The Lester & Cantrell Legal Blog

Lester & Cantrell welcomes attorney Nicole Barilla

Lester & Cantrell, LLP, is pleased to welcome Nicole Barilla to our growing practice. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California and United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Prior to joining Lester & Cantrell LLP, Ms. Barilla spent 8 1/2 years with a well-respected Southern California law firm where she defended rental car agencies, transportation companies, insurance providers and their insureds, and public agencies in connection with personal injury and commercial litigation. Ms. Barilla also represented a large commercial developer in landlord-tenant disputes and other civil matters.

In additional to her litigation experience handling all aspects of a case from inception to trial, Ms. Barilla also has extensive experience handling transactional matters, including business entity formation and preparation of real estate and business contacts.

Kevin R. Crisp joins Lester & Cantrell, LLP

Attorney Kevin R. Crisp has joined Lester & Cantrell after 38 years at Los Angeles-based Haight, Brown & Bonesteel.  For many of those years he worked with Lester & Cantrell founding partner Mark Lester.  Kevin started at Haight as a law student clerk.

Though firm founder Fulton “Bill” Haight was reluctant to hire Kevin due to his professed lack of interest in sports, Kevin made equity partner faster than any young lawyer in the firm’s 80-year history.  Prior to the modern trend of case resolution through mediation, the Los Angeles Superior Court referred cases for non-binding adversarial arbitrations.  Kevin prevailed in his last 28 of those.  More recently, he won consecutive trials for four different firm practice groups.

Positions held at Haight included Litigation Department Chair, Practice Group Leader (Products Liability and Tort), and Hiring Partner.

For the first fifteen years of his practice, Kevin concentrated on the defense of products liability and negligence cases in State and Federal courts.  He has particular expertise in matters involving automatic doors and gates, fire suppression systems and alarms, fires and explosions, premises security and criminal attacks, pneumatic nailers, subrogation actions, electrical corded and cordless power tools, and a wide variety of industrial accidents. Kevin R. Crisp also advises clients concerning the handling of Proposition 65 claims.

Pleased with their results, personal injury and products liability clients asked Kevin to handle their commercial litigation.  This now makes up approximately half of his practice.

Kevin’s hobbies and interests include large format landscape photography, sailing, fishing, acoustic and electrical guitar and bass, automobile restoration and repair, antique radio restoration and repair, desert exploration, hiking and archery.

LaShon Harris joins Lester & Cantrell’s growing practice

Lashon Harris Attorney

Lashon Harris

Lester & Cantrell LLP is proud to announce that LaShon Harris has joined the firm.

LaShon focuses her practice on commercial, employment and business litigation. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California. She is also admitted to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as to the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern & Southern Districts of California.

Prior to joining Lester & Cantrell LLP, Ms. Harris was an associate with a national law firm where she represented financial institutions in connection with commercial and business litigation. Ms. Harris has also defended employers in labor arbitrations as well as in employment law actions involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Ms. Harris has also served as a Judicial Law clerk for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Ms. Harris has extensive litigation experience, including jury and bench trials. She has handled all aspects of discovery and successfully argued countless dispositive motions. Ms. Harris is adept at managing and resolving the most difficult cases and prides herself on accomplishing the best result for her client whether through zealous litigation or negotiation and settlement.

Ms. Harris received her Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School where she was an advocate in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Irvine.

Ms. Harris is also involved in the community. Ms. Harris is a volunteer judge for the Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program and has served as a pro bono attorney for Public Counsel Law Center’s Dependency Adoptions Project.

Please join our firm in offering Ms. Harris a warm welcome to our growing practice. For more information or to book a business law consultation, please call us at (951) 300-2690. Our office has two locations in Riverside and Newport Beach, Calif.

Inland Empire Top Lawyers

Lester & Cantrell, LLP has been named among the Inland Empire Top Lawyers in the November 2016 edition of Inland Empire Magazine. This annual edition highlights only the best Inland Empire lawyers who have earned the prestigious A/V rating from their peers.

Lester & Cantrell’s founding members, Mark S. Lester and David Cantrell, are rated AV Preeminent®  – the highest possible rating you can achieve from your peers and the Martindale-Hubbell organization. This rating is the basis for inclusion in the Inland Empire Top Lawyers edition. The A/V rating is based on a variety of objective factors, including professional ability and high ethical standards. Other considerations include legal experience, judgment, communication ability, legal knowledge, and analytical capabilities. Each lawyer is rated on a scale from one to five, with five being the highest.

The Martindale-Hubbell organization takes pride in offering consumers unbiased reviews of lawyers. To view Mark Lester’s complete review on, click here. To view David Cantrell’s complete review on, click here.

Lester & Cantrell, LLP is a boutique firm with offices in Riverside and Newport Beach focusing on business law, commercial law, professional liability and construction law – among other areas of practice (including wills and trusts). To learn more, check out our website, or call now for a consultation at (951) 300-2690.


Thanksgiving double-pay bill defeated

A new bill that would have given workers double pay on Thanksgiving was defeated by state lawmakers recently. The bill, authored by assemblywoman  Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), was defeated by 10 votes and strongly contested by the California Chamber of Commerce.

Business groups argued that the bill would hurt big-box stores who are fighting to compete with online outlets on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Gonzalez argued that large retailers should offer employees extra pay if they are asked to work on Thanksgiving instead of staying home with their families.

Firm Announces New Partner Matthew J. Kraus

Attorney Matthew J. Kraus has been promoted to partner at Riverside business law firm Lester & Cantrell, LLP. Photo by Veronica Hill.

Matthew J. Kraus has been promoted to partner at Riverside business law firm Lester & Cantrell, LLP. Photo by Veronica Hill.

Lester & Cantrell, LLP is pleased to announce that Matthew J. Kraus has become a partner at the firm.

Matthew has been working with Mark Lester and David Cantrell since 2008. He has significant expertise with construction law, having successfully represented project owners, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and sureties in a wide range of construction disputes. Matthew has also successfully represented clients in lawsuits relating to professional negligence, business disputes and personal injury. He is a skilled negotiator with significant trial experience. As Partner, Matthew will help lead the firm’s construction law practice.

Lester & Cantrell, LLP serves Southern California in the areas of business law, professional liability, real estate, personal injury and insurance defense.