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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Katie Benton (JD '09) and Paula Pendley (JD '09) Named Partners at Hawkins Parnell Thackson & Young LLP

August 10, 2018 | Pepperdine Law alumni Kathleen Benton (JD '09) and Paula Pendley (JD '09) have been named partners at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP, a national litigation firm. Both are based in the Los Angeles, California office.

From Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP:

Paula is a trial lawyer, with a focus on products liability, contracts, premises liability, toxic tort, and environmental litigation. She has tried high-risk toxic tort cases to verdict, serving as second-chair during four trials. She also defends a major manufacturer in automobile product liability cases. In addition to her litigation work, Paula has represented clients in commercial disputes involving intellectual property, with a particular focus on licensing matters. She has also advised entertainment companies and producers on a variety of matters, including copyright and breach of contract issues, as well has negotiating clearances, talent agreements, option agreements, shopping agreements, and other production-related matters.

Katie specializes in the defense of complex product liability and toxic tort litigation. She represents large corporate clients, including premises owners, manufacturers, and retailers of construction, automotive, consumer, and industrial products. While managing caseloads for the firm's national clients, she develops innovative defense strategies and tactics to obtain early dismissals. Katie prides herself on her effective communication skills with clients, in the courtroom, and in the form of written motions and briefs. Katie is actively involved in all phases of complex civil litigation including, depositions of plaintiffs, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses, defending clients' corporate representatives at depositions, written discovery, summary judgment and adjudication motions, forum non conveniens motions and motions to transfer venue, motions in limine, trial briefs, and trial preparation. Katie also frequently appears in court to argue discovery motions, summary judgment and adjudication motions, and motions in limine.

While in law school, Paula served as judicial extern for the Honorable Lawrence Mira of the Malibu Superior Court. She also worked for the California Attorney General's office in its Employment, Regulations, and Administrations division. While earning her Juris Doctorate, she attended the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution where she completed her Certificate in Dispute Resolution and assisted in the publication of the article "Arbitration: The 'New Litigation'" and the book "Mediators Acting as Arbitrators."

Katie was an editor for the Pepperdine Law Review and received multiple awards for her legal research and for her publication: "Can Copyright Law Perform the Perfect Fouette? Keeping Law and Choreography on Balance to Achieve the Purposes of the Copyright Clause."