step up to the plate when needed, and that won’t take advantage of others’ kindness and generosity. Gilson Daub has always prided themselves in being a family-oriented firm, and that is a value I hope the Firm never loses.

What are you most looking forward to in the weeks, months, and years to come at Gilson Daub?

I am looking forward to seeing the endless growth of the Firm and being a part of something that is unique and fresh in the workers’ compensation world. I look forward to watching our Founder, Brent Daub’s, outstanding leadership and watching his new ideas be put into motion. I also look forward to growing as an individual within the Firm and being able to take on different and challenging new tasks.

What’s one thing that you would want a prospective candidate to know about Gilson Daub?

I would want any prospective candidate to know that Gilson Daub is an innovative firm – but at the end of the day, this is a family-oriented company where values and kindness are valued over how many hours you can bill.

Nicholas D. Rosen, Esq.Partner & Managing Attorney

What first attracted you to Gilson Daub?

When I first learned about Gilson Daub, I immediately appreciated the tech-oriented approach they had to case management. During my first meeting with Founding Partner Brent Daub, I asked him what made the firm so unique; he grabbed his laptop and showed me Case friend, their comprehensive law office system and told me about its full range of impressive capabilities, its paperless intake system, and how I could seamlessly work and manage the team virtually anywhere with internet. I was also drawn in by the people and culture of the company. Before joining the team, I had a chance to connect with many attorneys at the firm to learn about their experiences. This Is what ultimately led me to accept the position. Above all else, Gilson Daub is unique, friendly, and open. We are also a team instead of individuals, which is something I hadn’t experienced at any of my prior firms. Lastly, it would be the work/life balance. It’s something many firms promise yet rarely deliver on, but Gilson Daub has in more ways than one.

Describe your experience thus far at Gilson Daub.

I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to get to work with a variety of different clients and employers. Any given day, I can help meet the needs of a small mom-and-pop type client and then join a call with a Fortune 500 company immediately following. The unique roster of clients we have has created different experiences and opportunities for me to meet many new challenges. Gilson Daub has also provided a lot of autonomy for us all. It’s not a firm that micromanages, which is very uncommon. You have the freedom to control and manage files the way you see fit, which makes both employees and clients happy and less stressed. The entire team is also very supportive. Your success is celebrated, and that kind of team-oriented approach and comradery is something that I’ve really come to admire and appreciate.

How does this differ from the experience you’ve either had prior and/or how you believe your colleagues experience their work?

I truly believe that working for Gilson Daub gave me my life back. At my previous firms, I wouldn’t get home until late at night, usually only seeing my family just before bedtime. Regardless of how quickly and successfully our firm is growing, it stays true to small firm values where everyone is treated like family and attorneys don’t’ have to compromise their life outside of work in order to succeed.

How does Gilson Daub allow you to grow new talent within the firm? And what traits are you most looking for in new team members as the firm continues to grow?

We are always looking for new talent that is open to helping other team members. Our success is based on helping the attorneys in our home office and across other regional offices as well. I think communication is a key factor with regards to who we choose to join our team. It is encouraged to get in face time with clients (when it’s safe and appropriate to do so) through in-person meetings, client happy hours, etc. We also really make it apriority to get on the phone and be sure to remain in contact with each other and with our clients regularly, so I make it a point to express that when we train new team members. Those small but regular touchpoints are so important to keep clients happy, our team on the same page, and it sets us apart from other firms who can never seem to be reached.

What are you most looking forward to in the weeks, months, and years to come at Gilson Daub?

I enjoy working with new clients, learning about their goals, and helping to provide a strategy to meet those goals. I am also excited to see what our NorCal offices have in store moving forward. Like many of our other offices at Gilson Daub, our region is poised for tremendous growth and has a big opportunity to acquire new talent and clients so I’m really looking forward to watching that unfold the rest of 2021 and beyond!

What’s one thing that you would want a prospective candidate to know about Gilson Daub?

Gilson Daub is a team-oriented firm where everyone is treated equally, despite job title or authority level. Everyone at the firm shows you the same amount of respect. When you join this firm, you have a shared goal and work to make everything thrive collectively.

Final thoughts?

While it’s become the new norm for many offices to work remotely, Gilson Daub had to make very few adjustments when the pandemic hit in early 2020. The workflow model and the satellite office system set-up already in place uniquely poised Gilson Daub to contend with complete closures of offices, remote depositions, etc. with very little change. Looking back on that moment where so many felt insecure about the future, it’s given me comfort in knowing our firm remains in a position to gain success no matter what the future has in store.

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