Spillane Trial Group PLC recently welcomed Cathrynne Dale to the firm. “Cat,” as she is known to her friends and colleagues, is a Harvard Law School graduate who began her litigation career at Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker. Reinforced by an acting and writing background, Cat developed a talent for writing motions that quickly disposed of whole or portions of cases.
In one case, Cat wrote a motion in limine in order to prevent the opponent from arguing a misleading theory. Though the trial was set to begin the next day, the judge agreed with her contention that opposing counsel’s argument, upon which the entire theory of its case was based, was improper. Ultimately, because the opposition could not satisfy the judge that it could make its case without the misleading argument, the case was dismissed in its entirety.
Cat is a creative thinker who fits well into the Spillane firm’s guiding principle that developing and articulating a direct and memorable case theme is the most cost effective and beneficial route to protecting the clients’ interests.
“Many firms take a pro forma approach; they follow a standard template that they will apply to cases of a certain type,” says Cat. “But that doesn’t always resolve the litigation and could actually waste the client’s time and money. I was attracted to joining the Spillane firm, where we tackle unique and difficult cases, often against the largest national firms. We don’t do ‘cookie cutter’ cases.”
Cat’s ability to embrace novel approaches to litigation may result from her nontraditional background. Cat graduated from Van Nuys High School and attended Los Angeles City and Valley Colleges, where she won numerous speech and writing awards before transferring to the University of California Berkeley, where she obtained writing awards and graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa. After trying her hand at professional acting, Cat changed her focus to law and was admitted to Harvard, where she graduated cum laude after serving as an articles editor for the Harvard Women’s law journal, a board member for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project and worked as a Rule 303 advocate representing indigent defendants.
“Cat personifies the professionals at our firm and the type of law we practice,” said managing partner Jay Spillane. “She has top credentials and stellar training combined with intelligence and creativity. Our clients come to us with ‘bet the company’ cases. Cat significantly adds to our capability to deliver a win for our clients.”