California Wildfire Victim Advocates and Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust Join Forces to Hold Community Meeting for Thomas Fire Victims

LOS ANGELES--()--The California Wildfire Victim Advocates legal group has partnered with the Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust and nationally recognized trial attorney, Ventura native Bob Boatman of Gallagher & Kennedy, to host an informational community meeting for Ventura County residents and ranchers affected by the Thomas Fire. The free meeting is intended to serve as a resource for wildfire victims and to initiate a conversation that is comfortable and without commitment so that informed decisions can be made on their road to recovery.

Presenters will include Insurance, rebuilding and legal experts as well as lifelong Ventura County residents and ranchers Rich and Bonnie Atmore who fought the flames to protect their Sexton Canyon residence as the wildfire consumed the surrounding hillsides. Though they managed to save their home, the ranch and Rancho Ventura Conservancy Trust land that they steward suffered terribly as a result of the Thomas Fire. The Atmores will share their "why" for moving forward in seeking justice for the land and for those affected by this disaster.

Saturday, February 10, 2018
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust
2977 Sexton Canyon Rd., Ventura, CA 93003

Topics for discussion will include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessing the impacts to your ranching and farming operations
  • FEMA – applications for disaster assistance
  • Insurance issues – how and when to make a claim; uninsured & underinsured
  • What to do about your mortgage & property tax if your home or ranch was destroyed
  • What to do about your farm or ranch non-structure losses such as fences, crops, equipment, etc.
  • Concerns of erosion, mudflows and landslides when the rains return
  • Potential claims against Southern California Edison and/or other third parties

Every time we look at our son’s jacket that caught fire, we are reminded of that harrowing December night and the scars the Thomas Fire has left on our community," Bonnie says. "We are grateful to our childhood friend Bob Boatman for connecting us to Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and California Wildfire Victim Advocates. We did a lot research on the various legal teams that came into town offering their support and, hands down, the California Wildfire Victim Advocates group are heads and shoulders above the rest in their experience and record to obtain the maximum payout for the losses suffered from a wildfire.”

Seating for the outdoor workshop may be reserved at Eventbrite. Parking is available on site.

The California Wildfire Victim Advocates group includes the law firms of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, and Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. These powerhouse firms have extensive experience in litigation against utility companies and, together, have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for fire victims. Members of this consortium have led the charge for victims impacted by the 2010 San Bruno Gas Explosion, the 2015 Butte Fire in Amador County, and represent hundreds of victims of the 2017 North Bay Fires who have suffered total property loss or the loss of a loved one.

The cause of the Thomas Fire remains under investigation. If you were impacted and have questions about your legal options, call (877) 497-3549. Additional information can be found at

About Bob Boatman, Gallagher & Kennedy

Born and raised in Ventura, attorney Bob Boatman has served as lead counsel on some of the biggest cases in the country and is proud to return to his beloved hometown and use his skills and experience to help the victims of the Thomas Fire become whole again. He attended Montalvo Elementary School, Anacapa Junior High, and Buena High School where he served in student government and was Captain and MVP of the football and baseball teams. Following graduation, Bob had the opportunity to play baseball at Stanford under legendary coach Mark Marquez before receiving a law school scholarship to Arizona State University, where he served as a law review editor and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif. As a lawyer, Bob has worked at the best law firms in Arizona and California, and has obtained over 100 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1,000,000 including verdicts of $17,000,000 and $15,000,000 for his clients.

About Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust

The Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust is a 501(3)c agricultural and open space land trust committed to the conservation and preservation of Ventura County’s rangeland, farms, air, water quality, wildlife habitat and local food supply. In September 2016 Rancho Ventura Trust acquired 860 acres in Ventura, California making Rancho Ventura Trust the largest agricultural and open space conservancy in the County of Ventura. In May 2017, the Rancho Ventura Trust entered into a purchase agreement to acquire an additional 752 acres adjacent to the land held by the trust. All 1,612 acres suffered from the impacts of the Thomas Fire. While many of the oaks, sycamores, and other vegetation and grasses were lost to the Thomas fire, the landmark Two Trees still stand. Our immediate goal is to begin the restoration of the land so that the abundant wildlife can return to their habitat. The long-term goal of Rancho Ventura Trustees is to keep the land an agriculture and open space, and protect the abundant wildlife that call these hillsides home, while providing a cherished community asset for generations to come. For more information visit

About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP represents plaintiffs in wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, property loss, product liability, mass torts and business litigation cases. Firm attorneys have dedicated themselves to obtaining justice for clients who are often dealing with a life-altering injury, death of a family member or other challenges caused by the wrongful act of another. The firm has obtained some of the most significant verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs including the largest personal injury verdict in United States history ($4.9 billion) and is consistently ranked among the best plaintiff's law firms in the country, including by U.S. News & World Report, where it has been recognized as a Tier One law firm in the areas of Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, as well as by the National Law Journal which has named the firm in its list of Elite Trial Lawyers.

About Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy only represents people or entities in cases involving just principles or causes. The key to the firm's success is its experienced attorneys and staff and their innovative approach to litigating complex matters in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Firm attorneys consistently tackle this problem head-on with its teamwork approach to obtaining fair and reasonable resolutions. The firm is also known for the breadth of its practice and the diversity of its clients: CPM attorneys are experienced in personal injury, consumer class actions, state and federal false claims matters, antitrust law, securities actions, and employment law among other practice areas.

About Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

As one of the premier personal injury firms in the United States, attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have successfully represented injured people in both state and federal courts, before arbitration hearing boards and in mediation and settlement conferences. For nearly six decades, we have helped establish new law and used personal injury litigation to compel corporations to produce safer products. As leaders in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death litigation, our attorneys have helped shape personal injury law, while securing millions of dollars in financial compensation for injured clients.


Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Angela Bailey
(909) 286-4040


Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Angela Bailey
(909) 286-4040