FEATURED PROFESSIONAL PROFILE
by karen gorden
LEE HEJMANOWSKI’S EXPERTISE IN CIVIL LITIGATION LEADS TO A SURPRISING TWIST.
photogra phy by Bronso n Pa te
ccording to the unrivaled expertise of Wikipedia, “a plot twist is a change in the expected direction of outcome of the plot…” Personally, I’m a huge fan of plot twists, but they don’t come up as often as you might think when I’m interviewing civil litigation attorneys. So I wasn’t expecting Lee Hejmanowski, partner with Carmel Valley based Caldarelli Hejmanowski & Page LLP to throw any surprise curveballs my way. I’m wrong. From the start of our phone interview, Hejmanowski’s dry humor is obvious. And delightfully refreshing. In a totally affable manner, he explains to me “I know I am supposed to have a niche, but I really don’t. We’re not doing anything weird. ” Continuing, he says “it’s harder to market yourself when you’re a general business litigator. I handle a lot of different cases. Right now on my desk, I have cases involving mergers of medical groups, real estate loans and professional athletes. It’s not as if I’m known as the go-toguy for a narrow specialty, like defective chair litigation.” But that seemingly lack of specialization is precisely what appeals so much to Hejmanowski about practicing civil litigation. “Being a general business litigator is like being Attorney Journal | Volume 106, 2012
paid to go to school,” he says. “There are always new fields of business and areas of litigation to explore." However, that doesn’t mean that Hejmanowski is new at the game of business litigation. On the contrary, he spent the first 18 years of his career with a well-known San Diego practice before launching his own firm alongside partners William J. Caldarelli and Marisa Janine-Page in 2011. THE PLOT THICKENS Although Hejmanowski continues to try to portray himself humbly, as just sort of the typical “boy goes to college, then law school, then practices law, the end,” type of attorney, I’m not buying it, particularly because he happens to be a business litigator who also handles select marital dissolutions. I’ve definitely never run across this combination of practice areas before. Hejmanowski concedes that it’s perhaps a bit unusual that up to one-third of his caseload falls under the umbrella of family law, but there is a perfectly good, if a bit circuitous, explanation for it. “There was a lot of exposure to the law, growing up. My dad is a lawyer, and has been the managing
Attorney Journal, San Diego Edition, Volume 107