Team Spotlights

Camaraderie and teamwork define the culture at Scali Rasmussen. Meet some of the members of our team. 

Shawn Peters

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Scali Rasmussen’s senior corporate paralegal Shawn Peters spent more than a decade as a counselor in higher education. But with a Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School and years of experience under his belt as a law clerk, Shawn says he always felt something in his mind calling him back to the legal world.

A call with his long time friend Chris Scali - the firm’s managing shareholder - made his move back into law official.

“He reached out to me back in 2018. He knew I wasn’t completely satisfied with where I was at the time and asked if I wanted to jump back in,” said Shawn.

As senior corporate paralegal, Shawn’s job is to primarily assist clients with transactions and licensing for new businesses. He also assists other parts of the firm, especially the labor and employment practice, in potential damage analysis summarizing depositions for the litigation team.The thing that really makes the job interesting, he said, is how much his duties day-to-day shift based on the needs of the firm’s clients.

“If we are involved in a purchase or a sale, I am normally the person that helps form the company and obtain all the necessary permits and licenses for the new business to operate,” said Shawn. “Once you establish a relationship with a client what I find is they will frequently reach back out to you on various licensing and permitting questions.”

The most rewarding aspect of the job for Shawn is the sense of accomplishment he feels when a client gets what they need.

“From my standpoint on the corporate side, clients have a lot they are dealing with when they start or acquire a business,” said Shawn.” I can’t tell you how many times I have been thanked at the end of the transaction for helping them through the process or being there to answer questions when they need help.

With family around the country, Shawn and his wife like to spend most of their off-time traveling to visit.

Anthony Kressel

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Most people might hesitate at the prospect of trading beautiful villas, Renaissance architecture and a view of The Campanile for the busy streets of LA 6000 miles away. But most people aren’t Anthony. “I live a big, big life,” said Anthony. And he’s got the resume to back it up.

Prior to leaving his home country of Italy, the Florence native was employed for several years at the Vatican as a superintendent, working with parish and diocesan leadership on the administrative end of things. He later served for seven years as an office administrator for Polizia di Stato.

But, always on the lookout for his next big move, Anthony was suddenly struck with the idea of a move to America—and Los Angeles in particular.

“It was a decision that would change everything. So I called Chris Scali—my best friend, ‘What would you think if I moved to America’?” said Anthony. “He told me, ‘It’s not going to be very easy, but if you want to do it, you should try.’”

While the LA life took some getting used to, he says things couldn’t have worked out for the better: he’s now three years married to his husband Mark, who’s a lawyer in Los Angeles. They have a young pit bull named Guido.

As file clerk, Anthony’s not only the firm’s official recordkeeper, he’s arguably its most reliable linguist and translator. He’s fluent in four languages—English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. He also understands French and Russian. “In Europe, the countries are so close that you are always traveling somewhere else. Three months here, five months there,” Anthony said. “And I always wanted to take in the culture and learn the language.”

While his friendship with Chris was the link that brought him into the legal world of the US, Anthony said he’s come to deeply appreciate the firm, its members, and the important work they do.

“The firm really has a vision, and everyone is always working to achieve it,” said Anthony.

Julie S. Pearson

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While most new employees are welcomed to our firm with a tour around the office and many warm greetings along the way, Julie joined Scali Rasmussen under slightly different circumstances in June 2020, when the pandemic was in full swing and lockdown measures were at their tightest. Despite the chaos of the times, and the fact that most in-person interactions were off the table, she says the firm found ways to give her the old-fashioned hospitable reception with video conferencing and the occasional socially distanced face-to-face.

“Everything was shut down, but I really wanted to get to know people, I wanted to come into the office. But at that point there were really only a few people there regularly,” said Julie. “Considering they were hiring during COVID – which was a remarkable thing other firms weren’t really doing – they still handled everything so well given the unique circumstances of the onboarding.”

With in-person operations resuming and a few years at the firm under her belt, Julie’s an invaluable leader and an integral part of our litigation team. You can reliably find her at her desk researching varied areas of law, writing, and otherwise working through cases, often related to discovery – an often demanding process she finds can make or break litigated disputes.

“The people here are really great, I’ve said that over and over again to anyone that’ll ask me,” said Julie with a laugh. “I work a lot of hours, but the people make it worthwhile. The support staff are super dedicated, and my colleagues are hardworking, genuinely nice, and interesting people.”

Her family’s long been avid hikers, and while her children are grown now, they still find time for the occasional venture into nature, with a particular fondness for national parks. She’s always looking for opportunities to find new books, with a particular love for historical fictions examining lesser-known figures of significant importance.

Janae L. Hill

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Whether it’s research for a legal matter or experiments on a new recipe, Janae Hill always strives towards perfection. After obtaining her law degree from Ontario’s University of LaVerne in 2019, she says she found kindred spirits with similarly high standards at Scali Rasmussen.

“I didn’t have strong thoughts about the kind of firm I wanted to work for prior to meeting with Christian [Scali] and Jeffrey [Erdman]. But once I learned about Scali Rasmussen, and the sophisticated nature of the work being done here, I knew it was a place I wanted to be a part of,” says Janae.

An Associate, Janae assists the firm’s Partners by providing support through legal research, coordination of strategy, and a variety of client-facing activities. She also keeps the firm and its clients informed about any developments in privacy law.

Janae says the businesses she gets to know and the personalities that make them tick are a highlight of her job.

“You realize when you work with these businesses how many different components, how many different people are making it all happen,” says Janae.

Janae loves baking, which became a serious hobby of hers over the course of the 2020 lockdowns. Holidays have been her big chance to debut new recipes, her latest winner being her strawberry cheesecake cookies.

“They took a while to get right - what really helped was not freezing the strawberries beforehand, which is how I used to do it,” says Janae. “It’s exciting, it really is about experimenting.”

Amy Hernandez

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Amy’s employment at Scali Rasmussen brought her back to Los Angeles, the city where she was born and raised. The chance to return to her hometown was appealing, Amy says, but what really intrigued her about work at the firm was the way everyone seemed to immediately treat her like an old friend.

“I’m a very family-oriented person, and that’s a trait a lot of people here seemed to share,” Amy says. “Everyone I met made it seem like a really friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere.”

Having joined the firm in April 2022, Amy currently serves as legal secretary to four attorneys, including co-founder Bert Rasmussen. She says her work with these attorneys is easily the most rewarding aspect of her job, sharpening her administrative skills and allowing her to interact with interesting people she’d otherwise never meet.

“My day-to-day consists of scheduling hearings, meetings, and court depositions for the attorneys I assist, and helping my coworkers with any questions related to filings or courtroom rules. Teamwork makes the dream work,” says Amy.

When she’s not in school or at the firm, Amy says she typically spends time around the city with her husband Peter, their three kids, and their Frenchies Zoey and Blue. She currently attends classes for a real estate license.