Elaine Kobylecki

Biography

Elaine Kobylecki is a San Diego-based litigation attorney with the California office of Cokinos | Young and a member of the firm’s Greek Organization Litigation Practice Group.  Her litigation practice focuses on advocating for corporate clients involved in high-exposure and high-publicity matters that pose a risk to their reputation or governance.  Elaine represents clients in all stages of litigation in both state and federal courts nationwide.

With nearly a decade of defense litigation experience, Elaine is also experienced in commercial litigation having counseled clients across numerous industries, including retail, consumer goods, construction, transportation and logistics, government contracting, and professional services, in a variety of matters including products liability, breach of contract, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and risk management.

Elaine is attuned to the needs of her clients as she navigates them through the challenges of each phase of the litigation cycle.  She is committed to achieving the most favorable outcome on behalf of clients from both a legal and practical business perspective.

Her broad-based litigation experience has enabled Elaine to be adept in handling a variety of discovery disputes.  She has extensive deposition experience having taken and defended over 80 depositions as lead counsel, including plaintiffs, experts, treating physicians, and third-party witnesses.  Elaine also has substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution, representing clients at mediations, mandatory settlement conferences, and early neutral evaluations.

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law – J.D., 2014
    – Hastings Women’s Law Journal
  • University of California, Santa Barbara – B.A., 2011

Representative Experience

  • Second-chaired a two-week jury trial resulting in a successful defense verdict in favor of engineering firm on claims of negligence, products liability and traumatic brain injury.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Initiated, Gamma Phi Beta
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego

Admissions

  • California State Bar (2014)
  • United States District Courts: Northern, Eastern, Central & Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Court: Eastern District of Michigan
  • Pro Hac Vice Admissions Granted in Ohio, Indiana, and Washington

Jaskiran K. Samra

Biography

Jaskiran (“Jas”) Samra is a litigation lawyer who is a member of the Cokinos | Young Greek Organization Litigation Practice Group, working out of the San Francisco Office.  With attention to detail and a variety of expert professional skills involving complex litigation, she currently focuses her practice on litigation and risk-management issues relating to Greek organizations and other fraternal groups. Jas is experienced in the areas of catastrophic injury, commercial litigation, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties, and has represented a variety of national and local clients.

Education

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law – J.D., 2013
  • University of Michigan – B.S., 2009

Representative Experience

  • Salvare La Vita Water v. Crazy Bottling Company, et al., 2021 WL 3044163 (9th Circuit). Successful granting of motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in favor of defendants, affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit
  • Steagall v. Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (Los Angeles Superior Court).  Successful granting of summary judgment in favor of national Fraternity, national Foundation, house corporation, and local Chapter
  • Morton v. Theta Chi Fraternity, 2019 WL 6173687 (Mich. App.).  Successful granting of summary disposition in favor of national Fraternity and local Chapter, affirmed on appeal by the Michigan Court of Appeals

Memberships & Affiliations

  • California State Bar
  • Queen’s Bench (Member, Civic & Judicial Appointment Committee & Domestic Violence Committee)
  • South Asian Bar Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of California (2014)
  • United States District Court: Northern District of California
  • United States District Court: Eastern District of Michigan
  • Pro Hac Vice Admission Granted, 7 States (NJ, PA, OH, FL, AZ, MI, WA)
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Third & Ninth Circuits

Michael C. Osborne

Biography

Michael Osborne is a trial lawyer who has handled and tried a wide variety of litigation, ranging from complex business disputes and class actions for national and local companies to injury and wrongful-death claims asserted against product manufacturers, trucking companies, fraternities and sororities, security companies and healthcare professionals.  Michael is recognized among fraternal organizations and their insurers and risk managers for his nationwide representation of Fraternities and Sororities in high-exposure and high-publicity litigation and in significant crisis-management situations.

In 2018, he opened the Cokinos | Young California office in San Francisco, where he heads his Greek Organization Litigation Practice Group, making Cokinos | Young “The Nation’s only Law Firm with a Litigation Practice Group Committed to Defending Fraternities and Sororities Throughout the Country.”  Michael has defended fraternity and sorority members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and of the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association on litigation involving hazing claims.  He has served on the NIC Presidential Commission on Hazing Awareness and Prevention.

Elected to The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2000, Michael has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for each of the years 2013-2022.  He has tried in excess of 125 jury trials to verdict in both federal and state courts. He is the only attorney in the United States within the past 25+ years who has tried a jury trial defending claims of hazing and sexual assault against a national fraternal organization, which was recently affirmed on appeal.

A 1977 graduate of Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania), Michael received his law degree in 1980 from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.  He served as a criminal prosecutor with the El Dorado County (South Lake Tahoe) and San Francisco County District Attorneys’ Offices from 1981 to 1989. Since then, he has developed an extensive civil trial and litigation practice, serving the diverse litigation needs of national, regional, and local clients.

Education

  • Golden Gate University School of Law (San Francisco) – J.D., 1980
  • Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania) – B.A., 1977

Representative Experience

  • Smith v. Delta Tau Delta, 9 N.E.3rd154 (Ind. 2014).  Successful Amicus Brief for Theta Chi Fraternity.
  • Barenborg v. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, 33 Cal.App.5th 70 (2019).  Successful granting of summary judgment in favor of national Fraternity, affirmed on appeal by the California Court of Appeal in a case of first impression in California on the issues of duty and vicarious liability involving a national Fraternity (with review denied by the California Supreme Court) (briefed and argued).
  • Tipton v. Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, 826 S.E.2d 226 (N.C. App. 2019).  Successful granting of summary judgment in favor of national Fraternity, affirmed on appeal by the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
  • Morton v. Theta Chi Fraternity, 2019 WL 6173687 (Mich. App.). Successful granting of summary disposition in favor of national Fraternity and local Chapter, affirmed on appeal by the Michigan Court of Appeals (argued by Practice Group member Jaskiran K. Samra (Cokinos | Young – California)).
  • Clifford v. Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, 2022 WL 830618 (Cal. App.).  Jury trial in Sacramento in 2018 – the only jury trial nationwide within the past 25+ years involving claims of hazing and sexual assault against a national fraternal organization, with a defense verdict on the hazing and sexual assault claims as to the Fraternity and a very favorable verdict on the negligence claim against the local chapter.  This was also the first and only civil trial involving hazing claims under “Matt’s Law,” California’s anti-hazing statute which was enacted in 2007.  Trial court verdict and judgment affirmed on appeal by the Court of Appeal, review denied by the California Supreme Court (briefed and argued).
  • Cornelius v. Alpha Kappa Lambda, 19 Wash.App.2d 862 (2021).  Washington Court of Appeal reversed the King County Superior Court’s denial of the Fraternity’s motion to compel arbitration, and remanded for an evidentiary hearing.  The opinion was ordered published as it included a holding, as a matter of first impression for a Washington state appellate court, that an arbitration agreement could be applied retroactively to claims arising from events that occurred before the execution of the agreement.  (Briefed and argued by Practice Group member Jaskiran K. Samra (Cokinos | Young – California).)
  • Hall v. Millersville University, 400 F.Supp.3d 252 (E.D. Pa. 2019), appeal dismissed.  Successful granting of summary judgment in favor of national Fraternity, applying Pennsylvania substantive law (briefed and argued).

Speaking Engagements & Fraternity Presentations

  • 2022 FRMT Risk Management College
  • 2021 Fraternal Law Conference, “Lessons Learned in Litigation”
  • 2021 Fraternal Law Conference, “Litigation Update”
  • Fraternal Law (July 2020), “California Court of Appeals Holds That Sorority Members Do Not Owe a Duty in a Negligence Case Based on Their Agreement to Abide by University Risk Management Policies and Protocols.”
  • 2018 Fraternal Law Conference, “Litigation Update”
  • 2018 Theta Chi Convention, “What do We do Now?Know Your Rights” and “Are You in Good Hands (Alumni)”
  • 2018, 2017, 2016 FRMT Annual Meetings, National Counsel Review and Litigation Updates
  • 2015 Fraternal Law Conference, “Litigation/Appellate Issues and Trends”
  • 2014 Fraternal Law Conference, “Litigation Defense:How to be Prepared and What to Expect”
  • 2013 FRMT Risk Management College, “Greek Organizations: An Industry Under Attack”
  • 2012 FRMT Risk Management College, “How to Prepare for the Inevitable”

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Elected to The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2000
  • California State Bar
  • DRI, Former Member, Class Action Specialized Litigation Group
  • DRI, E-Discovery Task Force (2002-200)
  • DRI, Former President, DRI Trucking Law Committee
  • Initiated, Theta Chi Fraternity
  • Appointed, California State Bar and San Francisco County Superior Court, Special Master in Criminal Investigations and Search Warrants

Admissions

  • State Bar of California (1980)
  • United States District Courts: Northern, Eastern, Central & Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third & Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court: Eastern District of Michigan
  • Pro Hac Vice Admissions Granted, 25 States and 5 U.S. District Courts