Akerman brought on transactional partner Irán Hopkins and real estate associates Daphna Davidovits and Claudia Fu in its Los Angeles office. The three attorneys previously worked at Ervin Cohen & Jessup. They join Akerman’s real estate practice group and cannabis practice.

Alka Ramchandani-Raj joined Littler as of counsel in the firm’s Walnut Creek office. Part of Littler’s workplace safety and health practice group, she has experience representing clients on Occupational Safety and Health Administration matters. Previously, Ramchandani-Raj was at Jackson Lewis.

The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers elected the following attorneys as officers for 2018-2019: Susan Brandt-Hawley of Brandt-Hawley Law Group as president; John Taylor Jr. of Horvitz & Levy as first vice president; Kirk Jenkins of Horvitz & Levy as second vice president; and Raymond Cardozo of Reed Smith as secretary-treasurer. Edward Xanders of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland was also elected as a member.

James Fitzgerald joins Drinker Biddle & Reath as partner in the Los Angeles office. Fitzgerald will be part of the insurance litigation group and has experience representing insurance companies and corporations in complex commercial litigation matters. Most recently, Fitzgerald was partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Jesshill Love joined Gray Duffy as of counsel in the firm’s real estate practice. Love focuses his practice on commercial and residential real estate and will be based in the Redwood City office. Previously, he was chair of the real estate practice group at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley.

Nixon Peabody promoted two attorneys to counsel in San Francisco: Sarah Abel in the global finance group and Scott Shepardson in the commercial litigation group. Abel represents companies and banks in commercial lending and asset-based lending transactions. Shepardson focuses his practice on consumer warranty cases and product liability litigation.

Blank Rome hired Erika Schulz as an associate to its corporate litigation group. Schulz focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate level and will be based in the Los Angeles office.

Fisher Phillips hired Jessica Thompson as an associate in its Irvine office. The firm specializes in labor and employment law and has 39 attorneys in Irvine. Thompson’s practice focuses on wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, wage and hour and retaliation matters. She previously was at Murtaugh, Treglia, Stern & Deily.