VENTURA, CALIF. (April 9, 2012)—Senior Counsel Jeff Gorell returned to Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C. this month after a year-long stint as a U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. serving in Afghanistan. Gorell, who has been with the California office of the firm since 2009, also serves in the California State Legislature, representing the 37th Assembly District which includes portions of Los Angeles, Kern and Ventura Counties. He is the first sitting member of the California Legislature to be called to active duty since World War II.
Gorell served in the Helmand province of Afghanistan embedded with the U.S. Marines at Camp Leatherneck. Gorell worked as an intelligence officer in direct support of front line troops and was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal by the Secretary of Defense for his actions. “When you are away from home like that, it is the little things you appreciate about this country . . . the things we take for granted, like a legal system that guarantees justice to everyone,” Gorell said.
The firm welcomed home Gorell at a public event attended by nearly 500 Ventura County residents who turned out to show their appreciation. Gorell spoke gratefully and warmly about the welcome and told the crowd how much their support and the firm’s support meant to him and to his family. Gorell and his wife, Laura, have two children.
Gorell is a former deputy district attorney and communications advisor to former Governor Pete Wilson and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association in Sacramento. He was an adjunct professor in the school of public policy at California Lutheran University and a partner in a public outreach and communications firm before joining Anderson Kill & Olick. Shortly after becoming a member of the firm, Gorell ran for a position in the Assembly and was elected in November 2010. He left for Afghanistan in March 2011. While he was gone, his office staff ran day-to-day operations, but he was prohibited from introducing bills or voting by proxy. “My command really wanted me to concentrate on military matters,” said Gorell.
In his legal practice, Gorell provides clients with strategic legal, government, regulatory and community affairs counsel as they apply to large land development, agriculture, health care and energy issues and projects. Leveraging more than 14 years’ experience as an advocate at the federal, state and local level, Gorell advises a wide variety of clients, including energy, agricultural and development companies, helping them navigate public policy as well as legal challenges. He is experienced in the areas of criminal, contract, CEQA, land use, environmental, employment and election law.