OCBA Board Member Mary-Christine “M.C.” Sungaila has joined the firm Buchalter as Chair of its Appellate practice. She will work out of the Orange County office. Sungaila was previously a Partner at Haynes & Boone.
“I am delighted to welcome M.C. to Buchalter,” said Adam Bass, Buchalter President and Chief Executive Officer. “M.C. is an exceptional attorney. Her experience, expertise, and dedication to client service complements our existing capabilities and commitment to providing the highest quality legal services. She is the ideal person to lead this practice.”
As a widely regarded appellate attorney who has briefed and argued appeals raising cutting-edge and fundamental business issues nationally and internationally, Sungaila has helped shape undeveloped areas of the law including, employment, franchisor liability, product liability, class actions and probate to immigration, Holocaust art recovery, and human rights.
Among her numerous accolades, Chambers USA has repeatedly named her a “Notable Appellate Practitioner” (2013-2020). She has also continually been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of California’s 100 Leading Women Lawyers (2005, 2010-2019), and in 2015 as one of the state’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers. She is a recipient of two back-to-back California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) awards, including one in 2015 from California Lawyer magazine, Daily Journal Corporation, for the precedent-setting franchisor vicarious liability case she argued before the California Supreme Court, Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza.
“I am very excited to join the Firm and work with the incredibly well-respected team of attorneys at Buchalter,” said Sungaila. “The Firm’s impressive platform and considerable resources will allow me to not only offer unparalleled service to my clients, but grow my practice as well.”
Sungaila is also frequently recognized for her sustained commitment to community service and pro bono work. In 2017, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, whose recipients include seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity, for her combined professional achievements and humanitarian and pro bono work. She has also been recognized by the California Women Lawyers, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Orange County Women Lawyers, the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and Coastline Community College Foundation.
Sungaila earned her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, in 1991, and earned her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University in 1988, with distinction, Honors in Humanities.