Letter from the Publisher

Our readers have voted — they have told us which legal services providers are the best, based on their own experiences.

Welcome to the seventh annual issue of The Recorder's Best. The Best provides a list of the legal services and solutions that The Recorder's readers have rated highly across multiple categories. This year, we are providing more context for the voting by including many of the comments that our readers supplied with their ballots. We hope you use the survey results to choose the legal services that can help you run your business more efficiently and effectively.


The Recorder's 2013 BEST survey generated responses from nearly 1,500 legal professionals — representing individuals from every level of the law firms and legal departments.

The results reflect an engaged audience of informed professionals who are keenly aware of the organizations that support California's legal community. They jumped at the chance to share their perspectives and cast their votes for the organizations which they feel best serve the legal marketplace.

'It's good to have a short list of service providers that you know others are turning to…'

'I selected providers I have personally worked with and would recommend with the highest marks to friends and colleagues.'


Best Lawyer/Law Firm Business Development and Coaching Services
1. Working Resources
2. Callaghan & Company
3. Full Circle Institute

Best End to End e-Discovery Provider
1. Kroll Ontrack
2. Xerox Litigation Services
3. EMC

Best Litigation Consulting Services
1. Nathan Associates
2. DecisionQuest
3. FTI Consulting

Best IP Litigation Consulting Services
1. Nathan Associates
2. OnPoint Analytics
3. IPriori Inc

'Solid peer review is an almost lost art these days. In difficult times, legal practitioners and their clients need a substantive foundation to rely on. This opportunity for peer review provides us with that opportunity.'

'I made these choices because I recognized some talented organizations that are doing some amazing things for the legal community.'

Best Global Risk & Investigations Services
1. Kroll Advisory Services
2. FTI Consulting
3. Global Risk Management Services

Best Case Management Solution
1. LexisNexis CaseMap
2. LexisNexis Time Matters
3. Amicus Attorney

Best Practice Management Software
1. LexisNexis Firm Manager
2. Amicus Attorney
3. Thomson Reuters Firm Central

Best Data Recovery Services Provider
1. LexisNexis Managed Network Services
2. Kroll Ontrack
3. Lazarus Data Recovery

Best Data Security Services Provider
1. Iron Mountain
2. Symantec
3. McAfee

Best Document Management Services
1. Iron Mountain
2. Lexis Document Profiling
3. Xerox

Best Predictive Coding Solution
1. DiscoverReady
2. Kroll Ontrack
3. Recommind

Best Docketing & Calendaring Software
1. LexisNexis Time Matters
2. Amicus Attorney
3. eDockets

Best Collaboration Software
1. Dropbox
2. Sharepoint
3. Intermedia

Best Time & Billing Solutions
1. Thomson Reuters Time & Billing
2. Tabs3
3. Amicus Attorney

Best Online Legal Research Provider
1. Westlaw/WL Next
2. LexisNexis
3. Bloomberg BNA

'WestlawNext is far and away the best legal research engine I have ever used. I am confident in my results and am able to get my answers much faster than with any other legal research platform.'

Best Legal Research Vendor
1. Westlaw
2. LexisNexis
3. Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)

Best Legal iPad Application
1. WestlawNext iPad app
2. LexisAdvance HD
3. Bloomberg

Best Forensic Accounting Provider
1. Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP
2. Hemming Morse

Best Business Accounting Provider
1. Deloitte LLP
2. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP
3. Ernst & Young

Best Private Banking Services
1. Wells Fargo
2. Citi Private Bank
3. JP Morgan Chase & Co

Best Business Bank
1. City National Bank
2. Wells Fargo
3. Bank of America

Best Litigation Funding Provider
1. Peachtree Pre-Settlement Funding
2. Magnolia Legal Funding
3. LawSuitLoan Online

Best Class Action Administration Services
1. Gilardi
2. CGC/Garden City Group
3. Heffler Claims

Best Commercial Real Estate Firm
1. Cushman & Wakefield
2. CB Richard Ellis
3. Prudential

Best Malpractice Insurance Provider
1. Lawyers Mutual
2. Nielsen & Geenty
3. Ahern

Best Wealth Management Provider
1. First Republic Bank
2. Northern Trust
3. Bank of Marin

Best Court Reporting & Deposition Provider
1. Barkley Court Reporters
2. HG Litigation
3. Esquire

'Barkley is dependable and reliable at all times.'

'Barkley Court Reporters: With their prompt, courteous and professional (old school) service, along with their online data/depo storage and access solutions, they are a cut above any competitors.'

Best Courtroom Presentation Provider
1. Cogent Legal
2. Litigation-Tech
3. Trial Graphix

Best Deposition Video Provider
1. SF Legal Video
2. Marcus Deposition Reporting
3. Certified Reporting

'Certified Reporting Services are the BEST!! Very nice people to work with!! '

'I've been associated with Certified Reporting Services for many years and am extremely confident of the quality of the work they produce and I know firsthand everyone involved in the running of CRS strives for excellence in their part in producing excellent transcripts.'

Best Forensic Experts
1. Kroll Advisory Solutions
2. Economists Incorporated
3. TM Financial Forensics

Best Messenger Service
1. One Legal
2. Western Messenger
3. A&A Legal Services

Best Process Server
1. One Legal
2. Rapid Legal
3. A&A Legal Services

'A&A consistently gets the job done, despite the many ways we inadvertently make their job more difficult – and they are always, always courteous and quick to respond to email as well as phone calls."

Best CLE Provider
1. Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
2. Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
3. Practicing Law Institute (PLI)

'I have utilized all of the service providers that I noted in the survey and truly felt I received great service from each. My favorite continuing legal education seminar provider, Pincus Professional Education is particularly noteworthy though. I have attended about five Pincus seminars. Each was phenominally packed with useful content and had presenters/speakers of the highest skill level. I would unhesitatingly recommend Pincus to other lawyers and am already planning my next couple of seminars with this CLE provider.'

'Nobody is as good as CEB.'

Best LLM Program
1. UC Berkeley School of Law
2. UC Hastings College of Law
3. Golden Gate University School of Law

Best Legal Recruiter
1. Ryder Smith Legal Search
2. Lighthouse Legal Search
3. Major Lindsey & Africa

'Lee Kuhn at Ryder Smith Legal helped make my legal search possible. Lee took the time to not only thoroughly review my resume, she also followed-up with a telephone conversation to help assess my strengths and challenges as a candidate, the job landscape, and offered tips on how to go about my job search. Honest yet gracious about my prospects, Lee took me on as a client despite my being a relative new attorney. I expect that my relationship with Lee and Ryder Smith Legal will continue as the legal job market improves.'

'I may be a young associate, but these are the services that I've come to recognize. I particularly favor Ryder Smith Legal Search as a recruiter, as they have been invaluable to my career.'

'I was delighted to work with Lighthouse Legal Search. They were professional, thorough, and caring – always taking the time to explain the status and process to me. Because of them, I have my dream job.'

'We trust Lighthouse Legal Search to help find the right talent to fill the crucial positions at our firm.'

'Lighthouse Legal Search worked with us from day one to make sure we understood key steps in their process and the philosophy behind the vetting and selection of talent.'

Best Staffing Agency
1. Robert Half Legal
2. Hampton O'Bannon Partners
3. Pathways Personnel

Best Contract Attorney Provider
1. Robert Half Legal
2. Special Counsel
3. Hudson Legal

Best Public Relations Agency
1. Infinite Public Relations
2. Blattel Communications
3. Berbay Corporation

'InfinitePR is a proactive, creative and highly responsive firm. '

'In the money over-focused legal profession, Infinite PR delivers clever and thoughtful advice, streamlined to focus on the right PR moves. '

'Blattel is our marketing and public relations firm. They provide excellent service and keep us on our toes.'

'Ellen Blattel and Traci Stuart hands down set the standard for legal PR in the Bay Area and California, not to mention their national presence. '

Best Advertising Agency
1. Bothwell Marketing
2. The Dalton Agency
3. Greenfield/Belzer

'Bothwell Marketing's knowledge of law firm management and operations adds a layer of expertise that goes beyond traditional marketing and communications services. Anne Bothwell and her team offer a wealth of knowledge about law firms and the legal industry. That experience and familiarity streamline the marketing process.'

Best Law Firm Business Intelligence
1. Thomson Reuters Monitor Suite
2. HBR Consulting
3. Redwood Analytics (LN)

Best ADR Provider
2. ADR Services
3. BASF Mediation Services

'JAMS have top quality retired Judges who know how to settle cases.'

'BASF provides the best directory of Neutrals and mediators in the city They screen them well and clearly present their credentials.'

Best Personal Injury Law Firm
1. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein
2. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
3. Mary Alexander & Associates

Best Family Law Firm
1. McManis Faulkner
2. Sideman & Bancroft LLP
3. Schoenberg Family Law Group

'McManis Faulkner family lawyers are kind, ethical and get great results.'

Best Malpractice Law Firm
1. Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney
2. Bledsoe, Cathcart, Diestel, Pedersen & Treppa
3. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

'I have met a number of people from Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeny. They are extremely knowledge-able and always display the utmost professionalism among both their colleagues and their clients. '