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THE 23rd ANNUAL HOT 25
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Lisa Neal

By Steve ChurmPublished: November 01, 2012

Partner, business litigator Rutan & Tucker, Costa Mesa
Hot factor: She is the go-to litigator handling the most difficult cases at Orange County’s largest full-service law firm.


Robert Redford was the smooth-swinging, can’t-miss Major Leaguer in the baseball movie “The Natural.” Lisa Neal is starring in her own real-life version of that cinematic classic – only she is a business litigator, and by all accounts her batting average in the courtroom has become legendary.

At age 38, Neal is a partner at Rutan & Tucker, one of the region’s most respected and largest full-service firms. In the past 12 months, she has won two hard-fought jury trials, including one representing global etailer Buy.com of Aliso Viejo.

Her secret, she says, is simple: effort. “I work really, really hard at what I do. I listen to what my client’s goals are, and then I get it done.”

Her father was a trial lawyer, and she has three brothers in the industry. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.” A graduate of the USC law school, she joined Rutan in 1999, where former managing partner Michael Hornak said Neal has the complete package. “She has the ability to take complex commercial disputes and synthesize them down to the core issues.”
   
That’s high praise for the rising star, who seemingly hits home runs every time she steps before a jury or judge. She says her gender is an asset, and the fact that she is a wife and mother of two helps. “It keeps me focused, organized and grounded.”




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