Category Archives: Firm News

Danay Gonzalez Praises Rodriguez & Associates’ Commitment to Community

Thursday, June 16, 2022

After five years as an attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay Gonzalez reflects on how she has followed in the footsteps of her mentor Daniel Rodriguez to become the voice for many in her community.

Danay’s family ties to Bakersfield and Lamont have created a natural bond between her work and her community. From a young age, Danay was drawn to helping others. In an area where there was much fear surrounding immigration laws and deportation, she remembers times when her peers struggled to speak up for themselves. She quickly became the person they turned to for help and advocacy. Inspired by Daniel’s success and visibility throughout Lamont’s Hispanic community as well as his dedication to helping others defend their rights, Danay pursued her interest in the law.

“I grew up knowing Daniel as a big part of the Lamont community. Everyone has a lot of respect for Daniel. He is a pillar in our community and a strong voice for the Hispanic population. I feel honored to be working at the same firm that inspired me to be a lawyer.”

Now, as a trial attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay finds a similar calling in supporting clients through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. She says, “Being a trial lawyer is such a satisfying experience because you get to tell the client’s story. There is no better feeling than telling my clients’ stories and seeing how it affects the jury. Creating that connection with the jury is what makes a case successful… Knowing that I am helping my community and making a difference, makes it all worthwhile.”

Community remains a driving force in the success of Rodriguez & Associates. Danay considers that the deep connection the team has to each other and to the area allows them to connect with locals and become the firm that people turn to when they need help.

“We truly treat our clients like family – that’s what makes us so special. That touch of detail is what makes our firm different. We are able to maintain relationships after the fact and see [our clients] be able to move on from traumatic experiences.”

Danay also recognizes the firm’s determination to create successful outcomes for some of the most difficult cases that other firms would have turned down. She says Rodriguez & Associates is known in the community for taking on those challenges and finding ways to make it work as a team. They are not intimidated to take difficult cases to trial, no matter the amount of work that is required.

Danay is building a successful career as a trial attorney alongside Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Patrick Benitez, who she credits with developing the strong, collaborative work environment at the firm. In the last year, she helped her team prepare significant cases that went to trial including the wrongful death of a 71-year-old man that obtained a $4 million verdict and a school sex abuse case in which her team ultimately settled during trial for over $2 million against the school district.

She says of her experiences with the team, “I have learned so much in the last five years. I really feel like I belong here and this is what I was meant to do. I am more confident, more vocal, and have a greater understanding of the law. I am excited to keep learning. I am truly thankful for Daniel – he has helped mold me into the attorney I have become. His mentorship has given me a lot of confidence and tools to become successful.”

While Danay thrives on the achievement of success in the courtroom, she sees the everyday pain that her clients face and understands the sensitive nature of the types of cases she brings to trial, especially those involving children. She expresses the importance of building trust with her clients and having patience and empathy for everyone she represents.

Danay is an ambitious and hard-working attorney who wears her heart on her sleeve. She has made a tremendous impact on the firm and in her representation of clients from within the Bakersfield community. We are extremely proud to have her as a member of the Rodriguez & Associates family.

 

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:27 pm

Anastasia Drulias Follows Her Dream of Becoming an Attorney

Thursday, June 16, 2022

For Anastasia Drulias, working at Rodriguez & Associates has been a powerful experience that has propelled her toward her dream of becoming an attorney.

Since high school, Anastasia has known that she wanted to pursue a career in law. As a local to the Bakersfield area, Rodriguez & Associates is a well-known personal injury firm, and she was able to secure an interview with Daniel Rodriguez following high school. Her genuine interest to learn about the law and her hard-working attitude made her a great fit from the start.

Over the last five years, Anastasia has transitioned from a summer intern to a full-time law clerk working alongside the teams of attorneys, completing research, and assisting with cases from start to finish.

It was the people at Rodriguez & Associates, Anastasia says, that kept her returning year after year while she was in school. She expresses a level of comfort in the collegial atmosphere, explaining that while every employee hustled, it was still a very collaborative environment – everyone was always willing to help or answer her questions.

“One of my favorite things about working at the firm is that the attorneys have always been so willing and eager to teach me things, whether they are specific to the task at hand or whether they are just more broadly applicable to the practice of law in general. I am so thankful that they have taken me under their wing in that way and that I have had the opportunity to learn so much from them.”

Gaining hands-on experience with the personal injury firm has not only introduced Anastasia to a variety of practice areas and inspired her to pursue her dream of obtaining her Juris doctorate, but has also helped her identify an interest in international law and international human rights, an area of law that she hopes to explore more at Georgetown University. She credits Rodriguez & Associates with helping her find that alignment with her passion:

“I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I didn’t know why. Working here and seeing how the attorneys interact with clients, and how cases progress has shown me why. I learned that I enjoy helping people through the litigation process.”

While we are sad to see Anastasia leave Bakersfield, we know that a wonderful and fulfilling future lies ahead for her. We wish her all the best at Georgetown!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:04 pm

Daniel Rodriguez Named A Favorite Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer

Friday, June 3, 2022

Daniel Rodriguez was listed in The Bakersfield Californian’s 2022 Best of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice as a favorite in the Best Personal Injury Lawyer category. Each year, The Bakersfield Californian hosts this competition to help residents find the best of the best in the county.

Daniel’s professional dedication to the Bakersfield community has not gone unnoticed and has earned him nationwide recognition. Daniel has been included in Super Lawyers® since 2009, as well as the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney’s™ 10 Best Attorneys in California.

To learn more about Daniel Rodriguez, click here.

Rodriguez & Associates was also named a favorite in the Best Law Firms category. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:46 pm

Rodriguez & Associates Listed In The 2022 Best Of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice Favorites

Friday, June 3, 2022

The Bakersfield Californian has named Rodriguez & Associates a favorite in the “Best Law Firm” category in The Best of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice Poll 2022.

Daniel Rodriguez was also listed as a favorite in the “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” category.

Thank you to everyone that voted for us!

Every year, The Bakersfield Californian, a Kern County local newspaper, holds this competition to help our residents find the best of the best in the county from the Best Local Band to the Best Cardiologist. Congratulations to all those recognized this year!

Rodriguez & Associates has also been listed for years on Expertise.com as the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield.

Learn more about our firm here.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:03 pm

Heather Foster Reflects on her Experience with Rodriguez & Associates

Friday, May 27, 2022

Accounting department representative, Heather Foster, shares how Rodriguez & Associates’s authentic and warm public image led her to an amazing career choice.

Heather never imagined herself working in the accounting department at a law firm but since starting with Rodriguez & Associates in 2019, she can’t imagine a more satisfying career. A Bakersfield local, Heather has always been familiar with the firm’s strong community presence on the radio and throughout the growing California city. When the firm’s accountant reached out to her with a position, she immediately connected the firm to its approachable reputation in the community.

A behind-the-scenes player at Rodriguez & Associate, Heather is responsible for the organization and maintenance of the firm’s finance records regarding all aspects of the firm from building management to client payouts including the systems of processing, recording, and payment. While she doesn’t have much face-to-face time with the firm’s clients her role is nevertheless indispensable. Her attention to detail and analytical skills help prepare the paperwork and documentation that is distributed to clients throughout the course of their case. Heather says, “I love finding solutions and finding the answers to problems. Makes me feel like I have an active role in helping the clients.”

Heather attributes Rodriguez & Associates’ success to their genuine compassion as a team, and their ability to collaborate diverse perspectives in order to successfully tackle any obstacle.

“The firm is very attentive, detailed, and cares greatly about each of its clients. Overall, it is a great team made up of individuals who can help work toward the ultimate goal of helping the client and getting the job done… It’s like a second family and I love the look I see on everyone’s face when we complete a successful case. That moment is an accomplishment.”

While transitioning to a law firm as a “numbers person” presented challenges at first, Heather finds the reward of working with such a tight-knit team. She sees the great potential of Rodriguez & Associates in the Bakersfield community and is excited to see how the firm continues to grow.

Rodriguez & Associates is lucky to have Heather on our team!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:08 pm

Phoebe Lucker Celebrates 10 Years with Rodriguez & Associates

Monday, April 25, 2022

In an industry that has a reputation for placing victory over humanity, Phobe Lucker explains how Rodriguez & Associates places their clients’ needs first.

Phoebe has worked at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm for ten years – first as an assistant, then as a paralegal. She characterizes the firm as a family – supportive, kind, and close-knit. In her role, she assists with cases from beginning to end, getting to know the clients well and helping them through challenging situations.

A Bakersfield, California local, Phoebe came across Rodriguez & Associates during a job search after college. She was interested in pursuing a career in law and was intrigued by the prospect of working at a firm. Phoebe was hired in 2009 and worked as an office assistant under Martha Ruiz, the Office Manager, for a year before enrolling in law school. Not long after leaving Phoebe returned to the firm as a Paralegal.

For Phoebe, the most meaningful part of her role is building relationships with clients, and lending a hand or an ear when needed, duties that go beyond her job description. The trust that she develops with clients is a reflection of the firm and extends into the courtroom. She says,

“Clients come to us unsure of what to expect and I am able to help them through an unfamiliar process towards a solution.”

Her reward is knowing that she made a client feel comfortable and protected, an outcome, she says, makes the hard work worthwhile.

Phoebe attributes her success at the firm to her hard work and diligence. She has a get-it-done attitude, is organized, and will ask for help when needed. She finds the benefit in being a Bakersfield local when communicating with clients. It is an instant connection that allows the clients to feel represented and understood.

Rodriguez & Associates is so proud to have had Phoebe on our team!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:59 pm

Appeal Upheld in One of the First Civil Cases Against a School District in a School Shooting

Thursday, April 7, 2022

On January 10, 2013 (almost a month after Sandy Hook), a Taft Union High School student walked into class carrying a shotgun, aimed it directly at a fellow classmate, and shot him.

Now, almost 10 years later, the then 16-year-old victim is receiving full closure.

The State of California Court of Appeals has upheld the original verdict decided in July 2019, placing 54 percent of the responsibility on the School District for failing to protect their student. The judgment holds Taft Union High School District liable for over $2.5 million in damages.

The School District and its employees tried to dodge responsibility for what happened to their student and instead claimed it was all the actions of the school shooter, his mom, and his brother. The school district and its employees also tried to dodge responsibility by saying they are entitled to immunity under the law.

And, while this is usually the case, the ongoing reports of concern made by fellow students and staff to the school district and its employees revealed who knew the most and cared the least.

The mountain of evidence against the school district and its employees created a groundbreaking case in connection with what a school district is supposed to do when confronted with threats of a school shooter and how to protect their students from a school shooting.

Rodriguez and AssociatesDaniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Danay Gonzalez, from Rodriguez and Associates, have represented the student who was shot throughout this legal battle, which included a six-week jury trial.

During this six-week jury trial, they were able to prove that the school district chose to ignore its own policies and procedures, never informed the police about the reported threats, and never even informed the school shooter’s mom about the reports of concern surrounding her son.

California has had the most school shootings of any state since 1970, totaling 164. With school shootings on the rise, systematic improvements need to be made within the institution of public education to ensure the safety of all students and staff within schools.

In addition to handling cases of school violence, Rodriguez and Associates have experience working with victims of school sexual abuse seeking legal action to resolve complicated problems. If you believe your child’s school has failed in its duty to provide a safe environment for its students, contact us today for a free consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 10:32 pm

Rodriguez & Associates Welcomes a New Attorney

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Attorney_Victoria_HarpRodriguez & Associates is happy to welcome new attorney Victoria L. Harp to our firm. Born and raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Victoria made her way to the west coast after earning her JD from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Victoria has extensive experience in personal injury/torts, family law, criminal law, and various civil litigation. She is passionate about litigating for clients, is an excellent orator, and her briefs and motions have been met with strong results.

Victoria is also deeply involved in the Bakersfield community. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield East and past President of the Kern County Bar Young Lawyer Section. She currently sits on the charitable foundation for the Kern County Bar and serves as the Career Advisor for the Kern County College of Law. Victoria is also the CEO of Daily Reprieve, Inc., a local non-profit sober living provider. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys spending time with her dog, refurbishing furniture, reading science fiction, and kayaking.

Welcome to the family, Victoria!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:20 pm

Connie Perez-Andreesen Inducted into CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Connie Perez-Andreesen, wife of Rodriguez & Associates Senior Partner Joel Andreesen, was inducted into the 2022 CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes graduates whose career accomplishments, community service, and/or support of the university have made their alma mater proud.

From Humble Beginnings to Major Achievements

Connie Perez-Andreesen and Joel AndreesenIn this article by CSUB, Ms. Perez-Andreesen shares her life story that began when her parents came to the Unites States from Mexico in 1975 to work the fields. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Perez-Andreesen was born and she spent her early years in Woodville Farm Labor Camp, eight miles west of Porterville. When she was in junior high, her parents bought a home in Porterville and she began attending Monache High School. Her dream “was to get married, have kids and live happily ever after”. She didn’t know anyone who had gone to college but started hearing about college from the family of her high school boyfriend.

After a brief stint at Porterville College, she dropped out to work until one day her store manager was having a bad day and took it out on her. It was that moment where she decided she didn’t want to turn into a miserable person like him, living paycheck-to-paycheck. She re-enrolled in Porterville College, got straight As, and eventually enrolled at CSUB.

In 2000, Ms. Perez-Andreesen graduated with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. With the encouragement of her CSUB professor, she applied to the biggest and most prestigious accounting firm in town, and landed the job. She worked hard, taking on whatever projects they gave her including lots of traveling for work. When one of her colleagues told her that she’d never make partner – as the other partners where all white and mostly male – he inadvertently put a challenge in front her that she rose up to through conscientious work and a commitment to excellence in her job. In 10 years, she made partner.

After a brief time in politics, she was approached by Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers, who asked if she knew anyone who’d be interested in its controller position. Ms. Perez-Andreesen was interested, which is what Rodriguez had hoped for. She applied and got the job. Working for the UFW “brought me back to my roots,” Ms. Perez-Andreesen said. “I’m the daughter of farm workers. I grew up in the labor camp.”

Ms. Perez-Andreesen became the chief administrative officer of the UFW in 2020.

Ms. Perez-Andreesen has also been recognized as a Businesswoman of the Year by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latina of Influence by Hispanic Lifestyle, Woman of Excellence by the National Latina Business Women Association Los Angeles, and as an experienced leader by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Ms. Perez-Andreesen joins 64 CSUB alumni who have been included in the CSUB Hall of Fame, which was started in 2007. Congratulations!

There is much more to her inspiring story, read the full article here.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:09 pm

Named to Expertise.com’s Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield List

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Rodriguez & Associates has been named by Expertise.com’s one of the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield for 2022. Expertise.com aims to connect people with the top experts in their city by field. 

Our firm was also named to the site’s 2022 top 19 Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield and the top 20 Best Litigation Attorneys in Bakersfield

Expertise.com evaluated 243 personal injury firms in the Bakersfield area, scoring them on more than 25 variables across five categories including availability, qualifications, reputation, experience, and professionalism. The results were then analyzed to provide the public with the best 23 lawyers in the area. 

Rodriguez & Associates is based in Bakersfield, California, but we have represented clients from all over the country. 

If you or a loved one are in need of an experienced and professional personal injury attorney, contact our personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates today.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:16 pm