Felton Newell – CUP in LA Member Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I am a trial attorney at a boutique business litigation law firm in downtown Los Angeles.  I knew I wanted to be an attorney as a child because I had a sense that attorneys were able to make things happen.  In my 15 years as an attorney, I have worked for big firms catering to Fortune 100 companies and I also have served my community as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.  In my current role, I represent companies and business executives in a range of litigation matters including employment and intellectual property disputes.  It is rewarding to be able to use my advocacy skills to advance the interests of my clients.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?
At times, juggling several active cases can be a challenge.  At the moment, I am handling approximately 30 active litigation matters, each with its own set of goals and obstacles.  All of my firm's clients deserve my full attention, and that is what I endeavor to provide.

What is your proudest achievement?
When I was a prosecutor, I filed a case against a health insurance company that was engaged in a massive and successful scheme to defraud consumers.  The case helped draw national attention to the company and its deceptive practices.  I believe that case helped warn consumers about the perils of dealing with this company.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I have always admired John F. Kennedy because he inspired a generation to make our country a better place.  He was no saint, but his life mattered.  I admire President Obama, who was my professor in law school, for his willingness to give up his comfortable life in Chicago to try to deal with the mess in Washington.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I am always looking for ways to use my advocacy skills to advance the causes that are important to me. I hope to do more of that in the future.

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
Do not be afraid to fail. To have a career and a life that have an impact requires a willingness to go outside the box.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I have been blessed to have great mentors who have guided me along my life path.  It is difficult to achieve success reinventing the wheel -- it is much better to rely on the wisdom and life experience of people who care about you and want you to do well.  I mentor because it is important to pass along whatever I have gleaned from my time to make the road smoother for others.